Glorious Living

We are a product of our environment, we cannot change.  

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Our circumstances have been set in motion from the beginning.

We are failures.

We are stuck.

We are worthless.

These sentences are belief systems. They are only real by the conviction that our own minds have set for them. But they are figments of our imaginative minds that lack true imagination, yet ache for invention.

To change our made up voice that thinks these negatives, we must only look inside our own truths that exist underneath, that are drowning, that are aching to be seen.

Try hearing the self that speaks to you quietly, under the loud voice that screams these false beliefs and see how quickly your life becomes alive.

True courage comes from hearing the whisper of your own voice emerge through the sea of the negative rattle.

Today become alive.

See what happens.

It is glorious.

 

 

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The Lightworker

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Over the course of my many film projects, I have been fortunate to meet some interesting people along the way who are doing really innovative things with their lives. Nikki Wall is one of those extremely interesting people. We sat down and spoke to her to find out what has inspired her path, how she’s gone from Horror Film Producer to Social Activist/Humanitarian and her message on how our social obligation to coexist with a sense of worthiness and purpose  should become central to sustaining our future.

 

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Humanitarians Nikki Wall & John Apt

Nikki Wall is a filmmaker turned omni-faith minister and humanitarian.  Alongside her beloved, John Apt, she works tirelessly towards long term sustainable solutions as well as getting her hands dirty and helping wherever she can to bring a little more love and light into others’ lives. She has been an award winning activist since she was 13 years old, working in many areas of positive change making. She is the author of The Universal Inspiration Project, co-founder of Vow of Service and has dedicated her whole life in service to the greater good.  She has surrendered everything and lives on faith doing all work, including spiritual counseling, on a donation basis.  

Links:

www.VowOfService.com

www.Facebook.com/vowofservice

www.Facebook.com/nikkistarseedapt

Thelma & Louise: Thelma and Louise is a blog about kicking fear in the face. So let’s do this!  Tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are please!

Nikki: I am an omni-denominational minister that is focused on greater sustainable solutions while taking action every day to improve the lives of all humans.  At the moment, we’ve focused a lot of our efforts on the under-served homeless populations throughout California and now that we’ve established a support system down there and built momentum for others to do what we were doing, we have relocated up to Portland, Oregon to assist with their growing homeless population.  I have been an activist since I was 13 years old and have worked with animal rights groups, environmental protection and preservation organizations, gay rights and protection organizations and more… doing everything from boots on the ground work, protesting, activism, lobbying and all aspects of positive social change.  I am proud to say that I am an award winning humanitarian that has positively affected the lives of tens of thousands of people, if not more from the momentums I’ve created.

Thelma & Louise:  Explain what an omni-denominational minister is.

Nikki:  In other words, I believe that we are spiritual beings having a spiritual experience.  We all come from the same source and I have studied and walked many spiritual and religious paths.  I honor wherever someone is at regardless of what they believe and feel that all the masters and sages before us have shared the same threads of wisdom and guidance of how to live a good life and serve others when you really boil down what they have taught. I am here to serve as a spiritual leader who unites and heals all illusions of separateness, including those labeled as religious.  I respect and honor those who hold the values true of whatever religious path they are on and while doing so, I invite and encourage them to come together with everyone else to realize that we are all human and all have the same needs and desires.  What we do in our temples or churches, how we pray and who we pray to, what books we read or even if we don’t believe in God at all, we all have responsibility down here in these physical bodies and the world needs our unified intent and action now more than ever before.

Thelma & Louise: So would it be appropriate to say you are a “lightworker”? Maybe a minister of humanism vs religious-ism?

Nikki: Absolutely.  And in a lot of ways I resonate with pieces of avatarism which is a little more centered around taking responsibility for the entirety of our experience.

Thelma & Louise: Avatarism, can you explain ?

 

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This is what I thought she meant by “Avatarism”- I quickly learned blue makeup was not what she was referring to….

Nikki: My basic understanding of it, is that it is the idea that we are souls in a body interacting with others and that we manifest our experience, including people and circumstances, based on our own vibration and frequencies.  That we can actually have creative control in our own experience and the experience of others who are less consciously creating.  If we are aware of this, we have a responsibility to always first and foremost care for ourselves and our vibration and get ourself right with the universe and then consciously co-create with others, whether they are aware of it or not, for the greatest healing possible now and moving forward to create a joyful human experience for everyone.

