The Beautiful Me Project

When I sat down to my computer this morning, I did not know that I would be writing this entry. My excitement about TBM Project had dwindled when I realized two things: 1. While I do something everyday that makes me feel beautiful on the inside or out, often times that action is either so small that writing a blog about it seems silly (today I consciously didn’t give the finger to the guy who cut me off and nearly killed me on the freeway, instead I sent him a blessing) or often times, the action I took that day, I have already written about…how many times can I write about teaching S Factor? (Which is still the number 1 thing I do that makes me feel like I’m a rockstar, by the way).

Looking back over the past few months, however, all these ideas are now flooding back to me of episodes in my life that would make a fulfilling blog post. However, I seem to have gotten myself out of a habit of writing and low and behold, I have not written for several months. What is that saying “it takes 40 days to create a habit but only 3 to break it?? Or something? I’m not sure if anyone says that or not, but they should.

What also hasn’t helped me write a blog about feeling beautiful, has been my current state of being. The past month or so, I have been going through a hard time with facing where my life is at the moment. Or rather, the voices in my head (aka my ego) have been giving me a hard time about where my life is and I, though my Soul knows better, have been listening to them. I’m not sure listening is the right word, so much as wallowing in them and steeping myself in their negative and often cruel message about who I am and making it “true”.

This year I will be turning 34 and it is safe to say, that my life doesn’t quite look like what I had thought it would at this age when I was younger. There is no successful acting career, no amazing husband, no huge house with a big back-yard where my dogs can run…no dogs for that matter, and certainly no beautiful children. Instead, I find myself in a holding pattern at the moment with a move to San Francisco on the horizon, not enough money to hire movers, and too many questions about what I want to be when I grow up. And I have been feeling very much alone.

About two weeks ago, I had hit my wall, had a complete break-down about the state of my life and found myself with tears streaming down my face about the fact that I had no one to talk to about this. Except….I did.

I texted my friend Mikey, who is always up late and is also one of my best friends. He was at my house in 20 minutes. He held me as I snotted all over his shoulder about what a waste my life is and what a failure I am.

To which he replied something to the effect of “You are one of the most amazing people I have ever known…I don’t quite know what to say to you about all this.”

The truth is that there was nothing he needed to say….I just needed a friend to be there for me while I listened to all the venom my thoughts were spewing into my consciousness and I, in my pity party for one, decided to make “true”. Ironically, one of those thoughts was that I am alone. I think I even complained about how “alone” I am as my beautiful friend sat across from me, looking at me with nothing but compassion in his eyes.

It’s funny the things that we tell ourselves about who we  “are” and who we are “supposed to be”.  That night, I was “alone”, a “failure”, and had “wasted my life.” I’m pretty sure, if someone would have presented me with a bucket of big, fat, juicy worms…I would have considered eating them as my only option. (If you are a person who gets that reference, by the way, I heart you.)

Yes,it is true that I currently do not have as much money in my bank account as I would like or need to feel secure. And it is true that I am not in a committed, loving relationship with the person I’m going to start a family with. It’s true that I am about to uproot my life and move to a new city, where I currently do not have an apartment or a job (with the exception of teaching at the S-Factor in SF, though it is also true that I would not be able to support myself in the fashion that I would like just doing that) Also true I am contemplating a career change which would require me going back to school for another 4 years. But none of those things mean anything about me, other than what meaning I assign to them.

Just because these things are what’s going on in my life today, that doesn’t mean that they will always be this way. It doesn’t mean that the Universe hasn’t heard my order for the life that I wish to create and it isn’t therefore conspiring to help me create it. And in the meantime, it has become very clear to me that I need to ask myself a better question…namely: “What’s great about this?” With this simple question in mind, the brain automatically begins to search for answers to the question. So…here it goes:

Finances. This is an area many people are challenged by, so I’m going to tackle it first.

What’s great about not having enough money to feel secure?  First of all, I feel that deep down in my soul…this is temporary. And besides that, I currently am struggling with finances for two reasons. The first is that I’m not working full-time. However, as a result, I have a lot of free time to take care of  packing, to go take class myself, to meditate, to spend time with friends…and to write this blog. I’ve recently decreed Tuesdays a beach day, in fact. I may be broke, but damn it, I’m going to bask in the sunshine!

