Outside Forces that Shape A Spiritual Life: Part 3

Even in my really bad, drugged-out days, I didn’t go away. I still toured, still did interviews. I never gave up the fight. That’s why I’m who I am today, because I didn’t leave. And I think I made the right choice. Stevie Nicks

When we are born, there are personality traits already instilled deep within us.  Those personality quirks shape our life.

Then there are those outside forces: people, places and events that cause us to rethink our direction.

Handling all the above it what makes life – life.

Ed

magic

I look at where I am now and what is shaping my spiritual life and if I had to sum it up in one word it would be: everything.

I am finding God, inspiration, other hearts, spirituality and love everywhere I look. I see it in nature, connections with others, kindness, yoga, wisdom, choices, people, music, passion and animals.

When I opened my heart up to follow a spiritual path, I found roads everywhere.

Thank-you for continuing to follow along with us as we explore these paths and connecting with our hearts as we discover what God has in store for us all.

In love & sisterhood,

~Ang

 

Music Monday-The Wino Edition

One of my current favorite songs is Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, that I blogged about here.

I forgot how much I liked Mark Ronson and was reminded about when I first heard his work.

It was through Amy Winehouse.

Amy, Amy, Amy. Oh, how you disappointed me. You made me love you and have hope again for music, but then you threw it all away into a downward spiral of negative coping mechanisms.

When Amy Winehouse debuted, I had given up on contemporary music. I loathed everything that was on the top 40 of the time and thought I was going to listen to my old collections for the rest of my life. I was introduced to Amy the way that I was introduced to everything new and upcoming of the time, by Perez Hilton.

I immediately loved Amy. Her classic beats, her super fun hair, her throw back eyeliner, her raw lyrics and soulful sound. I bought her first album Frank and was delighted to hear Back to Black. I thought music was saved.

2007 ELLE Style Awards in London

Valerie is my favorite Amy Winehouse song and one of my karaoke favorites. There is so much feeling pent up in the song and Amy was an expert at making sadness sound beautiful. I love the class vibe of the song and I currently own 5 different versions of it.

I listened to Amy’s records constantly, until my co-workers were absolutely sick of hearing her on repeat. I thought some of her behavior was a little erratic, but funny at first. At least she knew how to have a good time and she spoke her mind.

But then, it got worse. Much worse.

I begin to worry the more weight she dropped and the more she slurred. The whole Blaaaaaakkkkke fiasco had me wanting to stage an intervention. I still held out hope that she would get it together and put out more music. I heard Mark Ronson refused to work with her anymore until she got clean. Well, and then…you all know the rest.

sad amy-winehouse-crazy-dope I was so disappointed. I was sad and sickened about how addiction took hold of her. I was devastated that someone with so much talent and so much to offer and the world of music, let it all go.

But, there is also a part of me that gets it. Life is tough. I can’t imagine that fame is easy and heart break is well, heart breaking. We all have our ways of coping. Some of us cry, some of us eat. Some of us smoke crack. I would like to think that I handle things better than that, but who am I to judge?

I still love you Amy, and here’s to better times.

Hair In A Bun Friday: European Style

“Not only did I not have a vocabulary for it (mental illness), I realized, startlingly, that [the psychiatrists] didn’t either.” – Glenn Close

Hair in a bun Friday has always been about tying up your hair in a loosely fitted bun, after a long work week, with what ever energy you have left in order to make it to Friday.  Over the weekend, I found out our sisters across the pond share the same belief.

Last Saturday, while on a kinda – date, I saw the movie Two Days and One Night starring Oscar nominated actress Marion Cotillard.  This is a small art house movie that didn’t get much theater attention until Marion was nominated for the role; unfortunately it’s still hard to find outside of major cities.

I. LOVED. THIS. MOVIE.  It had drama, French sub-titles and fashion all rolled into one. The plot is about a women who has been out of work for four weeks due to depression. In her absence, the company she works for realizes they can get the same amount of work done without her, and as a result, all fifteen employees get a raise.  In order to get her position back, she must visit each employee over the course of the weekend and ask them to give up their raise so she can work again

This movie is an emotional journey filled with vulnerability, breakdowns and tears.  There are moments when the character has to excuse herself in the middle of a conversation so that she can burst out into tears.

The best part of the movie was Marion’s simple fashion; although she was a women on the verge of yet another break down, she tied her hair up in a bun and forged ahead to save her livelihood.  I related to the character in many ways:

There have been moments where I need to go into the bathroom in order to give myself a pep talk.

There have been moments when I’ve been in the restroom telling myself, “you mustn’t cry.”

...moments when I stare blankly outside an open window.

…moments when I stare blankly outside an open window.

...moments when work has been way too much.

…moments when work has been way too much.

...moments while driving and a good song comes on.

…moments when a good song helps me forget my problems.

Through out most of the movie, Marion rocks a simple pink wife beater and over sized purse.  I’m not sure of the contents inside the bag but I believe it had something to do with her problems.

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This movie is not for everyone; but if you’ve ever found yourself in the midst of a depression or a period in life where nothing makes sense it’s worth seeing.

Peace,

Ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside Forces That Shape A Spiritual Life: Part 2

“When you’re young, you don’t really know quite what you’re aiming at. You’re very impulsive and acting on impulse, which is very important and valuable. But you’re kind of swimming in a blind sea. When you get older, you have more of a sense of direction.”- Sinead O’Conner

My sense of direction in life started to clear up once I accepted my homosexuality and allowing the outside forces in, as a result I can see the world around me a lot clearer.  I truly believe that’s the direction I needed to go, in order to see myself as human.  For much of my life gay meant that I was not human but an animal rutting with other same sex animals.  How could I fully realize myself  until I stepped into who I am?

When I landed on Planet Gay, the previous outside forces I was trained to believe in said that I would inherit eternal hell fire if I were ever to set foot on this new terrain. That was a bunch of crap.  What I found instead was another version of high school; little clicks of gay men trying to fit into sub groups for acceptance:

Jocks

Jocks

artsy types

artsy types

Corporate types

Corporate types

...and others who refuse to see the truth.

…and others who refuse to see the truth.

As a long time actor in the straight community before I came out, these types are very similar in the straight community as well. Once I accepted this part of myself, I was then able to start expressing the feminine side of me that has always existed but lay dormant due to shame and guilt for many years. How could I deny the Lord his creation – myself – the freedom to express what he created? My shame and guilt around who I was soon became a disservice to the one true creator of all things.

~Ed

My spiritual direction became much more cloudy as I became an adult. I questioned so much of what I was being taught in church and I was sick of the hypocrisy, judgement and hearing other people speak for God, that I knew I was done with church. I thought at the time that it also meant I was done with God.

It took a lot of courage to make that decision. I had so much fear built up over the years. I realized for many years, my commitment to church was based on fear; I kept going because of fear of being different, fear of being wrong, fear of going to hell, and on and on…

I had to finally be OK with not knowing the answers to all the questions. It took me SO LONG to break through that fear and be OK with the unknown. I had to make peace with all the questions and let them be.

For awhile, I thought I had no beliefs. I thought my spiritual journey was completely over and there was nothing to have faith in. I think there was a point where I was even content with that mind set, but after some growing up, I questioned my lack of direction and realized I did have faith in something.

Knowing that there was something set me up to take on a new spiritual path, which led me to my journey now. This journey has been free of fear, anxiety, force, judgement and shame. It has been filled with curiosity, intellect, questioning, discussion, love and acceptance.

My spiritual journey finally feels like it has some of the direction I have been seeking for my whole life.

In love and sisterhood,

~Ang

Special Blog: Mariah Carries Her Crazy To Las Vegas

Mariah, Mariah, Mariah. I was absolutely entranced by her voice, her essence and her beauty when I first heard her music. My earliest Mariah memory is seeing her video for “Emotions” and wondering how someone could essentially make screaming sound so beautiful.

