Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Smiles and Laughter

I had a quote in my inbox today:

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul".
- Yiddish proverb

This past weekend I went up to the Catskills to my friend Brian's place. It was a secluded little cabin on Mt. Tremper. The weather was rainy Friday and Saturday nights which gave the four of us: myself, Brad, Michael & Brian the chance to just chill. We sat for HOURS around the wood fireplace drinking coffee, sharing stories and laughing our asses off. The conversation went from serious program AA stuff to all other kinds of silly. Things we did both before and after we got sober that really just indicate how crazy and yet how free we are now.

As the night was winding down, I remembered the day I met these guys. Brad I had known for years. One night after a meeting about 2 weeks into my starting AA, Brad grabbed me by the collar and said: "C'mon let's get coffee". I thought it'd be just him so I agreed. We walk across the street to Dean and Deluca, and there around a table were Brian & Michael and two empty chairs. I felt like it was going to be the inquisition. I sat down with my coffee and mostly just listened to these men talk. Talk about being drunk, talk about being sober but what struck me the most was the fact that they were laughing!

I'd wanted to yell: "GUYS! I'M NOT DRINKING ANYMORE - THIS IS SERIOUS!!"

Two and a half years later, sitting around that fire - I was struck with gratitude for the grace that got me there and more so every day for the fact that I can laugh and smile again. It was restored my soul as AA has started to restore my life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Choice

I love that I have two things in my life that really keep me moving in an amazing direction.

Meetings and Sati

Between the two I had a great revelation this week, especially after my Big Book meeting last night. We read 'The Family Afterward'. Usually, I throw up a block about that chapter as well as 'To The Wives' AND 'To Employers' - Why? well because
'it's not about me!'

As is often the case when I take this tact, I find that I am dead wrong.

Through my Sati experience this past month I've really been able to embrace the word 'Abundance' and invite it in to my life in many ways. In the meeting last night during this passage: "That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets" - (pg 124 - Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous), I was struck!

Struck with the amazing self awareness I've been cultivating and AWED by the idea that today with all the good in my life, I can choose to make a different choice.

With regards, to work, a carreer in acting, relationships - romantic, familial or even friends. Today I can choose a different action, sometimes contrary to those I've ALWAYS done. Maybe a different result can occur maybe not - but I KNOW the answer if I don't try, and I KNOW that regardless the outcome I WILL GROW.

LOVE LIFE RIGHT NOW! I'm listenting to Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' as I write this and indeed it is - A NEW WORLD

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Thoughts

This song is so beautiful and strikes me everytime I hear it.


What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Promise

Have you ever met someone and doing so suddenly illuminated all that hadn't been right with all your previous dates/boyfriends/love interests/lovers - and yourself in those situations?

I have

That being said. I'm a firm believer that every moment of one's past brings them forward to who they are today - present.

Learning lessons from mistakes so that when the opportunity presents itself. one is ready like they've never been before.

I will step forward, unafraid, into new territory - exploring all the things life & love have to offer, not take away. I will change my insticntual behavior and move through any ridiculous fears.

As I've learned in Sati - I am open to abundance & happiness. I am ready, willing and able - RIGHT NOW to accept richness in my life - in every way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swooning a bit

I tend to jump on the side of being a bit boy crazy, but something about this one is different.

I'll set the scene:

I am unshowered, wearing clothes from the previous night. I got in at 2 am after our show and party. Woke at 4am and hopped on a train to the city in order to board a bus departing at 6am for the Equality March in D.C.

I'm not glamourous, my matted hair hidden under a hat, unshaven, wearing glasses and worse of all I fore go coffee so I can eek out a few more hours of sleep on the ride down.

We board the bus, I say hello to no one out of fear of my coffee-less state. I have two seats to myself so I scrunch up into a TINY ball and try my best to make a little comfort on a freezing, dark bus seat. I start to drift....when I feel a tap on my shoulder.

I look up into an unknown face and down into an extended hand holding a scarf.
"You can use this as a pillow if you'd like"

I graciously accept and smile a bit on the inside as I close my eyes.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Friday!

I just finished eating breakfast which consisted of OJ and a toasted whole wheat everything bagel with apple-cinnamon cream cheese. It wasn't as delicious as I'd imagined it to be

My morning has started off amazingly! I great Sati class and some time on the train to read more of the book 'The Shack'.

I'm feeling much better since my previous entry. I had a great talk with my sponsor about acceptance. I always have this instinct to fight or change something - ESPECIALLY when I'm not feeling the way I want to.

He highlighted to me that my 'feelings aren't facts' and given all the good days I have. It's ok to accept that maybe I have a bummed out day. It's so simple - he's so wise. Grace had EVERYTHING to do with us meeting and I'm so grateful he's in my life.

Two shows this weekend! Can't wait! My Dad's brothers & sister are coming to the city tomorrow, and seeing the show - which is great. I've got a lot of feelings there and around them so I will have to practice graciousness and restraint of tongue. We'll see how it all goes -

Best of everything to you all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Hate when I get This way

from the outside my life couldn't be better! Well maybe a few things, but

I'm in a show I LOVE
I'm in an apartment I LOVE
I'm taking Sati which I LOVE

Yet, over the last few days all i've wanted to do is sit at home & not interact with ANYONE. I force myself to meetings, the Sati and to the show even!

