Everything Miz Meliz

Mid-Year Reality Check

At the beginning of 2013 I set the tone for the year by establishing a word to define my focus.  The word is “ta-da”

I feel like I have shared many of the fun things that I like with that “Jazz Hands” show-off mentality, as if to say, “Look at Me!” See what I can do?  More than that, it has been my intention to show who I am and what I am proud of.  As if to say, “I have arrived.”  “I am here.”  Catch my energy.  See my spirit.  It’s my time to shine.

picture by Melissa Reyes copyright 2013 http://mizmeliz.com
What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

How have I demonstrated my “show-off” attitude towards life?  I will review.

I can look back at my posts.

I can look at my Day Runner.

I can look in the mirror.

During Christmas Vacation, I went to see a few movies.  One of them was “Lincoln”.  When I was waiting to watch that much anticipated film, I thought to myself, “Okay Mr. Spielberg, inspire me! Help me come up with something special.  Help me find a unique way to write my story.”  And he did.  I don’t know how or why, but during the credits for that film, as I wiped my tears and gained my composure, I thought about how I have a character and I can write my story through her perspective.  Melissa the Mouse was born.  “Ta-da!”

In January, the focus was getting back to school and immersing myself into the boys’ schedules with school and sports.  We spent a weekend at my aunt and uncle’s home near Coachella where my son was playing in a lacrosse tournament.  It is always difficult for me to visit there because my parents lived down the street from my aunt and uncle before they died.  I had been avoiding that situation for some time.  This weekend was nice and I managed to get through it and I was okay.  Up a level in the grieving process, I guess.  “Ta-da!”

At the end of the month, I had a chance to read my poetry at a cabaret show in Hollywood.  It was stellar!

photo by Melissa Reyes copyright 2013 http://mizmeliz.com
I read my poetry at a show in Hollywood. January, 31, 2013

In February, I had so much fun! I went to San Francisco to interview fellow blogger, Evan Sanders, and attend his launch party for his book, The Better Man Project.  I took a road trip with new friend, Mary Lansing of Along Comes Mary, and another new idea came into play. Blog Ventures. I attended an Oscar’s night viewing party and it was just like being at the Oscars!  “Ta-da!”

In March, I started visiting college campuses with my son and planning how we would celebrate his graduation from high school. I realized that there is always an end before there can be a new beginning.  I contemplated how dealing with the empty nest syndrome is very much like letting go of my parents and sister since they died.  They will always be a part of me and I can look back at all the wonderful memories with joy and gratitude.  I am embracing the fact that there is more to look forward to!  “Ta-da!”

In April, I took a road trip with my family.  We visited more colleges and spent time with my cousins in New Mexico.  It was a wild ride road trip!  I learned how much a family can bond in moments like these and how important it is to be satisfied with my life as I know it.  “Ta-da!”

April also began the celebration and event season!  It started with being in a flash mob for my friend’s proposal, then the celebration of my wedding anniversary, and I attended a few conferences and shows.  May brought  more celebrations beginning with my son’s confirmation,  then my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday, my niece’s high school graduation, my nephew’s engagement party, my oldest son’s high school graduation, my other nephew’s high school graduation, both of my sister-in-law’s birthdays, my kids’ performances, games, prom and grad nights, and awards ceremonies . . . whew!

Yes, it seemed that every day was a celebration or a culmination.  What better way to describe the feeling of accomplishment and appreciation for these special milestones than . . . Yes, I’ll say it one more time . . . “whoopie! yeehaw! wepa! huzzah!  ta-da!!”

Life is a celebration.  Life is good.  There is so much to be grateful for!

What’s next? Six months left in 2013.  I look at the Day Runner.  July looks wonderful.  It’s my son’s 18th birthday.  I should be posting my 200th blog post around the 2nd week. Getting going on the book.  Finally!   It’s my birthday.  45.  Meh.  It’s just a number.  I have some relaxation planned.  Pretty low-key.  My husband and I have plans to attend a few concerts with friends in August.  Then it’s back to school.  My oldest son starts college in September.  He will be moving out.  I am excited.  (I am scared shitless.)  I am excited.  I will be doing a workshop about goals, vision and life balance for my blogging group in October.  Then the holidays will be upon us.  Another year come and gone.

It’s a good life.  A very good life.

