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Sunday, July 30, 2023

Barbie (2023)

I went to see Barbie last week and I was NOT disappointed.

I had to drag myself to the movie theater, not having much energy left and therefore no enthusiasm. But as soon as I got there and started seeing people dressed in pink for it, I was so delighted that I got it back! I loved how this became such a fun event for everyone who enjoyed playing with Barbies and even people who didn't.

The trailer was misleading to me. It gave me the impression that it would be just another cliche adventure and comedy movie, but there were a few plot twists I didn't see coming that made it extra interesting and entertaining.

Oh, if you're a man and you despised this movie or have negative opinions about it, I strongly recommend getting educated on the topics it touches before you make a fool of yourself by hating on it for no good reason! There is also context and nuance in it to not ignore that can drastically change your interpretation of it. 

  SPOILER ALERT!   Keep reading at your own risk. There are spoilers ahead... 

Barbie at The Cinema

SilverSun, Caribbean Cinemas. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Sunday. July 23rd, 2023. 

With watching Barbie, I got a few lucky turns of events!

I was going to see it as soon as it aired here, on Thursday and in La Romana, even though it meant I'd have to see it dubbed and I'd rather have it in its original language so I don't miss important dialog and voice. But I was called to the city and winded up next to a cinema that had it in English. My plan then was to see it in the late afternoon or early at night, Friday or Saturday, but my "luck" wasn't having that either. It practically disabled me until late Sunday night, when the cinema was mostly empty. In a strange way, I ended up having the most preferable experience I could have had watching Barbie! 😋

Ironically, right next to the VIP area too. Haha.

SilverSun, Caribbean Cinemas. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Sunday. July 23rd, 2023. 

A regular theater room for me, though. But it was, regardless, huge and comfortable. I arrived while it was still empty and was in awe of it. 

Lately, I've been missing the magic of the movie theater, but movies that motivate me to go don't come too often. Going for Barbie was a blast, however! Plenty of people did dress in pink and it was amazing to see! 💅

Barbie Me

I did it. I finally dressed up as a made-up character to belong in the Barbie World and make my inner child happy! I was going for something that could capture who I am but still be altered enough by the circumstances of a different universe. And also tropical and a tad alternative, for Summer time!

Those shorts are some of my favorites and I noticed that they have all "my colors" (see Study Room's categories) except for red and purple. So I had to take it to mean that Contemplation and Power are pretty much missing in her life. And with pink being predominant, it's like she's Beach Glamour Barbie or something!

So, anyway, did I pull it off? 😁 

For the sake of keeping the cosplay, here are separate shots of all that went into it: Sunglasses, hair (couldn't style it as I wished so let's pretend it was breezy and sunny at the imaginary beach!), and makeup. Clothes (I'm wearing sandals with them). Nails. Bracelets. And Earrings.

I was actually shocked to see those earrings in the Barbie movie, which was what motivated this dressup! More to like them for.

I was so exhausted that week, but I'm glad I still found it in me to do this. 😊
(Color vividness and temperature are modified, but they're still pretty candid pictures. Nevermind my actual paleness, I would have gotten a tan if I had realized beforehand it was like that.)

Making an Impression

Do first impressions matter? Unfortunately, yes. They set the tone for all else that follows.

People exist that give second chances. They don’t take first impressions too seriously, because they are aware that there could be more than meets the eye and that there’s a possibility the person was, for some reason, acting out of character or having a rough time that’s keeping them from being their best self. These are people that risk it out of compassion and understanding or because they can sense potential regardless. However, the first impression might still nag at them or come up as relevant later on - for better or for worse.

Then there are more pragmatic and efficient people. They do not have time or energy to spare on charity and uncertainty. Maybe they weren’t always like this, but that’s how they are now. They will ruthlessly weed out those that fail to make a good impression, unwilling to risk it for them. And they’re in their right unless the role they’re in demands more of them. Perhaps they are close-minded and short-sighted, so they truly believe that the first impression encompasses the totality of a person. But perhaps their rationale is that, even if they do dismiss someone who could have been worthwhile despite their bad impression, it is not worth it to invest in looking closer when it’s just as likely or even more likely that someone making a good impression will be just as good or even better than someone who didn’t could have been.

Yes, it can be messed up. And some of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet can come in wrapped in disarray. But we have to at least try to meet people halfway. Just as we expect to be given an opportunity, we should expect to put out our best to be considered for it.

This shouldn’t be discouraging for you. Take it as an incentive to keep improving, to encourage extraordinary growth. And even if your first impression wasn’t all that, you can probably redeem yourself with later ones or at least do better with the next audience you’re in front of.

And speaking of audiences, bear in mind that you won’t be what everybody is looking for. Even at your best, you may be overlooked and rejected. You may be “The whole package at the wrong address.” This is why it is extremely important to get comfortable with rejection and begin seeing it as redirection. If you bring your all and it is not enough, that is not where you’re meant to be. And even if you’re lacking, could do better, and are rejected because of it, that’s a redirection to work more on yourself. Personalizing and internalizing rejections as reflections of your worth won’t do you any favors. Many of the most successful people were rejected countless of times and kept going, to a point where they became almost completely or absolutely shameless.

Arm yourself with preparation and push yourself to demonstrate what you’re made of if you want to make an impression. How much you transmit and reveal of yourself through it is at your discretion.

Points on Competence

 #1  Competence is no guarantee for success. There may be more qualifiers required for a job, such as virtues to complement it. Or, in the worst of cases, arbitrary traits that are favored.

 #2  Having competence and acknowledging the value of it can free you of the burden of compensating for a lack of it. You may get away with lacking charm, sociability, and more that can sway others or is even expected of you. That is, however, unless those around are severely lacking sense or the entire package is strictly necessary.

 #3  You don’t get competent by pulling others down, delaying them, or otherwise sabotaging them. You get competent by working on yourself, making use of your strengths and making up for your weaknesses.

 #4  Compete, first and foremost, against yourself in regards to where you aim or are meant to be. Competing against others, if not careful, can stray you and keep you from fulfilling your potential.

 #5  Competence matters. Do not expect charity if you don’t put in the effort to achieve it. People, even the most generous ones, can only accommodate so much before it becomes a serious liability.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Relationships & Communication

We may often hear that communication is the #1 requirement for relationships to work - or at least have a chance to. Well, there is truth in it. It does not mean that you must be talking to each other all of the time, but that it is of great importance to be in communication about the things that matter to each and to the relationship. Otherwise, it is quite likely to fall apart, if not remain fragilely suspended as something subpar or even dreadful.

Unfortunately, many have taken this to mean that, as long as they spout out as many words as they can, it will be fine. No, it won’t. Words alone won’t sustain a relationship unless the relationship is only one for conversation, discussion, and debate. In which case, pretending that it is more than that to receive a higher level of investment and benefits from others, is something despicable to do. So, please, don’t. Communication should be the means for appropriate and suitable action to be taken in a relationship.

In the case that you are indeed looking to form and maintain a close and meaningful relationship with another, here are a few of the ways communication can serve that purpose:

• Find a place where you can openly talk. Normally, this would mean somewhere comfortable, without too much noise, where you’re by yourselves. What can and should be said in public isn’t always the same that can and should be said in private. E.g. Personal and sensitive topics are best addressed in private, as well as corrections that could cause embarrassment. Not making the space for this results in missing a huge part of the story.

• Be clear about your intentions with them. Are you looking for some quick fun? Something to pass the time without pressure? Something more serious and committed? Your one true love? What exactly is it? Whatever it is, it is recommended to be honest about it so that nobody wastes their time and energy on what isn’t for them. Maybe you’re looking for the same and it’s great. And maybe you’re not but you can still reach a worthwhile compromise. Or maybe there’s nothing you can come to terms with and you part sooner than later. Still better than fostering resentment through ambiguity or downright lies.

• State your limits and your dealbreakers. Even if you really like a person and would be thrilled to be with them, you cannot be and drop everything just to keep them. Even if you try, it’ll backfire and ruin the relationship eventually. There are things that are just too draining and debilitating for you, so you can’t promise them - let alone guarantee them. And within this are things that are simply not you - you’d be betraying yourself if you yield to them. Perhaps you don’t know yourself enough to know what they all are yet, but note what you do know so far and more as you become aware of it. If they don’t present an issue or can be worked around, the relationship can keep going.

• Be mindful of past hurts. No, you didn’t cause them. And in a fair and ideal world, you wouldn’t be the one mending or compensating for them. But it is both selfish and unrealistic to expect the other person to come as a blank slate for you. Even if they did or are currently doing their own healing, there will be remains that make them less trusting, less affectionate, and overall less loving. Similar could be happening to you (whether you see it or not). If it is too severe, seeking professional help is advisable. But for the rest of it, show patience and solidarity. Not everyone can be a gifted empath who can heal every wound, but anyone can show consideration if they care enough to. You can share what stings and triggers you to avoid it or keep it minimal through the recovery. And you can also share what else is bothering or troubling you to find solutions to it. Furthermore, share what seems to be helping so that there is more of that.

• Announce absence and delays. You may assume that this can be bypassed, and sometimes it can, but it is one of the primary ways to demonstrate respect and concern for the other. If they are waiting for you or even counting on you, the least that you can do is let them know if you will be around and available or not. So that they don’t worry or worse: are left hanging. And it can mean so much! If you are generally busy and/or distant, and this has been accepted, you may not have to do it so often (for it will be expected). But for special or out-of-the-ordinary events, better give a heads-up if you won’t make it on time or at all.

• Transitioning from friends to lovers, or from anything to more. The fear of moving the relationship forward is a valid one. Especially if what you already have is something you already cherish and would rather not lose, you can be reluctant about going ahead. It’s not necessarily a dismissive move to ask for things to stay the same, as though it denotes that you’re not valuable enough to them, it could be an aversion to risk instead. When a relationship changes, the standards and boundaries do too. There are more ways to mess it up. Maybe you’re not up to the task of meeting these demands or maybe you’re not apt for it (or you are but are not very confident about it). Regardless, it is something to bring up. There is a chance that you will fail as something more while you were doing fine as something less. And you don’t want to lose it all because you went beyond. But forcing one state or the other isn’t the way to go. What you can do instead is express your worries and proceed with caution to not damage all the types of relationships that you can have with each other. So that, even if things don’t work out on the next stage, you can still go back (though may need some time off) to how you were before.

• It’s complicated, but how? When relationships are not the standard kind. When they’re “complicated” for one or more reasons. That’s when you need communication the most. What are the roles of each and what is expected? What is the situation and what are the circumstances? What conditions are you in? How can you exist and coexist within that? Is there anything, in particular, to keep present? And so on. Get to the details and pay attention to them.

• Exchange views and opinions. Last but not least, conversation, discussion, and debate are enriching and allow for better awareness and understanding of who everyone is and how they perceive and interpret the world and everything in it. Plus, part of the magic of relationships is that they change you. At times for the worse, but at times for the better. When you combine what you carry and let it transform you, you may grow through new angles and perspectives. You patch each others’ picture. And if you do this properly, you’ll get to a point where you’ll be on the same page and capable of some degree of accurate mind-reading. This will bring plenty of ease to the relationship.

Again, these are only a few of the ways communication serves relationships. And of course, you are not supposed to apply them all at once. In due time, when it fits and as you are able to.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Exchanging with a Wide Group

Being in front of a large group of people can be terrifying - especially if you haven’t yet gotten used to it. And more layers of pressure that stress you out can be on top of it to make it more challenging to handle.

It mostly boils down to what kind of attitude you bring to it, however. Even though preparation is heavily important too, no amount of it can save you if it doesn’t also come with the outlook and disposition that will allow you to carry things through and maneuver through them regardless of what happens.

There may be plenty at stake when presenting in front of a high number of people. But our worries can make it worse than it has to be. And past a certain number, when it breaks beyond what makes it something within one’s initial comfort zone, the numbers begin mattering less unless you fixate on them.