The second reason is that I made choices in my past that were not always smart about how I spend my money. And now I’m paying for it. I have lessons to learn and finances are my teacher. My eyes are opening and I have before me the opportunity to grow and to learn, and my current lack of funds is what is pushing me to become a more responsible adult.

I would also like to say that I am not a victim here. I chose a life where I get to do what I love. I teach dance. I work with an amazing human being with special needs and get to be a part of her loving and wonderful family. I make a difference in the lives of others. And while I have not found a way to support myself in the fashion I would like by doing these things yet, I am very aware that I am not willing to sacrifice my happiness to take a job that I feel sucks the life out of me. I’m not saying that these are my only two options, but what I am saying is that I’m not willing to settle and I’m still finding a way to balance the two.

Relationships: What’s great about not yet being in the committed and loving relationship that I desire?

I am very clear that I am in this position because, again, I am unwilling to settle for a relationship that doesn’t work for what I want in my life. By experiencing what I do not want, I become more clear about what I do want. I have learned to trust my instincts about the people I keep close to me and whether or not we can give each other what the other wants from a partner. I am no longer afraid to talk about what I want or what my needs are out of fear. Also, being single allows me to be selfish with my time, to watch whatever I want on tv and to starfish in my awesome bed…something I often think about as I get in it at night and sprawl all 5’9″ of me across it. When I do share a bed with the man I love, I’m certain there will a time, even if it is only a fleeting thought, when I think “I kinda miss laying diagonally across this thing and not having to worry about hogging the covers”.

Move and Career change: I’m lumping these two together because what’s great about them is the similar:

What’s great about a move and career change?  While leaping into the great unknown is scary for most people, I have heard my inner voice telling me it’s time for a change and I listened and have not second guessed it…even when I hoped that I would because that would be easier. I have the excitement of getting to write the next chapter of my life before me. This time however, I am older and wiser than the girl who wrote the Los Angeles-wannabe-actor chapter. Not only that, but I am moving to a place where I get to  spend time with my mom, sister, nephew, niece and friends who have known me my whole life…almost anytime I want. No more missing birthdays, Mothers Day, dinners, little league games and night-time storybook readings because I live 400 miles away. Not to mention there is a whole slew of new friends to meet.

There is no TRUTH about my life other than what I decide it is. When I’m going down that shame-spiral, feeling awful, that is a huge clue that I’m asking a question about my life that just doesn’t serve me. As soon as I start to look for what is great about ANYTHING, my perspective shifts and I begin to feel happy and excited again. And given the choice (and we always are) I prefer to create my life from feelings of joy, love, adventure. Because that is who I really Am.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne


A girlfriend of mine thought that I would benefit from going to an angel healing, so after a long crazy scheduling process, I finally went to her Angel Healer, Sandra.

Apparently Sandra is able to talk to our angel guides and use their wisdom to help sooth our emotional wounds. Feeling as though my heart was long overdue for some healing, I was game. I didn’t know much about angels, though I always suspected that if they did indeed exist, that my grandfather, whom I had never met since he died before I was born, was one of my guardians from the other side. Other than that, I never thought much about it. So, curious and open-minded, I went.

When I first walked into her “angel” room, I felt my head swoon with that thick energetic quality in the air that I was familiar with from being in sacred space before. Sandra handed me a steaming cup of green tea and we chatted a little about what was going on with me. She asked me about things that popped into her head that apparently my angels were seeking to offer me guidance on, only I hadn’t been listening until now. Then after drinking my tea, I laid down and closed my eyes.

I can’t tell you what happened in that room, though Sandra told me that she worked on cutting the energy lines that still existed between my ex and me. She also, apparently met with my angel council, whom apparently are lead by a “grandfatherly figure” (she did not know about my suspicions that my mother’s father has been watching me from above) and she also went back to two of my previous life times. It was in these two lifetimes where I had left a level of power behind that I now needed in this lifetime, so we went back there to retrieve it. Considering I apparently had been considered a Goddess in one lifetime and a Priestess in another, I’m guessing there are all sorts of powerful energies that I could benefit from by tapping into them.

Regardless of whether you believe any of this (I’m not even sure if I do and I’m pretty airy-fairy) the fact is that when I walked out of her home on the West side, I felt powerful and wise and …well….regal. I felt like a spark within me had been ignited and  was now burning brightly from the inside,  creating a sense of supreme peace and deep understanding that I had all the answers I would ever need. I also felt as though I had tapped into the profound  knowing that  I am always protected and loved, no matter how dark the day, no matter how sad my heart and no matter  how helpless I may feel.

