Tag Archives: fear

Muselet: Through What Is

24 Mar
A/N: The images displayed in this essay are not mine–Thank Goddess for Tumblr, Pinterest and Imagebam. Click the image for a link to its origins. Mostly unbeta’d, but preread by the luminous Bouffant. Any mistakes and stumbles belong to MEEEEEE. Musical playlist, per usual, at the bottom. While I try to normalize a posting schedule, click the “Sign Me Up!” button in the side panel to receive MOO updates in your Email…thissss-a-wayyy——>

“In order to get from what was to what will be,

you must go through what is.”

~Anonymous

Hello, you beautiful, beautiful souls you. I must be honest: I didn’t know how to return to you after being away for so long. It’s been nearly two months since I’ve written a new Musings, therefore two months since feeling that connection with you all, which is by far the most rewarding reason for doing this “blog” in the first place. I do not know how to be anything but honest with you, so here’s the truth: I’ve suffered a beat-down–physically, emotionally, personally and professionally–and I not only hit a brick wall in my capacity to create, but I wavered in faith that I’d be able to recover. I’m nursing a broken heart. But nothing…nothing heals me better than Musing aloud with the finest and kindest souls I’ve ever encountered *side-eyes YOU ALL*.

you let me stand under your umbrella. ella. ella.

In the past two months, the number of pristine Moments of Otherness have become uncountable. I won’t even attempt to highlight a singular event that impacted us RoyalRebelWatchers during these weeks. But I can pay homage to a few significant happenings that lovingly coaxed me out of my hiding place. I hope you’ll join me in my brief Musings on the splendor that has graced us since we last chatted. And then together we can look towards the greatness glimmering on the horizon, ok?  Ok, then, off we go. #OtherOn #ThroughWhatIs

Go forth and set the world on fire.

~ St Ignatius Loyola

Since we last spoke, we were in Paris, and better yet, we were whimsically compelled in Paris. Kristen was photographed in a fantastical couture ball gown, and hanging with visionaries Karl Lagerfeld and Mario Testino. So Paris -Part Deux was surreal. And essential on many levels.

Our Reigning Other Queen’s appearances at various Paris Fashion Week events were her first in a professional capacity since becoming the newly-named ambassador for Balenciaga. She attended the Balenciaga showcase in the company of Anna Wintour and Salma Hayek. She met up with her “On the Road Boys” [which we’ll reference another time] at French lounges, and dropped by show rooms of fashion icons. In short, Kristen brought. it. She represented while clutching an incredible Stella McCartney bag and wearing a couple of different leather jackets that reduce me to tears.

brb, weeping over that jacket

Our RebelQueen handled her ambassador’s duties with finesse and grace, and with few, if any, words. Oh and also? Kristen wasn’t alone. No, she was surrounded by love and support provided by her elite team. Her steady assistant John, her incredibly winsome publicist Ruth, her stalwart bodyguard JB and an encouraging and proud partner Robert.

The crowning jewel atop the sparkling Parisian tour was Kristen’s visit to the opening of the Marc Jacobs-Louis Vuitton Exhibition. Wearing a leopard-print Vuitton minidress and gun metal-tipped heels, Ms Stewart landed atop nearly every fashion critic’s Best Dressed list, including British Vogue. 

Now, I’m not someone  you’d call a fashionista, not by a long shot. But I do possess an appreciation for lovely material, unexpected lines, and rich patterns that prompt a physical response–an intake of breath. And I can ascertain an inner strength that exudes from a woman who is on a sky-bound journey called Greatness. Her emergence as a composed and congruent woman has been a steady, tantalizing unveiling, but make no mistake: She. Is. Here.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

~Jack Kerouac, On The Road

So…as I worked through some painful decisions that impact the livelihood of my self and of my family, and more weeks melted away, I found myself cocooning for self preservation. As we’ve discussed before, there is an almost crucial compulsion to re-establish equilibrium for the recovery process to commence. And sometimes, we don’t know how to implement the healing. For me, I immediately withdraw and become quiet, so I can search for that still, small voice (some call this God, The Universe, Allah, Intuition, or…The Divine) to emerge. To access that inner compass, I write, listen to music, make some of my own music, and immerse in nature. I also look for guidelines as provided by strong models who surround me.

