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    =====[  Dragon World  ]=====[  7-20-88  ]=====[  10:42.42  ]===== Msg  #  :  Private From    :  LONGSHOT  . To         :   A VAZDRU PRINCESS Topic    :  IT’S LATE, CAN’T TALK I think I cracked a knuckle. I ruined my apartment. The place is trash ’ed. I feel like scum-dirt. Worst night of my life, and just after the […]

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Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

A Formula for Life

Posted by Amanda Gray on June 25, 2014

Tremendous bit of news to start: I moved to the most beautiful place on Earth!  I am now living in the stunning and mind-blowing Pacific Northwest city of Vancouver!

Vancouver Seawall

Yippee!!

Getting here, mind you, has been a challenging exercise, and the city hasn’t quite opened it’s great arms to my full participation yet.  I’ve been applying energy in every direction I can think of; dipping my toes into a wide assortment of potential activities, tippy-toeing down myriad paths of possibility for groups and collaboration; and after 2 months, I still haven’t quite got my groove on. 

The main thing, of course, is for some income. My mom and I have both been bleeding green for months now. I keep reiterating that it can’t go on like this forever, that money has to flow back to us eventually. It’s the fundamental nature of energy.  It’s science. It’s truth. And yet, every day continues to show itself as another day of spending, spending, spending. Yikes!  Ok. Fine. I repeat my favourite mantra; TRUST. I have to trust.  Everything is being taken care of.  Worrying about it will make no difference.  The energy will move when it does, and not a second sooner.  But it’s wearing on me – on us.  And we’ve had many, many moments of anger, and disagreement, and fear, and frustration, and tears, to tangle with, then to release, discuss, and forgive.  So, if nothing else, we’ve certainly been doing our spiritual work!  Continuous and ongoing!

I had one job interview.  Only one – but it’s a super good one – for a job I would REALLY enjoy.  At a gorgeous new arts centre close to home.  I don’t think I could do much better – it aligns so clearly with all the aspects of work I’d want. It finally seems that I’m ready to clear away some majorly dysfunctional divisions in my mind, and, in particular, an idea that I could have a Mc.job that paid the rent OR I could have creative work that I wanted, but never both. This idea kept me in jobs that I didn’t much like, always craving to be someplace else, but never able to get to that mythic holy land of creative fulfilment. If I created or performed, it was a hobby, enjoyable and collaborative, but short-lived, and almost always zero budget. If I earned income, it’s often been with repetitive functions, with little opportunity for creative expression or collaboration with others, and, usually, short-lived as well.  You see, because I was never truly committed to either side.  Both sides presented some difficulty or danger.  I get money, but sell my soul – I express myself creatively, but starve to death.  Jeesh!

Well, now I’m finished with all that nonsense.  Now I’m simply asking for EVERYTHING I want.  I want work I can approach with my WHOLE MIND.  My logical, analytical, technological left brain AND my playful, creative, spontaneous right brain – all together for the first time in my life!  I want to collaborate creatively with others, take responsibility for a bigger picture, use technology to organize data and create networks, and to challenge, play and evolve every day with something vivid, fresh and delightful!  This word – evolution – it’s a PARTY in my mind right now – I want to EVOLVE in every direction all at ONCE!!  I feel ready to push through all barriers of dualistic thinking, and move in a whole new way – EVERY WAY – ALL WAYS!

As I recently created an infographic resume (using easel.ly), I developed a motto for my work – actually – in fact, it’s more of a formula that encapsulates my recent philosophy of life.  It goes like this:

 

care + attention = excellence

 

This simple formula can be applied anytime, anywhere, with any thing, person, object, goal or activity.  In every way.  In all ways.  It will always ensure the same result.  It’s science.  It’s truth.  It’s the formula for my life now.  Income, or no income – all I need is to look around me – at the stunning creation that’s springing to existence in this marvellous city at every remarkable moment – to nod an acknowledgement to it’s shining divinity – to bow in awe at it’s unknowable, vast, tumult – it’s light-speed velocity – and remember that I am ONE with it.  I can’t be left behind.  When I open up, relax and go with the flow; give this moment, every moment, my full care and attention; allow myself to expand, expand, and expand some more; then the excellence of life surrounds me, invites and welcomes, and embraces me.  Ahhhh….

 

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Spiritual Teachers: Marc Baur

Posted by Amanda Gray on May 22, 2011

In the winter of 1999, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.  I was there to ‘get serious’ about my acting career.  It had been nine years since I’d completed a two year Musical Theatre Program and I had done very little performing in that time.  I decided that, in Vancouver, it was possible for an actor to make an actual living at their craft, even if it meant doing a lot of film extra work.  I considered extra work, somewhat, below my talent, but I was tired of taking random jobs to make a living, instead of doing what I really wanted to do, and did best.  So, after nine years of procrastination, I was finally ready to take my shot at the ‘big time’.

At this juncture, it’s important to note that I had almost no religious upbringing.  I went to church a few times as a child, but just enough to learn that I had a strong, innate, resistance to Christianity.  Rote rituals seemed entirely foolish to me.  Even basic Christian language, words like God, Jesus, or saviour, were intensely resisted.  I simply couldn’t trust people who claimed to know something about God because they read a book (the Bible).  Early on, I decided: since I didn’t know, myself, if there was a heaven or a hell, a God or a Devil, I would simply be good, to be on the safe side.  Still, I was never far away from the subject of spirituality in one way or another.  As a teen, I briefly explored Wicca and other occult teachings, but since they were equally focused on rituals, I quickly decided against them.  Spiritually speaking, I was drawn, most, and for a long period of time, to channelled material.  First, during my teen occult phase, to a book (that I – not such a ‘good’ girl at all – stole from a bookstore) about an entity contacted through a Ouija board, called Messages From Michael.  The material was far too esoteric for me at the time, but I eventually read it through, as well as the rest of the series by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro in my early 20’s.  Just previous to my move to Vancouver, I discovered the Kryon channelling.  I read the entire series and met the channel, Lee Carroll, twice in person.