90s mariah Like most young girls of the 90s, I tried to sing along and pretended that I knew something about the heart break and love expressed in her songs.

A new Mariah emerged after her first divorce. I was in middle school when “Fantasy” came out and excitedly accepted this sexier, edgier version of Mariah. I lived for the opening sequence to the “Fantasy” video and would eagerly await for it to play on MTV (when they still played music videos). I loved the roller coaster portion and wanted to roller skate around a board walk in short shorts.

She explored more incorporation of hip-hop with her next album, which totally fit with my growing music interests. It gave me something to sing and dance to and I was loving her new outfits, make-up and hairstyle. She was pure perfection to me.

butterfly mariah

In 2001, the same year I graduated from high school, it all started to become too much for Mariah. She was stressed, over worked and under too much pressure. Her erratic behavior was unfortunately captured on MTV’s TRL during a surprise visit where she handed out ice cream. It was a little awkward.

Mariah-Carey_meltdown I was worried about her and hoped she would have an amazing comeback (which she did). But, in that time I realized just how human she was and the person I had been idolizing this whole time was not above the effects of life.

No one is above the crazy when it hits.

I am surprised she held it all together for as long as she did. She experienced so much, at such a young age. She had so many people who relied on her and had opinions about her life, talent and decision making.

Even with all her money, talent, fame and prestige, she still felt the effects of life’s craziness.

I am still hoping for visions of love for you, Mariah.

In love & sisterhood,

~Ang

“Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go.”- Mariah Carey

As a beginner in the spiritual seeking world, one of the things I still struggle with is celebrity culture.  I love it!  I guess it’s because deep down inside I still want to believe that money, fame and beauty guarantee happiness.  But time and time again, there are many celebrities who are more than willing to break any glass ceiling that sustains them.

Mariah Carey recently signed a huge contract to perform in Vegas over the next year. And if any celebrity can dispel the idea that fame and fortune guarantee happiness it’s the Elusive Chanteuse herself.  Over the last several months Mariah has shown why she needs to leave the big city for the more reflective desert.

82nd Annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Over the holiday she was set to perform during the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center.  In order to prepare for the live event, the show was scheduled to be taped the day before so that editing could be used as well as a chance for her Lambs to watch her perform.

Mariah wasn’t having any of it.  She was in full melt – down mode.  I guess she felt it was too cold and needed to turn up the heat.

Instead of taking full advantage of an edited live performance (I hear cold weather really doesn’t work for the voice) Mariah decided to keep her fans, as well as the television crew waiting for three hours while she handled personal business.  What could have been a great performance ended up getting canceled with many fans disappointed after waiting in the cold for many hours.  The next day, she did perform live but with a back up track in the background where her flaws were recorded for all to hear.  Watch live performance here.

Mariah is still a beautiful singer and a true talent but as sister Angelina said, “No one is above the crazy when it hits.”

P.S Angelina and I are planning to see her when she comes to the Colosseum – he he.

“I’m gettin’ a new coat!”

Ed

 

 

Music Monday: The Funnnnn Edition

Ed & I have been stuck in our own heads so much lately. We have been processing life, intentions, our journey, new directions, careers, relationships, family and all things spiritual, in big ways. We have been sending each other lengthy texts everyday and find ourselves getting together more and more to “process.”

Although these moments of realization, questioning and soulful connecting are SO necessary, so is some funnnnn (extra nnnnns necessary).

These week’s Music Monday is dedicated to all of you who just need a moment of sillyness. Life is heavy and it requires lightness to get us through all the serious moments.

Sometimes, we need to DANCE without a care, in our chonies, with our friends. We need to high kick, jump around and sing along.

Enjoy this random act of craziness and make up your dance to it!

We want to know, how do you find funnnnnn and get outside of your own head? Please let us know in the comments!