Guys! It's been ONE YEAR since I launched Vagabond et Virtuosa! Man, it's almost hard to believe. Since July 16th, 2018 I've accomplished more within myself, discovering my mind, body, and spirit on a deeper level, and have pushed myself towards what I really want through who I am, and I owe a good majority of it to the concept of this platform and to those I've met and conversed with along the way. This idea was burning inside of me for about two years prior to actually putting it out there, and since I have, I've found myself near the same happiness and at peace with myself, as I did as a child. I find that to be such incredible progress in this life. Through what I've learned after taking a leap, it's the ability to find ways to enjoy the fall, before you fly.
Though it's taken time and moments of confusion regarding what path to take, writing each week through this platform and sharing my work and mind helped me to further discover what I wanted in life. Whether it had been putting my thoughts down on paper, or to have a discussion with my mom, dad, friend, loved one or stranger of any kind, putting my thoughts and true desires out into the universe helped to bring them to fruition, and truly understand how I felt about them.
You continuously let things go from your life that aren't necessary to hold onto, to become who you're supposed to be, and allow more time for the things that make your soul shine.
In understanding this fact in each and every day that passes, I've come to understand if I want something - if it sets my heart and soul on fire with desire and passion, that's my intuition telling me that, that thing is meant to be a part of me and my story - therefore, I've learned to just go out and make those things happen. After I launched this blog, I found a part of myself that had been hiding for so long. Seeing my website live, my words written on several articles, my photos, my videos, etc., it expanded my confidence and knowledge that if I put myself out there in the avenue that I desired, I could obtain anything I ever wanted, and so I did.
I have been working on my book for the last half year called, "The Art of Flying and Falling," that I am publishing on my birthday this year. I've written two pilot scripts and sent them to festivals, and have contacted and discussed with literary agents. I've discovered new strategies to get my work out into the world the way I want to. I've been able to be with my family and spend more time with them. I've found myself again with acting, and want to put my singing out there more often. I've began living a life practicing yoga, spirituality, ayurveda, and meditation, and am on my way to getting my yoga teaching certificate. On top of this, I launched Mary's Spell Shop, which lives out the mission of Vagabond et Virtuosa - connecting women from all over the world through our art, and sharing our gifts on our own terms. Through this, I've made incredible relationships with new friends - which accomplishes so much of what I've always wanted.
This is to inspire those around the world to go after their dreams without any limitations, and to see just how beautiful of a gift we have been given by being alive on this Earth. I will aspire to continue to do this through my blog and through my work, and make it my life's purpose furthermore.
This goes to show, your dreams and discovering yourself take time, but as long as you have faith in yourself and in what you do, anything is possible. Just go out there and do it, because, why not? It's better to either fail at something you love than something you hate, and this way, you'll have tried, and possibly (will) make your dreams come true. And along the way, you'll discover yourself in new and deeper ways, and may even find yourself with new dreams.
All that matters is that you go after them.
This is my final from my junior year in college - where the concept for Vagabond et Virtuosa was born. I couldn't be more thankful for this moment in time.
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Last night, I decided to take a bath. I lit a candle, shut the lights off, and stepped into the warm water with the same thought as always on my mind. "God, what do I need to do? What purpose did you bring me here for? Please, just give me a sign so I can do your will justice."
I was fooling myself with what should be a relaxing setting, with the "what they do in the movies" hope of finding an answer - or was I? As my mind kept racing as time went on, with the same questions over and over again about what I should be doing to move my life purpose forward, I told myself to be quiet and just be - and surprisingly, I listened.
As I sat there in darkness and in stillness, it gave me the chance to look within myself. Something I fail to do no matter how often I try. The reason I think it worked this time, was because I wasn't really trying - I just decided to let go. This is when I closed my eyes, laid back, and said to myself, "I know I'm supposed to be a light - to make people happy and to ensure they know they're loved."
I felt a oneness saying this out loud to myself. Then, I opened my eyes softly, and often like I do, I saw a story unfold within my head and immediately pasted it into my reality. This scenario consisted of me, in real time, seeing .a ghostly young girl standing at the edge of the bath tub watching me with nothing, but the look of being misunderstood in her eyes. Though I felt afraid and that she could possible hurt me, I also had a sadness wash over me, needing to hear her out. This is when the "sign" I was looking for hit me like a ton of bricks.
The last few weeks, I had been preparing for an audition that I submitted to on a whim and ultimately got myself a callback for. The moment I got the audition, I felt more connected to myself than I had in quite some time, and so incredibly excited to prepare for as it included so many aspects of myself I hadn't been able to use in so long. I sent my mom a video of the song I was planning to sing for it, and we talked soon afterwards where she expressed that maybe I should really give acting and singing a true chance - and I thought that was a great idea and one I was really thrilled about. A few days after, I performed at a showcase and I got the same feeling again - happy, like I was able to feel again (and so easily), along with having a lot of fun in the process. I also got great feedback, which on top of everything, was redeeming in so many ways.
With that serving as context, I asked myself, "How do you feel?" while sitting there in the tub, facing forward, but looking within. "This means so much, Mary. Look deeper." I opened my mind and heart to what I saw unfold within my imagination, and came up with this:
"Since moving here, I haven't really felt a connection with anyone. All I've experienced was false personas and lack of depth within scenarios and individuals. It has felt like I'm living on autopilot and going through the motions - but when I imagine things as they aren't, I am connected. I am living in a new world. I create a different life for myself. When I do this, I'm creating and living the lives of characters I see in these stories I see so clearly, except they're really not characters at all - they're me. They're versions of myself with voices I never knew I had, with feelings I didn't know I felt. This is why I act. I act to get to know myself better, and in doing this, I create the connection I've always longed for - a friendship that's almost indescribably full in so many dimensions. I couldn't think of anything more fulfilling."
Ultimately, the answer I was looking for was to create the stories, as literary works and words, that ever so easily come to my mind, inspire and connect people, and to bring those characters to life even more so, by putting myself into their shoes, pulling them off of the pages, and into the world they were destined to be free in, by acting.
With all of this, I have a very strong and simple point. Stop looking for answers in books. Stop looking for answers in other people. No matter how much you love someone, don't live your life trying to achieve what you think they want you to (chances are, they probably want you to do what you want to do), which is exactly the way to go. Have faith and hope in yourself and any higher power you might believe in, because chances are, if you're looking and asking for a sign, they'll point you straight back to you - it just depends on if you're willing to actually feel and listen.
I read once, I believe it was in The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, that someone once wrote regarding intuition, that the Gods thought of it as such a powerful gift, that the most clever place they could hide it, was within ourselves .- as no one would think to look there - which most oftentimes is true. Heck, obviously I'm a living breathing example of that!
So given my experience last night, if you're looking for an answer to your destiny, find a place where nothing else can impact your thoughts and where you can truly be still and look within yourself. No thoughts about anything. Just check in. I promise eventually, you'll find exactly what you're looking for. It's much easier than it seems.
I highly recommend the bath tub though. After you've given yourself the proper time and attention, who knows, you might even say "Eureka!" ;)
You've got this. Just trust yourself. After all, you're the one who knows you best.
Mary Gabrielle Strause