I got to play in the world of the angels, and if the state of my being after that meeting was any indication, that world is one I would like to visit more often. The good news is…it’s always there inside me, a deep well of peace to I can drink from any time I choose.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

P.S.  For information about Sandra and her services please contact me through the comments section of this post and I will be happy to get you her information.

{January 29, 2011}   Day 133 – The Rush of Flight

As you know, according to my last entry, I recently went through a painful break-up. As a result, I wanted to do something that made me feel alive, strong, powerful and present. The obvious choice? High-flying Trapeze of course. I had done it once before and remembered that I never wrote about it so, I figured I would kill two birds with one knee-hang suspended 40 feet in the air.

I will, for brevity sake, not go into the details  of  how they prep you on a static trapeze first or the lump of fear that arises in your throat as you climb the ladder up to the platform (“Don’t look down!” Puh-leeze. Anyone who ever shouts this to you while you are 40 feet in the air, is clearly a masochist. Because as soon as you hear “don’t look down!” Guess where the first place you look is…)

I won’t discuss that feeling of your empty bladder for some reason fooling your brain into thinking that you have to urinate the very moment they tell you to lean out over that empty space of…well…space, 30 feet over a net, being held only by a circus performer with his fingers hooked into your belt. Nor will I describe the deafening blood-curling scream released as one flies through the air, sans aircraft,  for the first time in their life.

No. That’s not what I’m going to mention. What I want to tell you is about “The Catch.” That first time when, swinging by your knees into space, you lock eyes with your catcher and you grab each others wrists. I had been told that I would become addicted to high-flying trapeze the moment I tried the catch, and, while I loved every minute of it…they were right. My addiction came that moment that our hands grasped each others wrists, and my body automatically trusted another human being enough to release the bar that kept me attached to the rig. That moment. It’s like time stops and all there is in the world… is that moment. There is no pain, no drama, no fear…just trust.

The flight of it is fun for sure and the fear is a rush. But nothing compares to being so powerfully present that the world concedes to one moment.

And that’s all we have. A moment. One single moment in time where we can either trust that we will be caught and fly forward, or allow a fear of falling keep us from letting go. Flying trapeze: the great metaphor for life.

Regardless, I’m going again and I’m going to enjoy screaming through the air with the greatest of ease.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

P.S. For more information about Flying Trapeze in Los Angeles, contact Hollywood Aerial Arts at 310.412.7171.

So, here is the post that I have been avoiding since September….or November…or whenever it was that I was aware that my relationship was over. Without going into details so as to protect the privacy of someone I love deeply, but enough to have something to write about as this has been a learning experience I believe to have grown from, my relationship with the man I thought I was going to have children with…is over. Logically, I knew it needed to end since the end of Sept. but it technically ended November 11th.  You may notice, not coincidentally, that I have not posted anything during this time in between…it’s like doing so would have made it real.

Sometimes we love people so much that we can pretend that there are things in our lives that we don’t need. We tell ourselves that no one is perfect, that there are other things that make up for the things that don’t work for us, or that maybe we can change…that if we love that someone enough, that we can will ourselves to not want what it is we know deep in our heart we so yearn for.

I have done this on several occasions, ignoring that nagging feeling that I’m not getting what I truly desire. I have recently come to the very real conclusion that I am the master of  justifying why I am accepting something in my life that isn’t what I want. In my case, I do so by using “self awareness”.  In this last case, I allowed myself to believe that being judgmental was keeping me from accepting love. When, in fact, I had observations about certain things in my mate that just didn’t work for me and yes…sometimes I had judgments about them, and sometimes they were just observations. In either case, they never worked for me and what I wanted for my life.

But I kept hoping that someday I would change…or he would…or that the Beatles were right and all we really needed was love. But it’s so much more complicated than those shaggy haired bastards made it out to be, and so much less complicated than I did. Actually, it’s quite black and white to me now…when two people want very different things in their lives, maybe they are just not meant to be in it for the long haul. Maybe they are meant to be special blessings to each other, guiding us in the direction of our hearts desire, before we have entirely fleshed out what that is. A stepping stone, so to speak.

