Baldie Blog

Baldie Blog

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BALD IS BEAUTIFUL IS “UNBROKEN”!

As we all know, the rhythm of opportunity knocks to the beat of its own drummer. This is certainly the case with a companion promo campaign for the upcoming Angeline Jolie-directed film, Unbroken, about the inspiring true life story of Louis Zamperini. The campaign, evocatively titled “I Am Unbroken”, is a forum through which they invited folks from the general public to share their stories of triumph over trauma either in written or video form (or both). I happened to catch an ad for the campaign online and bookmarked it as a “to-do” thing.

I pushed through all the self-doubt, procrastination tendencies, the shoulder-shruggy “what for?” mess in my mind, and . . .

I did it!

My dearest Brandon had me draw out the shots that I wanted (I dunno how to do that sheeit! But I did it anyway . . .) and then we went downtown to a spot that he had found for one of my earlier blogs (the one about the Mustang). We scouted out the shots, angles, etc that we like best for this one, rushing to beat the quickly closing window o’ natural light that I prefer. We got some fun stuff the first pass, but alas traffic noise and dusk had their own plan for Day #1, so we agreed on a scheduled revisit for the weekend a few days from then. We returned for Day #2 for IAmUnbroken guerilla-style shooting and we let it flow! Some bullet-pointed, planned bits and some great impromptu flow from B’s skillful Q&A vibe . . . and BOOM!

Cut. Print. That’s a wrap! Into the editing room, BB went and a few days later . . . I had the IAmUnbroken video I envisioned! In an insomnia-fueled 2am writing session, I completed the extended written portion that would accompany the vid in my submission. After some editing and tweaking in both vid and prose, I had the final components ready. Nervous, excited, giddy . . . I uploaded it in the wee hours at the end of November. YAHOOOOO! Procrastination conquered! Thought converted to action . . . check! YES!

By the next morning, I went to check back on the site to see if it was there, and to my delight it was right at the top of the story page! With great pride, I shared it with my family and friends via the magic of Facebook and basked in the glow of acccomplishment! I didn’t know what would come of it, who would actually see it, and what impact it might have. But it was there . . . amongst the many other courageous people’s stories who also shared themselves and opened their hearts to give and receive healing. It was beautiful. And that is/was everything it ever needed to be.

So . . . imagine my surprise and jump-up-and-down glee when, on December 9, from the thousands of stories submitted, my #IAmUnbroken story and video had been selected and highlighted on the official Facebook page for the Unbroken film! And they also posted it on their Twitter page! (See the screengrab below of those moments frozen in time!)

unbroken FB share2

Official FB page for the film UNBROKEN, featuring my highlighted story/vid!

 

unbroken tweet4

Official Twitter page for the film UNBROKEN, featuring the “tweet” of my story/vid!

 

Sooooooo . . .

Go “LIKE” their page and my vid on there . . . and let’s all go see this inspiring, uplifting film together! WOOHOOO!!

Click HERE to see it on the film’s official Facebook page!
Click HERE to watch my story!
Click HERE to submit your own story of triumph over trauma and read other inspiring stories!

 

BALD IS BEAUTIFUL MEETS THE BOLTS!

Who’d have thought that Bald Is Beautiful and World of Warcraft would have so much in common?! Well . . . it’s not exactly as it sounds, but it actually is.

By luck and happenstance of a random post that a mutual friend saw on an Improv FB group page, I was tagged and cyber-introduced to Andie Bolt, who is shooting an exciting and inspiring film project called WoWMoM, about her mother, Terry Bolt, who uses gaming — specifically World of Warcraft — to cope with her life-threatening cancer! Within 24 hours, I was sitting in Andie’s house getting mic’d up and ready to talk about “Things You Shouldn’t (and Should) Say to a Cancer Patient”! WoW, indeed!

What happened before, during, and after that brief but fun and emotional interview was nothing short of beautiful! I am always awed and humbled by the immediate, open-hearted, pure LOVE that people who are on this journey o’ cancer, either as the patients or the caregivers, share with each other. And I’m infinitely inspired when I meet other people using their powers of Creativity and Love for transcendent and transformational good!

