Saturday, March 24, 2012
My only goal in life is to be happy. True story. And over the past few months I'd say I've exceeded this goal by being exceedingly happy; happier than I have ever been for longer than I thought possible. It's been a long time coming and so many amazing things have been flowing to me as a result.
Happiness is my ultimate goal because I think that all the other things that make life wonderful just naturally flow from consistently feeling great about yourself and your life. It's really that simple, in theory, but living it can be quite a challenge for most of us.
Although you wouldn't believe it based on the people around you, being unhappy and unfulfilled is not normal. It means something is off and we need to realign with ourselves and the things that bring us joy if we are to return to what was effortless as a child. Children always know what's up. They are in tune with who they are, respond appropriately when something is wrong, and are happy for no reason. That's normal. That's healthy. That's our natural state. And that's what life is like for me 99% of the time and it freaking rocks.
HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED
As mentioned in previous posts, I finally fell in love with myself in January of this year and since then nothing has been the same. It's now April and things just keep getting better. I really believe this is how things are meant to be, but it took me a long time to get to this point because I was so accustomed to the emotional pain I had grown up with. Over the years however, through facing and healing myself inwardly, I experienced less and less pain and more and more moments of peace and happiness because I peeled away the layers that prevented me from seeing myself clearly. Now the scale has finally tipped for good and joy is the new standard in Mandyland.
I think that when you are consciously and consistently doing your inner work, you build up a reserve of healed moments that will, over time, lead to extended periods of inner peace and happiness. The more you peel away the layers that cover up the real you, the lighter you feel and the happier you are. And those dark times, should they come again, will not be able to remain active for long, if at all.
HAPPINESS & INNER PEACE ARE AVAILABLE TO US ALL
Happiness and inner peace are states of being readily available to all of us when we are ready to reclaim them. Let us remember that they weren't always so foreign to us. We used to be happy all the time. We are born to be, and if we are not, well then it is our job to figure out how to fix that. Believing lies we have told ourselves about who we are tends to strip us of our ability to enjoy life, but what I have learned is that happiness and inner peace is a choice. To allow your past or others to rob you of your right to a great life is both delusional and a waste of your potential. It's your job to liberate yourself from the box you've put yourself in. No one else can do this but you.
You can be happy again. You deserve a fresh start. Pick any moment and begin from there. My new beginning began on January 3rd, 2012. Sure we are reborn in every moment, this is true, but for each of us there are certain moments, days or experiences that mark us in a profound way. Seeing myself as beautiful, both inside and out, was the beginning of my new life that is now filled with even more love, beauty, wealth, peace and joy than I had previously allowed myself. The remaining blocks finally dissolved and now I feel more capable than ever to have everything I've ever wanted.
I honestly feel like a new person this year, or rather, the me I was born to be. The me I've always been underneath my insecurities, fears, depressions and anger. This is the real Mandy, and I feel so blessed to be, know, and love her. Every day is such a treat that begins and ends well for the most part, and I have not had a major down day in months which is absolutely amazing considering that depression and suicidal thoughts were such a regular experience for me.
What I especially love is how relaxed I feel about life overall. Feeling good enough as I am is a pretty new experience and it has taken the edge off of everything. I trust life completely and am more than happy to just float day to day and moment to moment without much thought of the future. I still have my dreams (like being in music videos) but nothing is more important to me than feeling wonderful as often as I can. Paige and I get along sooooo much better than we have in years, money keeps flowing to me without much effort, and my nails remain unbitten. That's 4 months now which is a record for me! Woohoo!
Even a few weeks ago, I was faced with a situation that was very familiar to me and I had two choices: do what I did for years (ensuring two or three days of emotional disruption that inevitably follow) or say no to playing Russian roulette with my heart. To my surprise, I chose door #2 and I felt so proud. My well-being is my top priority and this means that I no longer try to get love from toxic people. I am my own source of love, affirmation and support now and therefore, I am no longer seeking these things through the kinds of relationships that mirrored the dynamics I grew up with. I feel so free.
THIS MOMENT WILL TAKE YOU THERE
When you feel good, you can discern more quickly all those things and people who don't feel good to you. But when you are stuck in a dark place it can be quite difficult to navigate this area because you are already compromised and it's easy to make choices that take you further away from what you truly want. If that's you right now, don't lose heart. No matter where you are at in this moment or what you've been through in the past, you are always moving in the direction of healing and freedom from those things and people that weigh you down. It may not feel like it, but every moment is serving you and its purpose is to move you towards your highest good.
