There: In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other

This production is taken from Lebanese-American poet, Ethel Adnan. It is a composure of self reflection. It is cool-created by Blanka Zixka and Rosa Barba with original music, music direction, and sound design by Alex Dowling! I don’t want to call it a play by our understanding of what we think plays are to be. This is a production of mirrored reflection and light.

In light it always reveals. Light always illuminates our pathway. Shinning the light on ourselves and bringing together one another in the light is a daily task. What do we see? How we work with each other has a lot to do with the light that has been shown on us in particular situations. Mirroring what we think we know and learning to ask questions beyond the surface is important!

We can’t continue to stay in darkness and thus hold on to our grudges, or our “ways.” We must use the light that is inside of us to shine on to our fellow neighbors and ourselves to be better. “Are we borrowing the here and now and if so from whom?” You aren’t going to remember every piece of the poetry? You simply aren’t. You will be able to use it as discussion within yourself and amongst your circles. In the light of understanding is how we together can be more unified instead of holding on to our comfortable dark places. In light is also change.

You will love the stage. Set on a ramp you will see the actors and actresses asking and answering and figuring out what is this light and how it reflects to life. I was amazed at how fluidity they moved. How graceful they were. I came to learn that they had a movement coach that helped them to learn to maneuver well. You definitely saw the grace that was used.

I also was impressed to find out that this production was a labor of love that took some of the actors 4 years to bring to fruition! That is amazing! The rehearsals and the actors workshops showed the energy put into this beautiful piece.

I loved the simplicity but the depth of questions. I loved how it was about entertaining but for reflection. I loved how peaceful it felt being in the theatre and trying not to overthink but listen.

This is a must see! You will feel inspired and challenged.

You have an opportunity to see There as well as engage in conversation either with the actors themselves or a panel at every performance. I’ve been to the panels at Wilma Theatre and it’s been one of the most engaging principles that always helps to allow free thinking and free speech. I always leave with more clarity after each one!

Also we need more light in today’s culture of misunderstandings and pain. If we learned to shine the light in these dark corners we might be able to get along a lot better and truly be unified!

Do yourself a favor and check out There before it ends September 22nd! You can get your tickets here! Bring a friend and leave inspired!

Thank you to Wilma Theatre for having me! Thank you to the amazing cast, directors, ensemble, and production team who made this play a beautiful reflective piece!

Also the Wilma Theatre had such a beautiful opening reception!

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Day 11 Self Care September Challenge

I spent most of the day reflecting on September 11th! I spent the day remembering the fear that I felt when the Towers collapsed. Thinking about the families and friends who wake up in more pain from that tragic event I can’t begin to imagine.

I also did a lot of running around to prepare for my son and niece’s birthday as they celebrate on the same day. I also was able to get a lot of rest! I can’t tell you how much that felt. I haven’t had a long nap in a long time due to life. Like who has time to sleep? I am grateful for rest. Like no internet, no social media, no kids, no sister responsibilities with my twin just pure uninterrupted sleep! I know the next couple of days as I prepare for the Blogher conference is going to be very necessary!! This momma energy levels have been on another level!!

This week’s goal is to get packed for the trip, I have a lot of events this weekend and leading up to the actual trip!

Day 10 Self Care September Challenge

So today was all about adjustment. I had it in my mind well I was told that my twin would have her nurse today. So I made sure that I changed my class time. I actually canceled barre class in preparation for her nurse only to have her not show up.

Since I had to do a few things I didn’t even tap into the nurses not coming until almost end of the day. Outside of this I needed to follow through on a few things. I don’t know if that was an epic fail or not but I was determined after Monday to go with the flow.

Later in the day I took the kids to the Phillies game. It was my niece’s first baseball game. They all had an ultimate blast. From the moment we stepped in the stadium until we got home it went super well. All of the kids cooperated as well as went overboard to do what they needed to do to have fun and stay safe!

I think that the kids doing better than I anticipated was everything I needed! It made the winding turns of these last few months!

Look at that view?! I would have missed it had I been trying to make everything go a certain way!!

Day 9 Self Care September Challenge

So have you had in your mind that you needed to be at a place but when you got there it wasn’t the case at all? That is what my Monday was like!

I went running to Bar Method and rushed to get there by 930. I circle many blocks only to find not one spot available. I was about to pay to park in a parking garage when I felt the need to look into my calendar. Here I was about 3 hours ahead of schedule. So now I have to figure out a new plan. The mere frustration as I circled each block grew. I kept telling myself to be calm and don’t get too worked up. I kept reminding myself once class was over I would feel better. As I started my trek home I was wondering how did I miss my schedule like this?

