Monday, November 12, 2012

Walt Disney, The Mystic.

Say what you want about corporate Disney or Walt Disney, the man. I really don't care. When I read this quote, I know everything I need to know about him. An inspiring man who believed in magic and vision. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pay Attention When You Fall

I just had a flashback from a simple moment, yet it is one of the most significant experiences of my life. I was biking on a snow covered sidewalk in Bend, Oregon at night. Snowflakes were falling with grace. The road was slick. I fell with my bike, and when I stood up and looked behind to where I fell, there was a break in the snow where a quote was written with spray paint on the pavement. It said, "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."-Jimmy Hendrix.  Even though I was sore, I was happy to fall that night. The wise words were worth the tumble. I fell in the perfect spot so I could receive a beautiful message.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Inner Crow

Finally, for the first time in life I have learned how to hold 'crow pose' for long periods of time. What's interesting is that I'm not the strongest person physically, but I realized in mid pose that it's about having inner strength, and letting go of the fear to fall on your face. This yoga pose made me realize how much I've let go of that fear to fall in just about every facet of my life. I'm sure I'll fall again, but now I know it's not going to stop me.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A recent insight...

A director recently said to me, "As a Producer, you are suppose to agree with everything I say." I laughed to myself. I replied, "That's not true." What I have learned about filmmaking so far is that having a team of "Yes Men" is not going to make you a good director or leader in general. Having people who are fearless to disagree with you is more honest, and I believe that a little creative tension is healthy. That's where some amazing creations are born.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wings Take Root

I am living in the lap of luxury--absolute abundance--and I've traveled far and wide just to learn this. In my early 20's, I left my country to search the earth for something better. Funny how the search brought me back here, to the golden west coast of America. It's ironic. This place is all I want now.

I've walked through hell and the world's greatest nightmares. I didn't know the extent of suffering that existed until I saw children crying with bloody head wounds and bloated bellies  on the streets of Delhi. I've seen whole families starving in the jungles of Cambodia, and fear in the eyes of many who are stuck in never ending war zones. I'm not saying where I live is perfect, but I'm grateful for what I have. Damn right, more than ever.

In my younger days, I thought I would flit and flutter from one exotic place to the next for the rest of my life. Now, I just want to be. I know where the roots are growing, and that my true flight will come from stillness. Oh, and no doubt, there will be more butter-flights around the block. I've always wanted to see the pyramids of Egypt, the penguins in Antarctica, and experience what Carnival in Rio is all about. But it's not going to be in the same capacity as before. No more two-year stints in Central Asian war zones or Himalayan hamlets. See, I've got a place, and it comes with a beautiful community that loves and supports me in a way I've never experienced until now.

Thank God. All my needs are met. Hallelujah. I'm a lucky butterfly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Artist Formerly Known As Liz

Hi, my name is Erin. It always has been, but I've used my middle name Liz (short for Elizabeth) since I was a teenager. Now, Erin is busting out.

A little history...

Back on the first day of high school, I learned that I was not the only Erin in my class. My overly rebellious, egotistical, independent teenage self couldn't handle another Erin. I went to Liz, and I was the only Liz in my class. That felt better, but there was more to it. It was my childhood dream to be an actress. By the time I got to be a freshman in high school, I planned the rest of my life, including my university (NYU), career, where I'd live for the rest of my life (New York, of course) and my stage name, Liz Kelly. Kelly is my grandparents' last name, and I thought it had a nice royal ring to it.

Funny how plans unravel. Other than the high school drama club and summer theater, I never became an actress with a stage name. NYU rejected me. I never lived in New York as an adult, and you couldn't pay me to live there; I'm completely in love with the west coast and it's where I'm staying. I became a crazy, world traveling storyteller and made it my profession.

Several years past, mom and I went to a Spiritualist psychic reading. It was a circle of women with one psychic who went around and gave everyone a 10 minute message. The psychic easily figured me out. She said that I'm creative, a traveler, psychically gifted, and that I "wear time like a necklace" because I knowingly see and interact with it in a nonlinear way. She then said, "You're not using the name that you're meant to use. You have another name." Mom cracked into a half-moon smile. 

She said the name I'm meant to use has something to do with being a peacemaker and the work that I came to do in this world. Well, it makes sense. Erin means Ireland in the Gaelic mother tongue of my ancestors, and it also means 'peace' and 'light'. I am here to spread the light, no doubt. It's been my number one intention for years, and I do it in as many ways as I possibly can. It's one of the reasons why I want to make films, because I want to spread stories that shine light in darkness of the world. 

Mom said that Elizabeth means "woman that holds the temple within" which is also pretty cool, but it's time to finally embrace my name of peace and light. Of course, I'll respond to Liz with my old friends, and I won't have a problem with it.

