Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

gratitude - goals - guidance = grounded

Life's a roller coaster these days, so the way I keep grounded is a three step process I developed that's easy to remember and recite to myself to maintain my focus: gratitude, goals, guidance.

I have so much for which to be grateful - I maintain a gratitude list to which I keep adding; time for review. I also have a list of what is working in my life that I review. Sometimes when tumult strikes, it's hard to remember just how much is working just fine - bumps are the oddity, not the norm.

I review and renew my goals; prioritizing them and picking just one or two so they feel manageable with all the upheaval surrounding me.

Then I get, like, spiritual and ask for guidance - as I do the legwork, I also let myself be open to whatever insight, inspiration, instigation or intuition I need to make it all come together and go forward. Whatever pops up is worth considering, no matter how unrelated it seems.

Somehow, this works to put me on the right path to whatever next step I must take, doing what I need to in order to create the next chapter in my life in a way that is positive, contributing and rewarding.

Whether it's an up or down day, I enjoy some degree of happiness because I remain convinced I'm in the right place at the right time doing the right thing with all the right people (and animals) for all the right reasons.

'cause I welcome the changes that make that true day after day. The real priorities remain - health and nurturing the important relationships in my life.

It all adds up to feeling grounded in an insecure, dynamic, uncertain world.

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Monday, November 23, 2009


After a whirlwind travel time: LA/Palm Springs/NYC, it's a relief to have a little quality down time to refresh, rekindle, renew, revitalize, restore and reflect.

As well as perform zen-friendly tasks like cleaning the house, dogs, clothes and a storm-swamped walkway.

Especially at Thanksgiving.

I maintain an ongoing list of things for which I am grateful; I add to it almost daily just before I go to sleep.

This year has been filled with a plethora of ups and downs for me - a stretch at both ends.

Looking back, I've typically recorded far more positive experiences, people, events, surprises and miracles for which I am thankful than the few negative impedimenta that landed in my lap here and there.

The up side is that I find ways to learn from whatever appears to be negative - in fact, some things that initially appeared to be negative either turned out to be positive or led to something that was better than the original situation. I'll explain in more detail later.

Something I'm incredibly grateful for at this moment is the appreciation so many distributors have for our film THE WHOLE TRUTH. I'd love to say more, but the word of the day is "negotiations," so I need to ix-nay on any omments-cay until the deals are done and they've put the movie out for you to see! When everything is done and settled, I'll share our story.

One thing new filmmakers should know: distributors will give money for a production they know they can distribute upon completion. Because the vast majority can't afford to spend too much money on pre-production funds, they don't - well, can't, really - have a huge say in changing the content of the project.

They do need to be assured, however, that the script in which they're investing is the script that will be shot, and that they're working with someone who can bring the film in on time, well done and within the budget allotted.

There's also the new type of product placement - wherein product representatives don't want the old "in your face" use of their products onscreen, but prefer to have them used in nuanced ways, the way we would normally use their common item. They pay money for the use of those products by characters in films.

Believe me when I say I am incredibly thrilled to know this, and we're going to make the most of finding production partners for future projects.

I include on my gratitude list things that can be ignored or taken for granted - like breathing freely, living in a clean air area, I have the healthy use of my arms, legs and fingers (important for a writer); eyesight is good, hearing excellent (I'm teased about having the super sensitive ability to hear like a dog); overall health is terrific, teeth cavity-free, rosy cheeks and I often enjoy a good hair day.

Trust me, a good hair day goes at the top of my list on days it happens - vanity, thy name is a cute coiffure.

I live in a warm home with a cozy fireplace, have three pups and a kitty to make life fun, wonderful friends, supportive family, unique skills and abilities, work ethic (I love my work and to do plenty of it), a sense of fairness, appreciation and humor that have served me well even in tough times and a good DVD player.

In short, when it comes to the important stuff, I'm incredibly fortunate.

Like love, however, gratitude is meaningless - it really does not exist - unless it's expressed in some way that brings it to life.

So I'd like to take this moment to thank you, Dear Reader, for taking the time to read my blogs. Nearly 300,000 readers from more than 100 nations tune in every month, and I am grateful for each and every person who stops by.

With my deepest appreciation,


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Monday, December 24, 2007

A life of changes, wonderment and gratitude

I don't know about you, but my past several years have been fraught with changes, wonderment and gratitude.

Changes in every aspect of my life except my home and writing.

Wonderment at the horrific, dysfunctional and callous state of our federal government with its heartless president and vice-president calling the shots - shots that have killed 4,000 loyal American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen -wounding 35,000 more only to have too many of them return to detestable health care conditions - for which many have to copay.

For myself, the wonderment of all I have learned last year and over my lifetime. I live to learn!

Gratitude for all I have learned, where all the hard work I have done has landed me today, with the future looking especially bright - good health, cozy home, a terrific Christmas season filled with all that is special -including a beautiful Christmas tree - and genuine personal gifts that aren't purchased.

Then there's the Barnes and Noble gift card I received that had accidentally been used - several times - by my thoughtful BN giftcard-giving friends.

I definitely felt punk'ed when I went to the cash register with half an armload of books and was told the expensive gift card had only $2.13 left on it. Fortunately, I had another credit card with me, so the clerk wasn't really peeved as I paid her off.

We were both in shock, however, as was the friend who went shopping with me! It is only to laugh, however, since the *mortified* gift giver explained it was confused with the "real" gift card and has since replaced it with approximately 1,897 apologies.

"Oh, well," she said at the end. "Look at the bright side. Now you have something to write about in your blog.."


Meanwhile, I leave 2007 with no regrets or wishing I had done it any other way.

I certainly could not have done it alone, however!

So more thanks are due to my good friends, family, co-workers, my wacky Heinz commercial cohorts (I just received an award for it), pets, coachees, booty camp coach and our booty camp rock star, my vocal coach, baby Brockarmadingdong, my writer's group, my movieScope magazine editor Eric, my magazine column and blog readers, and a better than I could have imagined business partner.

This leaves me a full week to distill my resolutions and goals for 2008 - which will be few but compelling, including more ways to have fun away from work!

Have the Merriest of Christmases, if you celebrate it, or the most rewarding holiday season if you don't.

My wish for you: that you enjoy your finest, happiest, full of love and joy year ever in 2008 (and all that follow), rife with all the great things you wish for manifesting and mushrooming before your eyes! You deserve it!

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