Awake

“Be aware of yourself as you are without judgment. See what is. You have no further problem. The most important thing is self remembering. You have to let yourself wake up. Become liberated.” ~Alan Watts

I came across this verse while listening to DJ Taz Rashid, who samples it in his 2017 yogic house tune Sitting on Wings.

“You must be simply awake and relaxed.”

I’ll take it.

The path to awakening is paved with many options. Between the yoga, the meditation, the life coaches, your workout gurus, therapists, digital courses, “self made” instagram stars, shamans, celebs, TEDx speakers, artists, poets…There are many people to learn from and many paths to becoming.

Many, many, many.

What you sift through and see through, where you put your point of focus in each moment, becomes habitual. When we are patterned we become asleep.

It’s wonderful to break out of routine. To do something that jolts you out of auto pilot.

But what does it mean to be awake? Does it mean you know who you are and why you’re here, your purpose? Does someone who has manifested their dreams, accomplished their goals, created and received what they asked for (either from ego or soul piloting) — does that make them more awake than a person still struggling to leave poverty, find love, or realize their purpose?

“Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe.” ~Buddha

One of my favorite teachers remains Tara Brach. Her meditation/dharma talk podcasts have been part of my digital diet for over a decade.

The reorganization that is happening below the surface since my move to the west coast six weeks ago gives me the good kind of chills. I know that I am transforming and that the letting go process, something of an untangling of old habits, ways, and patterns, is setting my spirit free.

I think that is all I’ve ever really wanted.

Thank God, A Breakthrough

One of the biggest gift of my life is that I have a relationship with a Higher Power (HP).

This means that on a daily basis I make conscious contact with HP, letting go of things I can’t control and trusting this Energy to give me strength, insight, wisdom, intuitive hunches, freedom, guidance, support and SO many other gifts.

I wasn’t always this way. I had Spiritual experiences as a child and then a teen, but the most profound spiritual experience happened through my recovery from an eating disorder.

So while having an eating disorder throughout most of my 20s and part of my 30s is not what I would’ve chosen for my life, the fact that it lead me to such a deep connection with HP makes me feel grateful for who I became as a result.

I am proud of who I am today and how I am showing up for myself and for others. I feel grateful that in a world where there is SO MUCH FOCUS ON APPEARANCES, I am tapped into the well beneath the surface.

I believe that the strength to make certain choices comes directly from my HP. For example, last week I could’ve slept with somebody that I used to know (in NY, for a decade) when he was in town last week and chose not to, which was huge for me and a major win.

I could not have done that without HP.

I am making certain choices and moves in my career while experience breakthroughs that feel guided by an invisible hand. I follow certain leads and say Yes or No. I am no longer afraid of Big Asks. I no longer question what I’m worth or spend energy getting pissed off at people who fail to see me for who I am.

I am completely behind myself and my talents.

And I could not have done that without HP.

The synchronicities and alignment that I’ve experienced since moving to LA six weeks ago are completely Higher Powered. I do believe in manifesting and being a co-creator with HP, but I always defer to HP as the final stamp of approval on anything I ask for and work towards.

Most importantly, HP is where I go to express my gratitude and while I have gotten a little away from that mission critical mindset over the last week or so, I woke up today with a surge of it, so much so that all I wanted to do was ride the Thank You wave.

There is a lot to consider now when it comes to mental health. When I write and share and post on social, part of it is to give you a leg up, because trust me, life keeps lifing and you’re going to need to — want to — HAVE TO be strong. I turn 42 in exactly a week and to say I have proven my resilience would be an understatement. After surviving eating disorders, orthopedic surgeries + rehabs, four decades of the single life, a biological clock with an alarm clock not just ticking but like, in full out gong mode (do you hear it?), financial ups and downs, family drama, loss of life, and a career trajectory that while exciting and very fulfilling creatively, has required enormous sacrifice and challenges over the years, what am I most grateful for today is my strength. My ability to keep asking, learning, humbling myself and growing. The hardest experiences that taught me who I am MADE ME who I am, and when I really pause to reflect on my power to rise and rise again, to keep going and live in joy, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Thanks, HP.

Act Boldly And...

Types title and waits for coffee to kick in…

It’s 8:12am and I’ve been up since 6am. After a sequence of gray May starts to the day, this morning is clear and sunny.

I am relieved.

If you are new to me, my website, the REFLECTIONS section that is really my blog, Welcome. I am going through a big transition and this is one of the many ways I am choosing to cope (through writing every day for 30 days and sharing it with the world).

The majority of what I’ve written so far says little, at least it feels like it says very little. I am not going very deep or bringing my humor, plunging into vulnerable depths (Mother’s Day post aside) or trying to shape my posts in a particular direction. I’ve written uninhibited, unimpeded, uncensored posts, political rants and brazen shares over the years, both on facebook and my old Lindspiration blog.

I am not there today.

I am in a different place.

It is a different world.

We have migrated to social media, colonizing the online space by hoisting our flags of who we are what we look like and what we say, beliefs, thoughts, feels, brands, social connections and games.

And the more it grows, the more it expands, the more we migrate from here to there and live from our apps, inside a funhouse of filtered reflections, and direct our point of focus outside ourselves in the interest of sharing, the more I want to retreat.

Have I mentioned the birds and the orange tree in my backyard?

None of which takes away from the glorious things happening online - like STAYING IN TOUCH with east coast friends and family, expression, creativity, empowerment, education, laughs, community building, resistance, entrepreneurship, art!

It’s all there, too.

So we’ve got both sides to appreciate and embrace. Perfect as we enter Gemini season tomorrow (5/21).

I think I am grieving. In a way, it feels like I pulled the plug on my New York life and am left to watch it wither against the backdrop of a city coming alive in Spring.

This, while I watch my LA life bloom and feel the joy, expansion, love and promise of the new seeds I am planting.

The life I am creating.

Both.

I am loving LA, which is exactly what most people ask me, “Are you loving LA?”

I am. It is not perfect — there is some weird shit going on here that I will write about a a later date — but overall, it’s a good and welcome change.

What I asked for and wanted are coming to fruition. Abundance.

I am still spending a good deal of time alone, though, and must keep an eye on this — the other side of solitude is loneliness, which is OK (like most things) in moderation but not excess.

Also my health. I was sick for over two weeks and still have lingering congestion affecting my voice.

Today I am not racing towards. I am not running from. I am sitting here with sounds in my hears and words at my fingertips. Visuals for my eyes that still feel tired. All to practice being gratefully alive in my own skin.

Gray Matters

I’ve now come to understand that this exercise (30 blog posts in 30 days) is not about the writing. It is about doing something that I said I would do and being true to my word.

I am thinking of getting a pixie cut. A real one. My reference will be too old for most but it’s Demi Moore in Ghost without the bangs (my hair being far too wavy for bangs).

The reason: in the last year of coloring my hair (today’s biggest understatement) it is still extremely damaged, a completely different texture than what I was born with, and falling out at a rate that far exceeds what it ever did bleach entered my life.

I want to start fresh. I hope my mom’s not reading this - she will flip out.

Robing Wright in House of Cards is a better reference.

What ended up happening to my hair has been such a drain on my energy and bank account, it really feels like no solution at this point other than to chop it all off.

I don’t really think I have the face for such a dramatic look, which is a concern. I would have to settle on eyelash extensions for the first time.

When I think about ALL THE THINGS I could be thinking about and feeling, all the emotions that are coming up during my recent NY to LA transition, not to mention everything going on in the world, it’s a wonder that what grabs my serenity out of my soul every single day

is

my

hair.

What I have got to accept is that what’s done is done…and it is NEVER coming back.

Gone.

The Hair Formerly Known as Lindsay’s Dark Brown Full Head of Hair is what I must contend with.

I may affirm it temporarily…take a look and smile…say we’re cool.

All the while on the inside I am doing whatever I can to keep from crying when I look in the mirror. More for the hair loss and texture change than anything else.

Why can’t I just let it grow back?

Oh, because I’m gray.

I’ve been going gray since high school, actually, when boys would notice a bright, unruly strand and tap me on the shoulder to point it out.

Now it is at about 85%.

All gray is another choice. Jamie Lee Curtis — how happy she looks!

Natural, aligned and hiding nothing. Not over identifying with signifiers of youth and womanhood.