There’s a crowd containing numerous people, there’s it being broadcast live, there’s being recorded and saved to be replayed for years to come, there’s the rating and commentary it could receive, there’s how it does in terms of what the aim is and how much it was invested for it, there’s your own standards for how you perform and make the best of it, and more. All of this could crush your spirits if you let it.

If you’re the main attraction, much responsibility falls on you. It tends to be lighter when you’re one of many, a backup, or an extra to it. Depending on where that puts you. But whatever the case, it helps to remember that no matter how spectacular people can be, people are still human and things happen. Rarely does anything go exactly according to plan or how it is ideally envisioned. Your job is to take it seriously enough to do it at least close to your best but not so seriously that you’ll trip over yourself and have a nervous breakdown because of it.

As for how to go about it, more specifically, you must find what works for you and/or the type of presentation that you’re doing. Maybe it is being exalted and amicable, or maybe it is being in your own bubble and aloof. Or anything in between, mixing it up or interchanging it as it suits it.

Addressing a wide crowd doesn’t have to be always general and vague either. You can identify what everyone or the most amount of people attending and viewing you have in common and focus on that when speaking out, but you can also take moments to address subgroups within the entire group, choosing your words to call out to them. You may even single out particular people if it is appropriate and worthwhile.

Nevertheless, even though what you do determines much, there is indeed such a thing as an awesome crowd to be genuinely amazed by and thankful to. People who are glad to be there and return the same energy or even multiply it. As opposed to people who are predisposed to not have a good time and belittle all efforts. If the latter, don’t take it too personally. Though see what you can do to not repeat such situations too often. Perhaps measures can be taken and accomodations can be made to enable others to be their better selves while there, too.

And remember, you get better with practice. Allow yourself to have shortcomings and make mistakes, knowing that they will be less and less as you go on and set yourself up for the best.

Points on Presence

 #1  Impressions aren’t everything but they do matter and can send a message that cannot be as easily and quickly retracted as it was conveyed.

 #2  Normally, it is advisable to look impeccable, neat and tidy, collected and well put together, but this doesn’t apply to all situations. For different reasons, you may instead wish to portray another persona, a certain state or condition, or what they may be or have been through.

 #3  Dressing for the occasion isn’t a meaningless arbitrary requirement to always dismiss. It shows consideration & respect for a given event and denotes participation and belonging. But whether you can or will do that, and to what extent, is for you to discern and decide.

 #4  Stressing about being overdressed or underdressed in comparison to others is mishandled energy. As long as you keep it between acceptable parameters, it will be fine (unless it is for something particularly strict).

 #5  Having your own personal style can help you stand out and preserve your individuality. It also introduces you to others without words. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those that don’t, do not honor their own traits and preferences, but when you do, it becomes evident.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Leo's Basics

Transit Date: Late July.
Middle of Summer.

Position: 5th.
Element: Fire.
Quality: Fixed.

Symbolized by: The Lion.
Typically Associated with: Confidence, charisma, showmanship. 

At Best: Bold and empowering.
At Worst: Arrogant and attention-hogging.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Taylor Swift & Gerard Way, Undeniably Iconic

I stopped obsessing over celebrities when I entered my teen years and began having real problems. And yet, I could not ignore these two.

I don’t consider myself too contradictory and I also don’t see loving both Taylor Swift and Gerard Way as contradictory. But because it is as though they are light and darkness, and apparent opposites (on the surface), it got me reflecting on exactly what is it, past that, that drew me to both and kept me around - especially considering how done I am with celebrity worship and mostly just vibe with what I can vibe with and move on. The thing is, though, that it’s not that they’re celebrities. It goes beyond that. They did have a significant impact on my life through their work, to a degree that not bringing it up feels almost like lying by omission.

But speaking about them definitely isn’t a chore to me. I’m more than happy to! I do love them and their work and I don’t care if that makes me look uncool or whatever. To me, they’re among the coolest people in the world, anyway. And you can usually catch me cheering on and adoring those I consider epic. And in this case, they are iconic too.

