Category Archives: self improvement

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Standing Out

Ever feel like a fish out of water? A stranger in a strange land? Ever feel like it’s obvious the emperor has no clothes and wonder why the heck NOBODY is SAYING anything about it?

Welcome to my world.

The good news is, you are not alone.

The bad news is, I bet you are afraid to say what you see/to be yourself/to stand out. I know how you feel and I am not telling you that it’s wrong to be afraid. There are a lot of bullies, fear mongers, “trolls,” and well-meaning critics who can be pretty darn scary both on the internet and in life. People who like to make fun of those whom they see as “different.” Why? Because controlling others through shame makes them feel good. Their hurtful words are often said with the best of intentions, but deep down they really want you to do one thing: SIT DOWN and SHUT UP.

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For example: the phrase “hipster” is meant to mock an entire generation of young people who are seeking to express themselves in their own unique way. “Hipsters,” is a phrase MEANT to be dismissive. I know, I know… it doesn’t seem that hurtful but if you’ve ever heard this phrase while wearing a fedora or showing off your sleeve tattoo, it’s possible that you knew they were in part talking about you, and you felt a little SHAMED.

What to do, what to do.

Trust me, I have tried in my life to accommodate those who wanted me to be less than myself simply so that they could be more comfortable around me (relatives/so-called friends/teachers/neighbors/bosses/colleagues…) I’ve tried to adjust to what “they” said I “should” do about my hair/weight/face/clothes/career/art/dreams/goals/desires/taste/FEELINGS… but it just made me one thing:  MISERABLE.

I’ve even tried various ways of being self-destructive in order to numb the pain/the voice/the desire in me to meet life with all the creative gusto I have in me, but it didn’t work. The ONLY thing that has helped me move forward/feel comfortable/be HAPPY in my life, is to simply BE DIFFERENT ANYWAY.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 10.43.30 AMIt boils down to choice. Do I want to be happy and follow my own path, no matter if it’s flawed/choppy/awkward/obscene to others? Or do I want to accommodate those who would critique me?

Do I have the courage to STAND OUT or would I rather be INVISIBLE?

It seems like a choice…right? But here’s the thing. Trying to be invisible HURTS. It physically/emotionally/spiritually HURTS. Wearing the clothes that no one will comment on (or that are guaranteed “approved by society,”) doing the job that “everyone” thinks is acceptable, saying the same things your friends do just to fit in… all causes PAIN… deep down in your soul.

So what do you do with that pain?

You numb it, right? Food/shopping/prescription meds/money/sex/drugs/gossip/over-exercizing/TV/work …are all ways we use to numb the pain… and the list goes on and on. And these distractions from pain can become so all-consuming that you don’t even realize that you are still in pain.Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 10.56.22 AM

I don’t want to live that way.

So there is no choice. I’m just a weirdo, and that’s that. I have to accept that people will say mean things to me on the internet, not understand or support why I want to do something… mud will continue to be flung. I simple have to continue to just do my work: the job of being true to myself.

This blog is not meant to be an exercise in emotional self-masterbation. It’s also about YOU. I hope today you will be BRAVE and do a little something today that feels AUTHENTIC and TRUTHFUL for YOU. Because I deeply believe that what YOU have to say, who YOU are is a gift to the world.

Buy Barbie head shoes. Get a ticket to a magic show. Take that little project out of the bottom desk drawer and put a gold star and glitter all over it.  And if you want, tell me about it. I like to hear about other people fighting for their unique way of living in this world.

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Better Choices + Time = New Life

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 1.00.44 PMOne question I have been asked often recently is this:

“After years of childhood misery and years of unhappy, unsuccessful adult relationships, how did you manage to change it all and ALSO find a great guy?”

Basically they are asking me, “How did you get happy?”

The simple answer is: I realized I was the common factor in my unhappiness, and changed my choices.

Here I refer to three bits of wisdom a therapist once gave me.  (Did I mention he’s Italian?)

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PITHY ADVICE FROM THERAPIST #1

He said something like this:

“You walk into a bar. You see a person at the bar you’re really attracted to. S/he’s got that “spark” that all the other people you once loved (and went through hell with) also had. Walk over to where s/he is sitting, TURN AROUND, AND TALK TO THE PERSON STANDING NEXT TO THEM.”

