Category Archives: Psychology

Being clear about what you want…

When you focus on the things you don’t want, they take over your life without you even realizing you’re doing it to yourself most of the time. When you start to focus on the things you do want, then they have a place to move into your life.

At each point, I’ve wanted what I wanted, on some level. And eventually I outgrew or changed my mind on those things… But the trick is being attuned to your feelings enough so that when there is an incongruency, you can find your way to the next thing more quickly rather than feel trapped, or comatose to what’s happening, or angry that you’ve lost your freedom. Many occupations are setup to be comfortable for some payout at the end. It’s not always easy stepping into a place that has very little in the way of safety netting, but it’s possible. I’m doing it.

As for the things I want now? I’m trying to keep it general enough so I can be happy with what shows up, although maybe on the last point I’m a little fickle.

Here’s my want list:

I want to continue to be involved with making movies and television or web content: writing, producing, creating somehow, and helping out in other capacities where I’m needed. It’s the events of the last few years that opened my heart to the fact this was possible and necessary for me. I’ve found no other place like it.

I want to get more involved with music – as spectator and participant. I was a huge music fan when I was a kid and its even written in my year book that the most likely place I’d end up is handing out flyers for bands in LA. I would sacrifice sleep to listen to interviews with bands on the radio, and bother relatives to tape things off of MTV for me. I also want to see as many live shows as I can and although it can sometimes be dangerous, I want to be as close to the action on stage as humanly possible.

I just started writing song lyrics, which is like writing poetry, but it presents different challenges… Because, like making movies, song lyrics are about layering other talents on top and around them. A poem can exist on it’s own.

I want to continue to travel. I was very fortunate to be able to see various parts of this country while working – Halifax, Iqaluit, Calgary, Regina, Vancouver, Victoria; and some cities in the US – Orlando, San Diego, Washington. I’ve been to New York twice too (both times were way too short), and Buffalo.

I did a solo trip to Ireland in 2003, and a friend trip to France in 2007…. More to come, I can assure you. First stop Mardi Gras.

I want to continue to live in a vibrant city, but being a country girl at heart, there is a need sometimes to get away and breathe in some fresh air, sit by a lake or a river and just be. I need to be able to look up and see a starry filled sky, and hear wild animals. Which is very achievable here in Ottawa. We’re really lucky to be so close to the country here.

I want to spend more time with family and friends.

As for a primary relationship, I’m still defining that, but I’m becoming more clear on what I don’t want by being exposed to situations that cause me discomfort. I think that everything is part of the process. In the meantime, I’m going to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in.

That’s all for now folks. It’s been a good week here…

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Astrology and Beliefs of Man

I’ve been doing work in an online meditation series through a Deepak Chopra foundation. I don’t know how this revelation came to me tonight… But here goes.

Astrology is a way to dramatize the sky. There really are no constellations of a Scorpion or two Fish chasing tails. We made that up, and we all bought into it. Like other works of fiction, those stories make our own lives more interesting, and entertain us while we’re here.

I’m sure celestial knowledge has made people rich. I understand that previous societies used the stars for navigation and other more practical things. But can’t you see the need to provide a stage for stories to unfold. Stars want nothing, but we give them names and back stories like characters in a novel or a movie. We give them depth and emotion… We give them purpose. Like the Chinese astrology gives to their animals.

You know what we also give all these stories and representatives? The responsibility for our lives… Like many people who read various versions of the bible. We can say, well that’s what it says… So who am I to be a free person?

Astrological books would have us believe the same thing. I’m a Virgo, so I must be one way or another. That’s crap. You wake up every morning, and if the sky was full of Jello instead of stars we’d be reading the patterns to see where we should plan out next vacation. It’s all made up to give away the responsibility of our actions and choices. Hell, the calendar we know was created and changed to suit the Catholic Church, and other countries in the world do not even ascribe to it. Much the same way there are hundreds of Gods we all pray to.

