Saturday, February 6, 2016

No Pain, No Gain

The deeper we dive into the pain;
The closer we are to finding a way to move past it and heal.
Avoiding uncomfortable conversations, activities and events prolongs the experience.
Facing circumstances head-on forces us to work through the discomfort and evolve.
The fear we endure from pain is no match for the euphoria we experience once we’ve conquered it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Comfort Zone

Push past the Comfort Zone;
Living small, safe, and secure will not lead me to new opportunities.
Shine bright, be fearless, and adventurous.
It may cause embarrassment, pain, or insecurities to arise;
Only then can we evolve into the person we were born to be.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Faith

Freedom
Awareness
Infinite
Trust
Happiness
Once you release the idea that Faith is intangible;
You can begin utilizing it.
We can’t reach out and grab a handful of air, but that doesn’t stop us from breathing.
Those who need proof of the existence of Faith––should look for the absence of it;
There they will find hopelessness, anger, fear, darkness and doubt.
Now, look for someone who radiates light, positive energy, fearlessness––all trusting.  It is no accident that they succeed and achieve remarkable things.  It is a belief in a higher power, energy or collective consciousness.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Breaking the Habit

Breaking the ego––creating space for awareness;
Focused on breathing to release the negative ideas and actions that will not serve us.
Living in the present, ready for new opportunities, adventures and evolution.
Growth happens whenever we allow ourselves to experience the moment;
Accepting the situation––while continuing to invite new ways of thinking enthusiastically, to gain a greater peace of mind.
“A new attitude means nothing unless followed by a change in behavior.”
––”The Tools”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Am Here.

Once I released the need to control my path;
My journey became about self-discovery in the present, instead of a premeditated excursion.
Life––awake in this moment, is reward enough.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A New Earth

Acceptance. Find the peace in what has to be done.
Enjoyment. Seek joy from within, not from an accomplishment.
Enthusiasm. Stay positive and present on the journey.
Three ideas that require letting go of ego to make space for inner peace.
Aware that this moment, the present, is the only space in which we can awake and serve––ourself and others.
Enlightenment is not the end goal––it’s an active choice.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rise

Awake consciousness,
Take action,
Remove ego,
Embrace the Present.
We are all searching for enlightenment;
Only when we still the noise, can we hear.
Inner peace is already inside––we just have to breathe and invite it to rise.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Awake

There is beauty in releasing ego and embracing awareness;
No goal or accomplishment is greater than the inner peace that comes out of release.
The Presence of life––in this moment is all we have;
Breathe through the fear of inadequacy and awake the spirit:
Mind, body, and soul in search of light.
Just like dawn shocks the sky with gorgeous light from complete darkness––our life begins anew each day with purpose beyond who we are, or what we do.
We are more than ego, we are a connected energy.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inner Space

Deep breath in;
Exhale all thoughts and invite light,
Surrounded by stillness and warmth.
The space in my mind is clear:
Inner peace. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reaction

Some people seek a reaction in order to validate their presence.
Others complain in search of being heard.
Awareness means letting go of the judgment––often a non-response says everything you need it to;
By silencing your thoughts, you gain consciousness in the present.
The inner voice can rest, free from labeling a situation good or bad:
You are at peace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Am

I am here in this moment;
Nothing more, nothing less––
The past is behind me and cannot be changed,
The future is in the distance and cannot be promised.
I exist in this moment: Aware, Grateful, Focused; seeking enlightenment.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

For Better or Worse.

The present is here, for better or worse;
Enjoy this moment––you don’t know when it may come again,
Endure this moment––you don’t know what it’s preparing you for.
Welcoming awareness into every aspect of our life allows us to accept the circumstances for what they are, and move forward accordingly.
Invite the light and thrive, even in our darkest hour.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Be Happy

My grandpa used to say, “If you want to be happy, be happy. If you want to be upset, be upset.”
The lighthearted wisdom with which he spoke would encourage me to think rather than react in anger, which is what would happen if anyone else would try to talk me out of a bad mood.
I was never able to grasp the ability to, “be happy” as a teenager; I was too busy caught up in the need to express my disappointment.
My grandpa was the only man I’ve ever met, who was able to stay calm and smile through almost any circumstance.
Even on his deathbed he reminded me, “Don’t be sad Matt, I’m so proud of you.”
For grandpa, Faith and the power of making a choice was all he needed to accept everything that life delivered to him.
“Happy” is a choice.  It requires releasing everything that is provoking un-happy feelings––which is tough to do if you love the drama, but necessary if you want to find inner peace.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Let E-go...

Letting go of ego;
To make room for evolution.
The goal: to become a more productive, generous, faithful person for the sake of a more pleasant world.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Time Is Now

My active mind is always questioning time;
Practically speaking, time is the primary way we function in society: meetings, planning and marking special occasions.
Time also comes in the form of past and future;
Neither of which really exists in the present: the past is gone, and the future will always be a distant marker.
It is in the release of those boundaries that we can escape the restrictions of time.
Looking back will not change the past anymore than planning ahead will bring the future closer––today is the only moment which we can truly live.
Understanding that surrender brings me a peace of mind and allows me to utilize the only time I really have: NOW.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Present

Managing to stay aware;
Trusting that nothing before or after can effect this moment.
The Faith in releasing the unknown––the confidence to accept what is now.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Who Are You?

Staring back at myself in the mirror;
On the surface I see the resemblance of myself as a teenager––minus the acne and perhaps with more wrinkles.
A deeper gaze into my own eyes reveals an evolved version of myself.
More secure, grateful and at peace.
Every day I find a stronger sense of self––something that I didn’t even realize was missing in my twenties.
The beauty of my life intensifies when I release the fear and trust that I am here for a reason; my life has a purpose, and I will continue to explore, grow and become the person I’m meant to be.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I am enLIGHTened

The moment of letting go;
A deep breath in and a giant exhale of toxic thought, fear, reaction, or energy.
Holding onto outdated ideas of who I am or what I’m meant to be, will not serve me today.
Questioning my future will not lead to a brighter tomorrow.
Understanding that the only way to a more connected, happy life is through acceptance.
Acknowledgment leads to enlightenment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Presence

Releasing the past;
Finding strength to mute the voice in my head and become aware without judgment.
A shift in processing how I interact with others and respond to conflict.
Allowing myself to experience the moment as it is happening, to awake my true potential. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Note To Self

Energy, positive or negative, is transferred to and from everyone we meet;
A smile makes a greater impact and invites darkness to lighten up.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Negativity

I do not have to accept negative energy from others;
Their pain is not my responsibility.
Rather, my mission is to encourage happiness—through the release of fear and the welcome of Faith.
Inviting light in, and sharing it with a smile, a listening ear and positive thought.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Unhappiness is an Addiction

Recognizing the moment of unhappiness is the first step toward taking action.
When we can acknowledge the pain, fear, insecurity, doubt or sadness and understand where the feeling is coming from, we are more likely to find happiness.
It requires learning how to stop the negative energy the moment we feel it; and in exchange invite a positive thought to combat it.
Only by inviting in the light can we extinguish the dark––but you have to accept that you can’t see before you admit you need to turn on the light switch.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Let It Go.

Letting go of the past will set me free;
Or at least give me the permission to make space for the present.
I have a tendency to overanalyze situations and events.
As I work on finding a more peaceful balance in my life, I must accept that the past is behind me; good, bad or indifferent––I cannot change the circumstance or even the outcome, but I can shift the way I react to the memory.
Memories are similar to a roadmap; guiding us back to a place in time.
Once I can look at that map as a point of reference, so as not to make the same choice (if it was a negative experience) I will have a powerful tool.
I can acknowledge the experience, release the painful scenario and approach the present with a peaceful mind and a valuable compass.
History only repeats itself––good or bad, when we allow it too.
I’d rather make history than repeat it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Emotion

The egos reaction to circumstance;
Knowing the difference between an instinctual fear vs. overthinking.
Receiving praise or criticism alters my consciousness and triggers my body to respond, whether positive or negative, for self-preservation.
Awareness brings serenity, Faith, trust and acknowledgement.
When I release the attachment to self; I invite the truth of the situation enabling me to process the information and evolve.
Surrendering to fear, anger, resentment, sadness, jealousy––all contribute to an unhealthy body and unhappy mind.
Embracing and working through the facts allows for a positive outlook and a healthier, loving, quality of life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Collaboration

Welcoming the opportunity to join forces in creativity, wisdom, strength and quality––to yield a more polished product.
A successful use of talent; an enlightened way to work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Now

The magic of now.
Failed attempts, heartaches, grievances and disappoints are behind me;
The challenge to embrace a fresh start––we get one everyday, and it’s our choice to take advantage of the new sunrise, or seek the darkness of the night before.
Happiness is not the byproduct of a fabulous victory, job or opportunity;
It is a conscious effort to find balance and a calmness from within.
Finding contentment does not mean losing the essence of who I am––anymore than it means I will no longer fight for my creative voice.
Rather, it is knowing and accepting that whatever today brings will serve me tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stay Focused

It’s so easy to slip back into deeply rooted ideas and habits;
They’re safe, comfortable, and familiar––they are also destructive, otherwise we would not have invested the conscious energy in resolving to try something different.
Evolution of the mind and spirit takes conscious effort and dedication.
We all have the opportunity to grow as individuals and expand our potential;
But it requires work to unlock our preset ideas and discover our true selves.

“You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.”
––Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happiness

My grandma always used to say, “If you have to cross the street to find happiness, you’ve gone too far.”
I’d respond with a groan and remind her that I’d heard that before––she’d smile and say, just remember it.
Now that she is gone, I think about her and that saying all of the time.
I miss her laughter, the smell of her soft skin, her unconditional love, wisdom, support and guidance.
Thankfully, I hear her voice speaking in my head often; usually reminding me that happiness is within.
As I continue to work on evolving into a more enlightened person, I seek knowledge from others who have discovered their inner light.
While reading a chapter in, A New Earth, I was reminded of my grams favorite saying, and it suddenly made sense in a whole new way.
Searching for happiness is not the answer, exploring why I might be unhappy with a circumstance is more productive, and allows me to move past the obstacle there by making room for a positive reaction.
Happiness is not something you are, it is something you work toward everyday––in releasing the doubt and accepting light.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Within Not Without

The most overwhelming obstacle in life can be taking the first step;
Focusing on action in a new direction.
We struggled as toddlers and we continue to stumble along the path toward reaching our full potential.
The idea that most of us crawled before we walked escapes our memory somewhere along the road to adulthood, and we forget that nothing worth having comes easy.
There is no short cut that leads to success––more to the point, there is no success which promises inner happiness.
No dollar amount or opportunity can provide peace in our soul;
Reaching career goals, accomplishments, material processions and wealth can contribute to an already enlightened heart, but I haven't found a magic wand that replaces the work that has to be done in order to evolve as a human.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Awareness

I live in a town full of glamor, fame and ego-driven success;
Los Angeles has a reputation (almost as famous as the movie stars who live here) for being fake.
Admittedly, there are a lot of bodies that have been enhanced, résumés that have been exaggerated and conversations that are less than honest.
Despite the negative aspects, Southern California is surrounded with art, culture, massive mountains and an impressive coastline.
The sun shines, wildlife thrives and those who seek adventure can find it anywhere in the form of almost anything from snowboarding to surfing, opera to  art openings.
So how does a location with so many extraordinary features invoke such negative attention.
Let’s be honest––everything ego-driven in LA can be said of New York City, Paris, London, Rome; yet Hollywood takes the blame.
Los Angeles (the city itself) has become an analogy for the people who comprise the city.
How does fixating on the negative aspects of a circumstance; whether it be a person, city or dream serve me?
How can I shift my perspective to help others become aware of the beauty that surrounds them––wherever they are?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Change of Plans

Letting go of plans;
Requires trust in the unknown.
How can I live a full life if I don’t make room for surprise.
The rainy day off was an ideal opportunity to visit with friends, eat a delicious lunch and catch up with a close friend.
Plus, I was actually more creative afterward and I still accomplished a few goals.
#Balance

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Body Philosophy

My body is healthy and strong;
Time has not yet erased the presence of happiness and youth.
One day not far from now my body will show the scars.
Will I be able to look in the mirror with love and acceptance?
Only when I love my body completely––for what it provides and not how it looks, will I find inner-acceptance and peace.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Losing Ego

The idea of letting go of material possessions has never been that difficult for me.  Perhaps it is because I have a sister who is a borderline hoarder.
(I mean that with as much love and support possible while recognizing the truth.)
Growing up, I watched her put so much energy into the memory or an object;
Whereas I’m the opposite, I put equal weight into the idea of a goal.