Thelma & Louise: Got it. Avatarism= transformationalism (but without the blue leotard)

Nikki: Yes ☺starting inside and working your way out to transform everything, including yourself, into something more serving of humanity as a whole.  All inclusive so that each being has their own ability to live a life of fulfillment.

Thelma & Louise: You have vowed to only live on the donations you receive for the work that you do. That is a very risky undertaking, How does that work? Do you live minimally? Does it ever become difficult to get your own needs met with this lifestyle? Can you tell us more about that?

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Nikki: I went into this heavily influenced by the Burning Man community and the desire to bring the Gift Economy to the mainstream. I had lived various periods of my life as a teenager on the streets in perceived lack, poverty, challenge and vulnerability and had experienced times in my life as an adult where I was so financially abundant that I had total and utter financial freedom.  I knew that it would be something that was ‘risky’ in terms of what the patriarchal system had created and programmed us into.  I also had faith that if I was in alignment with the Divine, I would be supported by the Divine, so I took the leap of faith and went all in, giving up EVERYTHING and putting myself out there publicly in any way I could be of service to another.

Fast forward to today, and yes, I have maintained my integrity of living minimally to set an example and lighten my load.  My beloved and I own very little and the majority of it is spiritual, esoteric and philosophical books, and other than that we have a suitcase of clothes and our backpacks.

We don’t use credit cards, as we just didn’t feel in alignment with that in regards to what we were trying to live, embody and teach, so everything has to be manifested if it’s meant to be. Right now we have been gifted a room in someone’s home that truly believes in what we are doing and wishes to support us in a way that is in alignment with us all.

Although there have been times of challenge, I’ve really grown past the point of seeing them as a negative experience.    Mostly, our experience has been seemingly miraculous and through the course of this adventure, we have experienced being asked to come do ceremony or simply be present in someone’s home to bring ceremony or help them align their lives in a more spiritual way, offer our healing and so forth and this has kept a pretty consistent roof over our heads with occasional times we would not have that and take the time to go camp in nature or get a private hotel or air-bnb to just be in our own energy and catch up on blogs, etc.

Through our Social Media, a lot of people have been following the story.  I’ve found that a lot of people that follow us feel like helping us along the way or inviting us to them, they are already a part of the story and so many have chosen to contribute to keep us going.  I know in my heart, and have received as feedback, that a lot of people just feel grateful to witness our adventures, our love and commitment to a dream and so contributing in some way or another makes them feel like they are sharing in that dream as well.  That feeling in them is what brings them to a place of inviting us, donating to us and gifting us things that has lead to us living a minimal life in the perception of many but an abundant life to our hearts and souls.  

Thelma & Louise: You meet a lot of people and have made it your life’s work to contribute to helping other’s succeed. In your work, what is the one thing that you believe stops people from living out loud?

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Nikki: I truly believe that it is actually our fear of how GREAT we are and just how much we’ve been capable of all along that we fear. In that realization we are forced to face how small we’ve made ourselves and how disempowered we have allowed ourselves to be.  It’s hard to face difficult truths like that about ourselves but, on the other side of those fears are our authentic greatness and fullest expression of the divinity within.

Thelma & Louise: In your pre-interview you shared that you had spent years producing horror films. That’s a major turn from the work you are doing now. Talk about heading into fear only to kick it on its face! Can you tell us a bit about that journey and what you learned about fear and how it plays into our lives negatively?

Nikki:  I had a rather dark childhood that culminated into quite a bit of depression and anxiety as a young adult, even a period of agoraphobia, as a young adult. I ended up married to a childhood sweetheart that faced a lot of similar but not identical challenges and the two of us were coming out of the punk and gothic scenes. I believe in a lot of ways it was therapeutic for both of us, however, it didn’t resonate with me when I really started focusing on inner healing.  I suddenly wanted to be lighter and freer and started seeking more within myself and realizing that I didn’t want to be focused on blood and guts and that if I had the power to influence others, why not do it in a more positive way?

I actually was involved with groups that were helping create more opportunities for women in film, behind the scenes and in greater roles in entertainment to create a more equal and balanced voice in that industry, but, eventually I needed more and the farther I dove into finding my most authentic expression, I understood that film and television would probably be a part of that but I had an even larger mission here and so I shifted.

