Ricky Byars Beckwith stepped up to the keyboard, sat down and sang her heart out. Her opening song was ‘I’m Only Here For God’ and we witnessed her ecstasy. The next morning I awoke knowing she and the Agape choir had cracked a major code for me. This is big! They sing because they’re happy and they’re happy because they sing! I would bet money that Ricky wasn’t standing on that stage because it would pad her pockets or flip the switch on world fame. She was born to sing and nothing can obstruct that!
First, the backstory: I was taught to jump through many hoops when I was little; ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’, ‘Don’t speak unless spoken to’, ‘Be a good girl because if you lose your reputation you never get it back’. Then other zingers I’ve heard parents say either to their child or within earshot: ‘You take after me (clumsy, shy, bad temper, ultra sensitive or ultra gregarious, pretty or not)’…you get the idea. I cringe and think to myself, there’s a child being set up for therapy at some point. I sat stunned today when I saw a current commercial for a burger joint in Japan where a beautiful demure woman is holding in front of her face the Liberation Wrapper, paper printed with a tiny lipsticked mouth allowing her hide while enjoying her fat juicy burger. Cultural propaganda says that a woman’s mouth should be so tiny and dainty, ‘the ochobo’ that even speaking is nearly undetectable. Oh, and BTW, sales have skyrocketed over 200%! Holy shit, humans are unbelievable.
Imagine, this stuff is also being hard wired into a child’s spongy little brain. We want to be like our parents and strangely, they get some strange satisfaction seeing their little proteges be similar, warts and all. Some parental edicts are disguised as good manners, and are admittedly, socially useful. Others are oppressive and extremes in both directions, and like religion and politics, are destructive.
My parents were not demonstrative with praise and affection toward my brother and me. So the messages we got were unworthy unless perfect, indifference from elders is normal because you as a child have nothing important to contribute, and worst, you are responsible to make the adult happy only when you are being acceptable in their eyes. Obviously, there are cultural norms of the times we live in and my parents like everyone, were products of their own upbringing. So what was good about that? Something positive resulting from that programming is that Danny and I became considerate and kind people. We also became the launching pad for others to be successful, fly high and enjoy their happy lives while we swept up behind them as the clean-up crew. Quietly. Just like our parents. I should mention here, our parents died young, heart disease and cancer, and never ever said what was on their hearts or minds. So this is a GIANT aha for me….keep reading, this is still unfolding!
I’m reading the most impressive and important book now. In Super Brain, by Drs. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi, they indicate: The neural network of your brain is the computer of your body, but also of your life. It absorbs and registers every experience, however tiny, and compares it with past experiences, then stores it away…Thoughts are like lightning…You remodel and refine your neural network on a second-by-second basis.
So…this is the good and not so good news. My childhood was shaped by my parents and their neuroses. My opportunity is to remodel my life experience. How? First it must be a deliberate quest! . Step 2 is to be excited to see and welcome other ideas, experiences, own my life and be self-sufficient, celebrate the differences and the commonalities I share with others. Step 3: Put myself out on that limb and have a blast! At the least I’ll try new things and possibly might enjoy the shock and awe that I have contributed mightily to my life, my health and you!
The fear of being judged comes from a low density of consciousness. That theme song for Mediocrity we’re sold is that ‘there’s always going to be someone better and someone worse’. Refer to Doc Childre from Heartmath telling me one evening that inverted ego is the ego’s trick to suck out the belief in myself required to get my writing out there and get my art exposed. It whispers, ‘who are you to write books, create art that someone would buy, write a television show, speak fluent Spanish, blah blah blah’.
Here’s what made me pull the car over to the side of the road and write this blog: I write because I like the magic of finding words to express my emotions. I paint because when that empty canvas starts to slowly reveal my imagination, or I try something new and unpredictable and it works, the discovery is thrilling.
In my meditation this morning, I think I finally got it that we are all ‘portals’. We all are like PVC pipes where if they’re unclogged, and we collapse those hoops we jumped through as kids to make people like us, and we just do what we love and just let that Pure God Stuff pour through us, the rest takes care of itself. If we want fame/money/to be the Supreme Leader of Korea (you know what I mean), we struggle and suffer because we have it all backwards and then we lose faith in ourselves because we think the To Do list and Action Items (completed perfectly) will make us happy and they don’t!
I met a guy who I won’t name here, but all he wanted was to be like another person I also won’t name here. He wanted fancy cars, fancy women, bestselling books, fame and power and he got it. For awhile. He ended up in prison for the manslaughter of some of his flock because he didn’t have the character and depth that he would have had if he had truly realized and remembered we’re only ‘here for God’. Now don’t get all jiggy because I said that. Go back to the opening paragraph and add the following: we came here to be God’s eyes to see both beauty and suffering, ears to compose symphonies and hear babies laugh and cry, hearts to feel passion, compassion and excitement, souls to remember our Divinity, ESP for shortcuts, hands to soothe one another.
It doesn’t matter what it is, strapping on a prosthetic foot and running a triathlon, sitting alone composing poetry, mixing pigments and oils to construct a dimensional image , figuring out a complex math problem to put the exact bend in a piece of steel tubing, it’s all the same and it’s all magical. No-one is doing that for applause, for good reviews, for fame in the moment, it’s because we can. We love the opportunity to feel great, to conquer the mountain, close the door behind us with a clean slate. If it’s a public offering and our thing includes an audience, if we’re pure and open, loving our craft and not trying to get anyone to do or feel anything, but giving our talent full sway, full speed, no brakes, it’s enough. It’s perfect. It’s considerate and kind and healthy.
Fame and fortune, neurotic issues, being perfect and trying to control everything and everyone around you don’t matter in the slums of India. They simply have to survive. I just returned from a trip to Bhutan and stopped over in Delhi and Kathmandu on my way. In these places, life exacts a high price. Ingenuity, desperately hard work, suffering on many levels is normal and usually permanent. While sitting in traffic in Delhi, starving mothers hold listless infants and tap on your windows for a few rupees. Others are selling cheap black market personal development books and sneaking into private parks at night to sleep behind bushes. Kathmandu was a hell hole and is one of the world’s most vile centers of sex trafficking of young girls. I’ve traveled enough now to these places that the cumulative effect on me has reached a tipping point. The gifts I have only ask to be acknowledged and expressed, which to my mind is ‘being here for God’.
As I traverse the territory of Super Brain, I’m learning from the masters that change is imperative, creating new habits and environments and people in our lives is vaccination against the perils of old age and Alzheimers, and that this has been a very good year. Had I thought that moving 3 times in 2 years, pulling the trigger on a house in a new neighborhood was stressful, I’m learning that my adaptability to vast new territory is a true gift and it’s all a choice.
Next…stories and pictures of Bhutan. Including the naked men dancing festival! Really!