Happy Saturday!

I love Saturdays. Despite the fact that I'm not feeling the warmth, nor seeing/feeling the green grass beneath my feet.

There is something about Saturdays that are so freeing.  In my world it translates into being free from obligation, commitments, and schedules. The mere fact that I can wake up without an alarm, leisurely have a cup of coffee, read what's going on in the world without rushing (although this has its good and bad points) is heaven.

I also recognize that I see much clearer on a Saturday. I'm much more aware of my environment, the people I'm with, the activities that I'm doing. I think because I feel I have the time to relish in it. Why I'm not as aware of these things during the week, as much as I am on a Saturday, is my query. Although, I think it's because I'm not living in the moment during the work week. I'm very much preoccupied with other things.

Interestingly enough, a number of years ago I took a course called "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)" http://mbsrtraining.com This program was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D in Prevention and Behavioral Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Through the practice of meditation and body awareness we learned how to recognize reactive stress causing thought patterns. It was pretty interesting. It certainly helped me to be more mindful, and to minimize distractions. Hmmmm, I need to revisit this.

As I enjoy this wonderful Saturday, I am going to remember my mindful state and transfer this to my work week.

Truly, I hope that you too have a wonderful day.

Happy Saturday!

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Made with Love

I'm very interested in our global community. I feel a responsibility as an active participant in our world to help make a positive difference.

I was surfing the net the other day and came across a great website called Made with love in Brazil. Made with love is a non-profit global initiative dedicated to raising funds and awareness for NGOs aiding women and children in need through the production and sale of fair trade indigenous products. It's wonderful to see that more and more non-profit organizations are appearing to help eradicate disease, hunger, poverty, animal suffering, and the environment.

It can appear that our world is blinded by hate, and yet I believe there are more examples of demonstrated good and compassion that transcends. To this point, I trust that we share a desire to reach out and comfort those who cannot help themselves.

It is heartwarming to know that there are people in the world - you - that share time, resources, and support to help make a difference. To quote Margaret Mead, "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have."

Be bold. Be you.

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Don't compromise who you are. In an earlier blog I wrote discover what you like and do more of it. It's easy to fall into the trap of settling. I suspect we do this for fear of, well, for fear. If you break down the word - f.e.a.r, it could mean,  false evidence appearing real. I didn't coin this, someone else did. It speaks volumes. Think about it. What are you afraid of? Almost everything that hasn't happened yet. We have vivid imaginations and can conjure up almost anything that may stop us from doing what we want.

It's the "what if," and "ya but," that seems to paralyze a lot of us. To this I say, enough. Learn to dig deep into your soul and grab the real you and go after what you believe to be true - for yourself. 

I'm saying this for my benefit as well your own. I sometimes derail and need to remind myself to be me. The me that still jumps up and down when I'm excited - is very goofy and likes to hug a lot - can be overly complimentary yet I mean every word of it - says how I feel and am learning not to apologize for it - is passionate about doing cool stuff - and is ok with being neurotic - I'm not really sure that I am neurotic - but I figure we all are to some degree.

I believe this is the only life we've got, at least that I know of, so live it.

Make a life, not a living. 

Go with confidence.

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Everything is Going to be All Right

I found my happy place today. Phew. I thought I lost it for a while. I'm happy to say that I am still master of my domain, or is that, domain-es. I'm very aware that I am responsible for my own happiness. I'm not waiting for anyone or anything to do that for me. I believe that we set ourselves up to fail in the happiness department if we set our expectations too high. I'm not saying don't work towards attaining your dreams, I'm suggesting to make them realistic. And hey, being realistic is whatever that means to you.

A British researcher merged dozens of statistical metrics to rank nations on the elusive notion of contentment, as written by Marina Kamenev in Business Week. The article goes on to say that heading up the list of the world's happiest nation is .... wait for it ... Denmark. While happiness is subjective, the study focused on life satisfaction rather than brief emotional states.

Surprisingly, being wealthy doesn't necessarily make you happy. In Marilyn Elias article she states that; Psychologists now know that the happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, they don't care about keeping up with the Joneses, and most importantly they forgive easily. Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, author of the book, Authentic Happiness are already starting to see why some people are happy while others are not: The happiest people spend the least amount of time alone. They pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have.

Although this may sound rather obvious, then why are a disproportionate number of people not happy? Happiness has become an increasingly important topic of research.

So what does this all mean? Figure out what really makes you happy. Take some time and write a list. Then when that's done, figure out how to spend more time doing it. Again, obvious, yes. But if you look at the results of the studies, we generally are terrible at spending the most time on things that bring us the most joy. Certainly the realities of life will dictate how we spend much of our time, but as the Princeton studies have shown many of us do more of the things that we don't like just to be able to buy things that don't bring us happiness.

Food for thought. Now bite into that apple!

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Shooting for Less

"She's an executive on the move. But her career is taking her a little farther than she expected," reads the tag line for the film New in Town.

This rings true to me. I have certain unrealistic expectations about myself that I know sets me up for disappointment.

As I reflect on my career in particular, it dawns on me that I need to revisit what it is that I'm doing. Chasing the golden egg so far has not been that satisfying. Although, I must say that I've been very fortunate. So there's no bashing here. I'm simply noting that the film industry has changed dramatically in so far as the business aspect has eclipsed the creative. 