By the way, my mom is thrilled. She and everyone in my family has called me Erin throughout the years, so it's not completely foreign. She always wanted me to stick with Erin, and I think it drove her crazy that I went by Liz.

What prompted all of this? I'm entering a new phase in life, one of great potential. Just in case my work becomes well known, I want to make sure that I'm happy with the name that goes public. That's it. That's why I'm Erin on Facebook and Twitter. Nice to meet you. Over and out. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Revisiting Poetry

My first poem in a VERY LONG TIME: 

You yearn to pick the rose that grows
behind the bulletproof glass.
I watch with the melancholic laugh,
as a garden flourishes behind you.

Kaleidoscope blankets of flora wait at your back,
but will you notice before summer has come to pass,
when the hand of time throws infinite petals to
wilt in browning grass?

My dear, that glass you will not crack...
Just turn around to see, everything of your dreams
is here right now. Forget the future and the past.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Love My Mom.

My mom is a cool woman, with a wacky sense of humor and a heart of gold. She's spiritual and creative. As she says, "The coconut doesn't fall far from the tree", and it's true. I have her to thank for many of my qualities and sensibilities.

Last week, the approach of Mother's Day got me thinking about my favorite moments with my mom. I thought for a while about those times that made me love her so much. The list could go on, but these made the top of the list:

1. She taught me about the truth of Christopher Columbus and that he caused a genocide. In second grade, when asked on a test, "Who was Christopher Columbus?", I wrote, "A genocidal maniac."  I got in trouble. The teacher marked my answer wrong and she called my mom into school. Mom stood up for me and told the teacher that she agreed with my answer. By the way, this wasn't the only time she had to do this :-)

2. She introduced me to Monty Python at an early age. I was about 11 when she bought me The Holy Grail and Life of Brian. It absolutely changed my world. These films expanded my mind and inspired me to explore humor in a way I never imagined before. Eventually, when I was 13, I wrote my own sketch comedy styled film. It was heavily influenced by Python, with satirical jabs aimed at politics and the Catholic church. 

3. She gave me a copy of The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was 11, which also exploded my mind into a new paradigm. I loved that movie and watched it so much (Tim Curry, what a genius!) that I broke the video cassette. Then I brought it to my friends houses. I thought it was the coolest thing, but the parents of my friends didn't agree. Again, I got in trouble by adults who didn't get me, and my mom stood up for me. Of course, I gave up on showing it to my friends for a while. 

4. She didn't kill me when I told her that I lived in Afghanistan for two years--this was long after the fact. She just calmly said, "Good thing I didn't know. If I had known, I would have flown to Kabul just to drag you home". Yeah, she's great at loving me for who I am, even with all the crazy things I do. Maybe she doesn't understand everything that I do, but she loves me, no matter what.

5. She was completely understanding when I got kicked out of Sunday school class for telling the teacher that women have the freedom of choice when it comes to their reproductive health. She never made me go back after that. Thank God!

6. She's a great storyteller. There's never a lack of conversation when she's around. We always have interesting stories to share, and I know I got the gift of gab from her.

7. She makes the best eggplant parmesian. Hands down. I miss it all the time.

8. She has helped to preserve and educate me about our family's Irish heritage. She's preserved and found so much information about our family's lineage. I don't think everyone knows as much about their family tree--the woman even went to Ireland to research our deeper roots.

9. She's classy and cultured. She always took me to museums and gave me tons of books to read. She taught me how to appreciate the beautiful and more aesthetic things in life. She's a great interior decorator and showed me how to turn everything, even my bedroom, into art. 

This is just a sliver of why my mom is so wonderful. I hope she realizes how much I love her and how grateful I am for what she has given me over the years.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inner Butterfly

This year is phenomenal, and I know I'm transitioning into something more, something I've never experienced before. It's what I've been working for on all levels: spiritually, professionally, and geographically.

My psychic/spiritual growth is intense. I feel more than ever, and I have to say, it's a blessing, but it hurts. I don't know why I have this gift, but I do. Often times, I feel more than I want to feel from other people--especially the ones I care about the most. I guess it gives me more compassion, but it's hard on my heart and body. It often makes me want to just hide in a cave. I've come to the point where if a dear friend is in physical pain, I can physically feel it as well. If someone is having a bad day, I can feel that too-even if he or she is half way around the globe. Luckily, I know enough to understand when it's not my own stuff, but what to do with it? I wish I could find my Yoda to help me soon (Yoda, if you're reading this now, give a shout out!).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Henderson House

Last summer I went to New Mexico to make a documentary short for the YWCA about the Henderson House, a home that was created to get homeless women veterans off the street and back into solid and secure lives.

