The Bachelor in Paradise and Welcome to Hell

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Bachelor in Paradise // Welcome to Hell

I’ve just watched the conclusion of “The Bachelor in Paradise”. It should be titled Welcome to Hell, for it is a meat market where the longing of innocence ends up in the jaws of predators. A never ending supply of young attractive people are chosen to go to beautiful resorts in Mexico and bear their souls on national TV in hopes of finding true love! Really?!? What kind of idiot does this? And worse yet, what kind of diabolical ghoul sets such a thing up for millions of watchers to behold as “entertainment’? The feeding of humans to the lions in the Roman Coliseum is the closest analogy I can think of. “Paradise” is our TV version of an emotional feeding-frenzy/blood bath, again and again. And worse yet, I am one of those millions who finds it fascinating to watch. But, in self defense, what I relish even more, is the “After Paradise” part where intelligent people comment on what just came down. However, the deeper and more important issue is, why do I and millions of others find the act of being a voyeur to the pain of others so fascinating? I watch it because I’m of a different generation and I’m interested to know how the youth of today interacts. I had hoped there would be some evolution over the course of 50 years, but I find it’s not all that different from the shallow values of the ’50’s which did change and open up in the ’60’s and 70’s but then snapped back again. My own feelings are in tact, and that’s why I have some perspective on this. And what I see is that the youth of today has sold out  feelings for the trade off of sensations. Ours is a youth-based culture that is reckless and self-serving. Choosing image over substance, and sensation over feelings has led to a dangerous place where nothing nurtures for nothing is real.

But most important of all is that this show and others like it are a statement of the times we live in, of the desperation of people to find love, and of those who are ready, able and willing to prey on their delectable vulnerability, because pain sells.

Here is my version of Welcome to Hell!
Welcome to Hell! Don’t be afraid. There are no devils here — only friends, family, lovers, spouses and significant others…and certain lawyers whom you’ve hired to protect you. In short, people you’ve cared for and trusted. People with whom you’ve opened and entrusted your heart and soul. People with whom –- for one reason or another– you’ve had a profound falling out. Make yourself comfortable, make yourself at home. Everyone’s a familiar face. Time is not a factor here. Take all the time you need. For here in Hell nothing grows and nothing dies, and every voice that speaks tells lies.

There’s tepid coffee available on the table to stimulate your senses to better appreciate the fact that everyone here is here for a reason: for the abuse of the power of love and trust, for deceitful behavior that is callous, shallow, non-communicative, evasive and always self-serving.

Whereas with your actions in the past, you had the luxury of hiding behind disguises, cop-outs and excuses, here in Hell everything is out in the open, revealed, exposed; everyone is a perpetrator and a spectator. There’s no place to hide. All eyes are watching you. That blinking red light in the corner is a camera. You’re on national TV!

The object of everyday is to have FUN, always at the expense of someone else. The object is to wreak havoc without conscience or concern. To rape, ravage and pillage the souls of one another and to successfully cop-out from any accountability, to shut down to any feelings except those of pleasure or escape. The object is to see who can amass the largest amount of ruination within every given 24 hours. There are no props, no furniture, no fancy clothing, only the deceptions of the mind, of the heart, and of the soul. However, you will be provided with any stimulus you choose to best arrive at these desired goals. The “winner” of each days contest will be awarded with his or her name on that calendar day. Repetitive winners will remain in hell for as long as it takes to learn to feel, to feel the pain of their actions, to feel the pain that their actions have on  others.

No meals will be served, only stimuli. In Hell, nothing nurtures. Your heart will rust shut from the water of your tears and your soul will be sucked dry from the heat of the contest, but none of that will matter to you as you zealously compete for the title of WINNER! — champion of your domain.

This is your own personal Hell.

Welcome to Hell! Enjoy!

~~Paulette Frankl (copyright 2015) Kindly do NOT plagiarize this material. Plagiarism is a form of thievery; it is a violation of the work of another person. It will land you a place in Hell.

