Letting Go to Grab that Prize

Hi there!  What’s new and good?

It’s been a while, I know.  But between buckling down to study for an online course I’m taking with IIN – the Institute for Integrative Nutrition – helping my mom out after a surgery, getting away for my fabulous, long-awaited for vacation, and traveling for work in between… Whew!  It’s been a hectic eight weeks.

Some days flowed effortlessly.  Others started out the worst days EVER (First World problems).  Yet, every time I thought I saw a negative, I held fast to my old belief that “everything happens for a reason.”  I simply had to find out that reason and look for the signs to turn in a better direction, and invite that redirect to occur.  Fast.

I went from being on the verge of failure for non-participation to taking a proactive stance in my career future and being told I’m a natural at coaching others toward good health and wellness.  When I sort of declared my unrequited love for someone and had it go unreturned, I didn’t look at it as rejection.  I saw it as the impetus I needed to get my head out of the fantastical clouds and realize my true worth that someone, someday will truly appreciate, while allowing myself the freedom to finally invoke that perfect partner to come into my life and (re)connect with my heart.  And then, as I was denied board on a flight through fatigue and neglect, blaming myself for missing a special opportunity to hear a treasured music play… one for which I’d pre-paid… the artist wrote to suggest I attend a personal sound healing with him, instead; an experience I’d wished for but previously thought impossible.  Moments later, like fairy dust sprinkled on a dream, an appointment was scheduled at the magical hour of 2:22 pm, and I walked on air.

If there’s a moral to the story, it’s that we cannot always control what happens in our lives, but we have absolute control over how we react to those circumstances.  What seems like the worst thing in the world one moment can free you up to receive the most amazing gift in the next.  Just let go.  Let go and acknowledge that there is a divine plan, and there are plans within plans of which we have no idea, but be open to the truth that Spirit/God/Allah/Yahweh/Source only wants you to be happy.  Let go and create a space for that happy-ness to squeeze its way inside and light up your whole world.  And since Light is Information, you will receive that inner message, that wonderful opportunity, or that amazing prize you truly deserve.

When it rains, look for rainbows.  When it's dark, look for stars.
When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.

Peace and Love.

À tout à l’heure…


The Path to Enlightenment: Dark Nights Lead to Beautiful Sunrises

Why is it that the darkest nights of our existence seem to surround the loss of a cherished loved one?

War is filled with unimaginable horror.  Financial ruin is laced with despair.  Famine.  Homelessness.  Our Human condition is rife with struggle and difficulty.

But take any of the above and replace it with the sudden departure of someone you love deeply – a partner, a child – and life becomes hopeless.  Whether it’s through death or indifference, each passing moment feels like an eternity where an endless dialog loops through your mind: Why? How could this happen? How do I move on?

Are we nothing without this connection?  Heart to heart.  Soul to soul… Amor vingit omnia.  Love conquers all.

Love conquers.  Love does not destroy.

not until we are lost do we find ourselves

My darkest nights began not when my body was broken by a car “accident” or when issues stemming from strained relationships with both my mother and my father seemed to choke me.  I survived financial bankruptcy, multiple jobs and home relocations, and adjusted accordingly.  No.  The dark nights began when I “accidentally” discovered the love of my life might be gay.

I was in love.  The kind of love that made angels fly and birds sing when he walked near.  The kind that made my heart skip a beat and had me call a friend to declare, “I’m done looking!” after we first spoke.  This was the man I wanted to settled down with, build a life and have children with. Just like Jerry McGuire declared, “He completed me.” He made me laugh.  He was sympathetic when I cried.  And we told each other everything, or so I thought.

“M” and I met on the 07:39 train to Stamford, CT on the Metro North from Harlem in New York.  Every weekday morning, we’d show up to ride in the same car, hoping to get seats, but often standing next to each other at the door.  Once in Stamford, it was ritual to wait in line for our coffees at Dunkin Donuts in the Stamford station.  My work days were much longer, so I began to look forward to the morning commutes whenever this ray of sunshine appeared on the platform.  He vanished after a month of nothing more than eye contact and I kicked myself for not at least saying “Hello.”  Eventually, I began to forget about him, but the commutes felt empty.

Then one day, this Adonis reappeared, all smiles, and gave me an awkward “Hey” as he left the coffee line on his way to the office.  The next morning, M asked me out to lunch but, because of my grueling schedule, the lunch date moved to drinks on Friday.  Drinks turned into dinner.  Dinner turned into a long weekend and the deal was sealed.  We were both hooked, or so I thought.

Fast forward to Dublin, Ireland.

Due to M’s Stamford boss being unable to extend a work visa to my Dutch boyfriend, and us not quite being ready for marriage, M took a sweet job with Google (Google!) and Google took him to Dublin.  For the sake of Love and my desire to make the relationship work at all costs, I quit my executive assistant job in Connecticut and returned full-time to work with the airline, becoming a transatlantic commuter instead of one on a simple train, waiting for the day we would finally marry.

A few months in to our Dublin life, I flew in one morning and was greeted with nothing more than a sleepy hug.  After breakfast at our favorite spot, M went to work and I went home to use the computer.  Our bid requests were due at the airline and I often used his desktop computer rather than drag my laptop from New York.  As I typed in “Jetnet.aa…” the Windows history automatically kicked in and the address line read “homo.nl/christian/brandon/…”  You name it.  On and on.  Name after name.  Line after line.  Boy names.  My breath absolutely left me.

“Well, that explains everything,” I sighed, as my chest fell and my heart sank.

In hindsight, I could say that our troubles began long before Dublin, when we shifted from that honeymoon phase to one where M had a headache… or it was a “school” night… the big presentation the next day made him nervous… or he was just plain tired.  Days without intimacy turned into weeks.  And when there was intimacy, what once felt deeply connected became mechanical and emotionless.  Once, at the suggestion he get checked out by a doctor, he was found to be fine.

“Do you like having sex?” I worked up the nerve to ask him one day, walking down West 86th St.

If you think you know where I’m going with this, you’d be right.  I asked but there was still an excuse for everything and he assured me all would come to pass.  But things didn’t pass.  Not in New York, and certainly not in Dublin.  I questioned everything I ever knew about myself, about our relationship.  The irony of it was that M was me, ten years earlier (there’s another blog post for you) and I still had not seen the signs or ignored them altogether.  What did this say about my own character and the ability to judge what was best for me?  Did he plant this for me to see rather than break up with me?  Was there something I could have done better or different?  How could I have been so wrong?

I sat on it stewed all day, waiting for him to come home from work in the evening when I confronted him.  To say it ended badly and I was devastated is an understatement.  I had never even told M that I loved him until that night.  We’d never exchanged the words because he told me Love didn’t need to be expressed in words.  It should be shown in deeds and I believed him.  I trusted him. Now, the possibility of Love seemed unobtainable and although he confessed he never acted upon his thoughts of homosexuality, he could be making the greatest mistake of his life by letting me go.  We talked and talked about things we should have said months earlier with no resolution. Heartbroken and knowing it was a decision he could only make for himself, I went out into the night and walked the cold, rainy streets of Dublin for hours, unable to go home, unable to seek shelter and face the hundreds of revelers in the crowded pubs on Friday night.  My phone rang and rang.  It was M, worried, but I couldn’t pick up.  A homeless street punk hurled some choice bigoted words at me. I swerved and raised my fist to punch him, then shouted at him like I’d never shouted before, everything coming out of me at once.  He cowered and apologized and still, I walked until I was empty of emotion.  A cabbie stopped and offered to take me home to get me out of the weather.  I felt like a drowned rat but I was frozen inside.  Hours passed before I resigned myself to go back to the flat where I collapsed, unable to speak to my former lover.  Two days later and with barely a word between us, I left.

That was the beginning of the dark period.  I literally laid in the dark in (our) Harlem apartment for six days, crying my eyeballs out, listening to Chicane’s ‘No Ordinary Morning’, telling no one of my shame before I had to put myself together well enough appear at work.  Depression set in so when I returned to flying, I tried to work it out of me by putting in an obscene amount of hours.  Periodically, I broke into fits of tears on the plane and locked myself in the lavatory. One crew member who noticed my behavior that was completely out of character was especially kind. (Thank you, DZ.)  I kept telling myself I just needed some time off. I needed a break and then everything would be okay.  Well, I’d broken my foot early in my relationship with M, and soon I broke it again.  Two months off to think.  While home, I picked up books I’d never had time to read and one altered my entire perception: ‘Alchemy of the Spirit’ by Kryon, as channeled by Lee Carroll.  I felt as if Kryon spoke directly to me and knew me for who I was, and I began to feel hope and Love.

This time when I went back to work, I changed my habitual route from London to Paris because everything there reminded me of times I’d shared with M.  I allowed myself to have fun again and met a sort of okay French guy who took my mind off my life, but he frustrated me to no end and rather than break up with him to free myself, I slipped and shattered my wrist on ice.  Four more months off work to think!  Who was I to fathom old habits changed so easily? This time, between marathon episodes of ‘Clean House’ and ‘What Not to Wear’, I dove into all matters of consciousness, ended things with Pepe le Pew, and cleaned up my spiritual house.

I’ve since come to believe the truly lucky ones get to encounter the Dark Night of the Soul through Love.  Love being the one true emotion to its opposite of Fear, it is Love we are afraid to lose.  It is the lack of Love that makes us feel incomplete.  It is Fear that has us believe we will never love again or that we are unworthy of Love and Love will never return.  The Truth is, we are loved beyond measure from a place most of us can only dream of because it does not exist in concrete form.  The higher realms of consciousness where your purest Self dwells wants you to know the relative insignificance of Love from another until you have absolutely, without a doubt learned the significance of loving your Self.

Do you love yourself?  How many can honestly say that?  Allow me to rephrase it.  Do you love your Self?  All of you.  I’m not just talking about your hair or car, or your job and the great physical condition that you may be in.  I’m asking about the pain, hurt, addictions and insecurity.  To have a life sprinkled with the latter is a life lived, my friend.  A life filled with great stories to tell… the kind where the trout becomes the whale of a fish you caught in the eye of the storm when the boat pitched to and fro, and you didn’t have any help, so you reached over and grabbed that monster and pulled it on deck with your bare hands kind of story!  And you survived.

Now this time, imagine yourself outside that same boat, pitching to and fro in this enormous perfect storm, only the fish that turned into the whale is a metaphor for your Self, flailing away and drowning in a sea of Fear and despair.  Monsters of life swim around like sharks… that boy or girl you love lurks, ready to chomp your very heart to bits; your partner swims away without remorse; your child gets carried ever farther away by rip currents, never to be seen again.  You struggle but you don’t see the point.  You want to swallow water and drown.  And then, and THEN a magical light appears in the boat.  It is your Highest Self calling out to you to catch the life ring it sends out to rescue you.  Beautiful light surrounds this crystalline creature and you realize that is the light of pure Love.  Suddenly, as you grab the ring and place it around you, you see that you are this pure, crystalline being, too.  The ring is glowing pink from the energy of this Love and surrounds you with peace and the all-knowing that everything will be okay.  As your Highest Self slowly reels you in to safety, the storm dissipates until there is nothing but calm sea and blue sky as He gently lifts you to safety aboard a magnificent cruise ship.

The two of you sit down at a table nearby and drinks of the cleanest, freshest water are set down before you.  As you take in the water, you’ve never felt more comfortable with another Human and want to share all your previous troubles with your Highest Self, but He assures you he’s heard it all before and winks.  “Drink and be refreshed,” He offers, and your cares dissolve with each sip.  As if the water is infused with pure Love energy itself, you begin to see your life before you as your new friend smiles on.  You see your journey, from birth through childhood struggles, high school trauma, family drama, and beyond.  You have a window on that first, perfect love mate and the life you built for yourself based on what you knew to be true at the time.  You may even note the life you once held was not your own, but that of what others around you dictated you should have based on their own experiences and expectations.  And then you get to the part where all hope was ripped away from you and you found yourself struggling in that sea.

“Finish the glass,” your Highest Self says lovingly, while gazing as if He can see into your very Soul.

As you tip the glass toward you, you notice it is no longer filled with the same water, but now contains the brightest, most colorful juice you’ve ever tasted.  This is no ordinary juice.  It is shining like the brightest rainbow and sparkles in the light radiating from you and your friend.  And as you drink this time, you see a life filled with rich experiences, none of which would have been possible without having swam through that sea that existed before this moment.  You understand that all the hurt, pain, and anguish; the FEAR were all always encircled by that same pink glow of Love, like the one in the life ring.  You feel grateful that all that ever happened before brought you to this very moment, otherwise you may not have ever met this wonderful side of you that loves you beyond all measure.  Knowingly, He nods and it is you who smiles in return.

“Let’s order new drinks, shall we?”

The two of you sit for a while on the bow of that ship, cruising along a crystalline sea that appears as magical and divine as you and your own true Self chat until you integrate with one another.  The life once lived served its purpose to bring you to the place where you found your Self, the one that loves you and wishes you to understand there is no reason to look for validation with Love from another.  Love was within you all the time.  Now you can lift your glass and toast to a new beginning.

I Am Love.  I Am.

Free from the past, confident in your future, it is you who commands the ship now. Onward.  Across the sea of Love and enlightenment.

I hope this helps.

A tout à l’heure….

Because it’s Father’s Day

It’s Monday where I am, but still Sunday in Hawaii, and therefor still a national holiday, so please bear with me.

After looking at so many photos from others online today, in the closing hours of Father’s Day, I searched but found I have only 3 good pictures of my father. The first (below) is from a time before I was born. The second is from a crazy, emotionally draining summer. And the third is from when he was so old and we were so estranged, we barely knew each other. So taking a cue from the song by The Script I posted on facebook earlier, and from MJ and BN… I wonder what my dad would see if he could take a look at me now.

My mom left her marriage when I was five and took my brother and me with her. I grew up in her house, not my father’s. He was the fun dad. The summer dad. The one who showed up with a girlfriend or a new wife and a new set of step-kids, and took my brother and I away to give my mom a break. He was the father I never saw during the school year, or shared any birthdays or holidays. The father I told my 5th grade school friends was dead. (I got busted when one of them saw him pick us up next summer.) Maybe I thought of him as dead, but when I was the one in the hospital and near death at 21, having not seen him for seven years, he showed up at my bedside (with yet another wife) and told me, “If you eat, you get out of here.” So eat, I did. Slowly but surely, I got out of the hospital, but once my recovery was certain, he disappeared, alienating me once again.

Though once daddy’s little girl, years later, it didn’t stop him from saying some horrific things to me which still bring tears to my eyes. I learned my dad cut me out because he was hurt after my parents’ divorce. You see, he initially thought I wasn’t his child. (Sorry to air that Mom, but we know the Truth.) My mom said he could charm the skin off the snake. He lied to me. He manipulated me. I felt I had to be the good daughter and help him when he needed it, but I did not like him. When I learned of his death, I cried for the father I didn’t have, not for the one I had.

What would he say if he could see me now? I’ve grown from the child into a woman. I’ve traveled the world and gone on wonderful adventures I’m sure he would’ve loved. I’ve made countless friends and, knowing nothing but change, had many lovers. (I guess that apple didn’t fall too far from the tree!) I’ve lived as fearlessly as I could, and am independent to a fault. Apparently, I have my father’s no-nonsense approach and my family tells me, “You’re just like him!”