Yesterday a friend of mine forwarded me an article from the Arts section of the Globe and Mail, caption reading "Shooting a 4-star film for $300,000." That always intrigues me, and my friend knows that it does. It reminds me of simpler times when you had an idea, you wrote the script, and shot the film. Have camera, will travel. No suits, no corporate interference, no loss of creative control, incidental negotiations, and everyone was thrilled to be part of the project. It was an adventure, a thrill, a creative collaboration.

I'm still very jived by most of what I do. I love working with people who are as excited about a project as I am. I work in comedy, so we're mostly laughing. It also affords me the opportunity to help others in the creative field. Being able to help discover a talented writer or actor to help move their career along is fulfilling to me.

Reflecting on what I've just typed has me realizing that maybe in order for me to get back the buzz I need to shake up the palette a little .... hmmmm, there is this smaller budget film that I'm interested in ....

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Serenity Now

T.G.I.F. I rarely say that. Mostly because it sounds so hick town. I'm such a snob. But, hey, truly get me out of dodge city and away from the conventional. My energy is waning. I feel like I'm being exposed to kryptonite.

WTF is going on out there? I said this earlier in the week. It feels like a force greater then myself, is dragging me into the abyss. I laugh because just weeks ago I had a creative surge that seemed to be unstoppable. Well, I certainly have found the brakes this week.

Ok, that's it, enough of this feeling, I'm taking back the control. I'm going to get a good nights rest, recharge and then get right back out there with a fresh perspective and a new POV.

It doesn't hurt that I'm taking off the middle of next week for a little r & r to a warm climate. A short trip, but it'll be so worth it.

Tomorrow is another day. I will be back to you with a new frame of mind. Maybe as soon as tomorrow!

Be well and I'll catch you on the flip side.                

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The Silly Side of Life

First off - thanks Benny Greenberg at Ya-ttitude for inspiring me to use this picture. It's so appropriate.

What a bazaar week of comedic proportion. It started with my brother sending me the bite of a Christian Bale rant to a DP (Director of Photography) that went on for 4 or so minutes. It was f***king this and f***king that because the poor guy (the DP) distracted Bale while he was acting out his lines. He went ballistic. The tantrum went on and on with a handful of mealy mouth crew sheepishly NOT coming to the defense of the DP. It was pathetic. It also showed a sour side of Bale. A bullying, mean, asshole that should come to the realization that he's an actor and not out saving the world ... oh and to that point ... even if he were saving the world, one should never put up with that kind of behavior. What a prick.

Following that whack-job spouting off was my real world of continued rants by people I've been working with lately. Is there a full moon or something? What gives?

To make matters worse, I work in the film industry so of course it's more of the same. So, I'm working on a project and needed to collaborate with one other person to complete the job. We hook up and I offer a solution to which she says,"Is this how you'd like to proceed?" Translation, she was ticked that she didn't offer up her own solution. I replied "How would you like to proceed?" She then begins getting into this long drawn out monologue of how we should best work together. I'm staring at her intently, my inner voice screaming "Shut the f**k up." An hour passes, we worked it out, and then I went off and just did it myself. It was the longest hour of my life.

I then head back to my office to get to work on the completion of the project to find 4 colleagues gathered around waiting for my assistance. They then, in unison, voice their own frustrations having to work with the same person I just left. Once the verbal purge was over we all laughed at how insanely ridiculous these past few days had been.

The funny part of this whole thing is ... the same person who, for various reasons had been a point of frustration to a number of us comes into my office and starts to randomly chat about stuff - truly, just stuff, light stuff, as if nothing happened.

Are we all being worked over this week? or is it just my insulated team that feels we're working with Dr. Jekyll and Ms Hyde.

The moral of this story is: If you don't laugh ... you cry.

Anyone else experience the same kind of day, week, month? Misery loves company! :-)

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Super Bowl XL111 & Australian Open

The 12 minute half time show was pretty cool. Bruce Springsteen has that rugged Pittsburg Steelers kinda thing going on. He's been invited to perform before, but declined. When asked why he decided to perform this time, he replied, "I'm releasing my new album. I'd be foolish not too."

He was good enough to plug Coldplay as a suggested band to perform at next years' Super Bowl. I think that's a great choice.

Springsteen is a pro. He knows how to move around a stage and engage the audience. He even tried to engage those viewers at home, suggesting that people put down the guacamole and enjoy the show. He has an energy and a seemingly honest personality that's refreshing.

Oh, I'm actually watching the game we well. Pittsburg seems to be playing a good game. But it's not over 'til its over, so Arizona has a chance.  I'm actually not a football fan, but I do enjoy the energy and excitement of others getting into it.

What I most enjoyed in the wee hours of this morning was the finals of the Australian Open; Federer and Nadal; what a great match. I really felt for Federer when he was at the podium collecting his trophy plate. I shared his tears as he became choked up. It's emotional. Nadal was so gracious. What a cool guy. They're both aces in my book.

There's nothing like sports to bring people together. Whether you're a participant or a spectator - the energy and excitement seems to work for both!

An addendum: Wow, what an exciting final quarter of the game - Arizona came through in the final quarter with an incredible pass - and what a catch!! How exciting was that! I was truly engaged and thoroughly excited. Go team Go!

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