It resulted in the end of that marriage, although we are still friends and co-parents and I still love him as a brother and friend, and I met my current beloved while I was stepping out of that community and into the spiritual and conscious communities, learning and expressing as a more healed and authentic version of myself.  The stories and koans of horror are very real, for the most part, I just felt that it was also exploiting women in ways that I didn’t feel reflected my new path.

Thelma & Louise: What is one tip you can give our readers on how you have approached courage?

Nikki: Being courageous doesn’t mean you don’t have fear.  I have countless fears a day!  I simply keep going and abolish them and anything that comes up that I have to face, I just remember that no warrior, change maker, or hero has ever existed without some measure of resistance.   Courage to me simply means stepping beyond the veil of fear to keep going regardless of what it seems is holding you back or trying to keep you from your goals when you know they are in fact the highest expression of your Truth.

Thelma & Louise: What is your greatest fear that you have conquered?

 

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One of Nikki’s diary entries

Nikki: My greatest fear was dying before I was able to make a noticeable difference in the world.   So, in this  instance, fear literally became my fuel towards living with a positive direction, catalyzing me into greater service instead of allowing it to stunt me on my path.

Thelma & Louise: Finally, What is one of your favorite sayings?

Nikki: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.martin_luther_king_jr

Your Critics Don’t Count

 

To say that I love Brené Brown, is comparative to me saying I love Chocolate, I love tequila, I love thai massages and I love getting all three of those joys ALL AT ONCE. I literally get a hard on for this woman every time I read her books (yes buy ALL of them and then read each of them 5 times like I did) or watch her talks.

Last year I came out with a very daring and creative music video I was commissioned to make to help raise awareness for the state of Israel. It was everything I wanted to say and put me in front of the camera vs behind it, which is not my favorite place to be. It was daring and vulnerable and caused those creative sweats and nightly “Oh my Gawd, what am I doing??” moments. And then I posted it, and hello Secret Deodorant, there was NOT enough of that shit to make my pits feel normal after it went up on the big wide blazing internet.

Every single- and I mean EVERY single frame of every single film I make is mulled over, thought through and has a reason. I spend hours in post after I create a project, and a lot of the times, especially when I am making music videos, each and every frame has a particular story to tell. I think everything through very cautiously and very deeply. So I was sort of surprised to hear from an old friend with her “constructive criticism” exclaiming her distaste for the project.

Let’s just say the word “Gross” was tossed around, and this friend thought I needed to hear about it. The truth is, I knew that deep down she was coming from a sincerely loving place, but it made me think a thing or two about how we as artists react to destructive- I mean “constructive” commentary we open ourselves up to.

I love to be pushed by my producers and by my colleagues who know what I am capable of and who are willing to give me guidance. I take notes dubiously and am the first to admit when I am off the mark. But in this particular case, the film had already been debuted, I had yet to receive really positive comments and I hadn’t the faintest idea what impact this film had created. The only feedback I had up until that point, was this person’s bold reaction, which caused my fear to run RAMPANT. It felt like My Fear was running up and down Walmart like a 4 year old and waving his arms at me with a banner that said “YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK!” Truth was, I was scared to make this film and in that moment I heard these comments, that little ole’ ball of fear was there standing there pointing at me, laughing hard and saying, “See, I knew this would happen- never create anything EVER, lets just hang out together in your bedroom and suck on bon bons and never play in the world again you hack.”

Yep, my fear was in full swing and really loving every minute of this exchange.  Fear was really getting my goat and it was having a party at my expense. It was LOVING how awful I felt and how it was enjoying EVERY SINGLE self doubt. This whole thing felt dirty. BUT  then I heard this talk by Brene Brown and all became right with the world and little ole’ fear was put in its place.

I love this talk that Brené gives, because she really gets what an artist goes through when we create something. And the best line in this talk that not only changed my life but also kicked my fear to the curb was :

“IF YOU’RE NOT IN THE ARENA ALSO GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED, I’M NOT INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR FEEDBACK.”

Told ya she’s the bomb!

