The news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas at the Country Fest struck me deep in my empathic center this morning. It has brought to mind a lot of thoughts and I need to get them out.
As I was growing up I often heard, “you’re too sensitive” and “you’re too emotional”. They meant it like there was something wrong with me, and I should change to be more like them. I had feelings and I talked about those feelings. It was no wonder that my dream then was to become a therapist. I wanted to help others talk about their feelings in a safe environment.
While I stopped talking about my feelings to those people, I did not stop expressing my feelings. I expressed them in poems, in short stories and to others who would listen. But along the way, I can’t tell you how many people I came across who said, ”I don’t believe in that touchy-feely shit.” Or claim “I’m not one for touchy-feely stuff.” Or just plain “I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person.” Or “Should we all just hold hands and sing kumbaya?!”
People think touchy-feely-kumbaya people are weak. But they aren’t the ones who break, are they?
Mass shooters, serial killers and mass murderers aren’t the touchy-feely ones. You never hear of a ‘flower child’ suddenly snapping and using a gun against another. Those who commit violent crimes, especially of mass proportions, are the ones who have gone out of their way to avoid touchy-feely. They are the ones who stopped when someone said they were too sensitive or emotional. They were the ones who had no outlet for the organic touchy-feely parts of us.
And you wonder why they pop?
This is a pressure cooker situation we’ve created, of course there will be mounting explosions…
…unless people start getting touchy-feely.
Lately I had been feeling as if the ‘Life Coach’ genre was becoming a bit over saturated and I pondered whether it is just another fad (yes, in part). I will be the first to tell you that half the life coaches I run across, have no business being “Life Coaches”. I use the umbrella term “Life Coaches”, but it includes many other titles, including Spiritual Advisors. Many of these people are carefully camouflaging themselves with touchy-feely leaves whilst not actually dealing with their own stuff in a healthy manner.
There is another breed out there though. Those people who truly are looking to facilitate transformation for others but doing their own touchy-feely stuff as well. People like Kyle Cease who gets on stage and says “hey can you help me process this?” And goes on to stand naked on the square as he works through an issue with an audience member. Him facing his own shit, was the ONLY way that guy from the audience was able to hear the message that was meant for him. Kyle didn’t PRETEND to work through his shit, he authentically did it.
This new breed does deep down dirty touchy-feely work. Its not life coaching and its not therapy. Mystic Midwifery is what I call it, because it is the birth of your authentic self. The one that got put back into the box little by little with phrases like “you can’t do that, you’ll never succeed” or “you need security” or “you’re not good enough” etc…ad nauseam.
There is a plethora of transformational facilitators who are truly motivated and authentic in their practices to assist others in their journey though the rough parts. They do this by demonstrating on a daily basis how they apply certain practices and philosophies in their own life. They don’t take a template and place it over your life, but instead assist you in making your own template. Its about giving you the tools once to use over and over again. Their goal is not about growing a ‘list.’ It’s about being authentic and real, then spreading that.
The numbers of these “Authenticity Coaches” is growing. I don’t think this is a fad, I think it is needed. I think the world is ready for a change and here are the change-makers! Here are the people ready to hold space for others to relieve the pressure in that pressure cooker. Here are the people ready to say “you are sensitive, here’s how we manage that”, “here are the tools to express your emotions”, people ready to throw touchy-feely life preservers.
We don’t need gun control, we need emotion control. We need cohesion. We need community. We NEED transformation.
As I sat at a bonfire this weekend, it occurred to me that sitting around a campfire was a part of everyday life for our ancestors. It was around the fire that feelings were shared, stories of experiences were shared and bonds were built. It was built in touchy-feely time. Silence was not uncomfortable as everyone gazed into the hypnotic flames of the fire. This was meditation for our many of our Western ancestors.
Then came the radio which provided a more entertaining form of gathering. People gathered around the radio listening to the news and shows, but then talked about it. It wasn’t a diversionary tactic, it was a tool. It was used purposely and then put away.
With the inventions of whole house furnaces, making fireplaces a luxury and TV providing distraction (and becoming addictive), the organic ways our families and communities bonded, decompressed and meditated disappeared. As a result our society is disintegrating. Literally dis-integrating. Even weekend bonfire are an excuse to party, not to be bond and connect. With of course the exception of certain religious sects where it fire has retained it’s sacred purpose. And again, it is not those people who end up in the headlines as murderers.
Its time to get back to touchy-feely.
Its time to embrace the transformation movement, because if EVER we needed a transformation it is NOW. I don’t want to see how far things can get. I don’t want to the worst humans can do to one another. I’ve seen enough.
I’ll close with this, only because I didn’t know where else to put it. I’ve heard so many people make statements around how they were raised ‘tough’ or how they avoid expressing emotion and then they end that statement with “…and I turned out just fine.”
It never ever fails. My only thought in response to that is, “did ya, though?”
I love you.