Magical Manifestations and Portends

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Birthdays are a Rite of Passage.  This was never truer than the one I celebrated two days ago.

For the several weeks preceding, I knew this one would be momentous.  A shift had happened in both my interior and exterior life and signs started appearing that were subtle, but convincing.  The baby grand that had hoisted itself up on my back gracefully slipped off.  I could fly again.

On the day of my birthday, it was the first beautiful day we had enjoyed in weeks.  The two and a half weeks preceding my birthday were wet, dark and raw, kind of like the way my mood had been for months on end.  This was the first sign.

A Beautiful Day ❤

A Beautiful Day ❤

The second sign was a phone call from a friend.  While we were talking, he shared that he had just received funding for his newly formed production company, based in Brooklyn, New York.  He wanted to know if I had any ideas for a short film.  Does a mermaid swim in the water?!  I pitched him an idea I’ve been playing around with.  He loved it and committed to put it on his fall production slate!

The third sign was phenomenal.  As I stood watching a family of busy barn swallows flying in and out of a fine antique barn on a friend’s property, I knew it was a sign.  My family had more than 60 clipper ships that sailed from Nova Scotia and Great Britain all over the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean.

Those of you familiar with animal legends will know that a swallow was often a symbol tattooed by British sailors for good luck.  These swallows are also a symbol of family, friends and loyalty.  Lastly, it is a totem of freedom and hope.  I could hear my family saying Hold Fast, we, God, and your angels are working up a storm to bring you a mighty blessing.

Image:  © Mitch Waite Group

Image: © Mitch Waite Group

The fourth sign was when a friend of mine gave me a bouquet of Lilacs and Lily of the Valley.  She said that she had hesitated, not knowing if I would enjoy these two fragrant varieties, but that something had strongly prompted her to give them to me.  I had to smile.  These two plants were my Nana’s favorites.  Just smelling their fragrance brought me back decades to sitting in her garden enveloped in their heady perfume.  I knew that she was telling me to “Press on regardless”, another of our family’s mottos.

The fifth sign was that a friend whom I haven’t seen nor heard from in over a year showed up to celebrate my birthday.  This was a huge surprise because I honestly had given up on our friendship, considering it to be one of my “casualties of war.”  Meaning, one of the friendships that hasn’t survived Sidney’s shit hitting the proverbial fan, but there he was with the most beautiful smile on his face.  Thank you, God!

The last and most significant sign came later that night.  I was about to turn in for the night when an overwhelming urge to check Twitter came over me.  When I first logged in, I didn’t see anything extraordinary.  As a matter of fact, I almost immediately logged out, but then I saw IT.  There was the blue indicator that I had a fresh direct message.

I opened my DMs and there IT was.  An incredible message from someone whom to say that I admire them would be a gross understatement.  Tada!  My birthday wish came true.

Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone whom you hold high in esteem sees your unique gift and appreciates it.  Many people go through their lives never experiencing this.  This has happened to me before, but this time it takes the cake.  So, I guess I’ll have my cake and eat it too!  Thank you, God.

God, seriously…THANK YOU!

An appropriate choice of cake for this year's birthday: a WHOOPIE PIE!

An appropriate choice of cake for this year’s birthday: a WHOOPIE PIE!

If those weren’t already enough signs that the cycle of life was back in motion, there was one more magical occurrence.

Our family has a tradition of celebrating a birthday for an entire week. this year was no different.  After the spectacular day I had already had, imagine my delight when the next day, my sister presented me with my mom’s engagement ring.  I had given it to her when mom died in 2009.

It seemed odd for her to return it, but Claudia explained that mom had asked her to, apparently she wanted me to know that she really believes in me too.  This was an amazing conclusion to an already perfect birthday.  I know that no matter how many more I have, this one will hard to top.

I want to thank you for taking time to visit with me here.  Comments are sincerely appreciated, and if you like what you just read, you’d be an angel to share it on social media.  There’s lots of share the love buttons below ❤

© 2012-2014 Cinema Profound/Sidney Peck  All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Honor Your Vision

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

62c630e0fff11b4789f22c8d8affa1d1

Image: Pinterest/unknown

It’s easy to let ourselves slip away.  Life, time and circumstance often take more than their measure.  For me, being the Guardian of My Higher Self has been my personal Holy Grail.  At times, maintaining this has been as elusive as the legend.

Take the last few years.  Think of the movie “The Perfect Storm“, remember when they were in the eye of it?  That sums it up.

George Clooney "THE PERFECT STORM"

George Clooney “THE PERFECT STORM”

Two invigorating and magical things happened today, though.  First, I found an angel in a small tin box of my later mother’s.  She had a post it note on the lid which read “baby seahorses”, and indeed, there were three inside.  I thought that was all there was, but I was wrong.  I was about to close the lid when I was clearly being directed to remove the small bubble wrap packing so I could look in the crumpled tissue paper which was also cushioning them, and there she was, the angel.

