“ I don’t really care what people think, … I just do my own thing. … I like being loud and letting people know I’m there.” – James Brown, Godfather of Soul
For well over a decade my passion for uplifting others has been an amazing reawakening journey – primarily for me. In most instances, whether facilitating a workshop, performing , shaving my head for a cause, embracing my sexuality or standing up for my beliefs, someone will always come to me , “I wish I could do that.” This is usually followed by, “ But I can’t because (fill in the blank with fear of others opinions, thoughts of not being good enough, lack of resources, etc…) “ Their honest expression of this belief with its emotionally charged sadness makes my heart sing.
It reminds me of a time when I stood where they are standing. Similar thoughts, different situations but the position the same. Afraid. In most instances, not really knowing what I was afraid of. At the same time hearing a little voice, sometimes faint most often screaming, do what you love, I got you.
As they stare into my eyes and we both cry, all I see is the joy that is on its way for them. I know something they have forgotten. Everything begins with a thought and they are more powerful than they can measure.
I tell them I only see their magnificence and I will hold that space for them. I tell them to ignore what they see and go for what they feel. Just Be.
What I call it the IS-ness. It is what it is and I be who I be. Who decides? ME!
This attitude proved to be a bit problematic at times. For instance, in elementary school. On a dare, I mooned my first grade classmates during nap time. The teacher walked in almost on cue as my 5 year old butt was blowing in the wind. When asked why I did it, I said because. My teacher wanted more so I added , they told me to. The first answer was the simple truth because it felt good, because it was fun. And… it made the class laugh. I could not articulate that at the time. The look on her face told me I was better off keeping it simple. My classmates were not traumatized. We all planned to do it but I was the only one daring enough to go through with it.
Just think about it at five years old… fearless, unsullied, unpolluted, courageous while growing up in a world full of judgment and rules about what is right and wrong based on what the rule makers require to be happy. at the time.
My dad wore “BE VERY AFRAID” on his chest and a thick black belt around his waist. I do not remember my punishment for that. Actually I do but its’ more fun to leave that part out. However, I do remember a hint of a smile on his face as my teacher told the story. He glanced at me with a knowing that his little girl would be marching to her own beat. I remember him telling me over and over again, I don’t not what you did, I will always have your back back…just don’t surprise him.
That day in first grade, I felt like my dad ,the most powerful person in my world, a man of radical courage, a gentle giant, and strict disciplinarian, got me. When he tells the story he laughs out loud. Then proudly admits, “She is just like me.” Some 20 plus years later, many first grade experiences and valleys have I seen (Not the mooning part. but you know what they say, “what happens in Vegas…”) and two huge mountains with names like freedom and revelation,I have crossed. My Is-ness is radically honest in its expression of my wholeness. I stand completely in the center of my being as a leading edge thought leader and the view is breathtakingly astonishing.
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