Hilary Powers has an incredible story of redemption to share. She wrote a memoir called Peanuts to Percocet about how her childhood as a big earner in voice over and acting cast a shadow over her life that she got out from under- sparking, shining, and spreading hope. She lived the prayer that this podcast was named for: “this or something better” and through surrender of what she could not change and exerting control over what was hers to discard, she gave up the fantasy and entered her dream. #somethingbetterpodcast #happynewyear #nevertoolate #dontgiveup #trust
When I felt that sad, nauseous, panicky feeling of STILL being single, I made a big decision one New Year's Day. It happened to be 1/1/11, the day I got dumped by a nice man who was definitely not right for me, but I hoped would commit to me because I was getting "old" and was in SO much fear. Hot! (not.) That actually turned out to be one of the hardest years of my life, but if I had to go back I WOULD do it all again. Because I allowed my pain to move me. I surrendered. I got closer to my Source. I worked hard, on all areas of myself, with a lot of time love and attention.
The big decision was this: I have a desire to attract commitment and lasting love, therefore I am seeking advice or experience from people who are committed in a relationship and experiencing lasting love. It was that simple, and it remains my intention today. I was motivated by one bold indelible moment that had taken place the year before: I bumped into a fellow yoga teacher who was very pregnant and overdue. She said "all my acquaintances who have never had a baby go on and on to me about what I should do...and all the birthmoms that I see just nod and smile, without a word." What was that? It burrowed into my consciousness. I wanted to be married, therefore I wanted the nod and smile of marriage, therefore I'll hang out with married people. Listen to married people. Ask them how it happened for them. Ask them to set me up. (how I met my husband, btw) In addition, if I heard about a great book on marriage from an author who wasn't married, I didn't buy it. When I attended an event with a love coach who had all the feels and buzz you could ever want, I bounced when I heard her say she was divorced and working on manifesting her "perfect" guy now. (Besides, I didn't want a perfect guy. I wanted the messy, alive human being that I would hear fumbling in the other room, whose hopes and dreams and baggage all matched mine like a puzzle.)
Here's what happened: it spilled over into other areas of my life. I stopped getting distracted by squeaky wheels that had never actually rode their wheels into the thing they were talking about. And the bottom line was, when I sought the guidance of married people, it felt POSSIBLE. I got good at it. I curated and pinpointed my search. I gravitated toward feminine energy women who were married to masculine energy men. The landscape of my acquaintances changed. I permitted lapses in professional boundaries with private yoga students whose homes I entered, and found they were enthusiastic to impart something personal about marriage to me at the end of a session. I sought out members of my personal growth community who seemed happy, and good at self care, and demonstrated trust and self respect by not meddling in their husband's affairs. I listened to them. I heard things like "Yes, I probably would've done it better, but I'm not tellin him that!" and "There's only one captain on a ship" and "He had to take a call during dinner, but I decided not to take it personally." I'd imagine myself in that scenario. I learned who to ignore. Like a woman who told me she regularly snooped in her husband's email and laid down the law that she would be the only driver because "he's such an idiot behind the wheel".
Out of this decision came a more acute understanding of myself, and what I needed. I discovered commitment to an even earlier early rise with a siesta was best for me, and I started to carve out my self employment schedule of teaching yoga and writing songs in a different way. By the time I met my husband, I had let go of evening classes on Monday and Thursday nights. Precisely the days he did not have his kids. (Not an accident. A law of the Universe at work.) My afternoon siesta opening turned into an opportunity to pick up his kids after school once we had made a commitment to dating long term.
I still maintain steady exposure to people who are committed to kindness and respect towards their spouse, and avoid those who are not. Even a recent interview with Sarah Jessica Parker on the Goop podcast proved to be something that will remain with me. When asked about her lasting marriage, she said something like, 'it's so satisfying to be irritated, but I'm sure he gets irritated with me, too.' She talked about seeing her future with her husband and wondered if a small thing is really important in the face of that? This is the kind of thing I am talking about. Big picture is great, but if you want how, you gotta hear from people in it. So in the spirit of offering to you what I myself needed, I'm sharing from my present-day treasured, spiritual, messy married life with my husband Oliver. I love him more than when I met him. Hope I can help you trust that he or she is out there, and fulfillment is possible. Because it is.
Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach who specializes in helping smart, strong, successful women understand and connect with men.
He's also been married for ten years and has two kids, and recently wrote a blog post called "Why Married Women Get a Raw Deal". I found this piece insightful, rational, and it seemed like a compassionate conversation starter among spouses who want to negotiate enjoying their life. When he told me he got a lot of negative feedback, the conversation took an interesting turn into our current climate, heated by case upon case of abuse and harassment caused by prominent men. Enjoy our chat from the grey area of what seems to be a black and white standoff. To learn more about Evan go to his website.
Are you angry that you're still single? Could it be that a fear of vulnerability is keeping you from finding love? Psychologist and master matchmaker Julia Shah and I discuss the perils of knowing yourself and your inner limits without leaving the light on for vulnerable, intimate space for yourself and others.
I myself am feeling vulnerable as I write this. I am about to get on a plane to my father's funeral. I am feeling small, for all the times I was sitting and working on this podcast, since the spring, and skipping the short available windows around my Dad's naptimes to call him. I wanted to keep working. Suddenly that feels so small and hollow. This would have been there when I got back. I also know that often times, I did call. And he was so wonderful, and so supportive of my endeavors. Among his repertoire: "Bravo, well done, good for you, the best is yet to come, that sounds great, Aim!" My Dad was very prosperous with his language. He did not like swears, even flinched if you said "I swear, I will" or something like that. He consciously used language. "Thank you," "Good" and appreciation was always on the tip of his tongue with every caregiver right til the end of his 83 years. I kept this in mind when I made this a PG podcast. My relationship with my Dad was important to me. It was messy at times, but it was honest. I treasure him, I am grateful for his influence, and the incredible opportunity to have been with him when he passed away, and to have spent the last afternoon of his life singing to him.
My mission in all these adventures through music and writing and doing this podcast is the same. To help people feel. I am proud of this episode because I believe it contains permission to do just that. To let yourself feel your emotions, whatever they are. I think you can trust that this week, I am no doubt attending my own lecture.
If so, let's do a little R & D, okay? I'm a second wife and a stepmom and I accurately describe my situation as benevolent, manageable and peaceful. That doesn't mean I don't face big challenging feelings at times. However, I am not up against painful resistance on a regular basis like some stepmoms. The nature of the situation would be challenging for anyone-it's not for the faint at heart. I feel grateful all the time for our situation, because while seeking info about blended families in order to contribute consciously, I've learned that lots of people are going through HELL. They are at best, managing tough moments and at worst, experiencing alienation, court dates, and wars over finances. Why am I doing a podcast on this? Because if you're a mom and a wife and you want to leave, I really hope you consider that the fantasy inspiring your departure could get killed quickly by a pile of daily pain. (Yes, I'm trying to scare you as much as a doctor scared Stevie Nicks into stopping cocaine.)
This week's podcast is for....
Female spouses: let me be a big splash of cold water on your face while you kindly consider that statistics show, divorced men find partners very quickly. How's that feeling in your belly right now?
Singles out there: if you're open to dating a parent, the dating pool will immediately widen and deepen, so hear me out and consider if you'd possess a skill set as a stepparent. You're very likely to find a guy if you are open to dating a parent.
Stepparents and parents out there: We are in this together. Take Jenna's mission to heart and protect your children.
You have choices! If you need help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me point you in the right direction.
This week on Something Better, Jack FM DJ and voice over artist Howard Cogan (also the husband of my dear friend and matchmaker Rebecca Cogan) and I bring our dinner table discussions to the airwaves...topic? Equity vs. Equality. I consider equity in romantic relationship to be a shifting and shared responsibility between two fallible human beings who are dedicated to harmony in this third entity, the relationship. Equity I like in the workplace but I believe it kills chemistry in romantic relationship and causes people to resentfully bicker and keep score. Whether you are a single or a spouse, tune in and trade-in keeping it scored for keeping it HOT!