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To Share Or Not To Share

I sporadically share a lot on the internet. Lately though I’ve been censoring myself from sharing. I mean really I always have shared but when it gets beyond just making myself look ridiculous some family members have grown uncomfortable.

I’ve been known to make goofy videos.

 

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Share some stories about my struggle with anxiety and drinking a bit too much wine for a bit too many years.

After pushing post, sometimes I think of deleting them, sometimes I do. More often I struggle with the more revealing pieces, not the silly videos where I look awful and am doing something like pretending to be a man masturbating in a park. It was all in the name of road safety.

At couple’s counseling a few months ago, with a counselor we love, she told me I do need to keep my husband’s feelings into consideration when I share. He’s not a social media person.

He has worked with many people in the public spotlight  and is not envious at all of how much attention the person receives. My guy likes to lay low. I respect him for that and sort of think he’s a cool guy because of it.

I blurted out in therapy, but I’m an artist!

Then the counselor said, well you still need to think about his feelings and your kids. They’ll find these posts. Think about celebrity kids, they have no choice. Then I felt a little dirty.

First off, I’m no celebrity at all but here are these people who are trying to protect their kids from exposure and I’m exposing my family and feelings for what?

Because it’s cathartic. Though I do not talk too much about my kids and I closed my personal blog down in ’08 when the show started taking off, I became nervous about all I had written.

I spent so much of my youth very quiet. I became quite shy in social situations when I became about 12. I could barely talk in front of boys. Once at camp an older boy said, what, you think you can sit there, not saying anything and just look pretty.

I remember it gutting me.

I kept secrets about my family sealed behind my lips. And in their containment the weight and sadness that built up inside me consumed me more then not.

When I moved to LA I loved out easily people swore and shared their  stories. It made me laugh. I was still pretty shy and then finally I just started sharing and opening up and laughing at myself and I’d gained distance from secrets and I began to feel myself changing.

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Then ironically, I co-created Expressing Motherhood, I was the kind of person who would skip speech class and receive an F for my fear of public speaking was something that would leave me very scared.

On Veteran’s Day this week at my kids’ school some dads spoke about their time serving. The second father who spoke, an older father, talked about being drafted into the Vietnam war. My 4 and 3 year-old were starting to lose it and I was quietly making our way our of the sanctuary when I heard the speaker get quiet.

He suddenly could not speak he was overwhelmed with emotion.

I’m sorry, I never really speak of this, he said.

And he could not continue, he said it just meant a lot to him and brings back many memories. I choked back tears and handed my kids my phone as I just dropped to my knees  as walking out at that time seemed incredibly rude.

The other men rubbed his shoulders and it was a profound morning for me.

I understand that even if he had been seeking counseling and talking about what had happened to him in Vietnam perhaps he would still be choked up but the fact that he said he never really spoke of that time and to see all the emotions overwhelm him, just made me think about the power of sharing our stories.

Getting them out of our systems so they don’t weigh us down in shame or sadness.

This is a turning into a long post. What am I setting myself up for an excuse to share more with you?

Possibly.

My struggle with anxiety is daily but so much better. The hardest times for me are immediately upon waking. I try to do a free Mindfulness audio recording and I also take .5 mg of xanax.

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I recently switched my heart medicine to taking it at night in hopes I won’t be as sleepy. It is indeed making me less sleepy during the day but my body or mind is just a little nervous towards the change.

But with more water, way less alcohol(little to none wine, a glass of beer is my go to I feel like there’s less sugar) no caffeine, exercise, calling friends, baths, mediating and yes a little xanax I’m able to function and do so calmly.

I feel like I’m trying to undo some harm I have brought upon this house over the last few years. Due to my own rage and sadness. And those were feelings that have been with me since childhood.

My daughter on a swing recently.
My daughter on a swing recently.

Just because I left a house doesn’t mean I got to leave the emotions at the door.

I have sadness at too many explosions at my children over the last few years and am staying so much calmer. It saddens me that I did that but I’m hopeful with my calmness now(of course I occasionally slip) I will re-gain their trust.

Anger and anxiety are often dance partners I’m learning.

So, here it is 7:26AM and I’ve shared more then some would like but even if I don’t share my stuff is still here. Your stuff is there.

It’s just proving to be a more interesting and comfortable place to live when I share versus keeping secrets close to my heart and letting them eat me up.

Thank you to those of you who have emailed me with your own struggles with anxiety. It means a lot to me.

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Expressing Motherhood Will Be in Silver Lake Soon

Expressing Motherhood’s Silver Lake Show is Coming Up.

Tickets are available here.

Grab your friends, husbands/wives, moms and come see the show that has developed groupies. The best kind too. Very polite and they go to bed early, we moms need our sleep.

The show is at 7:30PM all nights so you won’t be exhausted the next day. You can eat and drink in the theatre.

Looking forward to it!