I am a bestselling author. If you enjoy my writing, please check out my books, Lust for Justice: The Radical Life & Law of J. Tony Serra; also, Marcel & Me, A Memoir of Love, Lust, and Illusion. Both books are available on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL

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When I was your age, I thought I was invincible and that Life was my plaything. I thought that I was the cat and that Life was my mouse. I did not take myself or anyone else seriously. My behavior was often very unconscious, hurtful to others, and ultimately harmful to myself. I treated the emotions of people who cared for me as part and parcel of easy come, easy go. I did not grasp the honor of their sincerity, or the dignity of their devotion, the sanctity of their vulnerability, the precious gift of their love. I had the shallow attitude that Life was a dress rehearsal, and that as soon as I got a grasp of the total picture, it – and I – would become real. WRONG! Looking back at all the irresponsible things that I did, and at the wake of havoc and pain that my reckless behavior caused, I realize now that I am lucky to have survived my actions at all, and I am strickened with compassion and remorse for those collateral casualties that fell by my wayside. I had to learn the meaning of Life the hard way: by being hit so hard with pain that I could perceive and honor the pain of others as my own, and not choose to be a perpetrator of more pain by my unconscious actions.

Life is NOT a dress rehearsal! Each day is for real. It is an irreversible experience. It is time that can never be retrieved. Respect the feelings of others as well as yourself. This is the only life you get this time round, and what goes around comes around. Your actions and your words are energy in action. Practice mindful living.

~~Paulette Frankl (copyright 2015)

email: pauletteart@mindspring.com

LEAVE NO TEAR UNTURNED

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I have always been of the mind that life’s experiences are to be shared so that others might benefit from the lessons learned. To that end, I’ve experienced a wealth of break-ups; this is my sharing with you. This material is copyrighted. It’s an excerpt from my latest book I’m working on. Please don’t plagiarize it. No one likes being ripped off. Thank you!

Breakups happen. No matter how good or how bad or how mediocre the relationship was, no matter if it’s good riddance or a sigh of relief or the biggest catastrophe on earth, there’s always a feeling of failure that accompanies a breakup, and with that feeling there are tears: tears of loss for the if onlys and for what could have been.

 I’ve been through more break-ups than I can count or remember, and I always take them hard. They each take a bite out of my heart.

This breakup was one of the “best” – if there is such a thing, so I pass on the recipe to you. I walked right into the center of the pain that I was experiencing, wrote about it, transformed it into a creative process, but I also did a thorough soul-search as to what I wanted from J. now, given the current circumstance that he was with someone else. What could be salvaged from the wreckage of our close, loving and intimate relationship? In the past I had jettisoned every last reminder of the person, closed the book and emptied the trash. That’s overkill! (This is assuming that the person was not an abusive monster in which case it’s appropriate.)

Riding on the truism of Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt therapy, that “people would rather be right than happy” I chose to try to salvage some semblance of “happy” in the face of this train wreck. To embrace J’s new love seemed a bit much given my propensity for jealousy, although when I examined that emotion I felt no envy for the poor woman because I know that she’s in for a big surprise when J. pulls some of his numbers on her. I certainly felt no need to be “buddies” with the two of them together – that somehow seemed pathetic.

Did I still want J. in my life in any way, shape or form? Well, maybe, yes, or, as the French say, “boff”. He came into my life as a “helper” and he’s very good in that capacity, so I decided that part would be a keeper. Did I still want to continue our close friendship? I couldn’t imagine what new form that might take, since he was mostly unavailable at best, and I didn’t want to reawaken my expectations again and wait—in vain — for the phone to ring. That’s too painful, so no! Hikes? Movies? Lunches? Dinners? I couldn’t imagine wanting to put myself out for J. at this time, but maybe someday, when hell freezes over.

Just going through this sorting process dispersed a lot of the energy I felt around the subject of J., and helped to remove the emotional stinger. Keep in mind, this was a relationship that I esteemed to be, very VERY good. Frustrating, YES! Unfulfilling yes! But good, in it’s own quirky, minimalist sort of a way. We never had a fight, never a discouraging word. Nothing but positive support and the enjoyment of everything we did together, or so I thought. I wanted more, but convinced myself I was content with what he had to offer. (In hindsight, that seemed more like the enjoyment of Chinese foot-binding.) I certainly didn’t want to push his river. It’s always dangerous to speculate about “more.” The price of wanting is having, and usually you get more than you bargain for.