I’m not angry anymore. And though I once was, I’m no longer resentful of the relationships he had with my siblings and nieces. You see, we can only work with the tools that are given us. We can either live by the sword or die by the sword…. Change tools, learn new skills, and build the future you wish to have. It’s never too late to learn love and forgiveness.

When one day I’m blessed to have a family of my own I will take these lessons to heart and raise my children to know the greatest bond we can share is with each other. Though they will never know my father, I pray that the man who is theirs will love them, unconditionally, and nurture a lifelong relationship with them. Together, we can transmute the old Karma and begin anew, with smiles, with laughter, and with Love. And then, may Ed Kennedy smile down upon us and repeat, “I told you, I didn’t raise no dummies.”

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. We’ll give each other a great big old pat on the back when we see each other the next time. Don’t flirt with any lady ghosts, ok?

Me and Dad
Me and Dad

Peace and Love.  

À tout à l’heure…


How have you been, dear readers?  It’s been a month or two or three.  Bad form on my part, true… but maybe this blogging thing gave me a bit more pressure in the run for my money than anticipated.  It’s been a dream of mine for so long to write, to tell the stories that fill my brain that I am sometimes often overwhelmed.  Please, forgive me.  My forty plus journals will someday make it to the little screen, I swear.


A recent flurry of questions by various crew members give me reason to revisit the ‘Living the Dream’ theme.  As you all should know by now, I did NOT move to Paris for a man but I wonder this morning, as I lay in my fluffy, Courtyard Marriott bed, texting a friend during today’s Bastille Day stage of the Tour de France (thanks, NBC Sports, for enabling me to watch the full replay later), maybe I did move BECAUSE of a man!  If I look back deep into my past, I could find that yes, therein lies the answer.  To know me, you must know this fundamental truth of my existence, that perhaps the life I have and the person I am now was always in the cards, but the path definitely took a turn – via one fateful encounter with (gasp!) a man – during the wee hours of December 15, 1985.

After dinner, I baked a butter cake for an elderly neighbor and her even older mother using a favorite aunt’s recipe, then left it to frost the next morning since it was getting late.  In the heart of my concert-going, groupie years, my best friend, Kelly, and I went to see a band called  10,000 Maniacs play at Parody Hall in downtown Kansas City.  I’d met the band on a few previous occasions when they opened shows for R.E.M.  Natalie Merchant was nice to me and I had a crush on the bassist, John Lombardo.

I was 21.

Following the show, we all attended a huge party held by the event host.  Kelly got into an argument with her boyfriend and left the party early to patch things up.  Natalie returned to the band’s hotel for a good night’s sleep, while John and I stayed on late.  It was close to 5:00 am when I dropped him off and said ‘good-bye’.  Their hotel faced the freeway.  I drove onto the entrance ramp and was quickly on my way home.  Less than four minutes later, I lay slumped in the passenger seat of the car.  A pool of blood formed around my head.

“Are you okay?” I heard a man yell.  “All I did was go the wrong way!”

I tried to answer, “Of course, I’m not okay,” but teeth fell out of my mouth instead of words.  As my left hand reached to touch the blood, I remembered Susan Sarandon’s character from ‘The Hunger’ in that scene where she commit vampire suicide.  The man kept shouting outside the window, but I just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep.  Somehow, somewhere inside, I knew that if I did, I would never come back.

Here’s the thing:

I don’t know your religious beliefs, but I can tell you without certainty that in that moment when I wanted nothing more than to close my eyes and go to sleep, I knew I had a choice.  And before I could consciously make that choice, I heard a thin, tinny, female voice speak to me.

“Don’t close your eyes until you get to the hospital,” it began, like a broken record.  “Keep your eyes open until you get to the hospital.  People can help you there.”

