Monday, July 29, 2013

IF YOU'RE LONELY AND YOU KNOW IT, CLAP YOUR HANDS!

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I'm lonely.  

I know.  I know.  I broke up with someone very special eight months ago, get over it already.

I'm definitely in a funk right now.  I notice the smiles just aren't radiating from inside as they normally do.  And, as most of you know me intimately well, that is definitely an indication that there's an issue going on inside of yours truly.

I have tried "The Catapult Approach"...getting rid of everyone else's negative or exhausting ju-ju.  I have tried focusing on the following incredible and amazing buzz/meditation words, "Opportunity, Abundance, Family, Love, Creativity, and Success.  "Success" always seems to pick me up just a smidgen.   

I have tried dating.  People can be so weird and freak out over the most unusual of circumstances. Perhaps I'm too intense for some people, or too together for others, or perhaps that which makes me unique is that which some people find unattractive or just not cute!

On the flip side, I find that people reveal themselves to you rather quickly.  In fact, within one or two conversations, I can usually weed them out -- Good for me or Same old Same Old.  Is that my issue? Do I jump to conclusions to quickly?  Given my past, and the fact that I am usually attracted to "bad boys" (aka people who have come from an extremely colorful past, and have not necessarily healed from all or most of their wounds), I am weary with my precious free time.  Therefore, you have two, three opportunities tops to make an HONEST and SINCERE impression.

Within the LGBTQ culture, I now understand that my loneliness only gets fed by gay Apps that help me find other lonely gay men just looking for Safe and Sound instant gratification.  It's a great confidence boost, 'cause I get a lot of attention (wink!), but at the end of the day, it only hurts me.  

I want to find a partner and create a partnership and family...NOW!  Easy killer.  Perhaps I'm too eager??

I miss having someone to come home to at the end of every night.  I miss having someone to cuddle up next to on a couch and just hold hands.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.  I very much look forward to shifting into my next "mindset" -- to be open and ready for love.

I know who I am.  I embrace who I am.  And I endeavor to inspire the world to be who they are.  

As a coach, even when I'm feeling lonely inside my own head/life, I can interestingly enough hold the space for someone else.  I am amazingly effective in this state and continue to learn from each and every client.

Sometimes I have answers.  Sometimes I don't.  This is one of those times when I am not quite sure how to help myself.  I KNOW I will get through this and I KNOW that this too shall pass.  So, for now, I'm just sad.  I'm allowed.

We all get lonely from time to time.  It's 100% completely normal and especially after a break up.  Give yourself a break.  As I'm telling you this, I'm also telling myself this.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
1) I can't wait to find a crazy love, filled with passion, love/hate, intimacy (sexual and emotional), and spontaneous.  I like thinking about that.
2) This past week, I created a "My Path To Fulfillment" vision board.  It is exactly what it says.  It's a great tool which brings me to smile every time I go over and review my little stickies.
3) This week, I am grateful for my friends and family who are always there for me when I need them.  Thank you!  
A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

I HOPE YOU NEVER GO THROUGH WHAT I WENT THROUGH LAST WEEK...PART TWO


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AND...WE'RE BACK... Thank you for your out-pouring of love and concern last week.  I didn't think it would cause that much of a disturbance.  My apologies if I frightened anyone!

The Waiting Game still sucks!

The countdown began.  Only twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes or forty-seven hours and fifty-nine minutes left.  How the hell was I going to get through it this time?

Now, it's been almost ten days and it's all really hazy and fuzzy.

How did I get through it?  I took one hour at a time.  I was scared shitless.  I really was.  

Even though everyone around me was keeping such an incredibly positive attitude, I had to be realistic.  I mean, I had already been diagnosed once, so I knew what could happen.  I was half preparing and half in complete shock.  The first night wasn't so bad, because, after all, you know you won't hear anything that first night.  

The next day, I was in a bit of a daze, to say the least.  I got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, took my shower, and went to work.  It was all very routine and normal, but nothing was routine and normal about this very long and exhausting Thursday.  With each passing moment, I knew that I was getting closer to knowing my fate.  Would I have cancer again?  What stage would it be?  Would I need Chemo this time?  Did it spread?  This time, I would definitely have my family come out for support. 

