New York City

Orgasmic Journey: Oh The Places You'll Go

Originally posted January 21, 2012

I've been reflecting on this past year and I have to say, it's been pretty awesome and in no way what I thought it was going to be. I've moved across the country, sold 75% of my belongings and am in the midst of completely tossing out all the old maps to "getting to where I think I should go" and am learning to follow the moment to moment compass of desire. It hasn't always been easy, but I've magically ended up in some cities I'd never planned on visiting (Austin?! Montreal?!). And it all arose from simply saying "yes" to the opportunity before me. So upon seeing the recent Burning Man viral video, Oh The Places You'll Go, I was inspired to share some photos of my 2011 Orgasmic Journey.

NEW YORK CITY

Times Square, December 31, 2010

Times Square, December 31, 2010

Empire State Building, January 2011

Empire State Building, January 2011

Frost on bush in Astoria, February 2011

Frost on bush in Astoria, February 2011

59th St and 5th Ave, March 2011

59th St and 5th Ave, March 2011

Broadway and 10th Ave, March 2011

Broadway and 10th Ave, March 2011

Strawberry Fields, April 2011

Strawberry Fields, April 2011

Astoria, April 2011

Astoria, April 2011

My Astoria Stoop Sale, April 2011

My Astoria Stoop Sale, April 2011

Washington Square Park, April 2011

Washington Square Park, April 2011

Ducks in Central Park, May 2011

Ducks in Central Park, May 2011

Manhattanhenge, June 2011

Manhattanhenge, June 2011

Astoria Street Fair, July 2011

Astoria Street Fair, July 2011

Orgasm Is in Union Square, July 2011

Orgasm Is in Union Square, July 2011

The view of Harlem from New Jersey, July 4, 2011

The view of Harlem from New Jersey, July 4, 2011

Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn, August 2011

Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn, August 2011

Occupy Wall Street, October 2011

Occupy Wall Street, October 2011

SAN FRANCISCO

Tulips on Pier 39, March 2011

Tulips on Pier 39, March 2011

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39, March 2011

View of Alcatraz from Pier 39, March 2011

Haight Ashbury, August 2011

Haight Ashbury, August 2011

Hayes and Octavia, October 2011

Hayes and Octavia, October 2011

Foggy Golden Gate Bridge, View from the Marin Headlands, November 2011

Foggy Golden Gate Bridge, View from the Marin Headlands, November 2011

Yerba Buena Gardens, November 2011

Yerba Buena Gardens, November 2011

Fill Up America, Mission, December 2011

Fill Up America, Mission, December 2011

Castro Heights, January 1, 2012

Castro Heights, January 1, 2012

Muir Beach, January 1, 2012

Muir Beach, January 1, 2012

View from Noe Valley, January 2012

View from Noe Valley, January 2012

SF skyline from Bay Bridge

SF skyline from Bay Bridge

SF from Lincoln Park, January 2012

SF from Lincoln Park, January 2012

6th St in SoMA, January 2012

6th St in SoMA, January 2012

LOS ANGELES

Beverly Hills, October 2011

Beverly Hills, October 2011

Rodeo Drive, October 2011

Rodeo Drive, October 2011

Santa Monica, December 2011

Santa Monica, December 2011

Venice Beach, December 2011

Venice Beach, December 2011

MISCELLANEOUS

DC Capitol, February 2011

DC Capitol, February 2011

Little Pond, Bethlehem, PA, August 2011

Little Pond, Bethlehem, PA, August 2011

Little Pond, Bethlehem, PA, August 2011

Little Pond, Bethlehem, PA, August 2011

Montreal, Place Jaques Cartier, Rue des Artistes, August 2011

Montreal, Place Jaques Cartier, Rue des Artistes, August 2011

Montreal, Notre Dame, August 2011

Montreal, Notre Dame, August 2011

Montreal, Jardin Nelson, August 2011

Montreal, Jardin Nelson, August 2011

On the road to Burning Man, August 2011

On the road to Burning Man, August 2011

The Temple of Transition, Burning Man, August 2011

The Temple of Transition, Burning Man, August 2011

The Man, Burning Man, August 2011

The Man, Burning Man, August 2011

Solage, Calistoga, November 2011

Solage, Calistoga, November 2011

Solage, Calistoga, November 2011

Solage, Calistoga, November 2011

