Moving Along

Recently I have been going through a lot of life changes, I couldn’t bring myself to write about them because it was too painful to solidify it on paper. In the last three months I have left the life I knew behind and took a leap towards doing what I love everyday. Breaking up with the man I had been with for four years and leaving my beloved dogs with him as I packed my car with everything I own was beyond painful, but I did it – even when it hurt too much to admit to and I put myself in a different place mentally. I did it.

Working in film production, it was difficult finding enough work to survive in Florida. Unfortunately our tax incentives had run out and our legislators would not put more into the program which residually boosts the local economy. Instead of continuing to make myself miserable by serving tables on a daily basis to make ends meet, I chose to leave and go to a more lucrative state.

A little background on how difficult this was for me: not only did I live with said man for four years, but we lived together broken up for three months before I left. It was the longest three months of my life. There was no malicious behavior but the tension was incredibly high and naturally there was fighting. My dogs were a huge part of my life and the more I ran the logistics of my move I realized there was no good way for me to bring them. Now one dog, Arabella, I have had for about five years and I wanted her to come with me so badly but she is a rescue and doesn’t fare well in crowds. She shakes and cowers when strangers come near her. My other dog, Jupiter, was already agreed upon that he was my ex’s dog. Luckily my ex was gracious enough to keep the dogs together.

15002328_10157721635675440_133635098230312552_oBack to the move. I decided that New York City was beckoning my name. A large potion of my family lives there and offered help during the transition, there is also a myriad of productions filming here pretty much all the time. After packing my car, I chose to leave on my 27th birthday – a new year and a new beginning. My lovely friend offered to come along for the ride so we made it an adventure. Stopping in Asheville, NC to spend a couple nights in a 136 sq ft. tiny house, we enjoyed the nightlife and hiking around that area. We found a fabulous coffee shop in a double decker bus and I saw three waterfalls hiking up the side of a mountain. It was the perfect trip – I needed the clarity that the seclusion of hiking allows for.

If you are ever in that area I highly suggest checking out Wicked Weed Brewery and going to Sky Bar for sunset – it is a bar that is set on three levels of a fire escape. Seems simple enough right? The views topped the charts of amazing things I have seen. Everywhere I looked there were mountains. The drinks were a little expensive but we only had one and watched the sun set behind the mountains then moved on to a sushi and sake dinner before hitting the brewery to end our night.

My older sister has been amazing during this life transition of mine and offered me a place to live outside the city. Her husband built me a Murphy bed to make the office transformed into bedroom feel larger than it is. I cried when I saw it all. As of today, I have been in New York for two months and have worked on five different sets with one more scheduled for this coming weekend. Two of my employers have hired me for second projects and I am getting some great feedback.

So far I have not gotten the chance to direct any of my own projects but I am confident it will come in time, for now I am enjoying paying my dues and meeting new friends in production. Every single day I am here I start to feel more confident that I made the right choice in believing in myself and my capabilities. Sometimes it is necessary to make a big change to prove to yourself that you are worth it and you are capable of achieving your dreams.
Have you ever taken a leap of faith even if you were afraid to do so? Tell me about it, I would love to hear about your adventures!

What’s a Pilgrimage?

The meaning of a pilgrimage through the eyes of a pilgrim:

The journey takes many forms, there can be a religious aspect to it however it is not a requirement. For me, it has more to do with a personal journey and growth. I don’t subscribe to any particular creed. Be happy, be honest, and be kind. That is my mantra. Finding your true soul is a journey that starts inside of you, therefore any one person’s pilgrimage will not match any other. It starts when you allow it to.

Although the Camino De Santiago is largely rooted in a catholic background, the pilgrims on the route of Saint James are of various backgrounds. Any pilgrimage begins when you allow it to, traditionally from your front door. However the traditional route of St. James starts in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and ends in Santiago, Spain. Spending, on average, thirty days walking from France through to the tip of Spain is not an easy feat for anyone. Especially not when you stick to the true path of a pilgrim, relying on the way to support you through your travels. Breaking down both your physical and mental being and building you up again – much like daily life.

You see, a pilgrimage does not have to be some set trail that has been walked for centuries. A pilgrimage can be you getting up from your chair, going out your back door, and walking to another town or through the woods. It may not have much significance to an outsider however on said walk through the woods you may have reached a personal ‘aha!’ moment that alters the way you view your life forever.