Maybe I'm just tired I don't know - but it's hard to reconcile how I'm feeling with what I think I SHOULD be feeling. I don't know what tools to use to make this shift

I heard a quote the other day: There is no way TO happiness, happiness is the way.

I need my perspective to shift and soon - which as I write that I'm reminded of 'SERENITY NOW!', which at very least brought a smile to my face

My View

For my money and in my life, perhaps the greatest love story ever told existed between my parents. It's the stuff made of legend


My Mother was a flower child of the 1960's, with love in her heart and rebellion in her mouth, she took up any cause. She embraced the times whole heartedly, calling out for justice, fairness and peace in times of chaos, corruption and fear.


My father was a different kind of man. He was a musical prodigy and science wiz who never gave himself enough credit. Floundering a bit after high school he found his calling in the United States Air Force. There he discovered the beauty and peace of routine, discipline and very early mornings.


I'm sure from any outsider’s perspective it seemed that ne'er the two shall meet. Fate and God thought differently and meet they did. A persistent man my father, wouldn't take no for an answer. He succeeded in scoring a date by wooing my grandmother, offering the opportunity to see John Denver - well what girl could refuse when faced with pressure from Mom and the chance to see the heartthrob of the times.


They were married shortly after my Dad completed the academy and into the Air Force life my flower child mother went. She did this without compromising who she was, and my Dad loved and respected this in her. I don't know much of the early years as for some I wasn't around and for the others well I was just waking up to the world.


What I can remember clearly is that every struggle that came our way - my parents met face on. Fear was not a word they let enter their minds, maybe behind closed doors in brief acknowledgment but when face to face with adversity they knew their armor of love would protect them.


For close to 30 years, this was the way of things in this Ritz household. There were so many times that life seemed to knock us down, but we held fast to each other because that has always gotten us through. Whether is was moving all over the world, changing schools, losing jobs, struggling to support a family - there was always a moment at the end of hard or easy days where my parents hands would clasp together and they would utter the mantra: 'It will be OK'.....and it always was.


Perhaps the biggest challenge we faced was in 2003 when my father, a strong, vibrant, loving man was diagnosed with cancer. Esophageal - stage 3. Again, the hands clasped, it would be OK. The truest testament of love I'd ever seen. Two people who had loved and laughed for years bravely grabbed hands and faced the unknown future.


My Dad passed away in 2004 about a year from being diagnosed. For my money and in my life, perhaps the greatest love story ever told existed between my parents.


My parents were a true testament to love, faith, trust, communication, humor, and not taking life so seriously as precious as it is.


In a way I'm spoiled - these are the ideals I hope to have in a relationship.


I came out of the closet as a gay man when I was 17 years old. Having been raised in the Roman Catholic tradition this was a very daunting and scary moment in my life. I was blessed at the time with two amazingly understanding and patient parents. Though it wasn't always easy, they knew that who I loved was not a choice, but part of who I am. They also understood that when it comes from a place of love, there is no wrong.


I was also blessed with an amazing guy who was my first boyfriend. Together we traversed the trickiness of coming out at a young age and reconciling that fact with our upbringing. We realized that coming out didn't have to close doors for us. We could still live the kind of lives that our parents did. Loving. We could raise children. It was not wrong to love one another because after all it was love.

While doing what I can to be active in the debate surrounding marriage equality I think of a few things. I think of my first boyfriend who is now married to the man he loves, they have a baby girl - dreams are possible. I think of my mother and my father's hospital bedside. I think that no matter the ending happy or sad it's the journey that counts.


I want my story to be a continuation of the love I encountered early in my life. I want to be able to have a child should I choose and not have to worry about who has rights to it (my parents did not have this worry). I want to be able to sit freely at the bedside of my partner should it come to that and not worry about whether I'll be able to keep the home that we share (my parents did not have this worry).


For my money and in my life, perhaps the greatest love story ever told existed between my parents. I want mine to be next

Friday, October 2, 2009

Whew Girl!

(as my friend Joel would say)

It has been a WEEK.

I am so grateful to have the life I do today even if gratitude has me feeling exhausted. I wouldn't trade it for a thing!

Monday we opened 'Hurricane' which went well, we had another show last night which rocked in my opinion. There's this one number that's been a challenge for me physically & vocally since the beginning and I ALWAYS get anxiety & fear about it.
I prayed before I went on and asked for help to put the fear down and enjoy myself and BOY did I. I had a BLAST last night!

Sunday was my launch into a 30 day Sati Warrior Challenge! (www.satilife.com). I've gone to two classes this week and a third tomorrow and I can't tell you how amazing I feel. This month is gonna ROCK!!

Tuesday (as if I didn't have enough going on)...I moved! And I'm completely in LOVE with my new apt. the beauty is too that I can really take my time and relax into unpacking and really keeping things I need and throwing out the rest (I'm a bit of a pack rat).

I'm working today - hitting a meeting then watching my Netflix movie with my new roomate and perhaps a cup of tea. Just needed to check in.