I never forgot the simplicity of this advice. The message is: what is familiar may be a “draw” for you. “Spark” may resonate with all the hope of finally fixing your love life, or maybe even your childhood, but when you go down that path… you usually get drama. Despair. Frustration… and end up back on the usual emotional merry-go-round. What to do?

TURN AROUND AND TALK TO SOMEONE YOU WOULDN’T CHOOSE.

Yeah, yeah, I know…

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But look. If you are like I was, your “picker” is broken. You simply have to look around at all the people you are not currently picking.

So be brave! Say hi to someone you might not have.  You never know where it could take you. Honestly, it’s how I met the love of my life.

Speaking of which…

PITHY AND REMARKABLY USEFUL TID-BIT FROM THERAPIST #2

…went something like this:

“Take a pencil and a piece of paper. Draw a simple circle. Make a point in the middle of the circle. Now draw a line from the point in the center of the circle to any point on the outside of the circle. (This is a lot easier than I am making it sound.) Now draw a second line from the center point maybe 3 degrees from the first line.

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If you kept on drawing those lines further and further out, they’d end up really far apart from each other.

Line ONE is the path you are on.

Line TWO is where the new choice takes you. Just 3 degrees of change can make you end up far away then where you were headed.”

BETTER CHOICES + TIME = NEW LIFE.

BTW SARK has many suggestions as to how to make what she called MICRO MOVEMENTS fun. (I love SARK.)

PITHY AND SURPRISINGLY USEFUL ADVICE FROM SHRINK #3

“Here’s your homework. Go home and WATCH JUDGE JUDY.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 12.41.57 PMSeriously… my therapist told me to watch Judge Judy. When I did, I realized that I was being really “wishy-washy” in my life, giving some people FAR too much credit, and definitely not standing up for myself. I needed a New York Overhaul and JJ was just the lady to help me out. I can’t say it worked overnight, so if you are shy, like I used to be, repeated viewing is highly suggested.

Finally, in order to accomplish any goal, all you really need is one attribute. I think this ONE THING is what separates those who change their lives from those who never do.

WILLINGNESS. If you are willing to change, or can cultivate the willingness to change, then you can change your life. I admit, sometimes I know what I have to do in order to change, I’m just not willing to do it. But at least I am 100% clear that I am choosing to NOT be willing. The willingness to change sometimes comes slowly and is usually accompanied by great pain, and pain… well, pain sucks. But enough of it sure can make you willing to change.

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Paste Magazine Interview

Television Academy Hosts Daytime Emmy Nominee ReceptionCady McClain’s memoir arrives at a hugely significant time for women. Just a few weeks ago the social media movement #YesAllWomen launched as a response to the massacre in Isla Vista, California. While it’s difficult to say for sure what drives a person commit mass murder, it was clear to many people that Elliot Rodger was partly motivated by a set of misogynistic principles. Murdering My Youth is, on the one hand, about McClain’s complicated and often traumatic life as a child actress and soap star. But what makes it a more powerful text, is that—whether intentionally or not—it also reads as a critique of a dangerous society where men (including male relatives) feel entitled to a young woman’s body. Hollywood functions as an escape for McClain, but also as a predatory environment for the young actress. In sharing her story the author, no doubt, speaks for many others, but it has to be said that her journey is simultaneously, entirely unique. Pastecaught up with the Emmy Award winner to talk about this amazing story of survival and—in spite of it all—unconditional love.

Paste Magazine: I love that part of what you’re doing in your memoir is advocating for therapy. In your writing you mention that two of your therapists—Ron and Colette—talked you into writing more in general, and also writing about the trauma.
Cady McClain: I think it was really more Colette who encouraged me to write, but not as a form of therapy. She really believed that therapy is about the connection between two people, about talking and working through your relationship issues by being in a relationship with a therapist. She felt like the writing was very helpful for me just as a project. I’ve since done some research, and my new therapist has done a lot of work with veterans at UCLA. She actually pointed out to me as I was finishing the book that one of the techniques used with trauma victims is getting them to tell their story. The idea is to get them so comfortable with telling it—whether it’s recording it and listening to it over and over and over again, or if it’s writing it down and reading it—basically the idea is to help them own it. Owning your story is a way to release the trauma. I think it’s called immersion therapy.