The final option, which I am leaning towards, is cutting it very short and color it dark brown. Gradually going darker still and eventually getting back to my regular color (pre gray).

I will keep you posted.

An Orange Dropped from the Tree

Good Saturday morning!

Here is yesterday’s post:

11:11.

Any No to what you don’t want is a Yes to new possibilities.

Today I issued a strong No in my personal life.

I stopped there :)

I couldn’t write about it yet. Too soon.

Sometimes the best choices, the “wise mind,” decisions, the “contrary action” comes with pain. It might be as simple as the pain of being in unfamiliar territory, with all that kicks up inside. It might be the pain of loss, of grief.

I’ve been reminded lately that it is takes time to grieve the loss of someone.

For many years I frayed a cord that needed to be cut. The image is one of peeling or shaving it to the point at which there are tendrils, but still a connection.

Frayed cords are dangerous.

When you cut a cord and it feels like an emotional power outage, that is also hard but ultimately if you’re disconnecting from a source that is not good for you anymore, soon you start to feel better.

Hope.

I go to the ocean for a connection to Source. It is the most consistent ritual of spiritual connection I’ve had since coming to LA almost six weeks ago. I am grateful that I am no longer at a point in my life where I would want this vast expression of mother nature to swallow me up until I disappear.

I cut the cord to keep my ocean sacred.

What I am offering you here is an opportunity to connect with yourself. I am nudging you gently to dive in and write…for yourself. For others? We share so many common experiences and feelings.

Today, I am praying for a chance to see more healers.

I cut a cord. I have healing to do.

The reiki, massage, breath work, shamanic quests, chakra balancers, therapy, dance, music, Charlie…I am here for it all. We call in the healers we are meant to work with and experience when we’re ready.

My life is so different now. An orange dropped from the tree in my backyard. I delighted in it like a child. My friend was with me and I asked,

Did you see that?!

Yes, you have an orange tree.

Yes!!! I do. Can I eat it?

I’m still not sure. It’s in my fridge. I suppose it’s real.

*

Enjoy my latest meditation playlist published on Spotify.

10 Gratitudes to End the Day

I am only writing because I said I would, not because I want to…this is a choice to align my actions with my intentions.

Ten reasons I am grateful:

  1. I ran outdoors for almost an hour as the sun was setting and then took a wonderful 75 minute yoga class.

  2. I secured my first LA based copywriting client today. Amazing manifestation story I will share at another time!

  3. I submitted the first draft of a blog post for a NY based copywriting client. Grateful for the work.

  4. I am one day closer to seeing Charlie and bringing him to LA.

  5. I got a callback for an indie feature role I auditioned for two weeks ago.

  6. I did laundry with Tide unscented and my fresh sheets are like clouds. I also have essential oils for my pillows.

  7. The organic frozen blueberries from Whole Foods 365 are next level.

  8. The men in LA are kinder to me than the ones in New York.

  9. The draconian abortion bans in Alabama and Georgia are mobilizing the Democratic base, and waking up pro choice advocates to the reality of the situation.

  10. There is an abundance of quiet. I live in a quiet apartment on a quiet street in a quiet part of town. FOR YEARS, my biggest issue with New York (ok, top 5) was the noise. I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t want to handle it. Now I have near silence and it’s intense. The effect on me is one I can’t yet fully describe, and is probably exacerbated by the fact I don’t have Charlie with me yet (or cable).

Sunny in NYC!

Yayyy, I just looked on my weather app and saw it’s going to be 71 and SUNNY in NYC today!! I am so happy to hear this, as I’ve been having Spring guilt here in LA while the tri state area goes through a freakishly cool and gloomy May.

The absence of sunshine and warmth was one reason I left New York. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it anymore, I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

My life is not one in which I get out of town much during the year — one or two vacations and/or a work related trip is what I averaged — so I knew I needed to live someplace I didn’t want to escape.

For the record, it’s still really cloudy most mornings, then the sunshine cracks through like an egg around 2 or 3p, and down pours the light. Highs are in the 60s by the beach, so it has not been very warm yet and even though I am thoroughly enjoying the crisp fresh feel, I am ready for the 70s.

I like heat.

A few of you have reached out about my ‘Doing Mothers Day’ post with thanks and to say you relate. Thank you! That post reminds me of how I used to write. Skim the surface, skim, dip in and then plunge deep. How I do write, not used to write.

I still write.

I’m in the process of working out my work life here on the west coast. In New York, all the days comprised of teaching fitness classes, writing freelance and working as an actor. The majority of my time and energy went into teaching (14 classes/week) and auditioning. I had two to three writing projects a month. Actual acting bookings were…hmm…scant (“barely sufficient or adequate”).

Not to judge. I’m just saying I auditioned a lot more than I booked, not uncommon. I used to work all the time as an actor, but it was doing mainly low or no pay gigs that COMPLETELY shaped me as a performer and rocked my soul, but no longer felt OK to accept.

Money has been a sticky subject over the years, and I have spent the last few undoing the assumptions we are taught that it is somehow bad form to ask for and receive the money I deserve. Low balling ourselves, under earning, keeping rates lower than what we are worth, doing unpaid work, only accepting clients or working for people who pay low, these are all signs of being out of alignment.

I’m grateful for the support I’ve received to help me level up.

I am grateful for all of the work I do.

Be grateful for the stepping stones and the lily pads.

I am grateful I am still teaching and sharing my freely expressed voice as an advocate and example of empowerment, strength, self love, loving others, and doing the all the fitness things that make your heart sing.

I LOVE my beats.

Today is five weeks in LA.

I am still making sacrifices to become a working actor and creative writer. I am not taking the safe, salaried and benefitted life here in LA either; I am finding enough ample, abundant work to keep me going while I audition and put words to paper.

Ah, even to write that causes me to exhale.

Don’t pull the plug on your dreams.

*

I believe in open doors
I’ve taken off the screen
I’m ready to let the world come inside
And touch my life

I will no longer be defined by
What someone else believes that I am
Now that I have dropped the weight
It’s time to elevate

Lift your eyes
Spread your wings
Prepare to fly
This is the moment
Of your life
Go ahead and fly

I believe in open doors
I’m outside of the box
What did not demolish me
Simply polished me
Now the clearer I can see

I know where I wanna go
~Soulbird Rise by Indie Arie (thanks, Caroline!)


Soon

Yesterday was another day where I did show up to the page, but didn’t share. My commitment is to write and post, so I will attempt to do better as I see this self-directed 30-in-30 through!

I will definitely get back to writing in the morning because by now (10:45pm) I am tired and want to go to sleep.

How gloriously normal.

I’ve been doing a lot of normal things lately: shopping for my groceries; cooking instead of ordering in all the time; eating three meals a day; making my coffee at home; sleeping 7-8 hours most nights; going on dates; spending my energy and time on work that gives me life but doesn’t suck me dry; talking on the video phone with friends and family.

Making new friends.

A few times a week I jog to the ocean as the sun is setting. I remain awe struck each time. I have not been living under a rock my whole life. Rather, I have seen places, traveled, vacationed and worked in different cities, slept near the beach…but something about this Pacific ocean at sunset is like a religious experience. I feel completely drawn to and in by its energy. I hear the music in the crashing waves and see the artistry in the colors of not only sky but the mountains, which look different every time. While running I wonder why everyone else isn’t here to watch the sunset, too.

Soon I will be in New York to pick up Charlie and bring him to live with me in LA. I do not suffer from debilitating anxiety, but must admit this particular action is bringing up a lot of it. I am so scared he’s going to be upset on the plane and then upset to live with me again after acclimating to my parents’ house, where he’s been spending a lot of time over the last ten months.

I am scared my dog is mad at me and thinks I abandoned him. :(

I’ve been doing a form of repression where I don’t allow myself to feel it all, bc it would be too upsetting. So instead, I do my best to feel the longing, the tug, the sadness, the wondering if he’s OK, and keep telling myself this is temporary and soon I’ll have my baby back.

Doing Mother's Day

I realize now that the reason I blogged so frequently for many years is because I had an urgent need to process things that were floating around my mind and in my heart. I also had issues trusting people, so it felt safer to write the mess in my head down and share it with the world (even as that was also terrifying). It was so cathartic and thrilling, discovering things about myself as I wrote and then taking the next step to be seen from the inside out (I never include pictures in blog posts).

Years later, I am sitting here writing this (part of my 30 in 30, we’ll get to why there was no post yesterday in a minute) and do not feel the need to share anything.

