I've been giving myself permission to stay longer in bed than usual and savor the freedom of getting more sleep. I've also given myself the gift of turning off notifications from Facebook because there is little in that app that contributes to my spiritual happiness.
And so I turned to movies, reading and writing. I've also started drawing again upon coming across this article about a Mexican-Canadian illustrator who created a cartoon called "Imaginary Friend" to help her handle her thoughts.
1. Soul Mind Heart Food list:
Gypsy (1962): Full Movie here
Fugitive Kind (1960): Full movie here
The Judge (2014)
Heneral Luna (2015)
That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes by Anita Loos
An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With the Universe by Yumi Sakugawa
The occasional NY Times Newsletter
2. Family Stories
I spent the first half of my vacation in my Tita Lea and Tito Danny's home (with my cousins Jerel & Jericho) along River Edge New Jersey. After one of our dinners, they showed me pictures of their wedding, their courtship and the first two times they visited the Philippines with Jerel and Jericho.
I consider Tita Lea as one of my badass relatives and the first who packed her bags and left. My favorite part of her wedding story was that she bought her wedding dress in a mall the day before her wedding. The store person gave her a $4 discount because there were missing buttons and she had to sew them herself.
I love that narrative. I used to love weddings as a child because of all the free food and the decorations during the reception (I've been a "flower girl" for a couple of weddings as a girl). When I became an "adult" I've been invited as a guest to a couple. As I grew up, my perception towards weddings with all its hoopla, tradition, "must do" things, and the seemingly inevitable domesticity that followed repulsed me. But Tita Lea came to New Jersey in August 1987 (at 23 years old), married Tito Danny at November of the same year and never looked back. In the beginning they had nothing. And I loved to hear a narrative of a union that followed no one's rules and forged a new life of adventure right after.
I often equated marriage with "settling down" and slowing down. But in Tita Lea and Tito Danny's case, their marriage was only the beginning of something. It seems to me that the real adventure in Tita Lea's life began when she left home.
3. The Hero's Journey
I came across this TED Radio Hour Podcast about "The Hero's Journey" over the break which I listened to while eating breakfast. The term, "The Hero's Journey" was coined by a mythologist named Joseph Campbell who connected similarities among the stories of ancient heroes. You can watch a short and cute video about it here.
"It's a fundamental experience that everyone has to undergo. Where in our childhood, to get out of that dependency, psychological dependency, into one of psychological self-responsibility - requires leaving one's conditions, finding the source of life to bring you forth and resurrection. And that is the basic motif of the Hero's Journey."
According to Joseph Campbell, the 12 steps that comprise the Hero's Journey are the following:
1. Ordinary world: Living a dull life
2. Receiving the call to adventure
3. Refusing the call to adventure
4. Finding a mentor who will help the hero answer the call
5. Crossing the threshold
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies: Overcoming challenges
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
8. Supreme Ordeal
10. The Road Back
Without being too specific I found several things in the different stages that resonate strongly with the recent events that have taken place in my life. And there is something very fundamental about the human experience that the Hero's Journey articulates. You can probably find connections between the 12 stages and the narratives of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Matrix, Harry Potter, Mulan, Hercules, etc.
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Regina De Vera
I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!