In that moment my fear looked like the Witch’s big green puddle on the floor and all I could hear now was him saying “I’m shrinking, I’m shrinking….I’m shrinking…” Take that you Mother- F’n FEAR. My cape had been reclaimed!  It was at that moment I realized that it didn’t matter what feedback I was getting, the film was already out, there was nothing to be done but celebrate my accomplishment of having an idea, creating it, and then birthing it forward. Sure that would have been enough, BUT then the universe called and made it even better, because that is what happens when you give acceptance to your creative life, it pays you back ten fold.  A few months had gone by after I had deeply accepted my accomplishment without any reaction but my own, when the Executive Director of the non profit that commissioned me to make the film told me the film was so widely well received and it ended up raising close to $80,000 towards the  purchase of one new ambulance for Israel. SO really, you can say this one little music video potentially saved thousands of lives. Suddenly “Gross” started to feel “GOOD”.

As Brené says- if you’re in the “Cheap seats not putting yourself on the line”, than please please don’t think your words matter to me, because they never will. To all creatives out there who are getting naked and putting themselves out there, please never stop daring, never stop risking all of your notions, never listen to your critics, stay in the arena, and keep on CREATING! (I am saying this to myself so I don’t pass out everyday from all the crap I’ve exposed myself with on the big bad blazing web.)

I’ve broken down her talk to a few quotes that I think you should memorize or at least write in lipstick on your bathroom mirror:

“Not caring what people think is its own kind of hustle”

“Reserve seats for the critics you lock out of your arena… take the critics to lunch, and to simply say when I’m trying to innovate, say I see you, I hear you, but I gotta show up and do this anyway…. I’m not interested in your feedback.”

“If you’re going to spend your life showing up…. you need a clarity of values….if courage is your value you have to do this…..you gotta have one person who’s willing to pick you up and dust you off when you fail….if you’re not failing than you’re not really showing up.”

“How important can you be….I’m looking for a stranger in the mall, that’s who I’m trying to win over.”

“The critics are there whether you show up or not.”

“The people who have the most courage and who are willing to show up are willing to look at their critics and say I hear you, but I’m not buying it.”

“One of these seat needs to be reserved for you. When we look up and we are putting an idea, art, design etc, who is the biggest critic? Yourself! Definitely ME- so give herself a seat please.”

“Design is a function of connection.”

Now Get Real Or Go Home!

 

 

 

 

Ditch The Tarzan Persona

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There is a social stigma that comes with allowing ourselves to ask for help once we are grown up. When we were kids, we asked for help all the time. Help me tie my shoe, I can’t find my backpack, can you explain this math problem? But somewhere in between paying for rent, landing a job, having a kid and buying a car we forget we can ask for help if we need it. We somehow believe we are less than if we don’t know what the hell we are doing. And this needs to change if we are going to be great at doing adult.

We are adults, and yet we think that somehow being an adult means we know exactly what we are doing all of the time and have the solution to every problem we encounter. The truth is, we are new to adulthood – we are experiencing a new adult day everyday. Why would we know what to do today, if we’ve never been to today before?

Sure we learn on the way and we discover what works and what doesn’t work, and at some point I guess the “there are no excuses because you’re an adult” line should figuratively work- BUT it doesn’t. What if we stumble and feel lost? Shouldn’t there be room for improving our lives with someone else? Again, I am going to blame Disney for creating this messed up way of looking at life. They put a strong tan boy in the jungle without parents who became a freaken animal loving survival genius, and we assume we can do the same? Thank you Disney for screwing us up once again. I mean, must we always imagine we live like Tarzan, alone in the jungle? We are not Tarzan!

What if we can’t figure out how to make a living? What if we get lost in our marriage and can’t figure out how to husband or wife? What if we suck at dating? What if our parenting skills stink and we realize our kids are out of control because we are stumbling in the dark?  Again- WE ARE NOT TARZAN!

What if we just asked someone who might be getting it right, or who might know a bit more or who might be a compassionate ear that will listen and somehow make us feel less alone with some added perspective we could really use to improve? What if?

In my opinion the number one reason adults don’t ask for help falls into one word- SHAME.

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I mean, does he look like he’s having fun?

Somehow in the adult syndrome, we morph into fear that has us believing to ask for help means we must admit we are failures, so we avoid it at ALL costs. We are ashamed of our inadequacies and we believe that allowing someone else into our world, will only have them pointing out our shameful incompetency more. This makes spilling feel impossible.

Here’s a little secret I’m going to let every adult in on. I know this secret, because A) I’m a woman, and I know everything and B) I actually speak to so many people on an everyday basis, that while I have not built charts or spent my time as a professional researcher, I am going to take a leap and self proclaim myself an expert because – again, I’m a woman –

Here’s the secret-

EVERY ADULT FEELS INADEQUATE at one point in time or another.

