Gurus, Rock Stars & the Men In Between invites you into my world from my years as a monk in India, to my life as a punk rock diva and beyond, peppered along the way by the men I've loved.

My blog features both excerpts from the book, and what I currently deem hot in realm of love, art and spirituality from the streets of New York City to beaches of Los Angeles, two cities I affectionately call home.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Excerpt: Gurus, Rock Stars & the Men In Between ch 13

Strangely I am getting some of my sexual needs met through my classical Indian dance. OK, so that statement warrants elaboration. After my return from India and throughout my meltdown I continued my private studies in Mohini Attam and Odissi. This last year I added Kathak, a style from Northern India which is more upright, Mogul-inspired and features intoxicating fast turns that look like Sufis on crack. Clearly a naughty yogini in many ways, these post-Ashram years I’ve been getting my spiritual juice less from those aforementioned rules and regulations, and more through my dance and music. Particularly with dance I am satiated and lost in the sensuality and nuance of the different styles.

Classical Indian is part pure dance and part abhinaya (story telling). Through the use of gestures and mudras (hand movements), one recants stories of Gods and Goddesses that more often than not include the loving pastimes of Divine couples such as Radha and Krishna, Shiva and Parvati and so on. As a dancer matures the emphasis on the storytelling component increases to the point where it is possible and desired to lose oneself in meditation of the story being told.
Between private lessons and my dance company’s choreography and performances, I lose myself in dance. This deep connection with my body, contemplation and active expression of esoteric subject matter helps me access and develop a deeply feminine side. Especially with the cutthroat business of real estate, this connection with the feminine is essential. I never want to become a high-powered super-bitch broker. I’m more than happy to let my job be the silent patron of my arts and nothing more.

New York in the summer

New York City in the summertime… I can’t quite tell if it’s heaven or hell. A bit of both I suspect. Hellish because of the extreme noise all the time, this place never shuts the hell up. After living in Los Angeles and by the water I realize what a luxurious necessity peace and quiet are. New York in the summer is also hotter than a lumberjack's armpit, and just as smelly. I don't recall it being this stinking hot when I lived here, but I guess the mind forgets.

On the flipside NYC is wonderful because it absolutely comes alive in summer with awesome free events throughout the city – perfect, because none of us are getting any sleep anyway. Thursday night I watched Hitchcock's Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in Brooklyn Heights on the water's edge, overlooking lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. These moments in the city are simply sublime. Last week I caught the Antlers and Dinosaur Feathers at Pier 54 on the Hudson River, and followed that with outdoor Salsa at 14th and 9th Ave, then a romantic walk on the High Line. Sweet stinking lumberjack, I’ll take the heat, the smell and raise you twice the noise. I want to do the free Shakespeare in the park, but not even the Bard can get me out of bed to line up at 6am in Central Park for tickets, which is what I hear it takes these days.

One last shout-out must go to the yoga studio winner YTTP. Yoga to the People is a donation-based studio with three NYC locations whose credo sums up what has been lost by corporate-run yoga studios, and what YTTP strives to maintain, i.e. yoga tuition that is accessible and available to all. All bodies rise!

Check out the links for just a few of this summer’s events:

Movies in parks, on Piers and rooftops

Concert series at Pier 54

The High Line is a park built on a section of a former elevated freight railroad spur, running along the lower west side between the Meatpacking District and the Westside Highway, starting at Ganesvoort St (approx 12th St) running north to 20th (eventually 34th St). It’s gorgeous, low-key, and tastefully landscaped with flora native to the New York. I love it when a city gets it right!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Excerpt: Gurus, Rock Stars & the Men In Between ch 3

Bizarre chemicals flow in my brain and in such a way as to take partial blame. I’ve contributed to his infidelity by being absent. Living my dream has left my man malnourished for love and attention, and his cheating is my punishment. Had I stayed, had I been with him and given him what he needed, he would not have been forced to look elsewhere. I’ve failed in my role as wife. I think about breaking up, but we don’t run in my family. We prefer to stay (and ideally, tear each other’s hair out). And he shows such sincere remorse. He likens his behavior to an addict forced to act against his will. He pleads repeatedly, this person, the one who cheats is not who he is or who he wants to be. The Rock Star wants to be a person of character, someone people can look up to. And that is who I want him to be. I need him to be a great man. I can’t accept that he is anything less. If I do, I might have to dismantle my world.

