How The Revenant Inspired Me to Be Better

From about 1993 until this year, A Clockwork Orange was my favourite film.

I’ve seen it over 45 times, and was seriously obsessed with anything to do with it as a teenager.

Then I saw the Revenant.

I know that this might not seem to go with the theme of this blog but wait….

When I saw it, throughout the whole thing, I was riveted – I knew before I ever saw it that it may end up being my very favourite movie because it combined things I really love in film – wilderness survival, beautiful cinematography, and a revenge story.

And while the story was captivating, the beauty of this film enveloped me like nothing ever had. I found myself thinking: “I will never create anything this beautiful.”

This thought haunted me for a while. But then I thought – why the hell not? I have every bit of capability to create intense beauty – just as much as anyone else. It just takes intense focus, dedication, and obsession.

The director obviously lives for making movies, and I clearly live for passion. When I thought about that film and how gorgeous it was, I started to think about ALL of my favourite things: in music, in books, photographs, art – the things that are so unbelievably gorgeous that how could I possibly fathom creating something on that level?

Well, why not? These people are as human as me or you. The point is to try, and to fail over and over and over again and then one day…it’s magic. It spills out; you’ve mastered your art – even if you can get even BETTER, you’ve reached a pinnacle moment where you just fucking SHINE.

But you have to start with crappy. You have to begin, and just do it over and over and over, and get better each time, and continue building, bettering, refining – and one day the beauty of what you create will blow at least SOMEONE’S mind, if not many minds – but of course you have to SHARE it, too.

And so, instead of feeling intimidated, I felt inspired to really try, to improve, and to “ship” no matter what, and take criticism if I must, because all I want to do is get better, all I want to do is create beauty, live healthfully, inspire others, help the world, and on and on, and the more we improve, the more the world will improve, but only if we share, only if we are brave enough to put ourselves out there, and you are the same, the same, so do it, work on what you love the MOST, and SHARE IT, so we can watch you progress and then celebrate your triumphs and faint with beauty when you reach that moment of astounding glory, because you can – we all can, we just need to find what we love the most and do it – or many things if we can’t choose – but we must do those things every damn day until we die, and leave something behind, a beauty legacy to lift everyone up when things are dark – those stories we tell can live on and help more people, inspire many, and make this world even better than it naturally is – because it’s all beautiful.

Funny how a movie inspired all these thoughts in me. I doubt that was the intent of the film – the intent was to create something beautiful and amazing, of course – but to inspire some random girl to better her attempts at everything she does – that was a byproduct.

So you never know if what you are doing will be meaningful or not – make it meaningful to YOU first, but share it with us, you never know how it will inspire someone, and make sure you put ALL of your heart into it, all of your PASSION, or why bother? If you’re not passionate about it, DROP IT, and spend that time on what you REALLY love.

Fucking do it or waste your breath, waste your time, waste your life. Time is the only currency, time is the only thing that matters – that breath sustains you more than any other thing – without breath we are dead in the dirt, and we want to thrive in the sky, making fucking rainbows and nebulas and galaxies to shine down on everyone else who is underneath a cloud of gloom.