So, there I was, spiritually fortified, and following my dream in heaven-on-Earth gorgeous, Vancouver, B.C.  The world was my oyster and I was the shiny pearl at it’s very heart!  I didn’t think I needed to learn anything further about acting, but a prospective talent agent encouraged me to take some classes.  Since my definitive objective was to work in the film industry, I conceded that some technique would help me shed my overly dramatic theatre style and make me more marketable.  I soon attended my first class in a small, run-down office building near West Broadway and Arbutus Street: the Marc Baur Studio.

On Wednesday, February 9, 2000, I wrote in my diary:

Went to Marc’s class.  It was a super experience. I did an exercise that was an important key for learning not to scatter my energies so much.  I learned that where I think I am is truly where I am, where acting is concerned.

What?  Oh dear.  I think I meant that I could believe that I was, indeed, a talented actor, and ready for a successful film career.

And, yes, I was successful.  I went to many auditions, got some unpaid independent film roles, and hung out frequently in the audience at the Vicki Gabereau show.  I also did a few paid gigs, as an extra, almost immediately, but it wasn’t consistent.  In order to have free day time for auditions, and a job to pay the bills, I worked a few night audit shifts every week at a colourful Granville gay hotel.  Within a few months, I procured fancy new resume shots, signed with a reputable talent agent, and I was thrilled that my career was going along, tickity-boo.

In October, I started a ‘Being Real’ class with Marc Baur.  On Wednesday the 18th, I write about the first class in my diary:

For 4 hours we did vulnerability exercises and, while it was exhausting, it was a terrific learning experience.  Marc had brought pumpkin pie and I had 3 slices!  After class, a bunch of us went out to a pub down the street and had wings, fries and gabbed.  I had a really good night!

Excellent.  Ah, but little did I know that I was headed for a big ‘Being Real’ crash’ola.  On October 25th, I wrote:

Class was ok.  I was too tired though.  I almost fell asleep during the first scene presented and then was way too nervous when I did my monologue.  I had a good ‘therapy’ session though.  I did an ‘I’m afraid that…’ exercise and cried a lot.  It was cathartic and felt really good to release.

November 1st was pivotal.  I wrote:

I really wanted to be lazy, but Marc said I should do a cold read scene with Bob.  Well, that turned out to be a major surprise.  All my life I’ve been missing the boat in my acting – all of the sudden, I got ON the boat!  I learned how to find the emotional backbone of a scene, first, before intellectualizing it.  BRILLIANT!  It was also easy, effortless and real.  I could trust it, moment to moment.

After class, Bob, Marco, Rick and Elizabeth and I went to Subeez for nachos and gabbed.  They helped me see some things about myself.  Cool.

I remember, specifically, at Subeez, Bob pointed out, “You’re looking for recognition.” 

The same night, around 3 am, as I sat down for a break at work, I considered it.  Why was I looking for recognition?  And, why was it, that no matter how much recognition I got, it was never enough?  I was always seeking for more, and more, and more.  Like an addict.  Did it have something to do with my childhood? Yes, I was always an attention hog as a kid, but inside, I felt acutely invisible.  In fact, I could still feel it.  It was like I had a huge hole inside me, and that, for all these years, I had been running around, trying to fill it with attention from others.  In a shocking epiphany that would completely re-direct my life, I realized that, even if I became wildly famous, no amount of attention would ever fill that gaping maw within.  No matter how many people said, “Amanda, you’re awesome and the whole world loves you,” if I couldn’t believe it myself, if I couldn’t love myself, it would be useless.

The ‘Being Real’ therapy exercises effectively pulled a lot of my crap out of hiding.  In an ‘I feel’ exercise, I learned how to be intimate and connect with another human being.  In an ‘I’m afraid’ exercise, I learned that there were deep feelings of unworthiness and rage that I could never entirely stuff behind an actor’s mask.  By interaction with Marc and my classmates, I learned that there were also real qualities within me – under all the shocking and embarrassing qualities that I would rather have ignored – qualities of light and beauty.   

My teacher, Marc Baur, may not have considered himself a ‘spiritual’ teacher.  At the time, I wouldn’t have described him that way.  Yet, Marc was exceptional in his ability to fully accept and embrace the wide variety of personalities in his care.  He saw through to something brighter and more profound in each student, even if the student didn’t recognize it in themselves.  I’m sure that as Marc has witnessed individuals developing greater personal and spiritual depth through his class exercises over the years, he can’t be immune to the greater implications.  Perhaps he now also perceives his role through a broader lens, as I do. 

I touched Grace through those acting exercises, but I wasn’t ready to fully receive Grace.  I was being asked for more than I could, then, have given.  Frankly, it scared me, shitless.  I continued with the class into the new year, but I had less and less energy for it. 

Eventually, I lost all energy for everything.  I was turning and turning, within a box in my mind that was squeezing, smaller and smaller, but I could find no way out.  Unbeknownst to me, a clinical depression was setting in.  I didn’t want to be an actor anymore.  All I wanted… was to disappear.

(See Spiritual Teachers: The Ojibway for Part 2 of this series.)

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