Yesterday, I wrote many, many words about my work life and how it is going since moving here to LA one month ago. It was very revealing and alive with truth, but I did not want to share it. I am so glad the words flowed and equally glad I kept them all for me.

Today, I lived out loud on Instagram: dance videos, pictures of my Mom, of my dog, Charlie, and of course words to accompany some of what I shared. My Mother’s Day statement singing the praises of mother love.

Nothing about being childless and single at 41. Nothing about fertility questions and decisions for me to make, should I ever want to birth a child in this lifetime. Nothing about the sting I feel when people assume I have chosen not to have kids, as if this were some kind of empowered feminist decision (it’s not, it’s an utterly annoying and frustrating life circumstance).

Nothing about how it feels to live in a world that caters to moms, sometimes pathologizes singlehood and (gasp) child-less-ness, and likes to deem motherhood the highest signifier of a successful woman, as if I am supposed to wait to be anointed.

I left out the intense feels around my relationship with my mother. This year, I am across the country from her and we had two phone calls (one old school, one FaceTime). I love her so much, but like many mother-daughter duos our relationship road has been fraught with frustration over the years. I bought her a card but didn’t mail it in time, so I held onto it for a delivery in a few weeks when I go back to New York to pick up my dog…so the ache of this new distance thing that includes temporarily being so far from my little furry baby was also deeply felt.

And yet, I wanted to feel the joy today. I wanted to be out of emo mode on this particular subject of doing Mother’s Day, and I wanted to be happy and grateful to be alive. So I danced, I taught a barre class, I took a kettlebell/vipr class, I walked to Venice and Erewhon (ooh la la, my first time!) for food, I arrived home to meet a soul sister friend who gifted me with furniture for the gem of an apartment I am renting.

I cleaned my home top to bottom while listening to Marianne Williamson on Oprah’s podcast and then Marc Maron’s WTF. All my clothes now away and out of plain view. I message with friends. I voice memo’d and Vox’d.

I sat, I felt, I sang.

I cooked, I ate, I cleaned some more.

I scrolled. I smiled. So much light.

I did not sink because I refuse to sink anymore, even for a day.

I have gone through too much life at this point and know too much. With so much bullshit to sift through in this world, over most of which we have zero control, the decision to be real with ourselves becomes an act of radical survival.

So I did not deny how I feel on mother’s day. It was there, only, on the shelf.

And of course I am happy for mothers! If you are a mom and reading this, yes, I am happy for you. I absorbed social media with a soft heart and felt the love, the beauty.

These days I am happy for anyone and everyone who is happy with their life, as long as they’re not harming others.

I am also sad, because being a non mom at my age is disconcerting. I sometimes question if, deep down inside, I never really wanted to be one in the first place.

Yeah, no, that’s not the truth.

I will say this: I’ve never met anyone with whom I’ve wanted to have a baby. The sheer suckage of this fact is real. It sucksssss, I will not mince words.

I never wanted to be a single mother and still don’t.

I also never wanted to freeze my eggs. And still don’t.

So, here we are :O)

I don’t know where I fall. Childless by choice? Not exactly. Desperately, yearning to be a mom? Not really that either.

Feeling out of alignment as concerns my biological age, and therefore shocked and awed to be in the dusk of my childbearing years?

Non mom.

It is hard to believe that since getting my period in sleepaway sports camp however many years ago (MANY) I have ovulated and menstruated every month (give or take) and never, despite ample sex, never not ONCE ever conceived a child.

I have never needed to exercise my right to choose.

I know there is still time. If I want it, I can do some sperm shopping. I could still freeze my eggs.

I may still meet the man with whom I actually want to do the thing.

My words are for anyone who is over 30, 35, 40, and wondering how to face their situation. Do it with love and gentleness. Do it with some iota of Faith that what is meant to be truly will be. I was very nice to myself today. I didn’t act out or harm myself, my thoughts were for the most part compassionate. I stayed in my skin. I made sure to stay connected to friends and loved ones. I celebrated women who have mothered me and friends of mine who have children of their own.

I didn’t spend too much time looking at other people’s social media. Babies are really cute but on days like today, social media feels a lot like a snow globe after you shake it, images of families like floating particles dancing in the sky above my head.

So I paid attention to what I needed/wanted to get done today, and where my feet are taking me.

I know it takes INCREDIBLE strength to be a Mom. I also know from experience it takes incredible strength to not be one of the millions of women in every single part of the world who bear a child. When you want to but so far you can’t or haven’t, either because of miscarriages, not having a partner, or whatever reason is yours.

It hurts, and when something hurts you learn to be resilient in the feeling, in the processing. For me, today, the decision and living in my power also meant choosing my life force. It also meant deeply embracing who I am and what I want to be in my life today. That includes my Mom, celebrating her life and greatness, it means my incredible friends, my fur baby Charlie, my job(s), and so much more.

I go to bed so grateful and feeling the best I have on Mother’s Day in a long time.

It is a Good Morning, Isn't It?

I am in the process of changing habits, and one of them is morphing from a night owl into a morning person.

There were years where I got up early and had a mind/soul strengthening morning routine. I would teach or take 6:30am fitness classes. I would journal. I would meditate. I grew to love the pre-dawn hours when everything was so quiet and calm, it felt like I had the necessary space to untangle whatever emotions came up in my sleep. I could focus my intentions and objectives for the day.

I left that behind when I was no longer working a traditional 9 to 6pm, and chose a different life -- that of a freelancer, auditioning and working actor, and more frequent fitness instructor. Classes for me were mainly afternoon and evening except for weekends, which were on the early side. I had to roll with auditions popping up and prepping for them into the late night hours, or meeting a writing deadline that may be taking longer than I planned. I lost some of the routine but appreciated how no day ever looked the same.

Now I am marrying the two. I’ve been in LA for a month and am bringing back a very solid morning routine. It is enormously grounding for me and since I do find the nights the hardest, I don’t really need to stay up too late.

The change is so far having such a positive effect. I’m teaching earlier. I am getting work done before 2pm. The energy I vibe on at 6am fills my space -- one of my friends who knew me in New York came over yesterday and observed it has the same energy as my Chelsea apartment, which almost made me cry.

So many things are almost making me cry these days. The tears are stuck, though.

I am spending a lot of time alone. I don’t mind, exactly, it is very refreshing in a way to have this solitude and abundance of space. I have so much on my plate that requires solo time to accomplish, and it feels like a gift.

The time spent teaching or with friends feels even richer.

My job search is the primary focus of each day. Teaching is a very part time thing at the moment, freelance writing is all about building up my base, and I am seeking new legit and commercial representation for LA.

I am in a growth phase and yes, of course I could get into the “I should be …” in a certain place by now, but I refuse to think that way for any sustained period of time. I am doing the best I can and that will always be enough.

Ani DiFranco is Legend

I love that we live in a day and age where you can wake up to news that one of your favorite artists dropped something special overnight. When Beyonce released LEMONADE on 4/23/16, for example, it felt like the surprise party I’ve never had (that sounds sad, but it’s not, I know such things take a lot to arrange.). Bey loves me so much, she’ll surprise me with one of the best albums of the decade that should have won the Grammy (and yes, I am still mad it didn’t), I am so grateful for the prezzie, thank you!!

So. Waking up this morning to the news that singer/songwriter/visionary/activist and not-a-pretty-girl, Ani DiFranco released a mixtape entitled “No Walls Mixtape,” which is “for you, like the kind that i would make you on cassette if it was, like, 1993 and I was really into you…” —

Hiiiii!!

I was there in 1993 and REALLY INTO YOU TOO!

It is difficult to convey the triple axel of impact these three albums had on my life:

1990 Ani DiFranco (year I graduated junior high school)

1995 Not a Pretty Girl (year I graduated high school!)

1998 Little Plastic Castle (year I was in the midst of studying at Cornell and listening to LPC on repeat while driving around in my Toyota RAV-4 in the throes of an eating disorder and depression, not really thinking about graduating anything and just wanting to find a way not to want to die which I swear Ani helped me with, thank you)

So for the sake of time and my writing therapy this morning, we’ll cut to album three.

My college years were some of the hardest years of my life. Little Plastic Castle did all the things an album is supposed to do when you’re at your lowest — sings straight to your heart, validates your anger and observations, makes you cry like a baby, makes you feel seen, gives you LIFE. I would give sample songs for each but am on the clock here before my friend picks me up to go hiking #SoLA.

