The life of this revelation started three years ago driving through Santa barbara, CA. Last night it returned with a slap of the golden glove. It’s a ten pound weight of unconscious mind space, that now relieved, provides a delightful freedom in mind and body. The weight of hate, so terribly heavy, especially for the one holding it tight. It writhes in the waking life, and haunts our emotional shadows with a constant damp black cloth. It’s compounded of insecurities, escalating judgement, and a sense of higher and lower status.
I have challenged myself in the last few years not to carry any suitcases packing hate. The few cases I was holding, I opened, and sprawled out my unmentionables with understanding that it was all my insecurities whispering the flames. Now to tackle the preventative practice of hate…Judgement! For habitual tendencies seem to threaten many people’s luggage, as if its trendy to carry some hate purse clutched at your side. Judgement is the thread holding that purse together. Somehow this task seems even greater than tackling hate. It’s more subtle and has infested social norms of all kinds. This is a fast growing tower, sneakily built so high with out my rational consent. It appears much modern thought cannot be accomplished without the inclusion of judgement. Shake on a touch of judgement, and you flavor your thoughts with an acceptable self affirming opinion. Sadly, it appears, the more you shake, the more the lid loosens until we’re accustom to the taste of the salt stick.
Who is here, to guide me through these revelations…none other than my trusty foolmate mind, the squeaker toy in my shoes. Without this funny bone, I don’t think my eyes would have been open to the sugar.
I take you to a gorgeous summer day in the streets of Santa Barbara. Cruising in my car, I was going about my daily practice of radio jibjab. This entails stopping on any channel, imitating the dj, narrator, or host word for word. I start slowly marking my words three of four behind them. It was my way of exercising my voice and collect characters for future use. I did this so much and so often, that once I warmed up I could anticipate and talk verbatim with any said speaker. I eventually realized, while searching for stations on this particular day, that I would deftly skip past any radio stations broadcasting dueling dj’s. Any radio team going back and forth making jokes about celebrities, politicians, and local news stories while punching their prepared jokes with awkward sound cues. Where the blank spaces of humor would lie, they inserted mooing cows, belching noises, and obviously fake laugh tracks. I knew something about myself. I didn’t find any of these common morning shows to be the least bit funny. It was hard for me to believe that they had become so popular to litter most of the FM radio waves for much of the morning. On this day, my curiosity hit the ceiling and I decided to mimic the station I detested most. I talked along with the dj’s as well as mimicking the laugh track that would rhythmically chime in every thirty seconds. My enjoyment of curating voices softened the initial judgement, and soon I was cruising along with Jack and Julia, cracking down on celebrity Scientoligists and their romantic relationships. At first my imitations were full of pretentious sarcasm, and my accompaniment as exaggerated as Bozo the clown.
Before I knew it, I was laughing genuinely without the track roaring below me. Out of nowhere, I was surfing with a smile on my face, and completely understanding the flow of humor that thousands across the country enjoy everyday. As soon as I noticed I was actually laughing at their jokes and admiring the humor, I switched off the radio and sat in silence.
Almost bashful and embarrassed that I had just laughed at humor to low brow for my sense. Only then, did I realize how judgemental I had been the entire time. It wasn’t so much that I had an opinion, but my absolute resolve not to admit amusement to this type of humor. Genuinely laughing one time was enough to shatter my hard edge resolve that wasn’t serving me. For the first time, I felt free to laugh at whatever the hell I wanted too,whether I thought is was worthy or not. Most importantly, it taught me that if I can see the positive when there only appears to be negative. I still don’t particularly enjoy these radio shows, but I now don’t hold grudge or judgment against them. It was the first part of my revelation…
Last night my honor and shame returned on the dance floor. I had finished a particularly hot and intense dance class of hiphop. I entered that blissful state where challenging choreography rippled through my body, and the music was fueling an ecstatic state of pulsing divine. Multiple times though the last few run-throughs I reminded myself to ask the choreographer who we were dancing to. I’m a virtual black hole of pop culture and extremely aware of it. People who teach dance have always been my go-to when I need to know what’s hot, and my curiosity was boiling over. I approached with the anticipation of obtaining the name of the hottest hiphop r&b artist to hit the recent scene. The answer came in slow motion and re-verbed against my ears. J-u-s-t-i-n B-i-e-b-e-r!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In shock, I quickly clamoured on about how I’ve never heard a Justin Bieber song, but have obviously heard of him…All of my initial thought patterns started attacking me for divinely and ignorantly enjoying an hour intensive with the teenage heart-throb. Four steps into putting on my jacket, I realize I’ve triumphed again through a puddle of insecure judgement. HOnestly I had never heard a song of his up until that point. Foremost, for reasons that my ego told me, his music wouldn’t be worth listening to. Repetitions of melody’s and chords I’ve heard way too often, and at that, a teeny bopper singing to me about the intensity’s of love. Despite all this, I just rocked my body to his voice with utter acceptance and exaltation for an hour. Once you take the dance floor and give it everything you have; once you resign all of your heart and soul to the dance, you resign to a place of absolute love. And now I was left sweating beads in a love state with the universe, myself…and Justin Bieber. Shame and honor, shame and honor coursed through my exhausted body. Orchestrating the conflicting chant in my head was the clown clicking his heels on my shoulder. Again I was released of judgement that was entangled with my ego and insecurities. I was able to usurp this mass of judgment that I tricked myself, thinking it was useful and correct information. Most importantly it opened a portal of music which now I was free to dance to with utter abandon. Being in the performing industry, its easy to put tiny judgements on her song, and his lyrics, and their interpretation. BUT!!!!!! That should never rob me of the chance to enter a state of neon electric bliss whenever possible.
I’m ever so grateful for this tiny, maybe in sequential revelation. The the lesson has saturated so deep. So grateful it came in a form that I was so familiar and comfortable. I find this is where judgement finds its best hiding spots…where we are comfortable and settled, the area we are experts in, the security of knowing. The last place we look for it.
From Inside a Puddle Evaporating in Spring