 

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Everyone except for him- I mean look at that putz- relax he’s a cartoon

Asking someone to help us through a tough time is not failing. The only failure is in staying put in our own head that does not allow us to take that leap we might need to step out of our own shit.

My dad used to say, “If you stand in your own shit, you’re gonna get smelly.”

The only way to step out of our own selves is to allow someone else’s perspective in. The clue in asking for help is in the search. For one cannot ask anyone for help. When I am in a shit storm, I don’t turn to the first person who walks into Starbucks to unload. I have what I call my “Team”. They are usually a phone call or text away. (ya you know who you are).

They are the ones that know my imperfections and actually love me because of them. They are just as imperfect as I am, which is probably why I feel so safe with them. (This does not apply to paid experts I have used in the past-  they are perfect- which is why I have to pay them to listen to my crap.)  But the friends and family I call when I need a lift  are improvising adulthood just as I am and they know that if at anytime they stumble, I am there to catch them as well with absolutely no judgment. Finding my team has taken a few years, and I need a team, because I have a lot of different issues I work through. I don’t use the entire team for every issue. Obviously- I mean does Google bring their HR problems to their production team? NO. They have divisions that handle each unique set of topics.

The truth is, we don’t live on an island and we cannot navigate life alone. I mean we can, but it is usually not very effective. When we reach out for help, when we let someone know we need a shoulder to cry on, we can use their advice or perspective, and we can allow our journey to be shared with someone else making our experiences in life far richer and less isolating. When you are on a dark road with only one light, it helps if there is a second person carrying another lamp to widen the view.

Shame is the weapon we use to protect our shallow selves. It does not insulate us from harm, it ignites it. Shame does not defend us from growth, it prevents it. It is the fortress that keeps us from living a full life.

Thelma & Louise exercise for the day: Ask someone you trust for help. Leave the fortress and take a leap. Ditch the Tarzan persona and get a spray tan instead.

Now Get Real Or Go Home!

Get Lost

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This was me before I got lost. Notice how clueless I look.

The only way to expel fear is to recognize you are not alone.

A few years ago I spent a day in France. I was excited to tour this beautiful romantic city, even if for just a few hours. My friend, Rochel and I landed super early and planned more than we could fit in, but because we are super human- we managed to see pretty much everything important in just 8 short hours.

In between hitting the Eiffel Tower, sipping an espresso in a cafe (of course one must get to France and experience that) downing a baguette, and hitting up the Jewish quarter in the 3rd and 4th arrondissement we ended up splitting up for what was supposed to be a short period of time. Within several minutes, every building and street began to look exactly the same to me, and I got lost.

This has happened to me before. I tend to pay attention to detail, which causes my imagination to wander, which eventually causes me to lose direction. Like the time I was 14 and had wandered off in Fresno while I was on a student getaway weekend and ended up walking the streets of Northern California until five in the morning.  Why they never set up a search party for me, still pisses me off. I guess the teacher in charge figured he’d have one less annoying mean-ager to make a warm soggy tuna sandwich for on the bus ride home.

It happens.

Okay it only happens to me.

But the time I got lost in France was different then getting lost in Fresno.  I was in a different country and unable to understand the language. AND MY PHONE DIED. (not that I had a phone in Fresno either, it was shabbat and also they didn’t have phones back then.)

Here’s what happens when you literally get lost.

You Panic. (check)

You Fear being Kidnapped. (check)

You wonder what it will be like to be trapped forever and what new name people will start calling you.  (Oh is that only me?)

Then You pray.

It was in that moment in prayer, while I wandered the streets of France, knowing my flight was to take off in 2 hours, and that I might miss it, and that my friend was probably panicking, that I realized no matter how alone I felt in that moment, I was actually not alone at all.  I had a guide and all I needed to do was ask him- “God, what direction should I head towards?”

So I was all, “Hey God, I could use a compass, right about now.” So God sent me into this adorable cafe where they spoke enough broken english and understood enough sign language to allow me to charge my phone and BAM- I was back on track.  I stayed with it and found my solution, but solutions don’t come in panic mode. Solutions don’t happen during fearsome episodes. Solutions only come once we surrender. I had to surrender if I was going to catch my flight, find my friend, and not end up as a sex slave. Hello “Taken” thank you for ruining trips to Europe for me forever.

Fear happens when we are not looking, but is conquered when we finally see.