I invited J. to meet with me for a heart-to-heart. In all fairness, I wanted to hear his side of the story, of what came down and why, and to see if there was any common ground worth saving. He agreed, then stood me up. That’s a huge Red Flag! I felt my inner dragon breathe the fire of the purge.Time to empty the trash.

So, to summarize: go directly into the pain, transform it into a creative process, then examine and explore what exactly you want from that person now: what goes, what stays. Get together and communicate from your heart, from your place of vulnerability. If your “ex” is unwilling to do that, process the matter solo or with the help of a counselor. It’s imperative to sift through the ashes, otherwise you will repeat the process again and again until you learn whatever you must learn from it. Start “clean” next time round. And remember, a bad match is easy to find. Nothing special about that! They’re everywhere.

~~Paulette Frankl (copyright: 2015)

from Rainer Maria Rilke …

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This is a beautiful entry from the great poet and sage, Rainer Maria Rilke from his book Letters to a Young Poet.

Page 35:

“You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would like to beg you … be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. Perhaps you are indeed carrying within yourself the potential to visualize, to design, and to create for yourself an utterly satisfying, joyful, and pure lifestyle. Discipline yourself to attain it, but accept that which comes to you with deep trust, and as long as it comes from your own will, from your own inner need, accept it, and do not hate anything.

“To cope with sexuality is difficult. Yes. But everything assigned to us is a challenge, and everything matters. If you would only recognize that and come to the place where you would strive on your own to finally gain your very own relationship with sexuality, always keeping aware of your native bent and your personality, your own experience, your childhood, and your strengths, then you need no longer fear losing yourself and becoming unworthy of your sexuality, your most precious possession.

NARCISSISM

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I am going to make some entries from a book that I’m working on. The material is copyrighted. Please don’t plagiarize it.

 Narcissism played a big role in my treasure hunt for the right guy. I came of age in the age of artifice and vanities. Things haven’t changed all that much over time, but at least insights and depth has expanded. Hopes and hearts were dashed over the color of a person’s eyes. We didn’t even have a language for feelings that were real. All that came later. So it only followed that to be popular, one had to be a trophy or be a trophy hunter, that is, to be or to have the best looking guy/girl as a prize possession. Qualities of caring, devotion, supportiveness, emotional communication, fidelity, being a good person, depth of soul never came into play. I collected a lot of trophies and was a trophy in return. I knew well the plentitude of emptiness.

Narcissism, the adoration of “self image” plays a huge part in today’s culture. What would life be without those Selfies? The danger of being a narcissist is that the narcissist tends to see only him or herself in the other person. That’s a strong element of projection, which is always a dangerous thing. There’s a story: After an exhausting monologue about the wonders of himself, the narcissist will say, “Let’s talk about YOU for a change. What do you think about me?!!!!”

If you find yourself with a narcissist, you’ll quickly know it for they use up all the oxygen. It’s always all about them. At best, you are simply an audience of one and a mirror for them to admire themself. My advise is hit the road and never look back for this type of relationship is never satisfying in the long run. It’s just too out of balance.

~~Paulette Frankl  (c)

THE ENIGMA OF ENERGY

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Energy. Some things TAKE energy and some things GIVE energy. The same can be said about people: some take and some give, and some are just a great exchange. You can spend an hour with one person and feel totally revitalized, and that same hour with another person and feel as though you’ve had a visitation with a vampire. It’s important to know the difference and choose who you spend your precious time with, for Life is not a dress rehearsal and time is something you can’t get back. Sometimes, when you’re feeling in the doldrums or lackluster it just takes a kick in the ass to get going. They say, “A kick in the ass is considered a step forward!”

~~Paulette Frankl 8/14/15

Please do not plagiarize my entries. I don’t mind if you quote from them, but please credit the source. No one likes to be ripped off. Thanks!

WHEN IN DOUBT …

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When in doubt, get more information. Consider the totality of the situation, not just what’s in it for you. Consider the risks, the payoffs, the “price-to-pay” the worst case scenario and the pluses. Weigh the good with the negative. Add up the actual cost involved, monetarily speaking, and when necessary get both professional, legal and business advice.

