It seems that (not surprisingly), I encountered many signs encouraging me to re-intergrate aspects of myself this week. Ahhh… Lady Synchronicity appears again. Firstly, you all know that I stumbled quite serendipitously upon the new space for what I refer to as the “magical little practice”. It was a case of Psychotherapist Kj introducing herself to the bliss-pursuing, Other Queen-in-training Kj. Then, on Friday night I went for tapas and cocktails at a Spanish lounge with my beautiful Welsh Muse, Kathryn, to whom I refer to as My Manager. She literally is to me what I believe Ruth is to Stewie. She keeps me tuned in to my path of Creative Living, and talks me up and tries to book me for public gigs (hey a girl’s gotta make the rent payment somehow!). That night (further details in a moment), the Other Queen-apprentice part of me shook hands with the Musician part of me. And both aspects waved a warm greeting to Psychotherapist Kj. The night ended with me handing over my psychotherapy business card to our lovely waitress Kelly who in turn handed it to the restaurant’s manager. My Manager and I set up an audition to sing and play piano as a musical guest at this lovely Spanish restaurant and lounge (cue freaking-the-fuck-out riiiight now). Well, I didn’t stay out too late that night, because I was set to be On The Road with Marble Pole the next morning, early, so that I could meet up with my Cyber Sisters/ Readers of my Twilight group in the center of this state.
So I pondered (it’s what I do, and then I ramble about it to you generous, patient people every Thursday, thank the Goddess): Why do we fragment ourselves? Why do we keep parts of our personalities, talents and interests concealed? My Sisters and Readers had a vague idea of my field of work, but that I did some sort of counseling and I am looking for my niche (i.e. a job). They didn’t know I was a musician or a writer until I began this lovely project–Musings. No one in my family (with the exception of my sis Puss) or on Facebook know that I write Musings; or that I have a healthy admiration for Kristen and Rob (TRANSLATION: I totes crush on them both and have them on my Freebie Five List).
Do you have a separate group of friends who know the serious, work-focused you, and then another group of friends who you speak to about falling in love and raising a family? Perhaps you have another cohort of colleagues that you speak with about shared interests like: sports you play, hobbies you have? Or say…hmmm… Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? Do your partners and family members know that you’ve seen Eclipse four times already? Do your parents, siblings and co-workers know why they hear a THUD and not surprisingly find you on the floor, unconscious below your desk? Could it be because of these, um, OUTTAKES??
With my Twilight Roadtrip weekend and my attempts at pimping out my musical services, I realized that I had initiated The Merge. Cyber Sisters are now my 3D friends. I have faces, voices, facial expressions, perfume and an assortment of sensory associations linked to previously 2D acquaintances. A month or so ago, I met a few gorgeous ladies of The KSIBTU Crew in person even though we’d been “friends” online for some time. After our meeting? These ladies and I have strong personal relationships outside the World Wide Web. I call and write my Sisters and the KSIBTU girls for advice and guidance, just as I ask my Sister Puss and my husband. Though I base my Musings on events inspired by Kristen and her Homecoming Court of Misfits each week, the emails and correspondence exchanged with you all are about the issues we ponder and navigate in OUR lives. So again, I ask myself: Why do we fragment?
Remembering concepts found in all previous book recs I’ve featured here, like Eve Ensler’s I am an Emotional Creature and Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, we realize that whether we asked for it or not, we are categorized in society by labels and gender roles. We are expected to take certain actions in fulfilling roles while we’re criticized for being frivolous if we try to embrace unexpected roles or paths. Take a look at all the roles we fill. Um. It’s a shit-ton.
WIVES. MOTHERS. LOVERS. SISTERS. CARETAKERS. COMFORTERS. CHEFS. DRIVERS ATHLETES. PROVIDERS. ARTISTS. DAUGHTERS. CREATORS. STUDENTS. TEACHERS. FRIENDS. SCIENTISTS. ACADEMICS. INTELLECTUALS. PARTNERS. WARRIORS. MISFITS. REBELS. POETS. DEBATERS. DETECTIVES. BLISS-PURSUERS. DANCERS.
Williamson suggests, as do social psychologists, spiritual healers and medical practitioners, that the key is balance. Only when we embrace all aspects of ourselves are we truly whole. So much energy goes into denying pleasures or attributes that we have. We can be (M)others as well as Career Women. We can be compassionate, nurturing and nonviolent all while being strong, firm, athletic and intellectual. We absolutely can be “pretty” while driving a tractor or truck, debating the virtues of molecular biology, planning the recovery methods of hydrocarbons in petroleum engineering. Likewise, ballerinas may be beautiful swans on the performance stage as well as auto mechanics during the work week. The point is, we don’t have to deny ourselves our talents or interests in favor of social acceptance, although most of the time we do. It’s exhausting to fragment and deny. Its detracting from focusing on the work, the journey in front of us. It prevents us from meeting amazing people with similar interests. It causes us to lose confidence, increase anxiety. Why cause more heartache for ourselves? Here’s what I think: We can have it ALL. Fly the “freak flag”, yo. Take it all in. Merge your many facets. We can, in fact be Chucks- and tiara-wearing Royal Rebels.
