Monday, August 26, 2013

INSPIRATION CAN BE FOUND IN THE TINIEST OF THINGS...


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Ever have one of those days...

You return to the United States from an incredible European family vacation.  After an 11-hour exhausting flight, you somehow barely manage to arrive home, stumbling all the way, and by the grace of God, manage to stay awake long enough to take a much-awaited scolding hot shower.  You lay down on your heavenly bed, A/C blasting (it's been hot here in L.A. recently).  In ten minutes, you are dead to the world.   

We have all been there, right?   Jet-lagged beyond belief, you spring up at the butt-ass crack of dawn to the beautiful and sunny weather of L.A.  (If you had been in London, as my friend was, you might understand the glory of sun!)  All excited.  Your gonna get to work super early, so you can leave super early and then crash once again onto your bed, hopefully with something yummy in your stomach, but not the priority.  You walk up to your Hybrid vehicle...and the battery is dead.  Ugh!

You call your "friend" that was supposed to watch the car for you.  If you are not from L.A., you might not understand that we have really irritating street cleaning/street parking rules.  It's always easier and cheaper (avoiding the 80 dollar ticket) when someone offers to switch your vehicle from one side of the street to the other.  For this reason, sometimes, I miss the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Parking is NEVER an issue there.  I digress.  In this story, unfortunately, I was the friend.  I had accidentally left the flashing hazards on when we initially parked the vehicle 10 days prior. 

Long story short.  Four days before this disastrous event, I went out to visit with the car and calmly switch from one side of the street to the other.  On that day, the vehicle was dead.  After googling how to jumpstart this Hybrid (I was confused!), I successfully, or so I thought, "jumped" this Hybrid.  Silly me, I anticipated, like a normal gas-running vehicle, if you leave it running for 20-30 minutes, it would re-charge the battery.  Right?  BTW, I have always kept jumper cables in my car because you just never know.  (Thanks Dad!)  I parked the vehicle on the other side of the street and thought ALL would be fine.

Well...unfortunately, for my friend, this Hybrid battery didn't work like that.  Ugh!

Awoken at 6-something in the morning, I was so embarrassed and terrified I had somehow "broken" his brand new Hybrid.  The last thing this guy needed after a long-ass trip like that was for his car not to start.  I met him out there and we tried jumping the Hybrid three or four times, and nothing worked.  The vehicle would turn on, but it wouldn't move forward or backward.  Oh my God.  At that point, I was mortified.

I must admit...he was an absolute trooper about the whole thing.  I think anyone in their right mind would have been outraged and perhaps even held it against me for, at least, a few days, if not longer.  If he felt that way, he hid it very very well.  I was amazed by his jovial demeanor and overall happy spirit while dealing with this nightmare.  He called OnStar and, twenty minutes later, the car was eventually towed away, to the dealership.  Me, still mortified.

To absolve my guilt, I drove him to work, picked him up from work, and have carted him around like a choffeur, and I'm sure he's loving it!  This may have been a tiny thing for him or a "minor inconvenience" (as he says), but to me, it was no tiny thang.  He's a great guy.  I cannot say enough good things about him.  

Side note:  If he knows me at all, he probably also knew that he could not possibly have made me feel any worse than I already was feeling.  Thanks, Oliver!

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Speaking of TINY things.  I want to quickly segway to Kristin Chenoweth.  I have been a fan of hers for years now and I wanted to share a quick story.  I was in a "weird" mood this weekend, I think I got food poisoning or something AND I was determined to finish my outline for another book I'm working on.  So, I chose not to attend Kristin Chenoweth's performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night.  My mistake.

The next morning, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Ms. Chenoweth because my gal pal, Heather, had attended the night before, and actually went up to her at our local gayborhood eats, Joey's, and struck up a sweet conversation with her.  She was a spitfire.  Just like I had always imagined.  It got me to thinking, no matter how tiny you think you are, you can still change the world. I mean, look at her.  She has taken the Broadway, Glee, TV mediums by storm and she is all of 4'11" if that.