The message was so clear.  It was as if my mother was right there.  She was saying to me, don’t give up.  I believe in you, your Guardian Angel believes in you and we’re here to help.  I cried grateful tears and thanked her.

Next, came the second miracle.

First, some context.  I’ve bitten off a mammoth-sized project which I am calling Getting It Together.  Stage One is a hard core reduction of my personal possessions.  To give you an idea of what I’m up against, I have over 16,000 pounds of stuff.  That’s one helluva freight load.

Progress is slow, but steady.  It took several months to reduce five storage lockers to two.  Currently, I am dealing with a Library of Congress mountain of paperwork.  By the way, it feels really good.  While in many ways, my life is still spinning out of control, I am getting a sense of accomplishment from this mundane task.

Whilst culling files, I found the two essays that I wrote for my graduate school applications.  I don’t know about you, but I loathe reading my writing once it’s “done”.  So much so, in fact, that when I first came across these, I put them aside to file.  However, my Guardian Angel and my mom clearly had other ideas.  The directive to stop what I was doing and read them was undeniable.

Bear in mind that I wrote these almost 30 years ago.  I’d like to think that I’m more adept as a writer, and I am, but I’m also really proud of what I had written.  Astonished, actually.  Because not only were they really good as in no-wonder-I-was accepted-at-all-three-schools level good, the words captured who I am as a person and as an artist.

This said to me that regardless of all the trauma I’ve endured, I’m still here.  It signifies that I AM a survivor.  My heart, my integrity, my vision, it hasn’t been damaged, and I have experienced more shit than you can imagine.  You name it.  I’ve lived it, but it didn’t kill who I am at my deepest core.

So tonight, for the first time in as long a while as the Nile, I’m proud of myself because through it all, I have always honored my life’s vision.  I may not look like much of a success now, especially in comparison to where I was, but in my book, I am.

Ultimately, it is who stares back at us in the mirror that measures us as a person. — Sidney Peck

Reading these essays also remind me that it is my responsibility to fulfill the promise I made to myself as a child.  Last summer when I returned to LA after an extended absence as a caregiver, I allowed circumstances to get the better of me.  By not setting clear boundaries, I empowered two losers to harass me out of town.  That’s not the real me.  I’m a fighter!

There were other contributing factors to why my return “home” didn’t pan out, and when I am excruciatingly honest, it was largely a lack of planning.  Again, this isn’t my usual modus operandi.  Hindsight once again is laser sharp 20/20.  I can tell you this…

It won’t happen again.

My place is in LA.  It’s where I’ve spent the bulk of my life.  It’s where I need to do business.  Thanks to these two essays and my mom’s angel, I’ve made a fresh commitment to my writing and I’m taking it where it belongs, back home.  This time, I’m going back to stay and no one is getting in my way!

No matter where you’re at in this journey, I urge you keep your sacred flame alive.  Guard it zealously and above all, nurture it.  It’s what makes you that one perfect and unique snowflake.

You are as beautiful as the vision you hold.

Honor Your Vision.

Image:  snowcrystals.com

Image: snowcrystals.com

 

Thank you for taking time to visit with me here.  Comments are sincerely appreciated, and if you like what you just read, you’d be an angel to share it on social media.  There’s lots of share the love buttons below ❤

© 2012-2014 Cinema Profound/Sidney Peck  All Rights Reserved.

Beyond “PLAN B”

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Image: remodelingnation.com

Image: remodelingnation.com

What happens when Plan B fails?  Nothing.

Well, maybe the situation gets worse, but life truly does go on just like the cliché.  In fact, if there’s anything that’s sure about Plan B is that whether it’s successful or not, life will continue.  It’s kind of comforting when you think about it.

You had a plan, but now at least, it looks like a dismal failure.  Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.  You’ll never know because ultimately only God can make that pronouncement. All you know is things didn’t work out.

Image:  dreamstime.com

Image: dreamstime.com

At this juncture, it’s important to stick to the facts.  Figure out what things you did that were successful, because nothing is a total failure.  You did some things that brought results.  Write them down.

Did you stick to a specific plan, or were you winging it?  If you had a bona fide plan, were all of the bases covered, or did you skip some?  If you were improvising as you went along, were there actions that perhaps you missed because there wasn’t a strategy?

Keep writing down your observations.  In time, a pattern will emerge.  The answer is in there somewhere.  Keep looking, you’ll find it.  When you do, the most important step appears.  This is the toughest one, at least it is for me.

It’s forgiveness.  Because with Plan B failure comes a lot of self recrimination.  The — What if I had; I could have; why the hell didn’t I, what was I thinking?? — thoughts will start hollering like they’re at the Super Bowl.  Listen to them, for they too can carry the truth, but ultimately, you’re going to have to insist they SHUT UP so you can regroup.

