Create your balance. Design your life.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Apr 28, 2015

I had a column ready to go today and I accidentally deleted it. It now sits in that dimension where missing socks from the dryer go and I don’t think it is coming back. I have decided to share a previously published column that I enjoyed. After this I will be taking a month off of my writing duties for personal reasons and I will be back full force in June. This column was originally published in January 2014. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will see you in June! Alexandra Elaine Michaels xoxo I know I usually focus on one character but this week we are going to mix it up a little. I am going to list a few movie bad girls that are not only self-empowered but really have a quality that I find inspiring and who make me want to be a better person by the lessons I’ve learned from them. I will give you the character, the movie and the trait I admire. I hope you’ll re-visit or watch some of these movies for the first time. Enjoy. These bad girls are a special breed.   Tracy Turnblad  “Hairspray” (1988) (2007)                     Tracy Turnblad is not your average teen. She comes from a family that doesn’t have much money although she isn’t really aware of it and this girl loves life. She is the girl that is not in the popular cliques but she doesn’t really notice this either. She isn’t envious of the other kids. The only thing some of them have that she desires is a spot on a local dance show that airs after school everyday. Tracy manages to get on the show and then the fireworks fly. Tracy being the girl she is (she likes everyone for being themselves) makes friends with some of the black kids in school and she realizes they are not being treated equally only because their skin is dark. Tracy wages a small war for equality in a city full  of prejudice and stands strong even risking jail time because she so firmly believes...

Musing #44: Growing Up Beside Scientology (#Clearwater)

Musing #44: Growing Up Beside Scientology (#Clearwater)

Apr 24, 2015

Let’s be clear. I’ve naught of any import to add to the ever-escalating public Scientology discussion. I’m not here to chasten the Church. That’s been done, repeatedly and brilliantly. (#TampaBayTimes #LawrenceWright #TonyOrtega) But participating passionately, as I do, in this particular public palaver (from my perch in New York City), I’ve discovered something that is — to this Tampa Bay expat, anyway — peculiar: It turns out that New Yorkers don’t understand Scientology to be the daily reality — dare I say it, normality? — of all those who live, work and play in Clearwater, Florida. Somehow, this fact eluded me until the morning after Alex Gibney’s GOING CLEAR documentary aired on HBO, when it was being discussed at work — despite my having been a Scientolo-fascinated New Yorker-via-TB since 1997. (Not that I’d given the matter any previous thought. And not that Joe Schmo America typically has any reason to contemplate Clearwater.) I must’ve subconsciously assumed it was something people just knew.  Apparently, it is not. I’m now disabused of the notion. And, given my new-found “state of clear” on the point, I’d like to tell y’all a bit about life beside Scientology — tongue firmly in cheek, but “with malice toward none.” Being from Florida in the 21st century is like being an assman’s kid ever. Y’gotta have a sense of humor about that shit. (Procto-pun intended.) And now…a lesson in Floridian socio-geography, Stacy-style. This is the largely-ridiculous State of Florida: You might’ve heard of her daily since the (still-mortifying) Bush/Gore Electoral Debacle of 2000. This is the so-called Tampa Bay area: As in, reportorial domain of the Tampa Bay Times (one of this country’s finest newspapers). Arguably, one might equate Tampa-St. Pete — yes, always “Pete” — with Minneapolis-St. Paul or Dallas-Ft. Worth. It’s a giant megalopolis comprised of two urban-ish county seats engulfed in unequivocal suburbia. Tampa is Hillsborough County; St. Pete is Pinellas. This is Pinellas County: The daily lives of all Pinellans are inextricably entwined, regardless of municipal jurisdictions (of which there are many). Analogy as to how that plays out, for New Yorkers: Pretend — for but one, painful moment — that NYC is Pinellas County, Florida. If Manhattan...