Over the next four weeks I will be posting excerpts from the book that I have been writing.  I will discuss topics such as:

Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness

Kindness and Compassion

Laughter and Joy

Facing Challenges

Letting Go

Attaining Wellness

Increasing Energy

Creating Systems

I look forward to bringing you more of my energy and insights.  I love shining brightly and shouting “ta-da!”

What are you proud of that you have accomplished so far this year?  Please share with me in the comments.  Take a moment and toot your horn!  C’mon, you know you want to!  

Let’s celebrate!

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Whatever You Do – Don’t Laugh! Being a Total Rock Star Isn’t Easy!

In order to express myself, I must first accept myself.

One of my biggest fears about expressing myself and sharing my creativity and talents has always been the fear of being laughed at or dismissed.  I have so many defense mechanisms in place to avoid being laughed at and ridiculed.  I don’t want to place blame.  That doesn’t change things now.  Heck, I don’t even want to explore the reasons why I am the way I am.  It won’t really matter.  I already know. I am the way I am.  I accept myself the way I am.  I have fears and I handle them.

I am at a point in my life that I have accepted myself and now I am ready to express myself.  I began doing that when I began blogging.  Sharing my thoughts, my feelings, and my experiences with the “world” – with you – has been the key that unlocked my true self and set me free!  That freedom has fueled the flame that keeps my desire for love, joy and happiness burning in my heart.

It’s my time to shine!

Miz Meliz at Urban Desert Cabaret http://mizmeliz.com photo property of Lito Reyes Copyright 2013

This week I had the opportunity to share one of my poems at a performance of spoken word alongside some very talented musicians, poets, and artists.  When I was asked if I wanted to read a poem I said, “Yes!” without hesitation.  When I was asked if I was nervous, I said, “Yes!” but it was the excitement kind of nerves, not the sick or stage fright kind.    The fears that came to mind were brief fleeting moments of panic.   What if I mess up?  What if they laugh at me?  What if no one likes my poem.  What if I get sick to my stomach?  What if I have an anxiety attack? What if I get a migraine or vertigo and can’t go on?  These things have happened before.

The thoughts of my biggest fears did not remain in my consciousness for very long. I have always wanted to get to a point in my life where the things I enjoy doing are not a challenge.  They are just a part of me.  I want to show the world that I can do these things well.  I have always wanted to be able to share my talents without concern for what others think, without fear of judgement.  This was significant in my life’s journey because I have now become more confident in myself and my abilities than ever before.  It was because of that confidence that I did not get nervous or sick. And you know what?  I rocked it!  It was great!  Not just because I did not get ill.  Not just because my friends said I was good.  Not just because I didn’t mess it up.  I enjoyed the experience.  I shared my talent with my friends and family.  And – no one laughed!  I did great because I believed in myself.

The Urban Desert Cabaret

Thursday night’s performance of The Urban Desert Cabaret was a show that my cousin, Joe City Garcia arranged.  The show takes place about once a month and if you like folk music, art, and poetry – you should definitely see it.  Most of the performers have a few things in common, they either know Joe City and/or have some connection to Joshua Tree – a community of artists who live or work in the desert.  These men and women all have a soulful camaraderie and connection to the earth, to light and to love.  Even if you just appreciate great music and song – this show is for you!  You can read more about UDC in my previous posts: Hollywood Nights and Urban Desert Cabaret.

copyright Joe Garcia 2013
It was exciting to be named in the event flyer!

I don’t want to forget anyone, so here is the line up from the January 31st show: Guest artists: Billy Gill (songs), Paul McCarty (songs) Monique Caruso (songs), Cari Banke (art/spoken word), Lalo Kikiriki (song/spoken word), Laura Anne Lacy (songs), Miz Meliz (Melissa Reyes) (spoken word) and more TBA! Plus songs and jams with the UDC combo: Jeremy Gilien, Tonya Lee Jaynes, Robert Matsuda & host Joe City Garcia.  First, Joe City and the Urban Desert Cabaret combo band started off the show with a few songs.  Their music is transfixing.  It brings me to a place of soulful reflection.  Have you ever driven through the desert and listened to the album by U2, Joshua Tree?  It opens up your horizons.  That is how Joe’s music is to me!  He is a rock star that I have admired my whole life.

Joe thanked everyone for coming and explained a bit about UDC.  Then, he said something like “who wants to go first?” and at that moment, I had just stood up.  He looked at me and said, “Miz Meliz – are you ready?”  I had told myself ahead of time that whenever he asked me I would say, “I am ready!” and I did.  And I was!  I didn’t expect to go first, but I was happy to because then I could relax and enjoy the rest of the show.  It was a bit of a bummer because some of my friends missed it, but it was good for me.

Next up was a great performer who played accordion and sang, her name is Lalo. . . her songs were light and fun and she told her stories in a way that made me smile.  She was a bit of a crack up and brought some humor to the scene. After Lalo, Billy Gill came up and performed a few songs.  His guitar playing is remarkable and his singing is impressive! I enjoyed the guitarist Monique Caruso and was impressed that one of the pieces she performed had just been written the night before!  (I wrote the poem that I read over a decade before!!  Some people cant help but share their talent, it precedes them.) Then we had the pleasure of a performance by the  Wicked Saints with Paul McCarty and Retro Rob Thomas.  They were awesome!

Cari Banke spoke about her art that donned the walls all evening and shared some introspective poetry that she wrote to accompany her pieces.  When she took the stage, she said, “Are you all in a good mood? Having a good time?  Well, I am about to bring you down.”  Her art and poetry was about genocide and survival.  She was very insightful and did manage to leave everyone on an upbeat note! There was more singing and guitar playing, more poems were shared and the UDC combo wrapped up the evening with more tunes. It’s surprising that all of this is put together and performed without rehearsals or much else in the way of planning.  It always comes off flawlessly, because of the spirit and expertise of Joe City – all the performers make a commitment to be there and they bring their best to share for that moment.  It was an honor to be a part of it!

My performance is on my You Tube Channel and the poem is posted here: That Funky Tree.

Two Funny Brains

Saturday I had the chance to spend some time with some very creative friends that shared their unique talents with others too!  I have recently shared some of my humor with Fazel Huts and I always say that laughter is the best medicine but a true comedienne is a hot commodity!  It is not easy to be a woman and be funny.  That’s why I love the Two Funny Brains!  two funny brains

I had the unique opportunity to visit Jessica Bern and attend a “girly clothes party” at her home.  Debbie Anderson was there, too.  I couldn’t believe how lucky I am!  I asked Jessica, “You know who I am, right?” when she invited me to this intimate setting.  She was surprised by my question.  I know we are friendly on Facebook and have “talked” late into the night via instant message on many occasions.  But to me, she is a total rock star and I am a total groupie! (I met Jessica for the first time when I had the rare opportunity to be an extra on an episode of Blog This.)

photo credit AJ Ferman Copyright 2013
Jessica Bern & Miz Meliz

To me being “a total rock star” is being able to show off your talents in a big way.  I admire everyone who does that and makes it look so easy.  I know it is not easy. 

The Poetry Salon

After hanging out with the ladies at Jessica’s house, I headed over to The Fat Dog Fairfax, a fun eatery in Hollywood.  I had the pleasure of being invited to attend a special event hosted by Jennifer Styperk, poet and CEO of Poetry Salon.  It was their annual Valentine’s Day event to kick off this season of love.  What better way to celebrate your love for someone than by getting them a bespoke poem for the occasion.  (A bespoke poem is a custom crafted work of art based on stories you provide, inspired by an individual muse whom you want to honor.)  I was thrilled to meet this amazing entrepreneur rock star poet!  I was impressed that Jennifer took her talent as a poet and made it into a business that is thriving and employs and engages other poets to use their craft to help others. (See this great blog post with an interview of Jennifer Styperk for more about Poetry Salon and Bespoke Poems: http://mngirlinla.com/2013/02/04/looking-for-a-personalized-gift-try-out-poetry-salon/#comment-22702)

Photo Credit Deanna Leigh of Poetry Salon copyright 2013
Miz Meliz with Jamie Gall and Jennifer Styperk

Creativity and rocking a special talent comes naturally to some people and it is a difficult journey for most.  No matter what, keep at it!  Don’t ever give up hope!  Face your fears.  Find ways of making it work.  It’s your time to shine!

Behind the scenes busy at work at all the above events are the bloggers that I know that help to promote and in doing so are encouraging and supporting one another constantly.  Please check out their blogs, Like them on Facebook, and Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Carolyn, Jamie, AJ, and Deanna. I had a blast sharing these experiences with them and I am glad to have their friendship!