in defense of monogamy!

So often, I hear the same blah blah boring old story – That men are basically polygamous and that monogamy is unnatural. In these peoples’ view, marriage is the most unnatural arrangement of all. And I nash my teeth in despair!

The standard argument takes us on a well-honed journey back to ancient times from caves to tribes to harems where polygamy was the norm. Here is their proof that this is true male behavior.

And, so it seems, that women “the proverbial ball and chain”- (lovely title! NOT!) – are blamed for coercing men into a lifestyle that is abhorrent and unnatural to them.

I have never been a big fan of polygamy, as I am way too possessive and proprietary to consider sharing my man with other women, (although I have been shared without my consent and it was one of my least favorite experiences!) but last year, I had dinner with a Muslim prince when I was in Oman and I asked him to explain polygamy from a Muslim perspective. He explained it quite rationally. In the bloodthirsty times of yore, when wars were aplenty, and the Koran was freshly inked, such a huge percentage of their men were killed, leaving countless women without any hope of a husband. Mohammed felt that it would be a kindness to have the remaining men marry the unfortunate surplus of females so that they too could delight in the joys of childbearing and motherhood, and hopefully birth a new generation of virile men.

There was a strict code that was established stipulating that each woman had to be accorded the same standard of living  – there was to be no second rate wife parked in a trailer. Or third or forth! I asked the Prince if he had more then one wife. We were at dinner and only one wife had accompanied him, but the previous evening, he had been surrounded by quite a few women. I hoped not to insult him or his lovely bride, but I was consumed by curiosity. He laughed, “Oh goodness, I could not handle or afford more than one wife! In fact most of my generation opt for one wife, it gets too complicated and too expensive! They become best friends and gang up on the husband. He doesn’t stand a chance!” Apparently, those other women from the previous night had been his wife’s sisters. I sighed with relief. I wanted to shout, “welcome to the 21st century!” But I bit my tongue.

A previously poly-amorous friend of mine said that after many years of “spreading the love” she had decided that the benefits monogamy outweighed her previous lifestyle. “The only way to have depth in a relationship is with one person.”

I see monogamy as a progression of humanity’s evolution. Just because it feels unnatural, doesn’t mean that is it! It just means that it is unfamiliar compared with thousands of years of primitive behavior. I am hopeful we are moving beyond a survival-based existence.

It is a privilege to dance on this earth with your beloved, your soul mate. Together you can reach the stars, plow the depths of your souls, experience communion, and witness eternity in each other’s eyes.

I think of the Vedas – the Sacred Hindu scriptures, “Within the microcosm, lies the macrocosm.” This means that the human body is a miniature prototype of the universal body. I have had experiences where I have connected to a sense of expansiveness – not on drugs, I swear! – When I felt like the planets and the stars were within me.

If each one of us is a prototype of infinity, then how could a man tire of one woman? It could only mean that he had reached his limitation of being able to experience his own infinite nature.

Monogamy is the journey of the beloved. It is the capacity to experience the all and-the-everything through the ONE.

What could be more beautiful? What could be more of a privilege?

Just because it is challenging on a daily basis, why does that make it unnatural? To see your true self reflected back through another, to know yourself to the depth of your soul. To reach into the mystery and find the answer in your beloved. What a gift!

May you all find your beloved – unless you already have – and may they kick your butt – as they inevitably will – until you become all that you can be!

And together, may you both help each other shuck everything less then love.

My father who art in heaven, pt 2

About 20 years ago, I had a sort of vision, that at my father’s deathbed, our whole relationship would make sense and that he would reveal himself at a soul level. Even though I had dismissed this as wishful thinking at the time, I could see how that was now happening.

Dad had been on the verge of being expelled from his nursing home for his shenanigans, and then, in a strange twist of fate, his physical health took a turn for the worse. His heart almost expired and my younger sister and I, who were co-guardians, had to opt to install a pacemaker. After that, he began making frequent trips to the hospital. He became combative – again – refusing to take his meds, and lost a dramatic amount of weight. The facility decided that he was too frail to be discharged. Instead, we prepared to call in hospice care.