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UrbanSitter’s Special Promotion For ExMo Theatre Goers

A few weeks back at Ali Landry’s RedCARpetSafety Event I met the lovely women from UrbanSitters.

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They’ve been gracious enough to offer first time UrbanSitter users $60 worth of babysitting the two weeks that the show is running!

High five right?

Here are the easy details:

Free In-Home Babysitting 
Haven’t tried UrbanSitter yet? Get a $60 credit towards babysitting for the weeks of the show.

 

  1. Create an account at https://www.urbansitter.com/promo/expressingmotherhood (Have an account but haven’t used it? Add promo code: EXPRESSING to your account)
  2. Book a babysitter for the week of December 1st. (Credit will be added to account once you send booking request. )
  3. Enjoy the show!

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Huge thank you to UrbanSitter. I have actually booked my first babysitter with them for this Saturday. Having three kids of my own I’m psyched as we are always too lazy to find babysitters so we don’t go out too often.

You can even use babysitters your friends have used.

And your kids can pick babysitters via their video.

Enjoy ladies!

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Meet The SilverLake Cast

The Silver Lake cast has been cast.

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Tickets are now on sale.

Showtimes will be:

Thursday December 4th @7:30PM

Friday December 5th @7:30PM

**Sunday December 7th @7:30PM

Thursday December 11th 7:30PM

Friday December 12th @7:30PM

**Saturday December 13th @7:30PM

(**Please note the weekends are Thursday, Friday & SUNDAY and then Thursday, Friday & SATURDAY)

 

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You can eat and drink while watching the show. Just make sure to arrive one hour early to get your food order in.

Meet the cast:

Stacie Burrows

Loretta Fox

Vicki Juditz

Lindsay Kavet

Kristina Leach

Jacquelyn Longe

Elizabeth Jayne Liu

Tanya Mailander

Neyra Mendoza

Shannon Noel

Judy Silk

Lori Stone

Michelle Villemaire

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Cast To Be Announced Soon

Thank you to all who submitted for the next Expressing Motherhood show.

I’m going over submissions right now and should get back to everyone shortly and announce the cast this week.

Tickets are on sale now, hard to believe the show will be here in about 8 weeks as it’s hot as hell here in LA.

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Excited to be at a new venue in SilverLake. You can eat dinner and drink in the theatre. Treat yourself and friends to a wonderful experience.

Buy your ticket here.

I Started a Mindfulness Class

Last week I started a mindfulness class via InsightLA. I think ExMo alum Elizabeth Aquino was kind enough to recommend it to me.

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After a week of getting my 3 and 4 year-old adjusted to their new pre-school I was ready for some CTFO time. That’s Chill The Fudge Out Time.

I am also doing this to combat my anxiety which I have been sharing.

I strolled into my new place and snapped a picture of the Buddhist sign that said, welcome all and “Are you overwhelmed, try Mindfulness?” I smiled at the monks sitting on the porch.

Then I realized the door was locked and a nice man explained there was no class like that there at that time.

So immediately I’m all “Fudge, fudge, fudge,” running and sweating back to my car trying to look up where I’m really supposed to go and reminded myself just because a sign I drive past that says mediation here doesn’t mean that’s where I take mediation.

Psychology Today defines Mindfulness as:

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

In today’s world I desperately want more times where I feel present. I grew up in a small summer cabin where we didn’t even have TV. On purpose people. No computer. We just said, sometimes in akward silence and once we got past that we talked or played cards.

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I arrived at the correct spot and another frazzled mom was having a similar experience, she giggled and said “I’m already messing this up.”

We got there and a group of about 20 was sitting in chairs in a circle.

A beautiful woman, who’s clothes I wanted sat on some cushions and was clearly our guide.

She immediately said let me show you how simple this can be and guided us through some relaxation stuff for 10 minutes and I felt good.

She explained things to us, then we talked to our neighbor and then introduced ourselves to everyone. There were two other moms from my kids’ school there.

The second time she guided us through something I couldn’t get comfortable. I squirmed.

Our homework was to listen to her meditations for 15 minutes every day this week. I did it on Saturday as my kids screamed up and down the hallway.

I couldn’t get it in on Sunday and today I did it at noon and laid down and fell asleep 3 minutes into it.

I do know a few times when I’m feeling anxious lately I try to remind myself of things she said, such as you are breathing and that’s enough.

Turns out my son is taking Mindfulness at school. He’s in 2nd grade.

I asked him on the way home, what do you do?

“I close my eyes and sit quietly for 20 minutes,” he said,

What do you think about? I asked.

“I’m just thankful it’s free time and I’m not doing any work,” honest answer.

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Made me laugh.

Honestly, I’m happy when I do it because I’m not doing any work and that’s a good thing.

I’m enjoying it and looking forward to incorporating it into my life.

 

 

The National Play About Motherhood – Expanded into home DVD parties all over the world – Established in 2008