In certain cultures people thrive on conformity. A party line is formulated and chosen. Citizens are expected to enunciate and articulate the party line. For some that is a comfort, to follow what is prescribed and expected. It takes the choice out of one’s own hands. It’s easier if one can give in, without too much disagreement within the soul.
Some of this depends on how a person was raised. If they grew up in an authoritarian household, in rebellion they might flee as swiftly as possible from the expected status quo. Or they might be most rigid as they uphold conservative beliefs and close-minded traditions, in order to gain approval from their early taskmasters.
There are others of us who thrive in a more individualized world, a culture that encourages artists to flourish. Perhaps these people had a more open-minded upbringing. Their parents encouraged them to ask questions. Often times rare in this great land of ours, but present.
Early on in life I learned what was necessary to get along, fit in, and succeed. I sought and won awards. But the awards were empty for me because no matter whether it was Best Dressed, Most Friendliest, Most Likely to Succeed, or Hall of Fame - any adulation or public pat on the back never filled me up. Just like a desired toy, the minute I'd acquired the longed for product, something else on the horizon was more necessary than what was shiny and new in my own hands. When it came to the real internal job of loving, encouraging, accepting and applauding my own self, I didn’t have it, and I didn’t do it.
On the outside it might have looked like I did, but the more I walked the path of not only conforming but showing an example of one who conformed well with slight modulations & modifications, the more internally uncomfortable I got while standing on the pedestal, stuck to the spot where I was expected to perform.
I’ve tracked my life in a diary. In the many pages of my life, there has been a constant communication with the internal depth core part of the self, which is the soul, which connects me to my source. Even at the busiest times of my life when writing quietly off in a corner was difficult and rushed; there was the obvious hunger for depth I wasn't living externally.
When I look back in old diaries and read old dreams I was fortunate enough to capture on paper, I see that many of them were prophetic. What I caught and described from less conscious parts of myself, surprisingly and often, unfolded and came true.
This blog will be about my experience and exploration of denying that internal voice, that instinct as versus accepting it, encouraging it & living according to its teaching. I’ve found that when I'm not hearing my own instinct, I’m constantly seeking externally, trying to find what I should be listening to, learning about, espousing.
It’s not easy to listen within, especially as loud as life has gotten. It surprises and frustrates me how hard it is to find quiet spaces, to listen to that very quiet voice within. It’s hard to listen within when the noise outside is so present and overpowering. Yet much of modern life is that.
Driving on our roads, it's hard to escape noise. Most stores and restaurants bombard us. Marketing experts advise loud music to hype people up into consuming more. Often in living environments, rude unconscious neighbors think nothing of slamming doors, expressing their rage via their power physically release steam. Constantly, we are being pitched and manipulated, from every direction.
Some people can tune this out, but those people are often the same ones who can tune out their own internal guidance and listen only to what is expected of them. That’s not me. It’s taken me a long time to learn to trust this process within.
I hid my deepest self for years. I was frightened that the Moral Majority was going to come after me. On the IDES OF MARCH, Frank Rich in the New York Times hints at a possible 40-year exodus from "Culture Warriors." "Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years." I can't tell you, or show you via this format, but this concept has me both singing and dancing.
After finishing four years at UC Berkeley with an inspired focus on Political Psychology, I thought I'd work in Conflict Resolution. My excuse for not going back to grad school was practical. I couldn't resolve my own conflicts, so why think I could resolve anyone else's? Now I see it was a cop out.
I've since found the field of stress reduction. It's such a simple focus in life, but one that is so highly overlooked. Stress starts within our own self-concepts. What we think, believe and feel about ourselves. It's that basic and fairly simple to heal, even in these times.
For me, being an Authentic Antenna speaks of the need to be honest and upfront. For me, writing deeply about my process helps me clarify personal identity and social responsibility. Capturing momentary prods flowing through me necessitates I be real instead of artificial.
Antenna. Sending and Receiving? Yes, I do both. So can you.
I see as instinct. What goes ahead of me? What checks out the situation? What gives me a sense whether it is safe? Whether this person is on the level? Whether this experience is necessary? It's about knowing self, being realistic, having boundaries. Authentic Antenna. Join me.
- WHAT IS THE AUTHENTIC ANTENNA?
- MY IDES OF MARCH-here it is again!
- THE LESSON FROM LIVING A DEEPER LIFE
- PUTTING PROBLEMS INTO PERSPECTIVE
- BODYGUARD, PARTY, OR FAN CLUB?
- GROWING UP, GROWING OLD, GROWING GRATEFUL
- LISTEN TO THE BLOODY BODY
- THERE BUT NOT THERE
- IF ONLY A DISTRACTION COULD DIVERT MY DISCOMFORT
- THE OUTER WRAPPER IS ONLY THE OUTER WRAPPER
- THANK THE PAIN
- WHITE HEAT
- MY BODY IS MY THERMOMETER
- TUMBLING ONTO THE BLANK PAGE
- WELCOME TO MY WORLD!
- WHY MUST I COMPARE MYSELF WITH OTHERS?
- I JUST WANT TO BE QUIET
- MY NAME IS OF NO IMPORTANCE
- ▼ March (19)