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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

It’s funny– the little disagreements we get in to over petty and unimportant topics… How one person can feel so vehemently about something, even though it’s only a matter of opinion. Not everything in life is fact, or black and white. More often than not we find our world in a grey zone; a place where differing ideals run rampant and the truth is as graspable as the fleeting wind. We’re all different, with different styles, personalities, mannerisms, thought processes, opinions, truths…etc. Almost everything is flexible, bending to the desires of each individual. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for each person the beauty they see is the truth and absolute.

Like this somewhat ridiculous, yet perfectly honest disagreement I got into the other day with a friend of mine. We were out on her patio enjoying a light lunch when a butterfly flew by in all its brilliance. The bright yellow, almost white wings were tinged in a fiery red that blinked in and out of focus among the daisies growing along her stone walkway, and we both took a moment to enjoy its beauty. And then she said a somewhat peculiar statement pertaining to ‘fuzzy moths,’ and how absurd it is that butterflies are so pretty and their fury, nighttime cousins are so disgusting and weird. I, myself, have no problem with the fluttering butterflies of the dark, fury looking or not, and mentioned how I think they’re kind of cool in their own unique way. I was then met with an onslaught of rather funny reasons regarding why ‘fuzzy moths’ are so gross, and although I believe her in her convictions I just can’t agree with them.

Now, although that was a somewhat frivolous example of the truths people value, it shows how different opinions can be over the same topic or thing. So, in the grand scheme of the universe, shouldn’t the idea of ‘in the eyes of the beholder,’ work with nearly anything? Can beauty be found everywhere; even the most devastating of things?

I can’t help but mull over this paradigm in regards to the horrific events our country suffered 11 years ago… 9/11 just passed, and although it’s been more than a decade since the tragedy and many of the wounds inflicted have healed, we, as individuals and as a nation, still suffer. We still mourn the loss of loved ones, and mourn the loss of security, and mourn the repercussions that happened in response to the terror. Thousands were lost in the event, and thousands more have been lost overseas fighting a threat defined by terrorism. And as such we’ve had moments living in fear… but we’ve always been protected, and we’ve learned to cherish those we lost…

And in the wake of the 9/11 anniversary I can’t help but admire the closeness of our country. Everywhere, in every state, city, and community people have banned together to remember… to remember those that fell on that dark day and to remember those fighting for our security, thousands of miles from home. Shouts of “We Will Never Forget,” “United We Stand” and “Remember 9/11” are heard across the nation, and we all take a moment of silence in respect for the brave souls who are no longer with us, and say a short prayer for the safe return of our soldiers…

And there’s beauty in that…

There’s beauty in the bond of our nation, and the respect we show on the anniversary of a truly terrifying, evil, and horrifying event. We come together for people we don’t know and for faces we have never seen, but can feel their pain…

It too is a day that will live in infamy and deserves another moment of silence…

Just Do It and Smile

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Obligation is a tacky word. To me it’s full of condescension and negativity and can make any good mood go sour. It’s a buzz kill that brings about annoyance, sadness, anger, resentment and even doubt. Honestly, why would anyone want to do something they really don’t like?

Being bound by a custom, a promise or a law is all fine and dandy, but the resulting negative weight on our emotions is just plain sucky. And as I sit fuming about the obligation I must keep, I can’t help but ponder the truth behind the word and the action. Why all the animosity? Why do wefeel anger toward something we consciously agreed to do?

I guess having no choice in the matter makes obligations so horrible and terribly time consuming. We all got a life to live, and putting it on pause simply to finish a task that we have no desire in doing, can really bring down a day. But that’s the funny thing… we chose and agreed to complete the task. It wasn’t forcibly shoved down our throats (even though it may feel that way); we said we’d do something and therefore it must be done.

But now, the obligation has turned into a monster of honor and responsibility. If we don’t follow through on a promised duty, then our character is called into question, and wemayeven doubt our own intentions. And doubt truly weighs down the soul. Life is all about finding our way, doing the things we want, and creating a world of joy and comfort. Calling that into question, only intensifies the gloomy, stressed mood that accompanies every obligation. It’s an exponential growth of horribleness and pain, because the next thing we know, we’re feeling resentment toward those we agreed to help.

