Creating Your Own Religion Through Make-Up

Make up has always been powerful to me. I was always amazed by the way it could change appearance and make someone instantly more glamorous. My first make up icon was grandma and I would be in a trance watching her apply her bright red lipstick. My grandma put on that lipstick before going to K Mart, taking me to Chuck E. Cheese or even before taking a walk through the neighborhood. It was essential.

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I knew I would wear make up as soon as I was allowed. My mom told me when I was in middle school, “you can wear make-up, but I am not buying it for you. It’s not a necessity.” Well, maybe to her it wasn’t, but since I had been waiting for that permission for years, my days of crime begin and I started stealing make-up. Then I got caught and stopped. 
Make-up made me feel transformed and glamorous and all that couldn’t stop because I was a reformed shoplifter, so like a good citizen, I worked for my money and begin spending my baby-sitting earnings on new eyeshadows, bright lipsticks and oh, so much glitter. I was completely mesmerized by Kevyn Aucoin. I checked out his book Making Faces over and over again from my local library and tried to create different looks.
My relationship with make-up has not always been healthy and balanced, and I did a complete overhaul of my MAC products when I made the commitment to no longer use products tested on animals.
I have slowly been re-building my collection with cruelty-free alternatives and have been reminded of how transformative a new lipstick can be. If my energy or confidence is dragging low, a bright red seems to work wonders. If a day is mundane and boring, at least my eyeliner doesn’t have to be and I can give myself a lift with a winged look.
I absolutely love having a reason to dress up in costume. I recently went to the Renaissance Faire and had a fun time creating different looks.
The first is an attempt to look like one of The Sand Snakes from Game of Thrones.
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The next weekend, my family coordinated a Steam Punk theme. We have been working on this costume and though we still have more to add, it was improved since last year.
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FUN!

Create Your Own Religion Wednesday

Over the weekend, I gathered together with other Spiritual Bahanas to learn about the sacredness of art and the Chakras.  It was another great opportunity to practice my own religion. As I sat and listened to others as they shared their own personal journeys, I was reminded of how we all process life differently but yet are all one.  It was a peaceful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Maria, our host, put together a fun filled event.  After Angelina taught us about the Chakras we ate and then painted.  Maria brought out her own creations to inspire us before we hit the canvas.  I took plenty of pictures.

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Her art gave me an opportunity to experience pure joy.  I ADORE her paintings and allowed myself to sit and experience the feeling for a while.

Hope you enjoy looking at them as much I did.

Peace,

Ed

Creating Your Own Religion Through Music

I have always found a spiritual experience through music. I think many people can relate to being taken to another realm through a certain rift, beat or lyric.

If music has been a part of my religion, then Michael Jackson and Prince were my deities.

I cannot remember a time when I did not love them both. I danced to their songs while “cruising” around with my cousin in her Honda when she would baby-sit me. I tried to learn the Thriller dance and was entranced by Purple Rain. You know all of this. I don’t have to tell you how amazing they both are. Were. Ouch.

I was inconsolable when Michael passed. I don’t remember ever crying so hard over a celebrity. I watched his funeral live on TV and sobbed. My sisters and I did a photo shoot because we needed to work through our pain. I wore my Michael Jackson button for days. There are still moments that I have to stop and remind myself that he is gone and I realize how terribly unfair it is.

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My life’s dream of seeing MJ live was dashed and I vowed I would see Prince. I would not let that opportunity slip by like I had with MJ.

I saw Prince multiple times after MJ’s passing. I had purple stars in my eyes the whole time. I was wrapped up in his amazing energy. He lit up the entire stage with his many hits and would play encore after encore, sometimes hours apart. He was worth the wait and I could not believe how good he still moved.

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And now, well….it’s hard to say. It’s hard to process. You know this.

How does a religion exist when the founders are gone? Who can run the church of funk without it’s heart and soul? I don’t see much up and coming hope, but maybe I am wrong?

For now, I will hold on to the memories and hits. Thankfully, we were blessed with many.

Create Your Own Religion Wednesdays

A couple of days ago, Angelina and I were engaging in a long text conversation about spiritual practices.  While Angelina does Yoga and meditation to fulfill her spiritual needs I continue on with my Catholic traditions.  As I move forward and expand my fascination with the divine (and at times obsession with it) I’ve felt the urge to change my daily routines a bit.  As I was mulling over the idea of giving up on them all together, I thought – that would be too easy.

I guess my petition was heard; I came across this book which I am currently listening to on the way to work.

A Religion of One OwnI felt an instant connection with the author who at one time considered becoming a Catholic monk but left instead to create a religion of his own.

The central idea of the book concentrates on expressing ones own way of finding God. Personally, I felt this was another way of saying “stay present” in all situations.

So in order to put the suggestions of the book to good use, I decided to stop and get out of my car on a busy highway and find my own religion.  Every morning before work, I ride upon a road filled with industrial buildings and unincorporated housing which no longer serve their purpose but house wooden pallets instead.

Nestled between the smell of fuel and the buzzing sounds of super charged electrical posts lays a beautiful jasmine bush in full bloom.  It’s not a small bush by any means but a tendrilled monster that has taken over an entire fence.  The white petals stretch far and white nearly covering the green leaves that birthed them.  Every morning as I whizzed by was another opportunity lost to lose myself in their gentle aroma.

Over the weekend, I paid homage to the new out door chapel created by nature herself.

Please enjoy a part of my new religion.