I knew how hectic things had been. Each day that has gone by has made me more agitated as well as more and more tired but this desire to push is getting tougher and tougher. I finally made it to my rightful class later in the afternoon. I felt great and it gave me more energy to continue crossing my to do list. I wanted to take a nap but I knew a nap wouldn’t come.

One thing that I found on today was I hadn’t started my day on the right foot like I normally do. I didn’t pray or meditate. I didn’t set my intentions. The morning before I went to the wrong class the kids were all off the chain. Even though I had planned things ahead of time to prevent the morning from going left; it went left. The kids were not cooperative. I left in a hurry and I left in anger without a reset.

I recognized it but by that time 3/4 of the day had passed. I was able to salvage my day by going to bed early! My goal was to enjoy some television time but I ended up with some sleep: about 8-9 hours of sleep and trust me that’s not a normal for me!

2019 Fringe Fest: Tribe of Fools; Operation Wawa Road Trip

This play had me rolling. One of the best belly laughs that I needed and it still kept its serious element. Operation Wawa Road Trip is a must see!

Lee and Joey are on a road trip from Dayton Ohio to Philadelphia to honor their father’s wishes to have his ashes spread in a meaningful place-a Wawa parking lot. The road is definitely one for the books. To “abscond” their father’s ashes during his memorial service I already knew this adventure was going to be epic. What do you do when you roll on the Turnpike full of emotions? You keep driving until you have to stop…

The stops are hilarious. Each stop came with a lesson. One stop in particular that I know I related to is the stop to Sheetz. I was born in Youngstown Ohio and lived in Central Pennsylvania for most of my life. Sheetz is life! You couldn’t tell me nothing especially when you bite into one of their burritos. Anyway the M.T.O is serious! M.T.O is the Made to Order motto that all Sheetz patrons all love! To have Lee and Joey stumble upon Sheetz as they are on their way to Wawa is hilarious! I laughed so hard watching their interactions.

When I moved to Philadelphia one of the first arguments I had with my husband was about Sheetz vs. Wawa! I mean a real argument. He was like “don’t be in public in Philadelphia telling others about your love for Sheetz over Wawa.” I had no idea what he was even talking about but Wawa is serious business in Philadelphia.

The whole cast was nothing but pure talent. I mean pure light and love. Each actor brought their A game and I was amazed at their ability to switch in and out of character so fluidity. I enjoyed every part.

I thought about the times when you are grieving and how protective you become during those dark times. Seeing how Lee wanted to push through for what was right and moving along with tunnel vision. Joey definitely had his own internal struggle. Sometimes we hide our feelings as a way to avoid. We block and allow in what we think will serve us until something or someone challenges us to think beyond service pain. If we don’t deal with our feelings there’s a good chance they don’t exist….

They do exist. Life can’t just move ahead. You have to go back to move forward. Death always presses questions of the what if’s… So how will Lee and Joey honor their father? Do they make it to Wawa? Family is everything and it’s always a great thing to have someone to lean on but what about dealing with reality?! These questions will be answered but the road there just like the road to Operation Wawa Road Trip is a beautiful blend of life, fun, and a bit loopy.

Oh and always remember when you do make a pit stop make sure it’s for two things-never one!

Life is hard. There’s no reason to keep the tempo of life without slowing down to be sure you reach out. If there is one thing to take away it’s gonna be about making calls and connecting. We spend so much time on go that we need to add a daily and weekly pause for those around us before we can’t!

You can catch Operation: Wawa Road Trip before it ends by getting tickets here! The show will end Saturday September 21st! Let’s always do our part to support the Arts!

Monday Motivation: How many times?

Mondays are Mondays. It’s time to reset for another week. How do you reset when you feel like you’re in constant failure mode?! It’s frustrating. You know you are supposed to keep moving but that’s easier said than done.

Failed plans feel personal. They feel like the control you were supposed to have slipped. It can be traumatic. Think about the kids in high school as they graduate. All of their friends are off to college and if you as a student didn’t get into college, had a hard time adjusting to the requirements of college, etc. it feels like everyone is passing you by!

No one wants to fail! We all want to succeed. It’s the pathway to success that brings about all kinds of emotions and trials! Waking up and feeling the pain of your failure is sometimes debilitating. This is why some people walk with the look of defeat in their face. It’s tragic but it doesn’t have to be the end of your story. If you allow it to be it can take over any potential you have inside of you. It’s waiting for you to get pass this moment to produce your greatest accomplishments. You are prolonging your next steps.

