Hollywood Boulevard. The Sun was blazing rising higher in the sky with Morrissey for background music courtesy of the American Apparel store. I've heard the intensity of the light in L.A. magically softens after you live here for a few years. What you thought was intense and almost unbearable becomes something you are now nostalgic for. I'm still in the stage of pulling my director cap as low as I can over my sunglasses. The bus pulled up and I grabbed a seat on the shady side. I could still hear the Morrissey song in my head. Not all is "light and love" in the Sun. When I lived in the Tenderloin and here on Hollywood Boulevard I'm much more aware of the seediness and sadness of the neighborhood when the Sun is out. First off the sun intensifies the smells for better or for worse and it also intensifies what you see. L.A. has a lot more shade and shadow then the SW did but I believe that's only because there's a lot more buildings.
Morrissey made a great career out of "I feel so hollow/numb" and "I feel more than everyone else." Chuckling as I'm typing that because how many of us swing on that same spectrum?
Everyone I talked to yesterday told me how they feel hollow and numb. How they are smiling and pretending on the outside but deep inside it's another story. I don't want to be a generic inspirational quote. I don't want to tell people to think positive and buck up and that thinking about anything "negative" brings more negativity to your life.
What exactly is "negative"? The first word that came into my mind is "pretending." The most damaging things I have seen in my lifetime and in my friends and clients lives were having to pretend things were one way when they were not . Having to pretend to feel one way when we felt another. Is it any wonder so many "aware" people feel numb and hollow? And isn't it ironic that we're told the way to feel less numb and hollow is to only allow happy and joy? I feel less hollow and numb when I don't have to pretend.
Didn't I just write about making things up? Imagining? Pretending? I'm not talking about "pretending" to try to make something go away or disappear. I'm not talking about pretending to avoid confronting. Why do some actors really excel at acting? I believe it's because they can empathize and emphasize the contrast because how things appear on the surface and what's beneath the surface. Pretending can actually make things more "real" when we pretend in order to see "what would it feel like?" or "what would it be like IF I allowed myself to _________?" I'm talking the kind of pretending that opens up not shut down.
Truly open - not pretend open. California can be so "anything goes" "live and let live" almost to the point of being blasé and jaded. We can also be super p.c. policing. Love the irony of liberals and free-spirited people telling (read that as trying to force/enforce) people how to feel. The Sun casts light and shadow. And L.A. has really big light and really big shadow.
Pretending can be positive or negative as can a lot of other things depending on what lens or filter you are viewing them through. I love playing with contrast on my camera. I love seeing how light and shadow change the image. The mood. The feeling. Artists and models know how to use the light to bring out what they want to us to notice. Some of us know how to do this with make-up. Go to a gallery this weekend and notice light and shadow. Where does your eye linger? Notice the play between dark and light. Lack of contrast can make art and life seem flat.
One of the energies we are working right now is cutting through delusion. To break the spell/trance that has kept up functioning (or not functioning) in the energy of "One day when I ______, things are going to be different."
Illusion and magic are vital to creating- delusion is not.
I love knowing that as we become more and more aware of our numbness and what we can't feel that we are becoming more aware of how 97% of the human experience is about feeling- touching and being touched by life and other people.
Sensitive seems to be equated in so many peoples minds with "getting hurt." How did you numb out to avoid feeling hurt? We will get hurt. Beauty has left me aching. This summer we are letting life come closer and it may hurt. Yet I can promise you it will bring you back to life. The prince ain't going to do to it- you are! Sleeping Beauty has to spit out the poisoned apple. Eve has to kiss the snake and own her own power.
If this was an indie movie I wouldn't need to spell out layers of meaning. I could shoot a few signifiers and trust that they would speak to the right people. This is one of the things I'm playing with in my business. For now let me invite you to play with contrast where do you need to turn it up? In what settings? Where do you need to turn it down? I also invite you to play with the color scale. Things that may have used to seem "contrasting" or "clashing" - may feel enticing to you right about now. There is no relief in sight for a few weeks. The energy right now is relentless in helping us get clear about what we will no longer tolerate, what is killing our spirit and how to accept the invitation to LOVE what you were told was unlovable about you.
I know the party line is the way to freedom is "unconditional love" and I'm not living there. We have to become fully aware of conditions we have been tolerating or even accepting in our lives and say "No more!"
The other phrase I've been hearing a lot is "It's not safe to be _____." Ask yourself "When is it going to be safe to take a risk?" Being vulnerable does not now mean that the other person is responsible for our safety. Being vulnerable is about "For me to love myself I need to express __________."
It's not a coincidence that lockbox is another word for safe. Remember what I said yesterday about it being impossible to create when any part of your body is on lockdown? Time to see if what we've been guarding and protecting with our life- is keeping us on lockdown. Oh, the ironic moment in which we are see we are our own captor and prisoner. That we hold the key(s) and the power to create freedom.
The Truth Teller is Welcome, Denise
p.s. in case you are just coming in - I'm doing 20-30 newsletters in 30 day