All he ever wanted…

I see a tender, compassionate boy who feels things deeply
And all this boy ever wanted was to tell stories on film
To be an actor. It lit him up inside.
So he gave himself to the world, open, daring, trusting
And they trampled him and tore him apart
and, laughing, left him to die.

But he didn’t die.

He got up and he fought
And he fought and he fought and he fought
Harder and stronger and more defiantly
Until fighting was all they knew him to be.
The people who said they loved him, hated him
The people who said they hated him, loved him
Soon, there was no one left
Safe enough to trust.
No one left
To see, that
He was just a boy who became a man
And all he ever wanted to do
was make art.

How to get your power back from fans and paparazzi

You lost your power to fans and paparazzi a long time ago. It may seem as if you’ll never get it back. But there’s a way to do so.

Your relationship with your fans is one of the most complex you’ll ever navigate. On one hand, these are the people who make your career possible. On the other hand, they are the people who make your life impossible. Fans adore you, fall in love with your persona, appreciate your work.

They also use you to fantasize, consider you public property, and are so blinded by the illusions of fame that they never see You at all.

Their presence sustains your career and intrudes on your most intimate relationships. You love your fans and are grateful for them, the best of them offer kindness, appreciation, and support. You love them, despite the way they back your life into a corner. Or, at least, you know that’s how you should feel.

What if all you really feel is hidden anxiety and underlying resentment?

The paparazzi lie in wait and hunt you down whenever they smell blood. They pursue you, trap you, chase you, harass you, and steal every moment possible. They threaten you and seem to have no limits or morality. They keep your image in the public’s eye and feed the insatiable tabloid industry. They watch you constantly and yet, they too, do not see You.

When you’re prey hunted by bounty hunters, and they intrude in the most personally meaningful moments of your life, expose your kids, threaten your family, and fabricate lies about you that everyone swallows as truth, how can you not feel anything but defensive, angry, outraged?

These people make you an idol and a target. They run you over emotionally. They take no responsibility for their actions or for how their actions impact your life. You are a commodity to them.


Yeah, but it’s just a part of my life…

When fame overruns your life, it’s easy to assume you have to be whoever your fans say you are. That effort to conform to their expectations, to live up to their image of you, wreaks havoc on your sense of Self. And it does more than that, it traps you in a prison that feels inescapable. Desperation sets in. You start to resent your life, but worse, you start to doubt your Self. Your right to be your Self.

And pretty soon you start losing sight of who you are versus who they have made you out to be. (We all know artists who, once lost, never found themselves again. Please know, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late.)

This turmoil can last years or a lifetime. Some people crash and burn with addictions. Others tenaciously endure and time creates some sense of equilibrium. A few find ways to make peace with having millions follow them. But for the most part, you resign to the fact that this is what life has delivered to you.

Accepting the fact that fans and paparazzi are part of your life is not the same as finding healing for the effects the tension, intrusion, threat, and resentment has on you.


You are worth more than what it costs you.

Here is where spirituality comes into play. And some would say that forgiveness is the solution. (Don’t click away yet.)

I know. The idea of someone suggesting you forgive them feels a lot like asking a rape victim to forgive his attacker. It just doesn’t seem right. Or just. Or fair. I get it.

I’m not asking you to forgive. In fact, I don’t believe in forgiveness as most people define it. It too easily dismisses the validity of the wound, the true depth of how a heart and soul and life were hurt. The old adage that “God won’t forgive you unless you forgive those who’ve sinned against you” just sets you up for depression. So, forgiveness is not something I will ever ask you to do. Don’t even try.

What I am interested in, is helping you get your power back. We are beings of power and love. Anytime someone hurts you, you lose a sense of personal power, of sovereignty. Revenge is often more about regaining that sense of power and self-determination than justice.

When I talk about power, I’m not talking about the desire to dominate or rule over others. I’m talking about your natural sense of authority over owning and directing your own life.

Underneath it all lies a sense of having been made powerless.


Getting your power back is about taking back control of your energy. 

You start by looking at who owns what in all of this. Fans and paparazzi are responsible for the energy of their behavior and the words they use. They don’t take responsibility and they most likely never will. Your legal team can attempt to help you regain control, but that’s not the kind of solution that is going to give you back your power.

What do you own? Your energy. And the right to choose how you will bring that energy to this world. Anger naturally makes you want to lash out and destroy those who destroy you. But you own how you respond. More importantly, you own how your response effects others and the ripple effect it has.

You consciously choose the energy that will guide your way of being in this world. 

And this is where, if you choose to be someone who lives your life predominantly empowered by the energy of Love, you change the game.

I’m not saying you need to feel love for these motherfuckers. No. Getting your power back is not about being nice or just taking it. It’s not about giving up more power and letting them thrash you to death. No. This is about you stepping fully into your power as a being of Love and Light to make conscious choices about how you will respond.

Before you start to think that “love and light” is way too mushy, consider this: every warrior that goes into battle goes into battle for one thing: love. Not love for his country, not love for freedom. Love for his fellow soldiers. That caliber of Love compels men to die for their brothers.

This is the kind of Love that is stronger than Death. And while you’re not going to die for your brothers, if your life is led by the energy of Love, you will kill the lies and limiting beliefs that need to die in you so that Life can flow, and the Light can return to your eyes. And you will live.


When you change your energy, you disrupt the cycle.

You start to live from a sense of compassion and generosity, you let go of scarcity beliefs and fear. You settle down into a truth that assures you that the integrity of how you present your energy to the world is more important than the quick satisfaction of lashing back or exacting vengeance. Your way of being in this world becomes more important than how they hurt you.

You may even get to a place where, without denying how they have hurt you, you change your side of the relationship.

I know… you don’t give a shit about the paparazzi’s lives. And there’s no way in hell you’re going to love them. But what if you broke the cycle of not seeing people for who they are, and you stopped and really thought about them as people? Photographers and reporters, right? They’re creatives. Fucking assholes, I know…but still… do you really think this is what they dreamed for themselves back when all they wanted to do was make art or show the world truth?

What if you meet them as human beings and turn the whole game upside down so disruptively that they forget they are being paid to get a shot at you, and remember the dreams they used to have for themselves?

I’m veering off, I know… but I want you to see that when you shift your energy there are new perspectives and new ways of being that can change the game entirely. Even if the only game that changes is inside your head.

When you move from an energy of Love, you reach beneath the surface and get real with people, you meet them at the soul level and THAT is where transformation happens.

And you have the power to do this.



Get clear on how you really feel. Write down how they’ve hurt you, how they’ve made you feel, how you feel now. Pour it out. Don’t hold back. Cough it up. Every last thing they said and did that cut deep. Wounds cannot heal until they are acknowledged as wounds. When you can verbalize the pain, you open the wounds to the air of New Insight.

Sit with this, but don’t wallow. Let yourself feel whatever comes up, but just sit with it. Let it move through you. Walk it off, ride your bike, hit the gym, cry, play music… but don’t turn to drink or drugs. Don’t numb out. The emotions will pass. Once they do, re-read what you wrote.

This time, read it as if the person who wrote it (you) was your child or someone you love very much. See that person (you) with compassion and empathy for how and why this has hurt so badly. Look at it again, and see the beauty, resilience, strength, humanity, and courage of the one (you) who has endured.

It’s okay if all you still really feel is anger and sadness.


Realize that you can shift this. I mentor a lot of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who are deeply wounded and deeply angry, and anger is an energy that stays as long as it supports or preserves you in some way.

When I was healing my Self from the energy of war and death while living as an ex-pat in post-war Bosnia in the early 2000s, I came to a point where I realized my anger (ahem, rage) at those who had committed atrocities was masking an enormous sense of powerlessness within me.  And to some degree, a sense of guilt that goodhearted world citizens have from not being able to prevent such crimes.

Under my anger, was a sense of helplessness against the immutable energy of human brutality, war, and death. The epiphany came when I understood that my anger was not doing anyone any fucking good. It seemed right and just, but no amount of anger or outrage would change what had been done. It was only killing me, diminishing my light.

Which brought me to a point where I discovered that I could choose to let go of the anger. Or not. But the choice was mine.

Up until then, I wasn’t even aware that I had a choice.

I was angry and, well, I was angry. I realized that I could make a conscious choice to let go of it. And that is what I did. Being a writer, I wrote a poem to myself, asserting my new choice, and read it over and over, for months. Willing myself to make that choice. Making the choice over and over. Opening my heart to life and healing. I kept at it. Until I lived myself into a new state of being.

The anger lost its power when I realized the purpose it had been serving. But the feeling of anger did not go away until I had re-trained my brain to not go there, to let it go, to choose a different way. It was like rehab for my soul (it was actually only a start, it would take years of wading blind through the darkness before I fully shifted my energy and found my Light again).

I realize that anger and resentment against fans and paparazzi is not comparable to anger and resentment against humans who use four-year-olds as human shields, throw their bullet-riddled bodies in muddy pits, then bulldoze them up and dump them somewhere else a few years later to hide the evidence. I get it.

But you know what? It kinda is.

Anger at those who have made us feel powerless to defend innocence (our own or others) is anger. The reasons why differ, but the way anger eats at the soul is the same.

You have a right to be angry.

You have a right to be free.

The choice is yours.

Yours. Not theirs.



As long as you remain in anger, they hold energetic and emotional power over you.

When you hate, you give your power to the object of your hate. They grow stronger, you grow weaker, consumed by bitterness and resentment. It can feel like a trap that you can’t get yourself out of, a reflex that you can’t stop. But you can. It will take time, but you can reclaim the part of yourself that has a right to be at peace and move from a sense of expansion and generosity.

And it is critically important that you do. Not just for yourself, but for your kids, your relationships, your work. Your energy in this world matters, and when you are entrusted with being observed by millions, it matters even more.