Shine on shine on, and we will see it, you will burn in the dark and beckon us to follow. We need leaders, so lead. You can choose that role for yourself, so step up that ladder and be a north star for the lost.

~~~

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A Post About Perceived Beauty

Taken just now.

It’s really easy to focus on something about ourselves, even when it’s TINY, and think “Oh my god, I am HIDEOUS.”

Well, how many times have I done this to myself? “I’m too bloated! I’m not going out dancing, yuck!” or “I have the biggest zit, there is no way I could possibly be attractive to anyone.” “This scar on my face makes me so weird looking when I smile.” And on and on.

One of the biggest examples is from a decade ago, when someone I was enamoured with decided that he wasn’t quite as taken with me – this after spending several days together after a month of intense writing back and forth (we’d met in a different city, he’d come to visit me) – and of course I started to think: it’s because I’m too fat. It’s because I have all these scars.

And this caused me to start throwing up my food – ONLY junk food, of course (as if this made it okay) – luckily this wasn’t making any difference to my weight, I hated it, I hated myself even more, and it only lasted a few weeks.

So fast forward a decade – I am certainly more confident and positive than I was back then! But, I still have my days. For some unknown reason yesterday I developed a cold sore – I’m not sick, not stressed – who knows why? But it was mortifying – to have something so blatantly noticeable can make oneself feel disgusting and embarrassed – and of course, this next few weeks, I am working with the public, not in the back of the store as usual.

At first I was worried, but my coworkers didn’t even notice – they were like, “Huh?” when I asked them if I looked okay.

And for some reason I got this slap in the mouth from myself – to shine through this one tiny percentage of myself – and let all the rest of my outer and inner beauty overtake it – so that no one could POSSIBLY care, if they even noticed, about some stupid little blister.

And that will go for anything else you feel badly about – the people you admire, adore, love – do you EVER focus on their tiny little issues? No – you focus on their gorgeous minds, their creativity, their style, their passion – and even if you do notice their perceived flaws, you will eventually not notice because they are just fucking awesome. Beautiful people are beautiful regardless of their physical appearance.

Your tiny little flaws don’t matter. Just be awesome, be healthy, and throw your light out into the world. THAT will make you feel good. It worked for me today, and it will tomorrow. Just gotta remember this.

One Words: Consume

I am a consumer.

I consume luster, and begonias.

I delight in butterflies, dandelions, waterslides.

I devour watercolours and diamond capped mountains.

I breathe in the air on the crests of waves.

I eat up nectarines dropping off branches.

I lick the sweat of lovers.

I let my eyes and brain decipher letters on paper into stories and lessons and I swallow them forever, they become a part of me.

I dive into oceans and wade with fish.

I will swim along with the sharks instead of harming them.

I bear witness to the horrors of life so I can avoid contributing to them.

I beautify myself with plants instead of buying potions to disguise the symptoms of faulty living.

I buy that which actually fills me up instead of that which is only a temporary bandage.

I notice the small things, I slow down, I focus my attention on things no one ever sees,
the miniscule, the lovely.

The consumption of life is so much better than the consumption of objects.

Shiny Things

I am just too interested in everything.

I am like a crow with shiny things – except shiny things to me can be almost anything (including shiny things.)

This love of information is overwhelming, crushing, and terrifying, because I know I will never take it all in – the amount of beauty out there is staggering – it’s on the same scale as the horrors, but so many people only focus on the bad stuff – and as much as I try to bear witness, I cannot get too deep into the despair because I will seriously drown, and it will mar the beauty I want to swim in.

I was in a lovely mood tonight but when out for dinner, the first hour of conversation was so bleak that I just felt myself crumble. Eventually I mumbled, “Can we talk about something else?”

I am so sensitive – I have always been this way. It made me a target and eventually I conjured the shield of snarliness and venom. I can take offense at the dumbest things, but lately I have been very aware of my reactions and try not to get too upset when someone might just ask something at the wrong time (usually when I am tired). I am also sensitive to negativity, and when everything becomes too dark I want to run away to a shiny, pretty, candy mountain, or float off like a dandelion puff.

I like to focus on beauty. This strawberry I am eating is orgasmic. I could be swept away in the juicy scarlet luster of this strawberry – I could even get one tattooed on my neck (oh wait, I did that).

The highlight of my day was receiving two books I ordered at work, an expensive novel and an illustrated novel. I was enchanted by an interview with Neil Gaiman and then felt excitement well up in me to read his stuff again after not reading it for years.

I get gooey every time I see a little dog puttering down the street. I get flames of love when I think about all the beautiful creatures I will help in Thailand. I was so catapulted by fruit sugar and a rare piece of cacao that during work all I could imagine was jumping like a dingbat on my rebounder. I am delirious with excitement about my work’s raw vegan summer party tomorrow, and even more stoked to go pillage the downtown library for more graphic novels.

I could live at the library. I could spend all my day writing and drawing. I could vanish into a K-hole of travel as if I was in a tube of rainbows.

Yeah, a lot of aspects of life blow huge bloody globules, but man, there is so much other gorgeousity, look UP for once.

~~

Here’s a pic of me in shiny things, taken at a Peaches concert in 2009.

Search for Beauty

I think about this a lot:

the way the world is run, all the horrible, negative aspects of how people are controlled, how the world is owned by certain families and corporations – it’s sickening, disheartening, and often makes me feel like giving up – there are many conspiracy theories that I believe, though I do not obsess over them – they make me sneer and hang my head, but then I look back up and realize I am really in charge of my own life, that even though these things go on, I am STILL in charge of how my life turns out, my own attitude, and since I am AWARE of these evil-doings, I can avoid them as much as possible, and fly under the radar.

Everyone will be somewhat affected, but we can all control what happens to us to some extent (and by some, I mean MOST) – laziness is bred into us. We want the easy way. It makes me laugh when people think they have no time to make their own meals for work, or that they have no time to walk their own dogs or care for their own children – it’s sickening. What are they spending their money on (from the jobs that they spend all their time at?) – mostly things that are unnecessary, or they are perpetuating this ideal that is constantly bombarding us (more control from “them”) –  for real, we need to control ourselves.

The reason I think about this (but not too much, or I really will feel like giving up) is because knowing about the goings-on (the things that are HIDDEN from everyone, I do not pay attention to mainstream news) makes me feel empowered.

I also know that if I want beauty in my life, real health, real happiness, I have to do a limbo under that bar – probably pretty far down. Good thing I have awesome balance, because to get under that thing takes a bit of work – the laziness we’re all conditioned to have is keeping us from learning what is really going on, not to mention it is suggested that we all do not do “enough” ! – and this exhausts people! It makes them miss out on the real joys in life!

I must say, I have NO hope for society as it is now, nor for most people. Yeah, that is negative, but guess what? The people who are really awake, they will be the ones who make it through, if there is ever something that wipes out humanity. I have hope for the conscious people. And the planet itself – I don’t worry about her – she will right herself, if given a break from us humans.

Despite my attitude towards the majority, I still think we should all be a part of the solution – we all still need to change our habits – treat the planet with love, animals with love, and each other with compassion. We must create love and beauty if we want more of it – like attracts like – we can all be shining examples.

I feel like most of the population is apathetic – understandably – it’s easy to get down on everything, whether you are exposed to the mainstream media or the alternative,  hidden information!

Kids are so lucky because of this – once you hit the age when you are aware of evil in the world, that is when the interest in “play” wanes, the belief in the self, the strength to feel like you can do ANYthing. And you really can – maturity is a farce – it’s great to be responsible, but it’s a lie you have to “grow up” – people are stuffed into boxes where they are gassed with the horrors of life, and they get so blinded that they forget how to LIVE – the beautiful things in life are still out there! You are still able to do them!

Fuck the bad shit – don’t contribute to it, speak up about it, but then go on and celebrate the gorgeous flutterings that squeeze your heart.

Beauty Amongst Chaos

There are days where I just feel flat.

I don’t mean chest-wise (cuz I don’t care) – but just…blargh.

I’ve had a lifetime of teeth issues, and no matter what I eat, I will continue to have issues because of the bombardment my teeth have taken over my life. So I won’t blame fruit, or raw – actually they improved going raw, so there.

Anyway, it was a few weeks of dental appointments, and today I just had enough. I got into a “why me?” mode and said eff it to everything and just binged on kale chips (could be worse…) and sat around watching Sailor Moon and Game of Thrones.

Not really my style. I tend to be a doer, EVEN if I am watching something, I am working on a project of some sort (like my zine that has taken me years – it’s almost done).

Eh, anyway, my point is that even though I get this way at times, I know it’s not going to last. Usually I am upbeat + positive and in a pretty lofty state.

Ever hear that idea that people are afraid of their own power, and that they are more afraid of success than failure? I think I am in that state.

I have this series of books in my head, these amazing characters that I think about all the bloody time – and the idea of writing them scares the crap out of me, because I know they would be epic, and the length and time and care I would need to take in order for them to live up to what I’ve concocted is absolutely daunting.

I have to do it, though. I think about writing sprees all week, when I am working – I feel like when I get home I need to just hunker down and write. But then I get distracted by something – this is the downside of being so fascinated by everything – I am what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner – though I do get in states of obsession. When I finally enter that state, I am unstoppable.