That day it became clear to me that no matter where I go, I am not alone.  I have a Higher Power calling the shots. And I realized that Facebook is great for finding French Jews named Eli who got my friend, Rochel and I to the plane on time. Thank God for him, cause I clearly couldn’t find my way to a train if I was staring right at it.

Now you see why I need a tour guide wherever I go. I wonder if God has an app for that.

 

 

 

A lesson from a Scholar (Not Yoda)

A few years ago, I was privileged to produce a wonderful series called “The Search” where I explored the meaning of life with different celebrities, actors, big thinkers and even fellow filmmakers. One day my executive producer called and said he booked me an interview to learn about the meaning of life from one of North America’s most respected and popular poet-philosophers, Noah benShea. Noah is also known for being a scholar, theologian, long range thinker, executive advisor, speaker, and International Best-Selling author. 

Obviously I was about to get a lesson only few are privileged to experience on the meaning of life. It was by far my most memorable experience.

 

 

Once again, to give my readers an impactful experience on the wisdom of living courageously and on battling fear, we are privileged to have Noah benShea contribute to “Thelma & Louise.” If anyone knows a thing or two about kicking fear in the face, it’s definitely Noah!

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T&L: With the ever growing fear based society we live in, i.e., Terrorism, mass shootings, Isis etc..what is one practical thing we can do to combat fear based living and that will transform our society to an inspired one?

Noah benShea:  “PUT YOUR FAITH AND NOT YOUR FEARS IN CHARGE”

 

“Imagine,” said Jacob, “that your life is a wagon, and everything you know about yourself and everything that is yours, is in this wagon.

“Now to pull this wagon, you have been given a team of 10 horses.

“But because all of us have much more fear than faith, let us say that 9 of these horses are horses of fear and only one of them is a horse of faith.

“If you put any of the horses of fear at the front of your wagon, they will give you all the excuses you ever give yourself, or others have ever given you, for why you can’t do something. And the wagon isn’t going anywhere.

“But if you put the one horse of faith at the front of the team, the horses of fear will follow.

“Your fears will be a source of strength to your faith if you put your faith and not your fears in charge.” (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

T&L: Do you think fear is learned?

Noah benShea: Fear serves us in many ways. But what serves us can also enslave us. We do not have to learn to be afraid. Neither do we have to learn to be courageous. What we have to learn is when to put one rather than the other at our service. And to do this, learn this: Courage is not the absence of fear but how we struggle with our fears.

T&L: There are so many courageous people that surprise us. Here on Thelma & Louise, we often highlight their heroic approach to life. What is one thing you think makes someone courageous?

Noah benShea:   “WAGE FAITH”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

“If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

“Do not wage war in the now to achieve outcomes out of your control.

“Instead, wage faith.

“And if you say, ‘yes but this takes courage,’ the answer is you are right.

“Now go and do the work.”  (Noah benShea, JACOB’S CHILDREN)  

 

T&L: How do you think fear is manifested? How is courage manifested?

Noah benShea: Almost every act in life is a transactional agreement, a quid pro quo, I give you this; you give me that. Fear is an insecurity based currency. Courage is a faith based currency. It all depends on what you are shopping for in your life, and what you have to pay for it.”

T&L: Who is the most courageous person you have come across, why?

Noah benShea: The most courageous person in my life…were two people – my mother and father. Against all odds and circumstances they were born into… they triumphed.  But in this way. Instead of a life of complaint and anger, they chose to give love, offer hope, and promise better for their children. They chose to be courageous and seed courage in their children. They chose to be loving and nurture loving. They put their faith in an ethical life and raised their three sons in a land where kindness was king.

True words to live by. Now go and Kick the Ass outta fear. We pass the throne over to you, the readers.

– Thank you Yoda…I mean Noah.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

*Noah also uses his insight to help many people on a spiritual journey and aid in their recovery to addiction. To learn more about his work head over to Heroes in Recovery– A place where incredible people are facing their fears and overcoming adversity every day.

