Rants, Ramblings and General Diary of Juliana Wathen

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

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Diving in Naked

It was early morning on Padre Island and I had already decided to get on the road and make the 6 hour drive home to Houston after ringing in the New Year with one of my oldest and dearest friends on South Padre Island. The weather had not been our best friend this trip, high winds, cold temperatures and rainy skies had kept us from venturing out too much. The low hanging clouds had engulfed the island in a blanket of gray with only brief moments of sun light streaking through every now and again. In retrospect, it was a blanket I needed. It comforted me in familiarity with my kindred soul, a sister from another mister as they say. A sister of choice who I shared my mother with. We went to church on Sunday at Chapel by the Sea. Kim sang out all the hymns I didn’t know as I remained quietly standing beside her. I translated the preachers words almost instantaneously in my mind as my perceptions and understandings of the scriptures he read and stories he told didn’t quite mirror my own beliefs but at the core still resonated.

Afterwards we brunched with ladies of the isle 30 and even 40 years our seniors and I was amazed at their combined history and journeys as they sipped mimosas and devoured sugar dusted donut balls. Over the next few days we shopped, napped, read books, solved the worlds woes and fed each others spirit with gentle nudges of truth and observations. I was in a safe harbor to laugh, cry, explore or to do nothing more than be if that was what I needed.

Several years back we had spread my mother’s ashes on the north end of the National Seashore. We hadn’t gone out there this trip and it seemed odd to not go and pay some sort of homage but it just never happened with the rain and cold. I was just resigned to it I think.

And then my friend asked me as we sat perched high over the gulf of Mexico from our “Ivory Tower” , watching the gray waves wash in and spotting a few bundled up beach combers searching the sand for treasures, “Are you sure you don’t want to go see Wanda?”. It was like one of those brief breaks in the clouds where the sun comes shining thru, if only for a moment, like a spotlight on center stage. I knew where I needed to be and what I needed to do. Not for Wanda, but for me. I had spoken about it briefly a few days before. The need for a cleansing, a chance to wash off the previous year and start anew. A clean slate for the new year ahead.

I grabbed a few beach towels and still in my Vera Wang PJ’s we headed to the north shore. The wind was howling and you could feel the gusts push the jeep from side to side every now and again as we traveled down the main highway. We reached the beach entrance, sand dunes piled high on either side. The sand was wet and deep but no real challenge for a jeep. I rolled down my window and breathed in heavy doses of chilled salt air. We passed a few fishermen who where stubborn enough to brave the cold and rough surf in the hope of catching a few silvery pompano. Two heron stood watch as if they had a vested interest in the fisherman’s success and it made me smile.

We drove further up the beach until we saw the spot we loving call “Wanda’s Beach”. The tide was coming in and there we were. There was a frothy foam on the top of the water from the constant battering of waves. I laughed to myself and said a silent thank you to Wanda for the soap! A prayer of protection and a silent meditation and then I stepped from the jeep and began to disrobe. The sand was cold on my feet, the wind bit at every bump and bulge and yet I continued to undress. Here I was, rapidly approaching my 56th birthday, 225 lbs of insecurity and a slight fear of water, marching into the waves. I didn’t run or plunge but with a steadfast purpose walked into the ocean. Letting it take me one step at a time, one wave at a time to a new year. Not a new me but a truer me. Not as scared, not as insecure, not as mournful for the loss of my mother who was my best friend in the world. The waves were rolling in. One minute waste deep the next up to my neck and floating, my feet swept up off the sandy floor but still capable of moving forward.

That’s the choice….to move forward. A wave lapped over my head and I knew, forward can be many things. I embraced the waves and now it was time to embrace the chilling air. I turned and made my way back to shore just as slowly and deliberately as I had walked in. And there, on the shore, was my soul sister to welcome me, wrap me in her blanket and arms and share the moment. My heart was beating through my chest and I gasped for air as I clung to her. I never felt warmer or more alive.

This was why I was here. To acknowledge that feeling of vulnerability and insecurity you are left with when orphaned on earth with the lose of a parent. To finally take all the things they had taught you and instilled in you and use them on a daily basis without their prodding.

I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am brave. I am kind. I am that I am. And so my sweet, are you.

I love each and every one of you.

Juliana

Copyright Juliana Wathen 2019

Life is like a drawer of fried chicken…..

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Forest Gump almost had it right – POLITICIANS are like a box of chocolates…you never know what your gonna get.

So instead of standing on my soap box today and preaching I just want to make an impassioned plea to your stomach to consider what the world  looks like thru my eyes.

LIFE….AN IDEAL LIFE…. of peace, harmony and good will is just like a pull out drawer of self serve cold chicken.

