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A Year of Yes: A backflip off a cliff and a visit with a blue whale

Whenever I need a dose of encouragement, two recurring dreams find their way into my slumber:

1.) In the first one, I walk outside to the edge of a cliff, turn around, and do a backflip into the canyon. Rather than falling, I fly.

2.) In the second one, I’m scuba diving. I paddle up to a Blue Whale (the largest animal to ever live). I pat the whale’s cheek. The whale winks at me and says, “I’m so happy to see you again.”

I don’t know how to do a backflip, I have a healthy fear of heights and open water, and I don’t know how to scuba dive. And yet, these two dreams bring me a lot of peace. I think it’s the Universe’s way of telling me, “You got this.”

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It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that surface during Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself. Part magic show, illusion spectacular, storytelling night, and clairvoyant event, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. His poise, grace, empathy, and masterful command of the stage and audience are on a level of genius that I didn’t know was possible. I alternately cried and laughed for close to two hours, completely riveted by the through line and captivated by Derek’s presence. Mostly I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I was astounded by his work. * My friend and mentor, the incomparable writer and storyteller @tellingabetterstory, took me and our friend, @hellosemrick, to this show a few weeks ago and I’ve thought about it every day since. I will be thinking about it for many days, weeks, and months to come. Even now as I write this post, I keep getting chills down my entire spine. In & Of Itself is that electric. * Derek gave every member of the audience a gift, personal and perfectly crafted. I’m not quite sure how I’ll ever be able to repay him, and legendary director Frank Oz, for all they gave me—a stranger they will likely never meet—during this performance. Thank you feels so woefully inadequate, and it’s what I have. I mean it from my whole spirit. * Thank you, @Derekdel and Frank, for showing all of us what can happen when we show up with our whole heart, pay attention, and make purposeful connection with another person our single goal. It is the purest form of magic I know—to really see and be seen. * In & Of Itself runs this weekend at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. After Sunday, August 19th, it will be never be done again.

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