Even more so. She told me a story about a woman who’d been raped in the military in a very violent fashion and she was asked to come and speak to other survivors. And the way she would calm herself down to prepare to go and speak would be to listen to herself tellthe story on tape in her car. In a funny way, it’s like when she’s reminding herself of what she was able to survive and to go through it reminded her of how strong she was. So she could move forward and help other people. Instead of feeling victimizedshe owns it in a creative fashion, and it ends up empowering you….

To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

or copy and paste this link: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/06/catching-up-with-cady-mcclain-author-of-murdering.html

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Roles in an Alcoholic Family

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 4.30.44 PMI grew up in an alcoholic family system.  The illness in my family effected all who were in it, or around it.  It took me years to recover.  To this day, my recovery is a practice, a never ending series of decisions and growing awarenesses.

I have learned that alcoholism is only one face of addiction.  There are many things to have addictive relationships with: anger, sex, shopping, food, exercise, TV, sugar, drugs, pills, work, gambling, even the internet!  Here is a good definition of addiction from Psychology Today.  In effect, addiction is a compulsive reaction to stressors, a need to take action rather than deal with or “feel through” the feeling that is bothering you.

Typically, an addict will deny their behavior because they feel it is essential to their surviving whatever stress they feel. Addiction is compulsive and yet cunning. It is important to note that being an addict doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a person who has something to overcome. So many of today’s heroes are people who have overcome great obstacles!

In order to help myself overcome what I experienced growing up, I find it is very helpful to continue to look at the behavior and emotions around alcoholism/addiction, as well as its effect on those around it.

The following is attributed to a book that is, unfortunately, no longer available by M. Davis, called “Surviving An Alcoholic Family.” I find it a very clear description of the roles we are often assigned in a family struggling with alcoholism/addiction. If you recognize yourself in one of these roles, please do not feel ashamed or hurt by it. You are also not a bad person, but someone who is seeking wisdom and happiness! Those who seek are those who want to find!

Awareness is always the first step toward healing.

The Alcoholic

- other family members revolve around this person
- likely to be experiencing quite a bit of pain and shame even though they may not see it as the result of excessive alcohol or drug use
- as things get worse, the alcoholic is faced with increasing feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy, fear, and loneliness
- develop a number of defenses to hide their shame and guilt – may include irrational anger, charm, rigidity, grandiosity, perfectionism, social withdrawal, hostility, and depression
- project blame or responsibility for their problems onto others including family members who take on unhealthy roles in order to survive


- children of alcoholics feel guilty for their failure to save their parents from the effects of alcohol

- “The alcoholic parent is not satisfied with his own childhood, he wants yours too… When the father vanishes into alcohol, the son/daughter lingers and lingers, searching for a lost part of him/herself.”

Codependent/Enabler/Caretaker
- steps up and takes control if the alcoholic loses power
- enabling is anything that protects the chemically dependent person from the consequences of their actions
- spouse often takes on the role, but children and siblings can also be enablers (multigenerational alcoholic families will sometimes designate a child in this role, a sign of more serious pathology)
- tends to everyone’s needs in the family
- loses sense of self in tasks of a domestic nature
- never takes the time to assess his/her own needs and feelings
- person never gains what they need most in order to get better: insight
- never are confronted with the facts that would drive home the point: drugs or alcohol are destroying their lives and their family
- as long as the enabler and the chemically dependent family members play their game of mutual self-deception, things never get better – they get worse
- others cannot bond with the caretaker due to the bustle of activity
Caretaker’s purpose: to maintain appropriate appearances to the outside world.