My eldest daughter, India, made our reservations, and without realizing it, ironically chose Father’s Day for us to fly to see him in Palm Beach. She had been the only one of my children who hadn’t seen him in his latest incarnation as ‘cute, fuzzy Grandpa’.

Although Dad was born Jewish, he had told me that he had never practiced Judaism, or any other religion, for that matter, that he considered all religions hocus pocus.  Dad used to say, “I believe in the God of Love!” – but I had a sneaky suspicion that there was more to the story of his faith then met the eye.

The Chaplain from hospice called me to discuss the denomination of Dad’s last rites. I wasn’t sure what we should do. Following a hunch, I asked him to say the ‘Shema’ to Dad – which is the most traditional Hebrew prayer – just to see Dad’s reaction. Sure enough, the Chaplain said that Dad knew the prayer and had said it with him. After 90 years, he still knew it perfectly! After hearing that, I made an executive decision to give him a Jewish send off. But when I tried to say to Shema with him over the phone, he still pretended he didn’t know what I was saying. He was maddening!

India and I showed up to the nursing home early Monday morning. Dad’s paranoia was back, full force. The nurse warned me that he had been afraid that I was coming to kill him. As soon as I walked in room, he whispered conspiratorially to me, that his aide was the one trying to kill him.

soothed him, “Dad, your aide, Lowell (actually Lowell was the aide who had been fired, after Dad had managed to slip by him and had been willingly abducted – twice – from the nursing home by greedy kidnappers – but Dad called all the subsequent aides Lowell) is actually an undercover policeman that I hired to protect you!” That seemed to calm him for a moment.

My heart sank, I had told India that she would get to see the “new Dad”, but he was gone. Managing my father’s mood swings was exhausting and took Herculean patience. I sat with him, quietly, resorting to my meditation skills, and waited, hoping for his ranting to subside.

Suddenly, he grabbed my arm, “I know what’s happening to me – I know that I’m dying and I’m afraid! Please hold me in your arms, don’t leave me a for a minute – promise me!”

I was stunned, “Of course, I promise!” Oh, my god, he knows he’s dying. In spite of the dementia, somehow he knew.

For the remainder of the day, he repeated this pattern, showering my daughter and me with love, between bouts of paranoia. It was as if he was making up for lost time, trying to heal as much as possible with us before he slipped into oblivion. He kept telling us how beautiful we were and special. “No two people have touched my heart like both of you!” He told us to treasure every day, and reminded us how blessed we were. “You don’t know how lucky you both are.” Over and over again. And we shed a lifetime of tears together.

My father was terrified of dying. I stroked his head; trying to soothe him, “Don’t be afraid, you are going to experience more love than you could ever imagine. His response – classic Dad, “It’s easy for you to say! You’re not the one who is dying!” He had a point.

On Tuesday morning, when we returned to his room, he was lying still in his bed. His face looked eerily translucent and radiated light. He looked decades younger. The room felt thick with spirit. It was almost intoxicating. Dad never spoke again, he was only able to shake or nod his head. Sporadically, he would reach with his hand and try to call out towards someone or something that I could not see. I chose to believe that he was seeing angels and dead loved ones who had come to accompany him on his journey back home.

I scrambled to call family members to let them know he was on his way out. I dialed my mother on Skype, (Mom was wife #2) holding the computer up, close to his face, so that they could say goodbye to each other. She told him that she had a dream recently, where he had come to her as a beautiful, radiant 16-year old boy. She had seen his true beauty; she had seen his radiant soul. He smiled.

The following day, I brought him a picture of his mother, and I asked him if he was ready to forgive her. He shook his head.

“Dad, honestly, not even on your deathbed?”

I wondered what that woman had done to him. He had always told us that he hated her, but had never said why. He was SO secretive!

I felt so sad for him. “Dad, whatever she did to you must have been terrible. I am so sorry.” Not wanting to make the same mistake, I asked him for his forgiveness, and I, in turn, forgave him.