NEVER make major important decisions when exhausted, burnt out, pissed-off or hurting. Get back on center, then look at the situation from a distant perspective, as though from hindsight, as if remembering it. What would you change?

And when things go RIGHT, process it. We tend to only process the negative. It’s just as important to realize what went right and why? What were your attitudes, how were you feeling, what risks did you take or not take? It’s important to create your own recipe for success.

Do the same with failure: ask what negative attitudes were you projecting? What beliefs and attitudes? What were your feelings at the time? What were your payoffs? Were you coming from desperation, anger, self-pity, control and/or manipulation? Did punishment factor in? Be HONEST! Don’t lie to yourself.

These wisdoms came to me from my life experiences as well as years of personal growth sessions at Esalen Institute in Big Sur CA, and the Lazaris  material in connection with Concept Synergy. May they serve you well as they have and continue to serve me.

~~Paulette Frankl 8/02/15

WORK-A-HOLICS

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Everybody’s a something-a-holic: Some people are workaholics, others are family-a-holics, others are avoidance-a-holics, or alcoholics, or rage-a-holics, or health-a-holics, or extreme everything-a-holics, or addiction-a-holics or clothes-a-holics, or shop-a-holics, or how ’bout cell phone-a-holics and technology-a-holics, and of course there’s the too much stuff-a-holics, collection-a-holics, noise-a-holics, control-a-holics, greed-a-holics, pain-a-holics, victim-a-holics, power-a-holics, dependency-a-holics, blame-a-holics, hero-a-holics. Ooops! I almost forgot sex-a-holics! It’s a colorful list that has no end. Welcome to the world we live in!

~~Paulette Frankl 8/02/15

THE STUFF OF LIFE

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The STUFF of Life

In the pulse of my niece’s memorial, and my cleaning out my storage room to transform it into an AirBnB rental bedroom, I am brought face to face with the STUFF that life is made of. It’s not so much those distant times of moments shared on Occasions of State, or the many merry Christmas Happy Birthday moments, but rather the piles of precious emails saved — too good to discard, the letters too meaningful to toss, the silly photos long forgotten when no one could ever be so young; it’s the irks and pains and horrible fights and proclamations of NEVER AGAIN, and moments so excruciatingly poignant as to bend steely resolve and fill us with tears of gratitude. It’s the laughter at the ridiculous, and the joy of the marvelous. It’s the everyday little things. It’s the too muchness and the not enoughness and the forever reaching for MORE. It’s the simple joys and the eternal clean ups and the beginning anews. This is the precious stuff that our lives are made of. This is our common bond and our place in the chain link that binds us all together. It’s overwhelming and humbling at the same time. Treasure it while you can, for nothing and no one is forever.

~~Paulette Frankl

7/18/15

Author’s Pride

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My first book Lust for Justice: The Radical Life and Law of J.Tony Serra hit #16 today on Amazon’s digital bestseller list in its category of lawyers and judges. This is spectacular news because the book was published 5 years ago and is still going strong!

Lust for Justice is an important book about an unusual criminal defense lawyer who’s not in it for the money. Unlike other lawyers, he drives an old clunker car to court, wears funky old clothes from the thrift, has no bank account, no credit cards, owns nothing of worth, and has served time in jail on multiple occasions for refusing to pay income tax to a system he feels only benefits the rich while punishing the poor. When questioned by the media on how he felt about being incarcerated for 10 months, his reply was, “These are my people. I have more friends in prison than OUT! I’ve given my life fighting for their causes. They love me and I love them!”

Much of his work is done pro bono. He’s considered the “people’s lawyer” who gives voice to the downtrodden, those who cannot speak for themselves: Native Americans, African Americans, Asians, those whom this society crushes under its thumb.

Tony Serra is known for having a nexus with his jury. He spells out the facts of a case in a way that takes jurors out of their heads and into their humanity.

Lust for Justice brings to life one of the greatest radical lawyers of our time. It’s filled with humor and  pathos, but most of all it’s filled with the daring of one man who stands alone in the face of the justice system and shows it for what it is: a railroad to prison for minorities.

I was Serra’s courtroom artist off and on for close to a decade. The art in this book gives the reader a real sense of the power and greatness of this man.