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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A New Year Has Begun...

Another year has come and gone, and like most of us, I always find myself reflecting on all that has happened the past year, in preparation for a new year ahead. A blank page, a new chapter in the 'book' of our lives, a new beginning of possibilities....just the thought excites me.

I'd like to think I'm another year wiser, - who knows, I guess only time will tell...but I think my journey this year was letting go of more things beyond my control, and happily surrendering to the energy that I hopefully created around me, and sent off into the universe - trusting that everything happens at the right time and place. I was and am at peace in my heart, and because of it, I have been able to enjoy every minute of my life that much more. Maybe I am starting to grow up...the little things really do make me happy...

2013 was a year of joy and sorrow for many of us, but that's the circle of life, and it's through our experiences, that we learn some of life's greatest lessons, and hopefully become a little bit more stronger. I find that I'm craving more 'moments', the desire to create more memories which I can cherish later on and hold on to. That's the only thing I can take with me when I am an old lady! I wanna look back and 'connect those dots', as Steve Jobs once said...and say to myself with a big smile on my face...'wow...what a great life I had.'

I am grateful for this year - a lot of dots began to connect and make so much more sense to me. It's as if some of the blank spots in the colouring book, all of a sudden came to life, and started filling itself in with all these colours! That exhilarating feeling of being able to say to myself, 'Ahhhh, now I get it!!', makes me smile so much. :) I can't wait for 2014 and I look forward to creating another incredible year with my family, my friends and my amazing fans!

Happy New Year to you and yours. I wish you a new year of happiness, strength, peace and all your dreams coming true....

To my beloved dog, Bugsy...I may have lost you only a couple of months ago this year, but I have you locked in my heart for all the new years to come...miss you buddy. xo

TGITPG xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Friday, 4 October 2013

For the love of Bugsy

Sometimes life's greatest lessons can come from the most unexpected places... A few weeks ago, my greatest lessons came from my dog, Bugsy, and I thought I'd say a few words to my furry little friend, in the hopes that somehow he would understand the love and respect I have for the time we have had together. 

My sweet Bugsy: 

There is so much I have learned from you these past 11 and a half years, and I want to thank you for all that you have taught me. You give your love so freely and unconditionally and are always so happy just to be hanging out with me. You forgive and forget, and live in the present each and every day. The simple things bring you the most happiness: a hug, a cuddle, a kiss, a walk, playing ball or when you are given a treat, it's as if you won the biggest lottery in the world. 

You love with all your being, and you are quick to lick the tears off my face (even though I don't want your doggy breath anywhere near me!) when I had a bad day. Thank you for witnessing my life, being there for every milestone, every triumph, every heartbreak, every up and down and twist and turn that life threw my way. You were along for the ride, on my journey, and you watched me grow. You didn't ever make me feel lonely in this big and sometimes, crazy world. But most of all, you never judged me, and you always thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. You made me feel like I was the most important person in the world, but I don't know if you ever realised that you are my world too, my 12 lbs of joy. 

I'm so sorry you were struck with diabetes and blindness. I wish so hard that I could take it away and make you better, the same way you always made me feel better after a rough day. You are such a trooper, adjusting to all the new and unknown changes, and yet you still remain ever present and happy. I admire you and am so inspired by your strength and humility. Thank you for teaching me some of life's most important lessons. I cherish whatever time we have left together and you will be in my heart forever, my best-est friend. 

TGITPG xoxoxoxoxo

My dog, Bugsy, was recently diagnosed with diabetes and sadly became blind literally what felt like overnight. My heart broke and then some. I've been spending the past few weeks researching everything on canine diabetes and blindness. Thank you to all my friends and fans too, who understand how attached we become to our pets. They are like family members and are with us throughout our journeys and are a part of our lives. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Battle Disappointica - 101

I had a tweet come in today asking me how I deal with disappointment. I laughed sympathetically, as this is something I know all too well in my type of career and I'm pretty sure something we all face and can relate to. I hope this helps. xo

It's been one of those days when it feels like nothing is going your way and your frustration and bewilderment at how your life is moving in a direction that you had not planned for, seems to be turning into a reality with every second that passes by. You want to throw your hands up in the air because you're doing everything you can, so why, why, why, does it feel like the universe is against you? 

Breathe. Close your eyes and then take a few more deep breaths. Tell yourself, 'I'm human and yes this really sucks right now but things WILL only get better.' There is somewhere within us, the power to heal ourselves - it's breathtaking and quite miraculous.

