Friday, October 20, 2017


“To be a star you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness for that is when stars shine brightest.” 

This is not only a lesson for life, but it is a lesson for anyone who has ever experienced challenging times.  I am a believer of challenge.  I am a believer of transformation, which evolves from challenge as the greatest gift that you can receive from the Universe.

I am a believer of all of this, because I have walked through the storms, the fire (and yes twirled it) and would not be where I am today without all of these challenges and the constant resurrection for the purpose of something higher, greater and bigger than my own vision.

Shining through the darkness is something we need to remember at every turn.  It is HERE we can be grateful for all that evolves from this and most importantly how we can rise in the process.

While you may have had many challenges in your life, I am here to be the messenger to ask you…

  • ·         What have you learned?
  • ·         How have you grown?
  • ·         In what ways have you evolved?
  • ·         Did you define or redefine your life because of your darkness?

The bigger question I ask you now is ARE YOU CHOOSING TO STILL SHINE? 

What we do not realize throughout our life in the great art of learning patience, timing and the constant constellation of the process within our BEING and EVOLVING.

However, it is here, where the most sparkling diamond nuggets of life exist, though most people miss them.  Hence why I am writing this blog – my gift to you, so YOU DO NOT miss them.

The diamond mine is within.  The light that shines exists within.  But it is in our greatest challenging moments we are reminded that we can keep that light shining and burning to enlighten us within, rather than gravitating toward the dark negativity.

IT IS YOUR CHOICE.  Read that again.

Now you may sit there from a place of impatience and say, “But…”

I will gently and kindly shake my head, smile and say…  “Um… there is no but… there just is this beautiful diamond mine within that you must continue to have faith, trust and belief within, in order for you to continue shining your light.

The key here is to not be stingy with your light even if you sit in darkness.

I know, it sounds so gag-worthy, eh?  Sit back, I have a more meaningful way to look at this.

Fishing enthusiasts around the world will always have a fish tale.  Sometimes their tale is about the one that got away, or it is about the largest one they ever caught...  Perhaps they saw Lockness Monster or Big foot while on the lake.  There is the old saying "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”  

I have a tale, too.  However, it is not about a fish, it is a tale about a fish tail.  In addition, it is not just a tale of a tail, nor a tale of a whale (dang, that is so Dr. Seussish, eh?), but a tale worth telling which taught me an interesting lesson about life. YES, DEAR SOULS - I AM SHOWING YOU HOW TO FISH FOR YOUR OWN LIGHT by what I learned through mine!

For seven years of my life, I was a baton twirler and marched in parades small (one mile) and large (five and a half miles).  These parades were kind of like the mini-marathons for the baton twirling set.  I was not part of a band.  I was part of a team, which competed for all kinds of championships, trophies, medals, and ribbons. 

The biggest misconception about baton twirlers is that we just spin a baton and make it look easy.  Well, nothing in life is easy.  Moreover, it is not as simple as one might think.  Much like martial arts and those who practice it, there is a fine balance, which must be drawn between the body and the instrument.  While not all martial arts use instruments as part of weaponry, as the body becomes the weapon, baton twirlers in essence do not always use batons solely because bodies become the instrument, doing the work and the baton becomes more of a prop.

Other times there are light saber glow-in-the dark sticks, batons inside of hula hoops which you twirl and try not to get stuck weaving in and out of in contortion, strangling your own neck..  In addition, sometimes there is fire… of course; the object is to try not to be burned.  It does not matter what instrument you use, there must always be a 'centering of the core' to keep the instrument in tune with what the body is doing, and this is particularly so if your body is the instrument. 

Sound masochistic?  Perhaps, but aren’t most sports that we as children play?  I mean, come on….  Dodge ball is brutal.  If you suck at racquetball, you can do some major damage to the frontal lobe of that brain with a ricocheting whammy in your noggin if you are not paying proper attention. 

I was six years old, when I was 'fitted' for my first baton.  Yes, fitted.  Your arm must be held out straight ahead as the baton is rammed uncomfortably into your armpit and the tips of your fingers cannot be 'too under or too over' or the baton is the incorrect size.  As you grow, the baton size must change also, and grow with you.  This is of course, much to the dismay of parents on a budget.  These are not the kind you find in toy stores, but ones you find in music stores or through a main manufacturer/distributor and they are professionally balanced and calibrated. 

The first lesson you learn even before twirling is the fine art of the balancing of the baton inside the adductor pollicis muscle.  This is that little cradle spot between the thumb and forefinger.  If you can know the 'center' – you will have a better command of handling the baton.

From figure eights to flat spins, pinwheels, leg tosses, elbow and neck rolls and finger twirls….  The array of movement was never dull.  It was exciting for me to feel the cold smooth steel wand between each finger and when the baton reached the pinky, the flip in the air around the hand, up and over – I felt like I was a superhero, especially when I could catch it behind my back, or do a death drop aerial on one foot.  The baton and floor would never meet when I was on my game.  In addition, when I was not, the baton let me know this was so.

