Break the Mold

born original

You stare at a vast array of images before you, squinting to discern the detail. All appears hazy. A million people, all lined up perfectly in a row…but why? Who taught them to fall in place? Who gave the order for the replica script?

As you tread carefully closer, it becomes obvious. These people are not people at all. They are merely shadows, echoes, outlines. You vow to never fade; you will not become a mere replica.

The thundering fear pounds in your chest, and yet you are still.

The aching pain of risk drenches you with sweat, but you do not falter.

Being yourself is all you know.

Being true is all that’s left.

YOU BREAK THE MOLD.

What’s that? You say you’re a black sheep? I am too. Embrace your uniqueness. Love the color of your wool. Don’t wax remiss because you don’t fit into a box. blck sheep

Personally, the difference between then and now for me is acceptance. I accept that I am different, that I may need to stir the pot a bit, that people’s reaction to me can be full of love or full of hate but it might never be neutral. Knowing that my source orchestrates every scene of my life gives me the courage to accept the path lit by the divine. And while my own path driven by ego might need to have uniformity, perfection and everyone patting me on the back, usually the path of the divine is much more visceral and raw. The path of the divine cuts me open and in the process those around me. Being cut open is not easy. It’s RAW.

But you know what? Raw is real. And I don’t know how to be fake anymore. ONE SOURCE in my life has all the power, and that source isn’t me. That source leads me beside still waters and makes my life bountiful when I just choose to bask in the divine light that connects us all. And since I am following this ONE SOURCE, being filled with love and connection and truth and beauty minute by minute, I needn’t worry about BEING DIFFERENT.

If I am BREAKING THE MOLD, then that is exactly who and what I was created to be.

As I get quiet and go deep inside, I am reassured. I know in the clarity of stillness where my inspiration, passion and vocation lie. I know in the stillness who I am called to be. Although it’s usually terrifying to follow these callings, I know from experience that denying them creates for me a fate worse than death.

So, fear be damned! Let’s press on in spite of our seeming limitations. Let’s follow the lit path even if it’s raw and uncomfortable. With much risk comes much reward. Join me. BREAK THE MOLD.

Transparency

She’s frantic, running ragged in the tiny maze of corridors, stuffing all her tender bits of pain into the crevices and crannies, locking up in tiny lockers of her broken heart the things she’s sure that others won’t accept. She wonders how she fits into schemes, roles and scenarios instead of how she fits herself to be of maximum usefulness in a true and passionate life.  She nearly becomes open and true, only to furtively look over her shoulder for who might disparagingly see. The woman in this maze of secrecy, self-doubt and shame used to be me.

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On the outside I was confident, funny, wide-smiling, motivated and caring. But although I was able to be helpful to others, I had no clue how to help myself. Inside I was absolutely terrified. Being terrified of what others think is pretty common. I was also terrified of what I thought about myself. The scraping pain of knowing I was unloveable and unworthy ate at the depths of my soul. I had a sinking feeling that somehow I was broken. And because of that feeling, I couldn’t bear to be real. The lonely ache deep inside me, told me I was the only dysfunctional one and I had better hide the fact. I hadn’t the faintest inkling of how to even begin to be honest, transparent and true.

The amazing thing is that, even in my terror, latent miracles bloomed. I truly believe today that the amazing grace of love flows through us all, whether we are in our darkest hour or our shining reverie. That is the miracle of oneness. Paul Williams on a recent Super Soul Sunday spoke of this same miracle. He spoke of how his songs were a light in the dark until he had the courage to recover. I know this musical thread has not only saved my life but at times it’s been the only source of the hand and voice of God itself. Because of these experiences, I know in the depth of my heart, we can be a channel of light even inside our own darkness. Like Paul, this grace saved my life until I could find the courage to embrace who I was, and by doing so, embrace oneness.