Austin, TX, November 2011

Austin, TX, November 2011

Barton Springs, Austin, TX, November 2011

Barton Springs, Austin, TX, November 2011

Snow in the mountains between LA and SF, December 2011

Snow in the mountains between LA and SF, December 2011

Atlanta, GA, December 2011

Atlanta, GA, December 2011

Occupy My Heart: An NYC Love Story

Originally posted November 4, 2011

13 years, 1 month, 8 days.

13 years.

1 month.

8 days.

How do you measure an era of one’s life (ok, that sounds a little cheesily Rent-esquebut you get the point).

That’s how long I lived in New York City—that sprawling, electric rainforest of cultures, experiences and concrete. Lots of concrete. Love it or hate it (or love to hate it), it’s a city that demands to be respected and pushes you to the edge.

I arrived there one week before turning 18 to embark on the dream of an acting career. I left at 31 to embark on an evolved version of my dream: to bring orgasm to the world through acting in film (if you had asked me two years ago if I would have ever written that sentence, I would have looked at you like you had three heads).

I lived in Washington Square, Kips Bay, South Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Morningside Heights,Yorkville, Washington Heights, Cobble Hill, Astoria and East Elmhurst (with a 2 week stint in Midwood, Brooklyn thrown in for good measure).

I was in Brooklyn during 9/11 (four days after my 21st birthday), walked from the Upper East Side to Times Square during the 2003 blackout and spent part of my last evening in the city at Occupy Wall Street.

I worked in the offices of NYU, behind the bar of an East Village 24-hour diner, taught in the studios of numerous yoga spots, served coffee at the Washington Heights Starbucks, sold jewelry at a fine crafts gallery in Brooklyn, and coached many people in the subtle but extraordinary practice of Orgasmic Meditation.

I performed in theatres in the Lower East Side, Times Square, Hells Kitchen, the Upper West Side, Chinatown, and both the East and West Village. I co-founded a theatre company that is still going strong and co-wrote/co-produced a play that went on to the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival. I shot an indie film and numerous commercials all over the tri-state area.

And yet, none of this really matters on the surface. What stays with me is the feeling I have when I look back. The lightness and freedom when I fall into a pile of fresh snow (immediately followed by the dread I feel when hiking through the dirt slush that hugs the curb for the next 3 months). The sticky, thick wetness of a NYC apartment in summer—sans air conditioning. The electric buzz of Times Square blinking her offerings to tourists hungry for…well…whatever they can imagine.

And the people. Actors, writers, musicians, yogis, teachers, students, homeless dudes, people posing as homeless dudes, drug dealers, waiters & waitresses, prostitutes, lovers, haters, fighters, peacemakers, Wall Street champs, drag queens, buskers, subway drivers, bodega owners…I can’t possibly list them all here.

My last day in NYC was a Friday. October 7, 2011. Warm. A little Indian summer just before the apple-crisp winds of autumn. I spent the morning packing up the last of my things. Sent a few last minute packages in the mail via the post office a block and a half away. A bus ride and a few subway stops later, I’m in Union Square. I swing by Trader Joe’s for a bottle of wine (thank-you-gift) then walk down Broadway and stop by the $1 shelves of the Strand. Looking for an airplane book (something Paulo Coelho-ish?), I instantaneously stumble upon The Celestine Prophecy, a parable from the ‘90s focused on the energy of the universe, synchronicities and the next phase of our evolution. “How perfect is that?” I think to myself. And in that moment, a book by that exact title (How Perfect is That) pops into my view. Follow the synchronicities. I walk through NYU land, past Tisch, beyond Houston and into Soho. I make a quick stop by my work and then I am off to the southern tip of Manhattan.