Now while you pick your drooling jaw up off the linoleum floor…hear me out. The world has lost what the true meaning of UNITY is. Unity isn’t about dividing the red from the blue or imposing leash laws on other peoples dogmas.  Unity is about joining in spite of your differences. Which leads me to today’s topic at hand. Brothers and Sisters, I give you THE perfect refrigerator drawer!

You might think I have lost my ever dieting mind – But there is TRUE UNITY in that drawer full of chicken. White and dark sit side by side without any muss or fuss. This drawer is where right wing and left wing can co-exist in peace without sound bites, finger pointing or negative ads. It’s a judgement free zone where you are free to have a preference and the freedom to pick a breast, leg or thigh, hell even a gizzard if you see fit. There is room for spicy and mild, baked, blackened, broiled or fried. When the day is done and all the votes are counted….it’s all just chicken. Protein just waiting to be paired with some of the best lip smacking sides and delectable desserts to ever cross a paper plate. That is the classic RE-UNION plate of the south. RE-Union…..to bring back together again and again. So yes, life should be like a drawer of chicken….eat what you like and share the rest.

That is my recipe to success for this world of ours.

I thank Gerald for the original picture…the drawer was nearly empty when I took mine. And to Paulie for a great reunion of friends in celebration of your birthday.

I love each and every one of you

Juliana Wathen

Copyright 2016

 

 

 

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Seriously…Step aside….

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Have you ever heard the phrase” Get out of your own way” ? For all the up and downs life throws us it seems that the answer can be as easy as ….STEP ASIDE.

It seems we have been programmed to believe that for something to work it must be hard-won. That we must struggle to learn and move ahead. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”

So if that is the Universal Law then why don’t we use it?

A friend recently confided that she is struggling to lose weight after a divorce. She was up every morning to swim laps and scoured the stores for mounds of fresh fruits, veggies and fish. Two weeks of dedication, solid exercise and eating right had only resulted in a measly 3lb loss. Flossing celery strands from between her teeth hardly seemed worth it. But she also shared that she was afraid of attracting anyone new into her life. And it dawned on me. She may have consciously been exercising and  eating healthy but she had not yet given her body PERMISSION to let go of all the cells that were no longer necessary to the health and well-being of her body. She was sub-consciously hanging on to her “warm, snuggly robe of excess weight” and burning calories be damned, her heels were dug in and  she wasn’t letting go. A house divided cannot stand! She was working against herself. Her body, mind and spirit weren’t only not on the same page…they weren’t even in the same library. Unity starts within and only when the three are aligned with a common goal can you be successful.

A crown of righteousness…..RIGHT-USE-NESS has been given to us. All the keys to the Kingdom are ours if we would just stand for our birthright, declare our worthiness and use the simple laws that have been given us.

If you want to be successful….GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to succeed.

I give myself permission to learn.

I give myself permission to love.

I give myself permission to forgive.

I give myself permission to release grief and anger.

I give my body permission to release all unnecessary cells that no longer serve my body and health for the better.

Seriously….Step aside…. and let all that life has to offer come to you.

I love each and every one of you….

Juliana Wathen

Copyright 2016

PLACES MS. WATHEN…..

DRAG SHOW
No matter how old I get, I hope I never hesitate to take that NEXT step cause you just never know where it might lead you. I pulled together all my pennies, nickels and even a Visa gift card to get my ass to the BIG D (that’s Dallas to all non-Texans out there) to attend an Actors Boot Camp this past weekend.
People came from New Orleans,Tulsa and the Great Piney Woods of Texas to polish up their skills on Auditioning for the Camera, Continuity and Scene Work with the ever so gifted Del Shores. If you don’t know him…shame on you – look him up. In-credible writer and director. And it don’t hurt he’s home-grown from the great state of Texas!
The experience reminded me …that yes

#1: I can and WILL pee my pants when my little Mazda Zoom-Zoom goes skating and sliding over an icy overpass just north of Ennis….even when I’m NOT the one driving!

#2: You just can’t beat a good Drag Show at The Rose Room on a Friday Night.

#3: I don’t love acting because I get to “BE” someone else for a few hours and be everything I never was or thought I could be. I love acting because I get to “BE” everything that I AM and proudly put it out there for everyone to see just like Show and Tell in Mrs. Bennett’s first grade class at Runyan Elementary in 1969!

#4: When you stop learning… you stop living. When an actor stops “training” then check the mirror for fog. Chances are they aren’t breathing.

#5: Life is like a show! It has a First Act, an Intermission, a Second Act and an End. I’ve had my First Act and intermission and I am called to “Places” for the second act. Curtain up baby! I’m flying without a net and NO UNDERSTUDY!

