Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Monday, January 5, 2015

Actor Patrick Faucette: Setting the Bar Higher with Every Role

by Cyrus Webb

Mystery. Suspense. Betrayal. Secrets. All of these elements have come together in the hit show The Haves and the Have Nots on the Oprah Winfrey Network and actor Patrick Faucette's character Tony Watson is right in the middle of it all.

Known for his roles on shows like Southland and Hot In Cleveland, Faucette told me that it felt great to be a part of the show's success on OWN. "I've done a lot of shows and have been working so hard," he says during our conversation. The result of his hard work has been his getting more parts on mainstream projects. "It's exciting to have all of this happening. To be a recurring character on a show like this is like everything is paying off. I see it as the beginning of a new chapter in my career. It's a dream come true."

In his first episode on the show we found out that his character Tony is the father of Hannah's son Benny (played by Tyler Lepley). We are also given some of the backstory as to what happened to his relationship with Hannah (played by Crystal Fox). I asked Patrick if it was easy to watch himself. "I am one of those people who critiques everything I do," he told me, "but I am proud of my role and the character."

After it was announced that more episodes had been ordered that opened the door for the character Tony to be more flushed out. "This is one of those shows where there is so much more possibility," he told me. "It's like an open palette to start painting a new picture on."

Patrick Faucette's love for acting came after attending college. Seeing some of his friends perform ignited something inside him that led to theater. Now as his light continues to shine bright, he is able to see his dedication pay off. "You just have to go for it," he told me. "Don't allow fear to stop you." It might seem easier said than done, but it is necessary. "You have to put all that doubt behind you and just keep going."

Because of his dedication Patrick is not just garnering fans but individuals who see his passion and want to emulate it. I asked him who were some actors that he looked up to. He told me that Denzel Washington and George Clooney were two that he admired because of their work ethic and dedication. They also show him what is possible. "It's something I try to see in my mind"--- he explained---"that this possibility is out there. You can't set your bar anywhere but high so you can keep striving to go higher. There is no limit to what I can do."

Patrick's advice for all of us? "You can't allow any circumstance or fear to get in your way of getting to your dream. Whatever passion you have you have to keep letting it push you."

To stay in touch with Patrick on Twitter visit him at You can also find him on Facebook at

*     Photo credit: Cornia Marie Howell

Sunday, January 4, 2015

(Mary's Motivational Message) Holding On At All Costs

Recently I found myself reflecting on how many of us hold on at all costs.

-          We hold on to fear
-          We hold on to regret
-          We hold on to anger
-          We hold on to unhappiness
-          We hold on to a broken heart
-          We hold on to childhood pain
-          We hold on to unfulfilled expectations
-          We hold on to unhealthy relationships
-          We hold on to hopelessness
-          We hold on to a job that’s suffocating us emotionally and physically. 
-          We hold on to what keeps us from being the best version of who we are and who we have the potential to evolve into.

This is damaging because we are only here for a moment.  And those words became relevant to me several years ago while sitting in my car and hearing a baby in the vehicle next to mine crying. It was within that moment, I realized our replacements are arriving continuously.
GOD is granting unlimited opportunity for this experience/visit called life to be available to the masses. And with that said, at this very moment ask yourself, “Am I making the most out of my visit?” Are you letting go so that you can hear the direction and plan God has for your life.
I believe that the greatest gift you can bestow upon yourself is to set aside time to simply LET GO and create a space you can retreat to. A special spot that will move you to connect with the direction and assignment you were sent here to fulfill. I knew at an early age that I had been sent here to live my life out as a writer.
I wear numerous hats but being a writer is my assignment and if I had departed from here without fulfilling Gods instruction, there would have been major regret.
For those of you who have not connected with your assignment, set aside time to sit in solitude and listen for His direction. And for those who know without doubt your assignment, move towards it. Doesn’t matter if others support or encourage you, just stay focused.  It takes COURAGE to shift when you feel comfortable, it takes FAITH to shift when you have normalized being unfulfilled.
Trust me when I say that if you can find the courage to make a shift, doors will explode open and opportunity will present itself. Just LET GO OF ALL THAT IS WEIGHING YOU DOWN and trust that there is a POWER and a profound purpose housed in your birth. Let go and embrace all that is meant for you!!!
Mary E. Gilder

Mary E. Gilder is the author of the award winning novel, A Misrepresentation of Myself, and her latest release, Even a Man Can Have a Broken Heart. You can contact mary at: or visit her website at

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Meditation: Healing the Scars from Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD and More

by True North,  author of True North: The Shocking Truth About "Yours, Mine and Ours"

Meditation saved my life.

