Have you ever struggled with something then just when you are at the point you feel you have nowhere left to turn, someone or something comes into your life to give you the direction you need? That is pretty much the meaning behind Einstein's insightful quote. And it is also both the theme of life, and title, of today's guest's new book.
We welcome the beautiful and uber-talented Gloria Loring to 'The Gift' today. If her name sounds familiar, you probably remember her from her fan favorite role as Liz Chandler on Days Of Our Lives. She is also a recording artist of the #1 hit 'Friends and Lovers' as well as the co-composer and singer of the television theme song, 'The Facts of Life'. But one of her most important roles to me has been that as an advocate for her son, who lives with diabetes. Not only has she been on the front lines using her celebrity to raise money and awareness for research, she works hard to do so because of a promise she made to her son years ago to "work to end his diabetes" (Check out the book, 'Days of Our Lives Celebrity Cookbook'. This book raised one million dollars for diabetes research!)
Knowing all of these amazing things she had going on in her life, it was shocking to know that privately she had been struggling with several personal demons: her father's alcoholism, struggling to deal with her parents' divorce, living in a motel and even having to work as a go-go dancer to earn enough to eat. Most people who go through such things often become angry or bitter. But Gloria reflected on these times in her new book, Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous: Reflections on Daytime Dramas and Divine Intervention (HCI Publishing). She notes the coincidences during these times--the person or event that came into her life when she needed them the most--and helped her get back on the path she needed to be on that led her to her life's next step.
Gloria shares her many pearls of wisdom on how although we think coincidences come out of the blue, it's possible to experience divine intervention each day. In other words: these things/people/events were supposed to happen as were those events/things/people brought to us to help get us through it all. The most unique feature about the book, that I loved, was how she opened each chapter with lyrics from her new CD "Turn the Page" which is basically the soundtrack for the book. The lyrics reflect the experiences and principles she writes about.
I am honored and pleased to have Gloria join us here today as part of her blog tour through WOW-Women On Writing. Thank you for sharing with us today, Gloria. And please come back any time. You are always welcome. Readers, please welcome Gloria Loring: author, recording artist, actress, mom and advocate.
From Her Thighs On Up
There are women who stand as an example of what is possible. One such woman is Lena Horne. I saw her on Broadway in her one woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. It was like seeing the perfect dress and knowing, “I want that!” I wanted what Lena brought to the stage: fearlessness.
Although I was born in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, I was raised with a Minnesota sensibility, delivered straight from my grandmother. The path was narrow and the rules were strict: Mascara was for hussies and if you pierced your ears, you were a pirate. It was essential that you were a “nice girl,” because otherwise, “What will the neighbors think?”
So I began my singing career in floor-length, high-necked gowns, trying to figure out what everyone and anyone needed or wanted me to be. Then I saw Lena. She sang with passion and fire, and, oh Lord, the way she moved her body. She sang from her thighs on up.
The freedom with which she sang was a revelation. My onstage permission slip was short: stand or walk. The idea of “gettin’ down” into the sound had never occurred to me. I sang from my lungs, period. She bent her knees like she was lifting a heavy load, and unwrapped her pain for all of us to see, the pain embedded in her being from losing her son, her husband and her father in the space of two years. You could see her descend into it just before she sang “Stormy Weather.” The sound of her voice ran through us, brought us to our feet in gratitude that anyone could tell the truth like that.
Lena taught me with something much more powerful than words. She taught me with her presence. She gave herself permission to be completely who she was, to bring her full heart, her full knowing to that stage, to her audience. Something opened in me that will never again be closed.
GLORING LORING BIO: The former “Liz Chandler” on Days of Our Lives, Gloria Loring is a singer, songwriter, actress and author. Her new book, Coincidence Is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous, offers evidence that coincidence can be used for our good.