Recognize though, gently, that anger is a sign of grief.

We focus our anger on whatever has taken something from us — our privacy, our honor, our dignity, our freedom, our beliefs, our sense of safety, our plans, our dreams, our relationships, our love, our trust — it’s always about loss. Anger is a safer emotion to feel than actually feeling the ache of loss.

So, we go there and we stay there. We fixate on the aggressor, on what they did/do, and what we really need is to crumple into tears and grieve what we’ve lost. To be held by someone who will hold us sacred. Because the pain is real. And pain has to be respected in order to be lived through and eased. Fixating on anger denies the true depth and reality of our pain. It keeps the soul stuck.

But you are the only one who keeps your soul stuck.

Let that sink in.


You are the only one who can be the hero of your own life.

You can’t change the actions of others.

You can change your response, but even more so, you can change your beliefs about your Self and life so that you are anchored in Something Greater Than You that holds you firm when others attack and battle against you. You can shift your energy to be predominantly led by Love.

This is how you get your power back. This is how you heal your relationship with your fans and paparazzi. This is how you heal everything.

You have to become very grounded in yourself, and yet, you don’t have to wait for that to happen to begin to shift your relationship with paparazzi and fans.

Begin by seeing them as human beings who weren’t always scavengers and shitbags. Open your mind and take a closer look.

They get a high and paid off of hunting you, baiting you, forcing a reaction from you. But if you look close enough with your heart you’re going to see them through the lens of compassion and empathy. Not because they deserve it, but because you can own compassion and empathy, you can choose to make that your dominant energy.

You may even see a version of your self that could have become reality if your life had taken different turns. You remember what it was like when all you had was faith in your Self, and how tired you got of getting knocked down and being the only one there to pick yourself up? (yeah, I know, that’s still you) What if you had given up? What if you had turned bitter at rejection? Hmmm?

See what I mean? Now,  what if you started meeting them as humans? I know, they won’t allow it and any attempts you make would just land you in some cruel headline. But this is about You. Not them.

When you start to do things because your soul needs to do them to Live, you take your power back and you reclaim your Self. 

What if instead of acting like prey — getting cornered, snapping, or hiding — you turned the tables and showed up as a human being who looks beneath their surface? What if you found such groundedness in your Self that you made it your mission to make a difference in the lives of these individuals?

Whenever you strip an enemy of their ability to dehumanize you in their mind, you weaken them. There are, of course, people so consumed by hate and the need to destroy in order to sustain their denial of their self-worth that they will never change. In war, those are the ones we take out first.

But, we’re not talking about war. We’re talking photographers and tabloid reporters. People who started out with some creative dreams.

You may very well be too hurt and too defensive to even give their souls a second thought. And it’s not your responsibility to save these people from themselves.

But it IS your responsibility to save You.

When you’re betrayed within your circle of trust

The larger your life, the bigger your influence, the more people the scope of your life encompasses, the smaller your circle of trust becomes.

I believe most people are good-hearted, well-intentioned, and don’t mean to hurt others. I also believe that money is energy and fame is energy. Combined, they create a magnet for those who lack enough faith in them Selves to create their own success — and so they are willing to take it from those who “have more than they deserve.”

Jealousy, envy, small-mindedness, lack of knowing how to own their own power, and entrenched beliefs in scarcity (there’s only so much to go around, I must take what is mine before there’s none left) drive people to target people in positions of power and affluence for their own gain.

As you’ve painfully learned.

The fantasy of fame and fortune lures lazy people who have no clue how much back-breaking work it takes to succeed in the industry. Perhaps if the public was made to sit through the endless hushed hours on set or the time spent in rehearsal, they’d think twice about envying a “star.” But, they don’t know that side of it. All they know is what they read in the tabloids and see in photo-shopped features.

The moment you achieve success, wannabes start targeting you. It isn’t necessarily fame that does this, but success. In any business context, it’s often who you know that gets you your next promotion or gig. Key phrase: who you know. Fame creates the perception among strangers that they know you, and for some odd reason they assume you owe them a favor.

I don’t think there is harm in being bold enough to put yourself forward and ask someone of influence to consider the merits of your work (as long as your work actually has merit). Boldness and authenticity are often what land people in the right place at the right time.

I also know that most highly visible creatives want to help authentic, aspiring artists find their way, when they can. There is, after all, a certain amount of karmic good you want to pass along for all the help and breaks you were given. That’s good. That’s necessary. Keep doing that.

But there’s a big difference between those who respect and honor you and those who merely intend to use you.

It seems when you’re famous, everyone wants to use you.

You learn to deal with the nature of this, figuring out which agents and executives you can work with, the coworkers you build rapport with; if you’re lucky, a few decent staff. And you live with the reality that people are always looking out for their own interests and wellbeing – it’s human nature.

Fame necessitates that you never fully trust anyone who has any financial interest in you or who stands to gain by you financially. Staff get enticed by paparazzi, cave to pressure, etc. Promises and contracts get broken.

