Friday, November 6, 2015

speaking in the first person

I've spent a lot of my life telling other people how to do things. I think that felt less vulnerable than facing my own monumental issues, or it was just what I learned from my environment growing up.

In the past couple years, I've learned to start speaking in the first person. Sharing my experience instead of advice and assessments. (I can still share those when asked for feedback.)

It's incredibly freeing to say "this is my experience" instead of "this is what you should do." And it's also a lot less alienating. When I tell you about my experience of losing my sister at age 25 to a drunk driver, I'm not telling you what to do or how to act or how to feel. I'm sharing my life. I'm learning to use language, like every other tool of healing, like "a loose-fitting garment." I don't need to zip myself into tiny spaces, restrict myself (or you) or create a prison. I can allow, I can be, I can breathe, I can live and I can heal.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pride in the Negative

I love people. That's my caveat. :)

But sometimes I get frustrated by people, too.

I see a lot of people posting how they hate math, or don't need math. Or how they're proud that their home is a mess because it makes them more interesting. Or that they just can't be on time, because that would be too restrictive.

I have to respectfully disagree with these point of view and other "pride in the negative" mindsets. For me, doing a little home cleaning or washing my car counts as self-care. And being on time is my way of showing you that I respect YOUR time. This isn't about perfectionism, and God knows it's easy for me to swing in that direction. Sometimes when I make a bunch of commitments I have to take a step back and reevaluate and realize that I actually can't do all that stuff, and a lot of times that happens when I'm late or my room is a mess. Then I get to look at all the things on my plate and ask myself, is this all serving me? Where can I simplify? And if that involves disappointing someone, I can take the time and care to let them know it's not personal and that I apologize for overcommitting.

And the kernel at the center of that acknowledgement is vulnerability. I can't do it all, I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, sometimes I have to disappoint someone. But I don't have to cover it over with a fake pride where I pretend that I intended to screw up. Ya know? Every time I trip it isn't because I wanted to entertain you with my hilarious slapstick comedy skills. Sometimes I just didn't see that uneven pavement, and I can take a deep breath and admit that I'm not perfect.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"I can be with your feelings but not with your stories"

A few years ago I went through a tough breakup. I loved him deeply and when it didn't work out, I had a lot of disappointment, resentment, sadness, anger, fear and frustration. We had been together for a while, so we had a lot of friends in common, and I really wanted them to side with me and see it from my perspective. He was wrong, right???!!!

One day on the phone our mutual friend stopped me. "Harmony, I can be present for your feelings but not for your stories." Fuck you, I wanted to scream! What does that mean? Through the Radical Aliveness Core Energetics work I do, and meditation, and recovery, and Byron Katie, I am starting to understand my friend's boundary. It's not that she didn't want to support me. She wanted to be present for me. But she wanted to be present for my FEELINGS.

Feelings are really simple yet often verrrrrry difficult. I'll do a lot to avoid feeling my sadness, my disappointment or my fear. I'll tell my stories to anyone who will listen (and many people who wish they weren't listening!) My stories are "He should have done it this way. She is a jerk. They are assholes. They don't get it." It's about labeling. Closing doors. Separating myself from others. I'll also drive too fast, get impatient in traffic, drink, smoke, shop, complain, criticize myself, eat crap... but am I willing to just slow down and FEEL? I can cry. I can breathe. I can call someone and just ask for a few moments of witnessing. It's very vulnerable, which is why I say it's difficult. But it's also simple. And though I often believe there's no way out and that if I allow myself to have these feelings, they'll overwhelm me and I'll never get past them, the truth is that in my experience, they pass much more quickly if I just sit with them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

the message of illness (or, what I learned from taking a selfie)

This week I got sick. I had all kinds of birthday plans, plus a lot of work to do, and instead the universe said, nope! You're going to stay in bed and do very little.

I have been struggling emotionally anyway, so this didn't really help. But then my Core Energetics practitioner suggested I "reframe." What could I learn from it? What do I need to let go of?

I pondered, I did some writing and meditating, and I had one idea come to me but wasn't sure if it was correct. There are a few dresses hanging in my hall closet - beautiful size 4 dresses that used to look amazing on me. Although I've let go of a lot of my everyday clothes from my anorexia days, it's harder to let go of these fancy dresses. I left them hanging in the closet.

Then yesterday after a few days of nothing but the inside of my bedroom, I started to go stir crazy. Feeling a teeny bit better, I drove to Malibu and got in the water, (which isn't very cold at the moment since this heat wave has been going on since, you know, THE BEGINNING OF TIME it feels like)

And I asked "what do I need to let go of?"