One of the things you can do to get pass that pit in your stomach of the “I’ve blown it” moment is to accept the failure. Trying to act like it didn’t happen makes it hard to work through. Own it!! It’s your story and it’s only a chapter! It’s up to you how many chapters it gets! How long will the sting last? You don’t have to beat yourself up daily. Nothing will change what you did, what you loss, who left, or how much it cost but you can learn from it. You can grow from it. You can move pass it. You can change your own narrative.

Today it’s okay to feel bummed out about failure just don’t let it control you to the point where you can’t get up and shake yourself!!

Pick yourself up and try! You got this!!

Sunday Message and Day 7 of Self Care September Challenge

I’m hoping you are taking the Self Care September journey with me. That doesn’t mean you need to start a blog and write about it if you don’t want to but maybe you can create a journal. I use my notes function on my phone during the day to write down how I’m feeling. It helps me to sort out of any issues that arises. It also helps me to remember what happened when I revisit an issue later.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I had a headache but that didn’t come until after my run. I did the PHL5K that was sponsored by American Airlines and Philadelphia International Airport. It helped raise money for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and the Eastwick Friends and Family Coalition. I was honored to have run knowing the run was helping in amazing causes.

Habitat for Humanity helps families who might not have the opportunity to become home owners and provides them with an affordable home option. Having the home owner assist in its build helps them appreciate all that went into the home as they take on the responsibilities. It takes financial backing to provide such a mess to the communities it services and I’m glad this run provided it!

Me with the Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia team

I got up at 530 so I could gather everything needed. Thanks to my husband aka my run husband for being there with me. He doesn’t do any of the running but he acts as a coach, motivator, post snack getter, driver and photographer. I appreciate him getting up in the morning as early as we did to be there.

We did a Zumba work out and before we knew it the run began! I finished in 36 minutes and 3 seconds. While running I couldn’t keep my time. It’s the new Fitbit but I was good with the time I ran it. This is my first of this run season and I will do about 1-2 each month until Christmas!

Sunday Message

I’ve been in many times with people who wanted a private relationship but wanted to publicly distance themselves from me. I mean this from all forms of relationships not just romantic. It taught me that one anyone who has done it we’re definitely talking about me to certain groups. They didn’t want the group to know that they were good with me because in revealing that the group would be aware of not only the things the person hanging out with me said but they would be liable for what they said as well.

I think in my journey of friendships and relationships it’s been the one thing that has hurt me. I already struggle with being close to people and to know that I’m friends or in relationship with someone who doesn’t honor that relationship in all arenas is hurtful! It’s mean and it’s isn’t right. Some have asked why I no longer entertain people who are like that? My question is what is the value? None. It’s one thing to go along and not know. Once it’s revealed I have no value in being in connection with others who don’t value me. I’m not here to help wrong people feel better in their wrong. It’s not my job.

How do you get past?

You remember the value of your friendship. If there is something that the one who devalues you have brought up that you can do better with then do it. That doesn’t mean I have to sit under their table to do so. I don’t allow those types of folks into our home. My husband and I are super clear on that. Our home should be full of peace and love and anything or anyone who disturbs it won’t be in our home.

It’s a beautiful thing to be in company with those who have the same core values. This is why you don’t link in business with folks that speak unity in public but do everything but. In the blogging world I’ve seen some cut throat things. You will have folks ask you how did you get what you get not because they want to know and learn but I’ve had some bold one say “I don’t deserve…” I stop them real quick and remind them they aren’t my checker and they don’t get to determine my value. I’ve seen folks post unity and then turn around and dis-include those who don’t look like them. One thing I know even being as old as I am karma knows your true intentions and she doesn’t miss in how she handles me and anyone else for that matter.

So your mission is to be yourself. Your mission is to treat others with respect. Your mission isn’t to get everyone to like you, support you, or be there in the bad times. Your mission is to be who you say you are at all times and be the best version of yourself. If you find the private friends, disengage with them. That energy is draining you so they can leave you empty while they attempt to knock you off your game. Never let them see you sweat but sometimes work twice as hard so when they come with the “how you get here” question you can just smile and say hard work!

Happy Sunday but weed off them private sleuths you don’t need them. If they can’t celebrate you publicly let them go. Watch for the ones who don’t clap at your success trust me that’s all you need to know in how you move forward!