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Monday, February 08, 2010

Of Shoes and Souls

Sept 18/09

Today I had a little time to kill before having to walk over to Glady's house for the lesson in english. So now that I've seen alot of the touristy sites, my goal is to begin looking and finding some of Buenos Aires best kept secrets. I found myself wanting to get in touch with my tango side so I wandered into Darco's a local tango shoe and clothing store. I have a little list of things that I would like to purchase while my time here in BA and one of them is a classy set of tango shoes. I browsed around and explained to the lady what I wanted and soon I was looking at some classic black shoes that I could use with any one of my clothing. It cost $200 ARS which amounts to $50 CDN. I told her that I would think about it. I have 6 mos here and there is no rush. I also saw some lovely tango clothing and was thinking about how nice it would be to get decked out in full tango clothes one day and go dancing.

Then an interesting thought came to my mind that it's funny how such a value gets placed on the outside. In my tango lesson their other day, an emphasis came that I need to get grounded in the basic tango walk and get that right. For all my non-tango friends, this may sound simple but it is not. The tango walk is something that takes long to master and even after you've mastered it, sometimes you need to review the basics. It's been more than a year since I started dancing and sometimes on the dance floor, I have a great ebb and flow and people have a good time dancing with me. But sometimes I do slide and I do need to get grounded on the basics. In figuring out my finances here, I realize that as much as I want to spend money on things that are exterior and look nice, it is much better for me to spend money on classes and get grounded in my walk. And it's interesting because society places such an emphasis on the looks and the outside but in all things in life, it's really how you walk that matter and what is inside your heart.

What gets interesting is that growing up in Christian circles, alot of Christians do not smoke, drink, or swear (we'll we're not suppose to!!!!) And people get really judgmental on people who are lighting a cigarette and doing something we've deemed doesn't look good to others and is unhealthy. Addiction is an interesting topic for me because although I am not a smoker, let's just say that I'm no stranger to addictive patterns. People who know me very well and know about my past, know that there are extremely dark things about my past that I am attempting to leave behind that attempt to surface every so often. Looks are definitely deceiving in my case!

One of my biggest frustrations on my path is that it seems at times growing up in the background that I came from, looking good was what mattered most. As long as Angelina didn't go to bars do any of those "un-christian" things then all is well. Nobody cared to check on the inside to make sure that my soul was actually healthy or that things were all in working order on the inside. And there was a time period which I did do the "church" act and tried to look good and only do things that were considered good. That got me nowhere except becoming totally miserable! So decided to do a massive reno on my life and now I try to take care of myself from the inside out. Today, I may not fit the mold of what everyone considers to be a "proper" Christian. But ask anyone of my friends and they will tell you in an instant that Angelina is one of the most real people there is. She is fun and easy to talk to and can totally be someone who is spiritual and do spiritual things and church activities. But she can switch modes in an instant and doesn't think twice about going out for a drink and a laugh. In short, I'm not in any kind of a box!

You should have seen the look on Glady's face when I told her about the time that I had dinner with church people and then went to hang out a a local gay bar afterwards. And YES, Gladys is a Christian. On a side note here, the pentecostal/evangelical movement has strong roots in Argentina. Gladys goes to a church o 30,000 and in fact, her church will be hosting a conference by the people of Hillsong church, Sydney Australia here in BA in November. We always have interesting discussions on the Christian faith and theology. As a result, at this point I think that I've learned enough Christian vocabulary in spanish to be able to start my own church in any spanish speaking country haha Anyway after telling her what I did, I said "I'm a really different Christian aren't I?" To which she replied "Yes, indeed you are!" LOL

But what my point is that society puts the emphasis on things that are very exterior. Like I said previously, there are many ways to be unhealthy, not just one. People can hold unforgiveness, have deep childhood issues, have addictions and are emotional and psychological. I have seen people who pride themselves as being very "clean cut" degrade and go to such a level of darkness and deception and they've gone further than any one puff from a cigarette will ever take them! Things look good on the outside but when you look inside the heart and soul what you find the is REALLY scary.

At the beginning of this year, several of my friends came to me saying that they would really love to quit smoking. And I wish them the best with all my heart and will do everything I can to be a supportive friend. In fact, I would say that almost all of my friends actually do smoke. And I want to tell you guys something, you guys are actually some of the healthiest and most beautiful people in my world right now. It is because when I have conversations with you guys, there is a very pure, positive energy that is there.You guys are incredible, mentally, emotionally, and internally all over and there is so much that you bring into my life when we are together. I think there are many people stuck in religious circles who could learn from the way you guys live your lives. In fact, I think there whole circles in society and whole church congregations that would benefit from spending a day with you.

And I want to encourage people on this list to put your emphasis on the inside and everything will follow. Just like in tango, once my walk is right it sets the stage for anything else that happens on the dance floor. Yes it's good to want to look good. And keeping the body healthy is of vital importance. But it is more important that your soul be healthy. Because it is from there that everything flows out. At the end of the day, that's all you need to live well. If your soul is healthy, then you will want to keep your body healthy, and you will want to look good and feel good. As for me, all I can say is that for now, I'm taking what time and resources I have and using it to better what matters most- my tango walk. But there is a day coming that I will be at a milonga here in BA with nice shoes decked out in full tango garb with a beautiful walk and stunning moves to go with it........

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas