Tag Archives: Bliss

Letters To Muses (and Whoa, W)

11 Aug
A/N: This is unbeta’d per usual. Please forgive me the typos, grammatical slips and bobbles. I do not own the images featured in today’s essay, and I try to embed the links to their original owners/creators . Just click the pics…Bowing down to Tumblr and my newest addiction inspiration Pinterest.

Dear loveliest Rebel Royals and Majestic Misfits,

I have become a big filthy liar…yet again. Last time I said that I’d return to the Musings format that included both What The Fangirl Learned  as well as feature a new Royal Rebel in this post, and that is simply not the case today I’m afraid. Nope. Not when I woke up this morning and was greeted with such epic goodness in the form of a new joint Kristen and Rob interview for Breaking Dawn as featured in Entertainment Weekly (aka The biggest Twi FanGirls aside from @JoshuaHorowitz). 

As you already knew, since a lot of you are in a different time zone than I, EW included a 7 page spread in this Fall Movie Preview Issue (there are other movies released this Fall, not that you would know it) featuring the much-sought-after-though-rare joint interview with our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her always illuminating partner Robert Pattinson. One of Kristen’s biggest supporters, director Bill Condon, also discussed insight and thoughts on the filming process.

I won’t rehash the interview with you all, firstly because I don’t have the magazine in my paws at this moment and I would like to comment and respond to something concrete (I’m all tactile and shit); and secondly, because this time tomorrow, you all will have probably already read, memorized and maybe created a gorgeous Tumblr edit featuring your own very favorite quotes from that interview. So this is me merely letting you readers know that I think you’re super-swell, and I’d like to ask you for forgiveness for not posting a timely Musings nor one that highlights the topics I had hoped to discuss with you. We can savor the lovelieness of the EW pictures and article together, though mmkay? I figured you’re all cool with it. Especially after glimpsing sputter-inducing pictures like:

Edward, LOOK at your HAWT new wife! And you're playing CHESS?

And zingy exchanges between Kristen and Rob such as:

Kristen: Now that I’ve seen parts of it [the final movie], Jacob and Bella’s chemistry in this movie is better than it’s ever been.

Rob: [Faux-glares at Stewart]. So uncool. 

Rob and Kristen, I mean, Edward and Bella enjoying a stroll

Kristen: [On finishing the final filming of the saga] It was oddly emotional the first time I got to set and saw everything and everybody.

Rob: Yeah, you were really sweet when you first showed up.

Kristen: Oh, shush. 

They would go on to “shush” each other, and speak of marriage and relationships and machinations of “chewing” through the brutal, bloody childbirth scene….It’s a fantastic interview. One of their very best in recent memory. Comfortable, light, playful and teeming with intimacy and admiration. Great enough to prompt me to rethink my topic of discussion for today’s essay.

I figured I would speak about the risks and benefits of participating in the work we love–our life’s work–as prompted by observing the joy and pride Ms Stewart invests and reciprocates within her own craft. As we witnessed her confident enthusiasm at Comic Con last month,

and rejoiced along with her when she arrived in London to begin production of Snow White and the Huntsman;

I  planned on discussing with you about how we can ensure such delight and pride in our own chosen paths and professions; to explore the tremendous courage it takes to embark on a new project as Kristen is, and to revisit our own steps taken to pursue our true bliss. Are you doing what you would like to, versus what you’re expected to do?  Are you settling? Are you taking the steps on the path that feels most fulfilling to you? It has been awhile since we’ve talked about following Bliss, hasn’t it, friends?

courage to be creative=following the bliss

My friend and fellow bliss-pursuer, @DeeDreamer16 linked me to an incredibly relevant blog post at–>> InOverYourHead.net . The author, Julien Smith, contemplates whether being lackadaisical is a major indicator that we are not following our bliss, not practicing and enacting our Life’s Work. Smith wonders if our nonchalant way of viewing our daily tasks in fact makes us useless. I gotta say, I tend to agree. If we’re not at least somewhat daunted by our goals, then why have them at all? The minute we become complacent with our surroundings, we lose the edge, the motivating elements that push us onward, towards the finish line…onward towards risk and and perhaps satisfying, glorious rewards that may include self-confidence, monetary security, a compassionate connection with others, meaningful personal relationships, pride in doing something for yourself, a contribution to humanity.

#bliss

I want to tell you, you Unconventional Beauties, that I’m pursuing a couple of projects for the Magical Little Practice and in some of my writing…and I’m absolutely quaking in my Chucks. I guess I haven’t grown too comfortable, as I feared I might when I was laid off from BastardNation two years ago. I’m a bit relieved to recognize  that I have not become useless and rote, while I easily could have. I’m freakin petrified. So I guess I’m on the right path after all.

Kristen, our Warrior Rebel, is moving onto her first high profile role since wrapping The Twilight Saga. She is stepping from the familiar perimeters of her co-stars (including her “never confirmed but obvious boyfriend” ~EW …WAT) and crew, from a character she embodied and inhabited for four years towards some unchartered territory. She is playing Snow White, Ms Badass Royal Rebel herself. She is shedding the comfortable skin of Bella Swan Cullen and embracing a new (literally) set of armor. Princess Snow is steadfast, precocious and full of conviction. She also, per Kristen’s report, is terrified. Except that instead of succumbing to the fear, Snow White is channeling it, using the uncertainty or doubt as kinetic fuel for her limbs and for her voice…She emerges empowered, confident and beautiful….and not at all surprisingly…This summer, so is Kristen Jaymes Stewart.

So here, my Other Warriors, is the reason why I cannot write anything more today about following Bliss and why I cannot find the words to illustrate my lessons learned as a fangirl…or why I cannot introduce another Royal Rebel this week. Because Kristen Stewart, our extraordinary and staggeringly stunning Reigning Other Queen, has arrived by way of a truly royal carriage: W Magazine. The photos and interview dropped online today, and after I picked myself off the floor from a dead faint, I realized I had absolutely no words. NO WORDS with which to construct a proper new Musings. And I’m typically a wordy, wordy bitch. So I sign off my letter to you MOO Readers requesting your forgiveness… but something tells me you don’t really mind. If you’re even reading these ramblings anymore. Because, yeah. Kristen looks fucking phenomenal. And she appears poised and ready. to. go. That’s all we really need to know right now.  That and how great I think you all are. You serve as my muses every day…just as our Reigning Queen does.

I would like to articulate to you one day soon how honored I am that some of you have chosen me to be a sounding board and guide as you pursue your own blissful endeavors. The talent you possess knocks my socks off. I will tell you as much personally if and when I get the chance…Until then, check you at the bottom for a couple of announcements, my Lovelies. Take care of yourselves and each other. Continue following the Bliss and embracing your Other. xo, KJ

And I fucking love the way you growled and sneered just a little bit there in your declaration of love, Ms Stewart. Anyhoo, the following letter is just a note of appreciation to The Muse Kristen herself..a muse for me, for MOO, for the masses….

Dear Kristen,

I don’t think you quite understand the profundity of power you hold. You have stricken myself and other extremely eloquent and erudite friends/bloggers/writers/artists/Intellectuals/KristenSupporters/OtherSupporters completely wordless. Stunned. And it’s not just because of the loving, yearning dynamic you and Robert exhibit in those Breaking Dawn/EW pictures nor the glam-vixen beckoning to us from the cover of W. Arguably, this new photo spread and interview (plus screen tests, please, pliss can we see the outtakes of this otherworldly shoot??) for featuring photographs by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; and Styling by Edward Enninful (bowing down) is your most spectacular to date. You invoke the spirit and ferocious beauty reminiscent of Bardot, Hepburn (Audrey and Kate), Fonda, Priscilla P, and Jackie O with your piercing, cat-lined, green eyes and tousled, voluminous bouffant; the leather, the fur, the pillow lips…

This is the most glamorous and unabashedly sexy version of you I’ve ever seen, but I believe that you have reached this pinnacle of smolder due to the collaboration of external assistance–your makeup artist and hair stylists are genius–with your luminous inner facilities. You are congruent and authentic. You are kind, but reserved; sensitive but guarded; Strong but not impenetrable; confident but not arrogant. We’ve watched you grow more comfortable and sure-footed in your own capacity to communicate your truth over the years, and it’s that quiet certainty that you exude that pushes you beyond the barriers of “lovely”, and into the realm instead of  resplendence. 

You tell W Magazine in your extremely cool and captivating screen tests what you were conscious of; your moment-to-moment awareness while growing up:

“I have….that so-called boyish quality was something that I was deathly self-conscious about when I was younger. I was, like, No, I’m a girl. Actually, I’m still embarrassed to say that.”

Uh. Yes. Yes you are indeed a girl. An astonishingly accomplished and genuine girl. You’re an excellent role model for anyone seeking an authentic guide…and an inspiring ambassador for #Other.

You said that upon filming your final, final scene for Breaking Dawn,

“I felt like I could shoot up into the night sky and every pore of my body would shoot light.”

I promise, you could…and you do. Thank you for providing some light, Kristen. Because now…You’ve sparked a whole new movement. Your supporters are pioneering, fierce, ambitious, genuine, confident, sensitive and uniquely gifted warriors, just like you. And we’re with you all the way. Keep going, Your Majesty, keep going. In awed gratitude, KJ

We Are Other.

Kristen Is Other.

Others exude light that can spark a new movement.

Embrace Your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION(S):  Are you taking the steps along a fulfilling path? Are you settling? Have you recovered long enough from the shock of the W shoot and interview to share your reactions? 

A/N: I’m pursuing a couple of personal projects and business plans these next few weeks so I don’t think I will be able to write another full-fledged Musings for a little while. Quite possibly I’ll be back around Aug 23rd, but if Aug 28th rolls around and you haven’t heard from me, don’t panic. I’m leaving tomorrow for my hometown, to spend time with family, participate in some renovations and stroll down memory lane (could be traumatic, actually). I also will be seeing my gals from the KSIBTU Crew to celebrate Iris’s birthday in person. I will hopefully spend some time with my Cyber Soul Sisters @Mari and @RobKris13 as well (and maybe see Rob and Sam at the grocery store as they re-stock the kitchen?). Plus, I’ve some Red Cross projects I’m participating in, as well as an exciting writing adventure about which I’ll hopefully be able to elaborate on with you soon. Take care you gorgeous rabble rousers, and I’ll see you in a few weeks. Where we can talk Good Reads, Ramadan, the late Amy Winehouse, Sam Bradley, Cancer Bites and of course..Kristen Stewart and Otherness. Yours, xo, KJ

Shoutouts and SqueezieHugs:
My lovelies: @Kate_Suena and @MyCleverAlias
My sounding board and constant-cheerleader: Bouffant
My Aussie Posse: @Ophelia2010, @Justice_Aussie & @Mel452        
To sparks in the dark and my muses for words: @107_yroldVirgin and @TeamSmella23         
It’s my friend @TheRainGirl4’s BIRTHDAY tomorrow (Aug 12)!  Go and wish her love and schmexy thoughts for inspiration, and check out her fics: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2185580/
PLAYLIST FOR TODAY’S ESSAY: 
Head Full of Doubt ~ Avett Brothers
The Funeral ~ Band of Horses
Gray or Blue ~ Jay May 
The First Day of My Life ~ Bright Eyes

The Risks and Benefits of Expression & Introspection

10 Mar

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Greetings, my fellow Majestic Misfits! Before I dive into this week’s essay, I wanted to mention a couple things. Firstly, please accept my apologies since I did not post this weekend as I had hoped to and even purported that I would. Some of you know that I’m recovering from a 3-week long flu-bronchial something-or-other and I’m still dodging bouts of tiredness, especially since I’m back in full-force trying to build a clientele for my tiny psychotherapy practice. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give such explicit statements such as: “Musings will post this weekend”. Instead, I’ll rely on the posting schedule I have always had…Thursdays are meant for updates, whether weekly or bi-weekly. However,  if something comes up, I’ll let you know, as I have lately, when I’m running behind or if I need more time (like today). Cool beans?

Secondly,  a sweet friend *waves at @JRollin5* advised me last week that because she catches MOO updates on her phone, she doesn’t benefit from the music playlist each week. In fact, she didn’t know that there was a playlist! I may have to release Volume 2 of the MOO Mixed-Tape Love Letter soon here, because oh mah gah, if anything has been present these past weeks, its been THE MUSIC! A few of you have asked me what influences the playlists for each week, and my answer is: these songs are either connected to the Featured Royal Rebel or the theme for the week–often times, both. I listen to the same playlist while I’m writing the essay and I find the songs often inform the tone of the whole post. Plus, our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reports music as essential, and her musical sensibility is genius. And we celebrate Kristen’s sensibilities here in Otherland, so….

Then there’s this: *cue soaring heart*

The Fairest of The Fair

Perfect segue into the check-in with our Royal Beauties. Last week was a glorious week for those of us keeping an eye on the happenings of a certain pretty, Rebellious Partnership, yes? In last week’s Muselet, we were still acclimatizing to the newly released Vanity Fair in which Rob posed for legendary photographer Annie Liebovitz. While the pictures were beautiful (awaiting more OUTTAKES , pleeeeease!) the interview portion, though not including any unknown information, left me feeling unsettled and wistful. I also felt the “journalist” who conducted the interview (allowing for faulty “facts”) operated with an agenda. She even asked the tired and unoriginal question pertaining to his relationship with our Other Queen, Kristen, after she wrote a sneering paragraph scoffing at other interviewers who have tried to obtain the same information (“Oprah couldn’t even get it out of them”). Well, her exclusivity-seeking fell short, and when she showed up on something like seven Entertainment News shows hooking interest about Rob’s non-denial denial she revealed to me just one more person clamoring for a piece of the magic. The very folks that Rob and Kristen need protection from.

Well, opportunistic writers aside, luckily there were other bright spots in our Rebel Royals’ week. Rob still shared a glimpse into his insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as his personal experience of living under a microscope.  And we were reminded that his new movie is going to be …well, gorgeous. Gorgeous in all ways: cinematography, set design, costumes and story. I am still trying to pick myself up from the floor where I had fallen due to the new Water For Elephants screen caps and the official trailer for the movie: Water For Elephants International Trailer Holy Jeebus. Distract me, distract me!!!

Its not even funny anymore. I flatlined weeks ago.

Now let us please, please, pretty please talk about our Majestic Kristen’s spectacular news of the week shall we??  After months of speculation and weeks of the curiosity operating at a fever pitch, it was announced by the film’s producer that our own Majestic Misfit Kristen Stewart is going to play a Rebel Royal Original, Snow White, in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman opposite the insanely beautiful Other Rebels Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. People may have been skeptical. I am not one of those people. I screamed in delight when I heard Kristen was considering the role of Snow. Ok if it is too hard for you to envision, let’s break it down:

One extraordinarily beautiful girl:

Who is known across the land as being kind and compassionate. Also known to be an animal lover and a bit of a goddess in the kitchen. Loquat Pie anyone?

She’s next in line for the throne (there’s your Royalty), but she has many, many detractors and critics fueled by jealousy and insecurity. Members of her own family send henchmen after her for Goddess’s sake! Forced to hit the road and kick some ass (not to mention defy the age-old gender stereotypes of the hapless, helpless woman awaiting rescue), all while sporting fierce fashion wear? She ain’t your grandmammy’s Damsel-In-Distress, yo. Who ELSE could portray such a Rebellious Beauty? No One. This Is KRISTEN’S ROLE.  In this medium, our Queen of Unconventional Beauty will model for a new generation what it means to defy decrepit gender roles and also respond to the women-against-women destruction in our society and in this fandom. On your knees, kids. Bow down to what could potentially be a great thing.

Risks & Benefits

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” ~Chekhov

Kristen is reportedly fielding numerous incredible projects, unsurprisingly. Her reputation for professionalism and the brilliant embodiment of the characters she plays (Read: The Runaways,The Cake Eaters) is paving the way for what could be an astoundingly deft and unique career, not to mention one of longevity. Her confidence and focus on piecing together her career plan is not lost on her partner Robert. He admires her propensity towards clever role choices, and also exudes the sense that he is testing the waters for his own path. Which is normal and expected. He’s only 24 for goodness sake. Typical twenty-four year olds are just outside of completing college or are experiencing the glories of jobs and internships. Rob and Kristen have been handed cash and fame and are being hailed as having “hit it big”, but they’re not even a quarter of a century old. It’s a lot of pressure. Knowing and pursuing what “we want to do” is stressful (even when it’s a good stress, stress is still stress), daunting and potentially disheartening. I sense a little overwhelmed-ness from Rob when I read that VF article. These very valid feelings could be there for him, but I still am wary of the VF interviewer’s not-exactly-supportive influence on the story. Regardless, I understand those feelings well.  And in questioning my career path and goal for this world, I recognize there is the risk of discovering I am not exactly happy or actually doing what I had initially set out to accomplish.

I just need a moment of quiet...

Luckily, Rob is blessed with several gifts and he has the capacity to explore many avenues in which he can utilize them. He is granted versatility and really, opportunity to soar. He could be a musician, songwriter, movie producer, screenplay writer, and he has dabbled in all of these fields already. But for him to declare aloud that he feels limited to representing a sparkling vampire for the next ten years indicates he’s aware of the long-term effects prompted by his particular profession, and he’s questioning these effects. Is it enough to discourage him from exploring his other talents? I hope not. I hope he pushes forward and pursues all of his interests, refusing to be pigeonholed.

Yesterday I met with a new client for an assessment appointment at the Magical  (though flailing, is still magical in its intent) Little Practice. One of the forms, among the confidentiality agreement and consent for treatment forms discussed in an intake appointment, is a form outlining the Benefits and Risks of Therapy. This concept, of the risks involved with introspection and discovery serves as a cautionary moment. Because, as the Chekhov quote above notes: we must do the work that comes with living authentically, creatively, expressively. Work on art, work on life. And it might not always be pretty.

Have you found this to be true? When you decide to participate in inquiry and introspection (whether it be to look for a new job, pick up a new hobby, start a new relationship, or start receiving therapeutic support), and specifically self-improvement and career aspirations, do you feel that rush of reactions? Excitement for the adventure; or, anxiety and grief in stepping away from the familiar; joy at exploring a new project?  Are loved ones in your life discouraging your leap of faith or change in direction? Or are they cheering you on with well-wishes of, “do whatcha gotta do, brother” ? The point is, not all feelings and emotions in reactions to a confrontation of uncertainties of goals are pleasant. I tell clients that as they embark on their journey of self-reflection and mental health improvement that it often gets darker before the sunrise. It can be intimidating to look in the mirror. Introspective folks might experience feelings of resistance (which is synonymous with fear) and may employ all sorts of creative strategies to sabotage our own plans.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. I am re-evaluating and gathering courage to jump back into the job market after a near-two-year hiatus. “WHAT??” You may screech.Wellllll…I have’t been able to sit down with my musical engineer to record the demo I had planned for last fall. But I have become a small business owner and tried my hand at becoming an independent practitioner as a therapist despite the abysmal state of this economy and the stigma attached to mental health improvement. But  for one, it’s a tedious, time-consuming process to build regular clientele who are willing to talk about their emotions (quirks eyebrow. I get that), and for another,  people don’t have any money to pay for services. Suffice to say, my little practice is on the verge of extinction, six months after opening day, and I still need to pay rent, and buy all the Top Ramen N and I consume for sustenance. While N is flourishing at work and fast-becoming the It Boy in his restaurant chain, I am a handful of weeks away from discontinued unemployment checks. Bottom line: This Other-Queen-In-Training has gots to get herself a J-O-B.  At least until the practice picks up steam, or until HRH Kristen contacts me and takes me up on my offer to help build the Halfway House Network…

Oh there is resistance, my friends. There is a cannonball sitting in my tummy. I am unsure. I have faith I can move forward but I also feel the fear. I have identified myself for the last decade as a psychotherapist who whole-heartedly pursued the requirements to become so. But after the disillusionment of BastardNation, I lack the confidence and desire to return to the corporate world. Fortunately, I, like Rob and Kristen, have been blessed with aptitude in a few areas: I can teach, I can create and perform music, I can babble and type these ramblings out to share with you kind folks…but can I do something with these skills? Am I brave enough to do something about it? After numerous pep talks via friends from around the world (Countless gratitude to @Kate_Suena in Canada, and my Aussie Besties @Ophelia2010 & @Justice_Aussie, along with my Cyber Sisters) I feel that I can. But…not gonna lie, you guys, there could be a resurgence of EMO-KJ with all these warring reactions of joy, exhilaration, frustration and insecurity. But perhaps I can look forward to donning a new work uniform soon?

Let the healing...begin.

Featured Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter

While I’m not exactly speaking about reinvention, I have no problem encouraging it. At the very least embrace the idea that your uniqueness and colorful choices on career, clothes and the people you choose to surround yourself with can be your defining characteristic…Like this gorgeous Rebel. British actress Helena Bonham Carter, or HBC as I’ll refer to her occasionally, is the pinnacle of interesting and unconventional. And she does not care how she is perceived. She does not care how odd or unusual she presents, and perhaps that’s why we remember her…revere her…adore her.  We know her as a Queen already, on so many levels, and in many of her film roles (Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts). It’s only natural that she’s featured on Musings’ Other Homecoming Court.

Helen’s first brush with acting occurred when she was sixteen years old, performing in a television commercial. She reports no formal acting training. She began her career when she entered herself in the British Acting Directory Spotlight with her winnings received from a writing contest. As she has stunning charisma, it is not surprising that Helena comes from a family of a prominent political background. HBC’s paternal great-grandfather H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister of the U.K. (1908-1916)  and her paternal grandmother Violet Bonham Carter was a famed political orator. Helena’s mother’s lineage is also impressive: her maternal grandfather was a Spanish Diplomat who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War, her maternal grandmother was a Baroness and her great-aunt was a famous French Philanthropist. Her great-uncle, Anthony Asquith is Hollywood Royalty: he was the director of the films Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Ernest. Truly she’s a Royal who defies convention, the epitome of Royal Rebelliousness.

Her royal blood lines might not be as well-known to this generation, because we’re already preoccupied with her rule on film screens. An actress since the mid-1980’s HBC has appeared in over 60 films and made almost 30 film, television and radio appearances. The ingenuity by which she’s crafted her long and respected career cannot be denied. She has portrayed several twentieth-century “corset queens” beginning with her roles in Lady Jane GreyWings of The Dove (For which she earned an Oscar nomination along with SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nods)  and Howard’s End. But her remarkable versatility is what resonates strongest with her admirers. She has played Don Johnson’s girlfriend on the 80’s iconic TV classic Miami Vice, as well as Queen Elizabeth in the her most recent success, in the sublime and inspirational The Kings Speech (for which she was nominated for her second Academy Award, and for which she won a BAFTA). Somewhere in between those roles she has participated in such memorable films like A Room With A View, Twelfth Night, Fight Club, Frankenstein, Mighty Aphrodite, Harry Potter Movies 4 through 7, and four of her partner Tim Burton (And fellow Majestic Misfit)’s films including: the surreal (and my fave) Big Fish and the awesome Sweeney Todd.  HBC’s mother Elena is a psychotherapist (*fist pump in solidarity!*) and Helena has paid (and may still) pay her mother to review scripts with Helena to uncover the “psychological motivation behind a character” before she decides to take a role.