I didn't know what to expect with my interviews, but speaking with these women changed my life. All the women veterans I spoke with have PTSD because of sexual abuse in the military. It's one thing to read about these stories, but to hear their stories in person was something else. I am so disgusted by how these women were treated by men in the military and how they weren't taken care of after serving for our country. Society and the government left them homeless. Most of it was painful for me to digest, but the light in the darkness was the Henderson House, which is really the first home of its kind in the country where these women can bounce back with all the love and support they need. There have been homeless shelters for women veterans in the states, but the women had to share the space with male veterans. Imagine how hard it is to trust a male veteran after experiencing sexual abuse in the military for years on end. And what's unique about the Henderson House is that it isn't just a shelter--it's a proper home.Watch the video below or see the longer version here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thoughts on Kony 2012

I don't have a lot of answers. This is a long rant so I'll sum it up here at the top.
1. I congratulate Invisible Children just as much as I question them. I hope they succeed in healing the wounds of child soldiers & trafficking in Uganda and beyond.
2. Let the majority of voices of the Kony Campaign come from the Ugandans. 
3. Kony is not in Uganda--Invisible Children should have made this clear in the video.
4. I don't believe sending US troops is necessarily the best answer.
5. Look before you donate. 
6. In the end, my opinions don't matter too much. The big question is, "What do the Ugandans want?"

My professional background makes me very interested in Kony 2012. I spent ten years working in international development, in war torn places like Cambodia, East Timor and a solid two-year stint in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Am I impressed with Kony 2012? Yes! Do I have issues with Kony 2012? Yes! And I'm grateful that it has evolved the way it has, because the world is discussing what it means to be sustainable in international development. In this Internet world where everything is so visible and where it's easy to donate with the click of a button, it's important to question as much as it is to praise this campaign. We have some lessons to learn, especially as we collectively address and move deeper into the healing of our global community.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blow Bubbles: How to Have Fun in LA Traffic

Traffic in LA... It's a bitch sometimes! No, really. And I never swear on this blog, but I get to swear when it comes to talking 'bout traffic.  Those of you who have braved driving here understand my agony and have plenty of profanities for it that I won't use on this blog. For those of you who have never driven here, I often find myself taking an hour to drive 10 miles. Ugh... Being tapped into one of the main pulses of western civilization comes with a price.

Today was different though. For about 20 minutes, I drove behind a man who was alone in his car. His bumper sticker read, "I love anthropology" and he was holding a bubble gun out the window!  He was shooting a stream of constant bubbles, and he gave me a good laugh while creeping through traffic tonight.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Coming Out of the Mystic Closet...

I've spent the past 10 years of my life with the realization that I am of a mystic fabric. It hits me in waves, and my awareness has grown in leaps and bounds over time. I am not who I was even five years ago. My psychic sensitivity and my capacity to experience miracles is growing all the time.

It started out with strange "coincidences" and "synchronicities", which I now find hard to label as such--to label these events says that they're something out of the ordinary. The magic associated with these terms is my normal now--it's my every breath and my every moment.

There are some challenges that come with being a modern mystic in the USA--not everyone gets it. Actually, in my earlier days, I couldn't tell most of my friends about my alternative take on reality and about the psychic drum beat that I march to. I would test the waters with some of my friends and quickly be shut down like I was crazy. I was pushed to be a mystic hiding in the closet, but gradually, over time, I found more people who understood my unexplainable life because they were experiencing the same magic too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make Em' Laugh

I was recently in a conversation with someone who distributes spiritual films, and asked, "What is missing in spiritual cinema?" I asked because I want to make entertaining films that are spiritually uplifting and I need to know my market. She said, "Humor!" and went on to tell me how she has seen way too many talking-head documentaries that are trying to recreate The Secret or similar films.

It's true. People need to laugh, especially in these transitional and challenging times on the planet. Personally, I've done so much work with depressing subjects, like sexual abuse of women, war and child trafficking. I'm aware of what's happening out there, and now I need to be uplifted. I'm not going to forget the suffering and social injustice that I've seen in the world, but gosh, it's time for me to laugh and to do it on a regular basis.

In this vein, I'm now wondering how I can make spiritual films that will make you laugh so hard that you'll almost pee your yoga pants. I think this generation of filmmakers needs to take making fun of ourselves and our spiritual practices to the next level. Images of Monty Python's Life of Brian are now sparking ideas in my head...

If you have some spiritually humorous videos to share, please post the link(s) on my Facebook page. In the meantime, these are some of the sidesplitting spiritual videos that I know about. If you are reading this blog in the email subscription format, please click through to my blog, because the videos below will not embed into your email. Don't ask me why--it's a Blogger thing that's beyond my capability.