Unbeknownst to me, another incredible thing happened on Saturday night.  Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time.  At the Hollywood Bowl concert, Ms. Chenoweth brought up a random audience member, Sarah Horn (a local vocal teacher), to help her sing one of the most amazing songs, "For Good," from the musical, Wicked, written by Stephen Schwartz, another incredible soul.  (I have a great story about him too, but we can table that for another time!)  Anyway...what happened was nothing short of a miracle.  Here it is...Kristin Chenoweth and Sarah Horn.  Click Here!  Watch it through until the end as Kristin Chenoweth gives her incredible and inspirational props.  Thanks, @ollywoodhills.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
1)  P.S. My friend told me on the way home from work today that I could have plugged the car in and charged it like a friggin cell charger.  I wish someone had told me!  I might just have saved his battery. Ooops.
2)  I love watching people and friends around me live a "Smile From The Inside" experience.  It never ceases to amaze me.
3) Pay It Forward this week!  And tell me about it!  xoxo!


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A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

TODAY, I LEARNED ABOUT THE SUBTLETY OF SELF-CONFIDENCE!


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For some reason, Self-Confidence is my niche.  It is where I believe I shine as a mentor and coach.

People with doubting self-confidence beliefs always seem to seek me out...and they always seem to find me.  I don't pretend to know everything about self-confidence, but I do know how to help support you find yours.

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Self-Confidence.

Is.

So.

Important.  Integral.  Vital.  Essential.



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I believe self-confidence is the most important attribute we all must learn to nurture, create, and project from within.  True self-confidence is brave.  True self-confidence needs not be exaggerated nor cannot it be falsified or fabricated.  It permeates from the inside out.  It is shy and quiet when appropriate, and screams out loud when absolute necessary.  True self-confidence inspires, encourages, and patiently reminds us all that if we don't believe in ourselves, why would anyway else?


A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT I LEARNED AT THE POOL YESTERDAY...


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KIDS are amazing!

Over the weekend, I got some much needed R&R by the pool.  There were children everywhere, jumping, diving, shouting, screaming, even catching blue-bellied lizards.  It was incredible.  

We can learn so much about the goodness within our human nature by watching children play.  I wanted to share some of my observations of these truly magnificent creatures we call children.

1.  Kids can find fun ANYWHERE!

No matter what's going on, whether by themselves or in a group (which is obviously a little bit more fun), children, with their infinite imagination, can and will find the fun anywhere.  They can take a float and turn it into the greatest battleship ever or spin a floating tube until it becomes the world's worst tornado machine.  I need more of that type of imagination, don't you?

Idealism?  Realism?  Pessimism?  Don't get too caught up in those words.  Instead, Create and Create masterpieces!  Dream and Dream big!  Imagine and Imagine greatness!


2.  How to FIGHT and MAKE-UP properly.

Yesterday, I witnessed the incredible.  One minute kids are enemies and the next, they are best friends.  There were three little girls in the pool playing with some type of foam float.  In their game, they were flipping the float over and imagining they were on the vast blue Mediterranean Ocean (they were European, clearly).  One of the older girls was trying to protect one of the younger girls and held her down under the water for a bit too long.  The younger one came up, a bit frightened.  The younger girl yelled at the older, "Don't drown me again.  There's no need for that!  The older girl swiftly and quickly apologized once but supremely heartfelt.  The younger girl exhaled, "It's okay.  Let's do it again!  Only this time with bigger waves!"  

Now, that's how all adults should fight.  You did something to me.  Let me be honest and tell you like it is.  You apologize.  Together, we move on.  I understand, as adults, our disappointments and hurts can sometimes seem a bit more extreme than being drowned (not really though), but the same theory and the same steps apply.


3.  I'm bored.  Let's play something else!

When a child gets bored, they 1) Admit it to themselves; 2) Admit it out loud and to anyone listening; and then 3) Shift their emotions and invent another game to play.   This is brilliant.  Can't we all take a lesson from them here?

Bottom line:  Do what you love.  When anything gets boring, admit it to yourself, admit to anyone listening, then shift and do something else!


FINAL THOUGHTS:
1)  When was the last time you examined your path in this world?  Anything boring in your life?
2)  When was the last time you cherished yourself as unique and magnificent?
3)  Sometimes I want to raise and inspire children so bad, it hurts!  I cannot wait!  I firmly believe that as much as I can learn from them, they can also inspire and teach me how to be a better human.