In 2009, HBC was named in the  Times’ as one of the Top 10 British Actresses of All Time . Not too shabby, eh? Perhaps the fact that she can wear mis-matched shoes and constantly top fashion magazines ‘WORST Dressed’ List is meant to truly illustrate how this talented, cool, unaffected beauty embodies Rebel Royalty at its finest. She has reported often that she is tired of the labels as “Prim Edwardian” and instead wants to “shock people out of it”. I simply adore her insistence on living her life her way, despite cautionary advise or the blue blood lineage. She doesn’t match shoes when on the red carpet. She hasn’t married her long-time partner Tim Burton, and she does not live in the same home with him, even though they have been a couple for ten years and have two children together. Instead she and Burton live in adjacent residences, connected by a hallway. Awesomesauce.

Offenses of Otherness:

Successfully balances independent projects with blockbusters.

Does not adhere to industry standards of “fashion”. She creates her own.

“I’m the kind of actor who has ventured into escaping from me.”

Ahhh well, we’re wrapping up today’s Musings on the risks and benefits of taking the leap towards introspection and reinvention. Rob became a little introspective in his Vanity Fair interview and it could possibly be the key to his liberation. Kristen, our Reigning Other Queen knows she wants to be an actress and the film projects funneling her way imply, at least to me, the potential for Greatness, despite the fact that she’s taking on yet another iconic role of which she will single-handedly redefine the antiquated standards attached to it. Pfft. She can do it for a Disney character. She schools us on how to question and pursue change daily.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

She’s back in Vancouver with her friends and colleagues from the Twilight Saga, and even though she has HottieBodyGuard and Agent Security Blanket John, she is proving day in and out how stealthy she can be. Her focus, as Robert says, is on her career trajectory as an actress, as it should be, because girlfriend is goood at her job. She reports knowing she wanted to be in the business ever since she was a little girl, growing up on sets where her parents (TV producer father, screenwriter-director mother) worked. Our Reigning Queen has the ability, like our Featured Rebel HBC, to lose herself in a character, becoming almost unrecognizable. We did not see a trace of our Valley-girl KStew beneath the heavy eye liner or shoulder pads in The Runaways. Nor did we see her in the battered but resilient Mallory of Welcome to The Rileys. However, if our girl wants to write or produce or compose screenplays, as she has said in the past she’d like to try, I can’t see anything holding her back from exploring those avenues as well. Her ability to be versatile, open and courageous reminds me that there is possibility for longevity and fulfillment in anything.

Offenses of Otherness:

Does not desire celebrity nor fame.

She does not adhere to industry standards for “fashion”. She creates her own.

“When I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”

All right my lovelies….We talked about the beautiful stills and trailer from Water For Elephants and about the fantastic news that our Queen Kristen will actually be Queen-in-training Snow White on the big screen. We talked a little about the beauty of versatility and the courage to question ourselves and our paths. We talked about job hunting (which I don’t think Kristen nor Rob nor HBC will struggle with) and the resulting emotions that come from doing the introspective, clarifying work…emotions of elation, as well as melancholy and irritability. But that’s ok, whatever it is, however it presents itself. We all still hold our spots on the Homecoming Court for Otherness.

Helena is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that to work on their art, they work on their lives.

Embrace your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION: How has it been for you to embark on new journeys? Have you met resistance? If so, from whom?

A/N: Thanks to JRollin5, MyCleverAlias, Possum Besties Jai and Aai, and my CyberSisters Bellsy and Cheermom and to the always present and brilliant Bouffant. Thanks to Katie for hooking me up with texting abilities. Thanks to my family Puss and Monkey for taking me to the museum  to see the butterflies and the piranhas (in the A-Ma-ZON).

Sending love and light to friends struggling this week: EACNM, BELLSY-BAI, LISA, CHEERMOM…and my dear IRIS ADRIENNE.

I donated to two fandom charities this week for causes near and dear to my heart. Wont you join me?

FandomsFightTheFloods and the charity Take Back The Night through the Fandom For Awareness Against Sexual Assault.

Next week I hope to contribute to the Fandom Against Domestic Violence and Fandom Fights Mental Illness.

See you next time, loves. xo, KJ

KStew & Vogue Inspire the Seeking of Global Soul

27 Jan

We all have wings. Though some of us don’t know why

~Never Tear Us Apart, INXS

We Are Here.

Well, hellllo there, my Majestic Misfits and Rebellious Royals! I’ll address why you haven’t heard from me in over two weeks (and, more importantly how profoundly effective the hiatus has been) in a few moments, but I just wanted to take a deep breath and enjoy being in your company. I hold deep and sincere gratitude to you for your patience and understanding. And you must know that I have missed you all. In a very experiential, existential way. And I’ve missed your clever, hysterical editorials on all things K/R/Twi/Bliss/Other related. So, this is me, before commencing this week’s essay, bowing down to you in humble appreciation. And I look a little like this:

One thing that has become dazzlingly apparent to me recently is The Bond. There is a bond now. We all have bonded over our admiration for Kristen and Robert. Regardless if this is an almost 3-year journey (raises hand) for you, or if this is your first glance at a blog you discovered after typing in the words “Kristen” and  “Stewart”  in a Google search, there are a great many of us who share in a feeling of unity in this vast community, this fandom. We have invested at least a sliver of personal interest into a twenty-year old woman who is navigating the peaks and valleys of living, loving, doing and being. How has this bond manifested for me? Well, first, I had the opportunity to spend some face-to-face time with one of my Cyber Sisters, Missy/Brothaa last week. Nothing cements camaraderie like ingesting copious amounts of pasta and alcohol before running around town to random bookstores and liquor stores seeking VOGUE Magazines. While the gentleman behind the liquor store counter double and triple checked with me as to whether I “really wanted to purchase all four copies of the same magazine”, Missy didn’t bat an eyelash. Instead, she squealed and did the soccer-announcer -screaming-GOOOAAAALLLL-Dance with me when we spotted it.

CLEARLY a productive night

How else did I glimpse the awesomeness that is the Fandom Community? The emergence of more clear and powerfully positive voices speaking up in support of Kristen, Rob and the greater picture. A friend of mine, M, aka one part of the blogging team @DrownInIt wrote an eloquent essay on the joys of participating in this fandom. Check it HERE: How KStew Changed Fangirling. One of the many points M highlighted in her essay is the sheer exhilaration and honor she feels in meeting fellow intelligent, and creative voices among this fandom. I personally can attest to the genius and almost crushing generosity of Kristen Supporters, if Musings’ Readers are any indication. I’ve long-held the opinion that Musings Readers are the wittiest, bravest and most brilliant of all the fandom (bias schmias), but as I stumbled around uncertainly these past couple weeks, I became convinced that MOO’s Readers are DIVINE. Here is where I turn my adoring gaze upon Matt B and @Dano328/OpyTaylor for their impeccably timed, kind words of encouragement. You both unknowingly contributed to the saving of Musings.

TRUTH TIME. I experienced a moment in which I contemplated the discontinuation of Musings. Without going into great detail, I have had some pretty stressful 3D experiences including another bout with a painful sinus/flu-like sickness, a major setback in the financing of The Magical Little Practice, and some family issues to attend to. Plus, with my inability for succinct storytelling, I had written essays averaging 3000 words every week for seven months prompting self-care (coming from the consta-sick girl) and perspective-expansion, and I wondered if maybe I’d over-stayed my welcome. Quite serendipitously, The Universe sent me several encounters with synchronicity, impeding my too-hasty, and not-quiet disappearance. Synchronicity in the form of emails from rebel poets (@DANO328 and MATT), MidWestie Visitors (winks at Brothaa), inspiring Blog posts (@DrownInIt), Team Other Captains who used SHOUTY CAPS (ahem, CC) and soothing words and pictures (My girls Bouffant & Buff). And just in case I truly didn’t get the memo, Synchronicity sent an Angel….

VogueStew bestows grace

These encounters with friends, Readers, fellow fans (The Bond), and our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reminded me of the agreement I’d made with myself, and with Others. In essence, I was re-introduced to my Blissful Path, prompted to expand my perspective and revisit my Sacred Contract. This Contract, as defined by the awe-inspiring author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, is essentially the understanding and implementation of our greater functioning. Our Path. Our higher purpose. Our Soul’s Work. Basically, the reason ‘Why We Are Here’.

We have established these agreements with many people in our lives–past and present–also with our higher power however it is named for you, and with ourselves. They are compiled of anything and everything and influence anything and everything: Romantic relationships, friendships, family relations, career choices, money management, artistic expression, fandom communities, and society. SISTERS. BROTHERS. MOTHERS. FATHERS. LOVERS. HEALERS. TEACHERS. PARENTS. STUDENTS. WARRIORS. LEADERS. OTHER.  Jungian scholars may refer to these as “Samples” and patterns as informed by Archetypes. My Divine Agreements are with my soul mates and beloveds, and with my hope to provide healing and empowerment to people through my fledgling psychotherapy practice…and through Musings. All who enter into a Sacred Contract acknowledge that we are accountable to not only ourselves, but to others, and to our environment, to ideas much larger than just us as individuals. We agree that we have communion with the Global Soul.

The Fairest Philanthropy

Raise your hopeful voice, you had the choice. You’ve made it now

~Falling Slowly, Swell Season

Contrary to popular assumption, the desire to connect to the greater collective (also creating spiritual and emotional transformation) is not always motivated by tragedy or loss. It can be inspired by a particularly beautiful line of poetry, or introduction to a soul mate, a sunset, a movie, an inspiring business discussion. Or by an issue of Vogue. It was quite the celebration once we learned that Kristen Jaymes Stewart was going to be the February Cover Girl for Vogue, as our Rebel Queen broke through the barriers of Unconventional Beauty to grace the front of such a culturally iconic publication. And when the first photos from the shoot began rolling out, I, along with millions of others gasped at the majesty.

I may have cried a little over the Outtakes and the Behind-the-Scenes Video. . .

But it was the accompanying article that truly plundered me, leaving me speechless. Interviewer Eve MacSweeney managed to capture our Majestic Misfit’s quiet but still-blazing intensity, intelligence, kindness and other-worldly aestheticism in print, accomplishing what so many journalists have attempted before but could not entirely deliver. Kristen’s now-famous Mexican Tortilla Soup had been alluded to in the past by colleagues and costars, but Ms.MacSweeney enjoyed a first-hand observation and consumption of Ms Stewart’s culinary prowess as the actress prepared (in her “friend’s” kitchen) and served the famous Soup along with pulled-pork sandwiches. We all knew that KJ Stewart (of course I squeal just a tiny bit that Kristen and I have our initials in common) is a voracious reader, but the Vogue journalist received an updated book list directly from the source. Kristen’s nightstand is piled high with literary gems including Columbine by Dave Cullens, a study of extreme Mormonism and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. OIC. Light bedtime reading.

legs

This interview became my favorite interview in direct correlation with two very essential responses Kristen gave. First, when Ms. MacSweeney alluded to our favorite Featured Rebel and Poet Warrior, Robert P, Kristen addressed but closed down further discussion entirely by saying,

“It’s not my job.”

This was an impeccable answer.  The best answer Ms. Stewart could have EVER given. She clearly indicates that she will fiercely protect her private life, all while shooting down any outlandish charges that her relationship with Mr Pattinson is a PR stunt. Her relationship with him is not available for monetary capitalization nor voyeurs’ entertainment. She granted this interview to a world-renown magazine to discuss her work. BOO.YAH.

