Monday, September 5, 2011

A Summer's Red Nose

What an amazing summer!!  I have had soooo much fun and wearing my nose added more fun to it all!

Let's see...August 22/23 - I wore my nose in a grocery store in Whistler called Nesters.  My boyfriend lives above the store and I was nervous at first to wear it in there with him because of what reactions he may get from the people who work there.  I hardly got any reactions at all!  I think it was the manager who asked me why I was wearing it.  I explained and he laughed and said it made him smile!

August 24 -I rode around Lost Lake in Whistler.  I couldn't wear my nose for long as I found it very distracting on the day for some strange reason.  Maybe because Mike was introducing me to single track biking and I needed more concentration??!! 

August 25- I was heading into the Okanagan again with my great friend Nicole.  We stopped in Chilliwack at a Starbucks and I had someone ask "Did that hurt??"  A few other people smiled.  I also wore it in a Subway in Princeton, BC and there wasn't really any reaction at all.  The lady who was making our food kept sneaking peeks at me but never responded to my smiles or eye contact!

August 26- I meant to wear my nose while Nicole and I were wine tasting in Naramata, but completely forgot!  I remembered to wear it very briefly in a Whole Foods.  The lady at the check out smiled.

August 27- I forgot to wear it again while being shown around the city of Osoyoos.  So I wore it on the boat while Nicole and her dad went water skiing.  I took it off when I tried to water ski!!  Thanks goodness I took it off...I did a couple of face plants and I would have lost my nose for sure if I kept it on!

August 28 - Nicole and I visited Dairy Queen in Princeton and there was a little girl that laughed so hard when she saw me.  She pointed at me and straight out laughed!  It was great!  I asked why she was laughing at me?? She didn't answer, but her little brother yelled out "Because of your nose!!!"  That interaction put a big smile on my face!

August 29 - I wore my nose to the doctor's office.  The waiting room was a tough crowd.  Hardly anyone looked up at me.  No one smiled.  The receptionist laughed and said I need to wear it every time I come in so she would recognize me.

August 30 - The passport office was a tough crowd too!  I got a huge smile from a fireman that was waiting in line.  Other then that, I got a few sideways looks.  On my way to the passport office, a few construction men had a good laugh!!  On a side note....have you ever noticed that there are no clocks in the passport office??  I guess they don't want to you to see how long you have been sitting there!!

August 31 - Biking in Stanley park.  Didn't wear it long as to much condensation was building up in my nose!

September 1 - I wore my nose to Costco!  I didn't get many reactions there.  I did however get a flower drawn on my receipt by the lady that was checking my cart at the door on my way out.  Also, I had just gotten into my car and closed my door, when a man came up to my window, knocked on it, stuck his hands in this ears and made a funny face at me!!!  I opened my door, yelled out "Nice face!!" and he yelled back "Nice nose!!"  That was the first time that happened!

September 2- Hiking in Deep Cove.  I had a few people laugh and say some good comments.  I remember passing a man who was hiking with a friend and a couple of kids. I remember him and the kids laughing and saying something to me, although I didn't hear everything he said.  He caught up with me a bit later and he apologized for what he said earlier (I couldn't even remember what he said!!).  He went on to say that what came out of his mouth came so quickly and he was afraid it might have offended me!!  I said it is all in good fun and no offense was taken!!  No one has ever apologized for something they said to me while I was wearing my nose!

September 3 - Walking to/around Granville Island.  I had lots of smiles and remarks made that day!  "You have a big zit on your nose."  I asked someone "How are you??", they responded "Not as happy as you are!"  Someone said "I'm sure everyone smiles".  But you know, not everyone does smile.  It is getting very clear that if I don't smile at someone or say hi when someone sees my nose, I rarely get any response.  However, if I do smile or make a comment after someone looks at my nose, I usually get a huge smile or a comment back.  It is all about connection.

September 4 - Biking to Spanish Banks.  Lots of smiles and laughter from other bikers and people walking.

September 5 - Drinking martinis on a patio at a restaurant called The Central.  I was with my friends Katy and Brian and they are such good sports about it all!!  I had a few people walk by the patio and smile/stare/laugh.  My friends and I always get a good laugh out of people's reactions!

