Intensity, Creativity and why do we tell each other not to be ourselves?
I spent most of the past weekend at my favorite event of the year.
The Sisters Folk Festival. So grateful for Sisters, my neighboring town.
And as many of the musicians expressed-- it’s hard to put into words the essence of what is held, spread, touched on, created, and opened-- during this precious time together.
Here’s a smattering of my experiences:
I remember the tears streaming down my face and dripping onto my red dress and not a care in the world to stop them.
I remember my heart being captivated and opened by the beauty of words, of three year olds on the stage, of simple, complex, and intense stories of love and loss. Of vulnerability and badassery.
I remember my body inhabiting the music by chair-dancing, swaying, foot-stomping, clapping and twirling.
I remember laughing so hard that once again the tears streamed and fell, a sheen on my face.
In other words my emotions encompassed love and grief, sorrow and joy, and most everything in between.
I remember having brief conversations with strangers that ended in warm hugs, and holding hands with long time friends.
I was one thin strand entwined with all the others creating a beautiful, messy, glorious tangled web. Together and apart. We held each other.
It is That BIG reminder that I seem to need again and again--I am not alone. We are all in this together.
And a very important moment for me was when Martyn Joseph, one of my favorite humans, spoke about being told --if he’d just “lighten up”-- he’d sell more CDs. (he hasn’t, lightened up that is)
I needed this particular reminder now. I felt my body perk up and my friend turning towards me, again and again, saying “this is your person”.
Because if Martyn Joseph lightened up-- he wouldn’t be Martyn--He who speaks his truth to power, who cries out for and with the young, whose deep caring shows up with intensity and sensitivity. And haunting beauty.
Because I, shock and surprise, have also been told “to lighten up” many times over the years.
I’ve been told I am “too” intense and “too” sensitive, and “too much”. (I wonder if what people really mean is --you are making me freaking uncomfortable and I don’t like that.)
So I spent many years trying to not be that. For eons I tried to quiet down, censure myself, be nicer- more agreeable, softer, be part of the wallpaper or the rug--- The result of which was divorce, disease and
Deliverance-ah, yes there is almost always a silver lining.
Then a couple of years ago, on a frosty February morning still steeped in darkness, a friend and I were listening to this woman, speak. As we were staring at my small computer screen ears perked, my friend jotted me a note on a scrap of paper.
"Carol strives for, is inspired by fierce love, fierce integrity--Kali energy."
Those words continue to sit in my sight line next to my computer, I can see them out of the corner of my eye as I type. Plain white paper and red ink.
They landed kerplunk. With a Yes. And continue simmering and stirring.
Over time I’ve found myself freer to drink from my own well, honestly, unashamedly. I taste the nectar that lives in me. It’s not always sweet, but it’s real. It’s fierce.
A re-delivery. A prized package. That I continue to open.
My sensitivity is fueled by the thinning veil between me, and you, and the more than human world.
And the love that entwines and binds us.
My intensity is like a Mama Bears love for her cub. Love isn’t always kind, it isn’t always soft, it isn’t always nice. It takes all facets of the diamond of love to shine.
And of course I don’t come wrapped in a package of perfectness. My intensity can be misdirected, it can be unloving in moments because I, like you, am human, still growing and becoming.
Since I was given the recent gift of remembering and owning my me-ness. I thought I would offer you some questions to ponder about yourself. Just in case you need these.
What would the world be if you weren’t you?
What are those qualities you’ve been told are too much or not enough?
How can you make then shiny?
What is missing in the world if you are hiding yourself under the rug, or in another pint of beer?
Pause here---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------to answer these.
Be you. Become you. Risk it. Do it. Be it. Sing it. Say it. Praise it. Laugh it. Feel it. Inhabit it. Embody it. Love it.
You don’t have to look or feel or taste like me, or Martyn, or any other living being.
Yours is you. And it is never too late to be that.
P.S. We have a Stoke Your Woke Event on October 26th from 3 pm to 4:30 pm at the Eastside Library. The question will be from the chapter on Cultural Norms. Join us to grow and learn and extend your care!
For more information click HERE
P.P.S We are hosting another four hour retreat Money: Self and World on November 16th from 1 pm to 5 pm details soon!