You cannot fuck this up. Ever. I promise. Every thought, word and action (misaligned as it may feel) is bringing you closer into alignment. And yes, most of us choose to learn and grow through pain, but it is not necessary for growth. If you really want to shake things up you could experiment with pain-free living, where every day really does feel like a wonderful adventure instead of a dreaded reality. It's always up to you. And the moment you are truly ready for this way of life, there will be no turning back. When you're truly content with who you are, the world is yours. Every bit of it. When you are in alignment with your true power (your spiritual power that is), then you have access to all the good you desire on every level.
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
I already know more than enough about the dance of darkness, and I appreciate all it has taught me over the years. I am especially grateful for all the hearts I was able to touch through my openness about the things I struggled with in life. It made the pain worth it, as does the joy I feel now.
It feels amazing to be this happy and I have no desire to return to weekends of crying over someone, or moments of hating on myself, or fighting with the kid over stupid shit. I love the 'new' me and this 'new' life so much that I will do what I must in order to have it remain a lifestyle instead of just a fleeting experience.
What's great is that I don't feel like need to try to be happy. My only job is to appreciate and love myself exactly as I am, as often as I can, and the rest just takes care of itself:) Same goes for you.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I live in a dream world that my daughter thinks is absurd. She says I'm out of touch with reality and I thank goddess that I am. If it wasn't for my mystical nature I would have given up on life long ago, and I imagine I am not the only artist who feels this way. In an effort to cope with the world, we create and enter other realms that serve as our true home. Without our arbitrary north star, we can remain shattered and lost forever.
The world needs more dreamers to dream of things that never were. They are the pillars of life that give us a taste of the more that exists beyond fear and convention. Dreamers have a way of bringing out the mystical in everyone; inspiring deeper thoughts, reflective conversations and opportunities to step out of the mundane. They show you what it means to live on the other side of fear, where all the magic lies, by riding the razor's edge and taking the jump before thought kicks in.
To others we may look strange but they are captivated nonetheless. There is something quite delicious about a person who is turned on and tuned into life. It's a rare art that most people have yet to master.
My efforts may come to naught, but I'd rather see and experience life as I want it to be than to live the limited reality that others are so accustomed to. Where every day basically mirrors the one before, and any hope for a brighter tomorrow lies in the dream of winning the lottery. No thanks. I'll pass.
Let me be fully immersed in the moments while steadily moving towards my goals (lofty as they are), and should none of them come to fruition, well at least I was courageous enough to try. If this is the only day and only moment I've got, I can die knowing that I dared to dream.
Sometimes I end up in wonderful places, sometimes I crash and burn, but the day I stop following my impulses is the day I end up like them. I can't even think of a worse fate.
I may look like a fool to those without big enough balls to follow their heart's desire, but I wouldn't trade my inner and creative freedom for their illusion of external security on this day or any day.
They are caged while I am free. And I'm the foolish one?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Today I'm feeling quite inspired with lots to say and the result was a pretty long status update on Facebook that I would like to elaborate on without mincing words. Here's what I wrote this morning (I will split it into paragraphs for an easier read) followed by some other goodies:
"So excited about my life, my dreams and all the possibilities. I feel unlimited and inspired and ready to take on the world!:) Every hour feels like a day and every day feels like a lifetime to me so I don't waste any of those precious moments on shit that won't inevitably take me where I want to go.
My biggest dream is coming to fruition now because I finally stopped feeling undeserving of it, and I look forward to standing in the midst of it and be able to say, 'This is what I have wanted and been moving towards all my life'. It's never too late. We are always right on time.
We are all given the same 24hrs each day to work with so how are you using yours? Every hour and day not spent on creating the life of your dreams is an hour and day you will never get back so deal with the shit that's holding you back and move on to the life you want and deserve. Dream as big as you can and devote your life to making it a reality.
You owe it to the world to be happy and fulfilled on every level. You can change it all right now no matter what has happened before. You might be like, 'But...but..but..'. Well I don't want to hear it. News Flash: we all have shit to deal with and 99% of us have shitty pasts. None of us feel good enough. Most of us hate ourselves. So what. That's everyone's story. Welcome to life. Now recreate it.