I asked him to be my bridge to heaven, my connection to the other side. “We could work together as a team!”

I sang the Shema to him in Hebrew – I am a terrible singer, but somehow, it didn’t sound so bad. I had been inspired to study Judaism and Kabala for the past 2 years – now I understood why – it was probably to help my father transition.

I called in a Cantor to sing the traditional prayers and then I asked her to sing him some Jewish wedding songs. Dad seemed to come back to life and looked like he was trying to sing along. She told me that it was rather unconventional to sing wedding songs during someone’s penultimate hours, but I insisted – That would have been Dad’s sense of humor – he wouldn’t have wanted a gloomy send off! Besides, his imminent transition was a marriage of sorts – that of his soul reuniting with its Source.

Truthfully, Dad was married practically his entire life, until the last couple of years, when he had discovered that his 5th wife, 51 years his junior, had a terrible gambling habit, so he divorced her!

Finally, on Friday night, at 10:15pm, Dad left his body. The last time I saw him alive, I leant over instinctively, and whispered the Shema twice in his left ear – I don’t know what made me do that, but, later, I found out that this is exactly what you are supposed to do, right before someone of the Jewish faith dies.

My one regret is that I wasn’t in the room with him when he took his last breath. When I saw his lifeless body, I felt a surge of grief sweep through me that I thought would split me in half. It felt like a part of me was gone.

I held vigil until they came to take his body away, with my hand on his left arm, feeling the warmth slowly leave his body.

I wondered what his journey here on earth might have been about, what his deeper purpose might have been? Maybe he had come to earth to collect and contain as much darkness as humanly possible – or maybe more – which is why he went so crazy – so as to take it with him to be transmuted and redeemed back into the light of Source.

Maybe he was willing to sacrifice all his relationships in order to provide this service to humanity – like a giant dredger. (Only 1 other of his 5 children showed up to say goodbye).

Slowly, the memory of my father as a tyrant dissolved. I could barely even remember his challenging personality.

In this new light, I was able to honor his heroic struggle.

On Monday morning, I went out to sea with members of my family.

I held his ashes in my lap. They were still warm. I was surprised at how heavy they were.

Dad’s last wishes were to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered into the ocean. Apparently, it was the ocean in South Hampton he wanted, not Palm Beach, oops! – I just hope the current took him up there.

As I lead the others in The Lord’s Prayer, the words took on a whole new meaning and felt so intimate, “Our Father, Who Art in Heaven…” I could feel him. He had kept his promise. He was my anchor to the other side. He was my bridge to heaven.

I felt, and still feel, a visceral connection to his soul. It felt as strong and tangible as an umbilical cord extending from my solar plexus up towards heaven.

As the boat turned back to shore, India noticed that Dad’s ashes formed a huge turquoise circle, literally 12 feet in diameter, in the dark water. Fish started jumping everywhere.  It looked like a giant heavenly portal.

After Dad died, I received an email from my older half-sister. She recalled Dad reuniting with the family in Brooklyn each year, to celebrate the High Holy Days. So, he had practiced Judaism after all for the 1st 40 years of his life! But why had he renounced it all? I discovered the answer when I was cleaning his house. I found a folder with old newspaper clippings and read an incendiary article about his divorce with his 1st wife. It had been a traumatic time in Dad’s life, and he had lost custody of his children. Then I understood what might have happened. I could hear his voice, “Any God that would allow my children to be taken from me, is no God of mine.” And he closed a chapter of his life. Then he married my mother, who was European royalty, and created a brand new persona.

Finally, after wrestling with a lifetime of demons, my father is finally at peace. And I feel so blessed. I feel a depth of connection to his soul that is profound and meaningful. Somehow, I have been able to nurture the brief encounter with my ‘real’ father. I have held the loving healthy aspect of him in my heart, and allowed it to permeate the entire memory of our lifetime together.

I have a loving father, and he is in heaven.

I pronounce you husband & wife!

On June 22, the Summer Solstice, aka Midsummer Night, I had the honor of marrying 2 adorable friends of mine – Ben & Jaime -both young enough to be my children, intoxicatingly in love, ridiculously glamorous & earthy and authentic. That about sums them up! I had never performed a wedding before, so I was understandably anxious when they asked me – what if I messed up their special moment? That could be awkward and mortifying! Ben & Jamie seemed strangely confident that I would be wonderful – how they could be so sure, considering I had no previous experience, was a mystery to me!

At least I couldn’t be worse than the minister who officiated Ben’s father’s wedding in January! He was a dead ringer for the minister in the movie Hangover 2. Wait a minute – It was the same guy! But his delivery wasn’t very smooth, and he kept mispronouncing the groom’s name and stumbling on the dialogue – I wondered if he had gotten sloppy after the luxury of getting to do multiple takes on film! Note to self – do not make the same mistake! There are no second takes up on that podium!

What was bizarre, is that I had become a minister back in January, when another friend of mine had told me that she might want me to marry her and her boyfriend. I really wanted the 2 of them to tie the knot, so I was inspired. Within 24 hours, I became an ordained minister – it actually was far easier than I expected!

After a brief meeting with the bride and a flurry of emails back and forth, I plunged into unfamiliar territory – the writing of a sermon. I agonized over it. I wanted it to be perfect for them. Casper suggested that I do it like the priest in Princess Bride! – thanks, honey, for being sooo helpful!

I guess I am a good advocate for marriage – I am married, for starters, through the thick and the thin of it. I have no illusions about what it takes to make a marriage work – lots and lots of work! I am both a romantic and a pragmatist. I believe deeply in the sanctity of marriage, and the institution of it, and the power of a witnessed covenant.

I wove all my life experience into my writing. Thank goodness I got a stamp of enthusiastic approval from the couple –  I definitely poured my heart and soul into their ceremony.

They sent a car for me to pick me up at Denver airport and gifted me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a lovely gift basket in my hotel room. I was touched by how thoughtful and appreciative they were.

At the rehearsal brunch, Ben shared about how his heart had physically hurt after he met Jaime, “I think it was because it was having to expand to take in all of her.” He pointed to his beloved, beaming. “I am the luckiest man in the world!” The love in the room was so palpable. The waterworks unleashed! Get a grip, girl! I hoped I didn’t cry during the ceremony!

Later I went back to the hotel to get dressed, and to my horror, saw that my pale green silk dress was covered in yellow blotches. Ugh! Why had I not noticed this before?!! How embarrassing! I had not brought anything else to wear! I looked in the mirror – this was decidedly a little more boho then the chic that I had planned! I prayed that the flounce of the silk would distract people from seeing the discoloration!

The bride decided that all the women in the wedding party should be barefoot as the wedding was in the garden – thank goodness I just had a pedicure! She thought it would be lovely for my feet to be covered in sparkles – which was fine by me – anything to take the focus away from the dress! Unfortunately, the maid of honor was a little too liberal with the glue spray can – which had to be applied so that the sparkles would adhere  – and she glued my toes together – making my feet look webbed!

It was almost show time! I could feel my heart pounding a bit too fast! I tried to take a deep breath, but there wasn’t sufficient give in the bodice. I don’t remember the dress feeling this tight! I am not sure how much was attributable to the altitude, but I was definitely having a hard time breathing. Crap, I was not feeling super confident! I started texting my friend Gabrielle for support – she kindly coached me into a more subdues state!

The garden had been transformed into a fairy wonderland with white rose petals everywhere. I trotted down the aisle, after Ben’s youngest sister who was dressed as a fairy flower girl, twirling my dress rather energetically to prevent the silk from sticking to my gluey-webbed feet. All the while praying that no one notice the tacky stains or the webbed feet!

I made it to the podium! Yeah! – Without tripping on my dress – which was precariously long in bare feet, or catching on fire – the groom’s sister was carrying a giant flaming torch dangerously close to me!