My father, Richard North, died in a Navy jet test flight crash when I was six years old.   Fifteen months after his death, my mother, Helen North who had eight children, re-married a man named Frank Beardsley who had ten, making us one of the largest families in the country. We became famous, and our story was featured in the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours. But it wasn't one big happy family. We had to hide the fact that we were living a lie.

My stepfather was abusive on every level; physically, emotionally and sexually. His constant rage, disapproval and controlling personality left deep emotional scars. And, to make matters worse, our family hid this from the outside world, so we each suffered in silence. The toll I paid was enormous. Lacking any sense of self-worth, it drove me to depression and drugs. I imagine many people will identify with the feelings, even if their home life was not as extreme as mine. But trauma is trauma--whether suffered in a living room or the theatre of war.    

As a young adult I discovered meditation. It was my passage out of a deep depression and emotional despair, and I'm here to recommend it as a powerful and effective solution if you cannot get out of the mental patterns that keep you stuck, feeling a victim of past trauma.

Meditation was and still is a vital therapy for my continued survival and healing from a life of child abuse and domestic violence. I still practice it every day, having begun more than 38 years ago.

Meditation is indeed a powerful tool for health and healing on all levels. Research shows that group meditation can produce a radiating influence of peace in society. Recently, Dr. Deepak Chopra sponsored and conducted an online Global Group Meditation for Peace with over 100,000 people participating from around the world.  I was happy to be a part of this important event.

This was a tremendous service Dr. Chopra was delivering to the audience, for as he explained, meditation is the key to our connection with ourselves: Our Divine Selves. It is also our connection to the collective consciousness. Studies show that everything in the universe is connected and it is possible to unite people in heart-focused care and intention to facilitate the shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace.

The Health Benefits of Daily Meditation are Many

The scientific evidence documenting the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, especially for PTSD, which includes child abuse, is conclusive. While there may always be skeptics, it is irrefutable that meditation delivers improvements on every level of life, from stress management to emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, senior research scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH), has published his studies of over 300 experiments that prove the importance and benefits of meditation. This is in addition to the many thousands of published reports that have become available over the last 40 years that have come out of Maharishi University of Management, Harvard University and many others.

In my own experience, and in the experience of many meditators who have been culturing a daily meditation practice over time, the ongoing result has been a steadily growing expansion of awareness and appreciation for all of life. This takes the form of improved relationships with those around me, connection with the entire human race and seeing the divine intelligence in the simplest life forms.

I would be remiss if I didn't include experiencing an overwhelming sense of love for everyone and everything I encounter.  As one friend and former college classmate of mine said, "I was stopped in commuter traffic on the 405 freeway in L.A.  I looked around me at the thousands of cars and people and was feeling an unbounded love for all of them!"

If this is the outcome of consistent meditation, then it certainly is worth trying for anyone whose long-ago trauma-related or trauma-triggered emotions frequently get the better of them. For those who simply cannot see their way out of their own personal darkness, meditation is even more important. I encourage you to make the commitment.

8 Steps to Help You Develop Your Daily Meditation Practice for Trauma Healing

  1.     Give yourself permission to get better, understanding that meditation can provide healing and relief.
  2.     Seek out a meditation teacher. Meditation is like walking in an unfamiliar forest. It is best to have a guide.
  3.     Commit to regularity. Research shows that 20 minutes twice a day is optimal.
  4.     Create a space that is just for you to meditate each day. Unplug the phone(s) and put your silenced cell phone where you cannot see it. No cheating!
  5.     Get your mediation checked regularly by your teacher. This is very important.
  6.     If you absolutely have to miss a session, do not be hard on yourself - it is OK to renegotiate with yourself, recommit and pick up where you left off.
  7.     Wait two months, and then check in on your memories of pain and you feel better able to just let them go, to allow them to NOT MATTER anymore?
  8.     Congratulate yourself for staying with it! You're on your way to true healing. 

*Disclaimer: Please remember that meditation is not a substitute for professional care or psychiatric help if that is what is needed.  Many physicians and psychologists recommend meditation in conjunction with standard therapies.

Tom North is the author of True North - The Shocking Truth About "Yours, Mine and Ours" They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family-eight of Helen North's, ten of Frank Beardsley's, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in the box office smash--Yours Mine and Ours. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys. That's the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen's second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth-and a mother who protected the image of the "perfect" family at all costs. But True North is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It's a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. For more information, go to