I met a new friend recently who seemed a little surprised by my commitment to be transparent. I had to honestly admit that after all I have been through, the exhausting charades, the people pleasing, the melodrama and the unnecessary suffering, I couldn’t fathom being anything else. To me, staying alive directly depends on my authenticity. To be authentic, I must be transparent. I cannot afford to hide any part of myself any longer. I need the energy I used to use to manage my life to LIVE my life. I need that energy to BE. I need that energy to engage and feel and experience. For me, that means I’m no longer afraid of answering questions directly. “Yes, I’m writing a rock musical. Yes, I only have one breast. Yes, I’m single in my late 30’s after 2 messy divorces. Yes, I feel deeply connected spiritually and yes I believe God loves me whether I am GLBT, republican, democrat, straight, succeeding, struggling, or anything else.”

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The divine is our source of all love. The divine is our source of all beauty, and hope and faith. We don’t go out into the world to gain these things, We are born with them. To be loved and loving is every human being’s divine birthright. To follow our true callings in life and live our passion for the greatest good of the universe must be our focus. Anything that reinforces the ideas that we are unworthy or unloveable just wont do. It simply does not work.  Say no to “Not enough!” Refuse to drink that kool-aid any longer. I want you to know, honestly, from the depth of my heart and soul, and from the voice of the divine that you are worthy and lovable. You can feel divine energy all the way down to your bones if you just ask and you don’t need any human being to affirm that for you. We don’t need external validation for what we know to be true in our souls. For this gift we can be truly grateful. And as a result we can be fearlessly transparent.

Passion

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As far back as I can remember, passion has kept me alive. When I was a small child and I felt like there was something wrong with me because I was different, this passion comforted my heart and helped my know that somehow I was here for a reason. It started as a thread of hope, a glimmer of light, a sparkle that lit a sea of uncertainty, warming my soul, and allowing my fragile heart to begin to blossom safely.

This weekend, I was reminded so beautifully of what that passion felt like as a young person, as I was privileged to witness young people ages seven through fifteen perform music at our fall recital. For a young person to have the courage to stand in front of an audience of their peers and present a deep expression of who they are through music amazes me every time. I am humbled and honored to be a part of the unfoldment of these young musicians. In particular, I’m inspired by those students who step outside of the normal confines of a typical “music recital” and arrange a piece of music, write original music, or perform anything outside of their comfort zone. This fuels my heart and soul to continue to follow suit.

Learning to be vulnerable and to take risks in any arena can be daunting. But using the voice, the body and the energy of the heart to express deep emotion takes a special kind of courage. I’m not talking about talent. Although several of the students are “talented,” that isn’t the point at all. It’s not a contest nor is it a showing of the ego. A recital provides a unique moment in time, a snapshot if you will, as a venue for connection, vulnerability and self-expression.

Cultivating the courage we require as adults starts at a young age. What a beautiful opportunity these young people have been afforded by their families to take this visceral plunge into the depths of their soul if they so choose! For me personally, not just as a young person, but as a teenager, college kid, and adult, music kept my flame lit. At the times I wanted to curl up and die of shame, music caressed the very fabric of my soul. At the times I felt I was worthless, unloveable and a failure, music reminded me that amidst pain we find the richest beauty. In my most difficult trials and travails, music sang me awake again, gently weaving my heart into a place of comfort. In those moments, I truly lived. It was as if a chasm opened, a parallel universe where nothing mattered except my breath, my beating heart and the sweet swirl of melody running through my fingers. When I was in the music, I was truly in ME. Passion-And-Purpose

You know what your heart craves, what your body needs and how your mind most easily falls into the energetic and peaceful hum of passion. You know what stirs you, keeps you alive and feels like home. You know, better than anyone what makes your heart sing and your soul rest in the light of it’s own truth. That is your passion. It doesn’t matter what the passion is, or how you define it. It only matters that you honor the callings of the universe and pursue it anyway you can, as deeply as you can and as often as you can. When each one of us honors that beautiful part of our soul, ALL of humanity is blessed in turn. Be present to your passion.