As I read, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle, I’m discovering that I too was attaching to possessions––mine just happened to be ideas.

Generally, I’ve been the type of person who forces myself to move on:
From jobs when I feel they’ve served their purpose,
Friendships that no longer serve the wellbeing of either party,
Televisions shows that have run their course,
Fad diets that stop working,
You get the point.

The pain from loss is intense, and secretly there is a part of me that enjoys the discomfort––which is why I challenge myself to let go of previously mentioned circumstances.

Now I’m focused on how much I will hold onto an idea––even if it no longer serves me.  A powerful question (from Tolle’s book) has enticed my mind to rethink loss:

“Has who you are become diminished by the loss?”

I’ve never been afraid of dropping jobs or friendships because I’ve never felt less-than by releasing them.  Yet, I’ll hold onto an idea (even if it’s no longer important) for fear of feeling inadequate.
I’m ready to release the ego in order to make room for new opportunities.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Faith not Fear

Silence surrounded by chaos,
The moment you transcend the fear and invite the light;
Surrendering to God’s path doesn’t mean giving up,
It means working harder than ever with confidence that the energy will manifest into an unknown opportunity.
Releasing ego and replacing it with Faith.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Pain Means It's Working. Right?

That feeling you have the day after an intense workout;
I didn’t realize my body could ache in so many places.
No seriously, I didn’t even know I had a muscle there!
Like Oprah, 2016 is the year of loving my body like never before!
Not through Weigh Watchers (unlike Oprah), but with a positive outlook, hard work and major portion control.
I’m done with comparing my physical appearance to anyone else;
I’d rather discover the best version of me––inside and out!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Timing

I don’t care how cliché it is––timing is everything.
I do believe everything happens for a reason;
From the most brilliant to the down right disastrous,
I trust that everything I encounter is a piece of the puzzle that will prepare me for a larger picture.
I sat down to set goals and incorporate ideas to work towards in 2016, as I do at the start of every new beginning.
After several weeks of meditation and thought, the theme of “light” continued to nag at me.
The idea of drowning out the darkness with the pure positive energy of light continued to call, so it is––my focus will be to find the light in every circumstance.
Today, I picked up a book that I purchased back in 2008––for whatever reason I was unable to appreciate the message at the time, so it sat on my shelf, and started working on my own book.
Now, eight years later, my book has been published and I’m in a very different place in my life.
I decided to start reading Eckhart Tolle’s, “A New Earth” as part of another goal for 2016.  The once cumbersome words were now shining off the page.  It wasn’t until I got to the last sentence in the first chapter that I knew I had selected the perfect time to read this book:
“The light of consciousness its all that is necessary.  You are that light.”
Timing is everything.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

There is nothing more intoxicating than a blank page in a fresh new journal.
For some, especially writers, that empty space is overwhelming;
I see it as an opportunity to reinvent my story.
An empty canvas––the only expectation, to imagine the possibilities.
I’ve always been that guy who sets goals, both attainable and lofty dreams that seem impossible, which provide a brilliant challenge for me.
In my twenties I spent too much time focusing on hitting the target, and didn’t appreciate the path through the woods––with unexpected obstacles; at the time I considered them roadblocks, now I realize they were challenges that helped me fine-tune my shot.
In my early thirties I refined my approach.  I focused my energy and harnessed my efforts in order to soak in the sunlight that beams down along the trail.
Now, I’m expanding my ideas.
I’m less concerned with hitting specific career goals, and more determined to seek happiness in the daily journey.
Human nature tells me to continue wanting; no matter how out of reach the goal might be, once I’ve accomplished it––like a junkie looking for the next fix, I need more!
I’m ready to break that cycle.  Not that I believe there’s anything wrong with aspiring to achieve new heights, but I’d rather splendor in the moment rather than constantly fight to feel happiness through achievements.
I have never defined my success based on a job or dollar amount, still I fall victim to the mindset that “it” will never be enough.
“If I could just sell this book, then I’ll be happy.”
So as I face the bright empty glow of cotton card-stock, I set in motion a new plan.  I will embrace each day with light and fearlessness, and as I work to accomplish new goals––I will stay present and be thankful for the challenge each new day brings; without stress or doubt.  Every roadblock is conditioning me for the next adventure.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

When I look back on the past year I remember;
Brilliant things happen when you stop pushing and start trusting.
There is nothing more powerful than light.
I’ve spent most of my life fighting, pushing, praying, searching, dreaming;
Now, I’ve found a place of peace––I am open to the path unwinding.
I’m not afraid of the shadows,
I will conquer the darkness and hurdle the roadblocks.
My journey leads me on a new adventure: I am ready.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Find The Light

Mesmerized by the glowing ambers;
The flame dances,
Reminding me to see my passion everywhere.
Ignited and ready to blaze in the new year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A New Day In LA

Golden slivers pierces through my window;
Enticing me to separate from the warmth of my cozy bed.
Awake the day with coffee and conversation,
Mind fresh, gratitude plentiful, and endless possibilities.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Coma

The day after Christmas I fight back the urge to take down all of the decoration:
Standing as a defiant reminder of a day that comes and goes;
Leaving a trail of financial ruin, selfish children, and cranky parents.
I admit, I fall victim to the joyful cheer that begins in early November––commercialism and the lure of family traditions.
I have to take it down, now!
But I know, regardless of how hard I resist, next year I will shower my home with Christmas too early, and all will be right again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Trip To The Mall

The line for the parking lot was a parking lot;
People with bags of returns passing people exiting the mall with armfuls of merchandise and clothing now at "blowout" bargain prices!
Store associates ready to hide,
There's no escaping the angry woman without a receipt.
Why did I come to the mall? Tradition.
I walked in with a return, 
And departed with two leather club chairs and twelve linen napkins...
Don't judge me!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I miss my family who are not near this time of year;
But I’m thankful for the man who brings me cheer.
The Christmas spirit: Sharing Faith, love, and goodwill to family and friends.
Midnight mass was a reminder to release fear and trust in God;
Beautiful music, a joyous celebration of the season.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas the night before Christmas and all through our condo;
Not a creature was stirring,
Because we’re all lounging on our brand new sofa!
The stockings are hung and our fireplace is glowing,
Our tree is gleaming;
And thank God it’s not snowing––it’s a fabulous perk of living in LA.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Wait Is Over

