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When I pay attention, I can’t help noticing that the universe tends to favor insistently redundant communication.
If there is a message I am not receiving, it doesn’t fade into a decent silence. Oh, no: it comes faster and louder and at rapidly escalating pitches (like a baby working itself up from a casual, “Maybe it would be good to eat now” to “If you don’t feed me this instant, every glass in a 300 yard radius is going to shatter spontaneously.”)
The most recent shot across the bow comes from Brené Brown:
Success favors the daring…and so does failure.
Either I am willing to fall flat on my face in public from time to time, or I am doomed to a seriously circumscribed existence.
Face to Face
If 75% to 90% of all communication is non-verbal, is it any wonder that a world running on text messages is so fragmented, incoherent, and prone to misunderstandings?
The good news?
We can fix this.
You and I can fix this.
It doesn’t take esoteric skill; it only takes determination.
Too often the power structures of our world want to control us by offering only safe, predictable expectations and options.
And if we aren’t paying attention, we are quickly co-opted.
Unfurl. Break free. Unlock your heart and mind. Emerge.
Leap through clouds.
Stretch every limit.
fall in love with living,
unfold, rise on tiptoe, shine.
Awaken to possibility
again and again and again.
So here is my question:
If we can accept that everything about human creatures,
from eye color to levels of hormones,
from skin tone to hair texture,
from taste buds to the shape of our toes,
is beyond merely diverse,
why do we expect gender to be either/or?
Recently, I was going through a period of feeling stuck emotionally, creatively, spiritually, physically.
One of my mentors made an unusual (read: totally idiotic) suggestion…but I trust this woman, so I tried it. She suggested I think about the person I dislike most in the world and really fixate on the things I like least about that person.
I’d like to say it was hard to think of anyone, but I’d be lying.
I am going to call him Harold for the purpose of this post. And, not that it makes any difference, but the dislike is emphatically mutual.
It took me maybe a nanosecond to fixate on his total lack of loyalty to anyone, his complete self-absorption, and the speed with which he blames anyone and everyone but himself for the negative events in his life.
My mentor didn’t suggest that I incorporate all of Harold’s most obnoxious character traits in my own life, but she invited me to wonder why I hate them so much. (She suggested I do this without self- or other judgment. That didn’t happen — just saying.)
Long story short, here is what Harold taught me:
First, I am totally loyal to ideas and expectations and behaviors long past the time when they are productive in my life. I will keep on being loyal to those ideas even when they are making me beyond miserable. Reality: maybe cultivating a little less loyalty would be a good thing.
Second, I will resist admitting that I want or need something even if I am hanging off a cliff face by my fingertips. A little more self-care might stave off the martyrdom that is so tempting to claim (and seems so under-appreciated by my family and friends).
And, third, I am such a control-freak that I accept blame for things over which I have no control at all. I obsess about fixing things that I cannot fix (like the fact that Bashar al-Assad is still alive killing civilians, and Donald Trump’s hair) and then am paralyzed (also cranky, also prone to talk about them constantly) by my inability to fix them. I don’t need to broadcast blame, but maybe occasionally laying the responsibility where the responsibility lies would free up a lot of energy for moving forward.
If you are feeling stuck, you may want to give it a go.
It was quite liberating.
Some mornings I wake content with the simple miracle of being alive.
On those mornings,
the words of Dag Hammarskjöld
are my prayer-blessing
with every breath.
For all that has been – Thanks!
For all that will be – Yes!
Are you more afraid of being the center of disapproving attention?
or being ignored?
Are you more afraid of being totally honest and being disliked?
or of never revealing your true self?
Are you more afraid of going full-tilt for your heart’s desire and not making it?
or getting to the end of your life never having tried?
Another deep breath.
What is the worst thing that can happen if you step past one of those fears?
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2014, 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLC