Monday, August 30, 2010

Love Yourself First

I AM PUBLISHED! Click here to read my blog post on my diet and exercise addictions:

ENJOY!!  Love you all!

Cora, Sexy Soul Wellness

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lemonade Party Time

When life hands you lemons, throw a Lemonade Party.

I was cast in a play in June, one of my largest dreams come true and I was THRILLED. This was my first audition in New York City and my first chance at taking the stage in Manhattan.

This little country girl had come a long way from from my riveting role of Dolly in Hello Dolly in Hays, Kansas and I was so ready to step into the spotlight and live my dreams.

On August 7th, three days before Opening Night, the male lead dropped out.  The next day, the play was canceled.

I was disappointed to be sure.  I still am. I shed some tears.  Then I picked up my phone to call my parents and tell them they didn't need to fly to NYC anymore.  The play was canceled.

"We still want to come see you," they said.  What?  Still coming?

I called my beautiful in-laws, Sue and Dave.  "We'll still drive down from Buffalo to spend with you and Ben."

"Really?" I thought to myself.  "My family still loves me and wants to come see me, even without my NYC debut?  You mean, I might just be loved for who I AM, not for my accolades or accomplishments?  My family and friends still love me even though my play was canceled?...AMAZING!"

As I emailed the close to 50 incredible people who bought tickets to my play, I realized that I was SO blessed just to have friends who would be willing to come down to NYC, pay money, and watch a small cast in a small production, in an even smaller theater.

In fact, my disappointment and sadness soon transformed to utter and complete gratitude for friends, family, love, and LIFE.  It was then that I realized...WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS...HAVE A LEMONADE PARTY!

On what would have been Opening Night, my friends and family converged on my apartment, from as far away as Wichita.  The clothing theme was...Yellow!  The drink of choice, well, of course...Lemonade.  The mood of the party...joyful celebration of ALL of life.  Not just the perceived "wins" or "gains" but ALL of life. 

I am more than one play.  I am more than a performer.   I am  more than my accomplishments or losses. I am Me.  I am ALL of Me.

And I throw one hell of a Lemonade Party.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Memory of Jessica

My friend Jessica did not make it to my birthday brunch today.  So I sent her a text to see if she was okay.  In return, I received the following words:

"I'm not sure who this is.  Jessica passed away last Sunday."

I read it again and again, almost praying that the words would shift and tell a different story about this beautiful 26 year old woman, but they did not.

With tears in my eyes, I wrote back.

"Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry.  My name is Cora and I met her on the plane last March and we really connected. My husband and I send our condolences to your family."

 Then the text back.

"She told me about you and was really excited to have met you.  Feel free to call me--her sister, later in the week for more details."

I only met Jessica once more after the amazing plane connection.  We went to lunch in Soho.  I didn't know her well, yet we truly Knew one another. On the plane and at lunch we spoke about life, truly LIVING, not just surviving.  She told me about her dreams and passions and I gave her the book, The Power of Now.  In this world, her spirit was soaring.

During a moment of silence tonight, I pictured Jessica and these words came to me...

"Life is a fleeting moment, a brief exhale, a cherished embrace with humanity....dive in, breathe it in fully, because our time to go Home is closer than we might think."

I heard these words, pictured Jessica, and her spirit was soaring.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Kiss Hello??

Listen here folks, I'm from Kansas.  We hug.  It's as simple as that.  We see a friend we know, a teacher from years past, heck, the postman, and we share a quick embrace.  There's nothing sexual, odd, or even that personal about it.  In Kansas, a hug is the way to say hello.

So what the heck is this kissing on the cheek business that defines the social etiquette of New York City?  I am so confused.  Do I kiss you on one cheek or both?  Are there certain people I kiss on the cheek and others I don't?  I assume I don't kiss the postman.  And do I go for the right side or the left, because BELIEVE ME, if I choose the wrong side, I may just lay a wet one on your lips.

And then there's the whole business of what to do with the rest of my body.  It seems to me like we try very hard not to let any other part of our bodies touch except a quick cheek to cheek.  Really there is no lip to cheek contact at all.  It's like these fake kisses we blow to the wind.  For this Kansas girl, it seems rather strange and a bit sad.

I remember meeting some of Ben's co-workers for the first time (male) and having them kiss me on the cheek.  I looked at Ben like, "Babe, you do realize you work with a bunch of pervs!"  Or the time my new boss in Connecticut (male) greeted me at a School Cocktail Hour with this whole cheek kissing business.  I almost filed for Employer Sexual Harassment, and he was just practicing proper Greenwich etiquette.

Today, I met my Scene Study partner in the park.  I've met him once before.  He is a nice guy, but I don't know him well.  When we left starbucks after our first meeting, he gave me a hug.  So I assumed that was our hello and goodbye language.

He assumed otherwise.  (These crazy New Yorkers) I went in for the hug and he kissed me on the cheek.  So we were caught in one of those terribly awkward kiss and hugs that feels a bit too intimate for two almost-strangers.

The awkwardness was palpable and I proceeded to blabber on about nothing of particular relevance to anything.  Sigh.

When we parted ways, our language was synchronized.  A quick kiss on the cheeks and brief hug.  A New York City Cowgirl Kansan Combo.  And it worked out just great.

Yet, I can't help but remember the good 'ol days back in Kansas.  When it was simple.  Life was simple, folks were simple, and when I saw a good friend, we would melt into a hello hug.  None of this kissing business.  That was saved for Friday nights at the Swinging Bridge Park and awkward dates at the Drive-In.  (Okay, there was no Drive In, but it seemed to fit so well into my Kansas small town setting)

Do I need to move on?  Accept that I am now a New Yorker?  Kiss my friends on the cheek?  I will try, I will give it a go...but if the cowgirl in me comes out every now and again and wraps you in one big Midwestern embrace, maybe just maybe, you can find your inner Kansan and embrace the simple life with me.

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