Though one would hardly suspect it at this point in my incarnation I spent some years as a commercial print model while living and working in New York City. Commercial print modeling is very different from fashion modeling, a faction I never would have been considered for. Commercial print modeling is all about a certain look that can sell a certain product or service. It is a composite of look, energy, and believability. Models fall into certain categories, and these slots are very difficult to ever move out of and still stay viable in the business. An ingénue, for instance, will rarely find herself one day obtaining work as a vixen. People age out of the business more often than they change categories. As I chose to alter my look or “brand” in order to move into different theatrical roles, my commercial print days ended. I was, while employed, known as a “P&G” model. A “P&G” refers to someone who has a Proctor & Gamble type of look. It is the clean cut guy/girl next door, the all-American person who is goodness and wholesomeness incarnate. Yes I know. From my current perspective it is hard to see me through the P&G lens. Yet that is where I landed and that is what got me jobs. It didn’t matter if that was how I really expressed and lived. It only mattered that I could maintain that look and play that part.
It was during this period of my life that I became intensely serious about my spiritual awakening and my emotional healing. I began attending Unity of New York, became a student of A Course In Miracles, and steeped myself in prayer, meditation, and recovery. During the earlier years of this quest I inadvertently cast myself in a P&G pseudo-spiritual role of always trying to look like the better-than-good guy next door, a living embodiment of only Love and Light. Regardless of what was really happening in my interior I tried desperately to look the part of what I perceived an enlightened being would look like. Denial and suppression became my tools for modeling what I thought would somehow gain me entrance into the spirit-life I so longed to live. The tension between what was seeking to occur inside of me and what I was trying to portray on the outside literally did me in. The boy next door began to rage on the streets and in the subways of New York City, and the disguise finally and mercifully dissolved in a messy yet liberating look-good meltdown. All that had been suppressed was exposed and the role I thought I had to play no longer served my emergence. I hit a wall with my pasted on “church face,” and slowly it seemed I was forced to confront all the inner demons that I had tried so hard to hide. I “aged out” of the limiting mental images of what a spiritual being looked like, and I came to know that no matter how uncomfortable and messy and unskillful the immediate expression, what I saw in the mirror was actually the spiritual man I had always wanted to be. The charade never led me to an experience of my Source. Trying to be good, sweet, and perfect led only to lies, resistance, and emptiness. It was in the darkness of my deepest despair that I finally found the Spirit I had so longed to feel. It was in getting real that I caught my first glimpses of Truth.
And so my modeling days are long over, and so are the days of “P&G” spirituality. I resist the recurrent temptation to put on the mask of inauthentic Love and Light so that the reality of those Qualities can shine essentially through. What role others may cast me in is truly none of my business. With Carl Jung I am much more interested in being whole than in looking good. I am devoted to letting Source shine from the interior of my being to the circumference of my heartful expression. I am dedicated to being a real and authentic Presence in the world. I am committed to contributing consciously to the Field of One. I choose Presence over pretense, conscious staying over suppression, and deliberate attending over denial. Source is not a part I want to play or a look I seek to adopt. It is the Reality I am committed to living. Whether or not I think I look the part in any given moment is truly beside the point. I am letting the authenticity of my Essential Self be my guide, my direction, and my referral. That is the only real role I was born to play, and it isn’t really a role at all. Having faced the suppressed trauma and denied darkness of pretence- spirituality, I am now free to finally be the entirety of the authentic me.
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