So, I am back to work tomorrow.  I will need to make time to wear my nose.  I might need to wear it while driving to and from work.  Or find an excuse to go out after work in order to wear it daily.  Sometimes I just come home and don't feel like going out after.  But, I will still wear it daily.  I do know however, that I will not be wearing it at work.  I work in an elementary school and it would be very unprofessional to wear it while working...except of course at Halloween! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cycle Nose

I have been outside enjoying this gorgeous weather we have been having here in British Columbia (except today...but I am loving the quiet down time while listening to the rain).  

On Sunday I was out for a walk on the seawall with Mike (my awesome new boyfriend!).  We stopped at an Art Sale and were admiring the talent of local artists.  Mike made an interesting observation...he said all the artists made a comment about my nose.  They were all drawn to it, very curious and very open to it. He said what I am doing is like another form of art and artists wonder why I am creating it and what is the story behind it.  I love that idea; that what I am doing is a form of art.  It does invoke emotions and creates curiosity and stories.  Cool!!!!

2 clowns and 2 bikes!!
Yesterday Mike and I did something so fun!!  We participated in the Pemberton Slow Food Cycle.  It was a 50 kms bike ride (along a road with the view of snow capped mountains!) while stopping along the way to visit local farms and tasting/buying goodies!!  I chose to wear my nose for 25 kms of the ride!!  It was a hoot!  People were having a blast on their bikes and were in a great mood to begin with.  I had so many fun comments, smiles and laughs the whole way.  I loved wearing it and adding to the fun.  I did have a couple of technical difficulties though wearing it for so long; mostly build up of condensation!!  Ha!  Nothing a tissue couldn't fix!

I have noticed that the conversations in my head about my nose are still there, but not as loud.  Even if I make 1 person smile, I have created a little happiness in the world!!!

Having a little fun!!
Love this sign!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Okanagan Nose!

I went camping this past week with 2 amazing girlfriends.  None of us had really camped before (one never had) so it was quite the adventure to take on!!

We headed into the interior of British Columbia (The Okanagan) with a car stuffed full of everything we thought 3 girls and a dog would need.  I, of course brought my nose!
We stopped in Merritt and got a Subway salad and ate it outside.  As we were eating a lady ran excitedly out of Subway and asked about my nose.  I explained that I wore it everyday day to connect with people; to make people smile.  She said some people might think I forgot to take my medication, or that there was something else wrong with me.  She didn’t think any of those things as she said I looked “normal”.  She figured that I was up to something so she had to ask.  The woman told me that I was swimming upstream and that takes courage.  “Such a simple thing can make such a huge impact”. Then she asked if she could get a picture of the 2 of us!! That was my first picture taken!! 

Someone overheard the conversation and came over and handed me a business card.  He owns/operates an advertising company that focuses on social impact/causes and he said that he might put me on their website!!  I’m going to contact him for sure!

We explored a couple of small towns while we were there.  I wore my nose to a beach in Summerland and a lady looked, smiled and said that you don’t see that everyday day at the beach.  In Penticton, we stopped at a Starbucks and a lady who worked there asked if my nose honked.  I leaned in and she squeezed my nose and I said “honk”!  That was the first time I let anyone touch my nose!  We had a little laugh about that.  In the small downtown of Penticton, we went for a walk and we past a small boy who was standing just outside a store.  He smiled at me, then rolled his eyes and run back into the store.  We were a block down and we heard him yell “You’re funny!”  Then we saw him pulling his mom down the street after us.  The little boy (who was 4 years old and his name was Triton) looked at me, then looked at his mom and said, “See!”  He obviously told his mom that he saw someone with a red nose walking down the street and dragged his mom to see!  He was so cute!

In the small town of Keremeos we stopped to look in a couple of antique/treasure stores.  A lady who was working in one of the shops asked why I was wearing it.  I said something I hadn’t said before…”To help people be in the present moment”.  She agreed that many people are not in the present moment.  She went on to explain that she sees people pulling on the door of the shop even though there is a large sign that says “Closed” on it right in front of them.  She said that many people walk around not noticing anything around them and that seeing my nose could help snap them out of it.