Looking back at all my past relationships, I can clearly see how each one of them was special to me for many reasons, including allowing me to realize what I do not want, so I more clearly understand what I do want. But instead of accepting this and moving on, for the past year and a half, I have been trying to deny that I wanted what I knew I wanted. I made myself wrong for it, bad, selfish. I thought if I was more ‘spiritually aware’, that I would be able to overlook certain behaviors that didn’t work for me. And in the end, while having learned a lot about myself and facing some very unflattering mirrors, I have come to these two very important conclusions: 1. Always trust that deep knowing within me…I don’t believe it has ever lead me astray. And 2. I deserve to have everything my soul desires.

This does not mean it will always come to  me in ways I expect wrapped up in a pretty little bow. I realize I need to allow myself to be open enough to allow the Universe to surprise me, to not need my journey to look a certain way. But, that being said, if my gut is telling me that this isn’t the way? For God’s sakes listen. Just trust. Trust that it’s coming and trust that I will recognize it when it’s in front of me. And in the meantime, love the ones who are placed in my life to lead me to that place that will inevitably come. Forgive them their missteps as I hope they forgive mine. Forgive my missteps as I would a child that I love. Understand that we are all doing the best we know how in the moment, given the tools and level of consciousness we have acquired thus far on our own individual journeys and do not judge the journey of another. And, at the end of the day, bask in the knowing that, ultimately the one person I’m ever really going to end up with…the one staring back at me from the mirror…. despite her foibles, I love her more than anyone else ever will. And that’s all the love I will ever really need.

Much Love and Happy New Year,

Kerry Anne

Since  having started to read ‘The Power of Now‘ for the first time in eleven years, I am finding that I am much more aware of when I am acting unconsciously – that is to say when I am thinking about what I’m going to do for dinner, what I’m going to say to the person I need to have a serious conversation with, or thinking about something that happened in the past. The thoughts come in and I get lost in them, but within every 5 minutes or so, I become aware that I am not being present. So, I take a moment to get still and find that place where I am connected to the Moment.

It has been very powerful and very humbling to look at how often I am unconscious. It has also allowed me to feel joy during times when everything else around me, seemingly is ‘wrong’.

A few weeks ago, during a time when it felt like everything around me was crumbling, I was in a yoga class with the young lady that I assist in her yoga practice, as she has cerebral palsy. As I have mentioned before, I have learned how to take time during the class to, not only take care of her, but myself as well, turning it into my own practice. This particular day, I was beyond blue, feeling emotionally exhausted, my eyes puffy and red from crying everyday, and I knew that I needed to take care of myself even more than usual. I decided that I would use this particular yoga class to meditate myself back into stillness as much as I could.

As we went through the practice, shaping our bodies into the usual poses, my mind would wander. Then I would ‘see’ it wandering and get back to the present. For an hour and a half I did this…drifting and coming back….drifting and coming back, and as I did, it became easier and easier for my mind to become still for longer periods of time. As a result, when class ended, I could barely believe all that time had passed but not only that, I felt good. Not just good… but happy, joyful, in love with my life!

Nothing had changed about my circumstances, but I felt like a different person than the one who had walked into that class…I felt like myself to the fullest extent of my Being. The little voice in my head kept saying “but nothing has changed” to which I just noticed that voice, acknowledged it for sharing and got present again. I felt like I was floating on air and to know that I could feel this good despite what my outside circumstances were was a life-changing moment. I really got why being present and meditation are so powerful. I couldn’t put it into words but I could feel it.

I have been saying for a while that I have wanted to begin a daily meditation practice and this was just the thing to scoot my little resistant self into it. Now, I have found it is easy for me to sit at least 20 – 45 minutes a day in meditation. And no, I don’t always feel like I could move mountains after I do, but I do feel more at ease, at peace, and confident when I do. And considering what I have been going through in my life lately, that is waaaaaaaaay more interesting to me than any of the drama that I was unconsciously getting caught up in. And it’s available to me anytime I want it because I can only find it one place…within.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” again. I read it about eleven years ago, just at the infancy of my spiritual journey. I figured that I was due for a refresher.

