Bubbling Over with Body Positive Joy!

When Yi asked me to climb on her conference room table, I didn’t hesitate.

This past week, Yi Zhou, founder of Global Intuition, a fast-rising international fashion brand, invited me to her headquarters in Beverly Hills for a body positive photo shoot.

Yi is a Chinese multimedia artist who has lived in Rome from the age of eight and studied between London and Paris with degrees in Political Science and Economics.  Her innovative work has been shown at Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennal, Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.  Global in reach, she founded her creative strategy digital production company, Yi Zhou Studio, in Shanghai and Hong Kong.  In late 2017, she brought her creative vision to LA  as a strategic partner of Cinemoi Network, Royal Yacht. She is currently developing her first feature film as writer and director.

I had the privilege of meeting Yi through What Women Want Show about a year ago as she was preparing her Fred Segal show.  I was extremely impressed by Yi’s drive, ambition and poise.  Yi’s brand is called Global Intuition and I can see why.  Working with Yi, she has a global outlook and also a strong sense of what makes others look and feel good.  My shoot with Yi was fun, collaborative and inspiring.

Here’s your first look–Body Positive and Bubbles!

global intuition shoot
Body Positive and Bubbles.  Photo by Yi Zhou of Global Intuition.

Yi and I discussed what intuition is and why it’s important for women, and really everyone, to trust their intuition .  Intuition seems to power much of what she does and how she works.

Video Courtesy of Yi Zhou, Global Intuition

My biggest take away from spending time with Yi this week was that joy and intuition  make everything we do better!  If you bring a joyful heart to whatever you are doing, and trust your hunches, you can accomplish so much.  Trust your intution and let your joy bubble over!

 

Astrology’s Opposite Signs & Balancing with the Fall Equinox

photo of brown and white pumpkins
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Special guest psychic and shaman Shea Herlihy-Abba and host Kristin West chat about how having opposite signs in the chart doesn’t automatically mean there’s a conflict.  They discuss the Autumn Equinox, how to balance energies that might not be serving you and how to embrace the changing of the seasons.  Sometimes sassy, sometimes deep this conversation is sure to challenge your assumptions about the “dark side” of the year.

NSFW in some spots, just FYI.

Listen in!

Got #FOMO? Get Curious Instead…

Sometimes, we take too many cues from other people.  They have something, so we should have something.  They’re pursuing something, so we should pursue it too.  Our #fomo overrides our common sense, and even worse, our #fomo leads us to look to others for what we truly want and so our lives our built on comparison and often, jealousy.

The last few weeks, I’ve been throwing around the word “success” often, but I hadn’t fully articulated to myself what success would be for me.  I’d let the culture define what success was–a big house, a fast, expensive car, expensive stuff.  My values had shifted, and my definition of success had indeed changed.  I just didn’t realize it til a week and a half ago.

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We have to get curious.  Especially when we’re contemplating making big shifts, we must get curious about our assumptions.  Would that fast car really make me happy or I am really angsty about the pace at which my ventures are progressing?  Is that big house one I will be happy in or is what I truly desire to be able to travel more?  Once we think we know our values, we get comfortable in them like an old shoe. And then, we tread very familiar paths in that old shoe til we feel lost.

If there’s part of your life that’s not working and/or not satisfying, it might be time to get curious about what you truly value.  You may find that something’s shifted.  Some values stay with us our whole lives, others shift as we learn, grow and experience.

Tomorrow, the Autumnal Equinox, is a great day to get a handle on what’s out of balance in our lives, which often means we’ve been overvaluing some things, people and situations, to the neglect of others.  Unpack the buzzwords you’ve been aspiring to achieve.  What’s success to you?   Peace?  Authenticity?  Get specific and then there will be no #fomo.

Pivoting to Autumn

It’s not fall yet, despite what Starbucks may have you believe.  The autumnal equinox is a little over a week away, on September 23.  Yet, you may already be feeling fall settling in.  I walk almost every day and I see the leaves changing and falling.

