Stand With Me

Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs on Indiegogo

DSC00616As someone who spends a lot of time searching for words, I am always relieved to find engagement apart from the written or spoken word. Don’t get me wrong, I love words. I’m using them now to give voice to the transformative power of dance.

And theater. I love movement with supporting visual orientation and Paula Josa-Jones is a master of the theatrical move.

But, as important as that is, it’s not why I’m writing. I’m here to tell a story. It’s about passion and commitment and collaboration. I’ve been photographing Paula since early in 1985. When I saw her in front of my lens I knew I’d been waiting for this mixture of innovative movement, comfort with the camera and an eye for detail that allowed my wild eye to flourish.

Now, when I talk about passion and commitment, I am not talking about us, Paula and me. I’m talking about Paula reaching out, asking dancers, set designers, and all those connected to production to plunge into their most authentic selves and come together to make truth in the work.

It takes courage and steadfast wildness to come to this place. And that’s where my story begins.

A few years back Paula was searching. We had moved here to the NW corner of Connecticut. Dancers were in Boston. Horses on the Vineyard where we had spent twelve years and major production of RIDE, dance theater with horses.

Now that I’m writing this, it seems simple. If you’re alone, do solo work. Duh. But then it was a revelation. Like a sword finally untethered, sharp and ready to strike. So, use it, duh.

When she asked me, I said, do a solo, you’re really good at it. But something had been hiding, Paula was shy. Who knew? Her company of beautiful dancers acted as a shield and we had chosen to live in a new place without “protection.”

She started rehearsing. Building this new solo work, Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs.  This is a lengthy process and now – I’m not sure how many years later – performances, dance showcases, artistic residencies, 1000 hours of listening to music, collecting brilliant collaborators. looking at costumes and photographs – not all mine, check out her Pinterest site.

This is serious work. Important work. Evocative and smart work. She does her best, is doing her best. You too, please. Thank you.

Open the gate – you won’t be sorry!

Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs on Indiegogo


It’s Saturday and markets all over the state, all over the country are filled with farmers and those of us wanting to have great food and be better to ourselves.

How can we be better to ourselves than to buy what’s grown and raised around us. How better to take care of what’s ours? If you think about it, it’s weird to buy things from other countries to save money. It’s weird to leave home and only buy from places we’ve never seen and from people we’ll never see.

But today, Saturday, a coolish, overcast day in August, we’re shopping local. We’re seeing our friends, talking, sampling and the best of all – everyone is smiling.

Dog Love

When my dog Liam comes looking for love, he isn’t expressing need. He’s full of himself and if I’m doing something else he does too. Until he sees a gap, then he enters and asks and I think the sun has come out. That’s Liam.

He doesn’t stress about my lack of communion, he doesn’t feel “less than.” He just waits for another moment. It always comes to him. When he wants play he grabs a toy and growls at me. If he gets nothing from me, he joins me at my feet. No less of a being than he was before.

I marvel at his equanimity. His strength and courage, the faith he has in himself. It isn’t even faith. That’s too thought-out, too human. He’s just who he is and that’s that.

I love to have Liam around me. He’s in balance and keeps me that way.

He’s not small.

Even as a puppy, he was as big as the biggest.

My Uncle Ben

“The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of the force of habit and must understand that practices are what create habits. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires. ” J. Paul Getty 1892 – 1976

My Uncle Ben was one of my idols growing up. I never knew him except through his books and stories about him. He was well adapted to his time, which spanned from about 1860 to 1930. He had no interest in the telephone. “If someone wants me, they know where I am.” And they did. And he was there. He was an inventor, manufacturer, reader. I don’t think he had a degree of any kind, he just knew what he was doing. And he did what he loved. And he didn’t do anything else. I have his wardrobe and by the look of it, “practical” would have been his ethos. It is elegantly straightforward, as are the family tales of its owner.

His younger brother, my grandfather, was more impetuous. I was told that my grandfather Frank once tried to run after a streetcar. Ben pulled him back, “there’ll be another.” My grandfather used the telephone but thought typewriters were a lot of clacking. He demanded quiet in the office he oversaw. The transition from scriveners to typists was a moment my father would step into.