Today marks the end of a fifteen year wait;
From my very first day working at the Pottery Barn on the Upper West Side of New York City, I knew that I would one day own a well-built piece of furniture.
The anticipation hurts almost as much as my butt from sitting on a less-than-perfect couch for too many years.
After a decade of dreaming of a designer, u-shaped sectional sofa of my very own––I will experience the comfort of luxury.
#MerryChristmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Break

It’s a rainy LA morning.
Christmas is just around the corner, and I am in full vacation mode.
There are hundreds of activities and errands I should be doing;
I’m giving myself the rest of 2015 off!
Although I just spent the last hour deleting emails from 2006 from my server––what can I say, I love an organizational activity.
Now, time for hot coco and puppy cuddles on the couch with a Christmas movie.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Calm Before Christmas

The end of the year approaches faster than department stores axe their Halloween displays and deliver us Christmas.
Longing to delight in the decadence of the festive season, I plan too many parties, dates with friends and family, and overbook my schedule;
Leaving me overwhelmed and stressed.
Every year I remind myself to enjoy the moment and appreciate each event, but I end up spending more time just trying to stay calm and get through it.
So today, I’m offering myself the chance to binge watch cheesy Christmas movies (thank you Hallmark Channel) while wrapping presents, chatting on the phone with loved ones, and yes––eating too many Christmas treats.
Tis The Season.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

When I was young, my grandma would sing Christmas carols with me;
It was an exciting way to welcome in the holiday––full of joy, love, Faith, and family.
While I’m grateful for the blessings and life that I live now,
I get nostalgic for those simple memories.
Today I’m treating myself to a trip to the Grove (an outdoor mall) where I will thrust myself upon the holiday madness, search for gift bargains I can’t live without, and hopefully hear a carol or two around the piano at Nordstrom;
Christmas is coming, and I need a boost of jolly!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Find The Light

It’s thrilling to be awake early enough to watch the sky change from dark to light;
It’s remarkable how fast the transition is:
I glance outside to see a cold, dark winter morning,
Then a sliver of light cuts through the bare trees that line my backyard––and in a breath the sky is brilliant blue.
Another reminder that light will always overcome darkness.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day Off

Breakfast at home,
Walk along the LA Riverwalk, Sherman Oaks,
Window shopping on Ventura Boulevard,
Barrel and Ashes––deliciousness,
DVR on the couch with the family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Note To Self

The holiday parties are bad for my waistline!
But great for wasting time laughing, drinking, and reconnecting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tis The Season

Tis the season for holiday cheer;
A party every night will surely lead to a ten pound surplus of Christmas jolly.
And by “jolly” I mean fat like Santa...
Time to ho, ho, ho myself to yoga!
If I’m going to eat, drink, and be merry––I need to find the inner peace to shake like a bowl full of jelly.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh Shoot!

Life on set gabbing with artists;
Sex talk at the craft service table,
Poop talk between takes—
I'm not sure who is more explicit:
The crew or the talent. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hanukkah

Family, friends, food and wine;
Lighting candles and illuminating the reason we celebrate.
The parties and gifts are fun,
But Faith is the true gift.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Family Vacation Day 5

A day to relax and spend quality time;
Blocking the negative from my mind––I’m focused on positive energy.
I love my family.
After we’ve said goodbye, I watch them drive away.
Back to their lives, and me to mine;
I will hold onto the fun memories and erase the dark spots.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Family Vacation Day 4

Long days,
Sleepless nights,
Hungry bellies;
Pointless fights.
I love my family. Even when they hurt my feelings.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Family Vacation Day 3

Expectations lead to let-downs;
Gratitude, love and letting go inspires laughter.
Sometimes.
I love my family.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Family Vacation Day 2

Early morning wake-up call;
Five grown adults and a kid have to shower.
I’ll let them fight over who goes first––I need a Starbucks!
The drive to Disneyland will be long:
Puppies in tow.
Christmas cheer among the crowds waiting in line for a thirty second ride;
Tis the season!
I love having my family in town.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Family Vacation Day 1

Nineteen years and worth the wait;
The city I call home––where we spent our childhood, my sister returns!
Mom, sister, and niece are here.
Breakfast at our favorite childhood hole-in-the-wall,
My niece and I collect seashell at the beach.
Sand in our feet, I love watching her react to the foamy, brisk Pacific water.
Memories of laughter and love as we drive past the house from our youth.
Now cuddling on the couch with a cartoon before our journey to Disneyland.
I love when my family visits me!
Life is good.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Note To Self:

I am capable of accomplishing more in one day when I set targets;
Release the negative energy, and take action.
A full day equals a day fully lived!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friendship

Catching up with old friends,
We shared New York City in our twenties––our youth;
Bonded for life like family.
Like sipping an expensive bottle of champagne, I savor the evolution of our relationship.
Neither time or distance will discourage our love.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

City to the Suburbs

Riding the train into Brooklyn with my friends, who swore they’d never move to Brooklyn (back when we were in our twenties), I discovered that I appreciate distance from the city life.
Interesting how age makes you appreciate space;
In life, love, friendship, and housing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Blame It On the Puppies...

If cuddling with my puppies while watching reruns of The Golden Girls was a sport––I’d be a Gold medal winner.
Their soft little bodies warm my bones better than grandmas electric blanket;
But it’s their unconditional love that provides such an enormous amount of joy which forces me to stay in bed an hour longer.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Back To The Grind

It’s always a bit of a challenge getting motivated after a week of holiday festivities;
I’m comforted by the fact that I leave for New York City in two days, however I realize I have about six days worth of work to process.
Lists, goals, and plans won’t help me know––I have to dive headfirst into the deep end.
Here goes...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

That's ShowBiz

A charlatan always reveals their true character eventually;
Deceit hides in a bright smile with empty promises.
Lies laid like land mines in the Middle East.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dirty

Washing the dishes the morning after a dinner party is dirty, smelly, and it’s much more difficult to scrub away the caked-on shit;
Similare to recovering from a hook-up in your twenties.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

That's Life

I received a 4AM wake-up call;
Thanks to a reaction from the vaccination that both of my puppies had yesterday.
You don’t really know what love is, until you’re cleaning shit and vomit, while using a calming voice, “It’s okay sweetheart, you just had an accident.”
People who say dogs are just like having babies are wrong:
Babies wear diapers!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Work In Progress

I’m currently working on my next book and I forced myself to look back through old journals in order to accurately remember the past.
There’s a reason people warn you not to look back.
You get to revisit the best memories, but you have to relive the shitty parts, too.
It’s strange how far away some of those moments feel now;
Others flash before me like a movie and I struggle to believe they actually happened.
Reading the pages from my journals helped me to appreciate how far I’ve come and how focused I was, even back then, to set goals and work towards them.
I am proud of where I am and who I’ve become, and I accept that every day brings a new opportunity to evolve as a person.
The beautiful discovery is while I continue to work toward self-improvement and career advancement, I'm living my dream—and that is my definition of “making it.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Pulse

Twirling emotion,
Dancers feel everything;
Music guides our breath.