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Photo by Valiphotos on Pexels.com

Sometimes in life we don’t make the sharp turns that movies and TV would have us think are part and parcel of an exciting life.  Not all of our lives have convenient plot points.  Change is often gradual, like the seasons.  Lately, I’ve been learning to pivot, to observe the transition and not necessarily fixate on the end result or where I would prefer to have things.  The art of pivoting, for me, like the trees, is the art of knowing what to let go, when and how.  It’s not dropping everything at once in a fury.  It’s not uprooting and escaping.  It’s knowing what to expand and what to contract at the right time.  Pivoting takes a great deal of patience and discernment.  It also takes a great deal of faith.  Just as a tree lets go of its leaves gracefully, we are challenged to make our changes in life as gracefully and gratefully as possible.

 

 

Here. Now. Today.

Here. Now. Today.

It’s my new mantra.

Too often, we are not in the present.  We’re mining the middens of the past trying to explain away our bad feelings or bad behavior or we’re floating into painful projections of a future more akin to a post-apocalyptic world.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with my anxiety.  Part of my job as a movie producer is to prevent potential problems with production and minimize liabilities as much as possible.  My job is to look at a script and ask myself, “What could go wrong here,” and “Where is there a waste of money or other resources?”

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Therefore, as part of being in a leadership position, I do have to put some mind-space in the future and the what-ifs.  People count on me to anticipate and solve problems.  And if I solve a problem that never grows into a full-blown “issue”, all the better!  However, once it makes my heart race or prevents me from moving forward, I’ve started to go to:

 

Here.  Now.  Today.

Here–where I am–the space–my office, the coffee shop, etc.

Now–what am I doing in the now–data entry, memorizing, budgeting

Today–the actual date and time

Here. Now. Today.

I also have to accept there’s enough entropy that I won’t be able to anticipate all the issues.  I recently toured a movie ranch that lost 20 structures in the last California wildfire.  There’s no way anyone could have predicted that specific facility would have lost all those structures–iconic ones.  There are limits to what we can foresee and anticipate, even if we have keen minds and heightened intuition.

If you’re feeling anxious, or are tasked with trying to lead a group, especially projecting the future, know that you can’t project or prognosticate everything.  You can only do the best you can do.

Here, now, today is our greatest point of power.

 

 

 

The Inner Ghost Town

018B723F-0201-4856-8D5B-BA7DB059E182 (1)Today, I took a trek to Mentryville, a ghost town in the Santa Clarita area. I was doing a preliminary scout for a project awaiting funding.  As I walked around the abandoned buildings, it was apparent to me that inside of us, we often carry around an inner ghost town.  What outdated structures (beliefs, habits) have we not cleared?  What projects have we abandoned? What dreams did we have to leave behind when our hope dried up?

So often a ghost town develops when a resource is depleted or an industry moves away.  Mentryville is dubbed “California’s First Oil Boom Town”.  Today, I was challenged to look at the ways I’ve been depleted.  I was also challenged to assess how much I’ve been holding on to “yesterday” instead of looking ahead, how the winds have shifted in my life and how my inner and outer landscape has changed.  1D638D20-B6EF-4B90-A445-E7579A071C51

Of course, the idea of a ghost town, implies a lack of life.  A ghost town is populated by ghosts, the dead who have unfinished business.   The ghost towns of our psyches are where we have unfinished business–the unsaid, the stuff we wish we had or hadn’t done.  The inner ghost town is the unanswered questions of our pain that we replay and revisit looking for answers that may never satisfy.  Instead of going over and over again what could and should have been, it’s more profitable to clear the structures that are falling down.  Too often, stasis feels safe, when it’s really what’s diminishing our possibilities.  Everything and everyone has their time and place in our lives.  Sometimes a controlled demolition of our inner ghost town is necessary.

 

A Little Glue, A Little Paper, A Lot of Insight

At certain pivot points of my life in acting, I’ve needed a hobby where I didn’t have to perform.  For me, decoupage has been a place to exercise my right brain, create and decompress without feeling the need to “do it right” or impress.  I’ve done a few good pieces over the years, including a shelf, a glass table top, vases and now these votive candle holders made from the Oui by Yoplait jars.

Things I’ve learned from decoupage:

decoupage jars1.  Tissue paper is very delicate.  It tears easily, especially when wet.  It needs a light touch.  A light touch is often the right touch in life too.