And being bitter toward the ones we love can crumble our whole world…

Family and friends are the pillars that hold us up, and if we happen to fall, they are always there to help pick up the mess. They are the puzzle pieces that complete our inner peace and bliss. In this jigsaw puzzle of a world they are a light of guidance, no matter how dark our lives have become…So by closing them off in our frustrations over changing our plans to finish an undesirable duty, we shut out the light, and our joy immediately begins to wane.

So what can we do to take the edge off obligations?

We can stop being selfish.

Obligations aren’t about us. They’re about the person we made a promise to. So, rather than dwell on the untimely upheaval of our lives, think about the good we bring into someone’s world. By sacrificing a portion of our day to help someone in theirs is an ultimate portrayal of loyalty and love. And the look of joy on their faces is enough to prove our hidden anguish is worth it. And then, the obligation is no longer a chore, for it has transformed into a small favor for an awesome friend.

So enter into the bonds of obligations with an open heart and the weight of the task will lesson considerably. Don’t fret over the pending inconveniences to life. The obligation and time belongs to those in need, not us.

Instead, webecomethe source of a friend’s happiness, and this is a huge responsibility that should be viewed with reverence and awe rather than annoyance and resentment. We have the power to alter their life for good or bad.

Besides, it’s never as bad as we make it out to be. So, stop the complaining, just get it done, and keep on smiling… because we’re going to make someone very happy.

Lessons to Relive – Changing Your Spots

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Life is a roller coaster. This we all recognize. We must struggle through the lows to reach moments of true elation and happiness. And while on this unbalanced ride we face crises that mold our maturing minds and provide clarity on the pitfalls of life. But sometimes our personal evolution happens so quickly and completely that it becomes hard to pinpoint the moment that inspired the change…

Because sometimes the greatest lessons are transitory, being found in the most unexpected of places…

Sex Symbol, Superstar, Student

Hollywood is an eclectic sort of place where people from all walks of life can mingle and try their hand in the movie industry. Ambitious studio actors, sport celebrities, porn stars, musicians, men, women and all those in between vie for a spot on the big screen with fellow A-list actors. To see your name in bright lights is the ultimate accomplishment; a thrill incomparable to any extreme roller coaster, because it proves you made it.

But what if you’re already a seasoned performer; one that the whole world recognizes and clamors after for entertainment and drama?What if you were Marilyn Monroe? What couldHollywood do for you then?

A Leopard in Waiting

When I first read Don Murray’s account of his experience working with the exceptional Marilyn Monroe on Bus Stop, I was floored, shocked, touched and beyond a doubt enlightened. In a single instant my mind was altered; the perverse sentiments regarding a sex symbol and the corruption of Hollywood were forever altered to include the wisdom of a lost angel. You see, despite her outward charm and childlike frivolousness, Marilyn had an uncanny understanding on the purpose and process of life – to change.

And Hollywood was her mecca for reinvention; a place for her to try on new skin and experiment with new goals and ideals.

Before Bus Stop, Marilyn was first and foremost a sex symbol. Her blond hair, captivating eyes, and perfectly proportioned body were a shoe-in for male adoration the world over. She was the quintessential American blonde-bombshell and the camera loved her for it. Movie after movie came rolling in, exploiting her good looks and charming “dumb-blonde” persona. Her success was undeniable. Nobody wanted or felt she should change; why ruin a good thing? But Marilyn wasn’t satisfied in being typecast as the pretty, dumb girl.

After talking a year off to study and hone her craft at the Actor’s Studio, Marilyn returned to Hollywood searching for critical acclaim. Bus Stop was just the ticket and Don was lucky enough to be on the ride…

Marilyn was everything Don expected her to be; gorgeous yet uncoordinated in the viable workings of a film set. Her lack of concentration and short attention span made Don doubt her success as a serious artist. She had a childlike quality that contradicted the dramatic essence of the film, generating a murky and unstable environment for the superstar.