Do what you need to do to claim what's yours. True success is born of the hell we have endured and overcome so man up, do your inner work and go after the things you want even though it's terrifying, even though you don't feel worthy yet, even though you believe you're too this and too that. It's all bullshit anyways because you're good enough as you are right now and you are meant to have the dreams you desire.
You and your distorted beliefs are the only thing holding you back from what you want. You can't blame circumstances are other people for the way your life sucks because you are 100% responsible for every bit of your experience and the world is filled with people who have been through just as much, if not more than you, and they have found a way to rise above it. You can too.
Don't be like the masses who are content with mediocrity, misery and poverty consciousness. Wake up because this is YOUR life and every hour matters more than you think. The moments just keep collecting until we're gone so use them wisely while you've got them, folks. Quit believing you have all the time in the world. You don't. You only have this moment and you're never guaranteed the next. LIVE YOUR LIFE NOW."
Phew! I had fully intended to write an update but it turned into a mini novel;) It all felt quite urgent to express and afterwards my bestie and I had a fabulous and lengthy chat about it (as well as a number of other things that I think are quite relevant to those on the sacred path), so I would like to share some additional thoughts regarding the process of transforming yourself and your life. Here we go, hotties!
1. The world is fucked, as are most of the people in it.
Put in a less harsh and more spiritually centered way, most of us are completely out of alignment with who we really are and the result is pain, suffering, violence, addictions and other forms of destruction. We are bred into insanity and then spend our lives feeling like we're going crazy because it IS insane and crazy out there (and consequently in here) and very few of us have healthy role models to follow; least of all society and the warped messages it sends.
So if you feel like you might be nuts, I'd like to reassure you that you are responding quite appropriately to the fuckery that surrounds you on a daily basis. Stop blaming yourself for all the symptoms of your misalignment (depression, addiction, anxiety, weight issues etc) and know that you are not to blame for the ways you need to cope with what you've been raised into. It's not your fault. It's how you're trying to survive until you find a better way and that's ok. Easy does it, hot stuff. Being sane and balanced in a world gone mad is one of the most difficult tasks for any of us. So if you need support to get through each day, get it. That might mean counselling, supportive friendships, classes, medication, art therapy, exercise, adequate sleep or the million other things that can help you along your path.
2. It's easier to play a victim than it is to take responsibility for ourselves and our life.
So when I say don't blame yourself, it's not the go ahead to start blaming everyone else for all the ways you're suffering. That's not healthy either. Too many of us blame society, our families, our exes, our past, big corporations and/or the government for our plight in life but that's just a cop out and solves nothing. They aren't the ones thinking your thoughts or preventing you from succeeding in life. You are. You are not powerless at all and they these people or systems have no power over what goes on inside you. Many people have risen to greatness despite and because of all the negativity and repression that surrounded them. Be one of them.
3. Most people don't want to see you happy. Be happy anyways.
This makes sense when you think about all the people who hate their life, their job, their relationship or you. Your happiness would make any miserable person hate you even more. It's not personal; it's only natural. When I was depressed I thought every happy person was faking it and those stupid happy people drove me fucking nuts. I wanted to smack that stupid fake smile of their stupid happy face because I could not even imagine how anyone in the world could be that happy. I couldn't relate at all because I loathed myself every minute of the day. Joy was foreign to me, and definitely to my family, and I could not see beyond my own limited experience of life. I was only familiar with the dark side. My pain ran too deep to see much light.
I eventually got there (here...to the other side of pain) but it has been quite the journey to get here. Growing up, happiness was not tolerated for long because broken people can't stand when you're happier then they are. It makes them uncomfortable. In my family, my mom made sure I never stayed happy for long by criticizing me until I came down from the high of feeling good about any aspect of myself. I learned that lesson young and spent the rest of my life being just as critical to myself which made it really hard to appreciate my accomplishments and my being for years to come.
Depression, however, was always received well by my mom because she could relate to that 100%. She was always most loving to me when I was in emotional pain, but intolerant of any anger I displayed, and overly critical if I felt the least bit good.