So, if you haven’t listened to any Ani DiFranco and you are reading my post, pleaaaaaaase visit her on Itunes or Spotify or wherever you stream…and if you have and you are joining me in the fandom swoonage on this blessed 2019 morning, yay, it’s Ani Day!!!


Posts Three and Four in One

Post #3 of my 30 in 30 happened yesterday while I was in a Beverly Hills outpost of Joe + The Juice. I wrote for about an hour and a half directly into my Squarespace REFLECTIONS page and after hitting “Save + Publish,” watched it stall, crash and disappear.

I reached out to Squarespace’s live chat tool and was alerted to the fact there is no Autosave function and if something like the above happens, and it does sometimes (oops!), content is lost forever...lost forever...lost foreeeeveeeerrrrr...

So, I guess yesterday’s lesson was in learning to let go. Also to start writing my posts in Google Drive first, which autosaves, and then posting it onto my blog #backitup

It was a good post! I touched briefly on my LA Confidential Magazine interview with ‘The Vampire Diaries’ star Michael Trevino, which once again reminded me an actor’s life is best lived taking risks and feeling the fear but doing it anyway. Also, that I want to have my own podcast in which I speak to guests for an hour and post the whole thing for the world to hear (note to self: add ‘start a podcast’ to list of goals directly above ‘be a guest on Marc Maron’s WTF’).

After that, I turned to the 2019 Met Gala because besides being riveted, and I do mean RIVETED to the point of artist soul palpitations by the costumes and artistry on display, I was also fascinated with the internet’s wrestling of how to define “camp,” which sent me temporarily down a blissful tunnel of Susan Sontag reflections. I have read most of her work over the years, reviewed ‘Sontag Reborn,” an Off Broadway solo show at New York Theatre Workshop based on her journals, and remain committed to my desire to write and star in a biopic.

And onto today.

Good morning! It is 10:30am PST and I have had such a nourishing last few hours. My morning meditation is back up to 20 minutes and includes chanting. I have a love buzz from that and the strong coffee I brew. And for the first time in 12 days, I did not wake up feeling sick. I feel GREAT! :)

I arrived here on 4/10, which was a Wednesday, so technically this is my fourth week here in LA. I feel more settled. I feel less grief-stricken, which I’ve come to recognize was one of my predominant emotional cycles since leaving New York. There was a lot of loss to process and even as I elected to let go and walk away from my life, the process was/is still ripe with sadness.

Reflecting on the interactions I had every day or weekly, and simply not having them anymore makes me tear up now. I feel like a piece of my heart was yanked out of my chest, so I am allowing that to settle and release. I let go more and more each day by the ocean.

That said, I remain completely and utterly in love with my decision to move to LA. Everything about it feels right, and I have a little tingle up the back of my spine as I write. I feel love every day, moment to-moment love and immense gratitude for all of the support I’ve received from my family and friends. I feel proud of my courage and willingness to finally put myself first, invigorated by the creative process of manifesting my new life. And as I listen + watch a hummingbird dance around a squirrel in the tree to my left, I drop down even deeper into who I am and why l took a leap.


A Touch of May

How did I miss that May is Mental Health Awareness month? Seriously, I am a May baby and this designation has been around since 1949, but somehow I only just caught wind of it a few days ago.

The color of the ribbon is green and hashtag is “#breakthestigma."

I suppose I can take the opportunity here to share “my story” as pertains to mental health, and if you’re new to me, spoiler alert: it’s a doozy!

Mostly it’s a drama with comedic moments, plus a hint of fantasy and dose of action/adventure. The hero is me.

I am the hero.

Growing up, I had no real signs foreshadowing what would hit me when I went to college.

Or, I did not see the signs.

I developed an eating disorder that nearly killed and definitely (temporarily) destroyed my life. In an effort to get better I elected to try inpatient treatment (my idea, I wanted to get an A plus in recovery!), outpatient treatment, individual therapy, group therapy, medication, life coaching, 12-step programs…

I was mired in misguided treatments for a decade. Finally in 2005, I looked around at the hospital setting expected to get me well, swallowed a cocktail of psychiatric medications I was being prescribed (let’s add sci-fi to the genre listing because that is what it felt like to be a gerbil in experimental “off label” medication protocols to treat eating disorders) and vowed after getting out of there, I would heal myself and never return again.

Not to oversimplify, but that is kind of what happened.

Over the last 14 years, the only medications I’ve taken have been Oxy and Vicodin for pain after ankle and knee surgeries (seven in total, we’ll save that for another post), plus Advil and very recently Tylenol Cold + Sinus, because of my NY to LA transition congestion.

I have learned through much trial-and-error what works to keep me healthy, not only mentally and physically, but emotionally and spiritually. I’ve never fought harder for anything in my life than I’ve fought for my recovery.

I have shared before that while I do not take medications to support my mental health, I am glad it works for many, many people.

In an attempt to be efficient, I will bust FIVE myths re: mental health right here right now:

  • Good mental health means waking up feeling great every day. Nope. Most days, I have a jolt of anxiety before my feet hit the ground. There are some aches in my body. My head does not feel ready to take on the world. I want to eat everything or I want to eat nothing. This is why morning rituals are SO important! Waking up early enough to do any number of things like stretch, pray/meditate, journal, read a motivational or spiritual text, hang with a pet all help with getting aligned before leaving the house.

  • Unless you’re suicidal or curled up on the floor in a fetal position, you’re not depressed. Like most forms of illness, depression exists on a spectrum. When I was in my 20s, my eating disorder and depression were completely debilitating. It helped me to realize I was still contending with a low grade depression well into my 30s, even though it wasn’t as obvious. Then I could take steps every day to help lift my mood, which I did and still do.

  • If you get upset after going on social media, it means you are weak and if you had better mental health you’d be happy and inspired from it all the time. :) I had to throw this one in there because I am concerned for us all. No matter how secure in yourself, your life and your choices you are it can still trigger “compare and despair,” so I say limit your uses (especially in moments you’re feeling sensitive). Also, be mindful of the illusion that if someone is thin and pretty and outwardly successful they’ve got it together. Influence thyself.

  • You will feel better only after you get what you want. This was a big one for me. For years I considered myself “situationally depressed” and believed that only when my situations and stations in life improved, I wouldn’t be depressed anymore. This would include but not be limited to: having bigger breaks in my career, meeting the man of my dreams + getting married, making much more money, and losing weight. A huge turning point for me was realizing I had to put much more of an effort into taking care of myself and that self love, healing and growth will happen independent of these things. Feeling like a failure was and continues to be one of my biggest triggers, so I often guard against that by how I choose to define success.

  • If someone says they are fine, believe them. Of all the masks we wear, the “I’m fine” / “I’m doing great” / “all is well” / “things are good” / “I’ve been busy” / or an impressive social feed should not be taken at face value. We are all magicians, sometimes.

I have been talking about these topics for a long time and I am SO EXCITED more people getting in on the fun. There are so many threads and ways to approach the topic of mental health, to think about and analyze what it means to be human, going behind the veil to expose how we live our lives, and express what goes on below the surface.

As I write this underneath a canopy of trees and sunshine, it is hard to believe how far I’ve come even as I also recognize my room for improvement.

Never abandon yourself. xo

These Are My Words

There are so many once-upon-a-times running through my mind, origination points of life story threads that I’ve either tangled or left dangling in the thin air of my existence.

This is not a post to sell anything, promote myself or gain visibility for my “brand,” as my strengths lie less in creating a cohesive social media platform than sporadically spitting out mercurial moments unmistakably mine.

At the hardest times in my life, I found solace in a morning ritual of writing. I’ve done it for my own sake and shared with no one. I’ve done it for my own sake and shared with everyone, on a blog, where I built an audience that wanted to hear what I had to say. That support helped me to put my words “out there” even when the “there” was a very loosely defined internet space reached through a platform called Blogger (we are now going back a decade.)

So today I am revisiting doing what I did in the way that brought me blessings. Out of my daily writing commitment, I wove plays, monologues, cathartic diary entries, poems, songs, and insights I never would’ve gleaned from simply talking or thinking. I also gained readers and a sense that my words matter, which always feels good even if the path to sharing them is paved with anxious thoughts.

