So. Let’s review the past week since we last hung together. Our girl NinjaStew was low-pro for several days, though speculation and unsubstantiated sightings ran amok since she left Argentina. The mob at the South American airports was a little disconcerting and per usual, I avoid showing pics that are acquired through sketchy channels. However, I did want to note a couple pictures that made me smile, including one Vulture pic because homage must be paid to Sweet, Sweet Sam...
Have you seen the picture where Sam is essentially tucking Kristen into him as they rush through the airport? Though he is not as familiar with the hectic “fiending” that Kristen encounters every day (hey, good going to whomever tweets Kristen’s exact location *sarcasm*), he stayed close to her, offering protection and support. Sam, because you let our Reigning Other Queen take shelter under your umbrella, you are a HERO. Thank you for keeping an eye on our girl in an honorary roll of Protector a la ASB (John) and Protective Rob. Thank you for trying to preserve one of our Precious Resources…a rare Royal Rebel.
She may be flying under the radar as she does best, but Kristen sure is cropping up and soothing the ache a bit in her absence. I am just getting a glimpse at the Australian Marie Claire story in which Kristen speaks about the maturing Bella in Eclipse, and Kristen’s love for her work.
Work to Live
I wanted to talk a little about that today, about loving work, and following the path of Creative Living, surveying the blessings in our lives despite setbacks, obstacles and challenges. While our Queen Stew’s detractors criticize her for “not handling fame well” or forfeiting her happiness and privacy because she picked acting as her career, she reports in the lovely Marie Claire article:
“I love to work. I’m so passionate about the process. Because I get to play strong personalities [Joan Jett in The Runaways, Mallory in Welcome to the Rileys’], different characters from what I am most known for [Bella Swan], I get to choose now to do good projects in the future.”
You see what she did there? Kristen took an idea or a concept and reframed the negative connotation and injected optimism. In psychology, a technique based out of the post-modernist theories called Reframing is used for assessing strengths and motivation for change. It simply is a shift in perspective. A well known reframe:
From “the glass is half empty” to “that glass is half full”
We here on Team Other live for reframes, hence Beauty Marks and Offenses of Otherness.
Offenses of Otherness // Reframes (BeautyMarks):
Kristen is brash and direct // She is honest and makes her wishes known
Kristen stutters and fidgets // She is careful with words and initially shy
See where I’m going with this? The interviewer in this magazine article asks Kristen:
“Do you feel exhausted by the attention you have to deal with?”
Kristen’s reframing answer:
“It’s hard for me to talk about that without giving the impression I am being negative. I love acting and I’m so grateful for Twilight and the opportunities it’s given me.”
Kristen’s reframes have always manifested in the form of gratitude and humility. She firstly thanks her fans and she reports how blessed she is in even having a job. She humbly accepts the chances to participate in projects with which she feels a personal connection. How much more gracious and Royal can this girl be??
Kristen works to live, she does not live to work. She recognizes that her chosen career is amongst the public arena, and that she’ll occasionally encounter some challenges (Vulture Papz, inquiry into her private life, overzealous, entitled “fans”), but she recognizes that the positive rewards far outweigh those bumps. She shyly reports to the Marie Claire interviewer:
“I’m just not very good at dealing with the idea of being followed everywhere.”
Fair enough, my friend, fair enough. Once you glimpse the chance to reframe a situation, it becomes evident that optimism, and opportunity is everrah where. Try it. Look around. There are signs in every interaction, every reaction, every moment for a shot of positivity, or a shift in perspective. I’ve discovered signs on a daily basis that urge me to keep moving forward, despite bumps in the road. The signs that I am doing the right thing, following my bliss, are everywhere. Everywhere. Like Kristen, I’ve found that doing what I love, sharing it all with everyone I’ve chosen in my life has rewarded me immensely. I am happier than I have been in years. Let me tell you a little about this past week to illustrate the goodness…
The signs are everywhere…
Last week, after hopping on a plane and writing Musings, I dove head-first into the busiest most wonderfully chaotic five days which included a childhood bestie’s wedding (and an open bar), a birthday gathering with KSIBTU Crew gals, a meeting with a business accountant, dates with soul sisters @Robkris13 and @ProRobsten and copious amounts of alcohol. Not only was I merging my splintered fragments together (whaa? I told my childhood besties that I write a blog about KStew and Unconventional Beauty?) but I kept seeing signs that I was was going to be OK…and opportunities for reframes were everywhere! You may have caught my tweets when I was bowling with @Just2CUSmile and the birfday grrl @kimmcarr…bahaha.
We should have just put a straw in the pitcher.
Not 0 for “no points”.
“O” for Double OTHERNESS
Or how bout, for no foreseeable reason, I received a gift, an original painting from the insanely talented @Jhiggs86 to remind me of The First Muse, and of blessings she’s bestowed upon me…
I may have moved into Gloating Territory here.