I’m reminded of the lyrics by Poison…

Just give me something to believe in…

Because when things are tough and shitty, it’s easy to displace all that responsibility somewhere else so we can be the messy selves that we are… And look at how easy it is to do… People have created the maps for you to get there…

Now we just have to choose our own path.

I was also watching a lot of Tim Minchin YouTube videos this week. Gots me thinking about many things…

That’s all for now. G’night.


5 Year Reflection… Fitness and Film

Five years ago today on Canada Day (sometimes the memory isn’t as sharp as it once was), I was eating my last plate of Nachos and drinking my last Guinness, the lasts of which were for a long time. I had signed up for Greco Lean & Fit starting on July 2nd, 2007. I was 220lbs, and with no real end target in sight, I knew that I had health issues and that I had to make a commitment to myself to lose weight and get into shape.

At the time, I really had no idea what I was getting in to. And now, I can’t imagine not having done it. It changed who I was, and it has ultimately led to me being where I am today.

Five years out, I say with some sadness too, that I haven’t really with a full heart been to the gym for a better part of a full year. I left Greco in the Fall of 2010 for the Merivale YMCA and had some other things happen last year that required me to focus my priorities in a slightly different direction. I still watched what I ate and drank, and despite some best efforts, I can probably count on one hand (okay, maybe one hand and a few fingers) how many times I’ve been for a full workout since October 2011.

I don’t feel nearly as physically strong as I did, and now that’s even more painful that the weight gain. I like feeling strong, and more so, I like looking strong. I’m up a little from my target weight too – maybe 7 -10 lbs – mostly because I don’t have the lean muscle to burn the calories anymore… such is life. But, I can feel it. It’s not pleasant. I don’t like it. And my sleeping and eating have been off for so long… I know I can get them back in line, it will just take an even stronger resolve on my part.

I also had a back injury in January. That slowed me somewhat. Things seem to be okay now, but every once in a while, it will tweak.

So, five years out – I need to refocus on myself again. Eating properly, sleeping properly, gyming properly. Less outside distractions. It’s funny, because when I still had my TV I had a routine, which gym was a part of… Distractions and routines are funny things.

Last July I was likely in the best shape of my life, and I’m bound to get back there again with a little hard work… which I have proven to myself I can already do. Shouldn’t be a huge stretch. But, it will take some determination to get back into the swing again. Every year means the metabolism slows a little bit.

On another front, five years out too, I had been dabbling with screenwriting… Now, it’s actually about doing the work, and I’m loving it! Over the past year, I have had the fortunate opportunity to work on a whole slew of cool movie and TV projects, with some background acting in there too, along with Intern and Production Assistant work, screenwriting and Directing!

Projects I’ve worked on this past year:

Mary Mae

Grilled Cheese Trilogy

The Dart League Diaries

Full Stop

Frost

The Walking Dead Tales

Micheal: Tuesdays & Thursdays

Penthouse North

Left Behind

Super

She Bleeds On Your Grave

Blood Mist

— and reading and providing comments on all kinds of cool scripts. I’m a very lucky person.

I’d like to say thanks to the film folks for reappearing in my life, or coming in brand new, and making it so great! You know who you are, and honestly, if I started to list everyone, I’d likely forget someone….

Here’s to the next 5 years… and what they might bring.


Acting vs Weightlifting

Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. — George Burns

Weightlifting humbles me. You can’t fake weightlifting. Either you’re strong enough to lift the weight on the bar or you aren’t. You get honest with yourself in about 4.5 seconds, otherwise you can do real and irreversible damage.

Less than a year ago I was lifting just under 150 lbs in a Sumo deadlift for multiple reps. Not bad for a girl with no spine mobility and metal rods. Last night… I couldn’t even do a proper front squat. Everything was tight. I had to go back to first principles. Listen to your body.

