God bless Blanche DuBois. She holds on to an ideal who’s time has passed, the glory days of yore, a static memory of beauty with troubling undercurrents. Blanche wanted to be that beautiful girl she once was.
Oh she still had the looks, but that wasn’t the point. Her beauty came from the trappings – the elaborate family home, the pretty accouterments of privilege, the social hierarchy with servants at her feet. Without them she had nothing, was nothing, even though to the eye of the beholder she looked exactly the same.
My point is, Blanch was still attractive but she was not willing to take the risks that need to be taken to ground herself into her power and feel her own attractiveness rising from within.This type of risk taking requires taking advantage of new experiences when they arise, especially if they seem uncomfortable or even impossible.
When change becomes most challenging it is these four things that are necessary to act: inspiration, grit, courage and a supportive community.
From the Greek In Spiro, literally means inhale. Movement in all of its forms is the impetus for inspiration. Like Blanche when we’d rather remember the good old days and rely on what lies outside of us to get us moving, inspiration must come from within. The same with writer’s block or any other feelings of stuckness, surprisingly often a series of long slow breaths is all it takes to get the brain out of lock-down mode.
Grit takes grounding, which starts with the breath. Follow the awareness of the breath and you begin to feel sensations all through your body, red and white cells running through the bloodstream, a pain you hadn’t noticed before, tension creeping up your neck. Once you’ve noticed these they usually require a simple fix – a drop of the shoulders, pop of the neck, exhalation of breath. Then grit, that stick-to-it-iveness can become quite effortless.
Courage is a willingness to confront undesirable states of being such as uncertainty, injustice, or danger. It is ignited in the heart, in a desire for change that transcends the norm. In books and movies, it is often courage that turns mundane human experiences into adventures. Courage is the antidote to that most familiar emotion we fear, fear itself. In turn, fear can show us where we could most use some courage.
The journey of knowing fear is in fact the journey of courage. — Pema Chodron
A mutual sense of belonging fosters trust, safety, and acceptance. What Blanche lacked in this department Madame D found in the concierge Gustave H and his loyal servants of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Where Blanche longed for the old south of Gone With the Wind, Madame D was stuck in Belle Epoque Europe of the same late 19th century era. Both of these women longed for the decadence that the Industrial Age brought just as the wave crested that exposed its injustices.
These injustices are still being realized as we continue to envision a supportive community that encompasses a world built on love and kindness and couched in the aesthetics of a well curated play.
When we delve into this adventurous journey called life exploring beyond what we already know we allow experiential transformation to occur. The more risk we take from a place of love and support, the more willing we are to ask the deeper questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”, questions with uncertain answers but often rewarding with the perspective they offer. Unless you’re okay with someone yelling, “Stellaaaaaaaa!!!!” in your ear all day long.