Our relationship has never been based on sex alone. Perhaps if our partnership started as most do, on the basis of sexual chemistry, this sacred bond that has been shattered would be enough for me to call it quits. It’s not like that for us. Sex entered the relationship so late that the physical is just another aspect of our deeper connection. A complex history with the shared nuances of our sabbaticals, the almost fate-inspired way in which we came together, and the work we’re currently doing creates a partnership that is about camaraderie first and foremost. With extreme poetic license, we are Bill and Hillary Clinton. I love my scoundrel. I imagine she does too. My Rock Star's affliction is his karmic burden in this lifetime. Every person is faced with a unique set of challenges to overcome in their life, and this is his. He could be an alcoholic or obese or suffer from cancer, all afflictions of the mind and body. As his spiritual well wisher and life partner, my role is to support him traverse and transcend a condition, which he sincerely appears to want to overcome. Of course cancer and obesity are not defects of character, but my na├»ve faith in the power of personal growth contributes to an unreal expectation for the possibility of change.

If he was showing no remorse, if he had snuck around and was only caught and had not candidly confessed, like ah… Bill, things might be different. His congenital Catholic guilt, and my codependent delusion that he can change are like a hand that has met its glove. I don’t think it’s diabolical, but somewhere in his life he has learned that confession leads to absolution. Clearly with me it does. But confession alone, without change, is like a dog barking at passing traffic. It has no impact.

The intimacy of disclosure is followed by great sex. Everyone knows makeup or breakup sex is better than mid-week doldrums sex, and we enjoy the same sick, heightened pleasure after his latest confession. It’s the only time I feel him emotionally present during our lovemaking, the only time when I feel our connection and his sincerity. Or is it the only time I feel mine?

Thinking of a million ways to help remedy the situation, and freshly inspired by my time out west, I introduce the concept of moving to California. Perhaps new surroundings and a healthier lifestyle can help us beat this demon. After six years in New York, the biting cold winters are becoming less quixotic. For an Aussie girl raised with surf and yearlong sunshine, the chilly winds find their way through my dozen layers of clothing and pierce me to my core. While I love the seasons, I’m almost certain winter hogs half the year. My retinas need more sunlight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bravo! to Bravo Network and Executive Producer Sarah Jessica Parker for "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Critics are worried it might prove too highbrow for a network whose audience enjoys the many incarnations of the "Real Housewives" of wherever. I hope they're wrong. Art is always subjective. I find myself arguing with the resident judges as they at times massage their critique to suit a certain modus operandi.

Last week the competitors were grouped into two, their mission, to create a piece of public art for a vacant lot in lower Manhattan. The "blue" group consisted of boobalicious Jaclyn, OCD-brilliant-heartthrob Miles, anger-issue Eric and perpetually-in-a-crazy-hat Peregrine. Their work was superior, far superior to the "red" group, but infighting between Eric and the others cost them the challenge. It's funny because resident judge Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn was frank about the red group's neophyte installation calling it bad 70s art, but then backtracked in an attempt to prove the blue team the losers. The challenge was to create a compelling piece of art - something the blue team succeeding in doing. Why should they be punished for a lack of team cohesion? It's rare for true artists to be able to work in a team and under such extreme pressure. Regardless, I love this show!

August 14th is the date of the exhibition, unveiling the show's winner at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I'll be there rooting for Abdi and Miles. And if Miles can show another flavor besides being the "comfort guy," my money's on him.