At this weekend’s horror/paranormal convention here in Kentucky, an older white- haired gentleman with a big smile kept coming by my table. I later found out that his name is Bill.
Each time he stopped by, Bill would lean in and tell me something he liked about my dad’s movies in a Kentucky accent so thick that I had to lean right back in to understand him. Read More
Last week, my friend Karen was looking at my Instagram feed and asked, "What's with all the flowers?"
What IS with all the flowers? I found myself wondering. Surely there are other things that will strike my eye, I thought.
So, for the past seven days, every morning and evening as I walked, I found myself looking for other things to photograph. But all I ended up taking pictures of were flowers.
I had to ask myself why. Read More
Last week, I was invited to give a talk at the Ethical Society of St Louis on the topic of desire.
Desire? I thought. When the world is falling apart, they want me to talk about desire?
And then I found this. . . Read More
Today is Gay Pride weekend in many parts of the world. So I wanted to share two stories from the early days of Gay Pride that have always brought me joy! Read More
When we are little kids, we are drawn to grownups who haven’t lost their capacity for childlike wonder and enthusiasm. That enthusiasm and our desire to connect with it means that what we learn most easily is what our parents are most enthusiastic about — be it fly fishing or football, baking or Broadway shows. Those things we learned from that place of easy joy are the things we will always hold closest to our hearts. Read More
Last week, my friend Greg and I drove the fabled Alaskan Highway. It took us six days to drive from Portland, Oregon, to Anchorage, Alaska.
This past Wednesday morning, I found myself back at the very place this blog began -- the rose garden in front of the Santa Barbara mission. Read More
When my dad visited Europe for the first time in 1928, he was just seventeen years old. Although overjoyed to be on a great adventure in Europe, he missed his beloved mother so much that he stood on the shores of the Netherlands and tried out something they had both heard about -- telepathic connection. Read More
As a child, it was my mother who taught me "right" from "wrong" by putting the literal fear of God into me, and being the gatekeeper to what was good and permissible and what was not. As a child, though I bridled agains her will, it was often just easier to do it her way . . . for both my father and for me.
I was a child of immense enthusiasms. The ones she approved were usually the ones that most resembled her own. The ones she did not -- the messy ones, the inexplicable ones, the ones that smacked too much of privilege -- those became our battlegrounds. But my greatest enthusiasm -- my love for my father -- was the one enthusiasm we both fully shared. Read More
Over these past three years, I have shared my various joy practices here in a variety of ways, but it has always been the honest truthtelling that has resonated most for all of us. So that's what I'm going back to. . .My weekly blog just honestly sharing where I'm at, in the hopes that my words and my experience will land where they need to for anyone else who needs them. So while this website still has access to everything that I've posted these past three years, the focus going forward will be one weekly blog. I've rebuilt this website to reflect that. I hope you enjoy it. You see, I realized that's what I've been missing. Our weekly "conversations" about heart, joy, love, life, struggle, redemption, learning, living, being, becoming. Read More
Studies have shown that 85 - 90% of what we spend our lives fearing NEVER comes to pass.
Let me say that again: The VAST MAJORITY of the things we worry about never transpire.
And yet, we spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about these imaginary disasters. And when we worry, we behave and feel and live like the things we fear ARE going to happen. Read More
True confessions: For the past four months, I was struggling with my daily practice of joy. It felt flat. It felt rote. It felt empty. It felt fruitless. I showed up. I did it. I walked Allie. I photographed beauty. I prayed. I remembered to be grateful. I connected with friends. But everything felt flat. Friends suggested I might be depressed. I prayed about that, too. Read More
I think that most of us here in America have felt both numb and hopeful this past week. Numb with grief that we are facing yet another horrific aftermath of another horrific school shooting. But also hopeful that these brave young people are speaking out and being heard about the need for something, anything, to change.
Although I am deeply encouraged by these young people, nonetheless I am finding it hard to muster up much joy this week, let alone write about it. In every conversation I have with my fellow adults, none of us know what to do or say or hope. We filter every idea through the lens of history and wonder whether anything will ever change. But underneath all the voices in my head screaming out doubt and fear, there is a glimmer of light Read More
I have been thinking a lot about the word presence lately.
I’ve been thinking about presence because I realize that I spend far too much of my life not being present right where I am. Read More
Of course, we all need to make a living, and making a living doing something we love is the ultimate goal. But how can we be paid to do something we love without losing the Love in the process?
This is what I have been thinking about. . .and this is why I keep hearing: There is no finish line. Read More
I have been reading a lot about the latest health crisis in the Western world — the epidemic of loneliness. Despite being more technologically advanced than ever before, with much of the world now digitally connected, we have paradoxically become more and more isolated as individuals. This endemic loneliness is perhaps felt most keenly by people who rely on social media and technology instead of face-to-face interaction as their primary form of connection. In my life on the road, I have become one of those people. Read More
It has been one of those mornings, in one of those weeks, in one of those months, in one of those l-on-n-g stretches of times when everything feels like a challenge.
Fortunately, if we've been alive long enough, we come to learn that during times like this -- when almost every single thing feels like a difficult life lesson -- we must trust in the process, no matter how long and winding and precipitous it may feel. Knowing that we are being taught EXACTLY what we need to learn. I am shown that over and over again. . . Read More
Last month, my dear friends at the Bill Diamond Studios invited me to come up and record some of my thoughts about my upcoming book, The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self, which will be out next month on Valentine's Day. Read More
“Who’ll be my role model now that my role model is gone?” - Paul Simon
I grew up in a decade in which young people distrusted anyone over thirty. I grew up with a president vilified by much of America. I grew up in a town where people cursed and lied and hid secrets in broad daylight.
I grew up on the back lots of movie studios where the wholesome television shows like The Waltons and Happy Days were filmed. I knew those shows were make-believe, and that the war protesters and bra burners I saw on television were the real America. But despite growing up surrounded by all that paradox, I was still brought up to believe in the basic moral compass of our country and the decency and goodness of every single human being. Read More
Sometimes I feel like I have lived the American Dream in reverse. I grew up as the daughter of a movie star in a 9,000 square foot Spanish mansion and now I am a 55-year-old intentionally homeless woman trying to recreate her life and career. Read More