Friday, January 31, 2014


Whew! I am recovering from almost two straight weeks of birthday partying, and I won’t lie, I loved being Birthday Queen. These weeks have been packed with trips, girly cocktail hours, countless surprise guest stars along the way, elegant dinners, hair and make up appointments, and dessert every day.

(I have my lovely Alex to thank for making AMAZING VEGAN S’MORES CAKE for my birthday party. My god, I adore you.)

One of the highlight moments of my festivities was my partner taking me to an undisclosed location where my birthday party was being held. Downtown Los Angeles was lit up with celebratory energy and a slight chill in the air almost made our city feel like it was actually January. In heels far higher than I ever wear, I was carefully led through the vintage Figueroa Hotel to a private back patio. There, thirty or so friends and family members exchanged stories and champagne smiles under a canopy of vibrant fabric and glowing trees with colored lanterns. The open sky and high-rise cityscape surrounding us sparkled with song.

I had an unavoidable grin across my face the entire night. So many people, so much love.

In the middle of birthdaygirl-blissed-outness, my friend Krysta shared how much she’s appreciating my writing and how it impacts her. It was one of those moments that froze time for a brief moment and I was filled with a sense of gratitude and giddiness. That’s when I knew I was going to write about this birthday.


While the birthday events themselves were wonderful, something different happened to me this milestone year. Something deep.

The morning I woke up on my birthday I felt magical. (Like glittery skin in Twlight but sans the vampire/creepy factor.)
I was beaming from within.
Being in my skin felt so good.
That was the only place I wanted to be.

For the first time a birthday felt right. It felt as though my insides and my outsides were aligned, and I was not hoping to be or feel something different. I had satisfaction, self-love, and presentness. I had always looked for happiness outside of where I was in life, like a little girl trying on her mom’s high heels and putting on lipstick terribly. It was all about longing, fear, hiding, wishing, and bitching about my dissatisfaction. I never just sat where I was and drank in the moment, I didn't take care to celebrate it.

The biggest gift I’ve given myself is the practice of being present. I’m convinced that is the key factor in why I was in love with myself the morning of my birthday. I am intentionally available to myself and aware. My tattered 20’s have left me with new perspective, and while I am grateful to kiss them goodbye I am also grateful for the wisdom they offered.

To borrow a phrase from TEDx speaker Glennon Doyle Melton, “Life is brutal, and life is beautiful. Life is brutiful."

My understanding of that truth is razor sharp, and I’m grateful it only took me three decades to get there. (Hey, it could have taken much longer. I’m a real stubborn dame.) Experiencing the spectrum – the brutal and the beautiful – cannot leave us unchanged. We necessarily need one in order to appreciate the other. This dance allows us to come back to center with ourselves, put our hand on our heart, and breathe in all aspects of the present.

Here is to a new decade of being present to dreams, lessons, love, and ever-growing gratitude.

A special thanks to my wonderful partner, Zachary. My birthday was incredible thanks to your care and planning. Thank you for being such a kind, compassionate soul. You have made my life all the more beautiful and bright.   

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014: Year O’ Fun

I love that culture has been riding the wave of choosing a word or concept to focus on each new year as opposed to a long list of resolutions that sound like working out EVERY DAY, worrying less, meditating and journaling an hour a day, and eating less French fries and more kale.

In the past when I comprised a list of resolutions I inevitably felt profound failure around the morning of January 23. (It may have had something to do with that fact I would go balls to the wall and include 37+ resolutions. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time.) Regardless, the list wasn't happening.

By February 1, forget it. A new year is a mere eleven months away and the list can wait until then... again.

Since my extensive list of ideals hasn’t worked well, one simple word makes things more manageable. It focuses me and it offers an opportunity to open my heart to creativity as I engage how that word will manifest itself in the following 365 days.

I kept the same word for 2012 and 2013 because I really needed work on it. My word was PEACE. Choosing “peace” was like signing my soul up for CrossFit. What a gloriously messy, beautifully hard journey it was. I don’t think we learn through hope but through experience, and my experiences allowed me the opportunity to find peace despite/in/through them.

Now that I have mastered peace *(fiction), I have chosen FUN as my word for 2014. 

I don’t find myself to be a naturally fun person and at times it’s hard to put down work and the many responsibilities of adulthood to just enjoy life. Laugh. Let loose. Let GO. I gravitate toward people who I perceive to be fun and then I ride on their fun train for miles on end, but it’s time for me to adopt this for myself.

So bring on water coloring, trampoline gyms, bikes on the beach, fancy cocktails, weekend trips, new hiking trails, zoo passes, cooking classes, dancing, rock climbing, live TV tapings, roller skating, ice skating, whatever-skating, Pinterest DIY projects, camping, concerts, new books, shooting ranges, and many, many, many nights of playing Cards Against Humanity.

You look good, 2014. Here's to more laugh lines around my eyes and a fuller, freer heart.