In a moment of startling clarity, and tremendous pride, I drank in the examples as exhibited by our Reigning Other Queen. You guise: the reason why I began writing Musings On Other Queens in the first place, almost two years ago, was to pay homage to an actress of uncommon poise and conviction.

I needn’t look any further for inspiration and gentle encouragement towards a courageous role model. These days, she is ev.er.y.where. 

Kristen has been signed on to play Marylou in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaption of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel On The Road for years. She was approached by filmakers to consider the role before her Twilight days. The film project itself has been in development since the 1960’s and the role call of artists attached to it over the decades is nothing short of legendary. And yet, it is just now, over sixty years after the original scroll was typed, that the story is at last available to and for public consumption.

Now, I know that the book On The Road isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But it is my cup of tea. I read the book at an extremely fragmented time in my life–my senior year in high school, while I was determining colleges, and grappling with my first bout of depression. This book–along with the book The Perks of Being A Wallflower and my discovery of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos–served as balm for my wistful, wild yearnings for it. The ‘it’ that Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty and the ‘beautiful sharp tack’ Marylou also sought.

Kristen Stewart knew, when accepting the role of Marylou for this film, that she was undertaking an enormously important project. This film was not only a life vest for an aimless teenager like myself, but is the visual manifestation of a story that is referred to by cultural commentators and historians as the ‘defining work of a generation’. Ummmm. Ok, so in other words, a Big Fucking Deal. 

So, while contemplating my next steps in reconnecting with Musings and you, I watched with saucer-sized eyes as our Ambassador of Otherness herself pushed through any reservations and fears she may have held. Per her usual method, Kristen immersed herself in Marylou’s story (‘Marylou’ is based on a lass called Luanne Henderson), attended Beatnik Bootcamp (dancing, listening to music, reading the literature of the time, watching films and discussions fostered by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Cassady). She divined her own inner mad Marylou to best connect with the motivations of a woman who was raw, wild, magnetic, simultaneously vulnerable and brimming with sexuality.

Ok, you see? She went there. She still waded through the stuff in order to genuinely experience this character. She is in the spotlight   and under extreme scrutiny every single day which I can only imagine generates an ungodly amount of stress and anxiety. She is the new face of an iconic fashion line, and she is spearheading at least two high-profile projects all while trying to maintain her connection to her family and beloveds. She moves through the here-and-now anyway. It is stunning to comprehend the level of strength it takes to do what she does. Every. Day. Are you bowing down to Royalty as I am?

“But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

~Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Well, my Rebel Royals, this is where we’ll stop for today. I wanted to dip my toe in the water before jumping back in, cannon-ball style, and I thank you for holding the space for me to do so. We have so many more amazing adventures to review together the Hunger Games movie and seeing Marcus Foster live (tomorrow night) notwithstanding… I still want to discuss with you all the implications behind the case study we approached last time, about Empathy Erosion and the desensitization to humanity as discussed in the last Musings——>A Stew Review: Compassionate Beauty 

Also, I so very much want to return to our roots, which includes the celebratory highlight of a new Featured Royal Rebel.  I want to talk about and give the mad props deserved to a brilliant, important English bloke. You may know of him already. . .

And we will discuss and rejoice over our Rebel Queen’s continued, brilliant courageousness …Because she is The Fairest Of Them All. She consistently lights the path for Others to tread.

I look to her, and you to help me move towards what will be by honoring and foraging through what is. Because it’s how we roll. #OtherOn

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others choose to go through What Is.

Embrace your Other.

*      *      *

QUESTION: What were your thoughts on Paris Part Deux, and the On The Road trailer? Can you recall a time when you withdrew from a stressful situation only to realize that pushing through the discomfort and fear was the most direct and honest path to recovery?

A/N: Now is when I convey my gratitude to you for the time you’ve  spent in perusing my ramblings, if you indeed made it to the end of this somewhat erratic post. THANK YOU. Though I’ve been on the periphery and quieter than usual, I am here. See you very, very soon. Always, KJ

VIPs in my LIFE and for this post to be possible:

@Kate_Suena @DeeDreamer16 @maybeimrivers @robkris13

BOUFFANT

My Always-Constant CyberSisters and Readers

*Last notes*

1. Take time to check the About KJ page if you would be so inclined. I finally updated a new Sentence Completion Exercise. 

