Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dodo, Love and the Cabbage Patch Doll

Back in 1984, my then 2-year-old niece Emily was very excited about Christmas, as most 2-year-olds are. Staying at her grandma's house with much of the family, she made sure to try and stay awake as long as possible. She also got up perhaps before everyone else, barely allowing Santa enough time to scoot out of the living room. As soon as she entered the room, you could hear her announce with a loud voice, "He came!" Under the tree were an array of gifts for the young one. Her eyes lit up as she opened them all.

Now, whereas all the gifts were important to her at this time, there are two specific gifts I bring to your attention here today. And for a wonderful reason.
  • A Cabbage Patch Doll - This was the popular doll of this time, part of the Cabbage Patch Kids collection, involving the folklore of the creator named Xavier Roberts, whoever the heck he was. The gift of this doll came, I believe, directly from Santa.
  • A Special Doll - This one, fashioned after the popular doll of the day, was actually made from scratch by Emily's mom, my sister Mary Lynn. She spent days on this doll, doing her best to make it similar to one of the Cabbage Patch forms. She did her best since, if I'm not mistaken, the actual dolls were quite expensive, out of the price range of Mary Lynn this holiday season.
The Famous Dodo

So this Christmas morning in 1984, Emily was to first open the special doll that Mary Lynn made. She embraced it, enjoyed it, celebrated it. Well, up until she opened the next gift ... the actual highly-priced, professionally produced Cabbage Patch Doll. All of the sudden this newer doll - which had its own distinguished name - took its rightful place in the arms of the child. And what happened to that other special doll? Well sure, it found its way face down on the ground. When Mary Lynn, probably a bit distraught over her overlooked gift, asked about the first doll, Emily announced in a very clear tone, "That one is Dodo."

Though Mary Lynn has quite a good sense of humor and could find the levity of a 4-year-old naming her gift after an 18th Century extinct bird, it had to hurt just a little bit.

Over the years, we have all had smiles about the story. Over the years, the story has been kept alive. And over the years, the perspective on the story has shifted, from one of humor and silliness to one of warmth and beauty. For me anyway.

Emily with her own kids.
And the reason is because of a conversation I had with Emily about a year ago. Somehow, the conversation turned to the days of the 1980s, living in Huntington Beach and of course ... Dodo. "I still have Dodo! I have saved it," she said. Oh really? And what of the other high-priced Cabbage Patch Doll that Santa brought? Not sure where that one ever went off to.

It's a beautiful world, isn't it? It's the ultimate choice of a child, the choice of the wise, the choice of the heart. Not for the store-bought product that shimmers and shines in the fashion and fad of public opinion, but rather for the home-made gift created by the hands of a loving mother.

It is a beautiful world, one that knows of love over gold, quality over quantity, heart over head, and nothing - no nothing - over "Dodo," a wonderful and delightful doll who will live on as long as there are gifts given directly from love.    

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer who has saved his own Dodo's over the years. He can be reached at

Monday, October 10, 2016

Who Will Win The Battle Over Your Mind?

So many ways the media points you in a direction away from what is true and what is sane. This prose endeavors to return to you what belongs to you.


There is a battle you may not see
A battle for silent slavery
One opened and one closed door
The great Armageddon tug of war
The pull of hatred, the pull of love
To determine finally, what you’re made of

They want you; they need you
To question everything that you do
To turn from inner guidance proof
To buy the vile and distorted truth
To side with dark shadows of fright and fear
Hoping your hope will disappear
Cut into brown, red, white and black
Painting a future, preparing for attack
There is a battle you may not see
Cashing in on your slavery

Media mayhem makes you nuts
Mental bruises, bleeding and cuts
Lost are the sacred and the sanctity
You scream in your search for sanity
News forecasts are drizzly and dreary
You collapse in a crush, down and weary
There is a battle for your mind
They need you deaf, dumb and blind

But even in darkest night of the soul
There is something they can’t control
You have your choice; you have your will
That lingering voice … small and still
It never left; it was there at the start
The very first breath, the first beat of your heart
When children ran on simple playground
The smiles and giggles on merry go round
Before grades, punishment and lessons in hate
Before we found reason to hesitate
Learned over time, the dissonant note
Off rhythm and rhyme, a hole in this boat
Though deep inside we know what is real
It goes against what they’ve taught us to feel

So we do away with “they” – we take us back
And return the limited view of lack
For, there is no red, white, blue or black
We end the tug of war and endless attack
We’re left with a lingering ally and friend
One who never has to retreat or defend
It’s all right here, in me and you
We need not question what we do
We need not wonder who we are
The inner message now not too far
We can curtail this mind control today
The media blasts no longer hold sway
We can escape the invisible slavery
In bypassing the battle we can now finally see…

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Freedom - You Don't Know What You Got Until You Lose It

So what are we talking about here when we look towards our "freedom?"