I love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2014 Juliana Wathen

Follow the Yellow Brick Road…..

Spotlight Image Wake up Blanche…we’re not in Kansas anymore!
Today, I’m taking a big step out of the wings and moving center stage into a new adventure. I’m headed up I45 North to the currently frozen tundra of DALLAS for a weekend “Acting for the Camera” boot camp with one of the best known “friend of Dorothy’s” in Hollywood today.

I’ve got my vitamins sorted, my bag packed and my script in hand!

I’m not sure where this will lead me but I bet I come back with some hellacious stories and some new skills in front of the camera!
Quiet on the set ya’ll!!! I’ll be back shortly!

LAW – Leave the light on!

I love each and every one of you.
Juliana

Copyright 2014 Juliana Wathen

Into my dreams…..

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You visit me in my dreams. Dreams so vivid and real that for a brief moment the dream becomes reality and I am totally immersed in the time, taste, and smells surrounding me. Emotions are more intense and swell unrestrained by any insecurity or proven past history. My true reality seems like a distant childhood memory clouded over by a low, ground hugging fog that I dare not stir. I feel the pull between the two worlds and I can sense the end is approaching and I fight to stay longer and FEEL more, EXPERIENCE more, LIVE more. I begin to panic and tell myself to “Find the key”…Find the key that will bring me back here.

In my desperate attempt to  “Find the key”….I panic and open my eyes. The veil is lifted and I am here. I feel empty and alone……

So I get up and do what I always do….make my first cup of coffee…turn on the morning news….check Facebook for the latest gossip and news….line up my vitamins and medications….and ponder the message and meaning of my dream.

It dawned on me that I had to do nothing to enter the dream. It came to me. I had not carried the fears, rules and restrictions I had engrained into my life with me to this new place. I had not consciously set them down, they just no longer existed….I was happier than I had ever been. Everything seemed enhanced. My sight was sharper, my heart was fuller and I could experience everything around me with increased appreciation. It was only when I began to worry about  losing all that I was experiencing that I felt the pull and weight of reality and waking consciousness.

Dreams are our training ground….a chance to experience all that we are and all that we can be when we let go and live in the moment. Moments we don’t have to create, manage or manipulate to bring about.

There is a saying I have heard all my life “Let go and Let God“…Let go and allow the perfectness that is within you to manifest the perfectness around you.

I love each and every one of you.

Juliana

 

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

 

Hiding in plain sight….

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Much like a hermit crab I have spent my life living in a shell and as time rolled by I would exchange it for larger and larger shells. It was my home, it was my comfort and protection. And with it I was able, for the most part, to hide in plain sight.

You see, the majority of my life I have been morbidly obese. You would think the larger you are the more people see you but the opposite is true. The larger you are the LESS people see you….let me rephrase that…..the less people WANT to see you. They turn away in stores and elevators as if they are embarrassed for you and rarely speak. It’s a silence you just become accustomed to over time. It’s normal, not being noticed or being glanced over and passed. The silence itself becomes a layer of comfort.

In December 2012 I shattered my silence by undergoing full gastric by-pass. The weight began to fall away at a steady pass. But let’s face it, when you weigh 320lbs it takes a while for people to notice. So I was able to hide in my shell for a good while longer. It wasn’t until I had lost nearly 80lbs that the change began and my silence was broken.

I was alone on a hotel elevator having been at a business meeting or something. I honestly can’t remember because it was what happened next that is so solidly burned into my memory. The elevator “dinged”, the doors slid open and several business professional got on. I looked up at them and their gaze met mine and suddenly I realized they were addressing me. “Hi, How are you today?” a gentleman asked…….I stammered, “just fine” , as I backed my ass waaaaaaay into the back corner of the elevator. All the while the voice inside my head screamed, “Holy shit! They can see me!”. Panic set in immediately. No I mean REAL PANIC….as in a PANIC ATTACK.

I bolted out of the elevator when it reached the lobby and headed to the valet. I passed off my ticket to the young man who ran for my car and I stood there…out in the open…..waiting for my car. I might as well have been standing there butt-ass-naked with a spot light shining down on me because THAT is how exposed I felt in that moment.

I had to have a good, long discussion with myself when I got home that night. I could choose to hide at home and hold down my couch or I could push myself out the door and join the party. I felt like the hermit crab, soft and vulnerable inside. But the choice wasn’t to shed one shell for another like Hermie the Crab. It was time to accept the fact that I had a life changing surgery for a reason….to live. And the only reason to live is to be SEEN and HEARD.

So cheers, to “LIVING OUT LOUD”.

I love each and every one of you
Juliana

Copyright 2013 Juliana Wathen

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