What you don’t learn to deal with is the betrayal by people who are supposed to be your true friends, family, and lovers. People who are in your circle of trust.


Don’t get me wrong, people of all walks of life are betrayed by those they never thought would do so. It’s just that the consequences don’t become headlines. In most people’s lives, if a friend betrays their trust, or a spouse cheats on them — they can confide and vent to their colleagues, friends, family — hell, even Facebook.

The fact of being betrayed is not the issue here.

It’s what the lack of privacy and not being able to discuss how it impacts you does to your spirit.

Yes, you could pay a therapist and that might be wise if you find a wise one. But usually, you have to keep it all to yourself and what happens? It eats away at you. You depress your feelings, hide, put a smile on, and tuck that wound deep down with the others.

It never gets vented, it never gets expressed, you never get to talk about it over again and again until your mind can make some peace with it… it just gets stuck in you.

And your heart bolts the door.

Trusting someone who knocks on that door becomes scary. Perhaps even forbidden.

There is an almost indescribable aloneness that comes from this sense that no one ever wants you just for You.

How do you trust again?


When someone was inside your circle and that person betrayed you, or the spouse who has known you best leaves, how do you pry open the doors of your heart to open again?

You need to move the energy of the betrayal out of yourself, so it can air, and you can start to see the whole thing with a bit of objectivity. Journal about it, talk with your closest spiritual advisor, find a way to vent.

Two things happen if you don’t:

  1. One, your anger and resentment build and that person is given too much power in your life and mind.
  2. You turn on your Self and all that anger and resentment gets projected on You. It’s critical to lance a festering wound to relieve the pressure, get the toxins out, and allow healing to happen. Your spirit is no different.

So, start by moving that energy out of you. Get some perspective. Find someone who will help you see it with new eyes.

Then, realize that whether or not you open your heart and life again is a conscious decision only you can make. But you do need to make it. It doesn’t happen spontaneously. You can’t just wait for it to happen on its own. You have to decide. You can stay closed. Or you can open.

Obviously, opening involves risk. It’s scary. You fear getting hurt again. And it really is your choice whether or not to open your heart and life again. This is YOUR life. Staying closed is a valid choice, despite how everyone will push you to “move on.”

You need to move at the pace of your own soul’s creation. Part of reclaiming your Self is taking back the right to move through life at your own pace.

So, don’t rush. Don’t fear being by your Self. Let time unfold life for awhile. Let time unfold you.

And when you start to sense a longing to experience true intimacy (not just sex) and you start to get a sense that perhaps you could experience something deeper and better than anything you ever have before (no matter how good it once was)… that’s when you know that your heart is beginning to open to your brightest future.


Be brave enough to break your heart open and keep it open.

No one will be able to tell you if your heart is ready to trust again. And no one but you can fight your fears the way they need to be fought.

The moment you begin to contemplate opening your heart again, fear is going to disguise itself with predictable objections:

“You can’t trust anyone. This is the price you have to pay for this life. You were such an idiot. Don’t even think about trying because it’s pointless. You’re going to get hurt again. You were a fool, you got used, you were too kind/generous/believed too much in the good in others, failed to see the warning signs. Why didn’t you see the warning signs? What the fuck was wrong with you? How could you have trusted this person? You should have known.” 

You get the point. You berate yourself for being a fool and vow to never trust again, as if your vow can keep you from the humiliation and pain you have already been dealt. It can’t – let me tell you why. Because you were a good person being a good person and the OTHER PERSON chose to do wrong.

“He/she was the only person who knew me. I really thought he/she was the One. I will never find another who can carry the weight of who I am now, of what my life entails.”

If your spouse/partner was with you as you grew into your career, he/she was a witness to your journey, and he/she also grew into your life of fame. But now? Now you bring the full weight of fame with you wherever you are.

It’s hard to imagine finding someone real who would be willing and capable to shoulder that enormous weight, to have their life disrupted and intruded upon, to accommodate all that your public persona entails — and still be someone you deeply connect with and can confide in.

It just doesn’t seem possible and it doesn’t seem right to expect that of someone. Yes, you could go out with someone in the industry, they know the ropes and how the game is rigged, but your industry is small. The dating pool is limited. So you believe it’s impossible and so, it is.

Don’t get stuck in these limiting beliefs. One of the most beautiful aspects of being human is that we have the capacity to change our beliefs, our perspectives, our relationships. The spirit itself is malleable. It’s thoughts that become rigid. You can change your thoughts.


“God will break your heart open over and over and over again until it stays open.”

It may not be God, but life certainly seems to do that.

There is no doubt that when relationships end, it hurts. Even when you are the one to end it, and you know the decision is right for you, it’s still a challenging emotional journey to rebuild your sense of self apart from the relationship. It is an opportunity to find a deeper way of being in this world. And a deeper way of relating to your Self.

Endings are hard because they toss you into uncertainty,  shake you out of the trance of routine and give you the choice to open your life to someone new.

If you are telling yourself that your life is too big and heavy for someone to see and know the real you, to shoulder that weight with you, to be a partner who isn’t after your money or status, stop.

This world is full of incredible, amazing people. Open your mind to the possibility that that person may exist for you. It is entirely possible you haven’t experienced how good it can actually get.

Trust after betrayal comes down to making a conscious decision to reclaim your Self and make decisions that are for your own highest good and blessing. You have the power and the right to do that.


But what if the fear or risk just feels too overwhelming?

Let’s take a look at what happens when your heart is betrayed.

You go through shock and disbelief, anger and humiliation, and take action to ensure it never happens to you again. This action is usually some form of closing your heart, denying your Self its need for trust and connection, and a vow to never make the mistake of trusting again.

But here is where we confuse protecting ourselves with the fear of admitting we are, ultimately, vulnerable beings.

We deny our vulnerability by vowing to protect ourselves. We believe a vow or promise to never let it happen again gives us back some power and control. And, it feels like that. At first.

What happens is after some time, we realize that our vows have shut our hearts down, and in doing so, shut out Life. We’re safe, but untouched. We’re safe, but lonely. We’re safe, but unable to move past the pain.

We’re safe, but terrified.

I want to remind you, love, that in this life, you never have what you won’t lose.


The pain we fear feels so terrifying because we try to be strong enough here and now to carry something we imagine in the future.

We are never given strength for the future ahead of time, we are only given strength for this moment, now upon now.

But the fear can feel as solid as a stone wall. It can feel greater than us. The risk of getting hurt scares us so we disallow ourselves from trusting that blessings and good can exist for us out there. We forget about grace.

We forget that Something Greater Than Us has the ability to add compassion to the equation and lead us down paths that hold incredible gifts for us. We forget that we can choose faith over fear.

We forget, quite simply, that it is our choice to stay closed and fearful or to open up and choose faith in the Universe’s ability to lead us to our brightest future.


When you are betrayed, a sense of worthlessness seeps in, you lose perspective on your true value as a human being.

Too often, our stories that define us become rigid and absolute. If you’re not careful, the story you tell yourself around the betrayal will solidify into limiting beliefs. Your life will become smaller. What is possible for you will become less possible.

You will say No when your soul needs you to say Yes.

I know this fear, love, I know that when you have all eyes on you, your freedom to make mistakes diminishes. I know that a heart that is shut down withers, and that hearts that have been shut down can be revived.

Choosing to open your self, to risk appearing a fool, to risk getting it wrong again — this is a conscious choice. One you have the power to make for your Self. One that only you can make.

Don’t allow what the other person did rob you of your right to fling yourself at Life and trust that Something Greater Than You will catch you if you fall.

We are beings of Love and Power. We are tender and vulnerable. We get hurt and we hurt others. We are continually presented with the choice to open to life or shut it out. We open and close and open again.

Betrayal is all about the other person’s values; how you choose to let it shape you is all about yours.

Value your right to trust Life to hold you.

When you can’t get over what they say about your body

People who love you tell you not to let it bother you. But it does.

It can’t not. We’re wired to judge ourselves based on how other people respond to us. And when they criticize our bodies, we take it to heart. We are all judged for how our bodies fail to align to cultural norms of what’s attractive and sexy.

But you are expected to set that norm.

And when you don’t, or when your creative talent is dismissed because you are five pounds too heavy or too light, or when you struggle just as much as anyone else with post-baby belly or middle-age spread… it’s hard not to let that judgment turn into self-rejection.

There’s no doubt that the fantasy of eternal youth and virility is alive and well. And normal body changes and aging become reasons for all kinds of rejection. People laugh at you. The public loves to gossip about your appearance. And most of them are far from kind.

You need to realize (and I so hope you already do, love) that you will never look good enough so that all people think you do. People will always judge you by their own narrow definition of attractiveness. Always. Trying to be skinny enough, tone enough, buff enough, wrinkle-free enough, to keep people from laughing at you simply is a waste of your energy.

Your brain knows this.

Your heart does not.


The things said about you get to you. And you know what? They should.

Words are powerful and they hurt.  It’s dismissive of people to gloss over something that truly wounds the spirit by telling you not to let it bother you. Far better for them to ask you how does this make you feel and let you move that energy out of you, then remind you of your inner truths.

The reality is though that people are always going to talk about your appearance. You can’t stop people from making fun of you, judging you, or deciding that you do or do not fit their image of what’s attractive.

You can decide how much of your energy you are going to spend letting their opinions matter.

Being made fun of and getting the message that there’s something wrong with your body makes you reject yourself. It makes you feel unlovable. Undesirable. Oh yes, some of the most attractive men and women feel undesirable. Criticism makes you feel as if there’s something intrinsically wrong with you.