Oh and not to mention the fed-exed envelopes I received containing cards, letters, gifts, funds, whispers of luck and love, tokens of affection from my Sisters/Readers and Beloveds.
I can’t even…don’t have the words
I can happily report to you that I was able to move forward in launching The Magical Little Practice on September 1, despite having lost a huge chunk of start-up capital and the support of a most beloved source, if only for a brief moment. Another confirming sign that I was going to be ok? That despite some of the obstacles in front of me, I was doing the right thing? One of those Levi’s Jeans print ads that are circulating, quoting Walt Whitman. I was sitting on the train, en route to my new office on my first day, my nose pressed against the window, when we stopped at an intersection. This was the poster on the wall directly in front of me:
Everrah where, you guys. See what I mean? Take a moment, open your eyes. Channel your inner ReframeStew. Look at all the amazing possibilities for optimism and creativity surrounding us. Let’s meet the Featured Rebel today…a woman who is fierce but fragile, optimistic and brilliant. A girl who has gracefully and very publicly fought to overcome unspeakably agonizing drawbacks.
Featured Royal Rebel: Michelle Williams
Thanks again to one of my comrades in creativity and inspiration, @theurbanwhisk, I was able to explore my fascination with this notoriously shy but courageous lady. She clearly embodies and beautifully represents the qualities of a Rebel Queen: shy, cerebral, weary of intrusive press, dedicated student of her craft, insatiably pursuing knowledge, soulful and unique. While she may be publicly known as the former fiancee of fellow Royal Rebel Heath Ledger (featured in last week’s Musings), she has been on my radar ever since she played Jen on the WB/CW/What-ever-the hell-network-it-is network’s teen soap opera Dawson’s Creek.
Michelle was sixteen years old when she first took on the role of Jen, and she admittedly reported confusing the ideas and concepts of “beauty” at that impressionable age. She told Vogue in the fall of 2009 that Jen’s beauty was “sexy and pretty”, but that there was “something bad” about that too. “I got it in my head that my beauty was not worthwhile.” She shied away from playing anymore “pretty girl roles” after the completion of Creek, choosing instead to “play the opposite”.
She is anything but the opposite of beauty. She is an Oscar-nominated, respected and revered actor, and more importantly, she is the fiercely determined single mother to her three-year-old daughter, Mathilda, whose father is the late, great actor Heath Ledger. Michelle now says she navigates the tricky position of being a working single mother with the help and support of friends and family. Her focus remains first and foremost on her daughter. She tells Vogue, “I think she deserves the bulk of my attention. We’re lucky. I can work. She can go to a good school, there’s a lot available for her.” As Michelle moved through the stages of grief in the aftermath of Mr Ledger’s death, she found that caution around intrusive reporters and paparazzi has served well, as has immersing herself in work. She appeared in Scorsese’s Shutter Island this year and is preparing to be featured with Ryan Gosling (another Royal Rebel) in the indie film Blue Valentine, which has already received rave critical and audience reviews from the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.
* Extremely reticent to participate in press interviews
* Remarkably grounded in here-and-now awareness
* Refuses to minimize her intelligence
Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart
So while she was low-pro and underground for awhile there, we caught glimpses of our reigning Queen on the On the Road set in New Orleans. With her gloriously light hair and her casual attitude, Kristen looked gooood. I mean, who looks this good when they’re just, y’know, chillin?
Effortless, calm, engaged in conversation, I think she looks better than ever. It might have to do with the fact that she’s involved in a film project based on a book she refers to as one of her “very favorites”, in the company of elite acting royalty (you know about Viggo, Steve Buscemi and Amy Adams, right? Good Lawd!) It might be because she was stealth and unseen for several days and perhaps met up with her beautiful partner Rob at some point. She may look this rested and lovely because she recognizes that the blessings in her life clearly outnumber the challenges…Or her contentedness may be because she knows that even with challenges, she will always, push onward.
Offenses of Otherness:
*Cautious and protective of the details in her private life
*Extraordinarily down to earth and genuine
*Only accepts projects she feels a personal connection to
Because she embodies resilience, grace and beauty in the face of adversity, Michelle wears a crown on the Royal Court.
Because she continuously represents graciousness, humility and awareness, despite detractors constantly watching for a stumble, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.
Michelle is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Work To Live.
Embrace Your Other.
Question: Are you living to work? Or Working to Live?
A/N: I will actually write sappy love letters directly to the peeps who have held my hand and given me such joy and love these days. Possum Besties, Tebby, ProRobsten…all of you know who you girls are to me. Just a couple thoughts: Thank you, my beloved CC of @KSIBTU for pre-reading tonight’s midnight drop. And @Buff_82 for so patiently coddling me in the foreign world of website design. To @Bouffant for taking it for the team and posting her lovely essay when I could not. To my sisters/Readers…You make me laugh. You make me strong. I’ll respond to comments and tweets and emails this week. Going forward…SEE YOU NEXT THURSDAY! xo, Kj