2.  Sometimes the dye of the paper bleeds.  Don’t worry about it.  The things you can’t control are often the most beautiful.

3.  The most interesting patterns have more colors.  Add a little color to your life!

4. The magic of decoupage is in the waiting for the piece to dry.  Once it’s dried, you actually see it.  Before it dries, it’s a wet mess.  Patience pays.

5.  Edges first!  It’s much easier when you attend to the edges first and then work to the center, especially on household objects.  Parameters are important.

6.  It’s okay to “fail” or it not be what you were expecting.  It’s just a little tissue, a little glue, a little water and a little time.  Failure in decoupage is allowed for me!

7.  Especially on clear glass, yellow paper and white paper don’t show up as easily and may need to be double layered in order to “pop”.   Sometimes, you have to make the extra effort to really show something.

8.  For me, decoupage is about creating a mood or bringing color to an intention.  When I bring intention and attention, decoupage is not longer just a crafty thing to pass time, but it’s a way to meditate.

9.  Once you start decoupaging, your relationship with paper may change.  You start to re-purpose envelopes and scrap paper.  Use the unusual to create the unusual.  

I think every working artist feels pressure to perform in their field.  Sometimes, the pressure to perform hems in our sense of play and risk.  When I’ve felt I’ve been at a pivot point, I’ve turned to decoupage to give me permission to play and experiment without fear of judgment.  What’s your hobby?  How does it help you?

 

 

Your Eclipse Tarot-Scope

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Eclipses give us a special window into what’s ahead for the next six months.  Today’s partial lunar eclipse happens during the Capricorn full moon, and is especially connected with our careers, our karmic burden, fathers and fatherhood and how we build ourselves to be the best version of ourselves.  The moon itself is ruled by nurturing, motherly Cancer, the sign of house and home.  To get the full picture of your eclipse vibes, I suggest reading your sun sign, your moon sign and your North and South Nodes if you know them.

 

ARIES– 9 of Pentacles–  It’s time to stand on your own two feet.  You don’t need a partner for a venture to be successful.  As long as you stay true to yourself, your values and know your value, you’ll prosper for the next six months.  You may have to steady some of your impulses to fully mature some of the opportunities available to you.

 

TAURUS– Knight of Pentacles Reversed –Time is money and money is time.  Some rewards you’ve been seeking in career are taking a longer time getting to you.  Keep all your projects going at a steady pace and don’t give up.   Endurance is your watchword for the next six months.

 

GEMINI–The Tower — A sudden insight or disruptive event may rock your world and test your foundations.  Let what needs to fall, fall.  It’s not on you to stabilize everything and everyone, especially if the foundations are shaky.  You have an awesome opportunity in the next six months to build bigger, better and bolder if you have the stomach to succeed.

 

CANCER– King of Wands Reversed–Be careful of being all talk and no action.  It’s fine to plan, but don’t commit to a person or project without a giving wholehearted yes.  When you find yourself saying, “I don’t know what to do,” ask yourself “What am I really afraid of?”  Fortune favors the bold.  Be careful of being a spitfire.  Unexpressed anger easily festers into resentment, so get an emotional hygiene regimen to get yourself through the challenges of the next six months.

 

LEO– 2 of Cups Reversed– You’re not seeing eye to eye with a business or romantic partner, especially on the day-to-day, routine matters.  The fundamentals of the relationship, the shared values are still intact.  Don’t make mountains out of molehills and celebrate the small victories.  Celebrating the small things girds you both against conflict on larger issues for the next six months.

 

VIRGO– 10 of Wands Reversed — You’re about to drop a big burden that you’ve been carrying for too long.  Congratulations.  Be choosy, though, about what you choose to shoulder next.  Discernment is key for the coming six months.  Let others carry their own weight.  Helping is fine.  Enabling is not.  Keep walking towards your “true home”, with a much lighter load.

 

LIBRA — The Wheel of Fortune — Lucky you!  You’re about to get a fresh start and some awesome opportunities coming your way.  Stay true to your values and principles.  Doing so will help you create more opportunities for yourself.  It’s also time to look at the cycles of your life, of your relationships and gently detach from that which is not serving you anymore.  If things get too emotional, center yourself.  A good centering meditation will serve you well in the coming months.