If you base your self-worth on other people’s acceptance of you, and they reject your body, it drives a deep wound into your spirit. Being rejected for not being sexy enough, or thin enough, or muscular enough, or anything-enough makes you feel humiliated and ashamed. It’s really hard to recover from that depth of injury.

But here’s the thing. When someone laughs at, judges, or rejects us, it only bothers us if deep down we believe them.

If we allow their opinion to define us. Unfortunately, most of us do. Especially when we’re young. I know from painful personal experience, how easy it is to swallow someone else’s opinion of your body as the truth about yourself.

At the same time, most of us are never satisfied with our appearance. Most of us zero in on the one or two things we can’t stand about our bodies and, really, often see very little else about ourselves in the mirror.

We have our own inner critic who is incredibly cruel.

The only hope of moving beyond what people say about our bodies and the beliefs they’ve buried us under, is to take a good look and see if we really believe those things ourselves.

If we do, do we keep believing them or do we try self-compassion and accept our bodies the way we do those of our dearest friends?


“God is in you, as you

We are all so much more than the sum of our bodies, and yet, our bodies are us. Someone said that “God is in you, as you.” As YOU.

You can replace God with the Sacred, the point is that we are each creative expressions of the Divine, and we are meant to be uniquely us.

The other reality here is that, at the end of the day, no one really gives a shit what our bodies look like.

They either like you as a person or they don’t. Obviously, if you’re an actor you may not get the part because you don’t fit the physical image of the character — but that’s part of business.

At the end of the day, though, your body is your body. You can craft, mold, alter it, enhance it, lose weight, gain weight, get work done — and it still won’t be good enough to make everyone approve of you.

So, the bottom line is this: who gets to decide at what point your body is acceptable? 

If you choose to alter it, who gets to decide when your alterations are finished?

When is being the shape, size, and weight that you are, good enough?

When is your current age the age you should look?

At what point, do you stop striving to look 20?

And, who gets to decide all of this?

What would it mean if you lived fully in the body you have now?

What would it feel like to just be you?


The amazing thing is that when people see others who reflect what they look like, they feel better about themselves. When audiences see “stars” who look like most people look, they feel connected to that star’s humanity.

And, more importantly, they see your talent instead of a “perfect” body.

The more real you can show up in your life, the more real your work becomes, the more impact you have.

Like everything else discussed here, reclaiming your Self is something only You can decide to do. No one else can do it for you.

Be brave enough to show up just as you are.

We need You, not a perfect body.

When you’re far away from your kids

Your creative calling claimed you before your children did.

But when that calling takes you away from your kids, you never feel quite right about it. No matter how much your head convinces you that your work is right, your heart cracks a little bit more each time you say goodbye.

There is no easy answer to this.

When doing your creative work means being away for long periods of time, it challenges so many perceptions and beliefs we have about parenting, children, about what matters most: quantity vs quality, etc.

And you never get used to your kids crying and begging you not to go.

But you have to go.

Not because you don’t have a choice, but because you won’t be you if you don’t live out your creative calling.


There are things we teach our children that are more important than the comfort of our presence.

Chiefly, how to honor their own callings in life. How to be true to themselves, even when it means leaving people they love.

Children grow up fast. And as parents, we tend to focus on the childhood with a deadline of 18 for us to teach our kids what they need to know. But the reality is your children and you have the span of your lifetimes to be in relationship. And relationships evolve. We need to remember that it doesn’t end when they turn 18. There is grace in that.

There is no getting around the truth that we choose our callings over our children. It sounds horrible, but most creatives are not themselves unless they are creating. And that calling runs deep and is insistent. It’s pervasive. You are compelled to create. It’s Something Greater Than You. Living out your expression of creativity is the expression of your existence in this lifetime.

If you’re like most creatives, you were already well into your career when you had kids.

There is cultural pressure that makes parents feel guilty if anything else in this world takes precedence over their kids. But I think we have to be true to ourselves before we can be good parents.

I think kids need to see their parents making art, being creative, earning an income based on creative talent, doing the things that make them come alive. I think kids need to know that the world does not evolve around them and neither do their parents. Children will by nature consume every part of you. But they grow up to be individuals who need to know how to be individuals in this world.


We also need to remember that in any relationship, it’s how someone feels when they are with you that matters most.

There are plenty of stay-at-home or work-from-home parents who are physically present with their kids, but create a stressful or negative environment. Being physically present does not guarantee that your kids are getting what they need from you.

Being a wise, mindful, caring parent from any distance does.

As parents, we live with a constant fear that we’re failing, that we’re not doing good enough. And this fear can leave you feeling defeated.

When I start feeling like this, I ask myself: Are my kids happy? Are they healthy? Are they learning how to be true to their own talents and interests? Do they speak their minds? Are they showing compassion and understanding for the world around them? If yes, then what I’m doing is good enough.

“Good enough” is key. To be better than good enough, to be great at parenting, we’d have to drop everything else we do and devote ourselves entirely to our children. Even then, it would not guarantee that we’d win best parent of the year award.

