June 5, 2013

And This Month's Interviewee Is...

The main objective of my blog is to inspire and be inspired.  I love searching and finding inspiration in the simplest of things, in places unexpected and then writing stories about them provoking a chain reaction of inspiration, self-awareness, love, acceptance, spiritual awakening and empowerment!   Sometimes those stories can be our very own, that is why I also love sharing my personal stories, experiences, triumphs, challenges, tears and laughter in hope to touching and enriching someone's life for the better.

I believe that something magical and miraculous happens when we share our light with others. It just may very well brighten someone's darkness.   I love the way spiritual activist and author Marianne Williamson puts it better.  She states that "as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  It is through this personal belief that my monthly feature of And This Month's Interviewee is....emerged!  My goal is to feature, every month, an interview in hopes that the underlying story behind it touches and enriches someone's life for the better.  We are not alone people, we all intertwine in the mysterious and magical energy of life!

Without further ado this month's beautiful, talented, wise and incredibly awesome interviewee is...

What is your name & age?   Rachel Demas, 46

Are you married? Children?  I was married in August of 2009.  My husband, George, is an actor. We have a two-year-old daughter named Claire.

Where did you grow up?  I grew up in Lawrence, KS, which is known as the home of William Burroughs, the author of Naked Lunch, and the University of Kansas. In my opinion, Kansas gets a bad rap because of the Wizard of Oz. Lawrence was not flat, and I did not grow up on a farm. Tornadoes are not the only thing happening there. It was a small town, yet the university was a melting pot of intellectuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.I felt like I got the best of both worlds growing up.  

What is the extent of your family? Parents? Any siblings?  My mom and step-dad have been together since the early 80's. My dad died when I was eleven. I have a brother who is seven years younger than me. He was so much younger than me as a child that we didn't have much in common growing up. Now that we are both parents, we have become closer and have more things to share with each other. Although, somedays I can't believe he is a dad.  He will always be the "little" brother to me, even though he is pushing 40! 
Rachel, Mom, little brother Ben
As a little girl, what did you dream/aspire to be?  I wanted to be a can can dancer when I was little. I was in love with the frilly skirts and petticoats, and wanted to wear feathers in my hair. I used to practice my high kicks, so I would someday be ready to take my place in the kickline. It was later in my childhood when I learned that a) can can dancers don't exist anymore and that b) they were often ladies of the night!

What were you like when you were a kid?  As you can tell from my answer above, I was a girly-girl. I loved to play dress up and play with dolls and barbies. I had an active imagination and spent much of my day dreaming. You would never find this girl climbing a tree, playing in the mud or throwing a ball!

What was your favorite toy, game or pass-time as a child?  Besides dolls and barbies, I loved to read and listen to children's music.

How would you describe your childhood memories?  I have vivid memories of childhood from a young age, but it's hard to put into words what they were like…snapshots, colors, textures, tastes, smells, laughter, tears, boredom, wonder, dreams.

Ever had an imaginary friend as a child?  If yes, please tell a little about it.  I don't remember having an imaginary friend, but my mom tells me that her name was Gretchen. Evidently, I used her as a scapegoat. Whenever I did something wrong, I would say "Gretchen did it."

Did you enjoy your high school years?   I didn't enjoy high school at all. My father died from cancer when I was in junior high school, and I don't think I had recovered from his loss by high school (some days, I'm still not sure whether I've recovered). I had gone through this very traumatic experience, and none of my peers could possible relate. The loss made me feel different from everyone else. I felt like a freak, yet, instead of gravitating towards the more unique kids in school, I tried desperately to fit in and be popular. I actually ended up succeeding to a certain extent, but at great cost to my own authenticity and the development of my individuality.

Did your dream/aspiration as a child changed in high school?  If yes, how so?  I became interested in writing, when I was a junior in high school. I joined the high school newspaper, and didn't look back. I studied Journalism in college, and have had different writing jobs on and off since that time. Now that I'm mom to Claire, my blog is my creative outlet. I've discovered that my daughter is my very best muse!

Husband Actor, Wow!  How exciting is that!  Is it?  If yes, how so?  And if no, what do you mean no!?  Yes! I know nothing about the entertainment industry, so being married to him is like a window into an intriguing and exciting world. I love hearing what it's like on set or backstage. It's fun to watch him on television every now and then with friends and family. We get to go to fancy events from time to time and see Broadway shows. When I was about 8 months pregnant and big as a house, we went to an event and I talked to Louis C.K. for about 20 minutes about elementary schools in NYC! I would not have experiences like that if I weren't with my man! But, mainly, the reason I find his work exciting is because he is so passionate about it. I love watching him love his job. He also has the highest standard for himself professionally, which I admire immensely. And no! An actor's life does not afford us the stability and predictability of a 9 to 5 job. We worry about where the next paycheck is coming from. He auditions for many roles and gets a small percentage of them. And I can't stand watching him get rejected!
George Demas, Law and Order
I have to say you are very brave to share your age, I always leave that one optional and to the discretion of the person I'm interviewing.  I know it took me a while to share my age on blogosphere, so I admire you for that.  Tell me Rachel, if you were in a room full of women in their 40's who perhaps are hesitant or fearful of motherhood for the first time at this stage in their lives, what would you say if they asked...would you do it all over again?   I love being mom to Claire!  She has enriched my life immensely.  I learn new things about myself everyday.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  I've always believed that embracing change is embracing life. Your life certainly doesn't stop when you turn 40, so why stop having new experiences? 