 

SCORPIO — The Page of Swords Reversed — Think hard before you speak, Scorpio.  Your words have extra power in the coming months and you’d do well to take a spoonful of sugar each day.  Also, listen to the voice of your inner child.  If you find that you’re self-sabotaging, especially in what you say, or don’t say, it might be time do some inner child work in the coming months.  What secrets are you keeping from yourself?

 

SAGITTARIUS — 6 of Wands Reversed — You have the success you’ve been aiming for, but not the fame.  Ask yourself why the fame is so important to you.  You might find the answer surprises you.  Also, be careful of those whose praise comes too readily.  It may feel good to get a lot of compliments, but ulterior motives may be at play with some of those around you.  In the next six months, you’re going to redefine what success is to you and then seize it.

 

CAPRICORN — 10 of Cups — Your wish is granted, Capricorn.  Be sure to share your joy in order to increase it.  The next six months, right up until the sun re-enters your sign, portend immense emotional and personal fulfillment.  All is well.  Your inner skeptic may think that all this is too good to be true.  Don’t listen to that inner skeptic.  You’ve been working your plan for a long time and you deserve all the good your receive.

 

AQUARIUS — 3 of Swords Reversed — Be gentle with yourself, Aquarius.  You’re still healing from a loss.  Listen to your heart and take extra care not to distract yourself from its yearnings.  It’s all too easy to ruminate to try to distance yourself from pain, but it’s time to really get to the heart of a matter.  In six months, you’ll feel more available to love and be creative.

 

PISCES –4 of Cups — Pisces, you’ve got a lot of offers coming toward you, but that small voice of your intuition keeps saying, “no”.  It’s time to get to the heart of what you can say a deep, resounding “yes” to.  Apathy is holding you back.  It’s time to get to the core of what’s emotionally burdening you.  How is being stuck or immobile protecting you?  This is the question at hand until December.  It’s time to get unstuck and passionate again.

Giving Myself Time

It seems like there’s never enough time.  We pack our schedules full, keep busy, keep moving and still, there’s an emptiness.  Time just flies, and we have so little time for ourselves.

This past week, I resolved to give myself some time back.  I resolved not to just wake up and do, do, do.  I resolved to give myself two hours of my day back.  That’s less than ten percent.  It’s my morning practice.  I’ve had a daily sadhana on and off for years, but in light of some events in my life, I’ve really doubled down on it.

61684677_2166278680159049_4817819988796637184_nI give myself 20 minutes to read whatever I want.  I give myself 30 min of meditation.  I give myself 10 minutes of reading any news that might impact me or piques my interest.  I give myself a 45 min walk and about 15-20 minutes of journaling.  I keep it all on a big, neon, poster board to keep myself accountable, along with my long list of to-dos.

In giving myself about ten percent of my day back “just for me”, I’ve learned things about myself–some of them joyful, some of them not.  So many of us have guilt about putting ourselves first and we absolutely need to.  When we lose our internal compass, we often make decisions that teach us not-so-fun lessons.  When I don’t have my morning practice, I get un-centered and reactive faster than I care to admit.

One of the traps of a regimen, though, is that we can get regimented, and that’s no fun.  I try to re-evaluate my morning practice monthly.  The key to this, for me, has been setting an intention.  What needs healing?  What needs encouragement?  What needs to be confronted?  To me, a good morning practice shifts you in the right direction, so it needs to be re-intention-ed to be effective.  As I shift, my intention shifts, so my practice shifts.  I make sure that the changes I want are small, manageable and actionable.

If you are doing-oriented person like me, a healthy dose of compassion may be in order too.  You may not get it all done.  Life happens.  Sometimes regimens and reality clash.  It’s okay not to get all the self care tasks done in one day.

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My morning practice gets a little too ambitious, even for me at times.  It’s okay.  I remind myself I can always adjust.  It’s one thing to stretch; it’s another thing to burden and break.  

If you have a morning practice, I’d love to know more about what works for you!