Furthermore, creatives are driven to create and we get pretty depressed and crabby when we deny that core part of us. What good would it do your kids if you were with them all the time, but hell to live with?


There is no right or wrong here. We each have to honor our own sense of who we need to be as parents and who we need to be as creatives.

But I do think we need to not let fear drive us or guilt us into thinking we’re horrible parents when our callings demand more of us than parenting does.

There are things on this earth that only you can do. Your creative work is one of them. And so is being a parent to your kids.

But being a parent doesn’t mean your kids get all of you.

You belong to many. Your presence on this earth is meant to bless many.

Children need to know that a life well lived is a life that stays true to its calling. Nothing short of that will satisfy. Nothing short of that is enough.


I know some of this comforts and some can be well argued. None of it makes your heart hurt less from missing your kids. They are a part of you and being apart from them is hard.

Not living out your creative calling would be harder.

Kids adapt. Ever notice that when you finally get home after being away, within 10 minutes it’s as if you never left? Your kids just carry on with their lives.

It’s who you are to them, rather than where you are, that matters most.


Once there was a person in your life who had incredible belief. Faith in the seemingly impossible. A tenacious persistence that refused to let you give up on that vision of what you were capable of. This person was always there for you. Always held you when you cried. Always coached you when you stumbled and weren’t sure you could get up. Always insisted that you GET up and that it was, indeed, worth it.

This person was open and expressive, heartfelt and feeling. Brave, bold, fearless. Willing to stay up with you, to get lost in the timelessness of creation, meet you the next day, do it all again. This person insisted that rejection was just another opportunity to find the right door. Reminded you that you had a lovable heart and believed in every good thing in you. Saw the goodness in others. Wanted nothing more than to see you find a way to live your dream, do your art, express the gifts within you.

Never gave up on you, even when you did.

Do you remember this person?

Do you remember…


Swallowed whole by cynicism

It doesn’t take long before cynicism becomes your second skin.

And, in an environment where everyone is out for their own gain, who can blame you?

You have to protect yourself from getting used and hurt, as much as you can. While this makes sense and in some ways is necessary, there is a spiritual cost to it.

A chronic attitude of distrust makes it very hard to receive.

When you protect yourself by not being able to receive, you block the flow of life’s blessings coming toward you. You close down and shut out and your first response is No. You become chronically defensive in your life.

Now, I know the reality is that there really aren’t many people you can trust. And there is always a need to be wise and perceptive and see beneath the surface of things. Protecting yourself is necessary and healthy.

But you aren’t always in danger.

Not everyone is bad and self-seeking.

Life can surprise you in ways you don’t expect.

You see, the difference between having a healthy self-defense and being a cynic, is that the first one lets you make decisions about people one at a time, while the second is a generalized belief about all people.

I am a firm believer that you get what you look for in life.

You can find anything you want: it’s all there. Bad, good, ugly, beautiful, cruel, kind. Where you place your focus is what you’ll mostly see.

And you get what you expect. If you’re a cynic, you expect people to be untrustworthy, self-seeking, and to use you.

You expect to not be valued as a worthy human being.

If cynicism is your dominant energy, you will attract people you can’t trust.

But this isn’t just about what you attract. This is about who you choose to be in this world. It’s about the energy you bring.

Your energy matters.
You are responsible for the energy you bring to this world.

You can be wise, discerning, say no to people your gut says are untrustworthy, while still bringing an energy of positive trust and generosity to this world.

You can hold a general belief in the goodness of humanity, while still protecting yourself against the bad ones.

And, when you shift your energy to be life-giving, you attract people in your life who match your energy.

But more so, you become someone who is grounded in the energy of generosity, and the fear of being taken advantage of, used, and hurt diminishes.

You know that no matter what happens to you, you will be okay. Being who you are in this world — moving from the energy of love, generosity, trust, faith, power, courage — becomes more important to you than anything else.

Some people call it moving from the energy of higher compassion. Compassion is wise, it sees through the surface of people’s fear-based motivations, and lets you relate to them on an authentic level. It breaks down people’s scarcity beliefs and helps them reconnect to their true inner power.

You have the power to be a life-giving force in this world.

The choice is yours.

How to disappoint others in order to be true to yourself

In business, you learn to say no to others. It’s part of leadership and it’s part of how the Universe steers the right people to the right projects. Saying no to work that isn’t right for you is a healthy part of professional integrity. People get disappointed, but hey, that’s business.

What’s much harder is disappointing people who matter to you personally.

You are under a ton of pressure to keep people happy. To make decisions that others feel right for you. Agents, lawyers, producers, investors, friends, family, partners. You have relationships with these people. Some are built on business and money, but they’re all built on trust. They claim they want what is best for you.

But what happens when what is best for you isn’t what they think it is?

Some of these people you can fire, but some of them you can’t. Some of them hold your sense of self-worth and esteem in their hands. Some of them hold your sense of purpose.

