Sufferin’ Subterranean Subconscious Subterfuge! Digging a little further under the surface of some of life’s little goings ons, I’m starting to think about the concept of ‘work’ vs. ‘play’. About a year ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to ‘work’ anymore – I was only ever going to ‘play’. It’s all a matter of thought anyway, so why shouldn’t I simply decide for what I really want? Well, that was all well and good, and I proceeded, in general, to live accordingly, yet now I see that I’ve had an underlying belief system that has been surreptitiously objecting.
I see it from my experience at the Living Miracles Monastery in Utah, when I got a terrible migraine headache that prevented me from joining in a much desired project to paint the tipi. I simply couldn’t allow myself to enjoy the project. In essence, I punished myself for my creative desire.
I also see it from my recent clown workshop. The first two days were excellent and full-on, but the final two days were difficult because I was in a lot of resistance. Particularly, I was resistant to moving my body, to open-heartedly playing with the group – and even more specifically – joining freely with the (in my opinion) more physically rambunctious boys. Instead of saying, “yes” to the experience, I began to say “no.”
I also see it from my recent firing at work. Particularly, since starting, I kept a fundamental attitude of ‘play’. It made the day go by more pleasantly to maintain this attitude, and, particularly when I felt most down or resistant, I made concerted efforts to change my mind as soon as possible. One of the other mental adjustments I was practicing regularly was to speak freely with my customers – even if I was feeling angry, tired, sick – all the entirely human qualities a customer service person isn’t supposed to share. After some experimentation, I learned that people would allow me to say anything as long as my intention was relaxed, open and sharing – and I learned that limits only occurred if my intention slipped to attack, judgement or punishment. As I learned this, I began to share myself more and more freely – and, especially as I began to know people more personally –I tentatively shared my sense of humour – which, at times, could be obtusely abstract, playfully teasing, or confusingly deadpan. I was learning about it for myself along the way, as well, and it would surprise me at times, as much as it might surprise the customer. So, it wasn’t entirely a shock to hear that some customers didn’t understand my humour and complained to the boss. I now think it’s particularly interesting that I was ‘judged’ and ‘punished’ (losing my job) for expressing myself more freely, openly and honestly – and just as I was genuinely allowing my sense of humour to come out and play.
This all leads me to a realization that I must still hold a deeper belief about personal self-expression; a belief that I must repress my natural expression for fear of being misunderstood, judged and punished. I must have fears about playing openly with others, and sharing my stranger – but also more unique and interesting – quirks. I can also see how this connects to my early childhood experience when, in the exuberance and excitement of playing with some older boys, it got me into life-threatening trouble. I bet I decided then that ‘play’ – right brain, creative, abstract – was bad or dangerous, and I abandoned it, completely, in favour of the serious, safe, logical, fact based left brain. I think most of us do it. As adults, we decide that life is about ‘work’ and we forget about the joy, light and freedom of our curious, lively, foolish inner child. We forget our child’s easy laughter and the ability to accept others however they are in every moment. We begin to think our ‘judgement’ will protect us. We begin to ‘juice’ our grievances and let our thoughts linger on the ‘injustices’ we face. We begin to believe that other people are ‘against’ us – that they’re only there to present obstacles to our desires – and that the only way to get what we want is to manipulate, force or remove these obstacle-people. We think that if we could just remove everybody, perhaps we’ll finally get the peace and freedom we feel entitled to.
But it’s a lie. A pretty convincing set of concepts, I’ll give it that, but entirely, a grievous, pitiful lie. The left brain is extremely limited. It can only give us what it ‘knows,’ which means it’s always bound by the past. Only the right brain, the open aspect of mind that’s ‘unknown,’ can truly extend us into the infinite.
I expressed in my last post ( Kitties, Clowns, Authority and Desire ), that I LOVE my kitty clown, Zephyr. What I realized in clown class, and what I’m accessing in that character, is my natural right brain creativity that feels SOOOOO FREE!! It’s powerful because it’s the true self I always wanted to express, or, at least, it’s the denied and repressed part of myself that’s required for complete mental equilibrium. My deepest desires and passions are linked in there too and, of course, as these passions awaken, they’ll probably drag out a few demons from the arcane depths too.
Which is fine. It’s worth it. I’m going there. Nothing can stop me – except ME. And, like A Course in Miracles says, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind.” And so it will. AMEN!