Still no answer. So I told the universe, whatever I need to let go of, please help me know it.

When I got out of the water, I received a text message from a friend who hasn't been in LA in a while, saying "I miss you!" I decided to take a beach selfie and send it. As I was trying to position myself in an "attractive" way, it hit me.


For as long as I can remember, I've hated my body and I've hated myself. I'm starting to realize that no matter what I accomplish, no matter how many people tell me it's amazing or wonderful, or that I am, or that I'm beautiful or sexy or gorgeous, I don't believe it and I don't love myself. I'm going to make 37 the year I go directly to the root of this problem - the trauma I experienced as a child. I've done a lot of healing up until now, but I haven't gone all the way.

Healing my childhood trauma will be my main focus from now until the day I wake up saying, "I am enough. Exactly as I am."

Friday, April 17, 2015

The world needs this message

As a performer, in the past I often sought opportunities to "show what I can do." I may not have recognized it or I may not have owned it, but there was an inherent selfishness to that way of operating.

Through the process of creating, performing and sharing my show, I've been learning another way.

"Afraid of Karma" is about healing generational karma: transforming the cycle of negativity through personal responsibility. And what I'm coming to see is that this show is not about me needing to be seen, or told that I am a good singer or a good actress.

I'm a messenger, and the world needs this message.  I believe that is why I have received more support for this project than for anything else I've ever done in my life.

106 people have already backed the "Afraid of Karma" campaign, and many more have shared it, come to see the show and told me they want to get on board. It feels good on a personal level because I am of service and I get to do what I love. It doesn't feel selfish because doing this project adds to the world instead of taking away from it. And from that place, I get to be even more expansive and generous. The world is full of infinite possibility and it's very exciting!

Would you like to join me in helping to end drunk driving and heal generational karma?

Monday, February 2, 2015

How do you treat a baby?

I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby.

I brought a story called "Afraid of Karma" into existence. It began with writing, recording and producing an album of indie rock electro-pop music, and then those songs became the skeleton of my solo show.

During the process, I wrestled with a lot of self-judgment. "I am not pretty enough. I am not thin enough. My voice isn't good enough. I'm not young enough." And after the first performance, I tumbled into a dark place, hating myself and my work, wanting to give up and even resenting the people who had helped me bring it into the world. (Sound familiar to any new moms?)

But once I got a little distance from the show and heard the objective feedback of audience members, I began to have a new understanding. I'd had an unconscious hope, which really was an unconscious demand, that the show make money. And since that didn't happen instantaneously, my mind told me that the show had been a failure.

In reality, the show became its own entity when I birthed it. And as its own entity, it's not my place to criticize it, bash it, belittle it or impose unreasonable demands on it as I often do to myself. (And why do I think it's ok to treat myself that way? That's a blogpost for another day!) Instead, as the show is an infant, it's actually my job to care for it, to nurture it, to feed it, to allow it to grow and evolve at its own pace and to let it guide me. That is how I would raise a child.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Resistance and Willingness

I've noticed something over the past few months - when I am in my willingness, in my surrender, good things happen. It can feel like the floor is going to drop out from under me, because I have been so invested in my own ego, my own little plans, my CONTROL over everything - I had just been so unfamiliar with surrender, it felt super uncomfortable at first!

But now that I am learning to trust my higher power and the experience of people who have walked this path before me, I am beginning to receive the gifts of willingness. Sometimes it means I have to (get to) do things I wasn't planning on doing. Like right now, I am driving for Uber and Lyft. Yes, me, in my beautiful BMW 328i, driving people around Los Angeles! But it's my way of energetically saying to the Universe, I am willing to do whatever it takes to support myself, to get out of my fear, out of my isolation. And now when I encounter resistance, whether it is from friends or situations, I can calmly sit with that and allow my higher power to guide me.

"Nothing is urgent" says my friend Karla, and the more I adopt that attitude, the easier it is for me to slow down, feel myself and set appropriate boundaries with others. I feel so calm compared to how I used to feel when I wanted to do it all, be the best, get ahead or whatever other mentalities I was in at any given moment. Now I know, and often experience, that if this little plan doesn't work out, there's probably something better that is going to happen. And even if there isn't, I am ok. I am here in the present moment, accepting reality as it is, flowing with the current of life, in joy, gratitude and peace.
So, you've been in LA for a year or more - you found a place to live, you bought a car and you even signed with an agent.

Now what?

This blog is about taking your career to the next level - thinking big, thinking outside the box and working collaboratively to achieve success. Success in LA.