The Phoenix Forum was an event I heard about for years, but never attended. This is a unique show because it is industry professionals only. No outside media, no fans and a minimal amount talent. This is all about the behind the scenes of what really makes the industry tick. Everything from the billing companies, to the streaming sites, web cam sites, distributors, producers etc. It is a business event from start to finish where everyone casually mingles & carries on business.
What really separates this event is the fact that it takes over an entire hotel, allows no outside guests & has incredible security. You know I loved all of those features. The hotel has a beautiful courtyard where there are tables to sit in the sun or shade, food, drinks & the most incredible snack bars to create a comfortable environment where you can move table to table, meet new people reconnect with others & carry on business.
I have had interest in this show in the past, but never made the trip until this year. Now, let me rewind. A couple of months ago a very good friend on the business side of the business suggested I attend the show to reconnect with some people and get to know what changes have taken place since my absence from the industry & what new battles the industry is facing today. Though I knew this would be a good idea, I was apprehensive. VERY apprehensive. I knew when she was talking to me about this event, if I were to go, I would have to face quite a few people who did me very wrong as I was leaving the industry. One being my previous distributor. After spending too much time & money on a disgusting court battle with him & having my company to face an incredible loss, I, at that time, was not ready.
Flash forward to last Monday, when she called again. This time, about the same topic, The Phoenix Forum, but this time with a new hitch. I could take part in and industry panel, allowing me time to use my voice to start a new conversation. A needed conversation about talent/producer rights, while being in a room of people I could after the panel, sit in the courtyard with one by one & continue the conversation.
This time. I was intrigued. Intrigued & well rested as I am on a Monday, I put aside my fears & I stepped into action booking my flights to Phoenix. After booking my flight, I just went about my day, giving no time to the thoughts of fear I had a couple of months ago.
Now lets flash-forward to the day before my trip. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, as they say, I knew I was anxious, but I blamed it on the pouring rain, the last minute interview I was somewhat cornered into doing at 8 am in the morning to promote an upcoming event. The interview was lame; I was asked when my book was coming out. I had to reply with “did you at lest Google me?” .. I digress. So lets just say I was cranky by 9 am and the day was a hot mess from then on out. The total highlight was the Mets Game…. LOL.. (Yes, I love to watch Spring Games, so many cool interviews)
Now, what you should know if I have started to learn the value in meditation, being still, re-centering myself and resetting my thoughts & then my day. So that is what I did, but I didn’t have time to do that until about 5pm. I started it with an early dinner packed with goodness. I steamed some broccoli, made a beautiful salad & played some soft music while I ate. As I cleaned up, I was asking myself “why are you not living in gratitude today? What has embedded itself into your spirit? What are you afraid of?” There it was, “What are you afraid of?” BOOM
I knew it; I had totally buried my feelings of fear of my reaction to see someone so evil that I allowed to just fuck me over so hard. Someone who cost me so much money, time and caused me so much pain. Simple. The conversation with myself continued & I decided to reach out to my people who will be at the show, addressing my thoughts & the reality that part of me may want to lash out, while the other part of me would like to pull a prank. Neither was something I was actually going to do, but here is something I have learned. Going through things with the support of others is way easier than going through things alone. Me addressing it to others, allowed me to hear it, address it and put my faith in the fact that with the people I have around me now & the amount that I have grown over the past couple of years, the correct response will be automatic and my fears were put aside. So, as you can see from this little story, I am learning how to hone on in the missing link, connecting to it by addressing it and moving on. So, I had to dig for it, but I found it. Once I found it, I was able to take a beat, sit in silence & meditate.
After I calmed my mind with meditation, I took a nap. (Yes, I masturbated before my nap, plot twist right? NO, self love is everything, especially when I am trying to reset) so, back to my nap. It was a good one, I woke up happy. Excited about my trip, not anxious. I woke up refreshed and happy & was able to get in another 6 hours of work done before I started to pack & get ready for the airport.