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Hero
- high achiever; takes focus off the alcoholic because of his/her success; perfectionist; feels inadequate; compulsive; can become a workaholic
- alcoholic bestows this role onto the individual whose accomplishments compensate for the alcoholic’s behavior
- often the oldest child who may see more of the family’s situation and feels responsible for fixing the family pain
- child excels in academics, athletics, music or theatre
- gets self worth from being “special”
- rest of family also gets self worth (“we can’t be that bad if one of us is successful”) – his/her deeds assure the family that their definition is more than alcohol
- hero does not receive attention for anything besides an achievement; therefore, inner needs are not met
- he/she loses the ability to feel satisfied by whatever feat he/she has manifested
- as things get worse, the hero is driven to higher and higher levels of achievement. No level of super responsible, perfectionist, over achievement can remove the hero’s internalized feelings of inadequacy, pain, and confusion
- many others grow up to become workaholics and live under constant stress as they work in the service of others seeking approval for their extraordinary effort
- they often end up distancing themselves from their family of origin
- interestingly, many family heroes grow to marry alcoholics and become enablers
Hero’s purpose: to raise the esteem of the family.

Scapegoat
- goes against rules; acts out to take the focus off the alcoholic; feels hurt & guilt; because of behavior, can bring help to family
- lightening rod for family pain and stress
- direct message is that they are responsible for the family’s chaos
- family assigns all ills to the person who harbors this role, e.g. “Mom would not drink so much if (Scapegoat’s name) were not always in trouble.”
- in reality the misbehavior of the Scapegoat serves to distract and provide some relief from the stress of chemical dependency
- child has issues with authority figures as well as negative consequences with the law, school and home
- on the inside the child is a mass of frozen feelings of anger and pain
- may show self-pity, strong identification with peer values, defiance, and hostility or even suicidal gestures
- this role may seem strange in purpose. However, if there were no scapegoat, all other roles would dismantle. He/she allows others a pretense of control
- alcohol is not identified as an issue – often, the scapegoat is identified as ‘The Problem.’
Scrapegoat’s purpose: puts the focus away from alcohol thereby allowing the alcoholic to continue drinking.

Mascot/Cheerleader/Clown
- uses humor to lighten difficult family situations; feels fear; others see him/her as being immature; limited by bringing humor to all situations even if inappropriate
- this individual most popular in the family; brings fun and humour into the family
- learn to work hard at getting attention and making people laugh especially when the anger and tension of substance use are dangerously high
- often named a class clown in school; frequently demonstrates poor timing for the comic relief; most people don’t take this child seriously
- often hyperactive, charmers, or cute
- inside, they feel lonely knowing no one really knows the real person behind the clown’s mask
- may grow up unable to express deep feelings of compassion
- may put themselves down often as well as cover up their pain with humour
- accepts laughter as approval, but the humor serves to hide inner painful feelings
- the laughter prevents healing rather than produces it
Mascot’s purpose: to provide levity to the family; to relieve stress and tension by distracting everyone.
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Lost Child
- no connection to family; brings relief to family by not bringing attention to the family; feels lonely; does not learn communication and relationship skills
- has much in common with scapegoat – neither feels very important
- disappears from the activity of the family
- sees much more than is vocalized
- reinforced for causing no problems
- build quiet lives on the edges of family life and are seldom considered in family decisions
- they hide their hurt and pain by losing themselves in the solitary world of short-term pleasure including excessive TV, reading, listening to music, drugs, object love, eating and fantasy
- favorite places for the lost child are in front of the T.V. as well as in his/her room
- due to the sedentary lifestyle, a lost child tends to have issues with weight
- as adults they feel confused and inadequate in relationships
- may end up as quiet loners with a host of secondary issues such as: sexuality problems, weight problems, excessive materialism, or heavy involvement in fantasy
Lost child’s purpose: does not place added demands on the family system; he/she is low maintenance.

In my experience, it is easy to fall into more than one of these categories. Sometimes I was “the scapegoat” in my home of birth, other times “the mascot,” and other times “the hero.” As I moved into having adult relationships, I was often an “enabler,” while feeling like “the lost child” within myself.

Now I know that I do not need to be any one of these things. There is a greater role I must BE: that of my authentic self. If I sense that I am falling into a role, or having one put upon me, I can recognize that this is only an old, familiar system, and I do not have to play the part that is being thrust upon me. Nor do I have to react or respond to any accusations. I know who I am, and I know what the truth is, for me.

