The Medicine Woman

Soon after I left the rainforest villa, I went back to LA with a knowingness; to continue my life as a Hollywood actress would mean to continue following along the wrong path. I had to get out but didn’t know how to start over. To be honest, the acting business had defined me for so long, I didn’t have the strength to leave it all behind. I knew in my heart that I wanted to write, but it seemed nearly impossible to let go of the person I had been for 10 years. So, I decided to stick it out in the acting business while attempting to start a writing career.

That was not exactly the greatest idea. I thought I was making a wise transition, but it proved to be deeply frustrating. Trying to hold on to the persona of Diana the TV and Film Actress while attempting to unleash my new sense of creativity didn’t pan out. Taking what I thought was the gentle path was detrimental to any movement forward. Although I had slowed down my involvement in the acting biz on the practical level, I couldn’t step out of my role as a Hollywood actress on an emotional level. I still viewed myself as a glamorous icon.

When I wrote, my charters were superficial and the storylines completely idealistic. I was frustrated with the results of my writing, but I just couldn’t see the correlation; the nature of my life as an actress was superficial and idealistic, so of course my writing would be a reflection of that. But I couldn’t let go. As a result, I wasn’t learning the necessary life lessons to grow.

At the very least, the act of writing seemed fulfilling in some manner of creative expression. So not all was lost. But because the context through which I was expressing myself mirrored my limited state of mind, its primary function was to solidify the very patterns that the Shaman had tried to cut through. And although I had an intellectual understanding of the lessons learned in the rainforest, I did not know how to transform any of it into an experiential understanding.

Until a dear friend of mine introduced me to an incredibly organic and forthright Medicine Woman.

I remember when I first set eyes on Amanda. I thought to myself, ‘This woman reminds me of a Hawk.’ And, truth be told, there was something very focused and powerful about her, something that pertained to having a vast perspective, much like a hawk. Her manner always put me in touch with something beyond my personal strife, something beyond my small view, and allowed me to get in touch with an inner truth, which was sometimes painful to see.

I never mentioned to Amanda the Shaman’s parting comment, nor his undertones of encouragement along the lines of writing. And yet, very often she encourage me to write, echoing his final words to me. Amanda didn’t necessarily say she thought I would write a book as the Shaman had said, but she often asked me how my writing was coming along. It always surprised me. As I said, I hadn’t mentioned my new career interest. Nevertheless, I always told her about my latest attempts to put words to page and she always gave me some form of positive response.

A couple of years passed, and I continued to rely on Amanda’s support. She was very grounded and authentic in her understanding of life. Slowly, I began to open up to my own sense of inner knowing. It wasn’t clear, and I wasn’t all that trusting of myself. Oftentimes, I sought out her counsel to get clarity on what I was feeling, sensing, and thinking. Over my time with Amanda, I was able to disentangle myself from Hollywood life, including the emotional attachments to being an actress.

Still, I was quite a tough nut for her to crack as well. The Shaman had cleaved open a sliver of my shell just enough for Amanda to get her talons in. Her wisdom pushed me to the edge, and planted seeds for self-reflection and self-discipline, two character traits I had been lacking in my young adult life.

It wasn’t until years after Amanda and I lost contact that I recognized how fortunate I was to have received such keen and heartfelt support. Because of Amanda, I finally left the LA scene, moved to Oregon, and dove into family life with a husband and new baby daughter. Within the new context of my life, I began to unwind and grow up. She had a sort of magic that seemed to have weaved its way into the fabric of who I became.

I continued to attempt writing but nothing of value appeared on the page. My new role as a young mom allowed me a great deal of satisfaction. I felt happier than I did in all of my life. So I rested there, content with being a mother. And for the first time, I felt freed from the shackles of striving to be something grand. It was then that I was finally able to open myself up. And through realizing a more meaningful aspect of life, years after leaving LA and ending my reliance upon Amanda, I wrote my first book.