Saturday, August 27, 2016

I Am Groot (among other things)

After a really long, dull day of work I got home around 2:30 and threw on my Traditional Chinese Music Pandora station. Don't ask me why. While I was sitting there listening I had this feeling that if one were to dance to this song they would embody a tree. I could picture the branches and upper body, in fact I felt like I was doing a good job embodying it as I sat there swaying around, moving my arms about. Yes, you read it right - I was trying to be Groot in my car port. There was a lull of all the other weird activity on my corner so I figured it was my turn. How would the bottom half of a tree dance? I wondered. In my mind I pictured them being very light on their roots maintaining a very thin connection with the earth moving sprightly. 

So yeah, I decided to try that too. I had shut off the overhead motion light at least so I was mostly just a translucent shadow acting like a peculiar tree in the dark. I learned a few things rather quickly but that's the object of doing things outside your comfort zone. First, my balance sucks (or as least under present conditions). Second, my balance probably sucks because I'm trying to stay rooted in the ground. Third, dancing is all about being on your toes. 

Maybe it's just because of discovery number one, but it seemed that the movements that felt natural as I shifted from flat footed to that narrow connection of my toes, were really just a constant readiness for movement to keep me from falling. I've never been able to dance because I've taken everything in life too seriously, processing everything through this intense filter very much out of synch and out of touch with my body. Maybe that's why they say "life is a dance". You always have to be on your toes and willing to adapt and grow. That's where natural beauty (or at least freedom) comes from. These thoughts were peppering my heart so I sat down to write and all in good time. Shortly after I planted my ass back on the porch step, a car pulls up in front of my house and a woman hops out after a minute. The clunker pulls away and then she starts hollering after it but the driver doesn't stop. She then proceeds to bend over, leopard yoga pants stretched tightly under the street lamp on the corner and stays that way for a solid five minutes either scouring the pavement for something or just stretching. What I think was the same car finally pulled up, something and some words were exchanged and as they drive off she went back to bending over for another few minutes. That's when my roommate came practically screeching around the corner from work which possibly was the impetus for her sudden departure from the general vicinity. 

Now we are here. I've told you a short tale from my bizarre world. Life is pretty grand though when you step back from it all a bit and put things in proper perspective. Everything we see and hear has already happened before it reaches us so we are technically always living in the past. Our brain has to synchronize all kinds of signals moving at different speeds just so that we can categorize and define the world around us. Categorizing could also be called "judging". From an evolutionary perspective it would be due to survival instinct to categorize what is harmful and what isn't. But it goes deeper than that. 

When the brain is able to see patterns and recognize them it uses way less energy. In essence your brain judges as conservation of energy - it's quite ingenious really. I don't think it's bad to define things as long as it's with the understanding that everything has the potential for growth. A thought that hit me at work today is that I should always take people on a moment by moment basis. You don't have to worry about constantly looking for danger if you know who you are and know how to stand up for yourself as an adult. I'm still learning how to talk to someone as their equal regardless of their position or station in life - just as a human that is no better or worse. What I have seen though is that when you are okay with yourself, you don't need to get angry and act childish to stand up and have boundaries. Last time my kids came to visit I told the two middle ones to stop their incessant picking at each other or I would require them to sit on opposite ends of the couch. My son sat straight up and said somewhat incredulously "are you serious?" All I replied in a calm tone was "would you like to find out? You all are allowed to choose what you do but there may be consequences." He reacted by placing significant distance between him and his sister with a rather enthusiastic hop. Now for the record, I don't spank my kids (I'm not starting a debate on that because I really haven't put a ton of thought into it yet) nor do I yell at them. I don't believe in calling them names or allowing them to do it to others. Point being is that I don't lord over them but they also know that I mean what I say. You always have the power to make a choice but you have to be okay with the consequences. Many people are firmly rooted in what they believe treating any winds of change as an attack to knock you off balance. The status quo is always changing and you have to be fairly unattached to grow with it. When I first started this site, I wanted to run from the status quo because it seemed to awful. Our current state of affairs on this space ship still seems less that stellar in many ways but there is also an amazing beauty to life when you realize you choose your outlook on life. If there was only one quote I could ever tell anyone it would be "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can". That sums up how you navigate this life successfully. You catch yourself when you are falling and turn life into a wonderful dance. 

The past is past, you're only living in it if you are deeply rooted in your beliefs, or unbeliefs - see it's mostly we don't believe in ourselves, unbelief in you makes life living hell. Dance to whatever quirky rhythm the universe is pumping through you. Allow yourself to grow, change. Drop the judgments with which you've kept yourself chained - life will make "you you'er than you" when you start to love the only person that never leaves you - you. 

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