I made a cup of tea and curled up on my bed under my super fuzzy throw and opened up the book. Whenever I read any of Eckharts teachings, I find an interesting and somewhat amusing thing happens. My soul connects to the material instantly, recognizing the information on the pages before me as a “truth” or at least I get the sensation within me that I have come home somehow. The warm-fuzzies and goose flesh that wash over me inside and out respectively, are the physical sensations that I am in the perfect place, at the perfect time, connecting to the perfect story that I need to be connecting to.

My ego, on the other hand, HATES it!  I have found that that little voice inside my head has a lot to say about Mr. Tolle’s works and none of it good.

“You shouldn’t be reading this!…Who does he think he is?… Screw you, I’m conscious!… I’m just trying to protect you…You should put this down and get on Facebook instead…”

On and on the thoughts race into my head. Fortunately, I am aware enough (in this case anyway) to recognize my ego when I hear it  and I can plainly see what’s happening. My ego is threatened by the what The Power of Now teaches. I can’t say that I blame it. If I were to be in an conscious state of awakened presence all the time, my ego would hold no power over me whatsoever. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have one, it would just mean that it would no longer get any air-time. And it HATES that…it is ego after all.

It becomes desperate for me to put the book down, and yet the whole time, I can see what’s happening and I don’t have to be a slave to it. I have a choice.  My awareness that information that my soul perceives as nourishing, but my ego has all these limiting opinions about, gives me freedom, particularly if I were to apply it to all other areas in my life.  All my opinions, judgments, worries, fears, doubts, past traumas, future expectations melt away when I connect to the space of the present moment….the space of stillness within….that silence underneath all the noise of my thinking mind.

The space which I am speaking of can be experienced by doing such: ask yourself “what is the next thought I am going to think?”

You may find that it takes a few seconds of no thoughts before the next one comes. That space of no-thought, just what Is….is of which I am speaking. That is the space that allows for each moment to be experienced openly without the drama of the past or future playing into it. It is the Now.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I am by no means, a Master and I am only currently at a place where I choose to connect to this space in moments and then the thoughts creep in. And if I’m having a particularly rough day, those moments are fewer and further between. But by choosing to do so more often, the easier it becomes and, as a result, the quieter my head becomes more often of the time. Particularly while I am reading the book, which offers the reader the guidance and space to make that connection.

Again, my ego is certainly alive and thriving and I’m okay with that for where I am in my journey. However, it’s comforting to know that I always have a choice regarding how I live my life, in every moment…am I living from the fears and hurts of the past, anxiety for the future, or in the space of Now where I am free.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

Beauty comes in many forms. Physical, spiritual, emotional… and today I found  that it also comes in the form of vulnerability and authenticity. I had a conversation with someone close to me that I had been avoiding having for several months.  While I generally tell this person everything that is going on in my life, there were certain things that, lately, had been weighing heavily on my heart. But it was out of fear of being judged that I had kept them to myself…..and it was causing me to not feel as connected to this person as I normally do, which, I realized, had been making me sad.

Today we were on the phone, and while she instigated the conversation that we needed to have, I decided that I was tired of hiding certain things that had been effecting me in my life. So, at risk of being vulnerable, looking bad, and being judged… and realizing that I was tired of being inauthentic with her and myself, I opened my heart up and told her the whole truth about everything that I had been dealing with. Things that I had been keeping from this person for months came out and the result was that we, once again, felt closer than we had in a while. I let her see me and my pains and my fears, as I was just too tired to hide anymore.

In return, she let me know that she wasn’t judging me or my decisions and that she only wanted to support me in finding my deepest happiness.  She revealed that she understood why I hadn’t wanted to talk to her about certain things, acknowledging her own ability to judge harshly and criticize.

Yes, beauty is a funny thing. Often times, we are shown that what is beautiful is not what is real. Look at the air-brushed photos in any magazine and we see this plain and simple. But when talking about it from a deeper stand-point, sometimes beauty is found in the authenticity of the fears we feel, and in those moments when we decide to reveal them and let them go…allowing the ones we love to embrace us regardless.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

I had treated myself to a birthday pedicure at the beginning of September and by the end of the month, while most of the polish had grasped to my toenails, as paint does to a shabby-chic side-table, my feet were looking about  as pretty as a kitchen sponge.

I love pedicures but unfortunately, due to my current  lack of a full-time paycheck, they are not in my budget unless it’s a special occasion. So, I was prepared to make my birthday pedi last for as long as I could. But, and if you love pedis I’m sure you will agree, they are really not about the polished toes…they offer so. much. more.