On the other hand, I was calm.  I was emotional, but I felt quiet inside.  I felt a huge weight on my shoulders.  And after the first twenty-four hours, I was ready for whatever the future held for me.

I had resigned.  I had resigned to good news or to bad news.  Clearly, I was praying, literally praying, for a healthy outcome.  In the back of my mind, however, I also had resigned that whatever might come my way, I could deal with it.  I could stare cancer straight in the eye and figure it out.  Life was passing by and I would be a proactive and conquering participant.

For some reason, all sorts of numbers from Beverly Hills extension kept calling me. Okay, it was only two phone calls all afternoon, but it seemed like more.  I always picked up expecting it to be the P.A. or the dermatologist giving me news that was to become my fate for the next few months.

When 6pm rolled around that first day, I knew that the news would come the following day, on Friday. Okay.  I mean...what could I do?  I just dealt with it.

I won't keep you in suspense for very much longer, I promise.  Early the next morning, a few mistakes that I had made at work (weeks prior) came to light and I got it good in the morning.  I felt terrible.  I am rarely reprimanded for making mistakes as I'm such a perfectionist.  Alas, I realized I was overwhelmed and moving too fast.  What a great way to start the day, right?

Around 11am on Friday, I received THE phone call and my iphone identified the caller as my dermatologist's office.  I let it ring.  Longer than I normally do.

I felt strong.  I felt confident.  I felt ready for whatever this young woman was about to tell me.  After the pleasantries and salutations, I asked...so?

She told me it was 100% benign.  

My heart dropped.  Of course, I still didn't believe her, so I asked, "It's not a displastic nevi (pre-pre cancerous cell) or anything abnormal?"

"Nope!  You're good.  It's completely normal."

"Thank you!  You just made my life!"

She laughed.  I hung up.

100% BENIGN.  Thank God!  I took a gynormous breathe in and let a gymondo breath out.  I immediately texted the 4-5 people who knew of my results.  Of course, their response was "I told you so!"  I thought...can't you just be happy for me?   Or congratulate me?  Crazy beautiful friends that I have!

I telephoned my parents, on the verge of tears.  I'm 100% Benign was all I could get out and then the tears started falling.  Tears of complete exhaustion and happiness.  It was a great feeling.  It was over, for now.  This time around.  I would be ready next time.  I would never let it go this far without checking my moles.

Having been through this yet again, I gained some pretty important insights:
1) I need to get my check ups every 3-6 months, so I don't scare myself silly like this, the next time.
2) I need to live my life more on point with my purpose.  I need to understand that everything I'm doing is a means to an end and keep the objective close to my heart.  I want to inspire the world, one by one, to Smile From The Inside.
3) Support by family and friends is so important.  Perhaps I need to be closer to my family.  Who knows?  

Have an incredible week everyone!  Remember, every day is a gift.  Live on gifted time.

Have you purchased my book?  If you haven't, do it now!

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 A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

I HOPE YOU NEVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT I WENT THROUGH LAST WEEK...PART ONE



THE WAITING GAME...SUCKS!

For those of you who don't know, I had skin cancer about six years ago now.  It was a pretty serious ordeal.  

Before being diagnosed, I was urged to see a dermatologist by my roommate at the time.  He went to some fancy-ass Beverly Hills Dermatologist.  Anyway, after nine pre-pre-cancerous moles safely biopsied and removed from my body, one came back positive for cancer.  The young inexperienced Physician's Assistant advised me that I had Superficial Spreading Malignant Melanoma!  She didn't even ask me to sit down.  Jeez!  She started spewing off something about another biopsy, another couple days of waiting, and something about an Oncologist.  I definitely wasn't prepared for that word.  It was horrible!  I later informed her that her bedside manner needed improvement.

Within ten days, I had an in-and-out surgery procedure, several lymph nodes were removed, and I was home recovering, my good friends taking turn staying with me.  I had only been in Los Angeles for about seven months, so my L.A. family became very close to me during that time.  My family offered to come out, and like a fool, I was insistent that I could "DEAL" with it on my own.  I know better now!