I feel honored and blessed to have been included in this magical, weird, unexpected, intriguing project.

Click HERE to see/read more about her amazing and inspiring documentary!
Click HERE for the “Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Cancer Patient” teaser!

andie n me

Me and Andie post-interview posin’! Love. This. Woman.


When Life Hands You Lemons . . .

Sooooo . . . Wha’ ha’ happened wuuuuzzz . . . I was recently preparing one of my favorite snacks — avocado with lemon juice — and when I squeezed the lemon over the bowl: YEOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEE!

You see, I didn’t know about the teeny paper cut on my lil’ finger. But there she is! Stinging quite sharply and insistently as I try to just move on and enjoy the simple pleasure of eating my avocado. The initial sting dissipated pretty quickly and I proceeded to squeeze the rest of my lemon — with my OTHER hand, of course (“Not gonna do THAT again!”). I throw away the remaining rind (slam-dunking it in the garbage can from inches away just to give myself a bit of profanity-sealed closure on the incident) and attempt to go on with my day ignoring this newly-discovered wound.

The thing is . . . You can’t un-ring the sting!

I’m now acutely aware of my sliced-open flesh. When I type and that finger hits the keypad, it’s a reminder. When I go to staple a stack of papers, I cradle them like a newborn bird while stretching that finger as far away as possible, and then I close the Swingline jaws with a little extra gusto and a hint of vengeful “How do YOU like it, Mister Paper Stuff?” Holding the phone receiver, taking cash out of my pocket, every thing you don’t realize your fingers are doing in everyday activities: reminders of The Sting.

So, I spend the rest of the day in a temporary ambidextrous existence, in reflective and protective mode as I avoid doing anything that will trigger that painful sensation again!

By the end of the day, though, this “acid trip” had me thinking about the parallels between this imperceptible wound on my finger and all the “invisible” but very much active wounds we all have — emotional, psychic, spiritual — that go unnoticed and therefore unaddressed for years or even our whole lives. If the lemon juice hadn’t flowed over my finger, I would not have known about that cut. And that awareness, although inconvenient, also allowed me to take care of the cut.

After thinking about it some more, I felt grateful. Not just for the citric sting but for all of the people, events, challenges, struggles throughout my life that were painful in their time but were ultimately gifts, opportunities to grow, to heal, to cleanse my mind and spirit of negative thoughts and choices, to deepen my sense of self and continue to aspire to be my most Whole, Joyful, Peaceful ME. They were catalysts that activated a more awake existence. A more reflected and aware movement as I forge my path in Life.

So, when life hands you lemons . . . Do NOT make lemonade! Do NOT dilute with water! Do NOT add sugar! Let the sour juice cleanse your spiritual palette and galvanize your salivation, your thirst for innervision and exploration. Let the sour be a fruitful reminder to take care of yourself, to nurture yourself, to make new choices and weave new patterns for your path with patience, compassion, Light, and Love.

diggit.

BARNARD SAYS BALD IS BEAUTIFUL!

Celebrating 125 years of education, inspiration, and activating limitless imagination, the Columbia Spectator was doing a special edition story about my alma mater, Barnard College. I was invited to share some words about my favorite memories from my time there and how those experiences and what I learned impacted my career. One of the news editors from the paper contacted me via my website, noting that because I’d been “doing great work” in the world, and would I like to share my thoughts. Of course I said YES!

I imagined I’d be among many hundreds or even thousands of contributing alums, and was eager to read from what I thought would be a fascinating tapestry of women who walked the same halls and sat in the same buildings and classrooms over so many generations; so many accomplished people in a range of fields and courses of study with such rich and diverse perspectives.

When the editor sent me the link to the online edition, I was floored! The tapestry was indeed rich and diverse, but it turns out I was one of only 8 women selected to represent this prestigious institutions milestone!

Click HERE to read what I had to say and to read from the other extraordinary women featured in this piece!


