For the past 2 years, Dax Shepard and Monica Padman have kept me company on my morning walks with their lively conversations, thoughtful questions, and interesting guests. They are the cohosts of a popular podcast called “Armchair Expert.” This week’s celebrity guest was Pamela Anderson.
I will admit, I had some preconceived ideas about the blonde Baywatch lifeguard running in slow motion on the beach. Back in the 90s, it was hard not to see the many tabloid headlines in the check-out line at the grocery store about her tumultuous relationship with Tommy Lee. I never watched her show or paid much attention to those stories, so I knew very little about her life or career.
One thing I love about the podcast is how Dax and Monica create a safe space for their guests to be vulnerable. Barely 5 minutes into the conversation, I learned Pamela experienced severe early childhood trauma. As she continued to share her story, it wasn’t difficult to see how unconscious family patterns repeated in her life. She said those early childhood experiences made her painfully shy, yet she grew into a larger-than-life Hollywood persona.
During the interview, Pamela shared that she never set out to be an actress or model. In 1989, while attending a Canadian football game, a camera operator captured her dancing on the Jumbotron. That day she happened to be wearing a Labatt’s Beer T-shirt. Someone at the Labatt’s Brewing Company took notice and offered her a job as a spokesperson for their beer. That led to other modeling jobs, and then, later that year, an invitation to be on the cover of Playboy magazine.
As she described how one thing led to another, it struck me how she didn’t plan or deliberately seek out any of it. In fact, she often made choices that could have derailed her career, like not showing up for the Baywatch audition the first 12 times it was scheduled. Pamela told Dax she thought Monterey Bay was too far to drive for an audition. Eventually, she went to the audition and landed the role that made her famous around the world.
The more I heard her story, the more I admired this woman. She kept showing up joyfully for life no matter how many times she was knocked down. Seeing how poorly she was treated by the media and the court system, it’s a wonder she ever left her house. I love a good comeback story, and Pamela Anderson has one.
In the spring of 2022, she wowed audiences with her portrayal of Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. I think that was brilliant casting. However, Pamela was not a trained singer or dancer, so it’s amazing to me that she said yes when offered the part. She worked hard to prepare for the role, and it paid off. Who could have planned or plotted the course from Beer T-shirt to Broadway? It’s quite a testament to her resilience and her willingness to say yes to whatever opportunities come her way.
The podcast hosts themselves exemplify this point. Both Dax and Monica had ambitions to be famous actors. They both had some success in Hollywood, but neither one had their sights set on becoming hosts of one of the most listened-to podcasts in the country with an exclusive contract on Spotify. Who knew having heated discussions in the kitchen with your former nanny (now best friend) could lead to so much success and happiness? Both say they love this job more than any acting job they’ve had.
It may surprise you to learn that, at one time, I also wanted to be in television and movies. It would probably surprise you more to learn that I was painfully shy all through high school and college. After 2 years in the Visual and Performing Arts College at Syracuse University as an Ad Design major, somehow I found the courage to follow my dream and audition for the SU Drama Department. To my great surprise, I was accepted! I graduated from SU with a degree in Acting and a minor in Ad Design.
To help pay for school, I took a work/study job in the box office at Syracuse Stage, a regional theater affiliated with the SU Drama Department. That experience got me a job working in the box office at Arena Stage in Washington, DC after I graduated. That’s where I met a friend who eventually offered me a small role in a murder mystery show at a dinner theater in Rock Island, IL. While there, I met a group of friends who were also pursuing careers in entertainment, so we all decided to move to Orlando, FL together.
After a few odd jobs, I auditioned to perform in parades and shows at Disney World where I stayed for 7 years. That experience helped me develop the confidence I needed to be in front of large groups while facilitating Family Constellations. There were other steps in between, but you can see how one thing led to the next in a way that I could never have planned!
There are a lot of coaches, teachers, and gurus out there who claim to know the best path for you. They have “5 Keys to Financial Freedom” or “7 Steps to the Life of Your Dreams,” but in truth, there’s no way anyone else could know the best path for you. By the way, that includes well-meaning friends and family members.
Life is a series of choices, and I do my best to keep making them from love, not fear. I can’t recall a time when I was happy with the consequences after making a choice from fear, anger, or scarcity. It may be difficult, and I may disappoint people, but there is always peace and joy waiting for me when I ask Spirit for guidance and make decisions from my heart.
As we begin the second month of 2023, I hope you are being gentle with yourself around any New Year’s goals or intentions you set. I encourage you to keep showing up and saying yes to opportunities “Out Past Your Comfort Zone,” as I wrote about last week. Trust the path that is unfolding even when it doesn’t appear to make sense. It will make a lot more sense when you look back. It’s okay to have goals and dreams for the future, but I encourage you to hold them loosely. For me, the plan that works is the Moment by Moment Love Plan.
It would be my great joy to help you peacefully navigate your winding path moment by moment with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. To learn more about both of these opportunities, please look around my website or send me an email. Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world! Booking a session is easy with my automated scheduler which lets you see exactly when appointments are available. I look forward to working with you!
Until next time, I invite you to release the idea that there is anything wrong with where you are right now or how you got there, and trust that the road is always leading you to a happy dream.
For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams…
A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.V.1:4