I can’t wait to have a pilgrimage of my own, to travel and reach a true transcendental state must be absolute bliss. Although I’m not so sure I can wait until I find my way back to Europe to complete the Camino. That goal will never leave my mind but I think that some preparation is required. Some cultures and religions believe in yearly pilgrimages; so why can’t I take multiple pilgrimages throughout my life? I can and I will!

I want to call myself a citizen of the world and travel across our earth however when looking at my list (I keep a list of places I have been before) I realize that my focus has always been out of the Americas and I never took the time available to explore the land on which I was born. The land that my parents fell in love in and travelled across both together and alone. I need to experience the Appalachian Mountains and the Continental Divide. I need to see what the Rockies look like and the West Coast. I need to know what it is like to breathe in higher altitude, to truly be cold in the winter, and to see Redwood trees that I can’t wrap my arms around. I wish to hike and camp and build fires in as many states as I can. I want to simulate parts of the Oregon Trail and try to understand what the Gold Rush was like. Stand on old battlefields and put myself in the shoes of the people who fought there.

I am a firm advocate that seeing is believing and believing leads to true understanding. Emerson said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” I feel that he uses the term experiment precisely because they are meant to be learned from. Scientists create a hypothesis and then conduct experiments to prove their hypothesis is correct or debunk it. But no matter what, any good scientist will always try the experiment.

xxx
Sam

Meditation is a thing, get with it.

I realize that there are people in the world who think meditation is only for monks and old men. I’m here today to tell you that I am a twenty-four year old woman in America who loves to meditate. The feeling that comes over me when I finish my meditation is like none other. I feel as if I can take on the world and all will be well. It is important to learn to be still with yourself, nature, and the vibrations of the world. Open up your mind and you will open up your world, there is so much out there to discover.

When I first started meditating I was really self-conscious about how I looked or sounded during that fifteen minutes to an hour. Looking back, I can’t help but chuckle. There was never anyone around and even if they were, it is an irrelevant matter. There was a time where I would get so angry with myself when my mind would wander to other things when I told it to be still.  I don’t mind sacrificing a little humility to reach clarity of mind and an appreciation for the life I am fortunate enough to live.

 

So I’ve learned to push my belly out when I breathe, and I’m not concerned with whether I look fat. I hum a little and make bizarre sounds. I’m not afraid to let my mind wander, I’ve learned that it is a natural part of the meditation process. The trick is to simply return my focus on my intended subject and keep on trucking (much like many things in life). I’m positive that if I possess the courage to practice meditation consistently, I will find the effects seeping into all areas of my life.

This friday there is a Global Peace Meditation at Noon EST (see this CONVERTER for your time zone), people all around the world will be simultaneously meditating for peace. What a beautiful, idyllic concept it is to create peace by mind power. It may be cheesy and have tree hugger plastered all over it, but I dig it. I’m trying to get a group of people to meet up in a local park and create a meditation circle to symbolize to peace and unity that we are striving for all around our globe.

Recently, I have reintroduced meditation into my daily routine and I am challenging myself to 100 days of meditation to see if I can tap into my third eye and get back in touch with my path in life. Does anyone want to be my accountability partner and join me in the challenge? It is always nice to know you aren’t the only human left in the world. We all make our slip ups but it is important to continue learning from them and to have a strong base to encourage you and support your endeavor.

Do you meditate? How often? How does it make you feel? What are the benefits that you find? Will you be participating in Friday’s Festivities?

For more myths about meditation check out this post by Bhanu Narasimhan.

xxx Sam

Facing Fear: a Writing Experiment

What if I woke up in the morning and found myself completely deaf? Fear sweeps over me as I feel my throat vibrating but hear no scream in my world. My mouth is open yet I can’t get anything out. I see the faucet running but can’t hear the familiar rush of water. Something brushes my leg making me jump ten feet in the air, screaming with the voice I’ll never hear again. Suddenly hot tears stream down my face as my will to live dissipates. I’ll never know what my future children’s voices sound like. Or bask in their gleeful laughter. I see my future fade away as I drop to the floor. My dog nudges my hand looking for morning cuddles. How will I communicate with her now? How will I know when she is trying to warn me of things? Training just hit the next level, I need her now.

A Note About The Author: When I was in the fourth grade we discovered that I have been hearing impaired my entire life. It has changed many things about the way I live my life. These fears are not totally fictional. I’m fully aware that I may hit a time in my life where I am fully deaf.