Everyone tells you that you are in charge and yet, so many conflicting forces pressure you that it feels as if you have very little say over anything.

It’s hard to change mid-course. It’s hard to declare that a relationship is no longer working. That you’ve changed.


You are allowed to change, love.

Not only allowed, but you are responsible to change. Because we all grow. We all outgrow our dreams (or our dreams outgrow us). We outgrow relationships. We outgrow versions of ourselves that used to define us, used to work, used to make us come alive.

And they just. don’t. anymore.

We outgrow other people’s definitions of us. And we’re complicit in allowing the illusions to continue. How many of us have known in our gut instincts that a relationship or job was no longer a good fit for us and we kept our mouths shut?

We allowed the other person or employer to think that everything was the same and believe the illusion that nothing would ever change?

I spent a good portion of my 12-year marriage keeping the illusion alive. Not intentionally, not to be hurtful, not knowingly dishonest. I was scared of what my inner knowings meant. Scared of what bringing those truths to the surface would mean.

We’ve all been there in some form or another. Until the truth becomes so loud within that we can’t keep silent anymore.

That’s the moment when we disappoint others.

We let them down. We break our promises and the illusion that our commitment, passion, relationship, feelings, what we claimed we once wanted were permanent.

You have to be willing to destroy untruths in order to live new ones.

You have to be willing to disappoint the people who love you in order to be true to your Self. 

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

-Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation

Faithless and therefore trustworthy. Trusted to be true to who we are.


Why does this matter so much?

We are born into this lifetime true to our Selves. Fully expressed incarnations of Spirit. One of our deepest needs for survival is not love, but to be real, to feel authentic, true.

When we don’t experience that, when there is disconnect between our authentic truths and our outward lives, we suffer. We lose our ability to fulfill our destiny callings. We don’t show up in the full power that authenticity creates.

This matters, love. It matters more than I can ever express to you.

You feel it in your soul. You know when you are moved by what is real and authentic. You sense how diminished you feel when you can’t be real.

The pressure of fame closes in on you and seemingly leaves you little space for any true transformation. There are huge amounts of energy suppressing you and disallowing you to deviate from other’s perceptions of who you are.


So how do you break free?

You get to a place where the inner pressure builds until it feels as if it’s a life or death situation.

Which, to your soul, it is.

Your truth equals life, you can’t get to what is next for you until you stand up for your Self and break the illusions.

You need to remember, too, that when you are aware that your truths no longer match up to what you’re living, the compassionate thing to do is to be honest about it.

People living in illusions of each other miss out on the potential of real connection and intimacy. The longer you stay with what no longer fits, the more you risk not finding what truly does.

Sometimes, we have to dream bigger and imagine more for ourselves than the best we have ever known.

Fear keeps us from setting ourselves free. We have to have the courage to let go of the known and familiar, of the limiting beliefs that try to convince us that staying is safer and the kind thing to do, and we have to believe that Something Incredible exists for us out there.


We also have to be able to tolerate being the one who breaks someone’s heart, changes someone’s life, alters the course of a business or project.

That’s not an easy thing for goodhearted people to do, but it’s necessary if you are to truly live and truly be You.

In my experience, the hardest part has been convincing myself that I have the right to change my life. I never doubted the rightness of ending my marriage, but I had to grow into my belief in my own worth to do so. Anytime you disappoint others, you become “the bad guy.” It’s really hard for nice people to become the bad guy.

But it’s necessary.

The true “bad guys” are those who know their truth and never find the courage to broach it, who live half-lives because they allow fear to make their decisions for them. Who allow others to live in illusions and never touch what is real.

You have the right and the mandate to change.

People aren’t going to like it. You may risk everything you’ve built because life is calling you to be something you weren’t up until now.

Listen hard to what your intuition is telling you. You won’t be able to ignore it without causing a lot of suffering in your heart. You HAVE to do what your inner truth is leading you to do. Even though it’s scary. There is no way out of this but through it.

What if your inner truth means completely changing your life?

When you get to a certain level of professional success, it becomes a self-perpetuating story. Our creative identities define us. Writer. Actor. Singer. Director. Musician. For most creatives, our central calling is where our gifts lie and so we stick to doing what we are gifted to do. But sometimes you need a change.

A big change. As in, I’m not going to do this creative work anymore.

Only you can know the status of your relationship with your creative calling. Do you still move into the flow when you’re doing it? Does it still make you feel most alive and satisfied? Are you continuing to work because it’s what you want to do or because it’s what is expected? Would you seriously quit altogether or do you need a thorough and complete break from it for some time? Are you tired with your calling or just plain tired?

Lifetimes are short, love. Now may be the time for you to look at the other things you always wanted to do and never did. People may or may not understand your reasons. Frankly, it’s none of their business.

And in all honesty, what feels like a major life decision to you with huge risk and uncertainties will just be a few hours of headlines in the media. People will move on. Immediately.

Which is all the more reason that you have to live your truths for You. Because you don’t move on. It matters to you.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver

Be You.