I hope this blog has been of some insight or help for those of you struggling with similar upbringings or issues.

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Love,

Cady

 

 

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A Nose Knows

 

The nose has it.
The nose has it.

This morning I discovered that quite a few people do a google search on my nose. This totally cracks me up. Why in the heck are some people obsessed with a nose that is not “average?”

My nose has been called everything from a “beak” to “stately,” pretty much right to my face. Trust me, I am aware that my shnoz projects past the usual sniffer. I used to joke when I was a teenager that I had a “Judd Nelson” nose, and could stick a big martini olive inside each nostril without an issue.

The fact is, I have inherited my dad’s nose, which had quite a bulb on the end, and got bigger as he aged. Not exactly something to look forward to, but considering I don’t drink as much as he did, there is a chance I might escape the dreaded honker. Then again, I might not.  What to do, what to do…

Many a time I have looked in the mirror and adjusted my nose with my fingers to see what I would look like with a smaller nose, or at least smaller nostrils. I can see it would make a nice difference, but once you go under the knife… there’s no going back.

Oh yes... I see the resemblance.
Oh yes… I see the resemblance.

 

Then this happened: a fellow (with a rather large proboscis) who worked in the building I was living in (in NYC)  told me said he remembered watching me in my early days on AMC. He told me he liked my character because I had a big nose, like him. He said seeing me on TV made him feel better about HIS nose.

I mean… how could I get a nose job after that??

My nose seems to make a statement, and whether or not you like that statement… well, that’s up to you.  But I think I get some credit for having never cut off my nose to spite my face. Yes, I would look more like your average pretty lady with smaller nostrils, that’s for certain, but then I wouldn’t look like “me.”

Might as well roll with it and love the big nose!

inspiration

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Hey I’m in the Huffington Post!

SMbathroomThanks to the lovely writer (and soap fan) Mark Rosenberg, my thoughts on the new All My Children, and the story that led up to this amazing moment in time, are chronicled in the au-courant Huffington Post!  Check it out HERE!

I was sorry they did not use the photo I sent, but in honor of the attempt to use it, I am sharing it with you.  Perhaps it was a bit too risqué for their mag?  I don’t know.  Whatever!

This pic was a part of the photo shoot I did a few months ago. One I did just for me, to celebrate being 43.  YEP forty-three. I do not lie about my age because it would make me feel bad and I don’t want to propagate any myth that it isn’t cool to be in your 40’s.  It’s WAY COOL.  I can’t do anything about what YOU think 43 is, but in my mind, it is nothing to feel apologetic about.

That said, this was not the message I received growing up.  I was told that after I turned 40 I should hang up my hat on all things sexy, romantic, or beautiful.  That I should put on my mom jeans and forget about it.  Well I decided this was bullshit, and this photo shoot is one expression of that decision!

I also realized that in the three years I have been writing my book, I wore my fuzzy robe and slippers far too far into the day.  I would occasionally get some workout clothes on, but often didn’t make it to the gym.  I was, I think, struggling with the content of my book and just needed to comfort myself as much as possible.  I also put on some pounds and drank too much.  Ah, the writer’s life.  I still love me a martini… Mmmm.

As the book neared its completion point I realized had to start shaking it all off.  I had to start letting go of the past and embracing the present.  To me, that meant treating myself better. This didn’t mean I’m was going to give up my fuzzy robe and slippers anytime soon (because they are damn comfy) but that when I got dressed (and it is an effort, believe it or not) I would try more and more to put on something decent, do my makeup, and wear my nice jewelry.

Sometimes I think that they had it right in the 1950’s.  What you wear matters, but only because it is an expression of who you are.  It shows a respect for life, and for the people in your life.  Trust me, I’m not putting on stockings and heels and a girdle every day (HELL NO) but putting on pretty underwear, clean jeans and a nice sweater can really make a difference in how I feel about myself.

There is nothing wrong with being nice to yourself, which is also not what I was taught growing up.  I was taught I was selfish for asking for anything, that I should be grateful for what I have, that I should take care of everybody else and keep my real feelings to myself.  I realized that is WAY WRONG.  It is not nice and not cool and it doesn’t lead to anything like happiness.