We all have to adapt whether we want to or not. My forebears stood with their ideals, they walked their talk – or didn’t – they lived as best they could in the changing times they had. The world changes, it’s what we can count on; it’s what we can know or fight or feel betrayed about.

How each one of us grasps the present defines us. It is interesting to note that while the world changes we as humans are essentially the same as we were thousands of years ago. We can’t access the thoughts of our earliest ancestors, but the ones we can read point to our human condition being pretty much the same as it’s always been. There is no concomitant growth in our natures, much as we might like. In fact there is more likely a loss, something we’ve forgotten, a piece of wisdom lost to us. We often look at those before us as not quite with it, a little old fashioned, like our parents who never had sex. But when we open ourselves to looking deeper, to listening without judging the language, which may seem quaint to us, what is written or spoken benefits our lives as we are living them right now. I often read books written a century ago, or many centuries, and am completely supported emotionally and intellectually by what is written.

Any time we feel we are plowing through new ground, we are, but it is our ground and it’s been plowed before. Computers, iPhones, Blackberries, are stepping stones to assist us. The newest technology is old as it leaves the suppliers’ shelves. Our hearts and minds are a constant through the ages. We can’t touch the past or the future with them, we touch with our hearts and minds. It is ourselves who will push through those new doors, and we haven’t changed. Don’t let your new phone get wet, but take care of yourself. Take care to practice what you want, take charge of who you want to be. Stand up for what is real for you. Do what you know. Love what you do.

When Do You Have Enough?

What do you really want?

If you don’t have a clear picture to answer the question “What do I really want?” you are not alone. We are bombarded with things to do, buy, play, and know. This is a complex time, this is always a complex time. There is nothing new – if you can take solace in that, or if you can’t. We are rarely not challenged by our lives.

Challenge leads to our meeting it (the challenge) or avoiding it. Our minds play a huge role because if you really tell yourself the truth, most stuff we spend time and money on doesn’t matter that much. Have you let something get by you – a game, a car, an attitude and then not missed it? When it comes to you over and over maybe that’s the time to give it a look. But most of us are pulled in the moment. We respond quickly. Isn’t that what our parents wanted? Quick responders. Isn’t that what we see in the movies? What we need in the Emergency Room – yes, there IS a time and a place for instant action. But most of us overplay our hands at “instant.”

Some questions to ponder; Do you put down your real goals in favor of what someone or something else wants? Is that what your “quickness” is about? Do you have enough time to take care of yourself or do you let that go? Do you have enough money to live the way you want or are you living someone else’s dream? Are you following your parents’ goals for you, living in a house they like, going to places they’ve been or want to go? Do you have enough love? Are you accepting what’s offered? Nothing wrong with that if you are pursuing your own goals. Do you have enough friends? Do you count all the people in your organizations as your friends but don’t have time (take time) to really connect with any one or three of them?

In my experience with my children, I find I want them to have certain experiences and not others. I don’t think I’m too unusual. I don’t want them to have any strife or struggle. No bad grades, unrequited love, bullying, or nasty falls. At the same time I pride myself on how I’ve handled occasions where challenges were met. I’d rather they didn’t express themselves with hair dye or piercings but I value my radical difference from my parents – and most of my peers even now.

This comes back to what we really want. Is there a way to know? Yes, of course there is, and it’s one of the areas in which we are most challenged. It’s focus. I should write “FOCUS.” It’s that big. That important. We do what we are focused on, we become what our focus brings us to. If we can say “birds of a feather flock together,” then you know how important it is to put yourself where you can be your best self. Where you can meet and exceed yourself, where you can start low and end up with loftier ideas and ideals. Are you more aware with whom your children hang out than you are for yourself? Do you challenge them and their attitudes to study, work, play. I doubt you think it’s cool when they hang out with friends who are driving aimlessly, drinking and drugging? Do you say, “sure, take the keys, go do nothing?”

Look in the mirror. What are you doing? What are you aware of? Where are you going?
Take a good look. Get your goals in sight. Write them down , talk about them to the loving supportive people around you. Be the winner you want your kids to hang with. Take the leap. One step at a time. One minute at a time. One turn at a time. Don’t get lost in the whole picture – be a GPS, take the turns to the next frame once you’ve set your ultimate goal.