So what is it about them, really, that tied me to them? The list could go on and words might never make it justice, but here’s what’s standing out for me the most:

• They both entered the mainstream (or my range of awareness) with a music video in high school basically against bullying or mistreatment. You Belong With Me and I’m Not Okay. And I was hooked by that. You know how I feel about high school, right? I wasn’t bullied but I definitely wasn’t one of the popular kids and I despised the place because of the attitudes it promoted and rewarded. Even to this day, when I’m having a shitty day, my go-to comfort is reminding myself that at least I’m not in high school anymore. Imagine my frustration when I encounter people who are long out of it and still carrying a high school mentality.

• They both got major glow-ups. Look, I’m not calling anyone ugly at any point. But there is such a thing as being extraordinarily physically attractive and… not. And this was interesting to me as it had me wondering about how they took that and what it was like for them. I had people pestering me about my appearance for a long time (weight, acne, posture, clothes, etc.) until I turned it around to shut them up, but still don’t place a lot of value on it. And yet, I can’t help but grin about what a middle finger they’re giving to people by not only being astoundingly captivating but also for having tailored styles for themselves that suit them so perfectly.

• Their wardrobes are a trip. I’ve never been into expensive, luxury brands - which is what many assume someone is into when they say that they’re into fashion. But I genuinely enjoy the artistry in it. And their flavors, in particular, appeal to me and make me marvel. Although what I would personally go for differs, I appreciate the numerous spectacular looks that they serve.

• They are multi-talented/skilled but, most importantly (for me), they are exceptional writers. Especially with Taylor Swift, at the beginning of her stardom, it was like most people were overlooking this when taking jabs at her for not being The Best Ever™ at performing arts (singing, dancing, acting) and yet still being so successful. And I was there like, dude, her storytelling. You can’t even quite pinpoint what it is about it and could dismiss it as just another love song, but she was bringing back magic that a lot of us were missing. Still is. Gerard Way, I don’t even know where to start. But did you know that he’s behind The Umbrella Academy? They’re both killing it at shows now, with massive crowds, but I’ll call it: in my view, they’re both highly imaginative and empathic introverts, more intelligent than some would guess.

• They made songs that helped me through the roughest patches. The Black Parade (and Helena to an extent) helped me through my grieving process after my grandmother and caregiving uncles (one of them my godfather) died, one year after another, leaving me in an extremely confusing, chaotic, and overall dysfunctional environment without them while I was still too young. So it did hit me more than I let on. Not every word fits my situation, but more than enough do. And I Knew You Were Trouble helped me put my pieces back together after the relationship that took me from having my life together (enviable even) to being in shambles. Got involved with a drug addict out of excessive compassion. I don’t recommend it, one of the most self-absorbed fuckers I had the misfortune of falling in love with. After I radically sacrificed my well-being and damaged my relationships for him, he couldn’t be bothered to take a few minutes to let me vent the ONE time I asked for something (I avoided asking him for anything the whole time because “he was already going through too much”). But I digress. Point being, I deeply needed those songs.

• They carved their path into popularity. Taylor Swift started with country music when it was still quite looked down upon and Gerard Way with emo music while it was still quite underground. But both are so melodic that their music can be catchy to a majority regardless, categorized as a blend with pop. It fascinates me still because what they did doesn’t come across to me as very formulaic or cookie-cutter, but as that they did take their chances and it paid off. And they keep trying new and different things, while keeping their essence, and dare I say, staying true to themselves. So getting bored with sameness was never something that turned me away from them. It’s exciting to see what else they come up with!

• Their 2022 releases contained a keyword. Way to get my attention again. Throw the ‘anti-hero’ word in there and I’ll make it my business. But no joke, coincidentally, The Foundations of Decay and Anti-Hero came out in the same year. I hadn’t forgotten about them. But I was so caught up in my own stuff that I was no longer paying attention to much else. It came as a shock to me when these songs were dropped and it would be an understatement to say that I was ecstatic. For unbelievable reasons, they have a special place in my heart now and forever.

