Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Light

Peering into the box
She saw the moment of her birth
And as she gazed upon the light in the box
she knew all at once

She saw light
And More Light

She saw bare feet
and gone-to-seed dandelions
a pre-pubescent pony-tailed tree-climbing tomboy
blowing dandelion seeds into the air
spreading dandelion cheer

She saw stray cats giving birth
under the Oak tree in her back yard,
a cardboard-box bed lined with towels

She saw groundhog holes
and forts made with abandoned wood
tents and and flashlights and fireflies

She saw moonlight-midnight kickball games

She saw years
and books
and sketches of horses

She saw calligraphy sets and collages
and the Guinness Book of World Records
She saw the Loch-Ness Monster and Big Foot

She saw Moccasins
and Earth Shoes
peace signs and turquoise
and Bare Feet

She heard Cat Stevens
and Springsteen
The Grateful Dead and Dylan
She felt the comfort of an oversized sweater
And arms surrounding her

She saw Communication Text Books
and Essays
and Poems
and Bare feet

She saw the pearl-puckered sleeves
of an ivory wedding dress
and a mischievous Dalmatian puppy

She saw baby booties, and breast feeding
Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street
car seats in station wagons and SUV's

She saw broken bones
and broken little hearts
She saw tears
Many tears

She saw tricycles and bicycles,
skates and Lacrosse sticks.
She saw a 16 year-old Dalmatian
on his side on the floor
She saw tears

She saw Diplomas
And Cars
And She saw more tears

And then she saw trees again
and trails
books and collages
Hiking Boots
and Bare feet

She saw hunting dogs and streams
blogs and Writing Conferences
books and more books
an Apple lap-top
and contests

She saw light
Lots and lots of light

And she was back home
at the moment of her birth
Barefoot and Free
Full of possibility

And Being
What all along
She had been

and was meant
To Be

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wallflowers, and Tiggers and Candidates for Living

Every Teenager is a candidate for Living but not every teenager takes part. What separates the participants from the wallflowers?

To answer the question, you may look to norms. You may look to your own teenagers, You may look to your pediatrician. But to really answer it, You must look to you.

Are You a Candidate for Living? or are you a Wallflower?

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of going to Disney World for the day.Walt Disney World does an awfully good job at an awful lot of things. But what it does best, I think, is bring out the kid in us all. The goofy kid, The enthusiastic kid, the playful kid, the adventurous kid. And if you’re willing, the uninhibited, free spirited kid. I saw quite a few during the afternoon parade. The song and the scene that struck me most, was “Shake it”. Lots of Disney Characters took part, dancing alongside the float, some of them agilely on stilts even!

That was inspiring for sure, but what I was most inspired by, was a very special young man. He had Downs Syndrome. But You know what? As I watched him,dancing with with abandon, I was smiling from silver hoop earring, to silver hoop earring. What was clear, at first glance was his sense of joy. It made me happy just to observe him, experiencing such core-level joy. It made me cry, first from happiness, but also from a little sadness, at my own inhibition. It made me wonder, where, along the way I had picked it up, and decided to carry it along, to my detriment. What great fun it would be to wear a costume, dance and engage the way I'd really want to, if I wasn't carrying all of this baggage around.

You can't Dance and Sing and Bounce like Tigger

if you're carrying baggage around.

Tiggers have an awful lot of bouncing to do,

and Baggage keeps them from getting

to the heights they'd like to.

I guess we pick up inhibition when we pick up fear of disapproval, and fear of wondering how we’ll look to others. Sadly, we pick up self judgement along the way.

As I watched this young man, who some might pity, I saw a complete lack of inhibition, and a complete state of oneness–with the music, and indeed, with those of us around him, who, by our engaging in his joy, were incrementally creeping into our own joy,and out of our long overdue shells.

We are all candidates for living, but we’re not all taking part.

If we want our teenagers to take part, then we have to take part ourselves, casting aside our own inhibitions, looking at what’s kept us from engaging with our own joy. We absolutely need to model it ourselves, but also to encourage and support it, in the lives of our teenagers. Because it’s a great big world out there, chock full of opportunities, just bursting with Joy.
Wall flowers rarely get to see the sun.
And that's where all of the Disney Parades take place.
Come out and Shake it!
Just try it and see,
You may find,if you do,
It’s the Only way
to really Be.