Marianne Williamson and one of my favorite writers, Sonia Choquette, Ph.D, advise that while society programs us to question whether or not we are “beautiful”, we are more vulnerable to the LIE the further we detach from our selves. Our self-awareness, our beliefs, our hopes, our connection with our Higher Power, whatever that may be. And how do we connect with our self-awareness? YUP. By acknowledging EVERYTHING we are. By not fragmenting ourselves. By embracing all of our strengths and challenges. By recognizing, not segregating, owning what is OURS. This is the pathway to bliss, the pathway to authenticity.
“Authenticity: ‘the courage to be imperfect, set boundaries, and be vulnerable’ “
The above quote was from Dr Brene Brown, a researcher, professor and writer on the very important and essential topics of shame, resiliency and authenticity. Thanks to the sublimely lovely @TheUrbanWhisk, I stumbled upon Dr Brown’s amazing work. Check her enchanting messages of hope, courage and authenticity here: Ordinary Courage
So how does becoming more You, More Other, More Authentic look in the 3D world? Well, for me, it started with the meeting of my Cyber Sisters and fellow KSIBTU Crew gals…it’s progressed into following the Miracle Bubbles to the Healing Center for my new counseling practice…then introducing myself to the Spanish Lounge’s staff to set up a singing audition…and will probably culminate in me linking Musings to my Facebook pals. Its the small steps towards embracing my Other…I probably won’t wear my I UNF FOR KSTEW tee-shirt to the family wedding I’m attending this weekend. But you can bet your sweet asses I’ll be wearing it for my first singing gig at the Lounge.
Let’s talk about this week’s Rebellious Royals, shall we? I’m featuring another ginger, kids, I know, big shocker. Why not? The redheads seem to be the penultimate rebels don’t they? Shirley Manson, singer, songwriter, activist, actress certainly embodies all the great qualities of Otherness.
Featured Rebel Royal: Shirley Manson
Ms Shirley Manson lives and works in Los Angeles now, but hails originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. Known for her distinctive voice, her personal lyrics and rebellious attitude, Shirley gained international success and acclaim with her band Garbage in the mid to late 1990’s. She began her musical career as a backup singer and keyboardist for the Scottish band Goodbye, Mr Mckenzie. She caught the eye of record producers who approached her to release an album as a solo singer. In 1993, she released her solo album performing under the name of Angelfish. It was her solo efforts that grabbed the attention of her future bandmates of Garbage. The band invited Shirley to record an album with them. The result was the mega-successful, grammy-winning Garbage. She remains with the band after another three albums. The songs Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, and #1Crush are among the most recognized songs of the Alternative Rock movement of the Nineties and early 2000s.
Shirley cites a difficult social upbringing for her forays into “rebel life”. According to biography, Shirley was bullied in her first years of secondary school, leading her to suffer depression and utilize self-injurious behaviors such as cutting and substance use. With forays into shoplifting, truancy and delinquency, Ms Manson was largely absent from any form of structured education system.
Beauty Marks: 1. Distinctive voice 2. Female front for an all-male band 3. Honestly discloses personal experiences with low self-esteem, stress and anxiety. 4. Overcame her self-defeating behaviors to become a voice for social issues and awareness of animal mistreatment
Offenses of Otherness: (per Other Hunters, Schoolyard Bullies and Ass Clowns) 1. Wears short skirts with Tall Boots 2. Wears clothing that accentuates her feminine attributes 3. Outspoken in her activism 4. Brutally honest in lyric-writing, citing controversial issues such as self-mutilation and substance abuse.
In addition to her songwriting and fronting for Garbage and her various solo musical projects, Shirley is an acitivist and participant in raising awareness for cancer research for children, several AIDS research groups and PETA. She experienced the heartbreak of being a bully victim, and turned her previously self-harming coping skills into activism. Because she speaks up for the oppressed, overlooked, and misunderstood, Shirley Manson is Rebel Royalty.
Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart
Our lovely Ms. Stewart has begun Beatnik Bootcamp in Montreal, Canada this week. Gone are the mis-shapen, frizzy Bella Swan wigs, and in their place are Kristen’s natural, strawberry-blonde locks for the embodiment of the iconic figure of Mary Lou in the film adaptation of On The Road. Kristen told reporters on the Eclipse press junket that she has been attached to On The Road for a few years now, but is so pleased and relieved to finally reveal her participation in the story she refers to as her “first favorite book ever”. Already, movie critics are praising the casting of our Other Queen in the role as MaryLou, not only for her impressive status as a result of The Twilight Saga, but due to an observable maturity and depth in her extraordinary acting talents.