Ben joined me under an arbor draped in white orchids, wisteria and crystals. Miraculously, I became calm as soon as I focused on the joy in Ben’s face as he watched his stunning bride approach. Her face was overflowing with light and love and joy. Crap, I could feel the tears welling up again. And I had no Kleenex tucked away!

I rang a bell and plunged into my sermon. All 3 of us were nestled together under a cascade of white flowers. It was so intimate. I saw tears spilling down the bride’s face – it was contagious. At least she had access to her husband’s pocket handkerchief – I thought it might be tacky if I asked to share it! Then my nose started running! A couple of times, I turned away, trying to wipe the snot away, without being too obvious! I had never seen a minister cry before, I wondered how professional that was! Oh well! Couldn’t be helped!

They repeated after me, “You are my life, you are my love, my best friend…” Rings slid onto expectant fingers, I pronounced them husband and wife. And then, in a flash, it was all over!

Every single guest came up to thank me afterwards, saying that it was the loveliest ceremony they had ever witnessed. Oh boy, was I grateful! And grateful that Ben & Jaime had faith in me and had coaxed me to go beyond my comfort zone.  They both announced, “We could never have done this without you!” Which might have been a bit of an exaggeration! But generous, none the less!

Jaime’s manager came up to me afterwards to congratulate me. “Well, you probably do this all the time, it’s your profession, after all!” I died laughing. “I’m an actress, I’ve never done this before!” He looked so confused!

Truth be told – I loved the experience. It was so rewarding. Every word I uttered was such a testament of love – it just poured out of me, straight from my heart.

I would do it again, in a heartbeat!

Excerpt from the ceremony ~ a passage that Jaime picked ~

From “Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louise De Bernieres

 “Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides 

you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined 

together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is 

not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal 

passion… That is just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over 

when being in love has burned away”

In honor of our 13th anniversary

In honor of my 13th anniversary – I meant to post this blog on May 8th –the actual day– but I fell asleep on the plane to NYC.

That doesn’t sound very romantic!

I thought I would write about how Casper and I got engaged – because it’s kind of magical –

It is so easy to get complacent and bogged down by the quagmires of daily life, that sometimes I forget the magic surrounding the beginning of our relationship. My husband insists that the same magic persists today– but I seem to remember a certain blatant flair about the synchronicities, back then, in the beginning, that first swept us off our feet.

I was in London visiting Casper who was filming Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp – I got an offer to star in an indie film, The Omega Code. Casper concocted a plan that he should play the role of my character’s cameraman – the guy gets shot in the opening sequence –but at least that way he could accompany me on location – which he thought was only fair, as I had flown twice to London to be with him. Not to mention that the locations were not too shabby – Italy and Israel.

It just so happened that one of the producers, Larry Mortoff, was his producer on Tarzan, so he called him up and laid out his plan.

Larry seemed genuinely surprised, “I thought you were not available until April.”

Casper responded, “No, I wrap in February.”

“Okay, give me a minute, I’ll get back to you.”

Literally a minute later, the hotel phone rang. “Casper, how would you like the lead?”

We looked at each other, in shock.

March 1999, we were on a plane to Jerusalem. It just so happened that we had 5 days off in the middle of the shoot and the production gave us a car and driver to take us sightseeing. Neither one of us had never been to Israel, and how I imagined the country would look bore no resemblance to the reality. It was so much more beautiful. We drove through the lush valley of Galilee, we baptized each other in the river Jordan, we floated in the Dead Sea, prayed at every holy site, regardless of denomination, climbed down the perilous cliff from Masada. And last, but not least, we visited The Church of the Nativity – twice. Twice, because, Casper had decided he wanted to propose to me there. I had a sneaky suspicion that he was up to something, but I didn’t want to assume, after all, we had only known each other for 6 months. It was quite a hassle going through all the checkpoints between Israel and Palestine – I had no idea that Bethlehem was in current day Palestine.

On March 17, we clambered back down into the musty crypt, and Casper slid across the marble floor in front of the manger where myth has it that Jesus was born.