The second response that rendered me dizzy simply was Synchronicity nudging me to sit the fuck down and revisit my resolutions…Review my Sacred Contract. I believe I heard angels singing.  Kristen has perhaps glimpsed her own Sacred Contract, as she is realizing the great influence she has (She’s on par with She-Ra). Not only is she greatly admired (translation: adored, lusted after, coveted, worshipped, idolized) by esteemed colleagues and cohorts, but she has the unwavering devotion and attention of millions of readers, and movie-goers, thanks to her work in the films Twilight, Adventureland, The Runaways,and Welcome to the Rileys to name a few.  That’s such a daunting concept. And yet, Ms Kristen finds herself concerned only with the happiness and approval from fans of the Twilight books….She’s also considering what to do with the pile of cash she’s acquired as a result of her film work. She is a lovely, successful, and shy young woman shaping a plan to contribute to society, benevolently aiding a cause she feels “most connected to”. Kristen’s work for the film Welcome to the Rileys in which she played Mallory, a teenaged runaway  working as a stripper/prostitute, illuminated Kristen’s Contract. She wants to contribute to the Global Soul via the creation of safe places for people seeking recovery and rehabilitation…in the form of a Halfway House network.

*Cue Angels’ glorious chorus. Cue KJ’s weeping*

I was already an ardent admirer of Kristen Stewart. I already inherently, instinctively believed that she was a compassionate, intelligent, and gentle spirit. But when I read about Kristen’s desire to build a network of  halfway houses, my respect for her grew exponentially …into a kind of reverence. I have spent over ten years working with the population that Kristen wants to assist. My clients are children, women, teenagers and families who were victims of abuse, poverty, substance abuse and disenchantment, and every one of them sought a quiet moment of respite and a kind word of encouragement to continue forward, when all they really wanted to do was fall back. But since mental health and soul rehabilitation are the bottom-rung of priorities when considering the piecing together of state and national budgets, there are no resources to finance counseling or social services. I lost my job as a psychotherapist and manager over a year ago due to the severe budget restraints. And now this beautiful, compassionate artist wants to contribute to the reinstatement of safe havens and encouragement for people who are in dire need. Her Halfway House Network could enable the hiring of gifted counselors thirsty for work and eager to help to the millions of people just struggling to find their next meal. What other twenty-year old do you know does this? To say that I am stunned is an understatement. I am absolutely astonished.

Didn't I tell you that Buff and N are MAGICAL together? Recognize. Courtesy of Buff&N Collabs.

A New Musings Mission

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true

~Richard Bach

So, let’s recap shall we? In my unplanned, unexpected two-week hiatus from Musings, I got pretty sick (again) and in the midst of addressing illness, family stuff and business planning, considered closing down this blog. Ah, but The Universe had other ideas for this restless Other Queen-in-training. The Bond simmered and surged, other strong voices joined the fray, and letters arrived from  gentlemen who provided exactly the right words to soothe at exactly the right time (bows to Matt and Dan). My beloved and insanely gifted husband N was promoted at work (we have a roof over our head for another month! We have cable again!). A Sister came to my city to have cocktails with The Beats ..and me…And Kristen Stewart made a connection with the Global Soul through a very beautiful and compelling photo shoot and interview with Vogue. Did I cover everything?

Here’s where I tell you about the revitalized, reinvigorated, re-inspired Musings Mission. *bouncing on my toes in excitement* Encouraged by Kristen’s incredible philanthropic visions, and with Carolyn Myss’s guidance on seeking my own Divine Agreement (or Sacred Contract), I’ve decided my mission is two-fold. First, I am going to continue to write Musings. That’s right. You’re stuck with me, kiddos, all my rambling and musing just needs to go somewhere…Writing MOO makes me happy, and it satisfies my desire to communicate, empower and embolden fellow Misfits to find their true Home, their Bliss. The continuation of Musings provides support and encourages our Reigning Other Queen Kristen to KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING as well. My hope is that we can all pursue our Bliss, and seek connection to the Global Soul through connection and compassion with Others. And besides, I get to post pretty pictures of Kristen and all the Royal Rebels who light the path and persevere. I like pretty pictures of Royal Rebels….

The second tenant of my New MOO Mission–Shall we call it THE MOO MISH?–entails: My offer of anything within my power and scope of abilities to our Reigning Queen Kristen’s disposal so she can implement her  own Sacred Contract. I created and managed small counseling teams while I was at BastardNation, a company that truly released and liberated me when budget cuts sliced my position out. Now I’m free to contribute to projects that inspire me–Like Kristen’s vision. Her vision is very close to my own: Guide, provide safety, health and empowerment of self.  I would love nothing more than to contribute my skills of clinical psychotherapy, supervision and program management to helping Kristen build a Halfway House Network to help Others start their healing journeys on their own paths towards health and …home. It’s kinda what I do already in my teensy tiny almost-there practice, and in my weekly ramblings with you beautiful Misfits…So why not contribute the goals of my Sacred Contract to someone else’s goals for the betterment of The Collective Good? *shrugs*

So, my Loveliest of Lovelies…here we are, already at the end of the first month of a new year. Its only the second Musings of 2011 and I do apologize for the unannounced delay in posting. But I am eternally and wholly indebted to you all for your unbelievably inspiring support and love for Musings, for your passionate defense and support of Our Reigning Queen Kristen and all the Featured Royal Rebels highlighted each week. I thank you for your enthusiasm  and courage in Embracing Your Other and following your Bliss….for remaining so positive in a roller-coaster of a passionate fandom, and for modeling true UNCONVENTIONAL BEAUTY ….I am honored to be amongst you deliciously odd, awkward, unusual, unique, and brilliant beings.

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS SEEK WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GLOBAL SOUL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: How have you been inspired in your Otherness to recognize and honor your Sacred Contract?

A/N: Well, this essay was a bit of a departure from previous posts, but essentially it is a love letter from me to you, to Kristen, to Others. I do hope to post next Thursday as per the usual schedule, but I may take longer if 3D life keeps throwing the curveballs at me. Next time, we’ll show love to our male Rebel Royals. Perhaps Viggo Mortensen (First OTR, now perhaps Snow White?) Garrett Hedlund? Javier Bardem? … We’ll see who jostles to the front of the line…

Oh!  And I’m going to a Bobby Long concert next week too. *happy claps*

Also, I updated the About KJ Page. Leave some answers to the sentence completion in the comment section. LOVE hearing what you have to say!

I’ll be making some changes to the site’s appearance as well, and adding a new page or two perhaps…I’m hatching a diabolical plan with Buff (i.e. poking and annoying her til she breaks).

Part 2 of the New MOO Mission is in discussion with my best girl Bouffant, and our Team Other Co-Captains Buff and CC.

I’ll letcha know on Twitter of progress and updates for The MOO MISH. . . @MusingsOnOther. . . You know me. I’m the one who is Not. At. ALL. SUCCINCT in my descriptors of love for Kristen, Rob and our massive Majestic Misfit Royal Court..

THANK YOUS, LOVE, LIGHT, GROPES, SNUGGLES and NUZZLES to:  My Sister Puss. My dearest Bouffant. Cynically Convy. Buff. @MyCleverAlias. Nail. Missy. Iris. @RobKris13. Possum Besties Justice and Ophelia. And As always: My Cyber Sisters and Readers.

…..and to the FF authors who have owned my unfocused ass this week: BrattyVamp, RochelleAllison, 107YrOldVirgin, MissBettySmith, KrisSalvador

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTERS INDIA & BEANAI!


The Places That Scare You, Part 2

16 Nov

So let go, let go. . .There’s beauty in the breakdown~~Let Go by Frou Frou

Ohai, Monday!! *peeks around with large eyes on an unfamiliar day*. I’m picking up right where I left off from Thursday, my Lovelies. Did you enjoy meeting our Featured Rebel Royal Zooey Deschanel? Well, It’s been yet another incredibly knowing weekend for me, and unbelievably illuminating weekend for our stunning Other Queen Kristen. I’m going to stick to my original plan from last Thursday by finishing up with the theme of pushing through fear and feature our Reigning Other Queen per usual, as well as tell you the stories of the two weeks prior to this essay. The two weeks included numerous Welcome to the Rileys viewings in which I spent a little time with lovely new friends, good friends, and a birthday party weekend that involved sparklers, bonfires, prosecco and a very comfortable and confident Kristen Stewart in her return to the iconic role of Bella Swan. Marking a return to regular publishing, this Thursday’s Musings, will address some of the more recent events (as in, last night) of security breaches, body image and the heartbreak and triumph of truly being OTHER in society. So where were we? Ah yes. HERE.

Annnd they're NOT filming in this moment...

Images and video from the first days of the Breaking Dawn filming began to surface over the weekend of November 6th, the same weekend I was down in my hometown for the soiree weekend commemorating my birth or some silliness like that. It was our first glimpse of Kristen in the vintage nude dress and Michael Kors pumps…and of the comfortable and open nature in which Kristen and Rob expressed their affection for one an other. Those dedicated fans in Brazil caught nearly every possible living, breathing second of time that transpired in those days of filming the honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro.

The anatomy of a high-five as demonstrated by Stewie and Flippy

And of course…some wandering hands…Which REMINDS me:  WHOA, Like, WHOA  you guys sure LOVED the gif at the end of Part 1’s Musings last week! Nearly all the comments and tweets I received in response came from those of you entranced with watching Edward Cullen familiarize himself with his new wife’s …ass..ets.

Well, it's KJ's birthday. Let's give her a gift, mmmkay?

I of course, was on my phone tweeting and texting with CC who was in the same room witnessing this onslaught of awesomeness in the company of Jamie and Kim, and I also was on Twitter with my girl @robkris13 while capturing the images alongside my Cyber Sisters & Readers. Each new picture brought the anticipation of Breaking Dawn (which surprises me since I’m not the biggest fan of that book) and elation in that Kristen and her partner Robert were showing public affection in between takes and throughout the whole night. These DAY ONE pictures only capped off what had already been an incredible week days. I wondered, did the Birthday Goddesses grant me my wish that Kristen and Rob would feel safe and comfortable enough to just be even while in public? Was my sceptre and tiara THAT POWERFUL? Or did my power derive from the pink diamond replica from The Titanic that hung around my neck?

Well I dunno, quite honestly, if the sceptre and tiara were the catalysts behind the epicness that is Day One of Breaking Dawn filming, but I do know that they were the reason why I kept having drinks and desserts comped by pretty-faced, bouffant-sportin waiters (I texted my girl Bouffant and told her the news excitedly about Pretty Waiter’s Bouffant), and why fruity shots and bottles of tasty prosecco were sent our way, generously. Tweet  from CC at 7:20PM:

KSTEWSBTRTHANU

Hottie waiter (with a killer bouffant and pretty face) just picked up @MusingOnOther‘s tab. #thankyouRitz now out for dinner! 7:20 PM

This is what we had been drinking before dinner, when CC sent that text.  Pretty, right? Note the beautiful sunset backdrop. The weather, not surprisingly, was stunning the entire week’s visit in my hometown. Hot, dry and smoggy which made for a breathtaking sunset every night. My girls among the KSIBTU Crew–@kstewsbtrthanu (CC), @just2cusmile (Iris), @jhiggs86 (Jamie) and @kimmcarr (Kim)–picked me  up  while dressed to the nines in sexy dresses and killah heels. We stopped (of course) at In-N-Out, because we are not on a healthy eating plan as the entire Breaking Dawn cast is, at least not this night. We made our way down to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Orange County, which, for those of you who follow the timeline, know that Kristen and her “deliciously handsome” costar Robert have visited in the past for a low-profile getaway weekend. The view is …is…well…spectacular.