What an amazing trip!!!!  Camping was so much fun!!  Thank you Ally and Kristine for being incredible traveling/camping partners.  We had sooooooo many laughs!!!  I also loved wearing my nose in different places.  I love connecting with people.  A smile is a smile no matter where I go!

X marks the spot for a clown in Keremeos, BC

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Warrior Nose

I went to an outdoor Adventure Camp called the Enlightened Warrior Training Camp for 4.5 days.  As the name suggests, it is a camp to help uncover the inner warrior. I can say it worked.

Let me start by going back to the beginning.  I went to the camp last Sunday afternoon.  I was sitting in my friend's car and I was soooo scared to go.  I was crying.  He didn't see me though because I had my sunglasses on.  I didn't want him to see.  I was terrified.  I knew nothing about the camp.  I didn't know what was going to happen.  All I have heard about this camp was that it was amazing.  That it pushed you far beyond what you thought possible.  And that scared the shit out of me!!  I also was terrified to wear my nose.  I gave my word that I would but I wish I hadn't at that moment.  I didn't want to wear it.  I was more frightened to wear my nose at the camp then any other time.  I thought about that and I think it was because I was actually going to get to know these people.  Spending 4.5 days in a very intimate setting with them. They weren't going to be strangers walking down the street who I would never see again.  These people would SEE me.  Get to know me.  My inner voice was screaming that they would think I was weird.  Crazy. Stupid.  That they wouldn't like me.  I got out of the car and dragged my ass to my tent and cried a little longer.  I really didn't want to put my nose on.  I was really contemplating not wearing it, and tell you all they wouldn't let me....or lie and not wear it and tell all of you I did.  I couldn't lie to you.  Actually, I couldn't lie to myself.  I wouldn't be able to look myself in the eye if I had lied to you all and myself.  I gave my word.  Dammit!

So, I put it on. I walked to the food tent.  Got some food.  Sat down and felt like vomiting.  Almost immediately, someone came over, sat down, looked me straight in the eye and asked "What's your story?"! I explained the project and they said they loved it!  I breathed a little deeper after that.  I talked with a few other people and they loved my nose too.  After eating I was walking to my tent and someone else smiled, then laughed, opened their arms and said that he had been waiting for me all day.  He wanted a hug from a clown!!  Deep breath.  So, I thought it might be ok.   As soon as I got back to my tent though, I took my nose off.  I was still really scared and didn't want to go into the meeting tent with 365 people wearing it.  But then someone who saw me at dinner asked why I wasn't wearing my nose.  They said it would be a great time to wear it with everyone.  So, I put it back on, but for only a few minutes. A few hours later we got into groups.  Our tribe (we called ourselves “Fearless Hearts”) spent the rest of the week together.  We had to stand up and introduce ourselves.  I choose to put my nose on at that time.  This is part of who I am and if I wanted them to get to know me, they would have to see all of me.  Some people in the tribe smiled and said they liked it.  A little bit later I got up in front of the whole camp (365 people) for an exercise and I didn't die!!  I let myself be seen.  It was a great ice breaker for me!

For the rest of the camp I wore my nose to breakfast and/or dinner.  Everyday the conversations in my head quieted down a little while the conversations with people got louder.  I had so many people come and talk to me and ask why I was wearing it.  I had people ask me where my nose was when I wasn't wearing it and why wasn't I wearing it all the time??  I had people tell me to wear my nose so they could find me later in the crowd. Someone said that I wasn't fully dressed because I didn't have my nose on.  People told me they didn't recognize me without my nose on.  I had people walk by, look at me and touch their nose as recognition of who I was when I wasn't wearing it.  People didn't know my name, but they know me because of my nose.  A guy named Bob (who was my tent neighbour) was holding me accountable...he asked where my nose was and said that I had to wear it once a day!!  Other people who didn't see me with my nose on for a couple of days came up and asked why I wasn't wearing it every day!  "I love seeing your nose" was a very common comment.  A lady asked me why I was wearing my nose and so I told her. She laughed and said that she thought that maybe I had a nose operation or had a deformed nose and that I was wearing the red nose to cover it up!  What thoughts we think!!  What stories we make up!!  I had another lady tell me something very personal.  Something she said she never tells anyone and she thinks she told me because of my red nose.  She didn't fully understand why she felt comfortable, but I told her that the nose gives the wearer and viewer permission to be/do more then they normally would.  She smiled, gave me a hug and said thanks. My heart opened a little more with that conversation.  That is why I wear my nose.  That helped ground my purpose for the project.