For five years, my wife an I have spoken with various guests on our radio show "Freedom For All" ( with each guest giving us his or her viewpoint on this multidimensional topic. Healers, political pundits, meditaters, social activists, authors, actors and even one free-spirited kid - they all had their various takes on "freedom."

What I am left with after all these encounters with the topic is that freedom doesn't really have a true definition. Without an opposing force upon this reality, there is no such thing as freedom. You must have oppression, slavery, force, attack, sickness before you come close to knowing the definition of freedom.

You don't know you are free until something comes along to take that way-of-being from you. Freedom is our natural state, and it's merely the limitation, stifling, censoring or enslaving that reveals what we have always held deep in our soul.

Freedom goes beyond our having a "choice" on matters. It's an identity that goes unnoticed until something unnatural comes along to compromise us.

For a nation that espoused freedom as a foundation, the declaration included the line about mankind being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." These rights and freedoms are not granted by men or kings or cops or any society laws. The overriding principle for humanity? Basic human rights that have existed as time began in the realm of what has been termed "natural law."

We are born free. And it's all we'll ever have. We have freedom within each one of us. We don't need to establish it. It is already there ... as an identity. We must merely watch for those elements in society - control, abuse, manipulation - that would attempt to suppress that which already exists.

May we be aware enough to recognize those alien forces, strong enough to turn from them, and wise enough to realize our true nature ... that can never truly be destroyed.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego, pulling for the freedom for us all. He can be reached at

Thursday, September 15, 2016

162 - I Thought I Could Do It!

Hennessy catching some zzz's with a plump Ellis.

Yup, 162.  That's what I said.

Who knew it could happen? I guess I could. For it was a very strong intention. And it happened.

At one point in my life, I was pretty darn fat. Not fat fat, like out of control fat. But the sort of fat that comes from being married to a a very awesome Italian who loves to cook.

Now I'm not blaming my wife for my outrageous form. It was my idea to ask about "seconds" and then make sure there were NO freaking leftovers in the home. I loved the cooking, and I wanted to partake in this awesome food. I wasn't exactly svelte before getting together, but I sure let myself go after we met and married.

All on me.

And yes, I mean ALL ON ME. At 5'7" I was weighing close to 190 pounds. That creates a situation where pants don't fit, a belly is ballooning and the naps on the carpet with my dog come fast and hard. Also, as shown in the above picture, the midsection wouldn't even deflate! You know that phenomenon when your stomach appears smaller when you lay on your back, how all the guts fall towards the ground? Well, it wasn't happening in my condition. My packed gut would only allow for the appearance of Mount Ellis.

But then came 162. It wasn't just a number. It wasn't even just an intention. It was a thought-form that grew more and more powerful as time went on. You see, I put it in my mind that the goal of weighing 162 would be a cool goal. I told my wife about it, and best of all I challenged my dad to a race to that number.


My dad, who also was packing on some poundage, had playfully joined me on the race to 162. Every time I mentioned my weight, I would bring up the number 162.

Here is where the magic happens, if you are open to it. When you continually place a number in your head and hold some emotion and drive around it, then that reality has more and more of a chance at becoming real.

And over time, it did become real. I did change. It wasn't through dieting or focusing on the scale. It was simply through the constant energy of "162." Though life experiences came along to help me towards that goal - some dental work, curtailing the gluten intake (which helped create those impromptu naps with Hennessy) - the real life-changer was the intention and the holding of 162 in my head.

Whereas before I would look down at the scale and see it hovering just over 180, now I look down at the scale and often see 162. I am hovering over 162. Yup, 162!