• Visualize them with enormous feather wings and it… fits. I’m agnostic, but if there is any truth in that we’re governed by some sort of divine order and that there are evolved souls sent to Earth on a mission to heal or even save it on grand scales, they would be two of them. I would bet and argue that. I don’t like to put anyone on a pedestal because I know that it can be asphyxiating and it is a burden to continually stand in there, so that is not what I’m doing. What I am saying is that they are so undescribably otherworldly with their work that we’re supremely fortunate to have them around. And for me, in particular, I can totally see them as winged warriors. White wings for Taylor Swift and black wings for Gerard Way, or combinations of colors more unique to each. I would call them King and Queen, but in contrast to them, those titles are better reserved for us, mere mortals.

Like I said, I could go on. And get cringier. But I’ll leave it at that. Don’t be too surprised if I keep posting about them and their work in the future, they’re more than welcome here, on my art site, and I still owe them tribute for all that they have meant to me.

Exchanging in an Intimate Group

Whether because you are barely starting out, because you have a smaller number of members to a more exclusive experience, or because that just happens to be the kind of event that you are hosting or participating in, there are a few things to note when exchanging in an intimate group.

As with most things, it will depend. It will depend on the type of group it is, the type of people in it, and the type of purpose it has. But generally, when contrasted with larger audiences, a smaller group can get more personal.

Normally, our guard goes up the more people are around. Because having more around and with access to you means that more can judge you, reject you, invade you, or harm you in some way. The smaller the group, the more alleviated this worry, conscious or not, is. This being the case, smaller groups tend to grant the opportunity to be more authentic, engaging, vulnerable, and intimate with others.

That is, unless it has become evident or it can be sensed that deceitful and malicious individuals are present. In which case, it is only natural for your defenses to go up regardless. They make having a genuine and sincere dynamic more uncomfortable and risky. More so if they’re particularly destructive. Or it could be that you’re guarding yourself by default, because of previous experiences, and wouldn’t readily drop that for others despite how benign they seem. Which is valid; trustworthiness is becoming rarer and rarer.

Alternatively, you may have a fear of intimacy and avoid such gatherings because they make you uncomfortable and put you at risk while, ironically, being at ease within crowds. Usually, this has to do with carrying deep shame and/or guilt, merited or not, that you mask, so it is something to work through - ideally with a qualified professional that you can confide in.

The more confident and at peace you are with yourself, however, the easier it will be to be your true self with others, no matter how many are there to witness you or even how treacherous they may be. Furthermore, if there are rules set up and enforced (admission, moderation, banning, and more) that ensure, within reason, that there will be no harm or that harm will be minimal at worst, relaxing into it is more possible. And in the event that you do face harm, having proper support to assist in mending your wounds can go a long way.

That said, exchanging in an intimate group can be an extremely rewarding experience when it goes well. You get to know others and yourself better, you can give and receive feedback on specific matters and issues, and you enrich each other with both your similarities and your differences. And who knows? You might even make good and great friendships that go beyond it.

It is on you, though, to show up with the intention and attitude to foster a favorable exchange for yourself and others. What that would be, exactly, may require some figuring out, some trial and error, and some graceful recovery and restoration after any mishaps. But if there is solidarity within the group, you will be given a hand with that. Some may guide you and some may make way for you - or both. So you don’t find yourself compromising more than necessary for the sake of group cohesiveness.

Still, you get to discern and decide if a certain group is for you or not. So that you may leave it right away, not join it a next time, or avoid comparable ones in the future as much as you practically can. There may be some objections and your own conscience might torment you about it, which happens when a group isn’t entirely deplorable, but be free to go for what is best for you.

Points on Relatability

 #1  There is such a thing as trying too hard to be relatable. It comes off as forced and/or fake. Possibly desperate, too. This can push others away. However, if you’re simply confident and accepting of who you are, disclosing sides of you to let others know that you’re on the same page and can understand each other, when it seems helpful, then you’ve done your part and the rest is up to them.

 #2  The more life experiences you have, the more you will be able to relate to different people from different walks of Earth and at different stages, as they will also be able to relate to you. But be wary of oversimplifying and minimizing others’ experiences to fit your own limited ones.