 

The Big Victoria’s Secret Part 2

 

 

Thelma & Louise: Welcome to Part 2 of The Big Victoria’s Secret

 

“Victoria Secret” is a red head. So that makes her feisty and adorable. Two months ago I had the privilege of interviewing her in an anonymous fashion because she was in the early stages of learning her current predicament of getting breast cancer and didn’t want anyone to know yet. She was wonderful about using this blog to sort through some of her experiences and we were proud she had the moxie to share her story, for the sake of helping others, even though there were some key people in her life that she had yet to share it with. Today she has agreed to “Come out” of the closet (Not literally as in becoming gay- although the jury’s still out on that one….I mean she does text me like every day to tell me how much she loves me) just literally as in she’s willing to expose her real name. We are fortunate enough to have this sexxy (not tall but still skinny) “Victoria Secret-esque” “Thelma and Louise Bad Ass Courageous Diva of the Month” share her latest experiences in battling this horrid disease. Here’s her latest update- Stefanie Friedman, you ROCK!

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Isn’t she gorgeous?

 

(PS we will still be referring to Stefanie as Victoria Secret because her husband really sees her like the tall skinny model in the photo captured below. As you can see, he’s even willing to walk next to her wearing scrawny wings to showcase his love.)

Victoria Secret

 

“Victoria Secret”: So what do you want from me now?

 

Thelma & Louise: Its been a full 2 months since we last interviewed you and we want to know what the hell is going on.

 

“Victoria S”: Do you think anyone read part 1?

 

Thelma & Louise: Probably not. So here’s a little recap for the 2 people that will probably read part 2-

Last time we spoke you had just gotten a pretty scary diagnosis. (you can read Victoria Secret’s first interview HERE) At that point no one knew you had breast cancer except for T&L and a few therapists. Tell us, where are you today in this incredible journey?   And please take us through every detail, We are thorough like that.

 

“Victoria S”: Well, in 10 fun-filled weeks I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had 2 surgeries, genetic testing, and now seem to be in pretty good shape! Tomorrow I go to my oncologist and talk about radiation/hormone therapy.  I don’t need chemo so it’s a good day!

 

 

Thelma & Louise: Wow! That IS a lot to happen in 70 days- I don’t think that much happens to most people in 10 weeks. I mean Gerbils give birth in like 26 days, but I think they’re the only ones who have that sort of turn around.

 

“Victoria S”: Wait, I forgot to add that I had a few MRI’s, 2 biopsies.  Can’t forget that fun time.

 

Thelma & Louise: Like I said- Gerbil excitement. Now please, Walk us through a few things, did you ever decide to tell your children about the diagnosis, and if so, how did that go down?And why were you hesitant to share it with them in the first place?

 

“Victoria S”: I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on until I knew what I was facing.  The conversation could have gone one of two ways. Once I was told this was manageable and I wasn’t going to fucking DIE (at least from this!) I was able to decide how to tell the family.  I was so grateful that this was the conversation I was going to have with my kids.  Not saying good-bye.  Even writing that it chokes me up.

After I got results from genetic testing and didn’t have the gene that would have led me to a double mastectomy and removal of other lady parts, we decided a lumpectomy would be fine for my care. I found out the Monday of Thanksgiving and decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to share the whole story.  I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s holiday.

Thelma & Louise: Smart move

 

Victoria S: Smarter then a Gerbel?

 

Thelma & Louise: Let’s not push it. So how did that conversation go over?

 

Victoria S: I have two daughters ages 16 and 13 and a son who is 6 years old. So, one daughter broke down, hyperventilated and got under the covers.  The other one just took it all in and was very quiet.  The little boy was with his grandparents playing ninja.  He knows nothing.  Just mommy has a boo boo in her armpit and he can’t jump on me for a while.  The hysterical daughter asked 300 questions after she calmed down.  The quiet daughter was fine until the next day when she was getting out of the car to go to school.  She lost it.

OK. what else?  What didn’t I answer?

 

Thelma & Louise: Nothing, you’re doing great.

 What’s important to remember is how children process differently, and it sounds like both of your daughters definitely processed this in their own distinct way, and It sounds like you handled it great. How do they seem to be handling it now that the cat’s out of the bag?

 

Victoria S: I was very prepared.  I had and still have a wonderful (man) team of experts who helped me prepare for that moment. And I am almost 49 and I like gift cards. I REALLY like gift cards.

 

Thelma & Louise: For those of you reading this article, please take note…..GIFT CARDS can be sent to – where should we send those?

Back to reality….tell us what was the most difficult moment you’ve had  in all these 10 weeks?