In recovery from addiction and now more mainstream mental health discussions, you hear the term “hitting bottom.” It means reaching a level of pain so intense the only way out is up (a leaaaaap oooof faiiiith). My communicating Gemini soul hit bottom early this morning at 2am in between coughing spells from my first respiratory illness in a year-and-a-half now going on day ten. It hit bottom in a new city to which I moved all by myself without job security, a new bed that is really comfortable but too big for me without my dog, and with my eyes glued to Instagram stories, my back and nose sunburned.

I felt that overwhelming urge and need to write, and it felt familiar. Ive been here before. The scenery and circumstances may have changed but I have been here before and my Why is because I can’t breathe unless I write. This early morning my throat was literally restricting - I could not breathe. The shortness of breath was something I haven’t felt this in years and it was terrifying.

I sit here now with the door open to my studio, a sage incense burning, listening to birds chirp…and things are starting to open up in my vital passageways. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy waking up to the sounds of birds chirping. It is the most comforting and sweet sound I’ve woken up to in ages.

There is something else that is wonderful about this morning and bringing me back to life after sleeping maybe five hours, my body, soul and spirit completely consumed by this NY-to-LA transition less than a month old: my coffee.

Once I realized I would be teaching a few early morning fitness classes, I bought my own Mr. Coffee pot and on a whim the brand Equal Exchange Organic Love Buzz, which is a “blend of full city & french roasts, dark & velvety smooth.” I got organic half and half, and sugar in the raw.

Now I have the perfect morning cup, and with this cup as my witness I am committing to 30 days of writing here on my REFLECTIONS blog daily.

The sharing part is entirely to keep me accountable. My sense is if I don’t post these entries I will not keep up the discipline. So, thanks for helping me stay committed!

I am on a journey. We all are, of course, we are travelers. I turn 42 in a few weeks and the pain which comes when focusing on the things I lack or lost along the way does not serve me. The fear I will never have certain things in my life that once felt like a sure thing is useless. It only helps to let go. To give it away. I walk to the ocean every day now and give stuff like that away.

Maybe the most important reason for me to arrive here at my blank page is to remember who I am. I love the dimensions and sides I choose to express through Instagram (as I seldom go on Facebook anymore and won’t do Twitter) but it is so clearly only a few facets of my personality. And as I posted last night, if you abandon doing what makes your soul happy, it will express itself through disease (“dis-ease”).

My soul loves to sit in front of a blank page and express herself. She loves this kind of “beauty,” and does not want to worry about outer appearances, which can fast lead to ego driven self-torture. My soul loves the birds. She loves to come out and speak to the physical part of me, who has been through the ringer, and say everything is going to be OK. I love you. You are going to be restored to full health, be patient, you are healing. You are grieving. You have a lot of feelings coming up and you are going to work through them all. You can love it here, you do. Be in the transition. Be gentle. Go to the ocean.

My Fantastic Ode to New York

I am writing this from a Culver City coffee shop with a cycling (and superhero?!) theme directly across from the SONY lot and Equinox. It is the first night of Passover. My family is at a Sedar on Long Island and my mom dialed me in for a hot second, which was long enough for me to make a joke.

Shana Tova! Oops, wrong holiday. Just kidding, I wanted to make sure you were all paying attention.

Why this makes me smile I don’t know. First holiday away jitters awkward joke.

It is too noisy and she doesn’t do FaceTime. We hang up and a few minutes later, a text:

Uncle Howard is raving about your Ode to NY! Where is it? He said your writing was beyond. Fantastic!

I have no idea what she’s talking abouuuuoohhhhhh, WAIT!

My Facebook post before I moved?!

Note: I moved to LA from New York nine days ago.

Yes!

Ahh, yes. I wrote something on Facebook. I had not been engaging on Facebook nearly as much as I used to because Trump-Russia (and a host of other factors), so when I did post what I am about to share below, I was breaking a Facebook withholding pattern.

I also had not been writing — or “sharing” — or expressing myself anywhere in long form because Instagram (and a host of other factors) so it felt…different.

So does choosing to move across the country by myself. Definitely “different!”

Without further ado and in its unformatted original Facebook post glory:

Do you remember the episode of 'Friends' when Rachel suggests she and Ross go on a break? (Season 3, Episode 15, original air date 2/13/1997, thanks IMDB.) I love you, New York, and in this scenario you are the Ross to my Rachel. We need a break from each other and yes, it will be good for us both...What happens from now on is entirely informed by my four decades in this big, beautiful state, the last two of which I've spent in New York City. You made me into EVERYTHING I am today, a woman of whom I am SO proud, and for that I have nothing but the deepest gratitude. I found success, happiness, and love in the most surprising places. I was also challenged, leveled, and rocked to my core, decimated emotionally at times in my life, until I learned my only choice was to die or rise (and while you know I love drama, I am not partial to hyperbole, so you can trust that is a fact). Along the way, I strived so hard until I finally learned that life is not about what you achieve, despite the classic NYC "rat race" indoctrination that lures us all in, it is not about measuring up, competing or "winning." It is about finding out who you REALLY are, what and who you LOVE, defining your own excellence + success, discovering the specific way joy, magic and creativity work in you, through you, so who you are becomes what you give and how you spread your Light. My life in New York helped me learn where I belong and where I don't, what is for me and who or what to walk (and in some cases sprint) away from. I took all my chances here, until now. And yes, we can certainly talk about what New York itself has become another time -- my decision to leave is partially informed by some aspects of my home city I can no longer accept or choose to tolerate. So right now (on four hours of sleep bc of yesterday's goodbye festivities and 11th hour packing adventure) I am smiling at my memories, which is a beautiful balance to some of the harder times. And for everyone who considers themself a real New Yorker, I hope today you pause to appreciate that you are surviving in New York F'N CITY, which most would agree is the toughest place in the world. Also if you feel like you are hanging by a thread, please ask for help. Whenever I did, things got better. New Yorkers are like superheroes with invisible capes. Among many other things, I hope to spend the next 40 years of my life writing about the first 40. I've already started on the plane from where I am posting this update :) Until I see you again IRL, we'll have FB and Instagram (lindsaybdavis__). TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU + EACH OTHER!! Love and epic thanks to you all, LBD

Love that the superhero metaphor comes back to me while I write this now from SUPER DOMESTIC. Also love that I am breaking a five month REFLECTIONS post hiatus.

A lot has changed, a lot has “happened” in a life that does not resemble what it was when I last posted (Nov 2018). A lot has changed, a lot has happened in my life that does not resemble what it was five days ago.

I think out of necessity I will be writing more here even though I find the topic of writing (or more specifically, my relationship to my Writer) very upsetting. What has bothered me to no end is that I have not done more with the words I’ve written over the years, and then sat for additional YEARS on the stories inside me waiting to be told.

I let myself down.

So in my own special way, this post is about picking myself up and licking my wounds.

Thanks, Mom and Uncle Howard! :)

I only want to write EXACTLY what I need to write and let what flows out of me find someone who needs to hear my words.

These are not brand-building posts but if that changes I will let you know.

As far as how LA is going so far for this New Yorker, the answer is very well! I feel the relief of being out of NYC and welcome of a new land to see with fresh eyes. I appreciate the warmth (comparatively speaking, though it has been mostly in the high 60s since I got here). I appreciate the space. I appreciate how much sky I can see and I appreciate how the Pacific ocean feels like a horseshoe capable of pulling out my magnet filings of stress + worry whenever I walk along the coast. I am reuniting with old friends and making new ones.

I am getting what I need and feeling closer to Source energy that I have felt in months.

“For song, as taught by you, is not desire, not wooing of something finally attained. Song is existence.” ~Rilke

Better Title Forthcoming

You know you’re a writer when it feels like a homecoming.

Last night’s post felt boring and for the most part uneventful.

But it felt like home :)

This morning I write from a coffee shop in Greenpoint. A man misidentifies the playlist choice as Neil Diamond. I promptly correct him. ‘Making Love Out of Nothing at All’ is Air Supply and for a second I want to say I was there when Air Supply was there and it was amazing, but instead I keep typing. Then a song by Phil Collins comes on and after that, Scorpions’ Dust in the Wind.

Now it’s Hungry Eyes and I am complete.

I am also in between apartments. In between decisions. In between coasts, mentally at least. I have learned that at 41 it is possible to be somewhat untethered, but not a failure.