I am not criticizing my mom for this because she did they best she could with what she was given, as did her mother and her mother's mother. I am sharing this to demonstrate what underlies the issue of others seeking to bring you down. It is never about you. It's about their own pain that they have yet to heal. It hurts them to see you happy because they have yet to find that happiness within. Your higher frequency really shakes them up but that is no reason to meet them at their level. You deserve to feel good no matter what and only you can make that happen. Be an example. They need it. We all do.
4. Martyrdom is so not hot.
I may ruffle a few feathers with this one but it needs to be said; especially to women. Martyrdom is so not hot. Serving others while neglecting yourself is not admirable at all. You belong right up there with everyone else, pretty lady. Pinky swear. Why have you deemed someone else more important than you? Why are you going broke for them to thrive? Why are you meeting their needs but ignoring your own? Why do they get to drain you and keep you up at night so that they can sleep soundly? That's just not right. Or healthy. You deserve better.
You deserve the kind of treatment you bestow upon others and if you're hoping and waiting for the day when someone will give it to you, you'll probably be waiting a really long time. Most martyrs are instinctively drawn to people who take advantage of them so you can't expect those same people to be there in the same way for you as you are for them. Most often they won`t be there when you need them. Sad, but true.
If you want to change that dynamic, you have to change yourself by setting new boundaries, putting yourself and your well-being at the top of your list, saying no, and deciding to hang out with people who actually care about your needs as much as their own. Easier said than done, I know, but people will only treat you the way you treat yourself.
No need to blame these parasites for all of their taking though because you taught them it was ok. Your over-giving and self-scrificing nature invited them in and perfectly demonstrated what you believe to be true: everyone else's needs are more important than yours.
The people around you cannot be faulted for acting in accordance with your beliefs, so if you're sick of feeling burnt out, resentful, used, undervalued, and taken for granted, you need an inner shift. You need to look within and ask yourself why you need to feel needed, why you feel the need to fix others, why you do not feel worthy of your own love, and why you can't say no to them and yes to yourself.
5. No one but you (and me) will give you permission to change something. Don`t let that stop you.
More often than not, the people around us are invested in us staying exactly where we are. Therefore, it`s up to you to make the decision to change even if others might throw a hissy fit because of it. Unless you have a really super and supportive partner, mother, father etc already, you will rarely hear someone you love say 'Sure, go change in a BIG way and I'll deal with it no problem!'. Change is uncomfortable for everyone and when you change it forces everyone around you to change as well to match the new you. Some people can do that without much fuss but some can`t handle it and that`s when there`s a split.
If you start feeling better about yourself than those around you are used to, it might make them feel insecure, threatened or scared. That`s natural because they have no idea what these new changes will mean for them and your relationship. It`s human nature to hang on to the way things were, even if there`s something better on the horizon, because we are all most comfortable with what`s familiar.
So let`s say you have been married for years and you have been overweight most of your life. Then one year you lose all the weight and feel way more energized, confident and happy. Maybe even happier then you`ve ever been because you get to wear all these new clothes in these new sizes and you feel like a different person or maybe you just feel like the person you were always meant to be.
You`d think your hubby would be totally happy for you and hot for this new version of the woman he adores, but sometimes that isn`t what happens. He might feel quite resistant to the new you because maybe he was struggling with weight too and feels shitty that now he is on his own. Or maybe he fears your increased confidence will attract more men and that maybe you`ll be tempted to leave him; something he might not have worried about in the past if you felt badly about yourself. So you may start to receive guilt trips, snide remarks or other things that might make you question if you did something wrong or that maybe you`re the one responsible for his feelings. You`re not. His issue, not yours.
If you`re a hottie who wants to be empowered, you are going to have to accept that many of the choices you make to better your life may not necessarily be supported by those around you unless they share the same goals. That is not a reason to stop growing.
Of course it doesn`t feel good when those we love don`t approve of something we do, but it feels even worse to live a life based on the desires and opinions of others. That is no life at all.
You`re here for you and to share your awesomeness with everyone else. You get to decide what you want and go after it. You don`t need their permission and you certainly don`t need mine. You just need a reason to want more for yourself, because once you do, you`ll get it.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A new chapter has begun in Mandyland I'm freaking pumped! I'm also backed up with words I haven't been able to express since our computer crashed over a month ago so this post will be a random collection of thoughts and updates instead of just one theme. I've been pretty low key in the public sphere over the past two months while I recharged my divalicious batteries so there's a helluva lot to share. Things like my BIGGEST dream EVER, the current Mandyland Mission, my next two book ideas, and why this chapter of my life is named Mandyland 2.0.