This is what you fear most

There is no magic bullet to getting rich. Hard work will not get you there by itself. There are no tricks. People who are rich are just like you, only different.

When you decide to get rich, you have to; 1) change your attitude toward yourself and others, 2) have a vision, 3) keep hold of that vision, 4) define your goal(s), 5) identify your limiting beliefs, 6) listen to your true self – anytime a “should” comes in, you’re on the wrong track.

The reason you aren’t successful is often due to a tennis match between your negative and positive feelings about being rich and successful. This game can manifest as inertia, self-sabotage and procrastination.

Your body can be an antenna for what makes sense for you to pursue. A trained athlete may make a wrong play every now and again but we wouldn’t be watching if their moves were random and dominated by opposing influences.

But this is exactly what we do. We think we want (did I hear a should?) one path and then we hear another, advice, e-mail, the news, we have so many venues for information. Most of the choices you make don’t depend on “bad” and “good” to prove their veracity. The simplest move on your part requires the most faith in yourself. I’ll go back to the athlete analogy; what if Tiger Woods ( you choose a sport) had decided to try snowboarding and baseball, his mother wanted a soccer player, his uncle first draft on a baseball team. Would you have heard of him?

Look at yourself. How many things do you do? How many do you do well? How did you come to be doing most of the things you are doing? Did your family growing up have anything to do with it? Do you hold beliefs you don’t even know about? Do you have judgements you don’t know and can’t define?

Each judgement has started with your belief system. Each belief system starts before our comprehension kicks in so we become adults believing without reason or experience. We are swayed by others’ life experience, as were they.

Time to give it up. Be your own success story, kick the limiting beliefs. Stay tuned!

A Mind At Peace

A Mind At Peace

“A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer

When we are in the middle of a huge ad campaign, when we are focused on our selling, our writing, our parenting, our business, our buying, our driving, our belonging and communicating verbally or any way we don’t have to commute away from this very strong reminder of what many philosophies call Right Action.

Our being centered on our highest goal(s) is the key to keeping the mind mosquitoes from biting us while we are going about our dailies, accomplishing or trying to accomplish our aims. Are we thinking about how high these aims are? Are we focused always on the “Big Picture?” No, not necessarily – but only if we keep our selves in line with our Selves.

Are we nervous when we’re making a plan for a business deal, an ad campaign? Are we looking over our shoulder, do we jump when the phone rings? Are we grumbly when it rings? These are signs we are not taking care of our biggest efforts to achieve the goals we dream of. I’m not saying we have to have the door open while we work, or that we shouldn’t protect our time – exactly, we should.

When you are pursuing and planning your biggest steps, you should protect your time. You are as valuable as your time, there should be no question about that. But, if your time isn’t aimed at your biggest dreams, your highest goals, you may be wasting it. If your passion is engaged you will attract what you want, if your passion is elsewhere it is a good sign that you have another area that is more interesting to you and better to put your energies there.

In the above quote, “not harming others” may seem like a logical route, but are you focused enough on not harming yourself? This is something most of us overlook on a daily basis. Do you wear seatbelts, protective clothes (rain, cold)? Do you cover your ears when you hear a loud noise? Sunglasses? I’m not going to tackle shoes – when I see a woman’s head bobbing crazily as she walks I don’t have to look at her shoes to know she’s wearing very high heels!

How do you protect yourself from yourself? How do you let yourself know you’ll be there for you, your love is certain, your time secure. Well, start by being a mind at peace, centered on your true vision and you’re on your way.

What Do You See?

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.
Anais Nin

Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you because that will dictate how you are seen as well as how you see.

If you’re coming from a position of being unloving toward yourself, if you are not feeling physically well, if you struggle with your weight, your anger, your depression, you won’t be able to see very well. Opportunities will avoid you – you won’t be able to see them.

If you are not in tune with yourself mentally it will color your physical world. If you have a strong belief system expressing itself inside you, it will express on the outside too.

There are studies showing that mental states – and you may not know you have them – can change your body. One woman grew her breast size and shrank her stomach when she discovered she had many beliefs about those parts of her body and their meaning in her life.