It’s important for you to know when I talk about self-improvement, I’m not trying to be a teacher or tell you what YOU should think or how you should be.  I’m no guru nor do I want to be one.  I’m just saying this is MY experience.  If you get something from it, that’s AWESOME.

I hope today you can be a little nicer to yourself, too.

Hugs!

Cady

 

 

 

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Beauty Cares

Recently I was asked to decorate a “wife beater” t-shirt by my friend, artist Susan Woldman, for a charity called “Beauty Cares.” The purpose of the group is to help raise awareness of women who have suffered domestic violence. I wrote “wife hugger” on my t-shirt, hoping that might be a fun new name we could try out instead of “wife beater,” which is so gross. “Sleeveless tank” is probably more appropriate, but what the hey! Jon made one too!

Jon's T-shirt for Beauty Cares

You can read all about Beauty Cares here, but also check out the “8 Warning Signs That Indicate You Are In an Unhealthy Relationship.” I hate to say it, but I know for SURE I have experienced ALL of these. Thank god I left those relationships.

I really like that the charity also helps women feel better about themselves by giving them a bit of a makeover. I know it sounds frivolous at first, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the reason I stayed in unhealthy relationships was partly because I didn’t feel like I was worth better.  When I actually allowed myself to look in the mirror and say, “GIRL, YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THIS,” I allowed myself to leave and look for someone who could treat me with love and respect. Feeling like I looked good helped with this. I guess it’s a matter of pride. Personal pride is very important.

Me and my t-shirt

But beauty is also an INSIDE job. We may be all prettied up on the outside, but if we don’t feel beautiful on the inside, it’s like wearing a mask. How to feel pretty on the inside? Prayer helps, as does letting in all the nice things people may have said to you in your life. LET IT IN. I know it’s hard. Trust me. It’s much easier to let the ego go wild and believe all the bad things people say, so sometimes, I make a list. Another thing is to try and stop being so hard on yourself. Every time you have a negative thought, either say a little prayer, or replace it with a positive one. It really works.

Art day!Here is Susan’s table, covered with our art! We had such a fun time making these t-shirts. I highly recommend making some art when you feel bad. It’s a great way to turn the day around!

Wishing you a BEAUTY-FULL day!

xoxo Cady

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Too Faced The Secret To No Makeup Makeup: Shop Combination Sets | Sephora

 

From

We may get a little rough around the edges from lack of sleep or too much partying.  This stuff is just the ticket to “faking it until you make it!”

Too Faced The Secret To No Makeup Makeup: Shop Combination Sets | Sephora.

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The Joys of Aging

There are a lot of people who are not happy with the fact that we age.  Entire industries and advertising campaigns are built around this feeling of worthlessness, focusing primarily on both functions and appearances that have decreased in, shall we say, lift.  Although I appreciate a good container of French face cream, and the happy results from a pill that makes a man last longer in the sack, I can’t say that the focus that our media puts on these two qualities as life changing is quite fair to our happiness quotient as human beings.  In fact, quite the opposite.

Women as they age can often become more desperate to retain a lost youth, using any means necessary to “fight” the natural process gravity exacts.  We as a gender can, generally, become depressed, anxious, bitter and intensely judgmental of both ourselves and other women.  Men aren’t that different.  They can become more aggressive, more power-hungry, date younger and younger women to prove their virility often looking more and more ridiculous in the process.  What to do?

In my humble opinion, there simply isn’t enough support out there for us to value age for the other qualities it brings.  Wisdom, insight, increased patience, humility and kindness are some internal effects that aging CAN have.  If you have taken the time to learn a craft, you might achieve a level of mastery at that craft and the attendant pleasure that practicing that mastery gives.  Some musicians are a point in fact.  How amazing were Annie Lennox and Brian May at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, rocking it out with wrinkles and gray hair flying wildly in the wind?

I am only in the earliest part of my journey towards middle age.  At 42, I am closer to my thirty-something counterparts in emotional charting, or you should think so, but the very mention of being my over 40 can sometimes have an interesting reaction in people.  Almost as if I should start planning my own funeral.  It would be funny if they weren’t so serious.