The untethering happened somehow by accident. A move from Chelsea to the UES exactly two years ago that resulted in — surprise! — a bug and rodent infested apartment building. My swift lawyering up and exodus. A subsequent series of sublets. Hi Chelsea, hi LES, hi Downtown Brooklyn, and then…hi Mom and Dad…wow.

Now, Hi Greenpoint…next month Hi Two Bridges … and then TBD.

More instability from a living standpoint in two years than in the last ten.

Unemployed? No. Never. Although I did leave a salaried position in management at a luxury gym one year ago to pursue my actor + writer career more fully. With zero savings for the leap I leapt and had a vision. I saw the vision! I wrote the vision, was ready to manifest that shit, read all the quotes, did all the things, believed, dreamed, felt it, went after it, took the actions I could afford to take and one year later, I can’t really say I’ve done anything in this last year that I couldn’t have done were I still a salaried employee at a luxury gym.

I am still glad I left. It had been almost four years as a manager. I am glad I left the same way I am glad I left my executive assistant position at BBC America after five years.

You are allowed to leave. You have your reasons. You don’t even have to know why you’re leaving or if what is coming will be better. It will be different. You can leave one thing and commit to something else. Maybe your soul craves change and that is enough to honor.

My presence in this world has gone through so many incarnations, and the way I feel best and most needed is still to be determined. Better title forthcoming. I am so shocked by the way things have changed through the social media explosion. If I was there for Air Supply, I was also there for the internet emerging while I was a college freshman, for flip phones and MySpace, Friendster and what is this EMAIL thing you want me to use to send you my paper?! To going on BlogTalk Radio and writing on Blogspot dot Com and why exactly are you putting your cats on this YouTube thing and what exactly is OTT because I was down with OPP and the rest becomes the rest.

I still work in the fitness industry as an instructor. My first class was 2009, so I am approaching a decade now (with breaks along the way to deal with an eating disorder and number of ankle and knee surgeries). The last four years teaching cycling, booty, barre and dance workouts have been pretty stellar. To anyone who knows me, manages me or takes my classes, the success I have in the room is irrefutable and I am very proud. I have put my body, heart and soul into this work without ever planning on having this work in the first place. Part of the magical mystery tour of life, I guess.

Have I leveraged this to a massive social or digital or promotional or commercial or influencer status presence? No, not really, nope. I teach twelve classes a week and do my thing on Instagram, knowing that my work is happening in the room to powerful and positive effect, and some people also enjoy what I share on social media. Dayenu.

So this is a nod, one I did not plan on writing, to my fellow teachers and humans who do excellent work in the world without necessarily having a huge Instagram following. You exist. You matter. You are special.

You are valuable!

The world has gotten very glossy again. I’m going way back here but in the 90s, we rejected the wall street-moneyed up-slicked back-madison avenue-early trump-fantasy culture of the 80s. We went grunge.

Reality Bites.

Nirvana.

And a cold November Rain.

These days we really like things to be pretty. Does it all make us feel better, to be looking at pretty people and pretty things on apps? I’m not just asking because I don’t fit into that mold and never did. I am not asking because I remember the John Berger (author of “Ways of Seeing,” excellent book if you like to think about pop culture) quote that stuck, “The definition of glamour is happiness being envied.”

I am asking because I am curious. Is it because there is so much ugliness right now? Is the filtered beauty we are consuming helping us cope with decay? I know I need something to ease my soul after seeing a baby tear gassed by US troops, innocent migrants put in cages, voter suppression, massive gun violence, and a country that elects racists and white supremacists to high offices. I need something to ease my anger, emotion against he that will not be named, something to mollify or pacify or convert my hateful energy to hope. That one day hatred will dissipate and he who rose to become leader of the free world will be gone, poof. Orange haze.

Maybe we all just need to look away sometimes. To feel better.

“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” ~Francis Bacon

On The Page

When I return to the page after a long hiatus it is always for me.

Being away begins to feel so bad, I can no longer tolerate the disconnect.

Writers need to feel safe to express ourselves and if we don’t, we won’t.

I have little doubt that the energy I’ve invested in my own social media channels has kept me from writing.

Why does this matter?

That I am not at peace unless I shut out the imagery and focus on the words and music inside my own mind. That I forfeit what I need for something else.

The space for the instant gratification. The emptiness for the immediate connection. The distance for the proximity, the intimacy through my phone.

Which is to say nothing against all of the self reportage and reflections on social media. Storytellers everywhere, we are!

But my big, solo wheels keep on turning.

I am not a painter and nearly failed third grade art due to my lack of drawing skills, but when I look at a painter paint I can see the level of focus. I feel that when I write. Not all the time but enough to spot.

It is the peace. The peace it brings me to write is unlike anything. The peace it brings me to write while cuddled up on a couch with a hot tea in a warm cozy space that may or may not belong to me is amongst my favorite feelings in the whole world.

When I could be anywhere but choose to be here. On the page. I know there will be a reader, so I guess I come here for me but stay for you.

When I am on social media, which is all the time now, I feel like my voice is one of a million. Sometimes I feel so small and insignificant, like what I say or do barely matters.

And yet.

When I am on the page, I feel like my voice is one in a million.

Social media, speck of dust.

On the page, star in the sky.

At the moment I am reading The Downtown POP Underground by Kembrew Mcleod, a fantastic, well-researched survey of “New York City and the literary punks, renegade artists, DIY filmmakers, mad playwrights, and rock’n’ roll glitter queens who revolutionized culture.”

I LOVE THIS BOOK.

I am also hungry for a poem. Poetry outside of an Instagram square. A long poem. A poem that breathes with you.

I choose ‘Human Family’ by Maya Angelou:

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Source:https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/human-family-by-maya-angelou

I used to believe this but thanks to the way politics are playing out, wonder if the human family is more different than the same. Time will tell.

Sometimes I think about the writing I haven’t done.

The love letter I want to write my soulmate who doesn’t exist, or at the very least hasn’t made my acquaintance.

The Facebook update I want to write about career updates I’m not actually having.

The story about my record number of apartments since 2016.

A gut level articulation about my family.

An exploration of how I went from there to here, and what I learned.

Addressing My Writer's Block

Good morning.

I almost did not have the heart to see how long it's been since my last post. November 17, 2017 is about six months ago. Writer's block is real, and I am here to have a breakthrough.

I moved to a new borough and left a full-time job. I leapt but the net did not appear in the way I had hoped. Throughout my struggles and joys, I gained a kind of revitalized faith that gets me through the darkness. 

In this radioactive political climate, I grew increasingly silent. I canceled by Twitter account. I peeled my eyes away from Facebook and stopped updating. Better to listen. Read articles. Watch speeches. I have paid attention to most if not all of the major stories and movements and offenses and setbacks and woke moments as possible. I am happy to follow the leaders right now. I do what I can to support progress, and try to be inspired by the proverbial rocks being flipped over to reveal the truthful soil underneath. If this is not America's new bottom, with its sexual predatorship culture, racial injustices from aggressive cops to profiling coffee shops, and a sad, sycophantic corrupt political climate, I don't know what will be. Even writing it makes me want a drink (and I don't really drink).

I am fast approaching the end of the first year of my 40s. I recently read a NYT article written by a 40-something year old woman, a mother, a writer, a thinker currently living in Paris. I had so little relation to her story, hardly any identification at all, that it radically reminded me to value my own experience. I am rarely called ma'am. I am not in a long term relationship and I have never been married. I don't forget little things like the writer describes. I have no children. I teach 15 fitness classes a week in New York City and am in excellent shape. I am a writer. I am an actor. I have not settled and there are no plans here to ride out the rest of life living only in response to what I have created during the last 40. In other words, I am constantly changing, evolving, seeking, living MY life. I am humbled enough to know I still have plenty of things to learn, and wise enough to know how much I have deserving gratitude.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you have truly defeated age.  ~Sophia Loren

I never wanted to be a self-help author, a life coach, a wellness mafia guru, a fitness celeb, or anything in that box. I wanted to be an actor and a writer. But life has a weird way of GREENLIGHTING what it wants to for you, so I have spent the last ten years succeeding in the fitness/wellness industry, first as an instructor, then as a writer posting blog content before it was branding, next as a group fitness manager for 3 1/2 years, and now expanding into the boutique side of the industry...essentially doing ALL I CAN in and out of the room to make people's lives healthier, happier, sweatier and more fit. I may not make six figures but I have more blessings than I can count from this journey.