BUT FIRST, A LENGTHY PRELUDE
Last year was insanely busy in Mandyland and I loved it! I launched Sexpot Studio, did weekly Mandyland Radio shows, wrote weekly articles for my Mandyland column in Echo Weekly (my Claudia Day piece even made the cover!), got nominated for a Literary Award, launched www.mandylandrocks.com, won the Women Entrepreneurs Mastermind 5K Contest, wrote dozens of Mandyland Musings articles, launched Humanity Photography, and had a blast doing all of it! I pulled more allnighters than I thought was humanely possible but I was so happy to do it. It was an incredibly creative time for me and I wasn't going to miss out on any of it. I wanted to capture it all, and I did. Well maybe not ALL of it, as I'm sure I could have squeezed out a bit more had I not wasted time eating periodically. Damn our need for food!
Anyways, 2012 came and I felt like the world was mine. I had fresh ideas, energy to burn and ended up creating www.godsanddivas.com. My mind was filled with all the things I wanted to produce and accomplish in January (which was a lot) and I had BIG plans for GODS & DIVAS, The Poet & The Butterfly, and Mandyland itself. But despite my eagerness, and in the midst of all this activity (both mental and technological), something happened. A shift occurred that basically took me in the opposite direction of all these things.
I was at my bestie's house for a daytime visit to work on promotional pieces, and as usual, I had not slept the night before because I was up working online. My head hurt. I was cranky. I was exhausted. And my eyes burned. I couldn't focus properly when usually I focused like a laser. I was run down. But it wasn't until the following week during a Skype conversation with a business professional that I realized how much I needed to take a break; something I hadn't even wanted to do during the better part of 2011. I had been on a mission all year and I had achieved my goals. I had hoped to do the same in 2012, but the advice I was given was to focus on 1-3 projects, not on 10 or 12. I was told to take more breaks. To do less work (WHAT?!) and that was the hardest to even consider doing because I really do love working, like all the time, so why would I want to stop? I didn't, but my body sure needed a break, so I started to open up to the idea.
What followed from that conversation was completely unexpected and perfectly timed. I went offline more than I was on despite my mounting projects. Sleeping at night became my priority (and now it's the norm). I returned to my 3 walks a day (which I had done for years but had abandoned back when I was superglued to my computer). I puttered around the house, I cooked, I baked, and I became more available to others. I even began journalling every day-something I had done for most of my adult life up until last year.
I still had a ton of ideas for blogs, videos, radio, and my classes, but nothing made me want to do them. That was really new for me. To have an inspired idea and not make it public felt wrong. Like it was a dishonour to the energy that created it. But even when I tried to do a video (it was on relationships), the recorder wouldn't work properly. When I managed to do a radio show (on the same topic), I deleted it a few days after (something I have never done in my radio career) because it just didn't feel right to keep it up. And when I tried to write a blog (on a similar theme), my computer completely crashed.
You'd think I would have been frustrated, but I wasn't. I was grateful for the reprieve. I didn't want to actually engage with the world at large, but I also didn't want to withhold these new insights, so I felt torn. All the words that would have ended up on video, radio or in a blog, ended up in my journal. It still feels weird to me. I have grown so accustomed to sharing publicly that it seemed unfair somehow not to. Like isn't that why I'm here? To communicate? To inspire and enlighten and share my process so that others can benefit from it?
But even with the guilt of not doing the videos, radio shows or blogs as frequently as I once did, nothing could make me do them, and now without a computer, I felt the freedom to just let it all go.
If my computer crashed last year I just might have killed someone, but not this time. I have loved the space. The quiet. The downtime. The balance. I love the ritual of walking or biking to the library a few times a week to get online. I love having time to sleep. I love going for a ton of walks. I love laying in bed watching movies and I love not knowing or caring what the hell is going on in cyberspace. I am not missing out on a thing. I have gained a whole new world that I adore. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved last year and would not change a thing, but this chapter has its own beauty as well.