She had grown up with the idea that having children would cause her belly to expand and her breasts to shrink. After having two children her mindset began to realize itself in her body. She also suffered from post-partum depression, and had a nervous breakdown.

In her case she learned EFT, which you should look into. It is an incredibly useful tool. Go on Gary Craig’s website and you can get a lot of free information on how to work it into your life.

There is a lot of information about how to conquer this and that on the web, how to dominate an aspect of a search engine, how to attract more leads and have people buy whatever it is you are selling but if you don’t take care of yourself, find out who you are and what makes you tick, eventually it will all come down on your head and you will be an empty bag of proficiency!
Whatever business you are in – or out of – whatever you might want to make or sell, from home or office, farm stand or flea market, e-Bay or Whatever List, you need to find yourself first, then your world will find you. And when it does, you’ll be ready.

Business opportunities abound; will you be able to see them when they’re in front of you?

Click on

Little Fish/Big Fish

I was listening to NPR the other Fri and heard a clip about the oceans being overfished. Ok I knew that. But it wasn’t just that. It was about the fishing of the Big Fish. Everyone goes after the big fish. So if big fish are being overfished what does that leave? Little fish. And little fish breed more little fish and more little fish choose each other as mates. So you have the evolution of the little fish.

Ok. So the science guy was saying that Darwinian selection is happening – by humans and the world of little fish is being made bigger.

So I extrapolated that to our current economic situation. The “big fish” are being taken out of the equation. Big companies are down sizing, ceo’s are loosing their jobs as well as the employees. It used to be if you worked for a big company you were fairly safe. But some of the oldest, biggest companies are going and lots are gone.

So what does that leave? Little companies, small business. This is a great time to be an entrepreneur. A great time to start your own business, make your own policy, be independent. This is the time of the little fish in the business world.

Be a little fish and be success. Low overhead, you work at your own pace, commute time is radically shortened ( more low
overhead),time with what you care about. Coaching kids, volunteering, building something in the shop you put in your garage or basement and then didn’t have the time to use it. Writing poetry for yourself, your kids, your grandchildren. Telling someone you love that you love them. It’s all easier when you’re physically closer to them and not on some freeway stuck in traffic and hating everyone and everything when you get home.

Be a little fish, see an opportunity – grab it! Be big yourself in yourself for yourself, let the big companies go.

Looking For Opportunity?

You Can Do It

Most likely you’ve been rewarded for standing in line quietly, eating what’s given and generally doing what you’re told. Then maybe you’ve been given instruction in how to stand out. How to make the fastest pitch or the best jump. Maybe you’ve been given instructions for acing something by stepping on someone else’s toes, or going behind their back.

Life is full of these contrasts and sometimes it’s hard to maneuver smoothly through the contradictions life throws your way.

Do you find yourself thinking you can’t do something you read about? When you see headlines about people getting thousands of dollars from an internet business does a voice inside you negate that possibility for you? Do you then get angry and think they must know something you don’t or they’ve got some unfair edge?

I’m hoping for you that you read information about success and think – yes, that’s me! But most of us need more help than that. Most of us need to get supportive and encouraging actions to be able to say, “I could do that if I learned how!”

Would you be willing to take a chance on yourself? Give yourself a chance to find out what you can really do, who you really are? Can you imagine yourself as a leader? An expert? Well, I can.

We are all individuals. If we’re both wearing the same clothes, we look different. We can take that difference and make it work for us. We can join a group and stand out in it. We can give ourselves the chance to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. But we won’t do it alone, we all need support.

Have you been influenced by others? The difference between you and them is that they spent some time looking at who they are and what their goals are. They focused on themselves and you got their message! You can do that too. Here are some initial steps:

1) Look around you. Are people you’re associating with happy and self-motivated? Do they have a positive mindset? You will get caught up in the mindset of your peers, so make good choices.

2) Do you know what you want (this is not as easy as it sounds)? Do you have a plan? If you are around people who don’t have a lot to do, you’ll waste time.

3) Do you know what you’re worth? You never make more money than you think you can.

When you can answer these questions, you’ll be on the path that will separate you from the herd. You’ll be on your way to your dreams and you can’t do anything without your dreams.