CC and Jamie held it together pretty admirably when a couple of the Real Housewives from Orange County sat down with a group for drinks at the table next to us. All this was going down while an acoustic guitar player, of course, strummed and sang Van Morrison songs (again, in honor of Kristen, Rob and Otherness? perhaps…). With a bit of reluctance, though not enough to keep us from missing out on grubbing on tasty food, we left The Ritz and headed to a small Italian restaurant for dinner nearby.

It was there that  I just became plain ole sloppy. There I was, in my tiara, with my sceptre, my necklaces of bling and Titanic proportions, all Ritz’d out and in the company of fine, fine ladies, when it became of utmost importance for me to…Charge. My.  Phone. It became  such dire necessity because my phone battery had died and I wanted to tweet, text, call The Goddess only knows who, and I knew I could charge my phone in Iris’s car. I thought it made perfect sense to excuse my self from the table to do this. In the car. Which was in the parking lot. I was drizzunk. The girls found my reasoning for trying to tip toe out of the restaurant hysterical.

Tweet from CC @ 9:38PM (post-prosecco, countless shots, comped martinis and a couple saxophone serenades).

OMG @MusingOnOther just tried to get up from te table to chart her phoeb  9:38 PM

My urgent need to charge my phone was Tweet-worthy apparently.  In case you were holding your breath in suspense, I did NOT get up from the table to “chart my phoeb”.  I sat there instead and fondled the baby salt shaker, caressed my beautiful necklaces, and wondered how the hell I became so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people. What had I done to be rewarded  so blissfully this year? My answer is, essentially, the moral of this two-part essay:

I WENT TO THE PLACE THAT SCARED ME

With the same determination that Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Majestic Mistress of Other, immerses herself in roles to play off-beat, quirky, unusual rebels with resilient spirits who appeal to her soul, I determinedly began pursuing a life that resonated with my soul. To pursue the Creative Life which is filled with music, art, a BoHo Bay Circle, some Musings, Royal Rebels and Kristen Stewart…and was rewarded in ways that were wholly unexpected and light-years beyond any expectations I ever, ever had. I was laid off from my soul-sucking job over one year ago from Bastard Nation, and I walked away from doing psychotherapy and healing so that I could put myself and Hubby N back together again. We did not have any money (uh, thats still the case), we did not have a plan, we did not have a home, we had no idea what our next source of income would be. Despite the fact that I had spent almost ten years developing myself as a licensed mental health practitioner, and despite the fact that I was beginning to earn some decent money and status in my field, I chose to walk away. Scary. As.Fuck. My mother, my colleagues, my husband (maybe just a little) and some of my family members thought I was insane–ok, they still do–and they told me as much. They told me constantly how afraid they were for me. How they feared for my well being. And yeah, not gonna lie, there were moments where I was absolutely devastated and exhausted, and I recognized the bumpy path ahead of me. It was a World of “No”.  But I reconnected with that dormant part of me that wanted to express emotions properly, sing, play piano, write, and because I pushed “PUBLISH” on June 3, 2010, at the encouragement of CC and Bouffant, I opened the door to a positive world, a “Gift of ‘Yes'”, as Kristen says in the wonderful article by Sarah Kuhn for the publication Backstage.

Kristen's *Headdesk* is infinitely better than mine. Better than everyone's. Just sayin.

And The Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving…Kristen’s Gift of Yes manifested in the form of a successful franchise such as Twilight allowing her to “keep doing what I’m doing”. She is able to develop and work in projects that may not have had an opportunity before Twilight, such as Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways, and On the Road. My Gift of ‘Yes’ keeps giving in that I have made the most wonderful friends who are stationed around the world through a fandom that I was merely an observer in, drawn to the charisma of an Indie film actress and a rakish, charming British musician who played the doomed Cedric Diggory in a Harry Potter film. Because I decided to go the scary route, I was able to walk away from psychology for a whole year and return just now, refreshed, thirsty, inspired, and extremely convicted that I can merge Plan A with Plan B, and be delightfully happy about it. Part of why these past 3 weeks have been so powerful for me, is because I was able to integrate my skills as a therapist trained in Satir’s Communication theory, and Carl Jung’s discussion of archetypes with this psych training seminar, into my world that has become important and prominent to me as a result of appreciating Kristen Jaymes Stewart. I realize quite contentedly,  I get to attend clinical psych trainings AND Bonfires with my KSIBTU Girls:

I have the privilege to build a “Magical Little Practice” for psychotherapy on my own terms, but with the knowledge that I am also an Other Queen in training. I have a plethora of positive reinforcers and physical anchors to remind me of this:

Gifts from my KSIBTU Crew girls. More on the KSIBTU Scrabble Tile necklace in the A/N.

I am writing this on Monday, in the aftermath of the HOLY HOTNESS,-KRIS-AND-ROB-ARE-IN-THEIR-BATHING-SUITS!! pics, and the disturbingly invasive video footage obtained through a serious breach in security (or massive bribery of a crew member) which showed our favorite Rebel Royals on set and in their down-time. So on Thursday, I’ll address those matters, but in the highlighting of our Reigning Other Queen today, I wanted to draw attention to an article that I alluded to earlier in this post, in which Her Royal Otherness Kristen spoke of The Gift of ‘Yes’. The  interviewer/writer Sarah Kuhn surveys Ms. Stewart’s career from her discovery in a Christmas play in elementary school up to what the writer refers to as “the recent indie sensation Welcome to the Rileys”. In the midst of a time when the scrutiny is intense on Kristen (you’ve seen the breakdown of a High-Five at the top of this post), this article champions Kristen’s dedication to an authentic portrayal of characters she embodies.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Aside for her penchant of posing in ridonk sexxah photo shoots (err, see above: shoes…hose…is that General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard in the background?), Kristen carries herself with a confidence and certainty that only a child raised in a show-business family can possess. Kristen was discovered by an agent when she was performing in a Christmas play while she was in elementary school. Her script-supervisor/director mother Jules and her TV producer/set-managing father John were always on a set of some sort, and Kristen, finding herself on sets with regularity was curious about “getting a job” in the family business. She always believed she’d be crew, a writer or producer, but when the agent discovered Kristen in that school play, she found herself auditioning for and landing parts in films at age nine. Her breakthrough role as the diabetic daughter of Jodie Foster’s character in Panic Room was granted to her after having to “work [her] ass off for it. It was not a quick thing”. In this writer’s eyes, Kristen appears firmly ahold of strong intuition, and her ability to pick new projects to participate in are solely rooted in her reaction to the story and a compulsion to do “the proper work” to authentically represent her character’s story.

Taking the role of Mallory, the near-broken, simmering and battered stripper/prostitute in Welcome to the Rileys was a decision made by Ms Stewart nearly two years after first reading the Rileys script. She did not believe she held the confidence nor maturity to play the part. She did not film the role until she was eighteen and had completed her work in Twilight. Of course, Twilight, and Kristen’s own path towards Bella Swan is steeped in it’s own now-legendary lore. Director Catherine Hardwicke, like Jake Scott of Rileys discovered Kristen’s unique charisma based on her small but pivotal role in Sean Penn’s haunting film Into the Wild. Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh to meet Kristen while Kristen was filming the lovely Adventureland and introduce the idea of accepting the role of Bella in the Stephenie Meyer-penned saga. Kristen admits to Backstage, that she could not truly consider the project “of that magnitude”, but after her meeting with Hardwicke (oh Chatty Cathy I adore thee) and actor Jackson Rathbone (yum, btw. For those of you who aren’t Twilight followers, Rathbone is the actor who portrays Jasper Cullen in the films), Kristen found herself invested and hopeful about collaborating with Hardwicke in what was intended to be an “Indie film with a built-in, supportive following”. She had no way of knowing her participation in the Twilight Saga would alter her life so dramatically. However, Ms. Ambassador of Other  is thoughtful and grateful for the success of the franchise. If Kristen doesn’t realize it yet, this writer along with Sarah Kuhn of Backstage certainly are willing to imply: Kristen’s success today is a direct result of her steadfast reliance on instinct, and her courage to push beyond the fear. Her insistence on going to places that scare her has bestowed upon her “The Gift of Yes”.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Prefers the more challenging roles of atypical, non “pretty girls”

*Is filled with a sense of wonder and humility about high-quality projects she’s asked to consider

“I cannot make something work that doesn’t completely speak to me”

Welllllll….It’s super late now on a Monday, but I feel I’ve had the chance to talk a little about the gravity and importance of the past couple weeks for me, manifesting in a two-part Musings about trusting instinct and pushing through the fear. Rewards and opportunities for betterment are abound when we make the efforts to remain authentic despite the varying and numerous surrounding sources cautioning us away from going to the dark place. In psychotherapy and in supervision of psychotherapy (which was the topic of my psych conference these past two weeks), we engage in challenging what frightens us because it uncovers our truest motivations and values, our most authentic selves. In our chosen fields of work, taking the risk and pushing through the dark  may open up more opportunities to participate in projects close to our hearts. In confronting what scares me (and my mother),  walking a path different than what others and society would advise of me, I was lead to Musings, creativity, Kristen Stewart and incredibly enriching friendships with folks who watch Welcome to the Rileys with me, you , anyone  at the drop of a hat, several times (looking at YOU @ellelala, @robkris13, @kstewsbtrthanu @Just2CUSmile and @kimmcarr); wave illegal sparklers in the air (um, burning holes in fingers, much??), consume large quantities of pasta and wine, encourage a broke, unemployed mess of a girl to “PUBLISH”,  “SING” and “SHARE”…the benefits and rewards are extraordinary.

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO THE PLACES THAT SCARE THEM, TO UNCOVER THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: Is there something (someone?) that you have avoided challenging in your life for fear of the changes it brings? Have you considered some of the benefits of confronting your fear?

I’ll see you again Thursday to talk a little about the hotness that is Bathing Suit Therapy with Kristen and Rob, Breaking Dawn filming for Days 2-5…Falling In Love, The Ability to be Naked, Breaking Outta The Cage, gross privacy invasions, and The Pretty.  Thanks for hanging with me through this wonky posting schedule, Loves. I adore you madly. xo, KJ

Per usual. Me...awaiting an airplane.

A/N: The beautiful and ultra hip KSIBTU Scrabble Tile Necklace I’m wearing in the picture of my “anchors” is another @JHiggs86 Original. She is hoping to create more necklaces to place on her site at Etsy. Go there. She is insanely talented along with stunningly beautiful and kind. I couldn’t stop staring at her when I met her. CLICK THIS—> JHIGGS ORIGINALS

The Kristen Stewart interview and article I am quoting is Runaway Talent by Sarah Kuhn of Backstage <—CLICK FOR ARTICLE. Published 11/3/10.

Kathryn, thank you for grounding me as I floated away a few times this month. Get your SKYPE ready, we’re scheduling our Business Meetings for the next year now.

Possums Jai and Aai, Mari, Twi2, Macaroni, all my Cyber Sisters and Readers, we have an anniversary approaching, and you have been a huge blessing as a result of our shared love of The Pretty. You ARE my Life Now.

CC, Buff, Bouffant, my Team Other Captains, you push me further. You inspire. Gropages and slobbery confessions of love your way.

To the lovely ladies I met and spent time with in 2D and now in 3D in all my travels to and fro: @ellelala, @edmett @iampancakes, @Drowninit @KPattzNews @Robkris13 you are absolutely the best part of being in this fandom. Incredible and beautiful women you are. All of you.

Lastly, but not leastly, of course: MY KSIBTU Beloveds@KStewsbtrthanu, @Just2CUSmile, @KimmCarr @JHiggs86, I’ll NEVER LET GO. #iloveplayingwithfire #DoYOUknowtheGermanNationalAnthem? #Bonfires #INnOUT #WTTR #Sunsets #TeamRosendo #Froyo . Thank you for the most incredible birthday party. EVAH.

Watch your fingers, CC, my love. Serio. Not all CVSs are open 24 hrs.

The Places That Scare You, Part 1

11 Nov

Confess your hidden faults. Approach what you find repulsive. Anything you are attached to, let it go. Go to the places that scare you  ~~advice from her teacher to Tibetan Yogini Machik Labdron.

Hello my dearest of Dearhearts. I AM BACK! It’s been two weeks since we’ve talked last, and I have missssssed you!  For the first time in Musings history, I did not post a weekly essay last Thursday. Not posting caused me some anxiety, to be honest. Thank you to Emma and Sbella of @TeamKristenSite for checking in on me when I was radio silent last week, and to my Manager Kathryn, my Welsh Muse, for helping me ground after I floated away  for a moment. I am currently poised to hop on yet another plane tonight, for a trip down south to attend the second half of a psych training, but I would really love to tell  you all about these amazing, Ah-MAY-Zing couple of weeks since we’ve last visited…may I? There were inspiring psych seminars, multiple Rileys viewings, bonfires, birthdays, copious amounts of alcohol and yummy food, and reminders of Kristen’s Royalty EVERRAH WHERE. . . So of course we’ll talk about the gloriousness that is Rio de Jan-you-believe-how-freaking-hot-ohhh?

This is beyond sexy for me. I can’t even..I don’t know how to…

Let’s get to it, friends, because we have some serious chemical events to address this week!  So much that I am dividing this post into two parts. Part One is today, and Part Two will be next Monday. In Review: we last convened in the days before Halloween, a.k.a. illuminate-the-repressed-side-of-you-Day, a.k.a. Day of Other. How was that for you all? Let me tell you, since my last Musings, I have had the most incredible birthday that I can ever recall. Truly. I have been nonstop bodyrock for over two weeks now, and I’m on the verge of collapse, but it’s been incredible.

Firstly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your kind comments, tweets, texts and emails filled with birthday wishes and warm thoughts. I received ALL OF THEM (looking at you, Mullet, @Nhess_V and @horny4Kristen of IMDb for making a special Birthday Thread, and YOU, @kstewsbtrthanu and @buff_82 for my beautiful KStew Bday Card and special shout out in KStew Is Better Than You’s Halloween post). I felt like I was wrapped in a big fandom Snuggie, in a good way, not in the so-heinous-it’s-brilliant-infomercial way. So it began like this: two Thursdays ago, I flew down to my hometown and was picked up by my childhood friend/ next-door neighbor who was kind enough to take a break from fashioning her halloween costume of one of the singing California Raisins of the I Heard It Through the Grapevine TV spots that were always a little creepy, but my god, charismatic!

Ok, so remember how I’ve  spoken of Plan A versus Plan B with you? This means merging all your facets, introducing your cyberworld with your 3-D world, wearing your Chucks with your Tiaras/Crowns? My birthday celebration and the last two weeks were filled with magical moments of synchronicity and encouragement to plow through the anxiety and fear of combining my two plans. I am accustomed to going home and being the brunt of snark and judgment from family members and old acquaintances who don’t understand my unconventional plans for my future or the atypical decisions I’ve made for my career and personal life. And well, I encountered ALL  of those things when I went there this week. But, I also encountered great, great moments of clarity and joy that encouraged me to go forth and continue to pursue the merging of Real Life versus Undercovah Creative Other Life. These facets can exist together. I don’t have to exhaust myself trying to play “Good” Psychology Student, Responsible Daughter and Business owner at the expense of  the parts of me that are Other-Queen-in-Training, Kristen-and-Rob-supporting, klutzy, though always dancing, singing, sometimes-loopy creative girl who likes to write.

Miracle Bubbles = Plan A & B Merging

A sampling of my First Week of Otherness: Friday morning, I walked into the seminar after taking a year off from psychology, ready and primed  for inspiration. I got it. I was inspired, motivated, confirmed and encouraged for doing the right thing in starting my Magical Little Practice and going independent as a small business owner in lieu of working for Bastard Nation in the Sea of Hopelessness out there. A quote was flashed on the presentation screen to serve as segueway into a discussion about guidance, inspiration and technique for teaching:

“People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves” ~Oliver Goldsmith

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Instead of looking for structure and pre-designed technique to make change and be ok in the world, we are to look to ourselves to be the role models, the guide. Ourselves. Sure, we can grab suggestions or inspirations from folks we admire and people who inspire us (hellloooo, KRISTEN STEWART), but the improvements aren’t made unless we make the conscious effort within ourselves, and when we acknowledge that it STARTS. WITH.US. But this quote also indicates that we can’t do it alone. So collaboration and remaining open to external input is extremely correlative with success. But we have to make the conscious efforts to make change, to grow. I already know what to do . I’ve been trained. I have been given the tools to use. Now I must apply them in my daily life to create momentum for change and to actively pursue happiness.

Ok, Mr. Riley, shall we talk about the places that scare YOU?

Ok, so let’s use this moment to talk about Welcome to the Rileys. Since last chatting with you all, I have seen that powerful little movie THREE TIMES. The lovely Iris (@Just2CUSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr)  were my hot dates for my first viewing of WTTR, of course, and like good Kristen fans, they were on viewings 2 or 3 already…

um, I didn't remove all my black nail polish from my thumb yet. Don't judge.

You’ll notice the title of this essay perhaps, and think it’s a bit odd. It really was meant to be the overall theme in this long, two-part post, about how we let fear hold us back from pursuing our bliss, and consequently miss out on opportunities handed to us.

In Welcome to the Rileys, we meet Doug and Lois Riley, or rather, people who look like Doug and Lois Riley but are really just empty vessels moving through their daily activities, aimless, hopeless, anguished and grieving. They have shut down. The scariest place they can go in that moment, is back up, to break the surface. In Lois’s case, the scariest thing she could do is walk out onto her front porch, leaving the shelter (prison?) of the walls behind her.

In 3D world, behind the scenes of this film process, our Other Queen, Ms. Kristen, was on set by herself for the first time in her professional career. She was 18 years old and about to take on a role as a stripper/prostitute in New Orleans, Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina. Kristen did have moments of anxiety in the beginning of filming, as she reports in interviews. But as she immersed herself in Mallory’s skin she found she was able to access some deep, dark, “feral” place within herself to possess the strength to express to portray such a raw, passionate, fierce woman. This woman in the film helps Doug and Lois Riley realize they have been holding back living due to their own fears…This woman recognizes that she is a survivor and resilient in and of herself. And Kristen? Well our girl Kristen is receiving the highest critical acclaim of her career for going to the place that scares her  to conjure up Mallory…

There are more examples, many more, of how challenging the things we fear most can be the catalyst for breaking through a new level of functioning and awareness. I have just begun to detail some of the moments I’ve encountered just in the past ten days. We’ll revisit them for Part 2…But I wanted to throw in a few visuals that express the awe and the AHHHHH of the past few days too. Because really? How freaking incredible has Kristen and Rob’s time in Rio been?  SERIO.

@robkris13 and I dropped everything (postponing FOOD even!) we were doing to check these pics out when they surfaced. #hardcore

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: ZOOEY DESCHANEL

The lovely Zooey “Zo” Deschanel is an actress, singer and model, recognizable for her deadpan, sarcastic roles in films, and most recently as the “She” in the indie duo She & Him with producer, songwriter/guitarist M. Ward. Zooey was born into a family quite familiar with show business. Her father Caleb  is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Passion of the Christ) and her mother Mary Jo is an actress (Twin Peaks). Zooey’s older sister Emily is also a well-known actress, most notably for her work in TV’s Bones.  I knew Zooey from her role as Anita in the lovely Cameron Crowe film  Almost Famous in which she played the older, rebellious sister hell-bent on following her heart’s desires in the 1970’s. Her film debut was in the comedy Mumford, but it was her performances in The Good Girl in 2002 ; plus,  All The Real Girls and Elf opposite Will Ferrel and James Caan in 2003 that solidified Zooey’s presence in the film industry. The LA Times called Zooey  a recognizable and desirable actress due to her “deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing performances”. She often is cast as the “Best Friend” in roles, about which Zooey commented:

“I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time. How is it that I’m everybody’s friend now?”

Ms Deschanel received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead in 2003 for her work in All The Real Girls, all while pursuing creative expression as a musician. She is featured today as a Royal Rebel as she is successfully balancing her love of creating music with her rising profile as a respected actress, walking the fine line between independent artistry and blockbuster fame, much like our Other Queen Kristen. In 2009, Zooey married Ben Gibbard, frontman of the band Death Cab For Cutie in what indie music writers called, “a match made in Indie Heaven” and she starred in one of my very favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer with her 3D friend and recent Featured Rebel Royal Joseph Gordon-Levitt .

As a child, Zooey traveled a lot, as her parents were working in locations all over the world. While she is a Los Angeles native, Zooey reports growing up in exotic locales such as Canada, Yugoslavia, England and South Africa, though her sadness at constantly saying goodbye to her friends made for a lonely childhood. Zooey told L.A. Times in an interview at Coachella this summer: “I think California is our nation’s greatest state. It’s multi-faceted…it can have a melancholy about it.” After the exotic travels of her early childhood, Zooey  eventually settled into a private high school in Los Angeles where she became friends with future costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson, and she had planned to pursue a career in musical theater. After just under a year of study at Northwestern University, Zooey left university to pursue acting full time.

She. And. Him.

Perhaps she was destined for Other Royalty, having been named after the male character of Zooey in Salinger’s Franny and Zooey; also, with her nomadic childhood,  and her reports of feeling always on the fringe of circles. Zooey credits her ability to sing as a big reason she received the role as Jovie in Elf. She sings with a Cabaret group called If All The stars Were Pretty Babies in addition to her cameos in comedy groups and her singing/songwriting/performing with She & Him.  A self-proclaimed homebody and old-fashioned girl, Zooey exercises awareness and sidesteps the scandals and drama associated with other young Hollywood artists. She is interested in finding film projects similar to “Rushmore and Being John Malkovich” where young directors are “doing different things in cinema. That’s what I’m passionate about”. She acknowledges that growing up in a show business family requires that she has to fight even harder for work and respect in the field, and that she is not in the film and music industry “to be famous” and that her job is not to be “the beautiful”. Smoothly and gracefully navigating the line between artistic integrity and Hollywood It-Status, Ms Zooey is a sublimely lovely embodiment of Other Royalty.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is uninterested in fame or notoriety

*Successfully balances several facets of creative living, as well as indie projects and blockbuster work

“Always the aim for me is making people feel like they are not alone.”

***   ***   *** ***

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO PLACES THAT SCARE THEM.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

A/N: This is where I’ll end Part 1 of this essay. I have yet to pack for my flight and if I keep writing, I’ll miss it. That wouldn’t be such a hot idea. I know I haven’t even brushed the surface of  the epicness that was Breaking Dawn Day One, which coincides with the night we refer to as THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION with my KSIBTU Girls. We’re talking booze, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bonfires, CC lighting herself ON fire, Van Morrison, and the introduction of Bella Cullen to the world, Rio style.

The power of birthday tiaras? INSANE.

Ritz Carlton What?!

Here’s something to gawk at til I see you in a few days…

Get it, Rob...I mean, Edward...I mean...really, ROB...Damn.

I shouldn’t have put this gif up so early. It’s like having dessert before dinner. I can’t even write beyond this, because when I do, it causes the page to scroll down and I can’t stare anymore. It’s mesmerizing. Much like Kristen’s famously robust butt, from which Rob seemingly cannot (and quite understandably) keep his hands away.  Let’s look again at this (right, like you haven’t been staring, open-mouthed this entire time, probably having watched the loop about 47 times by now).