2. Visit one of my bestie’s beautiful, beautiful book blog. And come get lost in it with me. Love you, Katie. And Thank You. For everything.

I’M LOST IN A BOOK SOMEWHERE

Today’s Musical Playlist: 

Joyful Girl (live) ~ Ani DiFranco

First Breath After coma ~ Explosions in the Sky

Lullaby ~ Sia

Fires ~ Shady Bard

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

What happened to teenagers kissing, instead of blogging and dissing?

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

~You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010 by Eve Ensler

Well, my dears, we’ve somehow moved to December…How did this happen? I hope this week finds you lovely folks sated and in the throes of preparing for family gatherings, consumption of obnoxiously large meals; scoping out too-sweet-to-ignore-sales and observing spiritual and religious traditions of great importance to you and your tribe. Last week, you all sent such wonderful declarations of gratitude in response to my own list of thankfulness, regardless of whether or not you were apart of a culture that celebrated Thanksgiving as we Yanks do. Musings enjoys readership from all over the world (it rocks my socks off when I get notifications or a tweet/email from readers from faraway, exotic locales such as Bulgaria or South Korea for example) and last week we all joined in for a moment of gratitude for our Reigning Queen of Other Kristen Stewart and her beloved. It was truly an awesome, extraordinary experience. As usual, I bow down to you all for hanging with me in this colorful quest towards embracing Otherness and celebrating it as it resides in Kristen Stewart, in our peers and family…in ourselves.

Kristen’s excited for all the Otherness-Embracing too.

Ms Stewart has embodied vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks, in the aftermath of Braziliapalooza. She and her rakishly handsome partner were able to fly under the radar and spend Thanksgiving undisturbed, or at least, out of the public eye. There were moments of contention amongst the stalkers exuberant fans as different sources placed Kristen and/or Rob in four or five different locations ranging from Los Angeles to Colorado, Baton Rouge or New York over the holiday weekend, though one picture, clarified Rob’s location: In L.A., at a vintage guitar shop he has frequented previously. And we all know if Rob’s in L.A. on holiday, and Kristen’s on holiday, with an opportunity to be near her family, then they’re most likely together. They’ve  managed to master  The Stealth with their arrivals and departures to and from The City of Angels.

So much WIN in this picture. Beautiful new guitar. Beautiful old LB Hat. Rob.

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

However, as it’s happened in the past, when there is a lull in NEWS from the K & R Camp, the natives get restless. Those of us left clamoring for glimpses of The Pretty revisit former interviews, images from now-legendary photoshoots (*cough* Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Nylon *cough*) and re-watch movies to take the edge off. Which movies do I watch when I need a shot of Lovely Kristen? Adventureland and Twilight with commentary (duh). So this week, partially due to my need to recover from the holiday weekend, what with illnesses and judgmental relatives, and also partially due to needing to fill my quota of Rom-Com/Holiday Movie viewings, I found myself hermitting. I pulled a NinjaStew if you will: watched movies, baked cookies, grabbed some ZZZZz’s; read copious amounts of fan fic and viewed Twilight with commentary (duh). Perfect timing, of course, as December 4, this Saturday, the Eclipse DVD drops in stores and arguably the most anticipated extra among the coveted special features is the audio commentary of the film delivered by the film’s leads: Kristen and Robert. OH. YESSSS. We didn’t have this luxury of the comedy duo known as Kris-and-Robert-Variety-Hour for New Moon. And even with Twilight, we were graced with the lovely, locquacious Ms. Cathy Hardwicke in the room with our Royal Rebels. Nuh uh. Not this time. Eclipse boasts a narrative featuring long-distance chatting and giddiness as Kristen was in Montreal filming On the Road, and Rob was in Los Angeles having wrapped up Water for Elephants filming. It was about the time, if you’ll recall, that Rob and his bestie Tom Sturridge (whom I ADORE and watched Pirate Radio during MovieFest last weekend for my #TeamTommy fix) were spotted on at least two separate occasions at In-N-Out. Perhaps this jogs your memory:

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

*Small Spoiler*–as I know several folks holding out (admirably, I might add) to listening to the commentary before the DVD release–Robert commences the narrative while munching on an In-N-Out burger. This act taunts Kristen who is far away from her hometown, her significant other and the obscenely delectable aforementioned burger joint at this point in time. While Rob munches on his burger, and notes aloud he has a second one awaiting consumption, Kristen reports that she is “harboring hostility” that Rob is enjoying such yummy goodness without her, but also publicly and audibly. So this is all within the first 5 minutes of the commentary. *End of Small Spoiler*

I personally think Kris and Rob should take their chemistry and comedy act on the road. They are magical and create a joyful synergy together. I would love listening to their running editorials on daily life: Taking out the trash, breakfast foods, wigs, and relationship advice. If you haven’t listened to a commentary by Kristen and Rob, I suggest you drop what you’re doing and pop in your copy of Twilight and get on that goodness, because come Saturday, Version 2.0 Bigger, Better, Gigglier is ON. You won’t be sorry. It’s especially nice to “witness”–or hear–a relaxed, comfortable and unguarded Kristen Stewart. All the qualities we admire in our Reigning Queen are expressed: intelligence, awareness, humility, compassion, humor, articulation, giddiness, respect and generosity for colleagues, knowledge, kindness…and affection for Rob.

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

Commentary greatness and my personal Recuperation MovieFest aside, I also revisited previous interviews that Kristen gave in the past year as I formulated this week’s Musings. I stumbled upon a January 2010 interview that Kristen gave to British Fantasy Society’s publication Dark Horizons and per usual, I was stuck by the poetry and synchronicity of the moment. Kristen spoke about the theme for this essay, before I had written my thoughts down. I just kinda knew. Every week, my process for writing Musings varies. Often, I take cues from what is happening in Kristen’s life for an opportunity to reflect and weave the event into a theme that is evident in the fandom, or in society as a whole…in our lives. This week, in a reversal of fortune, the theme for Musings presented itself through a personal experience in my own life. Afterwards, I found an interview in which Kristen alludes to a parallel experience. Yet another reminder that we really are all not so different, hmmm? Others together.

I encountered a rather jarring situation which had me pondering (“long-thinking” as my friend @ellelala refers to it) subjects such as intuition, resilience and self-preservation. And Kristen, speaking to Dark Horizons interviewer/author Paul Fischer, spoke of adversities she faces as a professional,  self-preservation and awareness.

“For me, the biggest adversity I face is The Bloggers….Suddenly, I can get anyone’s opinion at the click of a mouse. [Hearsay via media] is sometimes really very destructive…”

This statement of Kristen’s has me recalling the pervasive and destructive feedback she received (without having asked for it) when the pictures of her wearing her bikini while filming the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn hit the world-wide-web. As I reviewed last week, pictures like this—

…unwittingly and unfairly triggered bloggers, and sadly this includes a handful of Fanfiction authors, plus anyone with access to the internet and a public “entertainment  news” site to give their opinions on Kristen’s physical form. Whole posts were dedicated to zooming in and analyzing Kristen’s anatomy.  More alarmingly, a rather unethical, smarmy “reporter” from a Brazilian reality TV show posed as a crew member and  breached set security to videotape/screen capture images of Kristen and Rob on the set of Breaking Dawn, during private moments when the film cameras were not rolling. The undercover TV reporter was in an uncomfortably close physical proximity to Kristen. While I only glanced at perhaps two images from this event (I declined to look at the video or the screen caps before they were seized by Twilight’s production company, removed from the internet), I felt a heavy ball of dread in my stomach and a concern for Kristen and Rob’s physical safety. Sheds a whole new light on Kristen’s now famous statement comparing paparazzi intrusions to feelings of “watching someone get violated (raped?)” doesn’t it?  So there it is, my Musings topic: Intuition and self preservation, or rather, the moment our intuition (aka our inner voice, our body’s protective system) kicks in and sends us warning messages for self-preservation and survival. Fight or Flight.