POST-REVLON RUN/WALK NYC 2014

THIS YEAR MARKS MY 11th YEAR BEING OVARIAN CANCER-FREE!!!! . . . YAHOOO!

On Saturday, May 3rd (NYC) & May 10th (LA-la), I will be participating in the Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women!

DONATE HERE: http://do.eifoundation.org/goto/baldi…

You can join me in the fight against women’s cancers by making a donation on my behalf. Your donation will help fund important research into the cause and cure of women’s cancers, prevention, education and support service programs. Every dollar will help bring us one step closer to a cure.

. . . and yet, the statistics for ovarian cancer are still staggering! With NO TEST, NO EARLY DETECTION, we lose almost 70% of our diagnosed women! PLEASE SUPPORT ME & MY TEAM (GILDA’S CLUB) TO FUND RESEARCH TO SAVE LIVES AND PROVIDE VITAL SUPPORT TO THOSE OF US ON THE CANCER JOURNEY (us, our family, and our friends)!

YAY! DONATE HERE! http://do.eifoundation.org/goto/baldi…

Behind each of the statistics of the women who are diagnosed with breast, ovarian, uterine, or other women’s cancers every day is the face of a woman who needs our help — a mother, a wife, an aunt, a sister, your friend. Let’s work together to fight and eradicate women’s cancers.

Thank you for being HERE!

IN CASE Y’MISSED IT:
http://do.eifoundation.org/goto/baldi…

WAVES OF CHANGE

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee

Being in the ocean a peaceful and inspiring and invigorating place to be. Maybe it’s because we humanoids gravity-glued to this spinning ball called Earth in our spacesuits of skin are largely made of water. Or perhaps because, like us, the ocean can be both calm (but never completely still) and also exert boundless power with a full spectrum of “moods” in between. Or just as she, the Ocean, is the home of an intricate and rich ecosystem — from zooplankton to the Blue Whale, from coral reefs and volcanic rock to silky soft sand of the ocean floor — we, too, have an infinite, diverse array of Life forces coursing through us, from DNA to blood and bones to muscle and skin and the electromagnetic pulsation of our thoughts, feelings, and consciousness. Like an exo-skeletal version of us land mammals, the ocean is us and we are her.

So it’s not surprising that she is such a synchronous metaphysical mirror for us. Especially when we are experiencing times of transition or challenge. Change, like the ocean, is an unmitigated force of Time and Life as we know it. And we all have different responses at different moments during these shifts. Even if we are not consciously aware of change, we can feel it intuitively, like the pull of an approaching wave as it draws us in. We may resist at first, but at some point we must engage it. And the best way to do that is to surrender.

Surrender does not necessarily mean to acquiesce or give up or give in. It’s more like a conscious communion. And it doesn’t look any one particular way. We can evaluate the wave — size, pull, proximity — and then choose an engagement that feels right at the time. Sometimes we submerge and the wave washes over us. We are in flow, but not bowled over or knocked down. We can also dive into the trough, the juicy heart of it, the bubbles of the crest tickling our feet as we land just on the other side. And, of course, we can also pick our moment to swim ahead as the wave comes closer, infusing ourselves into the flow as it propels us forward.

I am always in awe of the ocean and the waves I ride. When I want to let the wave roll over me, I turn to face it and receive a heavenly exfoliation from Mother Nature. Diving through the wave is empowering and I feel activated! And riding a wave? Catching it at just that right spot as I stop stroking and kicking and just let it carry me, my arms outstretched and eyes looking forward? Pure joy.

Regardless of how we choose to engage with the transitions we experience in our lives, it doesn’t have to become total devastation or ongoing trauma. Parts of these unpredictable shifts certainly can be painful and difficult, but we can always choose to feel empowered, enlivened, awakened, cleansed, and actively engaged because we are participating instead of disconnecting from it all. Acknowledging rather than denying or avoiding it.

If you are in the ocean, you will always feel the changing tide and the undulating waves it brings. It’s impossible not to engage with it. Such is life, should you choose to accept and surrender . . . and ride them waves!