Apparently, I should be married.  I should have children.  I should be planning my husbands birthday rather than sitting here and writing about my opinion.  I should feel bad about how my eyes are going to shit, and how my neck certainly ain’t what it used to be.  I should be taking my children to summer camp.  I should be angry at younger women.  I should be mourning my youth.

But I’m not.

My youth (how can I say this gently) SUCKED.  I was treated like an object more than I was ever treated like a person, especially in show business but unfortunately even by some friends.  I was objectified, commodified, categorized and minimized – all because I was “young.” I ought to have been treated like a new egg with bright potential, hoping to make a difference in the world, but that rarely happened.  I was an object from which money could be made or sex could be culled.  Men of all ages (mostly older) hit on me, perhaps sensing my fragile daddy complex, and even lesbians took advantage of my complete naiveté.  I know some people saw me as strong and ambitious, but I can tell you now, I was scared shitless in total survival mode. Coming from this experience, why would I ever want to be YOUNG?

I love young people.  I thrill at being able to give them some insight.  I love being able to tell them, “I know how tough it can be, hold onto your dream, you can do it.”  I don’t feel threatened by them, whether they’re men or women.  I like children, and perhaps I will have one someday, but I have also listened carefully to my friends who say, “THINK ABOUT IT” and have paused.  I’m still thinking about it.  I have never gotten married because of one reason: I don’t want to go through a divorce.  My parents marriage and divorce was a total nightmare.  I’ve been through horrible, catastrophic, emotionally debilitating break ups, one that even sent me spiraling into a years long depression.  If getting a divorce is WORSE that THAT, I take marriage very, very seriously.

When I was a teenager my mother would tell me, “Katie, make sure to always have your own money and to make it before you are 40, because no man will want you after that, and no one will hire you.”  WHAT A MESSAGE!  What a load of bullshit.  Sadly, this message is still being put out there, causing thousands of women to feel total despair about their lives.  I’ve often thought about the 1970’s movie “Logan’s Run,” where a society creates a game out of a death machine, created to kill everyone (men and women) on their 30th birthday.  The characters would float up in the sky and literally explode.  Only Logan saw it for what it was and said, “I’m getting the f*ck out of here.”  Is it a surprise to hear me say, “I’m with Logan”?

The bottom line is this: our negative reinforcements of the stereotypes of the unhappy aging person are really uncool and yes, I believe it’s worse for women than it is for men, although it isn’t easy for either gender.

So this blog is my official shout out to all the men and women over 40,50, 60, 70 and on up.  You know, THE REST OF US.  You are NEEDED.  Society needs you to be vocal, to be present about your opinion.  We need you to NOT shrink away, shamed by your neck or balls or whatever, and for you to claim your value as people PUBLICLY.   I, personally, want to see more older women talking about what they THINK, not about what skin cream they use or what designer clothes they are wearing.  I want more older men to stop fighting each other for a power position and talk about what really MATTERS in life, and for both genders to get busy talking about how to help young people THAT AREN’T THEIR CHILDREN.

That is what older people are FOR in a society.  They are not to be locked up in some home so they can sit around watching TV and tasting 50 f*cking flavors of ice cream.  They need to be IN SOCIETY to we can HEAR what they have learned about life!

I know they are tired.  I’m tired, too, but not that tired.  I’ve been kicked in the ass more times than I would like, but I am not defeated.

COURAGE, my friends.  TAKE HEART.  Society needs you to help guide it.  To help keep it on the right track.  Don’t give up.  Vote.  Write a blog.  Start a business.  Council a kid.  It matters.  YOU matter.

So who cares about your neck?  Please.  In the larger scheme of things, it’s so unimportant.  This is why I chose a photo of Hillary Clinton for this blog.  No woman in the public eye has been more picked on for her appearance, when what really matters about her is her FABULOUS MIND.  She’s a brilliant, strong, decisive, amazing woman who is out there fighting the good fight.  I am proud to be an American with her working in public office.  So she’s aging?  WHO CARES?  That conversation is soooo boring.