whispered the still, small voice

A personal story:::  Just a couple nights ago, I was home alone as N was away working. It had already grown dark (as it does in these days of Late Fall/Winter) and I was tucked away in bed reading and making notes for advertising the Magical Little Practice. Suddenly a series of loud, consistent knocking reverberated through our tiny studio of hardwood floors and little insulation against the unusual cold for this time of year. I was completely jarred upright. I did not like the sounds of the knocks on my door. I immediately tensed up, pulled the covers tighter around myself.  Every fiber of my being was yelling at me to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. We don’t have an adequate peep-hole in our front door because the door is covered in sound & weather-proofing material at this time (N has since remedied this, as a result of this event), so I couldn’t stealthily make my way over to peek on my unexpected “visitor”. I immediately texted my husband and asked if he was expecting a delivery, or any visitors. He quickly texted back, “NO”. The knocking ceased for about a minute, but then started again. Loud, rapid, jarring raps (almost could be called pounding) against my front door, but no verbalizations, no one calling my name out, no texts announcing an impromptu visit from friends or family. I quickly deduced that this person was not familiar. Our little studio is one level apart of a larger house, and our front door is not visible from the sidewalk. The only way someone would know where our front door is, is if they’ve stood in front of it before, or they are actively seeking it out. Minutes, maybe five after the second and third rounds of sharp knocking finally silenced, I, against my intuition and bodily warning signs, cracked open my front door.

And saw…nothing. But my inner ninjaturtle  was screeching in my ear, demanding I slam the door shut, bolt it, chain it, and go back to bed, because something had been there just minutes earlier. So I slammed the door shut, and bolted it. After exchanging a few texts with N about what happened, I catalogued the event as a slightly unsettling, but otherwise not-unusual category.  I didn’t recall the warning signs until later. The signs, as I mentioned before, are produced when our body and our deepest soul recognizes what is happening long before our brain does. In his incredibly resourceful book called The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker urges us to listen to our intuition, and our body’s physiological need to continue existing. Why am I discussing this book right now in the middle of my weekly tribute to the Royal Rebel Ms Kristen Stewart?

Well, for one thing, I received a pretty sobering email from my mother, a day or so ago after the FORCEFUL KNOCKING INCIDENT. The letter outlined information regarding Mom’s friend’s brother, who needs a professional counselor to talk to, possibly through The Magical Little Practice. This brother, for safety purposes we’ll call him D, was the only witness in the case of murder. D had seen a man RAPIDLY, LOUDLY POUNDING ON DOORS of several different apartments in his building. The Knocking Man(iac) came to D‘s door too. D did not answer his door. Something inside of D warned him against doing so. Unfortunately, tragically, D’s neighbor did open her door. D’s neighbor was murdered last week. Thanksgiving holiday.  The murderer has been identified and is in prison.

DEEP BREATH. Are you hanging with me? I needed to tell this story for a few reasons, one, to process the sanctity and briefness of our time here in this world; and another, to pay homage and condolences for a woman to lose her life in such a horrifically violent way. Finally, I wanted to say this: We are entrusted with personal security systems within our minds and bodies and hearts, to protect us against people or things willing harm against us. The term harm encompasses destruction on many levels including emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as physical. I truly believe there is goodness out there, but I have witnessed darkness as well, in my profession working with the mentally ill, and simply as a human being, seeking knowledge for living in this world. De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear outlines and urges us to be aware of physical warning signs of danger–increased heart rate, an attacker’s body language, an attacker’s verbal language–as well as internal signals–our intuition, our instincts, our awareness.  I believe that De Becker’s guide also could and should be applied to awareness for emotional and psychological attacks as well. Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Queen, is subjected to and vulnerable to all of the above: Emotional/verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.

You’ve witnessed it, my friends. We all have: The Cyberbullying of fellow “fans”, heated arguments between Nonsensicals and Shippers (a name, which, for the record, I’ve never enjoyed or used when describing my support of Kristen and Rob), anonymous commenters degrading, insulting, mocking, writing letters about, publicly discussing and bashing everything regarding Kristen Stewart. Interspersed in these public ‘discussions’ are threats of physical harm, but more shockingly obvious are the verbal, emotional and character abuse unleashed on Ms Stewart. Guess which type of abuse is harder to recover from? OH YES. Countless psychological case studies have proven that people (women AND men) seek counseling support for the destruction of emotional/psychological/character abuse they experienced. Bruises and broken bones, while painful and horrific, will heal up again. Low self esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression and addictions can last lifetimes.