Rob, er, Edward bends Kristen Bella backwards under the passion of his kiss, while his hands drift first from her face and neck, bypassing her waist and going straight for the motherlode….*fans self* phew! Um, it’s a good thing I’m ending this post right here.

SEE YOU ON MONDAY for More Musings, my Lovelies! xo, KJ

A Creative Life IS Personal

7 Oct

“Our creative dreams and yearning come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity” –Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

It is quite the decision to explore creative possibilities, pursue a life of authentic expression. Whether it’s unconscious, or a hard-won battle after years of not pursuing  your desired life, it still is a decision that we make. Or is it? Social psychologists note that we are governed and motivated by our desire for approval of society and of our own personal societies (our families, our culture, our ethnicities). Do you find yourself hiding your talents because you fear disapproval from your “society”, in essence denying your Otherness?

Reigning Other Queen Kristen Jaymes Stewart and her Partner-in-Otherness Robert Thomas Pattinson are very aware of their peers’ and industry’s hopes for them. Fortunately, both Kristen and Rob were blessed in their supportive surroundings and families who allowed our Rebel Royals to explore their own aspirations. Supportive, encouraging environments are more likely to produce individuals who are confident in following their natural path, even if considered unconventional (Other). Kristen reports that despite growing up on movie and television sets, she did not believe she’d be an actor. She imagined she would write and possibly direct, like her mother. And this is just one more reason I love her, and personally elect her to be forever Queen:  Though she did not anticipate being “famous”, she reportedly practiced signing her autograph because of her love of pens.

We could be office supply besties...maybe?

Both Kristen and Rob have stated their interest in many avenues of creation such as writing, directing, producing, musical composition and performance. They are fortunate to be able to make a living on their art, which they love. Kristen says:

“[On acting] I love it because I love to tell stories. I like being in movies that have a great story. Acting is such a personal thing.

So that is the base of Musings today. Are we telling our stories, making it a personal thing? Do you love what you are doing? Are you interested in living creatively, and have you actively made choices to support your authentic, creative life?

Free to Be

You all know of my decision to live PLAN A, after Dancing In the Miracle Bubbles, and getting the boot from my unhappy existence in PLAN B-for-BastardNation. I can acknowledge that psychology is a realm in which I have some skill, so it makes sense that I would try and make a career out of it. But was I happy? Was I feeling creative? I realized:  I, like the social psychologists I referenced earlier, was one of the folks allowing my peers and environment govern my decisions.  I found myself submitting to the fear of disapproval, and in Western society, that can mean, fear of “not making a lot of money”. Well, I tell ya, after playing piano and singing in choir since I was 4 years old, and then studying sociology in college, I knew I would not be a monetarily wealthy gal. My mother was only partially placated when I told her I was attending University for psychology instead of music. Again, I asked, is this what I want to be doing? In choosing to focus on disproving Freud’s archaic and misogynistic thoughts re: psyche, I put my musical composition, my singing, my heart’s soothing on hold, denying a facet of who I am, essentially voiding my right to carry my Other Card.

In the inspiring and brilliant Zen and the Art of Making a Living, author Laurence G Boldt cautions readers in not becoming “trapped” playing a role of someone else, simply to gain approval. The minute we begin hiding our humanity and acting only as our societal ROLES, (be it Students, Actors, Doctors, Teachers, Parents, Engineers, Accountants etc), we have become inauthentic and to a degree, less happy. So there I was, playing the role of Psych Student, only partially fulfilled and lacking a creative outlet. The creation of Musings has led to dams bursting, and I find myself writing every singe day. And yesterday, with the release of the Musings On Other Musical Love Letter to which I contributed a musical collaboration of my own, I took another step to reclaiming what is naturally mine. Reconciling the fragments to become whole.

Pathway towards

Pathway towards wholeness

My “manager” Kathryn, has a similar story to mine. She was a computer programmer in Wales straight out of University. She was good at her job, happily making a living, was able to contribute to comfortable living with her husband Keiron, also a computer programmer and Undercover Artist. Things were all right. But Kathryn really only delegated a small amount of time, if any, to her creative expression–in her case, painting–and this only contributed to the restless feeling lurking in her mind and heart. It would take her a period of contemplation and consulting with her family and husband, but Kathryn eventually decided to spend more time painting, if anything, because it soothed her and gave her a creative outlet when work, family, life became a bit noisy. Today, my dear friend has her paintings on walls of galleries and she just officially launched her website and business See Musings’ Sidebar: http://www.KathrynLeGrice.com . She is no longer a computer programmer, and she and her husband live here in my beautiful city in California, teaching, writing, painting, looking after their nearly-two-year-old son. Keiron is about to have a book on cosmology and philosophy published, and Kathryn is enjoying increased interest and inquiries into her artwork. She recently sold a painting back in the U.K., and was able to travel to New York City to meet with more of her Muses.

Bryant Park

In honor of Others following their Bliss, and taking the risk to live creatively, I am featuring three Kathryn LeGrice paintings here today. Kathryn has generously donated them to Musings to remind us Others to continue  pushing the boundaries and seeking wholeness. We should not deny or hide our gifts and contributions simply because we think society or family or peers will judge us and disapprove. I am giving these 3 prints away to Musings readers who comment today and tell Team Other a little about how he or she is taking the steps to living genuinely, and embracing  Otherness despite any judgment…

Central Park

This is only tiny sampling of Kathryn’s work. I encourage you to visit her stunning website and witness her interpretations of Paris, New York, Wales, and  San Francisco, as well as her paintings of missions, churches interiors and landscapes. She may have been a spectacular computer programmer, but I believe her decision to embrace her neglected creative side was her liberation. She truly is an Other pursuing her bliss. And now bliss is pursuing her.

San Francisco

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: JESSE EISENBERG

Firstly, I’d like to wish Jesse a belated Happy Birthday, as he turned 27 on October 5. The wonderful  New York City-based actor is currently on a world tour promoting his new movie, the brilliant The Social Network overseas. He grew up in a family of entertainers: his mother was a clown and his sister is the former child actress Hallie Kate Eisenberg. Jesse was a teenager when he debuted on Broadway as an understudy in the production of Summer and Smoke .After TV roles in Get Real and movie roles such as Roger Dodger and  Cursed , Jesse earned rave reviews and award nominations for his portrayal of Walt, a teenager struggling in the after math of his parents’ divorce in the indie-drama The Squid and the Whale.

Some filmmakers would say that Jesse’s “breakout role” was in Zombieland in which he and Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone (oh yessss) sought a land free of zombies post-Apocalypse, but I personally disagree. I say that Jesse stole my heart as James Brennan, the virginal college graduate looking forward to traveling abroad for the summer, only to wind up working at the amusement park  called Adventureland. The movie? Oh, that would be  Adventureland, starring our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. This movie was pre-Twilight and coined by many critics among the Best Movies of 2009 (to which I must concur).

He chooses offbeat and typically awkwardly (Team Other’s favorite characteristic) sweet characters in his films, and he, like his friend and co-star Kristen, seamlessly vacillates between smaller independent projects including theater productions and better-known films. He received positive reviews for his portrayal of a Hasidic Jew roped into dealing Ecstasy in the film Holy Rollers, and is now enjoying overwhelming acclaim for his characterization of Mark Zuckerberg, the genius co-founder of Facebook in the film The Social Network. In interviews, the soft-spoken, polite fellow from Queens and New Jersey, is often humble, unassuming and complimentary of his co-workers. In addition to acting, Jesse is interested in writing for stage and screen. He’s laughingly referred to himself as “not your typical leading-man type”, and I must say, that makes him all the more interesting. An Other after my own heart.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Can seamlessly and successfully move between smaller projects, theater and big-budget films

*Is articulate and unashamed of displaying his intelligence

*Is humble and quick to downplay his success

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Kristen is twenty years old, but has been acting for over a decade and has appeared in over twenty movies already. She was raised by her parents John and Jules, both of whom work in show business. Kristen’s father is a stage manager and producer, known for working on televised shows like Ryan Seacrest’s On Air and currently with George Lopez Tonight, alongside world-broadcasted events such as The Academy Awards and The Emmy Awards. Kristen’s mother Jules is a script supervisor and director. On her childhood, Kristen says:

“I never wanted to be the center of attention. I grew up watching my entire family behind the scenes and on sets. They were crew. I never sought out acting”.

After a talent scout caught Kristen’s performance in a grade school play, she found herself playing non-speaking roles in films such as Thirteenth Year and The Flintstones. She was ten when she landed roles in high-profile films such as  The Safety of Objects and Panic Room. She essentially has been a working actor for over a decade, and blowing our minds with her fierce honesty and uniqueness the entire time. Kristen’s musings on expression:

“But in terms of creative outlets and expressing yourself, acting is just the most extreme version of that that I’ve ever found. It’s like running, it’s exertion.”

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Prefers to not be center of attention

*Vacillates seamlessly & successfully between small indie projects and a block-buster franchise

*Views acting as just one creative outlet, not as a vehicle to further her lead-actress status

Because Kathryn and I have decided to take a chance on Plan A and walk the path of more resistance and more bliss, we are Other.

Because he turned down enrollment into New York University to take a small supporting role in an indie film project, Jesse is Other.

Because she views acting as a personal pathway to betterment of self and her craft, Kristen is our Reigning Other Queen.

JESSE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS DO NOT SEEK OUTSIDE APPROVAL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

 

A/N: You can enter in the giveaway drawing for one of Kathryn’s beautiful paintings above by leaving a comment answering this QUESTION:  What steps are you taking in your life to make it, like Kristen says, “personal” ? How are you ensuring that you have a creative outlet, or a means for expression?

The journey is the risk..and the reward

8 Jul
“We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one noble function of the time, move.”
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road 

Onward We Move

And it’s time for us to move. It’s time to push forward to the next adventure. Alas, the whirlwind promo tour for Eclipse has finally spun to a close, save for a shriek-worthy drive-by from Kristen and Rob at the AMC theaters in Century City this week. StrawberryStew and WFEFuckhotRob in the same room together, though brief, caused explosions far worthier than a Fourth of July fireworks display.

The way he looks at her? Ka-BOOM. 

Before pulling away from the curb en route to the highway, let’s take a moment to pay homage to the movie Eclipse. I personally felt it was the best of the three. I went to see it on opening day, with my sister Puss and good friend who is as close as my sister, SK. We had reserved seats at a swanky theater which contained an open bar and tables at our seats to set up all our glasses of vodka. Some of us *ahem* had many glasses, so thank goodness for that table and drink holders. For me, everything about Eclipse (except for the wigs) improved a dozen-fold. The pacing, the special effects, the inclusion of important story lines, the acting all vastly exceeded. Balanced. Kristen killed it. She reminded everyone out there that they’re wasting their time on a team worshipping the boys. I am a Team Bella/Team Kristen gal, and I was elated beyond consonant sounds to see Girlfriend represent. I drank in the chemistry that is Kristen and Robert. Their energy is crazy electric and not only was I turned on by their interactions, I felt almost guilty and pervy for watching there intimate moments of love declarations, marriage proposals and attempts at removing clothing. If Breaking Dawn gets the fan fiction treatment of the love scenes as rumored, then I’m going to have to excuse myself to use the restroom and then smoke a cigarette.

Sweet and pretty, yes. Explosive? um. NO.
Thanks for the memories, Eclipse!
 

