Your Pets and Unconditional Love, Setting Realistic Boundaries is Love

animals_make_us_human_cover

It’s true when the author and animal rights activist Temple Grandin in her book Animals Make us Human said, “When people are suffering mentally, they want to feel better-they want to stop having bad emotions and start having good emotions. That’s the right goal with animals, too.”

For Valentine’s Day this year I decided to celebrate the life of my pet Belle, our almost 12 year old cocker spaniel.  She’ll turn 12 on March 4th and the more time I spend with her, the more I love her.  This also rings true with my beloved husband Patrick.  It truly is unconditional love.  If it’s not, isn’t it time to analyze that relationship and figure out whether it should go forward.  It’s interesting an animal doesn’t have that choice.  They are stuck with us aren’t they?  I try to make my dogs environment special and pawsitively stimulating……..:)

That brilliant author Temple Grandin also elaborated on this very true principle:

“My theory is that the environment animals live in should activate their positive emotions as much as possible, and not activate their negative emotions any more than necessary.  If we get the animal’s emotions right, we will have fewer problem behaviors.”  Boy if most humans learned how to live and love this way.

She goes on in Chapter 2 “A Dog’s Life” to show the direct similarities in parenting your dog and children. I love what she says here and we can all learn from this:

“Dog owners need to be the leader the same way parents do. Good parents set limits and teach their kids how to behave nicely, and that’s exactly what dogs need, too.  Dogs have to learn good manners and their owners have to teach them.  When dogs don’t have good human parents, they get crazy and out of control and take over the house the same way an undisciplined, spoiled child gets crazy and out of control and takes over the house.”

Often times do you feel like your love life with your beloved spouse is suffering or your children are out of control?  (I can totally relate to that one!).  Setting realistic limits and boundaries with all of them can make you happy and will set the tone for your relationship going forward.  If not and we live life unconsciously walking around in a depressed daze, resentment and bitterness happen to take root; we know love can’t grow under those conditions.

Have you ever taken a walk with your dog, not for you but for them?  Ever see how they react when you do that-they look happy, refreshed, and I know for my dog, she seems to smile after a good long walk.  She received love and I did too!  What a wonderful thing!

I wish you tenderness in this journey with your families and children and pets if that’s what you want, especially on this Valentine’s Day that just happen to make it on our American calendar and will remain so.  It reminds us early in the calendar year to be cognizant of our loved ones!   Animals really do make us human.

 

 

 



My Audition Tapes and Laughing into the New Year

Error
This video doesn’t exist

Hello and how have you been?!  Happy New Year and all that jazz!  I’m sorry I’ve been away just in case you missed me. Were the holidays a blur to you too?  I hope your holidays were magnificent and your new year off to the start you want!  I feel that 2016 is the year, I’m not an even numbered person; my lucky number is seven but I’m pushing through and BELIEVING that this is the year for Peace, Prosperity, and a time where all of our dreams will come true!  Don’t you?  It won’t be easy but hard work always pushes us to GREATNESS.

In my audition tape and I’m pretty sure this was for the wonderful Donna Belajac out of Pittsburgh, one of my favorite casting directors and clearly I did her an injustice!  I wasn’t prepared, you can see the copy (acting slang for the words the screenwriter intended the actress to portray with purpose).  I had just had twins so I’m sure I wasn’t prepared or in the mindset of trying to be the number one actress here.  I’ve also always been told my eyes are distracting on camera and now I can see why!  Ugh!

Since the ripe old age of 17 I’ve been in the volatile business of selling yourself and believe me it hasn’t been easy.  Back to the point I was trying to make about prospering and believing in your dreams, in yourself and making 2016 a great year……….we’ll back in 2010 I was just focused on being a mother and ironically the auditions and bookings came pouring in!  We’ll that’s a slight exaggeration but what I’m trying to say is……I worked my little tail off sending my headshots out, mailing casting directors hand written notes of thanks for thinking of me for that role and wait, you won’t believe this one, being the happiest person in the world that they called me in for a very small role. Most actors want the shining star role or the supporting cast.  I have always been and always will take the role that supports the film or television product and all of that-the hard work, determination, and a grateful heart spills over as blessings on the hearts of yourself and others.  It’s terribly ironic though because clearly I am horrible at acting!  🙂

I won’t do extra work anymore and I’m okay with saying that because I worked hard to get to where I am right now in life and I know I can be better in my auditions if I just put a little bit more work in.  My husband can read copy better than I can and he’s not invested in the business!!  I’ve been literally taking the Greyhound bus line to Manhattan since I was 17 and I won’t stop because it’s my life and this is where it gets good.

Balancing it all with my home décor projects, motherhood, family and friends gives me my purpose and I know it can for you too (not an acting career for you but ask yourself what do you love?).  The balancing is the hardest part isn’t it?  Yesterday I had to completely renovate my children’s playroom and it took some doing.  That photo surely to come.  I need to visit Marshall’s for some canvas prints.  Something colorful, bright and happy.  Will blog and post photos of that upcoming project even with the dingy brown carpet that I so desperately want to take out!

Finally, a side note, my Father, who will always be a musician in my eyes is finally after 40 years finding happiness, at least I hope he is.  We can only hope for that when we take the time to do an inventory of what makes us tick.  So my hope for you in this new year is, take a little notepad and when the house is quiet, jot down whatever comes to mind and see how you can make it awesome.  A solution should come and I pray that it does.  I hope you laughed a little when you watched my ridiculous, if not terribly bad audition video.  There are more to come as I become more at peace with myself.  Laughing at oneself is liberating!  Try it!  Happy 2016 to you and yours!

Steph__242-copy

Modeling for the Wall Street Journal