During the course there was lots of talk about standing in our own power.  To open/expand our heart and shine our light.  To be SEEN!  To say "Thank you for sharing" when a negative voice starts to share its nasty thought.  To feel the fear and do it anyway.  If you feel uncomfortable it means that you are growing.  So....with this project I must be growing as I am wwwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone.  Even now.  But that is the point isn’t it??  To break down my barriers and let people in, connect and to shine my light.  This camp put me way out of my comfort zone.  I was pushed out, full force into the unknown.  The camp was a metaphor to life.  How I showed up there was how I show up in my life.  My eyes were opened.  I learned how to become more grounded.  To clear away the darkness and bring in the light.  I am strong.  That is another huge discovery I made this week.  I am strong.  Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.  That is new for me. Thank you to all of you who I met at this incredible camp.  You were a huge part of my growth, expansion and transformation.  It was truly an amazing experience.  I can’t tell you more as I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you if you choose to do it.  Even if I did tell you exactly what I/we did, you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway.  

Something else new in my life is a man.  Mike. He is awesome!  I met him 5 days after I started this project.  I remember our first date.  It went very well so we decided to continue it.  He came to watch the fireworks with me and my friends.  I told him about the project and that I would be putting on a red nose.  He laughed and said ok.  I put it on and he smiled.  He thought it was great.  No weirdness, no judgements.  He accepted me.  I have worn it with him many times now as we are getting to know each other.  I love it when he kisses my nose!  He holds my hand and walks with me and lets me do my thing.  It was interesting this past Friday and Saturday.  I went up to Whistler (that is where he lives) and I was of course going to wear my nose there.  I was a little nervous to wear it outside of Vancouver...not sure what the reaction was going to be outside the city I wear it in!!  We went into the grocery store right below where he lives.  No one really noticed.  We went into the liquor store and some young guy said "Sweet nose!  Does it come with a bottle of free booze!!???"  I had to laugh at that one.  The next day we strolled through the village.  We went into a metaphysical store and the lady who worked there smiled and said " Aren't you fun!!  It is great to have the inner child smile and play!!"  That is what this is project is myself and other people permission to smile, play and connect.  Then she said something so awesome!!  She asked "Have you been on Oprah yet??"!!!  Love it!!

While walking I noticed that many people in the village didn't notice my nose...or chose not to notice my nose.  Mike even mentioned it.  He noticed that people were not aware of much of anything around them.  They seemed to be in their heads.  He liked watching people's reactions when they did see me...people smile or turn away or do a double take.  He said that when he walks with me when I am wearing my nose, he is more aware of other people and their reactions to me.  He said he is out of his own thoughts and head and is out "there" with other people. He also mentioned that he was aware of being a little "hesitant"  to have me walk around "his town" wearing my nose.  It is a very small community and he knows many people there.  He was wondering how people he knew would react to me and him.  He noticed that, and then he said he shifted it.  He said who cares and let that go.  He said he did see a few people he knew, but that they didn't even see me!! Ha!

It has been a great week.  A huge expansion of myself.  I found her…the warrior within.  And by the way…she loves wearing the nose!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Be Seen, or Not to Be Seen?

I have been wearing my nose everyday, even though I have not been blogging about it.  I noticed something interesting this week.  When I wore my nose to the fireworks on Wednesday night, I was not connecting with people.  I was very much just hanging with my friends, connecting to them.  They don't even see my nose anymore, so it was just a regular evening.  Like I wasn't even wearing it.  I didn't notice for quite awhile that I wasn't connecting to other people.  I made no effort to look at, smile or wave to anyone else.  I wasn't meaning to ignore other people, I was just really loving being with my friends.  But, there was something missing.  No one was reacting to my nose.  Even a friend made a comment about how no one was even looking at me or reacting or even smiling. I really didn't care that night.  I don't mean that I REALLY didn't care, but I was ok with that.  It really takes something to be "ON" all the time.  Or maybe it doesn't.  Maybe that is something I am making up.  Who the hell knows.  I get to say I guess.  But that night, it felt like an effort to try and connect to others besides my friends.  Maybe I am tired of always being seen.  If I wear my nose, and look at people in the eyes, and smile and wave and say hi...I am seen. much of my life I so desperately wanted to be seen and heard.  At times, I have felt so completely alone.  And now, I am making myself seen, and I want to hide sometimes!  Hmmm....just something for me to continue to look at and experiment with.

On Thursday I put my nose on and drove to get my car Aircared.  I remember looking over at guy in a big delivery truck at a stop light and he saw me and bursted out laughing!  I mean, he was full on belly laughing!! I gave him a thumbs up and he laughed even harder.  Of course, that made me smile.  I pulled up to the Aircare place and the first guy gave no reaction what so ever.  I had to smile about that too. I find it hard to believe that some people can look at me and have no reaction...not even a WTF look!  The next guy cracked a smile and said he liked my nose.

Friday I wore my nose to two parties.  Everyone asked why I was wearing it and I explained my intention behind my nose.  They all thought it was great idea.  One person said something that I thought was very interesting.  She said me wearing my nose is like "mobile art".  She said it invokes emotions and reactions. Whether you love it or hate it, the artist (or in my case, the "wearer's") intention is to create an impression.  And she said that that is what I do.  I just love hearing people's ideas about it.
A friend asked if he could wear it, so I shared my nose.  Someone made the comment "Second hand nose!" which I thought was cute!  He put it on and I saw a huge smile come across his face.  I loved seeing that.  I love sharing the laughs and the smiles.  He also looked super cute in it! 

On Saturday I wore my nose to the fireworks again.  This time I did make on effort to connect with strangers and I saw many smiles and heard some great comments.  My heart felt more open last night then it did on Wednesday when I wasn't connecting at all.

Today I am off to participate in "The Enlightened Warrior Training Camp".   This is what the camp advertises about...

"During the Enlightened Warrior Training Camp, 
you’ll practice accessing your true power and 
living in your natural state of abundance. 
* The secrets to being strong and confident.
* How not to yearn for approval and recognition 
from others, but to approve of yourself.
* How to respond to circumstances from choice 
instead of reacting from past conditioning.
* How to live with integrity, so that your word is law.
* How to have the courage to take action in spite 
of fear, doubt and worry."
That is what I am up to till Friday.  Don't worry, I'm bringing my nose and will wear it at least once a day.
I'm very nervous, and scared and excited and... and... and...... 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Long Weekend of Fun Nose Wearing!

What a fun weekend!  I was so busy I didn't have time to write!!

On Friday I wore my nose to work.  I work at a summer camp teaching circus.  I fit right in that day.  Well, maybe just in the classroom.  Some other people at the camps gave a me few weird looks, but nothing I haven't seen before! I did have a few kids say I looked like Rudolph!  Later that day a few friends and I had a beach party and I forgot to bring my nose and I noticed myself wishing I had brought it and worn it.  That was a first for me,wishing I was wearing my nose when I wasn't!  It kind of surprised me!

On Saturday I went for a 2 hour bike ride.  I found myself being pretty chipper on the bike and saying "Mornin'" to as many people as I could.  I am not sure if it was because of my mood, or because I wasn't so much in my head, but I noticed that people were responding in a much more positive way that day.  I did meet 4 great guys who were sitting on a patio.  They saw me and held out a "magic feather" and said if I touched it, then good luck would come to me.  I missed it as I rode by but I turned around and went back and touched it.  They were so excited that I came back and that I had my nose on.  They were laughing so hard.  They even rubbed the magic feather on my nose!  I explained my project and they said it was a great idea and that I made their day.  They said I would for sure have lots of luck coming my way!!

Later that evening was The Celebration of Light Fireworks.  I wore my nose again!  There were police everywhere and one walked by and started laughing, and then asked "Have you been drinking??"  He came back a little later and asked "Are you still drinking??!"  We all had a good chuckle and I asked if I could take a picture with him.  He (Dave) said sure and he took off his police vest, and put it on me and posed with a big smile.  He told me that my face was the only one he was going to remember from that evening.  Then I asked for his partner (Pablo) to come over for a picture (I wanted to be in the middle of a cute policemen sandwich!!) and his partner was so reluctant.  He looked very embarrassed!  A little bit later on I saw them on a path below me and I stood up and called their names really loud while waving my arms!  Pablo took one look at me and turned away, while Dave smiled, laughed and waved back!  I love police who have a great sense of humour!!