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

I draw from my studies as a psychotherapist, practicing self-soothing techniques (meditation, playing music), self reflection and also, knowledge I’ve gained in my own experiences of being in danger. Aside from the clenching stomach, the increased heart rate, and the inner guide screaming in my ear to back away, back away!, I also hold first-hand knowledge of experiencing a fight-or-flight choice. I vaguely addressed once in the Musings essay titled  Finding Your Voice and The Courage to Sing Loudly, my own experience of having a man break into my apartment with an intent to assault me. I know my own instinctual drives were roaring loudly, and in my quest to fight and self-preserve, an eerie calm flooded my bloodstream and I could hear myself strategize survival.

Kristen’s survival plan has formulated based on her extensive experience in show business, as well as her observations of her peers and role models. “…a really, really, really thick-developed armor” is in place for Kristen’s friend Joan Jett, as Kristen tells Dark Horizon. “It’s a self preservation thing..she’s a survivor”. Kristen is referring to Jett’s ability to cope with emotional attacks at a time (during the 70’s and early 80’s) when the public would say and do anything in person (versus via cyberspace, which hadn’t been invented yet) to give their opinion of performers and public figures.

Kristen’s adversaries are the bloggers, The Bullshit People, the judgmental, the faceless, Screen-Named though anonymous attackers with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands. Also on the rise are a group of “fans” (who, are really another brand of not-really fans) who view themselves as supporters and defenders of Robert, and trash Kristen at every opportunity because they believe she is “unappreciative ” of Mr Pattinson. Though, I’m pretty sure there is more evidence of a mutual adoration between Robert and Kristen than the contrary…Liiiiiiike…..

Annnnnddd….

So there have been many ways that Kristen (and through her, for her, Rob) has offensively protected herself.

KRISTEN:

  • OWNS what is HERS. No apologies.
  • Keeps her private life PRIVATE
  • Declines joining any social networking sites
  • Keeps a close-knit circle of family and friends as her support system
  • Does things because she chooses to not because she is told to.
  • Employs her internal BULLSHIT DETECTOR
  • Looks the woman in the mirror straight in the eye~she knows and trusts herself and her instincts

And what can WE do as fellow OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and SAVE our Fellow OTHERS from destruction?

WE OTHERS CAN:

  • Respect Privacy  and personal lives, especially if it is at the request of an Other
  • Refrain from getting pulled into petty fights on any social networking sites, with other supporters
  • Remember to USE WORDS WISELY–any bashing we do publicly, paints us in certain light as well
  • Remember we are ROLE MODELS in the community to people of different ages, cultures & backgrounds
  • Know and check in with our close-knit circle of family and friends frequently-they are who support us
  • Remind ourselves that if we “support” a Rebel Royal, we support their choices for happiness
  • Continue to EMBRACE OUR OWN OTHERNESS
  • Remember that WE ARE ALL OTHER

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

I know I’ve had a lot to say today…But I did want to make some time for a modest introduction to an Other who has managed to walk outside the periphery of convention while in the public eye. Inspired by a musical selection on last week’s playlist, Late At Night, by Buffalo Tom, and the squeals of recognition from fellow AngelaChaseIsOther Supporters (looking at YOU, @DrownInIt), I decided to feature a Rebel Royal that I’ve grown up with: Actress and dancer Ms Claire Danes. Ms Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York to a artist mother and computer consultant father. She attended Yale University for two years studying Psychology before stopping to return to film making. Attending a performing arts school while growing up, Claire whet her appetite for performance through modern dance and theater first. She was thirteen when she was a guest star on an episode of Law and Order. She was only thirteen when she auditioned for and landed the role of Angela Chase in the seminal and profound television series My So-Called Life. When the show was picked up for more episodes, Claire was fifteen years old, playing 15-year-old Angela. Angela Chase completely embodied the heartbreak and steadfast optimism of an OTHER as the short-lived TV series chronicled awkwardness, tension and disagreement with the parental units, crushing on the beautiful mysterious musician at school, side-stepping the lovelorn advances of the boy next door. But alas, a story this heartrending was perhaps only fated to last but a brief time, and after 19 episodes, My So-Called Life was cancelled. It did, however, maintain a cult following.