 #3  Flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, and so on are more relatable than perfection and magnificence, which instead evoke awe and admiration (if not envy and other negative responses). It does not mean that you must stay in the former, but it does signal that they aren’t as shameful as one could be led to believe (unless too serious).

 #4  Relatability promotes communication, fosters trust, and forms bonds. There’s a sense of relief that accompanies the ability to relate to someone, as though showing that having a relationship with them won’t be as hard and difficult as it could be otherwise.

 #5  It is validating and inclusive to be related to. It acknowledges that our struggles and triumphs are shared, as well as our traits, and that we are not alone in our joys and sorrows.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Transmiting your Energy vs. Meshing with the Ambient

Part of being an artist is having the power to impact and influence things around you with what you have within…

When you enter a room or arrive at a place, you can decide whether you will conform to the energies there or if you will inject and change them for the energies that you can bring to it. As an artist, your inner world may be one that you’ve carefully curated and nurtured, one of your biggest treasures, and something that you can give from to the world around you. As an artist, you tend to yourself, to your imagination, to your mind, to your heart, and to your spirit. And from there, you can draw and extract to bring out and contribute outside of yourself.

In this is a skill that can be developed like any other. To have the ability to affect the moods around you and consequently the thoughts and feelings that others may be having. In other words, you can make a sad room happy or a happy room sad. That being the case, proceed responsibly, sensibly, and at your own risk. But then again, if your role there is that of the artist, then it shouldn’t come as a shocking surprise that you’re directing the tides.

Artists are usually empathic; they can absorb the energies around them like sponges. Because of this, the immediate and automatic response tends to be to adapt to what the area is like in the moment and to reflect it back - perhaps amplify it. Which can be immensely valuable in various ways. However, since that isn't always the desired effect we want to have, it is important to be mindful and to recognize when we're being ruled by our surroundings and instead be conscious and make our choice to steer things in one direction or another, or to change them completely, depending on what you're there to do.

You may be talented at making tense situations lighter with humor. Or you may be talented at making crude and harsh realities have a fabric of magic to them or of enchantment. Or maybe you're the kind that can boost people's abilities. For example, you can lead them to think or feel more deeply, to expand their horizons, or to be more flexible or more firm in their views and opinions. Or you help rid them of their inhibitions so that they unleash more of their potential. You could as well be the one that shifts attitudes, so that is someone is negative or closed about something, they may be more positive and open.

Sometimes, all that it takes is to show up as yourself, strongly radiating what you have within you, and that will be contagious enough. But other times, it takes a bit more labor than that and it is a more meticulous and sophisticated task. You may have to put yourself in the shoes of others, reading the room. Meet them where they are mentally and emotionally (spiritually, too) and then move from there through the pathways available. Basically becoming them and walking their walk.

Rightfully so, however, not everyone is welcoming of this. Particularly if you try to be stealth and sneaky about it, where there’s no form of consent to it, it can rub others the wrong way and make them guarded or even defensive. Because being moved by another is not something everyone signs up for and is trusting of. Some may specially resent it and accuse you of intents worse than they actually are because they are uncomfortable with allowing forces out of their control to determine any of their states. But when people are self-aware and have achieved some level of dominion over their own states, then what you do or don't do doesn't necessarily affect them. They can choose what will, when and how. And you become instead a catalyst that they can decide whether or not will prompt them.

At its best, it is a power that can alter situations as well as activate more of the humanity in others. And much, much more.

Points on Resonance

 #1  If you’re not being genuine, your chances of resonating with others and the levels on which you do are reduced. Fabrications do not touch and move people the same way. Even with fiction, some life must be breathed into it for it to carry meaning.

 #2   People have several layers. We are also composed of many different aspects of ourselves. When you resonate with someone, you may be speaking to a part of them that is buried within, somewhere between their core and their surface. This can cause a domino effect in their being or barely shake them - but still light them up in some regard.