So glad to be skinnier. So glad to be lighter. So glad to still be able to partake in some great Italian cooking. And so glad that a Universal Law can be in place where our own intent, focus and attention can create what we really want in life.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego. He and Hennessy can be reached at

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Reunion - A Poem for My Mother and Her Mother

My mother passed in July 2014. Though 100 miles away when it happened, I felt the time stand still. I couldn't help but realize the miracle of life and death and the fact my mother was met by her own mother at this fateful moment. 

I know this to be true, as I know the Sun
I know it as sure as time has begun
Though time stood still for this here son
I felt the reunion that was sure to come
My mother and grandmother, they met once more
One stood for the other at illumined door
In the heavenly heights, where only angels soar
This was the embrace grandma had waited for…

The reunion is here for all to share
The reunion is for those with the call to care
The reunion is home to everyone, everywhere

Unimagined joy for this here boy who only wished for her release
From the shackles and chains, the aches and pains that would never seem to cease
Merely wanting for sure, holding out for the pure, the eternal path of peace
Happiness for my mom, kindly come along, I dearly begged God please
And it came to be, a miracle to see, this story I am writing
The beauty of souls who could take the stroll upon their reuniting
Ready to tell the tale – beyond success and fail – of a family uniting
I saw the end, within these forever friends, of the struggle and the fighting

The reunion is here for all to share
The reunion is for those with the call to care
The reunion is home to everyone, everywhere

When crisis calls in all our falls, and safety is torn and tattered
And man and beast, none the least, is beaten down and battered
And we are scared, as in nightmare, our dreams are sliced and shattered
Finding in the end, with every mend, only kindness matters
Only kindness matters …
The message I would hear, it was so dear, my mother would send to me
Finding at last, awakening so fast, a vision I could not see
She came through song, I would sing along, her spirit flight so free
A precious jewel, goodbye to the cruel, hands building eternity
So if you are lost, at all cost, do come and seek what’s yours
Just like my mother, all sisters and brothers can find illumined doors
Blasting past barrier, you’ll be the carrier, beyond all ceilings and floors
Taking the trip, on your sacred ship, towards familiar shores

I know this to be true, as I know the Sun
I know it as sure as time has begun
Yet, time can stand still for everyone
There’s always the reunion that is sure to come
For each enemy and ally, we shall meet once more
There’s a guardian for each of us at heaven’s door
An unlimited unity we all have in store
This is the embrace we’ve been waiting for…

The reunion is here for all to share
The reunion is for those with the call to care
The reunion is home to everyone … everywhere

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer who can be reached at 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Impact - Yup It Happens


There is indeed such a thing as "impact" in this world. Yes there is. We have to all admit it. You have an impact on others. Others have an impact on you. There is impact happening everywhere around us. Heck, there's even a word for it: "impact."  

noun -  "the job losses will have a major impact:" effect, influence, significance, meaning; consequences, repercussions, ramifications, reverberations.

So what does this look like, and why do so many people seem to have trouble with it?

Basically, our actions, our words, our non-verbal cues and even our neglect will have rippling effects upon the world around us. Our acts of kindness and love land upon another and then gently soothe and caress a soul. A harsh and violent act forced upon another will bring a sense of destruction and harm on a very real level.

However, there are the detractors to this idea. There are the highfalutin philosophers who say, "No one but me affects me." "What anyone thinks or says about me has nothing to do with me." "Don't take anything personally." "I am in complete charge of my life; I live at cause and not effect." I can grasp those ideals and see how these all can work perfectly ... IF YOU'RE JESUS!

Or if you are dead.

Let's get real folks. You can have the fancy philosophies, ideals and notions. And yes, you can choose how you respond to life, even in the face of negative actions and attacks. And you can do your best to create a giant mote around you, protecting you from those nasty and icky humans. You can do your best to bring your best foot (and mind) forward in the face of any hardships. This is indeed empowering on a certain level.

Expanding outward, you can also simply surrender to the fact that we are here on this awkward planet - as humans - all bumping into each other, bringing the rippling effects of the good, the bad and the ugly. And we can simply make that part of the dance. 

At this level - some outlandish designation called "physical reality' - we can admit that the impact is all around us.

