Archive for June, 2007

Spare Some Change?

As I choose to focus on the kindness of those around me, and do my best to ignore bad behavior, something amazing keeps happening. I pulled up to a curb today, and a homeless man offered to feed my meter.

The first time this happened was a couple months ago in Beverly Hills. I was getting out of my car when I heard, “Hey baby, would you like some change for your meter?” I turned around to see a homeless man offering me change from his cup. I was shell shocked. Was he mocking me as I stood next to my brand new BMW? Hmmm. I realized that he was, in fact, merely offering. I declined, thanked him, and quickly plunked my own quarters into the meter. He smiled and went about his business. A lesson for me, no doubt.

Today, I wasn’t fast enough to stop my benefactor. As I protested, the homeless man said, “People help me all the time. Why can’t I help someone?” Wow. I thanked him and asked if I could buy him lunch. He said, If you want to. Of course I wanted to. Without hesitation he placed his order, “I want Panda. Fried rice and Mandarin chicken.”Ah, a man who knows exactly what he wants!

I used to feel sorry for homeless people. But now I see that they’re here to teach us about compassion and grace. I bet they often watch our behavior and feel sorry for US!

I recently finished 10 days on The Master Cleanse. This was my fourth time on this cleanse. I consumed nothing but a mixture of organic lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. It was great! I worked out 9 of the 10 days with plenty of energy to spare. Cleansing is a time of reflection and enlightenment. I read a ton of spiritual books, meditated, auditioned, saw fun movies like, “Knocked Up”, which I can’t decide if I liked more than,”Waitress.” It always feels great to honor your body and stick with a commitment. I felt clean, light, and naturally rebooted.

Thank you so very much for your thoughtful birthday wishes! I’m still celebrating! I received the ultimate birthday present this year. I booked two jobs! Work is the only gift I ever wish for.

The first shoot was in Lake Tahoe. The limo driver was speeding up that windy, 9,000 ft. mountain so fast, I was about to toss my cookies! Everyone on the job was a sweetheart. It was absolutely beautiful there. Our 5am. call time allowed us to enjoy the sunrise over the lake.

My second shoot was in LA which conflicted with my flight home for my birthday/Father’s day. Book a flight, book a job. It never fails! The conflict was easily solved by purchasing another flight home. I got to celebrate Father’s Day/my birthday, bowl with my family, and swim with my nephew. I even experienced helping out at a Christian kids space camp.

I’m back in LA now. I just did a shoot for a clothing line called, “M The Movement.” Keep your eye out for this line. It’s Amazing! The designer, M, is uniquely talented and spiritually aligned. www.mthemovement.com

Amma Mama!

I know its been a while. Computer trouble and a busy schedule kept me from posting. My apologies! My angel of a friend, Zhoubin, came by and fixed my computer in minutes. I aspire to be as talented and generous as he is.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet humanitarian and spiritual leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, more commonly known as Amma (Mother). She is a modern day Mother Theresa. People travel from all over the world to receive her loving embrace (darshan). Amma has physically hugged more than 26 million people from all parts of the world. Whenever she is asked about her religion, she replies that her religion is Love. She does not ask anyone to believe in God or to change their faith, but only to inquire into their own real nature, and to believe in themselves. The programs often last for 24 hours because Amma will not turn anyone away. Everyone is welcome to come and go as they please.

The free public program I attended began with a spiritual discourse (satsang), followed by an Atma Puja, a ceremony to bring peace and well being to the whole world. We had waited in line for hours and were fortunate enough to be placed almost directly in front of Amma.

A blonde woman brazenly jumped the line and pushed her way to where we were sitting. She demanded that we make room for her. I was surprised and offended that she was behaving this way at a spiritual rally for peace! We did our best to accommodate her while trying not to absorb her negative energy. Someone nearby complained about her cutting in. As Amma made her entrance, the blonde woman was being asked to leave by volunteers. She continued to curse us and make a scene.

After the woman was bounced, it occurred to me that I should have given her my seat. Clearly, her soul was most in need of being close to Amma’s. Squelching hatred by giving love is not yet second nature to me, but I’m learning. I scanned the crowd of seven thousand people, all anxious to receive healing, blessings, love, and answers from Amma. I decided that my intention would be to radiate love into Amma’s heart instead of trying to drain her like a vampire.

Waiting in line with my offering of flowers and candy I began to question if this encounter would have a profound impact on me. It’s not like I’d been worshipping Amma for a lifetime. One of the volunteers explained that if we wanted a mantra from Amma, we were to ask, “Amma Mantra.” If Amma said, “No”, we must accept that it is not our time.

The closer I got to Amma, the more anxious I became. My nervousness far surpassed any performance anxiety I’ve felt in acting. In fact, I’ve never been so nervous in my life. As I knelt in front of Amma, I couldn’t think a single coherent thought. I couldn’t focus on radiating love to her. I gave her my flowers and barely uttered the words, “Amma mantra.”The moment she embraced me, I felt an intense wave of love and compassion.

As she held me, I heard her say, “No mantra for you baby. Tomorrow, tomorrow. No mantra for you baby.”I was a bit disappointed, but that feeling was washed away by her undeniable love and compassion. Amma smiled at me as she released me. I’ve never felt so humbled in my life. She placed a Hershey’s kiss wrapped in a rose petal in my hand. I was shaking and could barely walk straight. What was wrong with me? I had forgotten to breathe. I had forgotten to radiate love. I apologized to one of the volunteers when I veered off the path. He smiled and said, “That’s normal.”

My dear friend received her hug after me. She approached me and said, “Let’s go get our mantras!”I told her to go ahead. I laughed as I informed her that there would be, “no mantra for me baby!” My friend was puzzled, “Amma said yes to you!” She said, ˜Yes. My daughter, my child.'” She said it to you in Sanskrit. I heard her!

So, much to the chagrin of my subconscious insecurities, Amma whispered my mantra into my ear that night. It was a life changing experience.

Amma hugged an endless line of people until 10 am. the next day. She did not eat, use the restroom, move from her spot, or yawn- ever. Amma says, “Where there is love there is no effort. Other people’s happiness is my rest.” I arrived at 3pm. and did not leave until 7am the next morning. I was nodding off and beyond tired, yet I noticed that Amma was giving her thousandth hug as if it were her first. She is a true inspiration.