Then… came the fish tail.  What is a fish tail?  Imagine your hand put in the position of telling someone to halt, stop… that little 'seat' on top of your wrist is where you twirl the baton with NO HANDS! 

What?  It is true.  Twirling a baton with NO HANDS…  It was part of what was required to escalate your ranking into the next level.  Pretend your hand is a fish navigating through water or a car swerving with your hand still in the halted position – the baton is supposed to mimic the motion without falling.  No fingers ever touch the baton; neither does the inside of the hand.  It is all in the wrists. 

Fish tails are one of the most difficult tricks to do basically because if you twist your hand too fast or too slow or move it too high or low, your wrist seat changes the position of the baton wand, doomed to fall flat on the ground if you are not ‘balanced.’  If we examine life – the moment we try to 'control it' too much… it gets out of control.  It is like the world – try to control all aspects of it and mistakes are made, power, corruption, greed, bleed in and it gets off kilter. 

The same can be said for fish tails.  The movement of fish tails reflects life itself.  However, I did not realize it at the time…I was six.  To me, it was just twirling.  The only thing I was conscious of then was to 'duck' if I lost control of the baton so it didn't konk me on the head; and steer clear of the twirlers who were all about their costume and tiaras because chances are you will get side-swiped by a flying a baton right in your eye.  POW!

That was essential in championships and competition especially, but there is another issue -- too many are focused on the end result of the win, and not the process, which in itself is the journey and THAT IS THE LARGER VICTORY.  THE PROCESS... THE PATIENCE WITHIN THE PROCESS. 

Here, you are faced to DEFINE what those parameters of winning are, and at the time, the only important thing was to SHINE.  So DEFINE and SHINE is all you can do, when there are hundreds of others competing against you. But your only REAL competition is yourself.  So why not shine?

A true win is when you SHINE ANYWAY...not attached to the win. It is here you shine a light so others can see theirs and that is a win-win.

As a teen and young adult, later going on many looksee-go-sees in modeling and commercial and voice auditions, this DEFINE and SHINE served me well because it is constant rejection day in, day out, sometimes four or five rejections a day.  This sounds like more masochism of ‘why the heck would you put yourself in an hourly or daily rejection’ position, but I think it is a good tool for learning life in many ways.  There is no real rat race unless you choose to participate in it.  


It is the fish tail, which teaches us something unique.  It cannot really be controlled.  It just is. 
There is no real 'why' or 'how' – and you know 'where' it is happening.  You do not know 'when' the fish tail will lose its balance.  However, you definitely know 'who' will pull the tail off course.  It is you.  It is I.  It is anyone who tries to take over the fish tail's beauty of simply being.  If you allow it to flow and develop its own natural rhythm, you can do fish tails until your arm gives out… it will just keep going and going if you stay with the flow of the fish tail's motion.  There are really no tricks to it other than allowing it to be and being steady, staying calm, being and being open to being.  It takes care of itself, it stays in balance, and the movement is beautiful and continuous much like life.  You are not supposed to be 'doing' anything, just be conscious, aware, appreciate, and respect.  The fish tail will keep twirling.

There is great celebration and joy in the free-flowing fish tail.  You can be fascinated by the spectacle of what appears to be a magic trick or appreciate the fine art of letting the natural energy take over and merely just being there to take the cue to guide and maintain. 

Letting go and being free within the freedom of something free-flowing is not only beautiful, but it's one of life's best offerings, when you have faith that everything that happens is part of the natural flow of what you are supposed to experience is for purpose.

We do not often take time to reflect upon timing unless we appear to be late for something, rushed for something or on deadline.  However, we should not really question it either.  Trusting in what the Universe delivers has our best interest at heart in the end.  We just need to be aware and be present for it. 

The world keeps spinning.  So do batons.  The tide still rises and falls.  The stars still shine in the sky.

It is in our GROUNDING and BALANCE we can navigate life.  There are no competitions for trophies, ribbons, and medals.  If you march in your own parade, you will see the only one you are really in competition with is yourself.  So while you are here, CONTINUE TO SHINE YOUR OWN LIGHT.

Nevertheless, life does not require us to spin to keep up so we can live.  It is really quite the opposite. 

We float, we balance.  Twirling will happen on its own in its own time, naturally and organically if we let it unfold, twist, turn, and repeat. 

Life's beauty is here now for us to enjoy if we stop spinning long enough to look at it and simply be in the moment as it is happening.  

The fish tail is in balance.  It is my tale about a tail which everyday people life’s fishing enthusiasts will never understand if they only focus on size, catching, releasing, and the game. 

Sometimes merely appreciating the sport of living in the present provides us more skill to indeed fill our minds, hearts, and souls for a lifetime. 

Moreover, when you SHINE BRIGHTLY ANYWAY, there is great beauty in that because you catch what you are meant to catch to enjoy and flourish within your own journey.