Missed Opportunity?

#MakeUpPost
I partied too hard in November––which is why I'm a post shy;
If I were in school I'd receive an B-
Not acceptable!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life of an Artist

The deception and false hope;
There is no such thing as a day off in Los Angeles.
Try as I might to relax and underachieve––the DNA in my blood pumps and sends demands to my brain.
Work, work, work! you crazy fool;
If you want to get ahead, you can not rest.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

That's Life

There are people who respond to confrontation with poise and wisdom;
And then there are all of the rest.
I'm shocked that anyone at the executive level (in any arena) considers "no response" a reasonable acknowledgement.
My job is not to do the job of others, it's simply to proceed accordingly.
AKA time to get aggressive! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Junk Food Days Are Over...

A trip to the Cheesecake Factory left me:
With heartburn,
A guilty heart,
and
Fat.
I think my “cheat days” are coming to an end;
Just another loss as you get older.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Raging Headache

Waking up with a headache after a night of alcohol-free partying feels like eating birthday cake without frosting;
Completely unfair and upsetting!
Allergies suck.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Ironing My Pants

Just like my life;
Some of the wrinkles are deep.
This is going to require some additional attention.
Not every crease is forever.
I wish there was an iron for every situation in life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nasty Movie Nightmare

When a film is so terrible that you have nightmares;
Then wake up the next day to realize that you spent $16 on a crappy movie that gave you bad dreams: it’s a day terror!
#TheNewBondFilmSucks

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ring On The Bells

We're still a month and a half away from Christmas and the tintinnabulation blasting from the premature holiday commercials is pumping me up!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pep Talk

I’m focused and passionate about my future;
Setting goals can easily get me overwhelmed.
I’m working to find balance, while increasing productivity.
The more I stress, the less I achieve––opposite, when I release and take action I find success.
Exploring ways to unburden myself from comparing my path to others and staying connected with my own personal evolution will lead to victory.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Crazy Meet Crazier!

The world is full of colorful people, and by that I mean crazy.
Somehow I’m still shocked when a seemingly logical person will attack me without the proper information.
I’m a very thorough person; I never engage in a dialogue (or a full out war) with anyone unless I can back my argument up with facts;
So when I’m called out in a group of peers with misinformation, I have no problem standing my ground.
When I was younger, I used to get hotheaded and react with a total lack of dignity.
Thankfully, I’ve calmed down, and when I come for you I can cut you down with a smile and arsenal of facts.
Please don’t come for me unless you’re absolutely sure you can take me down––because I’m not going without a serious fight.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Guy Walks Into A Bar

I'm the first one in a new restaurant, waiting for my friends at the bar.
Like a subway releasing the rush hour crowd, the bar is rushed with people;
Trying to hold two extra seats without pissing someone off is nearly impossible.
I order a drink, and then another––still waiting for my (now extremely late) colleagues to appear.
I look like a crazy mama bear carefully guarding my chair cubs.
Finally one of my friends walks into the bar and takes the seat next to me.
Take that asshole to my left who attempted to convince me to release the seat only moments before:
The bar might be packed now, but I got here first.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tricked

The trick about Halloween is waking up the next morning without a hangover or stuck in a candy coma; if they made a remedy that actually worked, that would be the treat.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Morning News

I remember waking up to the delicious smell of coffee with sweet cream and sugar,
Still half asleep, I’d walk into the kitchen to find my grandma and grandpa reading the morning news paper;
I was always eager to receive ‘The Mini Page’ so that I could feel like a grown up.
I was hooked on the intoxicating smell of recycled paper and ink––games, activities, and fun articles that would inspire me.
Journalism and exploring world events was just one of many wonderful life moments my grandparents shared with me.
Now, as I sit on my iPhone and comb through the stories that populate my news feed, I miss those delightful exchanges.
I’ll be forever grateful for the wisdom and knowledge they instilled in me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Write Through The Blocks

Finding the inspiration to be creative daily is often a challenge;
When I catch myself staring at a blank page on a glowing screen, I start to panic.
Self-inflicted fear and unfair demands only damage what little imagination I may have in those instances.
Rather than focusing on producing brilliant words that will live on forever––I just start typing (similar to what I’m doing here on this daily blog post) and wait for some magical piece of (I want to say cake because that’s all I can think about right now) the puzzle to redirect me into my process.
The path of an artist requires working through the toughest challenges, and hopefully the end of the path reveals a new direction.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Yoga

Body and mind at peace;
Or at least breathing through the fact that I stuffed my face yesterday and I want to feel good about myself today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Note To Self:

Chili with extra jalapeños taste delicious;
But will inevitably cause serious side effects.
#LastNightsDinner is #TodaysTorture

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Out With The Old, In With The Nouveau.

Waking up to the thunderous roar of heavy machinery at 7:50 AM;
Another McMansion arises from the ash of a once beautiful Ranch house.
Nouveau riche douche-bags are lining the once gorgeous streets of Los Angeles, with monstrous boxes––overstuffed with terribly executed contemporary fixtures and poorly crafted finishes.
I can’t wait to meet the new neighbors, I’m sure they will be hosting an open house soon; if only to show off what little taste they have.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wake Up

It's 5AM on Sunday;
Passengers look like zombies in a Halloween parade.
The line for coffee is too long, despite the intoxicating chemicals Dunkin' Donuts surely infuses. 
I love my job—I hate travel days.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Travel Day

Parking at a cement graveyard of cars,
Left abandon for days as their navigators fly to exotic locations like Cleveland, OH for work.
It can be brutal—almost as dreadful as the walk across this sea of pavement to the shuttle bus; 
Just in time for it to pull away.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Break

That moment you take before jumping back into the twenty-four hour work cycle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Love My Job

Step, kick, kick, leap, laugh, step.
There’s nothing better than doing what you love with talented people.
#SecretChoreographyProject

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Grateful

When you let go, you make space to receive.
I experienced this again today.
#Grateful

Monday, October 19, 2015

Life. It's Hard Sometimes.