Beauty Marks: 1. Reveling in her domestic goddess ways, baking pies for cast mates and press junket interviewers 2. Supports her friends’ projects publicly, despite knowing paparazzi will be there 3. Completely dedicated to embodying all faults and assets she posses 4. Gifted in physical movement: Juggles, golfs, throws spiraling footballs with precision (in 4-inch heels while sick no less! See the now-legendary Jimmy Fallon appearance)
Offenses of otherness (per Other-Hunters, Bullshit People, AssClowns): 1. Keeps composure despite intrusive photographers’ insults as she attends public events 2. Does not confirm or deny her personal relationship with Rob Pattinson 3. Is awkward and uncomfortable 4. Is honest in her reactions, but shy and cerebral in interviews. (This confuses people who want to categorize her by a singular emotion.)
This week, as Kristen prepared to be out of the country and away from her home, friends and family, she made headlines simply for stepping out with Rob to attend a show in support of musician friend Bobby Long. The reigning Other Queen wants to enjoy her limited time with her beloveds. In the aftermath of the chaotic world-gallivanting promo tour, Kristen is preparing to immerse herself in work again, which is something that she not only loves doing, but marks her impressive dedication to her craft. Once she returns from her On The Road filming, Kristen will delve into preparation for filming Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2. With her departure to Montreal, as usual, the BullShit People, fame whores and Ass Clowns crawl out of the woodwork to concoct wild rumors and speculation.
LIGHTBULB MOMENT: These shit-stirrers who call themselves “fans” may be why some of us try avoid claiming any association with the “Twilight fandom”. And instead attempt to redefine the true meaning of support and appreciation for Kristen, Rob and Twilight. Some of the more extreme (i.e. stalkers, fame whores and embarrassingly delusional) followers in this fandom sure know how to degrade and misrepresent, don’t they??
While the “fans” work themselves into a foamy lather, our girl Kristen and her Rebellious Partner in Crime Rob don’t appear to bat an eyelash. Perhaps this is the greatest indicator that Kristen and Rob are balanced, un-fragmented, whole spirits: they know each other and themselves well enough; have confidence in their chosen friends and beloveds (did you see how TomStu and Sam shielded Kristen from the Other-Hunters at Bobby’s concert?) to cast away the doubt, nonsense and hate from their awareness in pursuit of their bliss confidently, calmly, wholly.
Smoothing The Splinters
Because she turned her experience of victimization into a distinctive voice in defense of neglected, forgotten and persecuted Others, Shirley Manson is an Other Queen.
Because she adamantly refuses to give into the jeers, insults and rumors meant to tear her apart, and instead keeps her focus on her craft and the path ahead of her; within company of encouraging beloveds who know all of her, Kristen Stewart is the reigning Other Queen.
I am Other.
Shirley is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others know that embracing the whole is the greatest rebellion.
Embrace Your Other.
A/N: Did you enjoy the Special Edition Musings this week, with guest writer Bouffant? Did you let her know here or on Twitter? She’s @Bouffant00. I am off to be in my 3D world, and may even be on a plane as you read this. I am spending time with my family and attending a cousin’s wedding. Then, N and I are flying off to Hawaii for a week with my mother, to introduce her to the islands that are so very special to me. She hasn’t been before. I don’t know for absolute certainty that I’ll post next Thursday per usual. But The Muses are so very unexpected, so I may very well hole up on the patio with a cocktail and babble away at you again. I’ll let you know.
In the meantime, please check out my girls’ projects: Visit @Bouffant00 of course, and also @Buff_82. Buff is a goddess, we’ve established this. A photographer and graphic design genius, even though she denies it. Go visit her on Twitter and on FanFic.net as she is the author of Eclipsed Heart (completed) and Redeem Me. Obviously check out CC’s brilliant @KStewsbtrthanu because she’s outrageously gifted and clever, and she’s my sister. Join @TheUrbanWhisk‘s culinary adventure on her gorgeous blog celebrating all things food. See my profile here and peek at the blogs I follow, give love to my girls @Takemetobliss, @Frayo and @Jwink…the possibilities are endless. Many thanks to Marble Pole, Puss, Kathryn My Manager, Julie, and Clog-Wielding Queen. To the lovelies who helped me brainstorm the name of “the magical little practice”: You stun me. Lastly, as usual, my Cyber Sisters/Readers/3D friends, I’ll see you in the morning, like everyday. LOVE YOU.