Intentionally Speaking.

I’m delayed in posting this as my New Year began with me a little under the weather in body and spirit, but I’m back (for the most part) and ready to take on 2013.  Here goes … A wise man, and quite a few yoga instructors hipped me to the concept of setting an intention.  Setting an intention in  yoga practice has more to do with giving me a “focus” for my practice.  That goal may be  something that I’d like to see fulfilled in my life … say … “happiness” … “financial stability” … or “getting laid”.  Ok, so I never really set getting laid as the intention of a yoga practice, but BOY have I been tempted.

Anyway … In life intention, at least for me, is similar but magnified to the level of day-to-day living.  I set a tangible goal(s) and practice my life in that direction.  The trick is,  the goal is not the goal, make sense? No?  Maybe? Well here’s an example from my life:

Last year applying to and attending grad school was on my “Goals for 2012” list.  If you’ve been following me at all over the year you know that I meant business about that shit.  I threw all my energy into applying, getting denied,  continuing to apply, continuing to get denied until I was ultimately accepted (to a school I technically didn’t even apply to I might add) and ultimately ending up at the school I wanted to attend in the first place.

The gift of that experience, while it was quite unexpected and TOTALLY awesome, was not getting what I wanted but all the hard  earned insight and personal growth. The real rewards were:

  • Understanding that I need to pay my damn bills because bad credit isn’t going to simply go away.
  • Growing a thicker skin when it comes to my writing/understanding that I’m not the best, but certainly not the worse writer there ever was.
  • Patience is a virtue … and will mature the hell out of you if you let it.

… and really a whole host of other things if I sat and thought about it.

With all this in mind, I sat down and created my goals/intention list for next year.  It was a very forgiving process as there was definitely room for things I did not accomplish last year.  It was a joyous process as there were quite a few new things that were added to replaced things I did accomplish in 2012.  There is balance, and that is always the goal for me, miss it though I may.

I’ll end with a  prayer of confirmation.  Yes, I said prayer.  Heathens pray too.


I first want to give gratitude to whatever universal forces, ancestors, or beings that guided and protected me into a new year of life. The other night at work while I rushed through unfocused, eager to get off and go about my evening, a patient said something that stopped me in my tracks.

“I count my blessings before I pray for my wants.”

I am abundantly blessed in my life.  I am relatively healthy, as are my son, and family.  I have an amazing network of friends that love me unconditionally as I do them.  I am gainfully employed at a job that I genuinely enjoy. I’m a thriving theatre artist about to embark on an amazing opportunity of a life time at NYU. Now the real miracle:  Despite any circumstances that came down the pipes I did not use drugs or alcohol as a means of getting me through the problem.  I celebrated 3 years clean in 2012!

There are so many other things I could have listed, but this post needs to end at some point (and besides … G.O.D. knows my heart right? 😉  ) Now,  my “wants”.  In 2013 I want to be:  A better mother, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better lover (of self), a better love (of others).  I want to create healing in the day-to-day practice of my life through art, healthier relationships, and open honest communication.

I want to continue to be able to grow through recovery, face my fears, hell maybe even embrace them.  I want to continue keeping the faith when it feels like nothing is going right.  I want to continue keeping the faith when everything is going right (because for me these are the hardest times to be faithful.) Most of all, if it is in a higher will, I’d like to be here this time next year writing about how I got through it. If not, I will like my life to be a testimony on how it is quite possible for a poor girl from the mean streets of Elizabeth, NJ to get over.

All this I pray in Sweet black baby Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, The Ancestors, and whoever else will listen’s name …


Happiest and most prosperous New Year to you and your folk!


*in recovery we sometimes call GOD, Good Orderly Direction.

No one will ever stir my soul quite like Mahalia

Better than Ripley’s

3:30 am Amelié’s french bakery.

After another successful evening of dancing and general enjoyment of one another’s  company, my friend’s and I headed to Amelié’s as we often do. While checking out my sundry sweets, I looked up at the young man behind the counter and saw it. “It” was a chain that I had purchased at the Goodwill on South Boulevard about two years ago. The chain itself was simple with a fairly ornate silver cross on it that on the back said “I’m a Catholic call a priest.” I’d lost “it” and been had been half way hoping to find it after I made a more sincere effort to clean my bedroom than I normally do. There it was though, around the neck of another. But wait…let me back up.

19 years ago:

On Mother’s day in 1992 at 16 years of age, I became very ill due to an allergic reaction and was given last rites. My family was told to prepare for my imminent death. Needless to say, I’m still here. When I ran across the chain in Goodwill, I was going through some pretty tough growing pains. The chain reminded me that no matter what, something bigger than me loves me and want whats best for me. So after purchasing the chain, I almost never took it off. That is until about two weeks ago. I took it off, slipped it into my pocket, and never saw it again. Fast forward to early this morning…

3:35 am Amelié’s French Bakery

I told my story to the counter person. He reluctantly offered me the chain back. His apprehension made me know that it had now become his something to hold on to. I knew right away that the chain was no longer mine. I told him I had no intentions of taking it back, and the story of my near death experience. His eyes became wide as saucers. He then shared with me the near death experience he had at age 16 (which was clearly not as long ago as 16 was for me!) I was overwhelmed to say the least. Something huge had just happened, and I was standing in it just then, and I felt honored and grateful for it.

Pro/Epilogue: Thursday July 21, 2011 9:48 am

I’d seen a patient, mainly just to give some reassurance about her therapy, and was about to exit her home when I was struck by this gorgeous statue near her front door. She explained that it was Kwan Yin (a bohisattva) a goddess of compassion. Seeing how awestruck I was (and I truly was, for what reason I still don’t understand); she excused herself. She was only gone a moment when she returned with a small bronze statuette of the very same goddess and handed it to me. “Take her with you, she’ll comfort you when you’re afraid.” I took it, thanked her and exited…dumbfounded by her kindness and generosity.

I cannot pretend to understand the power that governs these occurrences. It would be futile to try to put words to something so unattainable. So I won’t try. I and all my agnostic tendencies have come to believe that faith is far simpler than we make it. We have faith that every morning we’re going to go out and our cars are going to start, our day is going to go as usual, and we are going to see our loved ones at the end of the day, none of which is guaranteed. So why not have faith that the people and things that you need find you when you need them most and when it’s time to let these people or things go it’s truly for the best. Basic shit right? We just make it rocket science.

I write this in gratitude for all the minor and major miracles that have happened in my life, AND my ability to see them for what they are.