March 22, 2012

Video Kismet in Philly

“This is my wife, Lyubov.” I looked up at the round-cheeked woman with big brown saucer eyes and shook her hand.
Russkaya, shto li?
Da, russkaya.”
She switched back into English and I don’t think she even noticed we had exchanged that little bit in Russian. Her husband explained that we were discussing the possibility of working together on some video projects. With his new camera and various equipment, he felt comfortable shooting just about anything. What he didn’t know was how to organize the pieces – what questions to ask, what shots to get, how to edit it all together. I knew how to direct and produce, but I wasn’t too skilled on the technical side of things. We could be a match! 

September 16, 2011

Falling Into Love, Gradually

September. My summer love project is officially over, and I haven’t had any dramatic breakthroughs. I was getting a little discouraged, but I remembered something that Reverend Michael said once in a sermon, that the changes sometimes come gradually, unnoticed until we look back and compare who we were then with who we are now. I decided to continue the project into September, October, November – to fall into love! I mean, if you think about it, love works in any season.

My first experience at Agape International Spiritual Center last January was stressful, particularly doing the affirmations. We had to lock eyes with another parishioner and repeat after Reverend Michael, something like “I see you. I see who you really are. You have potential. I know because I have it too. I see myself in you...” Saying the affirmation wasn’t hard in and of itself; it was the eye contact that killed me.

August 19, 2011

Propeller Miracles

Day 18 of my Summer Love Project. As usual, ideas and insights are coming faster than I can write about them, and as I was away in Florida for almost two weeks with intermittent Internet access, I have some catching up to do here! I am still working on being present, on being love – doesn’t happen all of the time, probably not even the majority of the time, but I do a little every day when I think of it, and I have noticed some subtle changes. Nothing dramatic or earth-shattering, just a little more inner peace every day, an inner glow and happiness more often than before, and a higher tolerance for noise and dysfunction that used to upset me horribly. I’ll take it.

Before I left for Florida, I went over to my brother’s house to do laundry. The dryer at my parents’ house was broken, and there wasn’t time to air dry everything before my trip. My brother and his wife came home with their two little boys before I finished, and the four-year-old, Lukas, wanted to stay and play with me rather than go to the gym with them. I was tired and had a lot to do at home, but I decided to stay and spend time with him. With his Lincoln Logs we built something that vaguely resembled a barn; he put in his toy cow and then went to get some ‘hay’ for him from behind the television, and I told him we needed to leave the cow so he could eat and take a nap.

August 2, 2011

Starting Summer Love!

It’s August 2 – day 2 into my Summer Love Project! Reverend Michael at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles is always saying that we need to ‘be the light in the room,’ to ‘be love,’ so I decided to make a challenge for myself. For the month of August, I am going to make a concentrated effort to be love. I’m hoping that a month of practice will make it a habit for me.

I can’t say that I totally understand what this means. In general, when I find myself turning inwards and shutting down, closing myself off from others, I think of my niece and nephews. I remember how excited Noelle was to give me a delicate gold necklace with a tiny volleyball charm or how Sage laughed and laughed as he scooped up sand from the sand box and dumped it on his head. My heart fills up with love; I imagine myself hugging all five of them at once, and then I try to breathe into that feeling so that it stays with me in all of my interactions. I’m sure that feeling love for them and gratitude for what they bring to my life helps me by raising my vibrational level. (It must, right?)

July 27, 2011

Home at Agape

In my continuing KLOVE quest to find “heaven in 2011,” I decided to check out the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, near west Los Angeles. Its founder, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, was a featured speaker in the film The Secret, and I had always been meaning to attend a service there and check it out.

I got to the 11 am meditation on time, but with all of the people leaving the earlier service and arriving for this one, a good fifteen minutes had passed before I parked and found the center. Once the meditation portion of the service begins, doors are closed until it is over (I learned), so I lined up with the other latecomers along the railing outside the door. After my experience the previous week with the twenty-person congregation, I was amazed at how many people filed into the line. I’m terrible with estimating numbers – 100 maybe? The queue snaked back into the upper parking lot and coiled around and around the maze of temporary line dividers.

July 25, 2011

The Search for KLOVE

Back in December, I was in the awkward position of still living with my ex-fiance after I gave him back the engagement ring. My two good friends Nancy and Karen came out to LA to visit me. Our plan was to take a road trip to Portland, OR, and stop at all of the vodka distilleries we could find on the way. We decided to get a rental car so we could spend a little more time in Portland and fly back. It was a basic rental, no GPS or satellite radio, and we forgot to bring CDs. As we drove along the remote coastal areas of northern CA and into Oregon, the only music we could get was on the aptly named KLOVE, a Christian radio station.

July 18, 2011

The Good Fairy

A week or so after I went to see life coach Frank Gjata, my therapist, Sandy Gartin, MA, MFT, (whom I cannot recommend highly enough) read me “The Good Fairy.” It’s by an unknown author. I found it so helpful that I’m reprinting it here; if anyone does know the source, please let me know.

The Good Fairy!

From the corners where the silence remains, there came the urgency to go to a mountaintop and scream out the whole truth. I sent out a prayer to the Universe – “It’s too painful; I can’t take it!” – and she came to me, the power of my mind, the Energy of the universe, in blue like the Good Fairy in the Wizard of Oz, waving a wand.