Although Marilyn knew her purpose and goal, her naïve mind doubted her presence and performance. She was in the middle of a transformation and couldn’t see the light at the end of tunnel.

And it was this utter lack of certainty and formable presence of confusion that sent her looking for outside help…

The conversation was quick, said in passing without any bells or whistles, but forever remains etched in Don’s soul as well as my own. “Don, do you think a leopard can ever change its spots?” Simple, direct and to the point. Can she, Marilyn Monroe, a quote-unquote dimwitted blonde, metamorphose into a credible dramatic performer?

We now know this to be true, but more importantly we know that with conviction anyone can change their spots. Marilyn just happened to be the teacher for Don. As she evolved from a sex symbol, to a superstar, to a humble student and finally a dramatic actress, her spots were constantly fluctuating to realign with her new roles and paths in life.

In a singular, unpretentious moment Marilyn Monroe laid out an unforgettable lesson – you can change and be whoever you want to be. Don didn’t need a sweeping,undeniable force to come gallivanting into his world and forcefully show him how to change and deal with the ups and downs of life. All it took was the softly spoken words of an innocent and wise blond bombshell…

Now we know that in order to stay on the roller coaster and enjoy the ride, we must learn to cope with theextremes of its peaks and valleys.

Red, White and Bright Lights

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Remembering the Free

It’s been over a decade since the tragic events of 9/11 unfolded before our nation and the world’s eyes in a plume of smoke, ash, fuel, fire and death. Billowing forth from the rubble and destruction was a wave of searing pain and agonizing anger that snapped our peaceful and naive existence back to the demons of reality. Within a single moment we were reminded that security is arbitrary, and the ideals of freedom can be broken with one violent act. Once again our freedoms, liberties, and lives were at risk, and the brave souls of men and women, young and old alike, marched into an acrid, cruel and unknown world to fight for and once again secure our sovereignties.

That was nearly 11 years ago, and although the horrific events are forever etched into the back of our mind’s eye, their potency has become lost in the workings of everyday life and everyday struggles. The initial shockwave and its aftershocks have faded into the recesses of the underworld, buried beneath a heavy layer of financial burdens, political upheaval, and family woes. The immediacy of life has become far too important to the world, and events and lessons of the past are all but forgotten.

Now is the time to remember. Our freedoms were forged from the blood, pain, and determination of those fighting for separation from the British crown; and now we struggle for the freedom to live and pursue our happiness…

The meaning of the Fourth of July retains the same power as it did back in in 1770’s, and we mustn’t tarnish the integrity of this great day by only drinking and being merry…

Celebrate with Understanding

Make no qualms about it; the 4th of July is certainly a day of celebration and fun. Planning a massive barbecue before night falls and spectacular fireworks light up the sky, is part of the American dream. My childhood wouldn’t have been complete without the yearly firework ritual; driving to a secretive lookout or finding a place on a jammed packed beach to watch the show was always a favorite venture of mine. And in all honesty, canoodling with a lover beneath the fiery night sky is undoubtedly one of the most romantic things to do.

The 4th should bring about carefree, intimate and joyous occasions. It’s a time to connect, spend quality time with those you care about, and celebrate the freedom of our nation. For we are all connected, young and old, rich and poor, civilian and veteran, by the fabric of freedom that binds our great country together…

Smoky, Starry Sky

And freedom is a virtue I value tremendously. Every day I am free to decide what’s best for me, my business, and my home… well usually at least, as my family tends to boss me around from time to time…

But in the grand scheme of things, I have the power to choose. This wonderfully complex, at times utterly stressful and other times inexplicably beautiful and forever progressive life I’ve built exists because of my choices.

Because I live in a world that promotes freedom, I’m given the opportunity to make my envisioned dreams a reality I can touch and feel.

I am in debt to those that provide such a luxury…

I am free; we all are, because of what our ancestors fought for, and what our soldiers continue to fight for…

So, after the fireworks, when you look up to the night sky and watch as the smoke drifts from view, take a moment to remember the true meaning of our Independence Day.