 

 

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Mental Shifts

I am thinking a lot about the past and the future these days.  Looking at old ways of thinking and considering implementing new ones.  I awoke to an email from this guy who does a lot of “positive thinking/create your own reality” type of stuff.  In it, he talked about how we sabotage our plans by not being 100% behind them.

For example he states:

“…one of the keys to manifesting your desires is creating alignment between your conscious desires and your subconscious intentions.

Why?

Because, if your Conscious Mind wants one thing and your Subconscious Mind wants something else  it is impossible to create what you want.

These subconscious counter-intentions work to sabotage your manifestations.”

I’ve been off coffee for a while and after reading this, decided it was time for a cup of joe and a chocolate chip cookie (gluten-free, of course!)  I am now sitting here with this quote in front of me wondering, “are my subconscious intentions different from my conscious desires, and if so, how?”

Now you see why coffee was necessary.  Wha?  Huh?  What time is it?  What are you on about, woman?

Seriously, I am wondering if subconsciously, I want/intend one thing while telling myself consciously I want/desire something else.  What this does, according to Dr. Robert Anthony,  is cancel out any manifestations I may have had rolling towards actualization.

Lord, somebody roll me a joint, I sound like such a hippie.

I want a good life.  I want to be happy.  I have a good life.  I am often happy.  I want/intend to release the past and move into the future with joy in my heart, with an open mind and with hope for the future, but this is very hard to do when deep down I don’t think I am worth it.  Or is it something else other than the usual parentally implanted low self-esteem?  Is there something I want/intend/desire, deep down, that I am not admitting to?

What would I do if I could do ANYTHING?  Live ANYWHERE?  Love ANYONE?  Do ANYTHING for a living?  What would YOU do?  What would we do if we weren’t afraid of judgement?  If we didn’t feel set on a path and unable to shift from it?

These days I am trying to do some of the things give me the most fear, and sometimes they are so simple it’s ridiculous.  Like taking a ride on a boat.  So simple.  Make an appointment, get on the f-ing boat.  WOW.  SO dramatic.

Dr. Robert Anthony says to keep exposing yourself to new, fresh and exciting ideas is one way to reduce “counter-intentions” from taking hold.

I think I need to make a list of little things that give me joy, and keep trying to allow myself to have them.  Because bottom line, if you don’t allow yourself to be happy, nobody is going to do it for you.  That’s one of those soap opera myths I grew up on.  “True Love” was going to solve all your problems.  Uh… no, actually, it doesn’t.  It’s wonderful to have a great partner in life, and it makes a HUGE difference to have a good, loving partner who supports your goals, but YOU still gotta deal with YOU.  What YOU really want, even if it doesn’t always jibe with what your partner wants.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want it, or shouldn’t have it.  Maybe you might have to compromise a little bit, as to when and where and how, but you should definitely have a conversation about what you want.

Don’t you love how I have managed to go from talking about myself to talking about the great “you?”  Ah, grasshopper, the mind is so limber this morning.

What I am talking about, what I am getting at is what real FREEDOM is.  Inner freedom.  It is saying YES to yourself, to what you want and to letting go of the things INSIDE of you that hold you back from having it, and then, oh yes, letting go of wanting.  Oh joy.  Because in fact, you might just need to BE what you already ARE.  You may even already HAVE what you think you want.  What about that?

It gets exciting and sometimes scary when you say, “I WANT.”  It means you’ve put it out there as a real thing, a real need.  Now you have to do something about it, like get out of the way and allow yourself to have it, to be in it, to “live the dream,” so to speak.

I want more beautiful tattoos and I don’t want to be told it’s a mistake or to be given shit for having them.  I want to have more healthy fun.  I want to laugh a lot more.  I want to ride in a hot air balloon.  I want to spend more time making art.  I want to spend more time in New Orleans.  I want to sing again.  I want to care less what other people think about me.  I want to not worry about “haters” and  “stalkers” and enjoy more “lovers of life.”  I want to feel less responsible for other people and more responsible for myself.

Good morning!  Another cup of coffee anyone?  Cookie?  Copy of “Co-Dependent No More?”

Gwen Stefani knows how to rock this shit (video)

 

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