And it is here, at Occupy Wall Street, that I finally felt like I was perched on the perfect bridge between the life I once wore and the open space I now faced. I know the rosy, warm, soft hum of human connection, having spent time in SF and Burning Man and through practicing Orgasmic Meditation. And right there, in the cultural epi-center of the planet, the energy of fiscal greed was alchemized into pure love. It blew my mind. I could dance here to the drummers and whatever came out of me was innocent perfection. Old men, young girls, dirty punks with metal in their faces and crisply-dressed Wall Street players (their ties coming out of place as they self-consciously swayed to the beat) all met there. All accepted exactly as they were. Myself included. And for a few moments, in that swirling, intoxicating rhythm of my heart, I fell through the veil of self and other. We all…just…were. Together.

Holding my breath, I slipped out gently (so as not to tear the fabric that snuggled the group) to a friends place on Wall Street. I connected with her, floated on back up to Union Square for some goodbyes at Bar 13, and then made my way to the R train (the first train I took when I moved to NYC in 1998) for my final subway ride.

And as I stood on the late night platform, the raspy, singular sound of a man and his guitar jangled in my ear.

His song?

“New York State of Mind.”

Now…how perfect is that? 

Where the F*CK is that music coming from? (hint: open your eyes…)

Masada, Dead Sea

Originally posted May 25, 2011

Last night I went to an amazingly turned-on event in Tribeca with lots of great men and women in the health and coaching business. Afterwards, since the night was warm, I decided to take a stroll north and see where the road took me.

I made my way to Soho, when I began to hear music: the beating of a drum and the clang of hand symbols. It sounded far off, but not so far that I couldn’t easily get to it by foot. I strolled on and as it got closer, I began to look in the distance. Perhaps if there were a crowd of people that would let me know where the impromptu concert was happening. I got closer and the music got louder and I could hear a call and response chant going on. “Oh! So it’s a kirtan,” I thought. Perhaps there is a yoga studio or large loft nearby and they have the window open for the whole neighborhood to hear the concert. Spring St…Prince St…I keep walking north. Step by step the music got louder (even to the point where I feel it almost next to me), but I can’t seem to find a location. Not just to the right or left, but all around. I look up in windows. I look for the crowd in the distance. And the music just gets louder and louder…I can feel it almost thrumming underneath my skin…I am getting obsessed with it by now. I have to know. Where is this fucking music coming from? I’ve been hearing it for blocks now. I should have come upon it by now!

I’m just about to get to Houston when it hits me…BAM! There are five people walking on the sidewalk. They have been ahead of me for some time and I have only just caught up to them. Four men and one woman. One of the men has a drum. The others have hand symbols and all are chanting. They are in regular clothes (not long white robes as I had envisioned), so they easily blend in with the crowd. In that moment I was literally shocked into how blind I was. The whole time I was looking in windows, looking for a the crowd, trying to pinpoint exactly where that damn music was coming from and it was right there…right in front of me the whole time. Yes, moving. Yes, blending in. Yes, not drawing a big crowd. But if I hadn’t been looking all over the place for the usual signs or staring off way in the distance, I would have discovered that the music and I were walking along the same path rather near each other for some time.

I thought it to be a great metaphor for our desire. There are times when we hear the music of our desire and we get annoyed. “How dare those assholes make such a ruckus in my streets,” and then we turn away (or call the cops, aka mind saboteurs that kill our desire). Other times we hear the music and we completely ignore it. We are too cool to care. “Ah, whatever…let the crazy people have their music. I’m fine right here with my nachos and margaritas and cigarettes.” And then there are those of us who hear the call. The music is the only thing we hear. But where we get stuck is in looking ahead to the future to find the source. Or we use other people or objects as a reference point for helping us to locate our desire. Or we have an expectation about how it “should” look, so we are searching all over the place rather than seeing its true form. In fact, we are always walking with our desire. It’s right in front of us in the present moment. We can have it now. Truly living a turned-on life means acknowledging that desire exists, being willing to approve of it without expectation and opening your eyes to beat inside of you RIGHT HERE AND NOW. It is your compass on the journey…

So slow down. Listen. Let your gaze relax into the stillness of the present moment. Can you hear the music within? Stay connected to that source and you will no longer have to strain your eyes or rush ahead to try to figure life out. You will simply be dancing…