He bellowed, “Will you marry me?” and then, with greater urgency, “The camera is almost out of film!”

I shrieked “OMG! Yes!” and we burst into peels of laughter. We were immediately silenced by a very sour looking priest.

Upon leaving the church, we were approached by a local Palestinian, ”I offer you 200 camels for the blond.”

I was impressed. That was a lot of camels. I had no idea, but camels can be very expensive!

Our guide explained that the Church of the Nativity is the only church in that part of the world to have survived destruction. Myth has it, that when the Ottomans invaded, they destroyed everything in sight. When they arrived at the entrance of the church, torches in hand, they saw a mosaic – which is still intact today, of the Three Wise Men – AKA The Three Kings Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar – whom they considered of Islamic descent. So, they bypassed the church and moved on to pillage elsewhere.

There is one building that was subsequently built right up against the Church of the Nativity – The Church of Saint Catherine.

I found it very poetic that Casper proposed to me in a place where out two namesakes are preserved, side-by-side, at the symbolic birthplace of Christianity, and have remained inseparable for 2 thousand years.

It felt like our union was sanctified through time.

Yeah, I know, pretty romantic!!J

The gift of vulnerability

All of us women, at some point, complain about our men –surprise, surprise! – How insensitive they are, how they never listen, how they don’t communicate well, how they have trouble with intimacy and difficulty being vulnerable.

“They really are the problem sex!” is our age old mantra.

Somehow, WE feel WE have it all figured out when it comes to relationships.

Well, maybe I should stick to “I” instead of “WE” for the time being! After all, these are some pretty heavy accusations I am making, and I don’t know if all women will appreciate being dragged into the pit of damnation with me!

Often, I am so convinced that my way – the feminine way – is both superior and the right way – that if my man is not doing “it” (whatever “it’ might be) the way that I want him to do it, then I often discard his efforts. This seems harsh and it is – and it had to be pointed out to me by a very wise female relationship therapist called Dr. Pat Allen.

Dr. Pat talks about how men face rejection all the time. “Men traditionally initiate with women, asking them out, and women generally are the ones who get to reject or accept mens’ advances – it is a very vulnerable place to be in – to be in the position of being rejected – over and over again.”

“Okay, that’s true. I hadn’t thought of it like that. I can see how that could take a toll – the threat of rejection looming over every overture.”

And yet they persevere, nonetheless – I guess because us women are so irresistible (just joking!) – or that men are willing to risk rejection as long as it means that there is a slim chance that they could get laid! (more likely!)

Then I had a thought- what if men felt vulnerable all the time? What if they were accustomed to feeling that way and equally habituated to disguising it?

This is my theory = Look at their anatomy – they are anatomically very vulnerable. Their genitals hang out – In fact, what could be more vulnerable? Their entire means of survival – their crown jewels – are completely exposed! Not to mention the survival of the human race! They are intrinsically biologically vulnerable in a way that we may never feel. We may be physically and emotionally vulnerable in a different way – but the flavor – the quality – is different. I don’t know if this is making any sense to any of you!

And, on top of that, a primal man could never admit that he was vulnerable – that could mean death in a primitive culture – so he would have to cloak and masquerade and posture as strong, as invincible – otherwise his whole tribe could be compromised, overrun, wiped out. Suddenly, I was looking at men through a different lens.

Perhaps men learned a covert, subtle way to communicate their vulnerability. So that others wouldn’t perceive or recognize it as such. Or at least, just not me!

The more I observed through this new filter, the more ways I uncovered how my man was communicating his vulnerability all the time, only it was so subtle, so clandestine, that I didn’t even notice what he was doing, until it was pointed out to me – by this insightful sister.

I asked Dr. Pat,  “what about married men?– they don’t have to deal with rejection all the time.” She laughed out loud, “How many times do you reject your husband’s sexual advances?”