 #3  Resonating with others is often used as a manipulative tactic. But this isn’t advisable for many reasons. One would be because it harms you, too. Not only them. In the sense that it keeps you from building true connections with people, and you remain isolated and alone as you attempt to play the puppeteer. It is a poor use of your time and energy.

 #4  Resonating with someone on some level, unlocks their ability to relate, to be open to what you have to say or show them. It can make them more impressionable and susceptible, too. This can be exploited and therefore it is to be expected that some would be guarded and skeptical when it happens.

 #5  Finding someone that you can resonate with can be like finding a soulmate. Especially if you are of the rare kind and rarely experience that, it can seem extra significant. And sometimes it is, indeed, a meaningful encounter. But whether that is the case or not will depend on more.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Feigned Vs Genuine Moods

Is putting up an act the right thing to do? Is it even the proper thing to do, that shows that you have manners? Is it at least convenient?

Feigning can get you by but being genuine gets you aligned and connected. It rids you of your loneliness and isolation, of the walls you’ve put around you to not be vulnerable, to not be seen as imperfect. It comes with its risks and downsides. So, many people choose to feign instead, in a variety of situations, sometimes most of the time. To the point where they forget who they truly are, what they truly like, and how they truly behave. Rather than allowing themselves to be free to be themselves.

Feigning moods can be practical and effective. It can get you far. However, as good of an actor as you believe you are and as much as you believe that you are fooling everyone, that won’t be quite the case. There will be people who notice, there will be people who sense something off about you, there will be people who will not see you as making sense because they know how humans function, how their inner workings go, and things just aren’t adding up with you. So, you can feign your moods. But if you believe that you’re doing a flawless job at it, you’re probably wrong.

Feigning is fine when you’re in character. When you’re playing a role. When you’re not exactly betraying the trust of someone or of anyone, but you’re doing something that is required of you and is therefore understandable and you can be excused and justified. But taking up feigning as a habit, as a default mode of operating - with colleagues, friends, family, or even significant others - it is a recipe for destruction, for self-sabotage. And for living miserably when it comes to the social dimension of life.

There is something called the uncanny valley and that is something that causes a weird sensation we get, a strange feeling creeping us out, when something is too close to reality but not quite there yet. And that is what happens when you fake your states unless you are an outstanding, extraordinary, excellent actor. There will be things about your performance that will show that it is, in fact, a performance. Especially if it is only skin deep.

So, what is recommendable is to be genuine. It doesn’t mean that you have to bring all of your personal stuff to the table all the time, but you can choose to be sincere about it. And if your moods are not suitable for a situation or they are harmful or inappropriate in some way, then you can put them on hold. Besides this, it is an option to find it in yourself to generate moods that more appropriately go with what is happening - so you’re not feigning, you’re conjuring them up and truly experiencing them.

For example, a person gives you a present and you’re indifferent about it. You could feign gratitude or you could look within yourself for appreciation and then emanate sincere gratitude. You can do something like this with almost everything. Smiling for shoots. Think of happy thoughts, remember happy moments, anything that will get you genuinely happy. So that when you smile, you smile like you mean it - because you do.

Yet, that does come with a cost. As described before, feigning is the convenient way to go in certain cases. Conjuring up genuine feelings when they are not the default or the immediate ones that you have is an extra step, an extra process, that you have to do and it can be draining - at times more so than putting up an act - or it can make you lag behind to some extent. But the more you practice, the more you master your emotions, accessing and regulating them, and it becomes easier and even natural eventually.

Nevertheless, you will have to be rested enough so that you will have the energy necessary to manifest these moods at will.

Points on Vibes

 #1  Vibes may be intangible but they are not superstitious illusions. They are a combination of signs present that, together, form a whole that can be picked up and interpreted as a general vibe.

 #2  Everything has a vibe. Though some vibes may stand out more than others.

 #3  Vibes can be very telling. They can transmit information that goes unspoken or is even attempted to hide. 

 #4  Becoming aware of the vibe that you or your work give off is key in anticipating and predicting how you or your work will be perceived by others.

 #5  The ability to pick up and interpret vibes relies on the ability to be intuitive and grasp data holistically and abstractly.