I was doing the actual work before the dance migrated to social. At its best, social media is content production and creativity for the masses. Expression. At its worse,  you're a leader because you look cute in a filtered bathroom selfie or sexy in a posed photo shoot? You're a success because you look the part? You go to the head of the class because of what exactly? I have to say, some of the BEST teachers I know and have managed did not have big social media presences. They have astounding skill and motivation capabilities in the room, and speaking of rooms they can pack one at 3 in the morning on any given day. 

My concern with the virtual reality bubble is that inside people are what they project, not necessarily what they are...and from these visuals become Influencers. Inspiration portals. Community builders. Fashion, lifestyle, beauty, all merged and morphed with narratives and tales for whose benefit? Popularity contests gone wild. Winner takes all the Followers. 

This is not to detract from ALL OF THE POSITIVE aspects of social media across industries.If I sound one-sided, I promise you I am not. There is beauty, power, advocacy, GOOD WORK and plenty of WONDER in the apps, and I am here for it now. I have a lot of respect for people across industries who have created EXCEPTIONAL online social media brands and presence.  I see the skill.

But because of my age, I know what life was like in the 1980s and 1990s B.S. (Before Social) and now I know what it's like in the 2000s A.S. I have fun on Instagram but I also think back to a time where it didn't exist and I SAVOR THOSE MEMORIES. It was beautiful to take a photo on a camera then wait for the photos to be developed. :) Scrapbooks. Hard copies. Paper. Writing.

And maybe that is what this post comes back to, for after all isn't writing and reading at risk of becoming a lost art? Last night while READING an article in The New Yorker, I noticed an option to have the article read to me. What?? So I pressed play and this automaton-sounding voice started and sure enough, was reading the article word for word. I got a slight chill. Please don't let me lose that feeling I savor when curling up with a long-form article, or a book for that matter (of which I read far less than ever before in my life). Please do not let me mistaken an Instagram or Facebook update for writing. Please do not let me lose my love of craft. My love of THIS CRAFT, of stringing words together and finding paths into deeper caverns and recesses of my mind and heart.

Please do not let me lose my identity. 

 



 

Squarespace has requested I "Write here" sooo, shall do. 

My last blog post was in May of 2017. I think it is mission critical for me to look under a few rocks today. Examining what is not so much a case of writer's block, as writer's avoidance. A dance away from a habit that used to bring me life. (I apologize in advance for what could be a very boring post for you to read, but an illuminating one for me to write.)

I started blogging before many people were blogging. My platform was "Blogger / Blogspot," the font settings and layout looked like they belonged on a cereal box, and when my mom read my work she expressed mild exasperation at what I was putting out there on the internet (eating disorder recovery stories, dating nightmares, deep feelings, oh my!).

I promised her it was tame compared to where things were headed. It was 2009, eight years ago, when I was 32.  I was right.

The pull I felt to write in my 30s was similar to the pull I felt to read my heart out in my 20s. As I recall, reading saved my life. I had started college majoring in biology and pre-med. After developing an eating disorder and major depression with enough anxiety to power a small plane, I ultimately found refuge in writers who somehow triumphed over darkness. Give me all the identity politics, stories of overcoming adversity, and tales about survival that cut straight to the core. Give me the darkly funny. 

When it came to writing, I never really thought of myself as one even though I was doing it to pretty positive effect once I left the orgo lab behind. I would pull essays out of me that literally felt like they passed through me without effort. I started to write poems, short stories and eventually monologues, then I started to perform those. In the early 2000s. Before all shit went onto the internet.

Into my 30s I went, and with this blogging platform I was taking all sorts of risks without the backing of a publisher. I never sought to build an audience or land a book deal. I just wrote what I needed to express at the time , even as I did not understand WHY I needed to express myself to strangers. I never pulled mass numbers and page views, but I did get into the thousands, which felt pretty good. Then the personal emails came and I felt so grateful my words were landing. I had a very loyal old lady reader from Florida. We never met but she loved my blog. Said I reminded her of her daughter, so she emailed me from time to time to make sure I was OK and tell me about her husband who had died. I wonder if she is OK now, it's been years.

I tried to steer clear of the kind of writing that would sound like life coaching. That said, I give a good pep talk and eventually posted to inspire, to motivate, to heal. With a side hustle in fitness, it became something of an extension of that work, too. Looking back, I know why that did not grow bigger: I was still struggling with my own mental health and eating disorder. I didn't want to pressure myself to be a shining example of an evolved woman, someone to emulate, nor did I really want to deep dive and share about my battles or "problems" that in my 30s had left me ashamed. I was kind of in the middle. I didn't feel well enough to lead or courageous enough to share it all. 

Maybe if I embraced that middle and written from there, it would have moved my own recovery and evolution along sooner. 

I got extremely lucky one night in February 2011. I had just completed my first short play called Suspended, which was staged at the Richmond Shepard Theater New Works Festival. The theater was on 2nd Avenue in the 20s, and true to form I had left my prop bag stashed backstage for at least a month after the show closed. One winter night, I (finally) went back to get my bag of costumes and props. In the lobby stood a beautiful and VERY FIT woman selling tickets to her show, which was starting in half an hour. Her name was Adyana and she talked up this collection of short plays, all original, you'l laugh you'll cry, I had to stay! I did. 

After witnessing the work of Ticket 2 Eternity Productions, I later joined that theater company and ended up finding refuge in writing and performing in plays.  Those years were excelllllent for my writer, and not only because Adyana would call (or email) and ask me to write plays, but because I had this sweet, tight-but-not-too-tightly-knit-group of theater artists, many of whom also shared my growing commitment to fitness and health. I had a little bubble inside which I could take a good amount of risks with my work. Feeling safe is everything for a creative.

I started to prefer writing fiction, the kind of plays that were spinning my own true tales with new ones that my imagination generated, sometimes in my sleep. I started to find my voice as an actor, too, great moments with my comedy, poignant ones expressing raw vulnerability, the steps in the direction of my truest expression. I felt very good about what I was doing, until something changed. 

*I am writing this very stream-of-consciousness post without editing and may ultimately revise, but here is my theory: Instagram and Facebook, both its insane increase in popularity and my response (join, engage, share, update, post, comment, delete, watch, sit back but do NOT relax while watching the timelines of other people's lives) destroyed my writer.

Now, I am quite brainy by nature and can get a bit intricate. In this case, I will keep it simple. ONE: It has pulled my focus. TWO: It has filled me with intense emotions ranging from joy and love to envy and self pity, none of which I have used to further my writing. THREE: It has actually pulled my voice. I've given my voice to updates and other social media experiments that would normally be for either my old blog post or a character I was writing. FOUR: It has shaping how we think, communicate, and ultimately, connect. So much to the extent that I feel stifled and often feel I can't quite hear myself. I hear the cultural social media conversations. FIVE: It often fills my brainspace up. What used to be a vacuum for ideas now feels like a stuffed treasure chest of toys that aren't even mine.

All of this compounded with the theater company I was in disbanding (for good reason, life goes on and love you T2E!), my day job of the last three and a half years ultimately taking over my life (but no longer since my recent resignation) and more deeply, a fear of continuing to write the work that is most personal, meaningful, has left me to abandon my craft. My sweet, beautiful, profound, often shockingly illuminating craft. The craft that means the most to me (and grandmas in Florida) but also to some of you, and potentially, more of you if I actually continue.

So that is today's arrival. I can cry for lost time. I do. I am. I suppose we all have moments where we wonder why we wasted so many that came before, and then question if we have the strength to go forward. For me, writing is life or death. Without it, I shrivel into myself and my thoughts become what feel like boomerangs. When I write, they feel more like arrows and when I REALLY write, those arrows start to find targets. 

There are so many matters of the heart. My journey has brought me into my 40s. I actually feel so much shame writing that, still, as if I am supposed to be younger and did something wrong by aging. What a ridiculous thought, it's sooo, oh man, it's just ridiculous. Dear World, I am sorry I hit 40 and botox is still cost prohibitive for me and my fair, freckled skin. I am sorry I can't afford Cryogenics (is that what it's called?) and I am REALLY sorry I don't yet have 20K followers on Instagram, a hot husband, or adorbs child. I haven't accrued enough milestones. I didn't peak like I thought I would. That is the apology my Ego thinks it owes the world. And this, this is why I have a spiritual practice, amazing friends, a program of recovery and therapy. :)

It is also why I write. 