“Oh!!!” It finally dawned on me. The old cliché – honey, I’ve got a headache. At least, I wasn’t the only culprit! She was right, again. Then she asked, “How many times do men say no to sex?”
“Never!” That was a funny thought. “We just take it for granted that they won’t reject us”

“Exactly!” she smiled knowingly, “ We don’t know what it feels like to be rejected all the time. We really are in the driver’s seat.”

Suddenly, I saw my whole pattern so clearly. I was embarrassed and relieved at the same time. I like having my blind spots exposed – even if it doesn’t feel fantastic in the moment! But how could I have been so blind? It all seemed so obvious now! – That was the embarrassing part!

I thought about how many times a day my man would come up to me and attempt to be affectionate, and how I would systematically brush him off. Eeek! It always seemed that he wanted my attention at the most inconvenient times. I decided to look at what the word inconvenient meant to me – and I discovered that it meant that I felt a sense of loss of equilibrium – I felt sidetracked, derailed – in essence, I felt that I had lost control – Now I was on to something – and when I lose control, I feel – yes, say it – vulnerable. That word again! It hurts to admit that maybe I am more uncomfortable feeling vulnerable than a man! It didn’t feel so good being vulnerable on someone else’s terms, on his terms. Why was that? Was I that much of a control freak? Maybe…

When I looked at my behavior, I was shocked to see how many times a day I rejected him. I was missing out on so many opportunities to connect with him.

I am working diligently to change my behavior – I’ll admit, this habit is so deeply ingrained, it is still hard for me to stop what I’m doing, and to respond to him without feeling irritated when he’s interrupting me.

Now, when he grabs me to give me a big hug while I’m madly juggling bubbling saucepans at the stove, I take a deep breath, resist the urge to push him away and screech, “NOT NOW!! Can’t you see I’m BUSY?!!” Instead, I stop what I’m doing, connect with him, to fully receive his gesture of affection.

The moment I started to surrender to his overtures 100%, even if it was for a brief moment, I felt this influx of love. I realized that I was less drained at the end of the day and that I felt more connected to him. It seems like a little thing, but it made a big difference.

I think that I also had a fear that interruptions would impede me from getting everything done, but the truth is, I can accomplish so much more when I allow myself to be fed by his love, on his terms, not just on mine.

It is time for me to learn some lessons about vulnerability from the master in disguise- my man!

Meeting my Soul Mate & my recipe for attracting one!

How I met my soul mate & my recipe for meeting a soul mate!

On October 6, 1998 – on location, in Montreal, Canada. I had been cast in The Collectors, starring Casper Van Dien and Rick Fox. Per the director’s request, I came to the set a day early, to familiarize myself with the cast of characters and to introduce myself.

Casper and I coincidentally had the same agent – although our agent had not been the one to get me this job. Still, I remembered seeing a half naked poster of Casper as Tarzan every time I walked down the halls of the agency. And, I had seen him on film – when my previous boyfriend had dragged me to Starship Troopers in 1997 – it was not really my kind of film, but I left thinking that the lead actor was really cute!

Casper and Rick were goofing around, about to shoot a scene, so I observed them, in a corner of the set, unnoticed. The atmosphere on set seemed jovial and pretty relaxed.  No one seemed to take themselves too seriously. I was relieved.

Little did I know that Casper had complained that I had been cast in his film. He had a point, it was odd casting. I was playing a crotch-grabbing, crass, corrupt cop – hardly type-casting!

He had already branded me “another soap opera actress.” His previous wife had been one, and he wasn’t a fan.

In spite of his less than favorable view of me, he bee-lined towards me with a  big grin, and introduced himself – I was startled by how lovely his green eyes were.

The first thing out of his mouth – “Hello, welcome to the set, I’m Casper Van Dien, are you married?” Pointing to my diamond ring.

I shook my head.

He persevered, “Engaged?

I shook my head. “No”.

“Oh, then that must a f’ you ring. My sister does that – to keep the guys away!”

He asked me to join him for lunch, and asked me if I was glad to be working on the film.