This 'downtime' (I use the term loosely because my downtime is not like most people's as I am quite diligent with my thoughts and I am deliberate with how I choose to spend each hour of the day) has brought me to a new sense of balance. I don't think I was out of balance last year (I don't care what anyone says) because I did precisely what was required of me each day. I am doing the same right now. Last year required a bazillion hours of online work to build the things I needed to build. Right now requires a ton of sleep, exercise and journalling.
And now that I have had a break from the projects that typically use up my time, I have decided that I'm ready to focus almost exclusively on my biggest dream yet; one that I have had for over 20 years now.
MY BIGGEST DREAM: STARRING IN VIDEOS
Ever since I was a teen, my dream has been to dance and be featured in R&B videos. You can read more about this in my 2010 post Writer By Nature; Dancer By Heart but here is the coles notes version: Being in videos was all I ever wanted, but I ended up a writer, mother and an entrepreneur. Insecurity and self-image issues prevented me from following my biggest dream but fate and my natural abilities led me to achieving many others. That's it in a nutshell.
When I discovered back in January that Life Rocks When You Don't Hate Yourself, I knew it was time to finally make my video dream a reality. Now that I have learned how to love myself as I am, I can move forward with confidence in this area that had previously been blocked through distorted beliefs.
I recently talked about this dream with one of my DIVAS while we were sharing our Creative Collages and I was open about my fear that maybe it's too late. Maybe I missed my chance 13 years ago when I had auditioned for a dance company in Toronto, got accepted, and never followed through with it because I felt I was too old (absolutely ridiculous) and too fat (something I have never been but felt I was up until this year) and not attractive enough (I believed most of my life that I was ugly-sad and true). Of course none of these things were true but my belief made them so and effectively kept me from doing what I most wanted to do.
My upbringing had a lot to do with my fucked up ideas about myself but all that really matters is that bit by bit and year by year I grew to believe these things less and less. Until one glorious day in January of this year when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the way to an interview and wept at the sheer beauty of my being (both inner and outer). I finally saw myself as others did and I instantly fell in love. That day has changed everything in my life...my relationship with money, my relationship with my daughter and most importantly, my relationship with myself.
So back to my ultimate dream. During our conversation, my DIVA reminded me of something I knew to be true for others so of course it would be true for me: it's all about divine timing. It was not time before now because I had to heal all the things inside me that have been preventing me from realizing this dream in the first place. Lack of self-love kept this dream at bay for all these years and the only remedy was to see myself clearly, lovingly and compassionately. That happened only this year; just two months ago, and now my world has opened up in ways that it could not have before. It's not too late, though I feared it might be. I want to believe it's the perfect time for me to do this instead of worrying I missed my chance so many years ago.
My DIVA also told me that maybe the perfect artist for me to collaborate with has not even come on the scene yet; something I had never even considered. Just because I want to be in videos doesn't mean I am willing to be in just any video. It would still have to be Mandyland all the way; something that felt right and amazing on every level.
CURRENT MANDYLAND MISSION: MEET THE WEEKND
Fast forward one week and I hear "High For This" on the radio and wonder who and what is THAT? I had never heard anything like it and I fell in love immediately. So I googled the title and up came a man I had never heard of, The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye. I read everything about him and listened to all his tracks and was just completely blown away by his gift. His method of marketing and promotion was also brilliant, giving his albums away for free on his website, and he has become the most well-known underground artist because of it. I have to meet him. I instinctively felt that this is the artist I have been waiting for. His is the video I want to be in because he is simply the best.
So I sent him an email with images attached, letting him know (without begging) that I would love to meet him, have him on Mandyland Radio and that I would also like to be considered for an upcoming video. The automated response I got told me the inbox was too full to receive more messages. No biggie, I'd need to find another way to contact him.
I decided that YouTube was the answer. Initially I was just going to do a vlog directed to him in the hopes he'd see it somehow, but then I thought 'What better way to reach a singer than through song?'. So I contacted my dear friend Christen Zuch who happens to have the most angelic voice I have ever heard, and I told her I just had to meet this man and would she help me to do that by singing a song to him on my behalf. After hearing his sexy voice she agreed and that day I rewrote the lyrics to his "High For This" track to make it a love letter from me called "Hard For This".