Sunday was Pride here in Vancouver.  I wore all pink and of course my nose!!  I had participants in the parade tell me/gesture to me that they liked my nose.  I actually got to be in the parade for a few minutes!  A clown that I met once (Blyss) rode by on her scooter and a friend and I waved her down to say hi.  She told me to get on her scooter and we rode around for a few minutes!! It was so fun!!
While waiting in line for a washroom I had a great conversation with a woman who loved the idea behind this project.  She couldn't stop laughing.  She said she will have a smile on her face the rest of the day.  Comments like that help keep the conversations in my head much quieter!

On Monday I went to Lighthouse Park and hiked a couple of hours with my nose on.  I didn't know what to expect in that nature type environment compared to the city.  I have to tell you, it was really fun and people's reactions were great!  There were many smiles and laughs and some great comments.  Someone said that they loved my face because it makes people smile.  Another person said that my nose looked like a big huckleberry.  The best comment was "Nobody called me and told me it was red nose day.  I have one at home!!"

When I started over a week ago, I was afraid to wear my nose around my friends thinking that they would be embarrassed.  I was soooo wrong. My friends have supported me so much.  They love my nose.  They love the project.  They are not embarrassed at all.  Some of them have said that they don't even see the nose anymore, it just kind of blends into me.  I have even taken off my nose and my friends hadn't noticed right away.  I am so grateful for you all.  Thank you my wonderful friends for all of your love, support, laughter and acceptance.  Without you, this project would have been a lot harder to start and to continue.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's a good bug deflector!

I went for a bike ride tonight.  An hour and a half bike ride!  It is quite difficult to ride a bike, pay attention to the path, make eye contact, wave and say hi all at the same time!!  Also people are even more unaware of the people around them as they are concentrating on riding their bike and not crashing then when they are just walking!!  As well, I am flying past people and it doesn't give me or them as much time to connect!  That made it fun too though....smiling and saying hi and then hearing their reaction behind me!  One guy said "Nice! Come back and make me laugh!".   I heard many people say "Hey, that girl is wearing a clown nose!", "Cool", "Love your nose!".  There were many smiles, nods, laughter and of course many blank stares.

With those blank stares, or non-reactions or even angry faces (that is just my interpretation of them...who knows what those people are actually thinking or feeling), I notice myself going straight into my head and shutting down.  I make those "reactions/non-reactions" about me.  The conversations grow louder in my head at those times.  Those conversations are about how silly I look, how people think I am stupid for doing this, and that I must be a completely off my rocker!  It is interesting to me how I can go from not being self-conscience at all and being super happy to being  soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (do you get my point!!??) self-conscience and sad/angry the next moment all because of a look, comment or a reaction I wasn't planning on or that I wanted.  I know this happens for me even without my red nose on!  This is not getting easier for me; wearing my nose.  I am still freaking out every time I think about putting my nose on and heading out into the world.  I still have to take deep breaths and remind myself why I am doing connect to people.  To make people smile.  To break through my own boundaries/barriers and allow others to do the same.

One thing I noticed as well tonight is that I wasn't in such a hurry or annoyed as I usually am on my bike.  I get so frustrated with people who go slow or who walk/bike and take up the whole path.  I ring my bell angrily at them.  Tonight, I rang my bell and yelled "Clown coming through" and a group of older people turned around, laughed so hard and yelled "Opa".  I went through a group of Greeks and they loved it!

One person asked if the nose inhibits me??  I said that it is a good bug deflector!!  We both laughed at that one!  There are a couple of technical difficulties with my nose that I need to report.  One of them is that when I am walking/exercising, there is a build up of condensation and my nose "runs"!!! So I now have learned that I need tissues with me at all times to wipe my nose!!!!  Also, while breathing through my nose, my sunglasses get all steamed up and it makes it difficult to see where I am going! Haha!  All this just makes for a more exciting and interesting journey!