The Wonderful World of YouTube

The Wonderful World of YouTube

Apr 21, 2015

We are putting the bad girls aside this week. Why you ask? I’ll tell you. While I was in the car today I had the radio tuned to “Drew Garabo Live!” on 102.5. During the show he played the audio from a video and I found myself so moved by the clip that I was crying while trying to navigate through a rain storm. The clip involved a 19 year old boy who has autism. He got a paid apprenticeship at a hotel. This will be his first job. The joy in his voice turned me into a blubbering woman trying not to wreck the car. It was a beautiful clip and it got me thinking of all the different kinds of clips you can find on YouTube. They are all like mini-movies. Sometimes they will pull at your heart strings, they may amaze you or you can be laughing until your sides hurt. I have decided to share some of my favorite videos I have found on YouTube over the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you don’t blame Drew. He inspired this column with audio from a single video (which I could not locate on YouTube). If you are in the Tampa area tune in to Drew Garabo Live. I am not getting a thing for giving his show a plug, I honestly love it. He is on 102.5 FM every weekday afternoon from 3 until 7 and he provides some seriously entertaining talk radio. Now on with the clips. When you are done take a little time and explore YouTube for yourself. You never know what you might find. Orcas Playing in a Boat’s Wake The first time I saw this video I was floored. This is an encounter with nature that I would kill for. I sat and watched in amazement as a pod of killer whales were feeling frisky and playing in the wave wash as the people on the boat were enjoying an afternoon cruise. The woman on the boat said it best when she uttered “Jack Hanna, eat your heart out” Enjoy this awe inspiring slice of nature. Music that will...

A Preview of Coming Attractions

A Preview of Coming Attractions

Apr 20, 2015

I had a different column in mind for today, however I have changed my mind. This week people everywhere have been very excited by the premier of the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. I am not one of those people. It did get me thinking about trips to the movies and the trailers for upcoming films being one of the most exciting parts of any trip to the local theater. If I missed any of the previews that trip to the movies was a less satisfying experience. Sometimes the previews are dead on and the sense of anticipation started by the trailer will continue to build until you get to see the actual film. At other times the trailer is far better than the film that is being advertised. I have gathered some of my favorite movie previews from over the years to share. Sometimes I got everything and more when I saw the actual movies and at other times they should have just released the 2 minutes preview instead of the terrible film they actually got you to go spend your hard earned money on. So sit back, relax and enjoy a preview of coming attractions. “The Blue Lagoon” (1980) When I saw the trailer for this it was at that age when hormones are kicking in as we develop into our teenage years. I really wanted to see this movie because Christopher Atkins was nearly naked in the preview and I really wanted to be allowed at the time (in a fairly innocent way) to admire his body. Being the movie was “R” rated I needed an adult to take me and I got my wish. Imagine my surprise (and to be frankly honest) delight that he went full frontal in the movie and I got to see his privates. I think he was my first big celebrity crush. The movie was a beautiful love story and is still a great movie today. Seeing Chris Atkins full frontal now is not very exciting now like it was when I was 13. Sometimes becoming a grown up sucks…lol.   “Bug” (1975) This creepy little gem was the last film by...

Stop Buying Time and Start Experiencing It Instead

Stop Buying Time and Start Experiencing It Instead

Apr 17, 2015

I realized yesterday that I have been trying to buy time. Not against impending death or doom, but every minute of every day I am thinking of how I will be ‘spending’ my time, ‘filling’ my time, or working against it. This noticing came to me in the context of thinking about money, and how it has often seemed, to me, like a trade off between the two: if I want time, I have to give up money, or if I want money, I have to give up time. It occurred, then, to me, that perhaps there was another option. To let time move on of its own accord. To let the cup runneth-ing over with space, generate abundance of its own accord. In the work I’ve been creating for the past few years, I teach people how to listen to and learn from their bodies, emotions, thoughts, intuition, and from the things that are happening in their lives, both internally and externally. I’ve gotten pretty good at practicing this myself, except for this one, rather glaring oversight: I haven’t been listening to time. I’ve been trying to control, shape and berate it into doing my will. Or I’ve been ignoring it, or anxiously trying to, while in wait of shift or change or inspiration. But I definitely haven’t been listening. I’m a big fan of imagined outcomes and fantasy future, but when it comes to bringing dreams into reality, some actual action has to take place. We can “practice” being in action by doing physical activity, setting schedules or following routines, or taking something metaphysical (like an idea) and making it physical, by writing, building, cooking, or other ‘creating’ activity. Time itself involves flow, and perception, both things that are also involved in the creative process. My next step with my big ‘a ha’ idea about time is to explore a greater connection to my own internal sense of time, and my internal sense of readiness and action, rather than orienting solely to the external clock. I’ve been doing this for years, by following my energy, and following my thoughts and emotions, but I have yet to follow my rhythm. I’m going to...

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