What is your personal opinion, thoughts or views to this statement:  A first time mommy in her 40's faces a much greater challenge raising a 2 year old then that of a first time mommy in her 20's.  I agree and I disagree that it is more challenging to raise a child in your 40's. I am more tired than I was when I was in my 20's, and chasing after a toddler takes an incredible amount of physical energy. But I have a greater reservoir of emotional energy to focus on Claire now that I'm older. When I was in my 20's, I was on my own personal journey. Being a mom requires a tremendous amount of self-sacrifice. I don't think I would have had the psychic space for that amount of giving in my 20's. I wouldn't have had the wisdom in my 20's to view self-sacrifice as a valuable life experience either. I see it that way as a woman in her 40's (on my good days!), which gives me the ability to step aside and watch Claire on her journey.
If you could go back knowing what you know now and talk to that junior high school girl who just lost her father and is feeling like a freak around her peers, what would you tell her?  I love this question, Mayra!  I think in answering it, you are helping me to heal a broken part of myself.  So, thank you!  I would say, "No words can describe how painful it is to lose your dad. You are right. Your friends don't understand what you are going through. Your teachers don't know what to say to you. They feel as helpless as you do. Just like you, they long to take your pain away and give you your dad back. Just like you, they can't. They want what you want. You see. You are not so different from them. You are not a freak. And one person understands your pain. Your father didn't want to leave you either.  Remember that he misses you as much as you miss him."  
Baby Rachel, Dad & Mom
It's no secret how much I enjoy your writing, so let's talk about your blog.  First off, tell me how did you come up with the name Tao of Poop?  Thank you for your kind words, Mayra!  Motherhood is a bizarre and fascinating combination of the mundane and the transcendental. Often, both exist at the same time for me, which really blows my mind. I can be engaging in the routine, nitty-gritty of the day, like changing Claire's diaper, and feel complete and utter love wash over me or feel like everything is right in the universe. The opposite is true too. I didn't know that it was possible to feel so exhausted and miserable, yet be so content. I wanted a title that encapsulated this uncanny mix. I was thinking about the book The Tao of Pooh, and The Tao of Poop just came to me. I don't know why or how I made the connection. I like to think that divine powers interceded on my behalf. If I'm allowed to brag, I am as happy with the title now, as I was when it hit me over the head. Although, I often wonder if I'm still allowed to use it after Claire is potty trained!

I could ask you what is your blog about? or what do you blog about?  But, I'd much rather know what would you say is the essence of Tao of Poop?  I like to say that I have more questions about motherhood than answers. I want to talk about the richness and complexity of motherhood in a way that encourages other people to hopefully connect with what I'm sharing, think about their experience as a parent, and add to the dialogue with their own thoughts and views. To put it bluntly, I don't want to give advice! I am striving to share and connect around the humanity of motherhood, which can be beautiful but isn't always pretty.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?  Greatest regret?  My friends say that I have had many lifetimes in one life.  I like that they think that about me.  I guess it's true, because, if it weren't I probably wouldn't be a mom in her 40's with a fairly new husband and daughter, who are my greatest joy and, thus, my greatest accomplishments.  My greatest regret is that I have had regrets.  I wasted a lot of time worrying about whether my choices in life were right, or measured up to some external standard.  But who's to say what's right?  Every experience has validity as well as the potential to teach you something, regardless of whether you view it as a success or a failure or whether you enjoyed it or it caused you suffering.  I wish I had learned this lesson earlier in life. 

What is Rachel's passion?  Mayra, I hope you don't mind. But I can't seem to think of an answer for this question! Sorry!

Bonus question I ask all interviewees:  If we lived in a world where money was non-existent and all our commodities and personal necessities were provided to live a healthy and happy life, how would you spend the rest of your living days?   At the beach!

The beach is a wonderful place to spend your days!  Rachel, I want to thank you from the bottom of mi corazon for your kind willingness and desire to inspire and be inspired.  And for opening your heart and welcoming all of us into a glimpse of your corner of the world.  If you were inspired or related in any way with Rachel, please do stop by her blog Tao of Poop and say hello, I'm sure she'd love it.  She is an amazing writer with a talent to reel you in with her piercing words.



  1. I feel like a celebrity, Mayra! Thank you for considering me for this series. I enjoyed the journey with you. I'm so glad we did it together!

    1. Hola Rachel!
      The pleasure was all mine. I enjoyed the journey with you as well! Thank YOU!

      ~SimplyyMayra :)

  2. I really enjoyed this interview and the photos and everything. :)


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