Pedicures are a delicious way to completely pamper the lower half of your legs…unless you are sitting in one of those awesome salon chairs with the massage balls rolling up and down your back…in which case you have struck the Nail Salon jackpot. Your feet get to soak in hot water, your legs get massaged, you get your calluses sanded off so your feet are soft and pink. Pedicures, simply put, are divine.

The other day, I was on my way to my advanced training course so I can teach the advanced levels of class. I literally had been moving my body every day for a week and a half without a day to rest. I was either teaching classes, taking classes, in training where I had to take 2 classes and do pole work or I was working with my client with cerebral palsy in yoga – for which I’m basically responsible for her spine. My body was tired and I still had about 2 more weeks of the same without a break ahead of me. I ached. My muscles were sore.  All of them. My feet and ankles hurt. And… I was crabby.

I showed up at the studio for training expecting to see it filled with the radiant women with whom I’m lucky enough to call my peers, except… it was empty, save for the front desk ambassador and one teacher just finishing class. It was 2pm. Where was everybody?

We soon realized that training, while at 2pm the weekend before, was actually scheduled for 4pm this week. Crap. Here I was a half hour away from home and two hours early. It wasn’t really worth it to me to drive home, so I decided to go to a Rite-Aid to pick up a few items I needed and hopefully kill my 2 hours.

I killed 15 minutes.

Then, from across the way, I saw it…Deluxe Nail Salon…drop in’s welcome. I b-lined across Ventura and went in. A pedicure was $18 and I was in heaven.

I had been thinking for about a week how much I wanted to get a pedicure but shouldn’t. I even had the thought that morning. I also had the thought that I needed to do something nice for my body since she was so tired but figured I didn’t have time for that. Then the Universe took my desire and presented it to me, hidden as an inconvenience. Had I not been 2 hours early for my training, I never would have had the opportunity to take those 2 hours to be pampered. It was exactly what I needed though was afraid to ask for.

I showed up to training with about 10 minuted to spare, toes painted in ‘Black Cherry Chutney’ with feet and ankles that were no longer sore and a back that had been massaged for a good hour. My ‘mistake’ had actually been a blessing in disguise which made me think…how often do good things come from a chance inconvenience if we just open ourselves up to it? I could have driven home in a huff, wasting another hour and a half of drive time, or I could have moped about the empty studio for two hours. Instead, something guided me to the perfect place for what I was really needing. How often do we listen when we get that call?

I’m not saying my pedicure was divine intervention or that God cared that my toes were raggy. I’m just suggesting that maybe the Universe has a way of being on our side when we least expect it. We just have to listen. And when that call draws us to a massage and shiny toenails…who are we to argue? 🙂

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

I am, admittedly, a bit of a movie whore. By that I mean, I do not have the most discerning taste in cinema and in no way do I offer keen critical insights of film. In a world where every Joe-Blow gets a chance to be a critic from “Yelp” to people posting their opinions on FaceBook to personal blogs (yes…even this one), we live in a world where everyone feels like their opinion means something and that they are actually qualified to have one. And, on that note…here is my opininon about that….

I went and saw “Eat, Pray, Love” a couple of weeks ago and despite hearing horrible things about the movie, I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s book (no matter how chick-lit/pop-culturized it has become).  So I laid down my $9.00 and, while I hoped for the best, I was aptly prepared to be let down. Except, I wasn’t.

While the movie is not as good as the book (as is almost always the case) I was taken on a ride into another world, to places I had never seen, with characters who I liked. It was visually beautiful, at times emotionally touching, funny at moments, and it temporarily transported me to visit another persons story. One that, without having seen this movie, I would never live in my own life, and one that was interesting enough to visit, regardless of whether or not I would want to live there.  For two hours, I was happy living in Gilbert’s world of pasta and gelato, ashrams and meditation, beaches and medicine men. I had been taken on a ride and my $9.00 was the perfect price to pay.

I walked out of the movie feeling good. My life wasn’t changed, my views hadn’t been challenged, I was not a better person than I was before I walked into the film, but I felt good. And I began to think to myself “when did we decide that we need to critique other peoples art all the time?”

I had a friend tell me that the movie “sucked”. Really? Did it suck your life away? Two hours you would never get back..but you couldn’t have left because someone was holding a gun to your head? Really. It sucked? Reeeeeaaaally? Did it take your imagination someplace new? Probably. Did you laugh at least once? Probably. Was your heart warmed in ANY moment? Probably…at least once. Then what is it we are looking for in movies nowadays?!?

What do we get from ripping apart the work other people do? Do we get to sound smart or important? Do we get to hide from the fact that we, in most cases, do not have the balls to be making our own art? And particularly for a movie like “Eat, Pray, Love” which is not, as far as I know, intended to be any important social commentary, directed at changing the way we live – doesn’t it do what it set out to do? To tell a story. It’s a mooooovie…..intended for entertainment. So, what happens when we just let it be that? What happens when we allow a movie to just tell a story that makes us feel good…and that’s all we want from it?

I’ll tell you what…all of a sudden we find a lot more pleasure in our lives. When we stop critiquing, when we remove all of the “this isn’t good enough” conversation from our lives, regardless of what we are referring to: movies, art, music, literature, politics, our loved ones, our selves…we allow ourselves to enjoy beauty around us in new ways.  All of a sudden, food tastes better, the city you live in is more beautiful, people become easier to feel compassion and kindness for, moments will be taken for granted less, our inner dialogue becomes kinder. Take that inner critic away, and replace him/her with the question of “what is beautiful/great/wonderful/perfect or feels good about this and we have the chance to be happier, kinder people.

So, while “Eat, Pray, Love” didn’t change my life, it made me feel good. And to me…that’s all I want from my entertainment…take me to a place that’s beautiful or exotic, introduce me to characters whom I would like to know in real life, make me laugh, make me cry, or  inspire me to reach for something in my life that’s  just a little bit grander than what I was already reaching for…and I’m happy. Show me something a little more beautiful or exciting than what I would have seen without going to that movie, and that’s what I would call a ‘good’ movie. “Eat, Pray, Love” was just that. And on a rainy day that I am lying on my couch looking for a little escape….I would happily travel to Italy, India and Bali with Julia Roberts again…no questions asked.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

I have a friend who doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday. She says that after a certain number, she just doesn’t need to celebrate any more. For the life of me, I cannot wrap my head around this. She may as well be speaking in a foreign language whenever we talk about it. Not… want… to… celebrate….being…. born? What do you mean? Isn’t life worth celebrating?

That’s what a birthday is doing…it’s basically a celebration that you are alive….breathing, seeing, feeling, smelling, running, dancing, singing, eating, drinking, birthing, hurting, working, playing, laughing, crying, emoting, fearing, loving….my GOD the LOVING! It’s all of it… acknowledging that every single part of it is worth a celebration.

And if that’s not enough, by golly, it’s a celebration of the lives around you. It’s gathering those that you love and saying “Hey…I’m happy I was born cuz I got to meet all you nifty people…and you are part of why my life deserves to be celebrated…don’t you agree? Let’s toast to us!!”

My birthday was on September 1st and while I originally wanted to keep it small and intimate…it eventually grew into a dinner at a fantastic restaurant for 20+ people. And honestly, I’m glad each and everyone of them was there, no matter how close we were or how long I had known them. The fact that they had wanted to come and be a part of the celebration of my life told me something very important: Sometimes we touch people deeper than we give ourselves credit for.

That doesn’t mean that I have made some profound impact on every person that was there, and maybe one or two of them were there out of obligation. Actually…maybe just one. But the rest of them came because, at one time or another, I made them feel good…in some way. Whether, I made them laugh when they were down, or inspired them somehow, or we shared a creative endeavor, or…at the very least…I am a friend to someone they love and that’s important to them. My being alive is something they wanted to celebrate. That is enough reason for me to want to celebrate my life… because I have people who want to celebrate it with me.

We all do. Even if you think that nobody cares or nobody would miss it if you didn’t celebrate, I can almost guarantee that someone would be there for you, lovingly wishing you a happy birthday, if you give them a chance. And if not…then you haven’t really been living.

So, if for no other reason, why not give the people that love you the gift of celebrating your lives together? By way of doing so, you are actually celebrating the lives of the people you share yours with. And what could be more important than that? Plus… you get to have birthday cake. And that, in my opinion, is worthy of a celebration of any size.

Much Love,

Kerry Anne

et cetera