Two paths lay before you. One path is to indulge and revel in the disappointment and let those negative feelings absorb us and dictate what tomorrow will be. Bizarrely, sometimes, we find that comforting and a much easier choice to fall into. The other path is much tougher. It's the one where you pick yourself up and start all over again. Tough, right? Because right at this moment, all you wanna do is say 'F*** it!' Why on earth would you want to do it all over again with the possibility of failing - again?! 

Step forward that miraculous part of your being, where you say to yourself: 'I love me more than anything and sometimes I'll get it right and sometimes I won't and that's okay too. I'll learn from this and I will become better for it because I believe in myself and there's no way in hell I'm giving up on myself or what I believe in. I will fight for my dreams and see this through because this is my precious life. I will focus on the things that are within my control and let go of the things that are not. The way I react and deal with these challenges is going to shape me into a better person and give me some amazing stories to tell to my grandchildren one day. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what is staring back at me: a person who is perfectly not perfect and can deal with whatever life presents.'

All the twists and turns in our life's journey are blessings. Some of them make sense, and some don't but they all lead to something better. One of my mentor's told me that it's only when you hit a wall, is when the miraculous breakthrough happens. 
Just when you least expect it, you'll surprise yourself and find the strength and the courage to smile again. A life spent being fearful or afraid to try again is a life wasted, and filled with regret. Who wants that? I don't. Hell, no!

TGITPG xoxo 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Thought for the Day: Rejection 101

I am asked all the time about my thoughts on rejection, and believe you me, I have had my fair share of rejection on all levels, both in past relationships, friendships, and in my career. It's something I am proud of. It says I'm human, like everyone else, and whilst it may pinch like no tomorrow, the fear and perhaps hurt feelings at the time, begin to wear thin and we end up surprising ourselves, with just how strong we are. It's okay to love ourselves and it's okay to forgive ourselves too. Where there's rejection, there is a lesson learned, and a renewed hope for something so much better, waiting for us, that we deserve. 

80% of the time, the answer is a 'no'. But the other times, 20% is a 'yes' and that is what you have to focus on. I am not one to sugar coat anything. But if your love and passion for making that particular dream come true,(whatever it may be) is palpable, and more then 100%, then that 80% is irrelevant and is nothing but a drop of water in the ocean. 

No excuses. No over thinking anything. I just follow my heart and my instinct and do what feels right, because I know I only have this one life to live, and life is really too short and precious to not live the life I want for myself. Now what about you....:) 


Photo from: http://twentyorsomething.com/2011/03/28/a-drop-in-the-ocean/

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Round 15: The Knock Out

I love boxing and I especially love watching boxing games with my Papa. Seeing his inner kid's enthusiasm spill out when he's watching a big fight, is entertainment in itself! I was watching a fight on TV the other evening and it got me thinking about some of our greatest boxing legends, like Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman. What was their secret formula to success?  From watching some footage of those games with my Papa, you could smell their stamina, focus, concentration, intelligence and determination - never giving up. I can see how those qualities would be important for what I do or for any other goals one might have. I know I've been 'knocked out' hundreds of times in the 'boxing ring', except my boxing ring is the casting room! I've been either knocked out as soon as I walk in, cause I don't look right for the part, and then other times I get knocked out at the very end, when it's down to me and another gal. (Must admit, that can pinch hard, when you get that far, and you're so close, but then it doesn't go your way) But like every great boxer, if they got knocked out, they'd find the strength inside to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start all over again. That's what I've been doing since I was 4 years old. Whether it was when I was bullied at school, or when I didn't win a singing competition when I was in my teens, or when I didn't land that great part I wanted so badly. It's funny, no one really wants to talk about the 'knock outs' they might have had...you don't hear so much about them, - only the triumphs. But, I've learned that the rejections are just as important to the growth of one's journey, and I bet you anything, for every rejection, comes a pretty cool story behind it as well! :) The beauty of rejection or falling, or making a mistake is that I learned from each and every one of them, and I hope that's made me a better person, a better actor and a better artist. Those twists and turns helped me reach my future milestones, and we all have milestones in our lives, to celebrate and be proud of. :) (Credit to Anokhi Magazine Founder, Raj Girn for telling me that). Sometimes we're just too busy to notice them. Hands up, I'm guilty of that sometimes. lol But it's only when we look back, can we connect the dots and everything seems to make sense all of a sudden. 

I laugh wholeheartedly when someone says to me, 'everything comes so easy to you, Karen.' If I've made it look easy, then let me endearingly enlighten you all and say, I wish! It most certainly did not come easy, but then again, anything worth achieving, is never going to be an easy path. But it also doesn't have to be impossible either, and the great thing about following your heart is that you're less likely to have any regrets, no matter how challenging the path may be... Saying that, the irony is that my role as Kayla Graham, in Touch, literally happened overnight! But let's just say it was a very loooooooooooong night to get there. But I'm glad it was...I am constantly learning every day on this journey, and whatever 'knock outs' I've had in my life, they've made me hopefully a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little more prepared for the next step down this winding road... No matter what happens, I'm still excited about what's possible... 

Saturday, 31 December 2011

A New Year Is Born. Happy 2012!

I remember this time of year, last year. I was home in Toronto with my family, celebrating the holidays after 4 years of being away during Christmas. It was sooooo good to be home with everyone. I felt safe....almost too safe. But that's what the comforts of home, sweet home brings, especially during Christmas and New Years. But there I was, sat in front of the Christmas tree, reflecting as you do, when you've reached the end of yet another year gone by way too quickly. You realize you survived a crazy year, full of ups and downs, twists and turns and falls and are still breathing and still in wonder of what could possibly be around the corner? Life seems to happen at lightening speed, as each year arrives. Sometimes, I wish I could just stop the clock, and freeze those 'safe' moments into place...but nah, that wouldn't be 'living' now, would it? 

December 2010, I had made some big decisions with my life. In this case, with my career. I changed my team after 11 years. It was not an easy decision, as my old team meant well and were good at heart, but the shoe just no longer fit. I remember vividly how scared I was, wondering if I had done the right thing or not, and asking myself over and over, what would 2011 bring, now that I was starting a whole new chapter? I had to look for a whole new team, who believed in me, and who would connect all the wonderful but complicated dots on the table in front of me. But thankfully, I have some amazing people around me,  who constantly told me that sometimes in life, you have to take that leap of faith and know that you will land on your own two feet, and everything will be more than fine. Thank God for those heroes in my life... So that was then, and this is now...December 31st, 2011. Am I scared? Hmmm...maybe a little,  more like a 'good kind of scared'. But one thing about each new year passing by, is that you become a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little calmer and more open to whatever is possible. 

This year had to be the most challenging years of my life, and I'm not afraid to say it, although it's not something that I dwelled on. That's not my style. It's all about having the courage to keep going, and the faith to know that really, my challenges, were just fancy problems and totally fixable. Over the summer, I embarked on a path of enlightenment (at some point in everyone's life, this happens), and it was the best thing to have ever happened to me, making this year also one of the best years of my life as well. I realized that my life is a gift. My life is great, and that I didn't want to end up being that donkey chasing after the carrot, and thinking that life would be great when I got that carrot. I finally learned how to live in the 'present'.  Something which sounds so easy but is one of the most toughest things to do. lol And funnily and mysteriously enough, as soon as I started to live in the present, is when my life started to make more sense. Little did I know in December 2010, that I would be filming in Cape Town again, writing and developing my music with new songwriters & producers, signing with a great new team, doing a gig for all my fans in June, then filming a cameo in Barcelona for a Robert DeNiro movie, to then end up playing the role of my dreams, Kayla Graham, in Touch. My childhood dream had finally come true. I got to act on tv and and sing too, just like Olivia Newton John did in Xanadu... :)  The 4 year old girl in me is relieved and gratefully excited, and yet I feel so silly now, thinking back to how anxious I was this time a year ago....but I guess that's human nature. The dots only connect and make sense when you look back and reflect. I get that now. 

Every chapter, and every milestone that happens in our lives, brings another piece to add to the puzzle of our lives. And it's only at the end of each year, do the pieces start to fit into one another and help us understand the bigger picture of what our lives are about and where it's all going. So I guess my point in all this, is that there is so much to be excited for on the eve of a new year...so much to hope for, so much to pray for, and so much to be grateful for. 

December 31st, 2011.  Wowsers, I guess I did land on my own two feet. I may have had a few bumps along the road this year with some of the changes in my life, but I'm okay and I'm happy and I'm so glad for everything that has happened this year. And secretly, yes, I'm wondering what 2012 will bring for all of us, but I have a huge smile on my face that whatever does happen, we all have each other and that's all that matters. 

Happy 2012. I wish all of you a new year FULL of more hopes, more dreams and more stories to tell! 

Yours Always, TGITPG xoxoxo