I tried to be polite, “I am thrilled to be working with Sidney Furie (the director) and you, but I am somewhat disappointed that my character is so peripheral. After all, I kill your character at the end. I am the pay off, but there is no set up, no emotional investment.”

He nonchalantly blurted out, “What if my character was in love with your character?”

Then he proceeded to tell me that I looked like his girlfriend. (In fact, I looked nothing like her! ) And I was a little bummed that he had one!

I immediately discovered that he suffered from foot in mouth disease when he announced, ”I love older women!” – it took me a while to register that he might have been referring to me. It was a horrible thought! I had NEVER been referred to as an older woman before!

Oblivious as he was, he had no clue that he had triggered my first mid-life crisis – I left the set thinking he was a cocky little shit – good-looking – but definitely full of himself!

The next morning, I found a scribbled note under my door from Casper, asking me to call him immediately. He was very excited and  had wanted to tell me the good news when he had wrapped last night , but he thought it would be inappropriate to call me at 11.30pm. The anticipation had kept him up all night. – I thought it was kind of adorable to admit that!

Apparently, as soon as I left the set, his casual remark about developing our characters’ relationship – had become a reality. He and Rick had gone to rehearse a scene after lunch and Sidney told them it wasn’t working. So Casper started to improvise how he had the hots for my character. He said that Sidney loved it and that this new twist had added a whole new dimension to the story, and they rewrote the entire script to accommodate this new twist. I don’t know if it improved the film, but it certainly made it more fun for both of us!

That night I had a date with another man that I really couldn’t get out of.  He had flown up from LA to take me out to dinner, but I made some excuse that I had to rehearse with my co-star, and asked him to drop me off at the rendezvous that I had arranged with Casper.

Casper was waiting for me in restaurant, and happened to see the other suitor in the back of my cab.

“Did you just come from having dinner with another man?!”

“Yes!” I smiled. Busted!

He looked confused, “Well, what am I?”
Without missing a beat, I answered, “You are desert!”

Luckily for me, he thought it was hilarious!

The following evening, he took me dancing. It was only 10pm when we got to the nightclub and the club was completely empty – but we didn’t care, we danced all alone.

I haven’t a clue what made me say, “My favorite thing in the world is African drums!” Literally a minute later, ten drummers in full African regalia, lined up on the side of the dance floor and started beating their drums.

Casper looked at me, amazed. “Are you sure you’re not a witch!?”

I reminded him that he had chosen the club – there was no way that I could have organized this!

I hate to use the heavily overused term “meant to be” but there certainly seemed to be a confluence of events that seemed magical.

My Recipe ~

About 2 months before I met Casper, I invented a ritual. Every day, I would write a letter to the man of my dreams – “my beloved,” and then (I know this sounds corny!) I would write my beloved’s letter back to me. In essence, I created a dialogue between me and my beloved. You don’t have to use the word “beloved” – you could use any term of endearment – Honey, sweetie, hunk! –

I love Rumi and Khalil Gibran and find the concept of “the beloved” really beautiful. Some days, my letters were long, elaborate and poetic – some days – Hallmarky and syrupy – other days, short little love notes.

No matter what, I was consistent, and I diligently followed through with this practice daily, for almost 2 months.

If this seems really alien to you, you could look up famous love poems to get inspired.

The truth is that I was writing to myself in 2 voices- and this was probably the most consistently loving dialogue I had ever directed toward myself. I have often heard that you can only love another as much as you are capable of loving yourself – so perhaps this act of self-love helped me attract external love.

Perhaps, I created a magnetic pull through my daily writing and strengthened my intention to meet my soul mate.

Perhaps I called my beloved through time and space (that’s the type of stuff I would write – see, it’s corny!)

An added benefit was that in the letters I wrote from my love back to me, I got to script all the things I always wanted to hear from a man! And strangely enough, my husband often says things that echo my original words.

Creativity is a powerful tool to enhance, amplify and focus your intention. You can use any art form – writing, painting, sculpting, singing, dancing – to help bring love into your life.

Trust me, it’s worth a try!