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. – Bruce Lee

You’re human.  You made a mistake.  It’s okay.  It’s not too late, life does after all continue on.  Often the shift happens just when you think it’s the end.

Take out the f in shift and things can look like shit. – Sidney Peck

These are some of the conclusions I’ve come to lately, I hope you find them useful.  As for me, I actually found a lot of gold in my failed Plan B.  It’s time now to take all of the lessons I’ve learned and make my dreams happen.

What about you?  Have you had to face “failure”?  If so, how did you move on?  I’d really love to hear what you learned.

P.S.:  Writers need feedback.  When I visit fellow writer’s sites, I ALWAYS leave a comment.  Please show me the same respect and pay it forward.  Thank you!

© 2012-2014  Cinema Profound  All Rights Reserved.

Breaking Point

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

EVERY ONE OF US has a breaking point.  The only difference is some people never reach it.  Maybe The Fates have treated them kindly.  Or perhaps, in order to deal with trauma or disappointment, they have numbed themselves so it’s not recognizable when it arrives.

How to define a breaking point?  It’s a time when life becomes unbearable, even if only for a moment.  It’s a moment that can crush your self, your soul and if you let it, your life.

Image courtesy of colourbox.com

Image courtesy of colourbox.com

Even though we know that these moments can descend, it doesn’t lessen the blow.  For if you reach your breaking point, it knocks you off your feet, rendering you defenseless.  I know this intimately.

For the last six months, I’ve been struggling through the worst breaking point of my life.  One of my author friends recently asked his readers to summarize last year in a simile.  This is what I wrote him:  “2012 was like living in a wood chipper.”

What have I learned when the Banshees are screaming in your head?  You better be well prepared.

Image courtesy of atpm.com

Image courtesy of atpm.com

How can you prepare for the absolute rock bottom moment(s) of your life?  Or, more importantly, is this possible?  Of course it is!

We strategize for all manner of life situations, but we often forget to plan for The Breaking Point.  Why?  is it fear or arrogance?  That’s an answer you’ll have to find for yourself.

Failing to plan is like planning to fail – Winston Churchill

So, how does one prepare for this pivotal moment in time?  Consciously and carefully.  Just like you’d prepare for a hurricane or an earthquake.  Start by gathering whatever tools you’ll need to weather the storm.  These are personal choices, but some examples might be letters that key people have written to you expressing what a difference you’ve made in their lives.  Or, perhaps a photograph that recalls one of life’s shining moments.  Keep these tools in a convenient place.  Just like you would an emergency lantern in case of a tropical storm.

Next, come up with an action plan.  What are you going to do at this critical juncture?  Are you going to call a friend?  Or maybe your therapist or clergy?  How low will you go before reaching out?  Decide now!

Are there supplies that you’ll need?  Here are some suggestions.  Make sure that you’ve got the basics covered.  Is you pantry well stocked?  Check it.  Driving to the store when you’re crying so hard that you can’t see straight is not recommended.  In other words, don’t live so far out on the edge that when life decides to push back hard, you can’t take care of your basic needs.  Instead, live like an Eagle Scout and be prepared!

It’s important to put crisis into perspective and to remember that sometimes we are broken to break through to our stronger selves.  Think of a diamond.  What becomes a precious gem is the direct result of heat and pressure.  Without these intense stressors, it would look like any other rock.  Something like this:

Image: california-gold-rush-miner.us

Image: california-gold-rush-miner.us

It’s because a diamond was forged through a volcanic eruption that it ultimately becomes the clearest, most indestructible stone on earth.  The destructive process that creates the world’s most prized gem makes it possible for it to sparkle and shine like no other mineral.

Image: gia.edu

Image: gia.edu

When you’re in a breaking point, it helps to remember that you’re not alone.  Here are some facts about suicide.  According to the World Health Organization, depression is the Number One disability in the world.  Every year, approximately a million people commit suicide.  Globally, suicide has increased by 60 percent over the past 45 years.  Here in the U.S., twice as many people die from suicide each year than by HIV/AIDS.  If you’re struggling with depression like me, maybe you’ll find the following quote helpful.

Cover your bases

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me here.  I hope that these words have been helpful.  I may not know you, but you’re in my prayers every night.  Because I’m at a breaking point, I’m actively praying for everyone else who’s in the same place.  Here’s why I would choose to write about something so personal:

The best I can say is that it’s better for me to write about despair and darkness than to be incapable of getting off the sofa.  It’s better to write about suicide than to contemplate it too heavily. – Paul Westerberg

If you know someone who’s facing this, don’t walk away, or ignore them.  Let them know you care.  SHOW them in meaningful ways that the world is a better place because they’re here.  Remember, YOU could be facing the same demons one day.  It might be hard to believe, but it’s true.

P.S.:  Writers need feedback.  When I visit fellow writer’s sites, I ALWAYS leave a comment.  Please show me the same respect and pay it forward.  Thank you!

© 2012-2014  Cinema Profound  All Rights Reserved.