At the end of the night, I did manage a few shaky Power Cleans and Jerks and three atrocious deadlifts at 55 lbs. In the Olympic weightlifting I managed more weight than I had in April and almost as much weight as last year but not as many reps. It was nice to know that I had some sort of technique that would allow me to lift more weight than I thought I could. It kicked me up a bit. Cardio recovery was weak… Longer rest periods. But that’s okay too. Sometimes those are necessary.

Weightlifting keeps me honest about my limitations. Physical and mental… And honestly, it’s all mental. Your brain shuts your body off to perceived pain.

In acting, you have to release the tension in the body to yield the maximum results of your craft.

In weightlifting, the only thing that saves you is tension.

Both give you strength.

Physical honesty and coming to the edges of my mental ego, in my case and opinion, are much more transparent.


The secret

I read this really fascinating book on the weekend called “Sex at Dawn” (thanks, Kris!). Not just a book about the fundamental differences between men, women, and our historical and anthropological sexuality – when we had a much more liberal and openly promiscuous and healthy view of sex minus all the bullshit that religion shoves down our collective throats – this book is about much more.

It outlines that much of our world and how our ancestors lived in it changed as a result of agriculture, and not necessarily for the better. Not at all for the better…Actually. Land became property and the only way that one could get more of it is if you agreed to “marry into the family” and have babies to look after things. Or you could take the land through war. Marrying money meant that on paper you had an exchange of one resource for another – the use of a woman’s vagina and womb for land rights. Pleasant.

Personally, the only thing better for me in this era is that I get to be here to experience this life… And no one exchanged me for an acre of land, thank god. And, surely at my age, I might have been dead already living in most other times in human history. If things had not worked out as they have, I wouldn’t be here to write this. Aren’t you lucky? So, it’s a double edged sword.

After all, we are just intelligent lumbering apes who are occupying our time until we die. We eat, sleep, fuck and shit, and still manage to find time to love one another somehow and be productive… I know, uplifting, isn’t it?

But seriously. Why are we doing stupid shit that doesn’t matter? And why have we been doing it for so long? What is wealth anyway and why are people so goddamn hungry for it? I think change, and it better come fast, is in order.

As I watched some footage tonight about the protests in Montreal, and then watched a short video where someone said that the $1 trillion dollars the US spent on Iraq was worth it (to whom? Of course to Haliburton, et. al.), several things all coalesced in my sleepy brain:

1. Everything is made up (that’s not a new one for me if you know me at all…)

2. We certainly spend a lot of money on things that don’t matter… In the name of religion, imaginary borders, soul-sucking corporations, and our fear of mortality. There are major imbalances between what we think is right and what actually may be right.

3. We are mostly by-products of chaos. There’s no rhyme or reason, there just is. People make too much of things, and for all intents and purposes, I probably believe in some sort of universal power force, but “he” certainly isn’t a dad, doesn’t have a name and I’m sure his zombie son didn’t resurrect 2000 years ago. Call me crazy.

4. Some higher power must have a sense of humour if they granted humans “higher” intelligence…. ’cause what do we do with it? Dig up land and fling bits of it at one another, and slowly kill ourselves and each other in the process. What could we be doing with it? Absolutely anything.

We be dumb, dumb apes.


Got a letter from a messenger…

I read it when it came
It said that you were wounded
You were bound and chained
You had love and you were handled
You were poisoned you were pained
Oh no, oh no you were naked
You were shamed

You could almost touch heaven
Right there in front of you
Liberty just slipped away on us
Now there’s so much work to do
Oh the door that closes tightly
Is the door than can swing wide
Oh no, not expecting to collide

For a minute I let my guard down
Not afraid to be found out
I completely forgot dear
What our fears were all about
Oh no,oh no there’s no need to be without

If there’s a chance I would take it,
This desire I won’t kill,
Take my heart please don’t break it, break it
I will crawl to your foothill

I’m frightened but i’m coming
Please baby please lay still
Oh no i’m not coming for the kill
Oh no i’m not coming for the kill
Oh no i’m not coming for the kill

—  The Tea Party, The Messenger

Three themes I’m thinking about today….messages and trust and control.  I’m a little all over the map, so please stay with me.