That was on Friday. Since then Christen has been mastering the song to mirror his style while I've been steadily pulling together the corresponding video made up of approximately 70 images that change every second or fourth beat. Christen and I are beyond excited and believe that something truly beautiful will come from this gift to him. Our hearts are in it and within a few weeks our efforts will be posted on YouTube with the hopes that he or someone he knows will come across it and reach out to me so that we can meet. Then, without begging, I only need one conversation to inspire him to feature me in one of his upcoming videos. That is my dream. If his was the only video I was ever in, I would be fulfilled. I would have realized a dream far greater than my original one because I had never considered our world would be graced with such greatness, and to be immersed in it creatively would be the highest honour.
The last time I felt this inspired and focused on a task was during the creation of The Poet & The Butterfly. Nothing but magic surrounded the process and that's how I feel about this. This is yet another labour of love that I feel blessed to be a part of. I have found the specific artist I want to meet and work with and I won't stop til I get it.
BOOK 1 & BOOK 2! OH MY!
So last night I got together with my beloved editor of The Poet & The Butterfly, Anna Fleet, to get creative and discuss a bunch of ideas I had floating around for my next project. Talk about 4 hours well spent! We narrowed the list down to two, both of which she thought I should do because I got so excited talking about them, and brainstormed the layout of each. I came home completely inspired and got straight to work. I now have an outline for both books (one is for men and one is for women) and each will have 20 short chapters that will help both men and women navigate the world of dating without settling for less than they deserve. The men's book is direct and humourous and the women's is direct and insightful. Both will contain my own personal experiences as well as dos and donts for each topic. Anna and I are totally pumped about working together again, and if all goes as planned, both ebooks will come out this year. Stay tuned!
I'd like to thank my Podcast King, Steve LeDuke, for coining the phrase Mandyland 2.0 after reading the Facebook uppdates I wrote recently:
"Noticing that I'm no longer drawn to the things that fueled me for years. I want to leave it all behind and start a brand new life. Dreaming new dreams now."
"A new MANDYLAND chapter is officially in the works now, folks! Today I got super clear on what I want to do next thanks to a fabulous and inspiring chat with my beloved bestie and it has nothing to do with writing, radio or classes:) I have no idea how long it will take to manifest but I've had this dream for over 20 years now and I'm finally ready to claim it. This year I prepare. Next year things go BOOM! Rock on."
Of course I was talking about my dream to be in videos and when Steve described this shift as Mandyland 2.0, I loved it! Here is why it resonated with me: I honestly feel like I'm being given a second chance at life, in the sense that I get to live the life I could not live while I was raising a child and working through all the inner garbage that needed cleaning up to make a great life for me and the kid.
Instead of being a rich and famous video dancer like I dreamed of becoming, I became a young mom whose mission it was to heal and transmute generations of dysfunction. I did not have the luxury of doing things 'just for fun' because my work felt quite serious and important. I was also depressed a lot, and I hated myself most of the time, so how was my dream to be in front of the camera going to happen when I hated seeing myself at all? It was only through my Sexpot Studio videos last year that I grew comfortable with myself in video form, and the only reason I made it that far was because sharing wisdom that I knew would benefit others trumped my insecurity about the way I thought I looked.
And so now, with a grown child and a healed sense of self, I feel like I get to do my life the way I would have done it had I been free of a shitty past (and the need to clear it) and the responsibility of being a parent. I have done the hardest work I will ever have to do and now it really is Mandyland 2.0 because this is my second chance at life; one that is based 100% on what I want and not on what was forced upon me to deal with.
So naturally, my first and ultimate goal is the videos. I will keep you all posted!
THE GREATEST TIME OF MY LIFE
These past 2 months have been just great and I am so relaxed and happy overall. I am free of intense self-hatred and that changes absolutely everything. It's nice to not feel depressed or feel like I'd rather be dead; both of which I experienced quite often for much of my life. I know some of you may not believe I could have felt that negatively about myself given the work that I do and the positivity I exude publicly, but just like an introverted and private actor who comes to life and lets it all out on screen, I too was able to access the very real part of myself that is wise, loving, happy and optimistic, despite all the rest, and project that outwardly. Both were true. None of us are all one way. We are a million ways all at once, and I sincerely believe that my truest self is who I am with my DIVAS, through my writings and through Facebook. There is a safety I feel with all three that allows me to be my highest self no matter what.
Thank you so much for reading my heart and I look forward to keeping you updated on all these Mandyland goodies that are in the process of being realized.