I’ve always been interested in cutting through the noise and discovering that still, clear voice deep within.
When I was a child, I often found that meditative feeling in movie theaters.
As a kid growing up in New York in the 1970s, I’d go with my father to all the old repertory movie houses like the Thalia, Lincoln Plaza and the Film Forum. At his side I received an amazing education in film history, as he took me to see everything from the great film noirs to spaghetti westerns to Buster Keaton silent classics.
I used to love sitting with my dad in the hushed silence of those movie theaters, experiencing the shared meditation of the film with the rest of the audience.
Given all that, perhaps it will come as no surprise that as a young woman I decided to pursue a career as an actor.
But I quickly learned the hard truth of the enormous amount of work behind every single performance on those screens. In acting class, my head would be spinning with the vast quantity of intimidating and often conflicting information I heard from other aspiring young actors.
How to get an agent, how to get a manager, whether or not you needed a manager, whether to do showcases – did anybody even go to showcases? - which teachers helped your career, which teachers were a waste of time, what kind of headshots you needed, how to break into regional theater, how to reach casting directors, whether or not to do extra work…
And on and on it went with so many different questions and worries. How to know which was the right path? How to know which was the right choice, when there were so many?
I’ll never forget one night after acting class, standing in my tiny apartment in the East Village, I heard a very clear voice in my head say: “You’re going to have to learn how to meditate, because you’re going to need a stronger intuition.”
Something inside me told me very clearly that if I could nurture my own inner compass, I’d be able to make better decisions without feeling so tossed and turned by the endless barrage of questions and choices.
I began practicing something called Bhakti Yoga, which involves meditating with chanting beforehand. That was actually my first unwitting experience with breathwork, because I now know that the breath pattern created by chanting shifts your brain state to make meditation easier.
(Hate meditating? Fear not! What I’ve learned since then is meditation is only one of many mind-body techniques that heightens the clarity of your inner voice.)
Little by little, and with many stumbles, I learned to quiet my body and mind and follow the pull of my intuition.
Like the time I felt drawn to a small theater workshop in the Catskills, where I met my future writing partner – with whom I would write and create my first feature film, Kissing Jessica Stein.
I’ll never forget the thrill of shooting a pivotal scene right in front of the Film Forum, where I had spent so many hours watching classic movies with my dad.
The film ended up getting picked up by Fox Searchlight, and was distributed on screens across the country in 2002.
This started the “Hollywood” phase of my life…
This was an exciting time, involving red carpets, winning awards and doing press – even appearing on The Today Show!
I also finally had all those acting auditions I dreamed about when I was younger, and behind the scenes I was working as a professional screenwriter, doing rewrites and commissioned writing projects.
Things were going pretty well, although to be honest I didn’t always love the “business” side of show business – which can be cutthroat and cynical – elements which didn’t align well with my deeper soul.
I didn’t have to worry, though – because everything changed after I had kids!
I took to motherhood like a duck to water. Rather than experiencing post-partum depression, I experienced the opposite – a burst of energy.
Despite all this new joy and excitement, I seemed to be slipping farther and farther away from the life I’d worked so hard to create, falling deeper and deeper into #momlife.
After my daughter turned one, I began to struggle.
My intuition felt like it had become stagnant. My acting career had stalled, and I wasn’t totally sure if I wanted to fire it up again.
It was apparent that I was stuck, but it was the oddest experience of being stuck – as though I was floating. I felt untethered and lacking strong direction to guide me.
So I charted a new path
I began producing online events in the area of wellness and mental health, utilizing everything I knew as a filmmaker and also diving headlong into an area I’d long been passionate about - natural health. This felt more aligned with who I truly was and introduced me to all kinds of people – holistic doctors, organic farmers and bestselling authors – who I honestly found more exciting than the celebrities I’d been hobnobbing with before!
What I learned was, when you feel stuck in life, it’s usually because you have dueling parts, each with their own agenda, who all need to feel heard and understood before you can chart a new path forward.
In my Parts Work practice, I’ve helped many people make it through that same murky, scary, stuck place – by getting in touch with and listening to their disowned parts.
Looking back, I can see now that my life has been a process of collecting the best techniques and methods to not only sharpen my intuition, but to create a kind of inner headlamp to better see who I really am, and how I best operate in the world.
I’m always working on myself to find out what lies beneath the surface, and I love helping my clients do this as well. With the tools of the BodyMind Mojo process, this type of growth feels less like “work” and more like a delicious adventure!
Ready to get unstuck?
Let’s find out what’s keeping you from being the best version of yourself. With the BodyMind Mojo tools and a little guidance, you can be moving forward in no time!
FUN FACTS ABOUT ME
I’m a Mel Brooks fanatic and can quote just about every line from Blazing Saddles.
I’m a longtime knitter and have an entire closet filled with yarn.
I love traditional ancestral foods and will happily eat liver and onions when it’s on the menu.
I once worked at J. Walter Thompson, known as “the Harvard of advertising.”
Famed memoirist Frank McCourt was my high school creative writing teacher.
I used to be a professional typist and can still type 70 words per minute.
I was raised in a 100-year old brownstone in a historic part of Brooklyn called Lefferts Manor.
I’m half German and bake a mean Leb Kuchen every Christmas.
As an actor, I always loved sitting in the makeup trailer because that’s where all the good gossip was!