Messages come to us through language – the words we speak or write, the bodies we see.  We are soft machines.  Our bodies give our thoughts away most of the time.  The little movements of the muscles in our faces, mostly out of our control.  Invisible strings directly from our most interior thoughts to the surface of our skin.  And our hands too.  They touch places of comfort, self-soothing behaviours we have learned to use for our own benefit.

How we reveal our most interior MESSAGES…..we reveal it through TRUST.

The Messenger, to me, is about TRUST.  There is no greater divide between yourself and what you want or between two people than the absence of TRUST.

The opposite of TRUST is CONTROL.  We really control so little, and even less when we come in contact with another soul.  I can stay safe if I remain a hermit, isolate myself so that I may control my entire domain.  That’s not living.  That’s not feeling the scream of your heart in your chest because you want someone to be a witness to your life.  You want to be seen for who you truly are.

Friendships and soulwork are messy businesses to step into.  Friendships, while giving you a place to reveal, is also a place of potential (and extreme) vulnerability.  Those you reveal to can use what they know against you.

Soulwork is where you confront yourself.  Where you let loose the reins of control so your life can take on a different hue.  What is it that you have not even revealed to yourself?

I’ve been studying the soul for nearly 20 years through the writings and teachings of Thomas Moore and James Hillman.

I’m not an expert.  But I’m human, which gives me a right to formulate an opinion…

I’ve talked about TRUST before, boundaries and comfort levels of my little cat, Patchie.  she’s been in my life for what….8 years.

She still doesn’t trust me.  Not completely.

Imagine.  An animal that has no other way to survive, other than me feeding her, and one of the few times she will let me get close to her is when I’m in bed, lying prone, not necessarily sleeping…but certainly in a position that is much less threatening than standing.  Not long ago, she jumped up on the couch beside me, while I was sitting.  I thought it was a huge jump forward.  It only took 8 years.

People show you who they are, either through their actions or their words.

I once had someone tell me that they were a bitch.  I didn’t believe them, because they “seemed” sweet and nice.  Several years later, they showed me.  Loud, clear, the message was delivered.  She was angry, words and actions were said and done, and in my behaviour there was something she did not want to confront or that she wanted me to acknowledge.  And then, I was the one being yelled obscenities at as I stood on the corner of Parkdale and Armstrong in Ottawa.  It wasn’t pleasant.

It takes a strong person to stand and deliver on the tides of the soul.  On the hurt that’s there.  On the shit that we’ve been dealt.

The things we do to one another because we hurt….it’s a wonder the human race has survived this long.

Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way


Boundaries and comfort….

I have a little cat.  She doesn’t like people much.  Or, at all, really.  You will never see her unless you are a) me, b) living in my house for about a month, c) the vet (which has only happened the once).

She never comes to greet me when I come home.  Most often she hisses at me as I’m walking up the stairs before she sees me.  Her personality bounces well off my other cat who is a larger lumbering tabby with a whining heart of gold….just feed him.  Otherwise, he’s just annoying.

All of this to say, she will come within nose sniffing distance of my hand if she’s feeling generous.  It’s a mood thing.  The ONLY (and I stress that word for a reason) time she will let me really “touch” her is when I’m lying down, either couch or bed.  It’s like she knows when I’m not threatening.  She’ll come up, look for love, walk on my legs taking the short cut rather than around me, and generally lap up any attention I give her.  She doesn’t have to rationalize her behaviour.  She just is.  I accept her.  She’s a great little cat.  I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

She has her boundaries, but they change.  Not that they make sense to me, but they must be instinctively with her for a reason.  She was a little stray when she was given to me.  Just a few weeks old.  I’ve never laid a finger on her (how could I?).  She just is the way she is.