I consider myself a happy person.
I surround myself with positive influences in the form of affirmations and quotes (from people who are much wiser than I).
I meditate and improve my physical well being through yoga, healthier eating, and stress relieving exercises.
Still, some days I wake up in a negative space mentally and emotionally.
In those moments, I do what I can to remember that I have a choice.
Sometimes it works, and other times, I spend longer than desired in dark thought.
I can’t help wonder about my friends and family who actually suffer from depression.
Mental health is something that I take for granted, because I only find myself feeling sad or crippled with fear occasionally; it’s so overwhelming I feel like giving up.
Thankfully, I have access to the aforementioned tools to get me through a rough moment in my life. I realize I am fortunate that I don’t struggle beyond the infrequent dips in happiness.
So rather than focusing on my momentary laps in joy, I offer support, love, and positive energy to my friends who suffer from a serious disease.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Self-Sabotage

Listening to that dark, negative, evil voice will surely lead to a disastrous outcome;
Dousing the hate-speech with love, Faith, and positive action will always lead to a brighter opportunity.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Life Cycle

Staring out of the window in my office,
I become mesmerized with the colors of the changing leaves.
The beauty of fall; golden, red, brown, and still a hint of green––which reminds me that even in transition there is life.
Renewal everywhere. Good or bad, everything passes in a season.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Trip To The Beach

A trip to my old stomping grounds;
Memories of soccer practices, hide & seek, and neighborhood block parties.
Life was so much easier when my mom and dad handled everything.
My biggest fear was deciding what clothes I would wear to fit in––never fully understanding that I always selected things that actually made me stand out.
I get sentimental especially during this time of year. The fall always reminds me of new adventures, back to school, Trick or Treating, and the smell of smoke in the crisp beach air.
As much as I try to live in the moment, it’s nice to reflect on the warmth, love, and friendship I experienced growing up.
Sometimes it’s good to visit the past.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Road Block:

I don’t have time for this shit.
It’s moments like this that make me wish I had a “Force Quit” button when dealing with dumbasses.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Loyalty

I've noticed that the people who promise you the world;
Are usually the ones wearing a suit they've borrowed from a friend.
#PutYourMoneyWhereYourMouthIs

Monday, October 12, 2015

Note To Self

If you think you don't have enough time in the day, consider this:
For every minute you waste worrying about not having enough time––you've lost an opportunity to take action.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Travel Day

Waiting at the gate like vultures;
Everyone wants to be in the first boarding group.
I blame roller bags.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Technology Meltdown

Rage;
Connecting my iPhone to my Mac––they are made by the same company correct?
I don’t understand why syncing in the 21st century is still an issue.
Seriously, i HATE that track wheel!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Need A Break...

Donuts. The Grove. Matinee. Spa retreat;
In the middle of a work week?
Yes, a calm break in chaos is necessary:
Balance.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Good Day LA.

Imagine waking up to the calming sound of a leaf blower;
Nothing sparks creativity or motivation to get out of the house and go to Starbucks, more than your neighbors gardener.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gratitude

I feel blessed knowing that I can follow my dreams beside a person I love;
I realize how fortunate I am to be able to wake up each day and pursue a career that I’m still passionate about; through hard work, Faith, and the support of my family and friends––I continue to journey closer to the peak.
Not everyone has the opportunity that I’ve had.
I am grateful.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Time Check

There’s only twenty-four hours in a day;
I can not squeeze another meeting into the day––I am available at 3AM though!
Life is short. #UseItOrLoseIt

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Funday!

I haven’t been this excited to go to the mall since I had acne on my face;
I travel so much for work, I usually miss all of the weekend fun with friends.
Today, I get to enjoy an adult play-date.
Brunch and a movie with friends.
Balance––finding time for the simple things in life.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Confidence

A confident person walks into a room with vibrance and an open mind;
A cocky person walks into a room and drains it of all its creative energy.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Goals into Gold

Setting goals is the key to reaching dreams;
But if you don’t enjoy the journey––it can be a nightmare.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Trip To The Huntington Library

Waves from the Zen rock garden carry tranquility,
Encouragement jumps from original manuscripts by Chaucer,
Passion smeared across canvas,
Beauty in every direction; history sounds me.
The water fountains provide a baptism for inspiration.

Missed Opportunity?

How did I miss a day in October?
The month was calm for the most part.
I guess I was busy dreaming.
#MakeUpPost

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Computer rAGE

Software updates on my Mac,
Watching the status bar creep slowly; is it even moving at all?
No, I don't want you to send a report to Apple—I want you to work!

Monday, September 28, 2015

When The Sky Is Blue, I Am Not

Ordinarily I get depressed with rain.
Clouds cover the day, and my emotions become foggy.
I’d rather see the harsh reality of my life, enduring the honesty of the bright light;
Instead, I drown in the water.
When the sky is blue, I am not.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friends. Food. Fat!

I’m staying with my closest friends while I’m choreographing in Pittsburgh;
I can’t decide if they’ve been a bad influence on me, or if I’ve rubbed off on them; all I know is that I’m eating entirely too much food––and the cocktails aren’t exactly helping.
We’re eating like we did in our twenties.
Unfortunately, if I keep this diet up, my mid-section will prove I’m middle-aged!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Madonna Complex

Women everywhere hate Madonna.  The Matron of Pop Culture has managed to stay relevant in a world full of naked-wreckingball rage, sex tapes, and auto-tuned dance beats; all of which she paved the way for.
Her spirit (or desperation to remain famous) has endured.
Rejecting the idea that woman should ever look or act their age, she thrives on the attention she demands when she lifts up her Red-Carpet-costume to flash the paparazzi her firm-middle-aged-assests.
Face it America, every time Madonna struts across the stage in her religiously-charged-yet-somehow-still-sexy costume showing off her I-do-yoga-and-pilates-and-I-can-still-dance body, she’s not just proving that she’s still got skin in the game (literally). Nope. Each time we see a hint of ass, or a flash of the grill––she’s sending us a giant FUCK YOU America––this is what a 57 year old should look like now!
Subsequently housewives (and gay men) across the country are pouring into pilates studios, packing in the yoga, and Soul searching on a Cycle; while the straight dudes are shedding the #DadBods and shredding on steroids and circuit training.