  • The smash upon your head, courtesy of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, has its harsh result.
  • The shooting of an unarmed woman on the street has a rippling effect on her family and a community.
  • Kids playing with matches creating a large brush fire that takes out the homes and old photo albums of several families will create a stir.
  • The father who chooses to leave or is forced out of the life of a son or daughter will have its impact on the two young ones ... no matter how strong their minds "live at cause." 
Most recently, I couldn't help but notice a minor news story that came out of the Nevada desert where a 17-year-old girl was reported missing, helping to put some of the 70,000 attendees of the Burning Man event smack dab into a 9-plus hour traffic jam. She was OK. Though these open-minded folk may have had a choice to frame their experience, it can't be denied some of the 70,000 may have been impacted a bit.

Though I realize this may be challenging for some of the more skittish folk in our world to grasp or handle, the truth remains. We all have an impact on each other. It happens. It's OK. I think it's part of the reason we came here - to a physical world of duality, where bodies and cars and dance partners could maneuver amidst each others reality ... gracefully or not. It's in the grace where we are freed to recognize our brothers' and sisters' beauty; it's in the harsh attacks where we ultimately discover that we have lost our brothers and sisters ... and therefore ourselves.

I believe those who refuse to accept this reality are just afraid to take on the mighty (and scary) responsibility that confirms our actions do have real consequences. That can be too much weight to carry - especially those trying to escape the pain of what they have brought upon others and themselves. But even so, no matter how any of us try to escape it, the ominous, formidable and exacting responsibility exits.

Impact. Yup it happens. And yup, it's beautiful. 

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer hopefully causing positive vibrations around the world. He can be reached at

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Am I Doing Enough? Shut Up!

There is this dreadful voice that bangs at my head constantly. Not sure where it originally arose, but it sure has been persistent over the years. And yes, I mean years. It's been around as long as I can remember, even as a kid. The voice is bothersome, cruel, incessant and rushed.

The voice says: "You are not doing enough."

I read this as I am not doing enough work, enough writing, enough creative endeavors, enough anything. It doesn't exactly tell me what it is I should be doing, but the voice is very clear that whatever it is I am doing and whatever it is I have done just does not cut it. It is not enough.

This has me believing that somehow I am not enough. If I haven't done enough, perhaps that means that I too am not enough, as in "smart enough," "talented enough," "rich enough," and the all-time favorite on the hit parade "good enough,"

I wonder if others can relate to this. Does anyone else have a voice that pushes them on and on, relentless, no matter how much has been accomplished? I have in fact accomplished a lot in my life, as I review my resume of eight books, 25 plays, hundreds of articles, tons of poems and 70-plus video productions. But even though I have written and produced so much, somehow it isn't enough ... apparently.

Reminds me of that John Mellencamp song "Void in My Heart."

There's a void in my heart I can't seem to fill
I do charity work when I believe in the cause
But in my soul it bothers me still
Hey, Lord, well, you made me like I am
Can you heal this restlessness?
Will there be a void in my heart
When they carry me out to rest?

Where is the rest for the creative spirit? Would we stop writing and creating if we had that sense of satisfaction? Is there a good reason we can't seem to find that peace of mind with the amount of work that has been produced? Perhaps it's our soul destiny to continue chasing that happiness and contentment, like a carrot on a stick, like the rabbit out in front of the greyhounds.

Now, I must admit there have been a few moments of creative satisfaction. The moments after a gigantic play production or a huge video release. I even give myself the next day off, where I can sit back a bit, sleep in, and rest in the knowing I've accomplished something. But only one day later there is that voice: "You haven't done enough."

Shut up!!!

And ... so I rise again and get back to work, with the devil nipping at my heels. I guess I can take solace in another set of lyrics. These were recited to me back in 1990 by a friend who saw some of my anxiety. She was trying to help me release some of that self-imposed pressure when she played this song for me.

John Hiatt, in the song "Through Your Hands," sings of a different kind of a voice - one of an angel.

And you ask, "What am I not doing?"
She says "Your voice cannot command.
In time, you will move mountains,
And it will come through your hands."

So just maybe I can follow this angelic voice rather than the other rushed one. Do not ask what I am not doing nor put so much attention on all that I haven't done yet.

In time, I can make my mark ... through these hands, through these words. I will stay faithful to them as they arise ... in the moment ... just in the right time.

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer who can be found either stressing out or writing, but always at