So, I am going to stop right here and urge you to read CC’s (of KSTEW IS BETTER THAN YOU) review of Eclipse. It’s the only review for me that wades through the bullshit, with a healthy dose of #TEAMCHARLIE as well. Do it. Read her review (but don’t forget to come back here), and comment. She basically crawled into my brain through my eyehole and expressed my exact thoughts but in her much more articulate, brilliant, snarky fashion. Read it here:– CC’s Eclipse Review

Having tipped my hat to Eclipse, let’s talk about Kristen’s next project and the essence of this week’s Musings. Kristen is about to embark on a new journey of sorts. A road trip, if you will. She is leaving shortly for Montreal (where she will attend Beatnik Bootcamp), New Orleans and Mexico to film the seminal and aching On the Road based on Jack Kerouac’s memoir/novel of the same name.

Now, I’ll probably dedicate an entire future essay to my thoughts about On the Road, the book, the movie and how I believe that this role combined with Welcome to the Rileys will catapult Kristen to the cusp of legend; so, I’ll keep my gushing to a minimum here. I just wanted to take a moment to touch on some important concepts borne of Kristen’s involvement with this amazing project.

Themes represented in On the Road include restlessness, the search for creative expression, friendship, loss and finding a niche (hmmm, could Jack Kerouac be of Rebel Royal lineage?). Also there’s the undercurrent of challenging authority as well as mores of genders. Mary Lou, the main female character in the story, and the role of which our Other Queen Kristen will portray, is promiscuous, stubborn, defiant, intelligent and grappling with the challenges of defining herself. She is damaged and broken but passionate. She does not participate in anything halfway. She is a Go Big Or Go Home Girl. Well, none of the characters in the story are half-assers. MaryLou, Dean and Sal all take the risk, and jump at the chance to take the journey into self-reflection…and perhaps self-redemption…? But in Kerouac’s closing thoughts in the book, he realizes that while he makes it to his destination, he is haunted by and forever affected by the events on his journey.

Oh, and BlondeStew will play Mary Lou. mmmmm gah.

Take a Chance on Me

And so that leads me to this week’s theme: taking the risk, and reverence for the journey. Last week I walked the line of self indulgence as I told you lovelies that I had a hard time which induced many tears. Your kind emails, tweets and DMs were received with bewilderment and gratitude. You all have gone above and beyond in offering support and cheerleading, and I want you to know that you have helped me. Immensely. Why do I say this? Because I’ve made some movement. Because I gathered some courage and decided to return to my bold roots, and my gypsy spirit rejoices. You all know that I’ve struggled with the likes of BastardNation, witnessed my soul sucked out through my toes leaving behind a person unsure if working in the healing profession is in fact, bad for my health. You all remember the Miracle Bubbles when I decided I’d follow my bliss: 

The bliss was because I had decided to forgo Plan B and finally finally pursue Plan A: Creative Living. Singing, playing piano and guitar, writing, photography, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches as offering to work for ODO and Cascadega in BadAssVille in the Department of Royal Rebel Defense. Last week as I tried to keep the panic at bay, I realized that my unemployment term is very quickly closing in on me and I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface in my plans. And I am flat broke on top of it all. All the accolades and pretty words in the world will not pay my rent or my car loan. So I sat down a couple nights ago, and listened to a little Prodigy and The Swell Season and kicked my own arse. 

I reminded myself how I’ve never ever let the pressure defeat me nor my optimism in this whole year of hardship. I reminded myself of all the risks I’ve taken in my life that have paid off beautifully: moving 500 miles away from my childhood home to a city where my soul is soothed; Going to graduate school at a private academy to obtain a Masters and credential to practice psychology instead of the world-renowned University I had originally planned for; strapping on a backpack and purchasing a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia in search of “home”… The travel essays I’m writing regarding the risks I’ve taken are filled only with moments in time, snapshots in my mind’s eye of profound connection. It’s the road not the terminus.

My travels to SE Asia led me to N..who led me to this lovely Hall.
That is me, the day before I married N on that staircase.

So a couple days ago, I walked in my neighborhood en route to my favorite diner with N. We passed a block full of picturesque boutiques and cafes. I wasn’t feeling any heightened sense of emotion except hunger for my egg and bacon sandwich. But something pretty miraculous must have occurred in order for me to shake off my breakfast-vision. Well, it was an opportunity for movement.

What did I do? I smooshed my face against the clean, streak free windows and tried to see as much as possible into the building. I called the telephone number on the RENT sign. I explained to a voicemail box that I am a therapist and I’m interested in seeing the room available. I didn’t have any other words, so I left my name and a telephone contact number. My fingers were tingling and the hair stood up on my arms as I surveyed the front of the small building at which I was still gaping. This space actually has two rooms to choose from and it’s a part of a HEALING CENTER.

I KNOW. After doing the happy-happy-joy-joy Ren and Stimpy dance, I skipped the rest of the way to the diner to meet N for my breakfast sandwich. I received a call within 20 minutes from the owner of the Healing Center. With my mouthful of eggs, I set up an appointment with the owner. I physically saw the space yesterday.

Fast forward to this morning. The owner calls and tells me she just had conversed with her partner about bringing on a mental health therapist into the practice a day ago, and the benefits of having psychotherapy available to their clients. Cue ME calling them about the rental.  The owner told me she’d like for me to become apart of their practice. They want my name to be on the front window along with the massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors for a holistic practice. They want my mother-loving, Kristen-and-Rob-adoring mug on their Wall of Healers. At this point I’m glad I smooshed my face into the smudge-free glass, and that knowing I had nothing to lose, I called the phone number on that RENT sign. There is no signed deal yet. This all just happened, like today, but I feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that I opened up channels because I took a walk towards my breakfast sandwich, and was open to Synchronicity (The Universe’s nudges can be sublime). Like Kristen, it is time for me to transition into the next phase of creativity: the working stage. But the movement is what is most important. While the final destination is important, the initial intention and physical kinesis of deciding on taking the risk: that is the reward. The trigger towards progression is really IT. 

This was kinda what I looked like on my walk home from breakfast

Featured Rebel Royal: Frieda Pinto

Lets talk about a couple ladies who have taken risks in embracing their inner Mary Lou. The lovely Frieda makes her debut as a Rebel Royal today, though she has been on Team Other’s radar for at least the past two years. Born and raised in Mumbai India, Ms. Pinto is the first Other Queen of Asian descent to be featured (oh but believe me, she is not the last, not even close). A B.A. graduate of English Literature and Psychology first, a model and actress second, Frieda broke into the mainstream’s conscious with her role of Latika in the brilliant and effecting Slumdog Millionaire. In the movie, Latika endures poverty, homelessness, servitude as a gangster’s mistress all in attempts to keep her true love free. In real life, Frieda’s very swift introduction to Hollywood threw her into the trajectory of the BullShit People’s feedback. Frieda had been dating publicist Rohan Antao for nearly five years, and as her star rose in the world, their union did not withstand the pressure. The pair parted ways in the year that Millionaire traveled the world for promotional tours. She currently dates her Slumdog Millionaire costar Dev Patel.

Beauty Marks: 1. Classically trained in Indian dance 2. Anchored for international travel show (I am in love with her for this) 3. First language is Konkani (can you even pronounce this, let alone understand the complexities of speaking it?) 4. Spokesmodel for Loreal, the first representing Asian/Indians

Offenses of Otherness: (Per Other-Hunters, Critics and AssClowns) 1. Defied the prescribed physical characteristics of models: is petite, dark-skinned, of Asian descent 2. Auditioned for a large studio film in her first outing (Go Big or Go Home) 3. Showed discernment and sensitivity while dealing with matters of the heart and her personal relationships.

Forever a dreamer and believer in taking risks, Frieda began modeling and attending acting classes while juggling her college courses. Upon graduation, she worked as a travel correspondent for an international television show, and took the chance and auditioned for Slumdog Millionaire. It would be her first movie ever if she landed the role. After six months of screening and reading for the directors and producers, then waiting for news, Frieda learned she received the coveted role of Latika in Millionaire. Frieda’s very first acting job became a wold wide success and received every accolade and award handed out including the Oscar for Best Picture. Frieda herself received a BAFTA nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role. And in a familiar romantic twist, Frieda met and fell in love with her co-star Dev Patel. Because she took never took her eyes off her goal, and decided to journey in pursuit of it, Frieda Pinto is an Other Queen.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

The lovely Kristen Jaymes Stewart has always, always credited her decisions of following her heart over her mind in auditioning for or pursuing film roles. Her astute discernment of roles have garnered her an extremely impressive resume. In a recent Eclipse press junket, Kristen claimed:

“I am motivated to keep working when I am happy, and not lying to anybody”

She reports choosing roles based on how she relates to the character, in finding the humanity beneath the grit. She embodies the job completely: studying and spending time with patients with Friedrich’s Ataxia so as to consume and be consumed by the role of Georgia, a terminally ill teenager with the neurological disease in a quiet and lovely film The Cake Eaters.

Beauty Marks: 1. Will choose a film role based on her emotional resonance with it instead of perceived box-office reception. 2. Looks for the humanity in every character she chooses to portray. 3. Will risk public backlash and slander so as to speak her truth. 4. Chooses to be in a relationship with Rob Pattinson though she has to endure the wrath and threats of critics and angry “fans”

Offense of Otherness: (Per BullShit People, Other-Hunters and AssClowns) 1. She appears miserable and somber all the time 2. Is ungrateful for her career and successes 3. Is unhappy with her personal relationships, she has no friends 4. Has little to no control over her fine motor skills (nervous tics much?)

To prepare for her role in Welcome to the Rileys as the stripper/prostitute Mallory, Kristen fully immersed herself in the journey of finding her inner broken girl. According to US Elle Magazine:

To prepare, she lived on junk food, learned to pole dance, chain-smoked, and stayed up all night. The rough living took its toll: Her legs bloom with bruises and her sallow skin with blemishes, all of them real. It’s difficult to imagine another young actress subordinating her looks so completely to her performance. This may well be the role that loosens the association between Kristen Stewart and Bella Swan, poster child for teenage angst. “

Other Queens Are Coming Home

Because I recognized that to break away from the ensuing panic that was threatening my happiness I needed to hit the road, and call Plan A out by name, I am holding a spot on the Homecoming Court.

Because she blew the antiquated physical requirements to bits with her small stature, dark skin and Eastern features all in her first audition for film work, Frieda is Rebel Royalty.

Because she refuses to take the easy route in preparing for a job that often takes her to the Dark Place, Kristen Stewart is our  Reigning Other Queen.

I am Other.
Frieda is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others make the journey not with the destination in mind.
Embrace YOUR Other.


“The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, that makes us sigh and groan and undergo sweet nauseas of all kinds, is the remembrance of some lost bliss”

-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Question: Are you taking the chances offered now to follow your bliss?


*All Kristen/Twilight pictures from KStewartfan.org and special thanks to TeamKristenSite*

A/N: This weekend I am embarking on a mini road-trip with one of my Sisters Marble Pole to meet up with fellow Sisters to watch Eclipse for the nth time. Big ups to Marble Pole for her willingness to be Thelma to my Louise this weekend. Love to Julie for her weekly pre-Musings check in. Hugs, kisses and tears to @Bouffant00, @Buff_82 and @Kstewsbtrthanu for pre-reading and giving me honest, constructive feedback that elevate words to prose, for leaving ME speechless. To Possum Besties @Ophelia2010 and @Justice_Aussie for Skyping me and reminding me why I fell in love with you in the first place (DELICIOUS ACCENTS). A Special W00t to the Clog-Wielding Queen who not only is brilliant but should really be writing her own memoirs. To @MissBettySmith for taking a chance and meeting me for some yummy soup. Your bright eyes miss NOTHING. As Always: My CyberSisters and Readers: You are an integral part of this journey and I would have it no other way. I am at your service, always.
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