The worst days during those what-seemed-like-forever ten days, were waiting for the results to advise whether or not I needed chemotherapy, radiation, or just surgery to begin.  They needed to do more testing on the already-taken biopsy and I politely obliged because what else was I going to do.  They were the absolute most horrific days of my life up until that point.  I cannot even begin to explain it.  The waiting is beyond anything you can imagine.  I tried my hardest to keep my mind occupied during those exhausting and incredulous seventy-six (76) hours, but it was impossible.  Not knowing is an abominable space to live for even a moment about your future health, your future life, and your future death.  In the end, I only needed surgery, but man oh man, I'm glad those three days are over.

For the past six/seven years, I have been frequenting the dermatologist, my oncologist, and doctors.  It  started with every three months and then, after three years, we moved it to every six months.  Unfortunately, it has been about eighteen months since my last visit to the oncologist.  

Last week, as I was stepping out of the shower, I noticed a very dark, very non-symmetrical mole on the plain of my back, not three inches south of where the first malignant one was found.  I immediately and silently within freaked out.  Everything came bursting back to me, in an instant.  The waiting.  The results.  The cancer.  Oh God, I could have cancer again.

I couldn't sleep that night.  The next morning, at first light, I waited hours before I could contact my dermatologist.  I made an appointment for the next day.  I was seeing them come hell or high water.  

I told a couple friends.  Not many.  Not even the ones that had helped me survive the last time.  Perhaps I should have, but I really didn't want to worry anyone until there was something confirmed to worry them about.  Does that make sense?  I tried not even to tell my parents for fear of them worrying about it as much as me, to no avail.  I broke down when speaking with my mother.  

The few people I told were extremely supportive.  They all insisted that I was fine.  In fact, they all were so convinced that everything would be a-okay, they didn't even leave room for me to consider the what ifs.  Perhaps that was their best way of dealing with it, but I knew better.  In my mind, I had to somehow come to terms with the fact that I could have cancer again, or it could be a false alarm.  Either way, I needed to be okay with it.  I was back exactly where I started six years prior.  Wow!  I don't wish that feeling upon anyone.  Ever.

It was extremely emotional for me.  

Just finding the "bad" mole (even though I had no idea if it was bad or not) put me into a head space I haven't visited in years.  Thank God!

Wednesday morning I went to see the dermatologist.  I told her to remove it no matter what, just get it out.  I probably didn't use such nice words.  There might have been some foul language, I can't remember.  She agreed that given my past history, we should take it off immediately.  Within ten minutes, it was gone, and my dermatologist was in LOVE with my stories about Trixie and Vincent Van Goat (my little Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats) stationed in my backyard in West Hollywood.  Though she advised it didn't look abnormal, she could see my emotional distraught nature and told the nurse to put the order in stat, which apparently meant that I could have the results in as little as twenty-four hours, or forty-eight hours depending.

The countdown began.  Only twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes or forty-seven hours and fifty-nine minutes left.  How the hell was I going to get through it this time?

The Waiting Game...sucks!  

To Be Continued...Part Two next week.




A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT AUTHENTICITY IS?


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I was going to give you the 4-1-1 on my dying hen with reproductive cancer, but that's depressing and sad, not to mention that bitch is still alive. 

I had a fascinating coaching session today.  The client advised me that I was the only person with whom they felt completely authentic.  As a coach, I take that as one of the biggest compliments.  I mean, it's not every day that someone tells you that.

What is the definition of Authenticity?  Merriam-Webster defines authenticity as "true to one's own personality, spirit, or character".   I define authenticity as "the ability to own your truth and honesty while the good, the bad, and the ugly fester within, and it's all good, no matter where you are, no matter what the situation."

With whom in your life are you most authentic?  Are you more honest and genuine in some of your relationships rather than others?  Why not all?

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Living in LaLa Land (which I truly think is only an Angeleno term), we are bombarded with acquaintances.  Acquaintances are not true friends.  If they were friends, you would call them friends.  These are people we hang with and they tend to be a great deal of fun.  You might meet 'em at the bars or the clubs.  You don't talk about dying hens or your work issues, you keep things light.  You know,  superficial stuff.   And, trust me, we all need those types of people in our lives.  At the end of the day, do you ever let them see you sweat?  Of course, not.  Are they going to be the one person you call when you discover you might have another cancerous mole on your back?