Particularly gifted at playing awkward, gawky, angst-ridden teenagers, Claire received her first Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations of her career when she was just 15 years old for her work in My So-Called life. She won the Golden Globe. After My So-Called life’s cancellation, she transitioned into film work and her star rose to quick heights with her role alongside high-profile actors such as Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne in the film Little Women. In 1996, Claire’s celebrity and critical acclaim rocketed to the stratosphere when she appeared as Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Claire continued to work steadily through 1999 with her roles in The Mod Squad and Brokedown Palace but she left acting to pursue her degree at Yale. When she returned to filmmaking in 2002, Ms Danes chose quirky, thoughtful independent film projects such as Igby Goes Down and paired her work with larger-budgeted films such as the Oscar-nominated film The Hours, in which Claire portrayed Meryl Streep’s daughter.

Baz Luhrmann called Ms Danes, “This generation’s Meryl Streep”, and her poise and confidence has earned her admirers in her many impressive colleagues and co-stars such as Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman..and she is the muse for or the subject of at least four songs released by several indie or alternative rock bands. She has experienced the backlash of publicity when she became romantically involved with her costar Billy Crudup at a disadvantageous time, and in 1998 she was publicly condemned by then-Filipino president Joseph Estrada when Ms Dane’s comments about the poor conditions of the Manila, Philippines film set for Brokedown Palace were taken out of the context to which she meant. She later advised that she had only been shown the “darker, underbelly of the City of Manila”, and did not mean any disrespect to the country as a whole nor to its people. The Filipino president deemed Ms Danes’s comments as “irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements”, to which she issued a public apology to the city of Manila, Philippines in addition to an official letter of apology. How has she coped with the adversity? Like Our Reigning Queen Kristen, she has learned from past experiences, and has opted to keep her private life private, declining to speak publicly about personal relationships; and she freely gives clarification behind any misconstrued statements in interviews.

WHO do you notice first in this picture? Our Rebel Royals FTW

While teaming with Offenses of Otherness, I’ll highlight an abbreviated list: She knew from  a young age that she wanted to be an actor. She kept a focus on her goals for performance and dance, and surrounded herself with supportive friends and family. Now 31 years old, with more than 25 films under her belt, Claire is married to actor and costar  Hugh Dancy, whom she met on the film Evening. She is just coming off the success of her Emmy-Award Winning performance in the HBO Movie Temple Grandin, in which Ms Danes portrays the ultimate Other: Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an American Doctor of Animal Sciences and a University professor with high-functioning Autism. Dr Grandin is the inventor of The Hug Machine, a calming deep pressure device designed to soothe hypersensitive people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pretty awe-inspiring, right?  Claire states that the point of acting is to share and connect with others, and she is aware and grateful for the ability to have a career doing what she loves most.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Willingly walked away from the business of acting to empower and remind herself who she is as person.

*Believes that fame is not a reward for working hard. Doing what she loves (acting) is complete fulfillment, the reward.

*Is extremely forthright and confident when she speaks her opinion.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

I think we’ve established in this epically long Musings that our Reigning Queen of Other is a role model and pioneer. She has managed to cope graciously (even when her detractors are attacking her) by forging onward and continuing to partake in the craft that she loves. Kristen has an internal compass that guides her steps along her path of authenticity. She already knows what she’s doing. And it’s been absolutely miraculous to witness her journey thus far.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

*Strives for improvement of her craft and self, not for notoriety.

*Continuously cultivates self-awareness and strives for self-preservation.

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

Question:   I can think of several times when I overrode my instincts and suffered the results. I also can think of the times when I trusted my inner voice and was elated with the results. Can You?

A/N:

PHEW. This was about 4,000 words long. I have been struggling to process so many things these days, and I guess it has manifested in the longest Musings… ever. Thank you for hanging with me through this. Truly.

I wanted to thank my good friend @MissBettySmith, the brilliant author of The Gentleman From Washington State and Full Disclosure (my fave), with whom I shared a too-brief lunch today. In her latest update of TGFWS, Betty very clearly defended Kristen against people who are hell-bent on tearing down our Reigning Queen Of Other. Betty has a devoted following, with thousands of readers of her stories, and she is aware that she is accountable in how she expresses her values and uses her words . She is mindful of her many readers’ different age brackets, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. THANK YOU, BETTY!

Love, light and strength to my friend TEBBY and to my sister PUSS.

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are”~Henry Van Dyke

We are role models. We have voices. We have instincts to trust. We are Other. See you next time, my Majestic Misfits.

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

wordpress visitors