People did come.  I sensed a commotion circled around me and assumed paramedics had arrived.  They told me it would be cold and cut off all my clothes with a pair of scissors.  Oh, yeah.  It was December.  The black coat I’d searched to find in a Tall size was shredded and ripped off me.  The sweater I’d borrowed from Tyler, trashed.  I thought he would kill me for getting it ruined.  Beads from my long strands of pearls scattered everywhere with one snip of the blade.  I felt the chill as I lay exposed and helpless.  Every bone in my body screamed for me as attendants maneuvered me out of the twisted metal.

“Don’t close your eyes till you get to the hospital,” the voice went on.  “People can help you there.”

The pre-dawn sky.  The roof of the ambulance.  Pain but no pain.  I hurt with every roll over each crack in the road, but I kept my eyes open and stared.  Finally, the gurney lifted out of the ambulance and ceiling lights whisked by overhead.

“You’re in the hospital.  People can help you here,” the small voice instructed.  “You can close your eyes now.”

It was the last thing I’d remember for a while.  My people, as I’ve come to call them, saved me that day.  It was not my time to go.  I had a lot more living to do and they made sure I did.

Tragedy is a funny thing.  It gives one great perspective, though it can turn either into woe or triumph.

“Everything happens for a reason,” is a favorite quote.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is appropriate.

“Life is about choices,” gets preached a lot lately.

I chose to LIVE.  When word got out at Truman Medical Center that a young person was fighting for her life, they filed past my bed and whispered, “You should be dead.”  Really?  I may not have been able to speak, but I could write a note!  Modeling jobs prospects gone in an instant, the right side of my face was crushed on impact of the head-on collision.  In the time before air bags, a clavicle and the sternum snapped.  My lungs collapsed and filled with blood, and my right pelvic bone bruised.  I also broke a leg because I wasn’t drunk and braced when I realized the inevitable would happen as I saw the front end of the other car round the curve.  I found out who my friends were and my once estranged family rallied by my bed.

When the immediate danger passed, my brother Marc asked, “Is it okay if I eat the cake?”

Life went on and so did I.  Thanks to my family and friends to whom I don’t express it often enough, I love you all. And to my hospital roommate, Stella, wherever you are… you are my one regret in life that I didn’t keep in touch, but I love you, too.  And to the doctors and nurses, “my people”… I owe you the world.  I even thank the railroad worker who may or may not have been drunk, for he was never tested in those frantic moments by the rookie cop on duty.  I forgive you.  You are the man who changed my life forever and showed me that I have the fortitude to endure anything and nothing will stop me from finding my joy.  Now I chose to live and honor that second chance by spreading light as the Celtic meaning of my name Elaine suggests.  To name a few, I’ve lived in New York, Paris, and San Francisco.  I’ve visited the forest in Belgium, explored the volcanic beauty of Iceland (that’s a blog post I owe you), and soon I can be found in the wilderness in Zambia.

In a way, yes.  I moved because of a man.  🙂

A toast on the African Princess


Live well.  À la prochaine….


Butter Cake
  • 6 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 pound Butter, softened
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 4 cups Cake flour, sifted
  • ⅔ cup Milk**

Family favorite!
1.Batter: In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until smooth and light yellow in color, approximately 6 minutes. Add one egg at a time, blending after each addition. Add one cup of flour at a time to batter until just mixed. Stir in the milk.
2.Bake: Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured flute or bundt pan, shake slightly to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Unmold and place upside down on wire rack to cool.
**Instead of whole milk and to add character, a great alternative is to use 1/3 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed) + 1/3 cup water. Variations: include adding a dash of vanilla, lemon or almond extract with the water.
Coconut-Pecan Frosting
  • 1 cup Evaporated milk, (not sweetened condensed)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Coconut, shredded
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped

Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add coconut and chopped nuts. Cool until thick enough to spread, beating occasionally.