I don't know about you, but I strive for more...in all of my relationships.  Not every relationship is perfect, nor even ideal.  My intention, however, is always clear.

All of my friends, at one point or another, have turned to me stating that they need to surround themselves with positive people ONLY going forward.  I get that.  Completely.  I have felt that way many times in my life.   I now think that, better said, we must endeavor to surround ourselves in relationships where we FEEL 100% comfortable and where we can BE 100% authentic without fear of judgment, negativity, or all-around bad energy, right?

Forget de-friend'ing people on Facebook, sometimes, for our own sanity, we need to re-evaluate our friends and start de-friending for real. We must make a concerted effort to be authentic in all relationships.   Being honest and being genuine despite everything else out there is NOT easy.  It is a daunting task with incredible challenging moments, super highs, and super lows.  

I had an incredible dinner with one of my besties, who's more like a sister to me, H.  It was an incredible dinner because 1) she was with me; 2) we both got emotional and shared how much we meant to one another; and 3) it reminded me of why friends are the family we choose in life.  Thanks, H.  xoxo.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
1 - I think the most beautiful relationships in the world are built on trust, communication, authenticity, and love.  You can never go wrong.

2 - The favorite compliment I hear is that i am "refreshing".   Clearly, I don't hear it quite enough.  It makes me so unbelievably happy.  It makes me smile from the inside and reminds me that's why I'm here now.

3 - Own your truths.  All of them.  Be honest.  Be genuine.  Be straight forward.  Be who you are 100% of the time.  Be amazing.  Be refreshing!

4 - Maintain authentic relationships as much as humanly or spiritually possible.

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A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

IT'S JUST TOO IMPORTANT NOT TO SPEAK ABOUT...


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Marriage Equality.  Congratulations, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami!

Last Wednesday at 7:00am / 10:00am, history was made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I don't know about you, but it was a little bittersweet for me.

In one minute, all gays in the United States in an instant were, for the first time EVER, viewed as equals under the eyes of the Law.  For the first time EVER, marriage equality was actually honored.

The moment I heard about DOMA, I was extremely overwhelmed.  So much so, that I broke down in tears.  I called  my parents right away.  All I could say was hello to my father.  I just couldn't say anything else.  I was choking back the tears.  He asked if everything was okay.  All I could mutter was, "Did you hear?" Sniffle.  Sniffle.  Tear.  Tear.  "I can get married now".  That's it.  I started crying yet again.  I really couldn't speak.  I really didn't expect to so emotional.  My dad was beyond elated and I could hear the pride in his every breathe.  He was as amazed and happy as I was.

It was about fifteen to twenty minutes later when we found out that the Prop 8 case had no standing.  Of course it didn't.  I mean, the SCOTUS wants to reflect the changing times in their decisions, but they in no way want to be trendsetters.  Had they ruled it unconstitutional as well, it would have set the trend of the rest of the United States and opened up the door for every state straight away.  I felt a little robbed.  I felt like why didn't they go all the way!

With DOMA being struck down, the SCOTUS decision allows for the states to make their own decisions moving forward.  I am sure that every American now realizes that it's just a matter of time before all fifty states allow marriage for all citizens.  I guestimate it will probably take another five years for all states to recognize "marriage equality."  Would you agree?

About an hour later, my mother telephoned me.  She started off the conversation apologetically by telling me why she hadn't called me earlier, including details about her dentist appointment, etc...  Then, she took one breathe, and congratulated me and we both started crying together.  It was an extremely tender moment.  She was proud.  She was delighted.  I was proud.  I was delighted.   I was emotional the whole entire day.

I am here to tell you that while this is an incredible triumph, there is still much work to be done by the States and the government.

Congratulations to all the gays about to be married in California in the upcoming months...and years!


FINAL THOUGHTS:
1) My little hen, Daisy, has reproductive cancer.  It's only a matter of time.  I'll discuss more next week. You have my word.
2) Life is a crazy series of "Money Pits" and "Planes, Tranes, & Automobiles." Our job is to not only weather the storm, but enjoy each and every moment of it.


“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.” - Janet Napolitano (Thanks, Lavi and best wishes)

A Smile From The Inside Production :)