As I packed my things, I did my usual routine, step one is always checking the weather, reading it would be 90 degrees was way more exciting then they week of rain we just had in LA. So I was able to pack a bikini. That always adds some fun to any trip; a little time in the sun is something to look forward to. Step by step, I organized my things and before I knew it I was not just ready, but I was ready with no anxiety, no pressure, just joy & excitement ahead. I realized then at 2am that I was BACK! Back where I want to be and stay, living in gratitude.
I pulled out my favorite Burberry boots, a scarf, jacket & my travel Chanel Bag. Things I have collected over time that I cherish & love to travel in style with. I was feeling like a million bucks by the time I got in my car and ventured to the airport. (Side bar, there was a time when people dressed to the nines when they traveled, my Grandfather would wear a three piece suit & top hat, those are my memories of classic travel attire that make me want to have a little style when I travel)
I had a nice nap on the flight & when I arrived at the hotel where the Phoenix Forum was being help, my girlfriend & Chi Chi La Rue were waiting out front for me. I hadn’t see Chi Chi La Rue in years, so it was the best greeting ever… SO exciting, laughs & selfies stared right then and there…..
We walked through to get my badge (remember the tight security I mentioned, you cant get anywhere without a wrist band & a laminate, so I had to get mine before I could get any further into the hotel. Now, it is time to accept it is 90 and was dressed like it was winter. I changed into something cooler & headed out to see what this was all about. I had about an hour to kill before my panel & it was just enough to see what this show is all about. It was awesome! So many people I haven’t seen in years greeted me with warmth & excitement. It was just enough to fuel me to get ready to sit on the stage and offer up my thoughts for the panel.
I walked into the room for the panel & started to prep myself for the topics, the other guest speakers & I enjoyed being there early, watching the room fill & taking time to greet some of the people entering. Again, taking the time to soak it all in. Really thinking about being back in the world I know so well, accepting the good with the bad & living in one mindset, gratitude.
The panel was powerful, the topics inside the industry are things we really need to work on, discuss, and try to balance. After the panel I was free to have individual conversations with everyone in the room & out in the courtyard. It was not only beautiful outside, but I felt beautiful inside.. That made me smile from the inside out…
Remember earlier in this LONG, quite possibly boring story, I brought up my fear. The anxiety I felt about facing someone that caused me so much inconvenience & pain… We crossed paths many times. I had no intention of speaking or making eye contact. I also had no intention to be rude or address anything. It is all a part of the past, experiences I have learned from & some of the people who caused me the greatest pain have also been my greatest teachers. As strange as this may sound, though I did see him, I didn’t feel one ounce of his presence, he felt invisible to my spirit, to my soul. At one point, he put him self at a table near the table I had been sitting at for hours. He made sure I was in plain view and for whatever reason he decided to sit 10 feet from me, in my eye line for a pretty good amount of time. I didn’t notice it as much as it was actually happening, as everyone around us noticed & talked to me about later in the evening. It was odd on his part, maybe a strange potential intimidation was his goal, BUT for me. It was the sign I needed. I have let it all go. I have moved on, recovered & healed. That felt like magic.
I am who I am right now because of the culmination of events that transpired. The things that one time caused me so much pain, were not even in my rearview mirror of my past. I realized though this trip that letting go of the negative experiences I am not allowing them to trap me or hold me back. That allows me to live in the NOW. This was the greatest feeling of freedom. I was so excited I wrote this as soon as I got to the airport.
I would like to thank all of you, for supporting me & showing me so much love. All of the great writers who have inspired me & help me grow & as always The Secret. The book that changed my life many years ago, the power of positive thought, the reminder that like attracts like & we can manifest whatever we desire for our lives.
BTW: You know I am a happy camper when I take airport bathroom selfies! American Airline Lounges have the prettiest setting for an airport bathroom selfie LOL!