Monday, September 24, 2012

ON TOUR: Oprah Calling.....

"Next thing you know, you'll be on Oprah." This is what friends have said, but for some reason it never struck me as something that would really happen.

 To be quite honest, I've had several dreams about it. Very real dreams. Dreams so real that I had to shake my head a few times and snap myself back to reality. The thing is, I like Oprah. She is one of the top 5 people, along with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, Eckhart Tolle, and Krishna Das, who I'd like to spend an afternoon with. 

So perhaps I shouldn't have shrieked out loud at midnight last Tuesday, when I got the call (or the e-mail to be precise). But I did.

I'm not good at hiding news. Never tell me a secret. Just saying.

So my husband was drifting off to sleep next to me, when I decided to check my "junk box" on my iPhone. I was scrolling past ads for CASH LOANS, daily coupons, a memory foam mattress sale, free trials for penis enlargement, a solution for hair loss, something about a magic green coffee bean and then this in the subject line:

OWN TV-Pilot Episode

This wasn't an ad for a new TV show. This e-mail was addressed to me. It started with "Hello Katherine."

I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I went on to read the rest of the message to my husband who was just about to fade off to sleep, but perked up with the news.

These were the sentences that hit me that this was REAL:

"While researching I came across an excerpt from your book Lessons from the Monk I Married and found it to be extremely powerful and a unique perspective on love.  We think it would make a great fit for the first episode."

It was a producer in Los Angeles who is putting together a pilot episode about "love" for a new series for OWN TV and he was wondering if we could do a Skype interview.

Before I could gather my wits, we were Skyping with the episode director. Here's what we looked like in our Skype interview:

Mind you, I didn't have much time to think about outfits. It all happened so fast. We were in the midst of remodeling our house and smelled of paint fumes. I'm just happy they couldn't smell where we were.

I think the interview went really well. I was informed that our recorded interview would be sent to the executive producers who would make a decision about whether or not to use our story for the show and he would let me know.

I haven't heard back yet, but I've been in this place before.

I think our story would make an excellent first episode on LOVE and they'd be silly to pass us up.

There, I said it.

In all honesty, I felt the interview went great! We had fun and we were ourselves.

No matter what happens, we were happy to have had the opportunity to interview for the show.

Today, here in the Lessons from the Monk I Married household, life continues on. I started a new quarter at the college teaching American Culture to 29 ESL students from all over the world, the monk I married got stung by bee on the way to the mailbox and his finger swelled up right before his yoga class, toxic fumes from our newly refinished bathtub cost me a few brain cells that I can't afford to lose, and our furnace went kaput. But I can't really complain. Life is quite GRAND and I'm happy for every moment in my life, even the ones that seem trying.

Calling Oprah...

Oprah, if you are out there, I'd just like to say that getting an e-mail from one of your producers really made my day, but the show must go on....

Friday, September 7, 2012

On Tour: A House Remodel, A Magazine Gig, and A Million Other Things....

I'm a pretty focused person, but lately I've been all over the map. I have so much on my plate these days that I'm having difficulty focusing and prioritizing what should come first. I haven't been online as much as I hoped. I haven't slept in my own bed since August 3rd due to a sudden house remodel. I'm absolutely thrilled that it is happening, but I feel a bit "uprooted" to say the least. I'm not grounded at all.

All of my earthly possessions (which don't really amount to too much) are stuffed in the garage and not in any orderly fashion either. I've been switching off between a few outfits for a month. I have a couple little satchels of things with me and I've been living with those and they have somehow carried me through all the house surfing we've been doing.

I have to say that we've been very lucky to have such wonderful friends who have let us come and stay at their lovely abodes during this "uprooting" and "gutting out" process. Currently we are house sitting at my best friend's parent's house which is the ultimate retreat in the city and is situated along a lovely river. I really can't complain. This place is a writer's paradise. 

It's interesting how the gutting out of a house on the physical level can often feel like a gutting out on a mental/spiritual level as well. My husband's handles the unpleasantness of it all quite well. He jumps right into the destruction and gets to work. I, on the other hand, have wanted to avoid the house at all costs during the construction phase, preferring instead to enjoy the new surroundings of where we are currently staying. I am better at handling messes from afar and doing the documenting, writing and recording of the event. I'd prefer to do the organizing and come back when it's all done. I really wish I were the kind of person who could roll up my sleeves, get dirty and GET TO WORK, but I'd much rather write about it. Here's a photo of my husband who pulled out all the old floor boards of our 1940s Seattle bungalow. He's my hero...really!

Here are the good points and bad points about moving out of ones comfort zone. In this case, the comfort zone is our house, but it could relate to any change in life.

Bad Points:

1. You can't find anything and it makes you confused. Things aren't where they are supposed to be.
2. Everything is a mess and turned upside down.
3. You are not sure how things will get done or if they ever will.
4. You wonder if the contractors will show up.
5. You are not sure if you can afford all of this, but you proceed.
6. A lot of fear comes up and you wonder if you deserve to have the things you really want in life.
7. Things get broken in the process and you make mistakes.
8. You feel scared and unsettled.
9. You question your reason for doing something in the first place and sometimes feel like throwing in the towel and giving up.
10. You can't sleep in your own bed because it's under a pile of stuff in the garage and you can't sleep in your house because there's no water or electricity and the place is covered in a thick layer of dust.

Good Points:

1. You branch out from your comfort zone and get to know your friends and you have an opportunity to be part of their lives and see the world from their comfort zones which expands your own.
2. You realize that when you start to work toward a dream, people naturally want to help you and they are much more generous than you expected.
3. The generosity of others can often be baffling and inspiring at the same time and it makes you want to be generous as well.
4. When each tiny bridge gets crossed in the process, it makes you believe more in your dreams and your ideas.
5. You get to try out some new beds (we slept in a lot of comfortable beds) and environments which may prompt you to buy a new bed or get some new ideas for your own house.
6. You see your life from a wider perspective and realize that you can actually live with just a few satchels of clothing and things in various places and still be happy, if not happier.
7. You build something together.
8. You share ideas with others.
9. You see a beautiful transformation that makes you want to transform other areas of your life or at least expand them.
10. You get to enjoy the fruits of all your hard labor and work.

Recently other areas of my life are expanding too! I'm working on two books and I got asked to be a contributor at Shambhala Sun Magazine! Perhaps when one thing starts to expand, its just a matter of time before all other areas of ones life start to expand as well. The hardest part is deciding to take the initial leap of faith and to just go for it in spite of all the obstacles that may be against you. But if you never try, then you certainly will never know.