I can be obsessed with many things at once – and I get so flustered and baffled at how to do it all that I am overwhelmed, and just end up reading or something. Often I act. This is why I am so in need of work that allows me to be free of a schedule – when not at a typical job, I am constantly working on projects – I don’t feel restrained by time, and so things flow so much more easily. This work needs to be writing! And so, I write, as always. Either here, on paper, fiction, memoirs, letters, little comics, zines, lists – anything. It is constant.

More often in winter is when I get flustered,  from a lack of sunlight and lowered spirits. I know how to combat this now and it is why I have continued with this blog instead of giving up like I have in previous years. I just push, now. I think to myself, “Who the hell cares what anyone else thinks? It doesn’t matter if you feel like poo – write about feeling like poo. Do it anyway, any sort of criticism won’t matter tomorrow, or in the grand scheme of things. None of this matters” – and it really doesn’t. One day, everything anyone has ever created will be gone. We will all die. Humanity will disappear. That does not mean that we should not still procreate and make beautiful songs and books and it does not mean we should not treat one another and ourselves and other creatures with immense kindness and respect. And so I say what I want, and I want others to believe in themselves, too.

We are all really good at something, and anything we love, we can do.

I have always envied the people who can obsess over one thing – they tend to be the most amazing, shining examples, the inspiring ones. But there are others who are great at many things and those are the ones I relate to. When I am really into something, I stick to it, too. I have always stuck with writing, drawing, and within the last few years, healthy eating. If I still lived near waves, I would have stuck with surfing – man, do I miss it.

When it comes down to it, the whole reason I want to be healthy is so I can continue to have the energy and confidence (and happiness) to continue, because otherwise, I will just look at the world and think “Why fucking BOTHER?”

But I know why I bother – because this is reality. We are alive, we’re here now, we might as well enjoy the beauty amongst the chaos. There can never be enough beauty.

~~

“Sometimes I get a little sad, and I feel like being alone. Then I talk to my cat about it, and he reminds me I’m James Franco. Then we dance.” — James Franco

The Beauty of Words

I was lazily dreamy the other day, thinking as usual about my life – this is a constant musing for me – how to make my life better, more exciting, more meaningful.

It’s daunting – there is a strong dichotomy in me – the one side being the free, joyous vagabond, and the other being the hard-working, focused, serious activist.

A balance between these two is difficult – it’s hard to be enamoured with beauty at all times when there are horrors aplenty around – and I don’t want to ignore them. So how do I choose?

I try to remain an optimist, but there are times when I just feel there is no hope for the world.

So during my lazing in bed that morning, I thought – “How can I make the most of my life while still doing something worthwhile for other people? AND stay happy?”

I thought about what made life beautiful for me, and what I realized was it was words – they may be fictional or not, but they have the power to do so much – distract, inspire, teach. Almost all my passions came about because of something I read, at some point. They may get me to notice something out there that I never would have seen or appreciated, or they may delight me enough to try something new, or they may spark other passions I never would have dreamed of.

I’ve had a love of writing and memoir and fiction since I was a tiny child – I spent hours as a kid writing at the typewriter, and hours as a teenager in the computer lab at school. I would sometimes stay until 9pm when the school closed completely, because I had nothing at home to use.  When I  was in grade 8 I started my first novel, of which I hand-wrote 130 or so pages, and let my friends read. I’ve written many zines, and several short stories, one of which was edited by favourite writer at the time (Storm Constantine) and featured on her webzine.

The only consistent thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer (as well as a surfer). Sometimes it seems like such an unimportant goal in the grand scheme of things  (plus everyone seems to want to write something and call themselves an author) – but this world needs more beauty. Especially coming from individual people – there is so much acid and bile and wastefulness from the majority – to spread beauty through passion is of utmost importance!

And so I decided to dedicate myself to this pursuit of beauty. To immerse myself in it. The same importance can be put on music, art, film – but it should be a singular, intense passion, or the work will not be inspiring. Anything can be of inspiration if there is insane dedication and bliss behind it.

What is your obsessive passion? I want to know. Do you spend the majority of your day doing that? I must spend my days writing and reading, or I become increasingly unhappy – this is clearer to me all the time. My clarity increases the healthier I am, but unless I am focused on the things that fill my soul, health is a dead end. It would be like traveling to a faraway place, only to get there and say, “Okay, time to go back” instead of enjoying the result of arrival. Doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, but better to enjoy the outcome as much as possible!

The more I write, the more I love it. The more I read, the more I want to read. It’s constant inspiration. It’s necessary. And so people need constant beauty around them to remind them that life IS worth living, if only for the splendor of their surroundings, the creations of others, and the hope that may trickle through them as a result. Without hope and beauty, we’re doomed.

~

For some great writing books these are the ones I recommend.