Inspiration from animation!!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:46-04:00 February 9th, 2016|acting, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, bulldogs, children, creativity, Dreams, friends, friendship, gratitude, inspiration, Kung Fu, Owls, Panda Bear, parenthood, sharks, stress, stress relief, totems, Uncategorized|

The kids had a day off yesterday in celebration of the Chinese New Year, so we did what most of our neighbors did, and we took in a movie. Kung Fu Panda 3! Even my 16-yr-old woke up to go because he had been wanting to see it, so you know that means it was a big deal. What I didn’t expect, was getting blasted with a burst of inspiration within the first 15 minutes of the film, that was a bonus to the popcorn. If you don’t know anything about this trilogy, I will sum it up for you fairly easily, a panda with little self-esteem becomes the Dragon Warrior, the fiercest fighter in the realm. The panda, Po, struggles to believe that he is meant to be the Dragon Warrior, but through perseverance, training, and support from his friends and his master (beautifully portrayed by Dustin Hoffman), Po finds his way. This struggle is a theme throughout each film, and you can’t help but cheer for Po and the process undergoes to come out on top. It’s a kid flick, so I’m not ruining it for you when I tell you there’s a happy ending, always, but it doesn’t come without it’s drama and challenges. The drama and challenges were present bright and early in the third installment to this film series. A villain, the scariest of all villains, is coming for Po, and once again, Po is convinced that he can’t win, let alone even fight the villain. This is where the wise Master Shifu delivers the line that had me buzzing through the entire film. As Po continues to say he can’t, Master Shifu advises “If you only do what you can, then you will only ever be who you are now.” Wait….what? I repeated it to myself again, “If you only do what you can, then you will only ever be who you are now.” I interpreted this as, if we don’t try new things, then we will never grow as people, we will just stay the same. Even though sometimes staying the same is ok, don’t you want to be more than just the same? I do!! I have lots of ideas, and dreams, and hopes, but I am an expert at placing obstacles in front of me, so those ideas, dreams and hopes never get realized. Well, I’m writing this out in a public forum to let you know that I am going to make every effort to do something I currently can’t (or won’t, haven’t, am in fear of, etc.) and create a new level of me! I’m not sure what it will be since I have so many desires, but in a way, that just makes it easier for me to keep trying. Who will join me? Let’s keep doing what we can, but then lets also do whatever we can to try and do something we can’t!

totems and panda

Kung Fu Totems!

Stay well.

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It's International Overdose Awareness Day….

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:58-04:00 August 31st, 2015|acting, addiction, death, Life, musical theater, overdose, overdose prevention|

This is a hard day of course, but not so different than any other day when I think about my brother’s drug overdose, or his girlfriend’s a year later, or the thousands of others who have died. Not so different than when I see the posts about Naloxone, the life-saving overdose reversal drug that my stepfather helped create years ago, saving lives every day. What’s different about this day is the purpose behind it, educating the world about overdose prevention, talking about Good Samaritan Laws that have been created to protect drug users and those that try to save them. To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day, visit the site http://www.overdoseday.com for resources, and stay to read some of the heartbreaking stories from the families left to grieve for those who have died. I’ve written a lot about this topic and if you want to know more about my story feel free to click on any of these links:

https://totemtamers.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/would-you-know-what-to-do-if-someone-was-experiencing-an-overdose/

https://totemtamers.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/of-love-and-loss/

https://totemtamers.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/how-do-i-say-goodbye-to-a-man-who-not-only-changed-my-world-but-the-whole-world/

https://totemtamers.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/a-very-personal-warrior-wednesday/

That’s certainly more than enough for you to chew on, but I will also gladly use this awesome image that’s been circulating the internet today, about just how easy it can be to save someone from an overdose.

Overdose Awareness

Overdose Awareness

I had wanted to write earlier today, but my mind wouldn’t let me get to it, although I knew I wanted to write, had to write. It took having a moment with my older son today, to help me sit down and get it done. The moment has nothing to do with overdose, but it sadly has to do with someone dying at a very young age, while his potential was just being discovered by the world. Kyle Jean-Baptiste, a 21 year old taking Broadway by storm as he starred in Les Miserables as Jean Valjean. He was the youngest to ever have the role, and the first African American to ever play the role. Jean-Baptiste died this past weekend in a freak accident at his home, a memorial service was held in Central Park this afternoon. He attended the same high school my son attends now, and I just knew that my son needed to come with me to see a community come together to grieve and sing for the life of someone they knew and loved. A community, that as an actor, he is a part of, and as a voice actor and theater lover, I am a part of, as well.

Too young, too soon.

Too young, too soon.

The community of those touched by overdose is exactly the same. We grieve, and we sing, and we cry, and we share, and we hold each other up in the sadness. The biggest difference is that the overdose community isn’t one people choose to join, sadly you just get forced into it.  Then you look around and realize how blessed you are to be in contact with some truly remarkable human beings. People who travel the country, if not the world, to share the stories in the hopes that even one life can be saved. People who hand out clean needles, and train people how to use Naloxone. People who accept you no matter how you ended up a part of the community.

Totem reflection...

Totem reflection…

A single flower left by a mourner this afternoon, representing the solitude that grief can sometimes bring. The reflection of the fountain in the water however, reminds me that along with the image of sadness, the mirror image is happiness, and the blessing that I am still here to experience both.

Stay well.