Monday, August 6, 2012

A Rediscovery, If You Will...

I’m not sure how my passion for fashion resulted in a spiritual quest, but it did, so just bear with me, please, as I try to get a few things sorted out…

I discovered a long time ago the power of clothing.  When we look our best, we tend to feel our best.  As I started to pay closer attention to my wardrobe choices, a little voice from inside said to me, “Go a little deeper, Newman.”  So I did.  I came to understand that fashion isn’t simply about clothing – it’s about living.  I wanted everything in my life to be as fabulous as my wardrobe, and no matter how deep I thought I was getting, that little voice (by now, a pest) kept telling me to keep digging.  So I did.

Last week, I felt as if I’d dug to the very depths of hell.  A great deal of second-hand negativity had been thrown my way from myriad sources, and by mid-week, as I fought to get around self-righteous traffic surrounding my local Chic-Fil-A, I was officially ‘done’.  And by ‘done’, I mean fed up with society in general.  I told a friend I could easily live the rest of my life as a recluse in a cave, provided the lighting was flattering and I could have my magazine subscriptions forwarded to said cave.  She looked at me and simply said, “You don’t look well.”

Of course, that only made me feel worse, but she was right.  Not only did I not look well, I didn’t feel well, either.  A disturbance within the force is the only way I can describe it.  Of course, we did experience a full moon last week, and I take mooning seriously.  I may, too, have been suffering from a sinus infection, and I don’t take infections seriously so I probably could have benefitted by visiting my doctor before things got out of hand.  But I digress….

Feeling no better the next day, I thought a little jaunt to my neighborhood library might buoy my spirits.  I needed to return some books, anyway, and after what I can only describe as The Great Alan Jackson Overdue CD Fiasco of 2012 I like to return what I’ve borrowed before the required due date.  Anyhoo, I perused the shelves and happened upon Shirley MacLaine’s I’m Over All That.  She’s one of my favorite actresses, and I find all that ‘woo woo’ stuff she’s into quite fascinating. 

I didn’t delve into the book the minute I got home.  I first felt compelled to re-Feng Shui several areas of my house.  At this point, I was desperate, and I do believe in Feng Shui, so after spending hours rearranging plants, speaking blessings as I waved a smoking sage stick into every nook and cranny, and vacuuming the floor (bits of dried sage can be murder to get out of rug, by the way), I settled in with a cup Yerba Mate Tea (‘hippie tea’, Mr. Newman calls it), and began reading the words of Oscar-winning actress and UFO abductee Shirley MacLaine.

And this is what I learned:

-we’re spirits here in human form (I already knew this, but needed the reminder)

-our every thought, word, and deed affects the rest of humanity (see above comment in parentheses)

-Dean Martin was the one with actual mob ties, not Frank Sinatra (another testament to the super-coolness of Dean Martin)

-politics is just jazz, and Ms. MacLaine is over that jazz (me, too!)

-fear taught in the name of religion is a big part of society’s problems (agreed)

-Jack Lemmon was aces (good to know, because I love him!)

I don’t know why I felt so much better after reading the book.  Perhaps it is because Ms. MacLaine managed to successfully combine two of my favorite topics, Old Hollywood and Spirituality, into one book.  Perhaps it was due to the fact that I hadn’t actually sat quietly with a book for a while. Perhaps the sinus medication finally kicked in.   Maybe I’d inhaled too many fumes from the sage stick – who knows?  I felt better, and recommitted myself to doing my part in getting our world back on track:

Since we are spirits in human form, why not make the most of it and wear cute outfits while learning our lessons here?

As an etiquette teacher, I feel I must gently remind the masses that good manners, kindness, and compassion for all will get you much further than a chicken sandwich, or the refusal of a chicken sandwich, depending on your viewpoint.

My work aside, I’ve accepted the fact that my personal beliefs may be viewed as ‘woo woo’ by some, so I won’t get too much into them at this point.  I will tell you, though, that benevolent forces are out there in this seemingly negative world, and if we learn to tap into them, we’re going to be okay.  

The negativity got to me last week – it happens to the best of us, I suppose.  We simply need to shake it off, shun it when we can, and keep on putting out as much fabulosity as humanly (and spiritually) possible.

The good of our society – and our planet – depends on it.

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