Whenever I feel thought trains like that leave the station, I come back to myself and the written word, in all its anonymity, from the depths of INNER spaces, to the place that is home. My voice doesn't age. It matures. My spirit doesn't wrinkle as I write. It expands like a fucking chia pet. My heart KNOWS from its depth that I don't owe anyone an apology for anything. It also knows the importance of love and connection, which, when I settle down and settle in I could feel against the backdrop of my solitude.

I come back to myself and the written word for me. 

We are constantly negotiating relationships to ourselves and others, figuring out what feels safe to share. How much. How soon. We run when things get close and I am certain the times I've avoided the page has to do with fear of being seen. It almost always does. It is a risk we take again and again, this revealing who we really are to anyone besides ourself. For me, it still feels like the truest forms of intimacy come from the oldest school of ways. Pen to paper. Eye to eye. Heart to heart. #unfiltered

Thank you for reading. xo, LBD 

An addendum: There are many VALUABLE things about being on social and I will discuss that at another time. I'm not just saying that, I really will discuss it and I really do love some of what happens in the vortex that is social media connecting!! You can follow me on Instagram @lindsaybdavis__ where I am having a LOT of fun with you dropping inspirational F bombs, making dance videos, singing and Boomeranging with my dog, Charlie. He's on Insta too @cedinnyc but it's not disrupting his commitment to fetch.

Saying Goodbye to My 30s

I suppose if I am going to pause and take a moment to unleash my writing voice after months of stifling, now is a good time. 

It is 3:45PM on May 27, 2017 and tomorrow morning I turn 40.

There is soccer on the tele (an MLS game between Seattle and Portland), my dog by my side (Charlie, who is reacting to my spending the last 24 hours at home by creating as little space between us as possible as if to say, FINALLY), and beautiful flowers on the coffee table from one of my favorite people on earth (Hi, Auntie D). 

The living room is silent. I hear nothing but the rumble of a refrigerator. I have a lovely roommate now, a rather odd development after living on my own for the last 12ish years, and she is gone for the weekend. My neighborhood for the last 6 years (after a brief, 6 mos stint on the UES) is Chelsea. It will be Chelsea until the end of June, when my sublet ends and I choose not to take over the lease. Next steps: TBD.

It would be not only impossible but unfair to start running through my 30s for the high and low lights. This only sets me up for some kind of judgmental assessment, and I am already judgy enough about my own life on a daily basis. It already feels like New Year's Eve and Erev Yom Kippur, so consumed am I by desire for a fresh start and need for atonement. 

I prefer a more macro than micro look. They, my 30s, were surprisingly more difficult than I expected. I thought the 20s were supposed to be hard-ish but fun-heyyyyy, and your 30s that time when you come into your own, give fewer fucks, and see more things falling into place. This inevitably results in a happier, more evolved existence, yayyyyy 30s! I suppose I have some of that in my experience, but my 30s were also shaky and rumbly, with dramatic stops and starts. My 30s were not romantic. They were not lavish. My 30s had so much effort, I am actually exhausted looking back on what I did and how I did it. It also had energetic and spiritual efforts, like the ones to overcome deep insecurities and let go of self harming behaviors. There were many days I took zero steps in the direction of my dreams because I felt so unworthy and many moments I spent in the shadows.

That said and true to my Gemini nature, my 30s also bred deeper confidence and courage, many steps in the direction of my dreams. I did. Do. A LOT. A lot of acting, a lot of writing, a lot of fitness, service, light worker work, dreamy cool shit, a lot of risky new steps, a lot of WORK. I have worked. I do not know how you do it, leisure set. I came of age doing things not posting from an appearance of doing things. The only influencing I did involved the people directly exposed to my work. My 30s were absolutely my coming of age in the age of social media. (I would've buckled up for that at 29 if I knew it was coming like the hurricane it did, hashtag people are legit in relationships with their phones.)

My 30s were the age of Obama, of mostly peace. After the Bush Era it was a time to feel prouder being an American. Then, on the precipice of seeing a WOMAN become president, I thought this could lead to some changes. Ones that would align even more with my politics and beliefs, that would personally at least partially make up for the times I was overlooked due to sexism and mistreated due to sexual harassment in the workplace.  And what woman would want to turn 40 while single and under a Trump Administration? 

What's that saying about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I am on the doorstep of my 40s home about to knock and be let in. Lately, it has felt like a rainy night, 39, but on the bright side it feels like there is something in 40 that will shelter me from what I've been going through. A relief. I made it. I did it. The first 40 years of my life, done! Aced? Not quite. 99th percentile. Uh-uh. Prom Queen? That was a longgggggg time ago. The old paradigm of judging success / failure like how I grew up clearly out dated, and finally retired.

In my 30s I remained vulnerable. I still believe I have the plague of caring too much and being so sensitive but it's better than being hard. True to my Gemini nature I could be at once incredibly strong (to the point of people never thinking I need help) but also easily hurt and disappointed. Maybe the house of 40 is the place where even less fucks are given, you come more into your own, and even more falls into place. Maybe there is more happiness and greater evolution. I hope there is more fun, more leisure :) and more LOVE. I pray there is not bitterness and cynicism from loss and disappointment. When I have flirted with that, I learned quickly it is not a good look.

There will be no hiding my age from people, because I think it reinforces a very DANGEROUS and TOXIC element of our culture -- the one that affirms women are better younger, so you better hide that number. Those of you who know me personally know I am capable of very hearty FUCK YOUs, well directed and expressed with love, so if I can direct one in this post anywhere it is towards that particular cultural disease. On a very superficial level, a woman is not better than another woman if her skin looks less lined. Jeez. Maybe she is wealthier and can afford all the work, maybe her genetics predispose her to more youthful appearances, maybe she stayed out of the sun while I was running around playing sports, on beaches, sweating, who knows. But if my value is connected to anything these days it's not how I look, but who I am. 

At 39 I do not have a husband, I do not have a child (except Charlie, who is a dog technically), I do not have much in the way of financial wealth, and my career has a lot of hyphens. None of these are bad things, necessarily, but they are all unexpected. I am surprised, as I've written before, how things are going (not how they turned out, since 40 is not a finish line) and I remain open to growth. 

One other thing to address before I close is my spiritual life. My 30s saw a lot in the way of self discovery and exploration of Divine Source through meditation, yoga, 12 step work, retreats, seminars, reading and writing. What I realize now is that turning 40 has actually been a spiritual experience. I have had breakdowns of egoic thinking, openings into my depths. I saw this coming from the time I turned 39 #foresight. I have had dreams and even sensed certain energies over the last few weeks which, without sounding too woo woo, have felt like Angels guiding me into this next phase of my life (apols to the portion of my readership I just lost). I have felt the STRONG presence of a higher power reaching out to me in my darkest times and allowing me the support I needed to stay in the darkness until I felt ready to come out. I have looked up from the concrete, garbage, rat-infested streets of Manhattan (still love ya) through the trees and up past the tallest buildings of downtown to see a STRONG GEMINI Super moon, and I have felt its energy. I have always felt like a throwback, like a gypsy soul in a Long Island Jewish girls' body, Stevie Nicks with leather and lace (and tambourine) or Madonna with cones (and occasionally, a guitar, yeah Madge) my spirit animals. I have never felt like me, which sounds like a funny and odd thing to write. I have always felt like my insides did not match my outsides but in this arrival at the doorstep of 40, I FINALLY gave myself permission to be exactly who I am these last few months, even if at times a very sad LBD. You may or may not have noticed, but I did and that is all who really matters. 

I am coming out to the other side. I have joy in my life and love in my heart. I have love for the work I do and for the people in my life. I will determine my next steps. I will determine what I can determine, and roll with the punches of the Universe. I will also open up to more gifts from the Universe, both by appreciating the ones already bestowed upon me and being willing to receive more. I will let desires come through. I will absolutely reconnect with my writing voice, I WAS SO BLOCKED AND HIDING. I will continue to do my best to enjoy the moments and weather the challenges that are part of life, part of the agreement we make to be here on this planet for a brief period of time. I know this doesn't sound very sexy. I don't have a sexy selfie for you either (for that @lbdactor on Insta).