Victoria S: You mean “Gerbel years”

 

Thelma & Louise: Correct

 

Victoria S: I would say getting the call from the doctor with the news and then not knowing if I was going to live or die was high up there on the difficult moments. I cannot even express how scary and painful that was. And I saw three different doctors before I was actually convinced that it was going to be OK. I didn’t beleive anyone!

(Please fix my spelling of believe!)☺

 

Thelma & Louise: (Will do) (funny I always misspell that word too. Fuck that word)

Victoria’s a model so she can’t spell. She meant to write “BELIEVE”. Now the spell mongers can shut it. Good?

Victoria S: Yes. Thanks.

 

Thelma & Louise: It sounds like you’ve been literally given a second chance at life, so what’s new on your bucket list now?

 

Victoria S: I am so grateful that I can finally breathe and FINALLY not get worked up over things that used to drive me insane and cause me stress.  And because of this, I seem to be much happier AND patient. So, now my bucket list is to enjoy everything I can, to learn to be in the present and enjoy everything. And just LIVE – don’t wait for things – don’t wait for the right time to get something done – it might never happen – just enjoy the little things. That sounds dorky.  Oh, and I want to go on vacation with my family like ASAP!!!!

 

Thelma & Louise: Where do you want to go? Our readers may want to send you…mine as well say it….

 

Victoria S: I don’t even care.  I just want to be with them somewhere – just the 5 of us – in a hotel fighting about who gets what bed.

 

Thelma & Louise: So like Motel 6 by the freeway?

 

Victoria S: That would seriously be fine.  I am not kidding. Even just a trip to Disneyland overnight…Legoland…. Hawaii…Mexico….

 

Thelma & Louise: So Motel 6 to Cabo. Wow that changed real quick.

We at Thelma and Louise (there’s actually no we, but I like saying that so it seems like “we” have a big company of people) So we at Thelma and Louise believe that everything that happens in our lives good and bad seasons us further to develop in to a better more aware human being. That being said, now that you have been “Seasoned” like a cupcake on steroids, we’d like to ask you to play a little game with us. You ready?

 

Victoria S: ok. Do I have to be naked for this game?

 

Thelma & Louise: I’m going to say a word, and I want you to write the first word that comes to mind. Here we go:

 

HUSBAND-

 

Victoria S:   LOVE

 

Thelma & Louise: HAPPINESS

 

Victoria S: JOY

 

Thelma & Louise: DEATH

 

Victoria S: SCARY

 

Thelma & Louise: ALIVE

 

Victoria S: EXCITED

 

Thelma & Louise: MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY (that was 3 words, so shoot me)

 

Victoria S: FAMILY and GIFT CARDS (that’s two words)

 

Thelma & Louise: LOVE IT! That wasn’t a word….the game is done. You passed with flying colors

 

Victoria S: OK. Now I have a game for you. Ready?

 

Thelma & Louise: Hit me

Victoria S: What’s the first word you think of when you hear Victoria Secret? (me, not the tramps)

 

Thelma & Louise: I thought you were a tramp. I have more than one word that comes to mind….(Besides wings)

Strong

Funny

Sexxy ….no wait…

Warrior QUEEN

PROUD OF YOU

 

Victoria S: It’s weird.  I have to tell you, I do NOT feel like a warrior. I feel like there are so many other women who have this disease and have to fight so so hard week in and week out. I seemed to have gotten so lucky and I have no right to call myself a fighter or warrior or whatever adjectives are used to describe these incredible women out there battling this.

 

Thelma & Louise: I think a warrior is someone who lives graciously through difficult experiences, and I think you have done that valiantly. You don’t have to almost die, or be in a hospital bed, or have to have horrible life ending news to become a warrior. Everyone’s personal test is truly there’s to experience, and it’s how we experience these pitfalls that – like I said- season us. I remember visiting you right after your surgery, You never complained once, even though I know that you were in severe pain, (I would have milked it more) you continued to keep your incredible sense of humor through it all. I think that when life hits us hard- that is when our true character comes out. And I guess that’s why I think of you as a warrior. Because you battled, but never allowed the battle to get you – you got IT. AND that’s what makes you the “Thelma and Louise Bad Ass Courageous Diva of the Month.”

Victoria S: OK, you’ve convinced me

 

Thelma & Louise: Your trophy is in the mail.

VS bra 2 0001

Stefanie’s Trophy

 

 

Victoria S: Are we done?  I have to poop

 

Thelma & Louise: Yes. Thanks for sharing-

 

NOW GET REAL OR GO HOME!