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A Smile From The Inside Production :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE HAD A SUCCESSFUL DATE?

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As most of you know, I'm in the dating world.  I suck at it!  Seriously, I do.

As amazing as I think I am as a boyfriend/partner (what have you), I'll openly admit, I'm a bad dater. Following are the four reasons why I know I am not a good dater.


1.  I'm TOO Picky.   This is my first issue.  For some reason, I always seem to select or attract the bad boys and the hot ones.  (I'm sure I'm not the only out there to do this.)

For those particular ones I'm attracted to, with hotness comes an even bigger set of self-esteem issues.  I know my "league," if you will.  And, I do my damnest to stay within my predisposed lines.  I know what I like and I know what I attract, and I am slowly and surely shifting this paradigm because I simply have to.  I think until recently, I was constantly waiting for love/lust at first sight to guide me.  Based on results, look how well that's done for me.  I'm single, 34, and NOT loving it.

That said, I am now looking for love in all the "right" places and with a more inclusive mindset that love grows and evolves.  It might not always begin the first minute you lay eyes on someone.  And with this new thought process, I feel hope in my heart.

SIDENOTE:  It doesn't matter where I meet these guys...in person, on an app, or online, it always seems to go down the exact same.


2.  I'm TOO Honest.  Okay, so when I am on a date and they ask me what I am looking for, I have been answering all wrong, apparently.  I say something to the effect of... "I really want to find a partner, someone who I can share my life with; someone who's going to be a great DAD; someone who I can experience the world with; a good listener; someone who's successful and ambitious; someone who knows who they are; someone who can challenge who I think I am; someone on the same spiritual level with me; someone who wants to go out one night and have an order-in, movie-on-demand night." 

I mean, I don't think that's too much.  Perhaps lead with the date nights and end with the family?  Or just keep the family and dad out of there.  I don't know.  My friends, over this past weekend, schooled me that less is more.  They mean I should say something more along the following lines: "I want someone to hang out with, have a good time, laugh with."  Really?  I think to myself, who doesn't want those things?  Perhaps less is more on that front.  I'm willing to try it.

Bottom line.  I know what I want.  I just don't need to scare the living shit out of someone on the first encounter, right?  I'll do better next time.  Fingers crossed.


3.  I'm TOO Eager.  I used to think that having a three-hour dinner with someone was promising, but now I am not so sure.  Recently, I had a three-hour awesome Tapas dinner with someone.  At the end of the night, he said something like, "I really want to do this again soon!"  Like a 'daft' idiot, I totally believed him.  He said I was better than my pics and exactly like my texts, which I took as a compliment.  The next day, he texted me that, unfortunately, he didn't think we were a "total match".  I don't know what that is, really.  That begged the question, was he lying to me when he said he wanted to do it again OR trying to make me feel better about myself?  Who knows!  I was just plain confused.

Important to Note:  I text these people too much leading up to and/or after the date.  Play hard to get. Usually, the hardest thing for me to do!  It all makes me look TOO eager.  Ugh.


4.  I'm TOO Much.    Most of you know me, so you know that I am a ball of energy, positive (most of the time), and infinitely enthusiastic.  I don't change for anyone...ever.  I might tone it down at times, but even that's exhausting for me.  My energy and zest for life, apparently might turn some people off.  If you think about it though, it's probably a good thing.  If they cannot handle me on a first date, how are they possible going to handle me for the rest of their lives?

This is not necessarily a good or a bad thing.  I believe it's just something to be aware of for the future.


In conclusion, the only way to know if you have had a successful date, is if you both want to have another one.  I mean, I know it's pretty basic, in theory, but it HAS to be mutual... and perhaps even a non-question.

GOOD LUCK to all you daters!  It's a crazy, crazy world.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

1) I write this blog because it's been on the forefront of my mind.  I am smiling from the inside today because I may, just may, have met someone who wants a third or fourth date.  Fingers crossed.  Yay!
2) Take the little lessons I have learned from my own experiences, and apply them to your life accordingly.
3)  Every so often today, take a deep breathe in, and feel grateful for your life.  I had an amazing weekend.  It was actually one of the best I have had in quite a long time.  Thank you to all of you!

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A Smile From The Inside Production :)