In January when I planned a year of themes for this Year of Truth, I could never have imagined what the theme of Energetic Excess would come to mean.
Being in a state of global Containment 2020, my hope is that the solidarity movements (like this from the Highlander Research and Education Center) will emerge with clear choices and strategies for all of us to shed the excesses we’d considered normal and choose to have just enough to be in harmony. New Normal doesn’t even begin to describe how different the world has become.
Energetic Excess is the difference between Greed — which can be more gently understood as the very human experience of FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out — and Generosity, or giving all you’ve got. Haven’t we all been infected with FOMO to some extent? How do we understand Generosity and Grace so that we can really attend to each other – to breathe and make space for each other right in the tense moments when we most need space to breathe? How can we notice FOMO in the moments it rises up inside of us and, instead of being afraid of the “whatever” thing that we perceive we are missing out on (sex, intimacy, recognition, comfort, ………), we allow ourselves to feel this thing, to name it, to acknowledge it’s roots and familiarity, to choose whether or not we want this energy in our body and mind, and then enjoy the clarity that follows this choice?
For too many years I have dialed my energy into the problems I see and feel rather than the solutions. I have pain deep in my bones from this behavior. I get triggered a LOT by unmindful or unconscious or ignorant things others say or do. I remember to breathe through some of these triggers and I ask my family and friends to remind me to breathe when they notice me acting like I’m all wound up. The upside of having spent years agitating on problems is that I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on a wide range of social ailments and have gained a lot of important perspectives.
Sometimes naming a problem can be so difficult that it takes many years of being in up to your eyeballs before the focus moment occurs. You know the patterns; you feel like you’ve been kicked in the teeth, stabbed in the chest, whatever, and then you decide to protect yourself, change your environment, quit your job, etc. but then in the next place you land, the problem (in the form of a person you can’t stand) shows up there too. The Problem can’t be solved until it can be named — and named in such a way as to create a visceral, whole body, understanding. Each time we encounter The Problem we learn a little bit more about how to set a boundary, how to see signs of it coming, or at least how to more quickly recover our sanity and well being after getting kicked or stabbed…
But once we do name The Problem so clearly that we don’t forget the subtle nuances of it and the body experience of it, we are primed for the solution – like an eager student sitting up in class waiting for the teacher to reveal something very important. And the best solutions come from this state of being enlivened, enlightened, and woken up to Truth, in whatever shape or form you need it to be.
Problems posed as a question get the most creative solutions. The problem that has had me clenching my jaw for decades is this:
How do we deconstruct the patriarchal influences on our lives?
America, as most of us know it, was “founded” on terribly oppressive and damn asinine patriarchal notions like: negroes have 3/5ths the value of men and a woman’s place is in the kitchen. While, thankfully, these two statements are politically incorrect to all and disgustingly unpalatable to many, they still have toxic roots in our bones.
These deeply ingrained poisons, programmed into our collective consciousness, need elixirs — remedies to rescue the beauty inside all of us.
I am currently building a program for Dismantling Patriarchal Consciousness and Behaviors.
To get involved, click here
Some of the things I am doing at the moment to leach the poison from my body and mind are to explore carefully selected books and films by women for women. I’m currently reading Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; it’s a fantasy-adventure with a male protagonist that has tremendous practical relevance at this moment in time.
And, I have created for you a lovely list of 10 Ways To Get Lost:
OK so deconstructing patriarchal influences is The Problem I’ve named. My approach to finding a solution is to first counterbalance the “programming” by choosing to read and watch media that is not being pushed at me by a nefarious patriarchal psychographic system of greed. This helps me to create space in my consciousness for alternatives, for perspectives that are richer, more nuanced and resonant with my sense of truth.
These actions, these broader perspectives, not only help me feel more balanced and stable (and sane!), they fill me with inspiration and ideas – the clarity and focus that engenders generosity not only to the self but to others. I feel more capable of holding space with and for my family and friends. And I know this is good and healthy.
Energetic Excess is, of course, not just the frenetic energy that we sometimes feel in the mind and body. It is a set of social paradigms that are complex and complicated to see, to name, to hold and try to address. But if we start where we are 24/7, in our own skin, eventually we will build the capacity to see and name and address the wider systemic issues that have wreaked havoc on social orders and on Mother Earth.