[This is a portion of an op-ed piece I am writing for a fun website. More soon.]

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Another Week, Another Airport

The birds are chirping in unison;
They’re so happy to be up at 6AM.
I am not––but it’s all part of the lifestyle.
Off to spread my creative energy; Pittsburgh look out, I’m headed your way!
#TheGlamorousLife

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

You Know You're An Adult...

You know you're an adult when you attend a birthday party for a one-year old.
Surrounded by your best friends, and they're little carbon copies;
I can't wait to have a little monster, too!
#TheClockIsTicking

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday

My day is free––a rare treat.
The skies are bright with possibilities;
pooltime, outdoor yoga, and a long walk to Starbucks (naturally) with the puppies.
Balance means stepping away from the computer...

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Starbucks Shuffle

Finding shade outside;
Trendy LA writers, actors, producers––the industry spends more time drinking coffee than working.
Although netWORKing is draining.
With my puppies on my lap, I happily create.
Life is beautiful. Especially outside in LA!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Laptime

Life is good with a puppy on your lap;
It’s even better when you have two!
It does make it a bit more challenging when you’re trying to typo...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Art and the City

A trip around MacArthur Park revealed some beautiful colorful ball art.
#InspirationInLA

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Rain In LA

The rain in LA falls mainly in the drain.
According to one meteorologist, “We’re receiving reports of up to two inches of rain in Santa Monica! That. Is. Record. Breaking!”
This statement comes in the midst of a drought; I’m not sure that one day of “record breaking” rainfall is going to save LA––but it certainly gave me an excuse to blow off my regularly scheduled day for a book-fest on the sofa with my puppies instead!
I’m currently working on my second book, so I’ve decided that this is the perfect day for some “industry research.”

Monday, September 14, 2015

All In A Days Work?!

Returning phone calls,
Responding to emails,
Scheduling meetings and planning huge projects.
Creative writing.
A walk to Starbucks for some lap time with my puppies.
A yoga workout; mind and body in check.
There are days when my job doesn’t feel like work––I wish they were more often, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
#Balance

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Home

Sunday in LA; hungover.
Happy to be home with my family.
Ginger and Lily on my lap—Starbucks iced coffee and my journal.
My sister is going to be okay.
God is good. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yoga

A crowded yoga room packed like sardines is not my way to namaste;
I need balance, I need space, I need these LA divas to get out of my face.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Vacation: What I've Learned.

After an extended amount of time out of town––jumping right back into the workforce can be overwhelming; not for me, for the lazy people who can’t keep up. Slacking off is never okay, even when I’m out of town.
I don’t expect perfection, just competence.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Palm Springs; Day 4

We beat the heat in the pool;
Just in time, we packed––late check out and headed out of town before the traffic crawled.
Life is wonderful with my family: Jeff, Ginger, and Lily.
It’s simple and lovely.
Vacation ends, and we’re back to the grind.
Thankful for the desert.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Palm Springs; Day 3

I gain weight just looking at food––so Mexican dinner last night didn’t help me in the swimsuit department;
I’m on vacation, I can eat what I want.
I was able tune out the nagging demands of my job for a few hour yesterday––and thanks to a late night work session, I knocked out a few things on my “to do” list for today.
Hopefully I’ll be able to release a bit more today. Perhaps an extra cocktail poolside will help me chill in the 110 degree heat.
Vacation ends tomorrow, I need to enjoy today!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Palm Springs; Day 2

God will give me what I need, when I need it.
[Repeat as often as necessary to enjoy my time on vacation.]

Monday, September 7, 2015

Palm Springs; Day 1

The heat seduces me into a coma;
Three weeks of sleepless nights have added to the cocktail.
I sit by the pool reading a book––trying not to focus on the work I need to get back to.
Even on vacation I make lists in my head: Enjoy the downtime, release, relax, when you get back to the room make sure to call... NO! stop it.
It usually takes a day to get into the groove.
Tomorrow I will worry less.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I Hate Goodbye.

I hate saying goodbye.
Despite my usually positive outlook, saying goodbye always seems so definite.
The past three weeks have reminded me how quickly life can change, and now more than ever the word hovers as proof that you’re leaving and you may not ever see this person again.
I spent the past weeks bonding with my sister in a way I never thought possible.
We were always close growing up, but once we got to high school our lives started to head in different directions––we were becoming adults.
As adults, we saw one another on the big holidays and major life events, as you do when you live across the country from your family.
A terrible illness shutdown my sisters system, but it simultaneously revived our bond.
Thankfully she is almost entirely recovered, and our connection is reinvigorated.
I look forward to the next chapter in our relationship; regardless of time or distance my sister is forever in my heart and I will guard her eternally.
We may not be near each other every day, but she is with me and that brings me incredible peace of mind.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Shiree

Strong
Helpful
Intelligent 
Resilient 
Energetic 
Exceptional 
#HappyBirthday

Friday, September 4, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Walk On!

From stillness to mastering the staircase in under two weeks;
My sister continues to inspire me.
I can’t imagine the pain that she is working through right now––shrieking at 3AM with the inability to move.
Despite her agony she continues to fight and push herself to rehabilitate.
Today she walked from the physical therapy room all the way back to her room without a walker.
Progress is slow and steady.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Raising Hell In Rehab

I’m back with my sister;
Raising hell in rehab!
She’s walking, talking, and sadly smoking again––but I guess that means she’s getting back to life as usual.
Her sassy eye rolls (and the circumstance for why she’s in her to begin with) aside, I’ve really enjoyed getting to reconnect with my sister.
As and adult I find it much easier to over look her flaws, as she has mine, in order to get to know who she really is and what she wants from life.
Life––a word that has taken on a new meaning for her.
We’re all so grateful she survived, now if she would just stop bossing me around... Yeah, like that will ever happen.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jet Set

My heavy eyelids can hardly ease the burning dryness;
The lack of sleep is killing me.
Too many airline seats and hospital beds.
I’m happy to live a full life, I just don’t want to die from exhaustion.
It’s time for a break!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rest

A day off from life;
The couch, Netflix, food, my BFF.
I really needed this.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Undone

The damage is done,
Words cut deep.
Actions reveal truth.
There isn’t a drug strong enough to dull the pain;
Or an apology so powerful it would heal the wound.
All we can do is move forward and allow time to ease the memories.

Friday, August 28, 2015

You Can Pick Your Friends...

The family dynamic is complex;
All of those sayings like "You can pick your friends..." "Blood is thicker than water." "Family is forever..." are not an excuse to behave however you want to family members.
I'm sad that my motives to help my sister recover have been perceived as selfish, especially by members of my own family—but then I have to remind myself that people project what the feel.
My sister knows my heart, even if my loved ones do not. I can't change their opinion of me (and I will always love them) but I can certainly change my  proximity.
I have opinions about them too, but it's for the best that I don't share them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Trip To The ER

My sister is admitted into the ER after complaining all day of level—10 pain. (Personally I think it was exacerbated by the fact that our mom and our extended family decided to launch into attack mode.) Nevertheless, here we are in the ER brought by an ambulance—after a ton of runaround between nursing bays, Shiree and I sit in the hospital room. Shiree has to get blood drawn and while the RN inserts the IV—mom & dad leave the room for coffee. The second they leave Shiree says, "Isn't it so peaceful now that they're gone?" The nurse laughs and Shiree waits for my response, "Matt?" 
I say yes, mom has given me a headache all day, but she's here because she loves us.
Shiree says, "I know. That's why I'm trying to be nice."
There was nothing nice about today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Plop Plop

My sister’s inability to have a bowel movement for four days had us all in agony, her from the pain and us from hearing her torture-level moans.  The nurse suggested a suppository, and after a lot of probing (literally) she finally caved.  Dad and I left the room for about fifteen minutes so that the head nurse and her night nurse could administer the waxy poop maker. Jennifer, her nurse, came out into the family area and assured us we could go back into the room.  She continued to inform us that the quicker-shitter-upper could take up to an hour to produce results, except that by the time that we had returned to the room, my sister was curled up in a ball squeezing her butt checks and clinging to the red emergency call rope.
We walked in and she said, “I got to go! NOW!”  I ran out laughing, and nearly shit my pants––it was a hilarious scene.  I ran to get the nurse, and in the meantime my dad asked, “Wasn’t that a pleasant experience?”  To which my sister responded, “The going in part wasn’t, but this next part might be!”  We burst into laughter and the nurses ran by with gloves and a bucket.  When you’re sick, there’s no difference between us and animals, shit is shit––and you don’t horse around with that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Step In The Right Direction

Her tired body fights to stand;
She’s working hard, but remains frustrated that her body hasn’t caught up with her mind.
Her wit and sarcasm are fully intact.
With a big smile she returns to her comfy lounge chair.
Time for a break before speech therapy.
Recovery doesn’t happen overnight––only in the movies.
Thankfully, the road ahead is promising.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Men Are Weak.

I agree with my sister––most men are weak.
It’s hard for guys to see the women they love in pain, yet every lady I know could march through a bullet-storm in hell to protect their men.
My sister is such a fighter; surviving cancer and every illness thrown her way.
Now if she could just build up an immunity to the people in her life who surround her with a cloud of negativity.
Her light will always conquer their weakness.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Faith Triumphs

There will always be those naysayers who find reasons to doubt;
Their negative energy is damaging and counterproductive.
It’s my goal to shine light, positive energy, and contagious Faith––perseverance and God are stronger than any poison a dubious person can administer.
I’m confident that my sister will fight and overcome.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Golden Moments

Spending my Saturday night watching The Golden Girls with my sister just like we used to do when we were kids.
We would huddle around the television set in the living room in our uncle’s house while our parents played cards in the kitchen; we snuck in for Oreo cookies and milk during commercial breaks––then quickly back into our TV splendor.
The show made us feel closer to our grandmas, even though we were a thousand miles away.
As adults The Golden Girls still serves as a memory of our grams, more importantly, it’s a reminder of the bond that we’ve shared our entire lives––as long as we have one another we can conquer anything.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Persistence Is Key

Pushing loved ones is never fun;
But necessary for recovery.
This process is painful for everyone,
But like everything in life persistence is key.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sis

My sister ate a popsicle on her own today;
A huge step on the road to recovery.
She smiled and said, “Cherry! Aren’t you going to eat?”
I said I would later.
She responded, “Won’t it go bad? Don’t you think you should eat it?”
Even when she’s sick, she stays thoughtful of others.
I sat and at a popsicle next to her like we did when we were kids.
She smiled at me––today, that was enough.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Progress

“Matthew Shaffer, enough!”
The words my sister sluggishly muttered to me today from her hospital bed.
Less lethargic, more lucid and responsive to questions.
Struggling with full sentences, but her phrases are sharp and to the point.
I love my little sister so much.
She is one tough cookie with a sweet and gooey inside, and she is going to make a full recovery; she’s a fighter!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fighter

My sister is brave and strong;
Even while sedated––she resists being told what to do.
Her willpower is no joke.
But she’ll still laugh when she passes gas,
And scream my name when I force her to wear her oxygen.
I love her so much.
#Fighter

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Faith and Family

Today my Faith was tested; I failed.
My sister is lying in a hospital bed, her body is weak.  Fever has rendered her incoherent and like families do, we took our fear out on each other.
Emotions run high, and unfortunately I said things I didn’t mean to say.
You can’t undo hurtful words––regardless of whether or not they are warranted.
I questioned God, not because my sister is ill, but because of my dads conviction that is in direct conflict of my belief.
Regardless, I love my dad and mom, and we all love my sister.  We have to do better to be kind, forgiving and Faithful.
Family is the most important thing to me, and I have to allow my actions to speak louder than my hurtful words.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Fabulous Life of a Dancer

The more you drink,
The fatter you get;
Plus it’s really hard to wake up in the morning!
How do you say “no” to fabulous events with dancers and choreographers from around the world?
Answer: You don’t––you drink more and worry about it once the festival ends.
#LifeOfADancer

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thank You

It’s a simple phrase, one which I’ve used a lot this week.
I’ve never felt such a genuine outpouring of support, praise, and admiration;
Teaching has always been something I’ve done as my “day job”.
It’s only now that I’m discovering that dancers and choreographers actually respect my approach to movement.
I’m overwhelmed with gratitude––when I wrote my book I had hoped that I might have an impact on someones dance career.
Working with dancers from around the world this week has single handedly reinvigorated my passion.
Thank you to all of the dancers, choreographers, and teachers who have reminded me that dance continues to be my pulse.
Let’s do this!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tap Jam In A Barn

Building rhythms,
Feet moving with precision,
Surgeon like execution!
The barn was alive with jazz music, tap percussionists, food, and wine.
Dancers United to share their stories.