In a lot of ways I feel like I predicted this class…in the past week I’ve journaled the following things:
- Until I know who I am I cannot answer another question
- I think about who I might be if I weren’t so concerned with judgment..public opinion..family expectations..what everyone else was or is doing. I think about if I was encouraged to be myself every single day as a child. This notion of the freedom to change…or the freedom to transform rather; that time and space is now. Its not fear that has kept me, or anyone else from being true to themselves, its the binding ties of expectation. Culturally we assume that assimilation is the only way, we must dull ourselves so that we fit together not offending or oppressing anyone..why do we believe in equal mediocrity but not equal greatness?
- When I look at my favorite things in nature…oceans and beaches I think how dynamic yet unchanging they are. There is always a state of rebirth, growing, evolving, adjusting, ebb, flow, tide, etc. However, an ocean is an ocean. It is all it will ever be, but in that is so much. Cue my bells and whistles…I am an ocean of me. The ocean does not apologize for being vast or being wet. It is, and we accept it.
All things brought up in some facet during this class…happiness begetting happiness but wait, how do we get happy? We do the things that make us happy…oh but what makes me happy? Back to me. Back to my original thought, until I know who I am I cannot answer another question. That is of love or of vocation. Today I asked a client, “what about an external voice feels more reassuring than the internal one of your own?” A round about way of asking, “Why don’t you trust yourself?” Of course this is a loaded question…my client cited a naturally unpredictable nature. I thought of football. In football a defensive player can tell the direction an offensive player is going by watching their hips. In the Tao Te Ching, “…So the Sage concerns himself with the abdomen and not the eyes. Therefore he rejects the one and chooses the other.” The body does not lie, at least that’s how I took it. That’s what I see in football, and that is what I saw in my client. There is a tendency, there is always a tendency even if it is a tendency to want to be unpredictable. Maybe that’s not what Lao Tzu meant it…or maybe it is.
“Therefore only one who values himself as he values the world is fit to be entrusted with the world. Only one who loves the world as he loves himself is worthy of being the trustee of the world.” Here, the freedom or maybe the fear of individuation and accepting anomalies in one another. Loving each other as we would like to be loved, loving the world as we would like the world to love us, it reminds me of three things. One is the initial conversation in class about happy couples, happiness attracts happiness. Are shining people together because of their light or are they lit because they are together? Does it even matter? The second is something a friend of mine told me a few years ago, she said we are what we attract. The people that we attract say something about the person that we are. If we are unsure the person we are then we can get swept away in our own definition because of our environment and the people projected in it. Lastly, the social concept of value. We “value” relationships but we do not encourage the healthy foundation or treatment of relationships. Our children suffer because our real value is money. We as a society have ingested the belief that money will afford us definitive things.
slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
We have become so out of touch with ourselves that we have developed a disregard for people as a whole. In our numbness we assume that everyone is just as numb. Why else would we alleviate art, music, foreign language, extracurriculars, recess, and counseling from schools? Because those things don’t make money and money is what makes people happy right? We’re all just chasing smiles and rainbows…AJ asked what the difference between complacency and contentment and Dr. Kim said ignorance and gratefulness, respectfully. Enter media, the biggest hypnotist of the American public. Why is it that schools are lacking computers, books, teachers, and classes but LeBron James makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year? That is what we value, numbness, a state of un-mindfulness. During the Renaissance, a marble sculptor who’d made a mistake would patch it up with wax. After awhile, “without wax” came to signify anything flawless, pure or true. In Spanish, “without wax” is “sin cera” – and that’s how we get the word “sincere.” I told this to Deeds one night and he said, “but aren’t we each others wax?” In a relationship, our partner may be the wax to our deficiencies, however in a society entertainment has become our wax for economic failure, educational retardation, and a myriad of other flaws.
My 2nd and 3rd thoughts…what have we as Americans accepted about ourselves? In expressive art therapy a schizophrenic client may often draw themselves with an elongated neck or with a head separate from the body, as that is how they may often feel…separate. Sometimes I wonder if my country would draw a similar picture. The more I learn and understand about myself the more inquisitive I grow about the future of my country and our global society which places great value on things rather than the inhabitants of our world.
My last thought, which sort of relates, is one relating to energy. In class we do a bit of Tai Chi and we focus on absorbing energy from the ground, everyone in the entire class is focused on the same thing at this moment. Something I have realized about myself is that I am able to feel other people’s energy inside my own body. Some call it being an empath, some do not believe in it at all…I know it to be extremely exhausting if not careful. When we do Tai Chi I find myself overwhelmed with energy to the point that my body produces a physical response…a vibration. It is one that begins inside me though as though someone struck a gong within my 3rd chakra…always there first. I find it extra challenging to discern my own energy from that of others during the Tai Chi exercises but the challenge is an interesting one. I’ve had this experience one other time, during a drum circle group…I felt very connected to my group and the experience. What to do going forward, I’m not sure…but for now I think it says something of the power of unity and focus; what or who could we move with our energy if we just forgot the wax and accepted our flaws and vibrated our perfectly imperfect selves.