'The Counter-Intuitive' (Part 2)
When I started this blog, I thought I would have written many more posts by now, but it turns out being metaphorically pregnant and then having a metaphorical infant is hard work. At least we are sleeping through the night more or less.
I didn't really explain the whole 'pregnancy' thing in Part 1. I felt the need to lay a lot of groundwork, which in retrospect feels tedious but I appreciate the feedback from those of you who made it all the way through. It's not easy getting through much of anything these days, speaking for myself. That's why I'm creating a YouTube channel to illustrate my points on a less linear, more engaging platform where I can cover more ground while making you read far fewer words, ideally released this summer (stay tuned). This was a product of my 'labors' that I was hoping for but unsure of how it would all come together. Now it's finally spilling out in a wave of inspiration, allowing me to forge ahead on my path of ceaseless activity that steadily becomes harder to identify as business or pleasure.
To be honest, I wasn't initially sure how this blog would evolve or exactly what its purpose was, but once I'd put it out into the world, if nothing else it served as a wonderful instigator of yet more existential inquiry. Why do I feel the need to share my thoughts and observations? Where is the desire to do so coming from? Does it mean I'm egotistical and narcissistic? Etc. As time passes since its launch and my dreams continue to crystallize into form, I am becoming more comfortable with having a candid, informal platform from which to share my process with those who care to follow it, and an opportunity to write.
Three years ago, I was crowd-funding in order to pay my rent. I even did so a second time so I could order a product line to retail in my one-room studio space where I cut people's hair on a linoleum tile platform that I built as a solution to the wall-to-wall carpeting. Fast forward two years and it had turned into a high-end six-chair salon frequented by people traveling from all over the Hudson Valley and NYC. Life, as they say, is a trip.
This Intuitive Dry Cutting thing keeps evolving, and I like to imagine it becoming part of the zeitgeist both within the beauty industry and on the planet.
Mine is the path of a person for whom the lines between work and play are blurry and at times nonexistent. A couple of years ago, this concerned me because it threatened burn-out. But since then, I have a much better grip on all the little things I need to do on a daily basis in order to maintain my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. My ADHD nature helps me to cycle through lots of projects in the span of a single day, hardly finishing anything but always accomplishing something, including moments of permitting myself to space-out and relax my gaze, and more importantly the grip of my mind (my version of sporadic meditating).
It is the feedback loop between these periods of rest and the corresponding waves of forward-momentum that allows for creation to take place. Any good yoga teacher knows that savasana is arguably both the hardest and most crucial pose in someone's practice. I liken my creative process to pregnancy because a.) I don't feel fully responsible for whatever is forming inside of me, b.) I can feel it growing but initially I can't see the full picture of what it will become, and c.) when it reaches the point of maturation, it reveals itself in the course of another obvious rhythm, almost like two steps forward and then one step back until it has made its way out into the world. From its conception, Salune has felt like a distinct energy coming through me into the world, using my body as its channel of entry but almost immediately beginning to develop independently. Initially, I nursed it ceaselessly and its appetite was voracious, but that must be why babies are cute, so we continue providing them with the nourishment they require to grow against all odds.
But what exactly are you referring to, you might ask. A book? Another business? A video series? Yes.
I'm merging all my impulses together as an extension of Salune, the product of which is developing into a teaching for hair stylists (but really for anyone) to step into their multidimensional potential. It's not as abstract as it sounds. In fact, it's intuitive. Or rather, I'd say it's Counter-Intuitive.
'The Counter-Intuitive' is my lovechild with the Universe, once it had formed itself into coherent thoughts that I felt ready to share. It is a character I thought I'd try on, and it fit. It established itself as the basis of my hair/life philosophy, from which other ideas began taking shape, and suddenly I find myself traveling to teach it to a group of stylists in Los Angeles this weekend. As I willingly make myself a vessel for the expression of ideas that can only come through my unique physical signature, it is, counter-intuitively, the passivity with which I am willing to create and the energy of allowing rather than that of accomplishing that is equally vital to the outcome.
'The Counter-Intuitive' is a person who reads between the lines. For us, life is like an infinite onion with layer upon layer of truth, all coexisting neatly (or not so neatly at times) within a complex, multidimensional reality. As the layers peel away, we see yet another perspective, only possible when we allow our attachments to 'the way things are' to soften. We learn to see objectively and when we do, the deeper meanings of things, often surprising, make themselves apparent.
The core of the Counter-Intuitive approach lies in the controversial territory of Acceptance vs. Resistance. These are two opposing methods of dealing with adverse circumstances that divide the population, between those who choose to fight them and those who work from a more alchemical perspective, first accepting and even embracing the uncomfortable or offensive energy, ultimately transmuting it as opposed to the shorter-term satisfaction of seeing something more immediately "destroyed."
I should say that I have found myself oscillating regularly between these perspectives. It is a very natural, human response to desire the removal of something unwanted from our experience, as we are comfort-seeking creatures and in the words of the Buddha, we are at all times either craving more of what feels good or wanting to rid ourselves of whatever doesn't. Western lore stemming from Greek mythology glamorizes the hyper-masculine heroes who defeat their enemies and dominate, whether by force or by wit. In any case, we are not educated about and certainly not encouraged to address the underlying motivations for the behavior of our 'enemies'. We have instead the options of either jailing or killing them once they are captured. But does either option actually solve the root problem? Carl Jung put it effectively with his famous quote, "What you resist, persists."
I mentioned the concept of "Feeding Your Demons," also a book title from Tibetan lama and spiritual teacher Tsultrim Allione that I highly recommend, in Part 1. Her radical teaching is based on that of 11th century female yogini, Machig Labdrön. Our demons are forces that we find inside ourselves, the cores of which are rooted in ego.
Demons are our obsessions and fears, feelings of insecurity, chronic illnesses, or common problems like depression, anxiety, and addiction. They are often the result of repressed emotional trauma, usually from an early age, that we may have little or no awareness of.
They become trapped and begin constructing narratives that we carry around with us everywhere we go. Growing in their power as time goes on, they are nourished by the energy we have tied up in the conflict, as we learn how to negotiate with them in order to avoid facing our central wounds. Often they are projected into our lives as external forces by which we can then feel victimized, thereby evading our responsibility to address them with love and non-judgment, the only way out of the endless loop of avoidance and escape.
I'd like to explain my interpretation of 'ego' for you, so we are on the same page. In our current spiritual climate, having an ego is tantamount to having a disease, and we orient ourselves around the goal of transcending it into higher, ego-free realms of consciousness. But the trick is, higher realms of consciousness do not make themselves available to us until we are operating from a purely loving space, and judging the parts of ourselves that operate based on our unresolved traumas prevents us from doing just that.
"Ego is the compulsive patterns that orbit our personality," says Matt Kahn, a contemporary spiritual teacher for whom I have great admiration. "Your relationship with dislike can measure the density of your ego." He puts forth the idea that ego, a vital protective agent hardwired for good reason into the human form, distorts and develops according to the early traumas in our lives caused by four things: 1.) neglect 2.) abuse 3.) codependency and 4.) loss. If you're interested in hearing more of what he has to say, here is a clip from a talk at which I was actually in the live audience. His teaching centers around integrating the ego with love, rather than attempting to move beyond it out of judgment.
'Integration' is the key word right now, as we evolve out of a duality-based paradigm and into a brand new frequency that many people are already experiencing with awareness. The more attention we give to the inner child who needs compassionate parenting from each of us, and the less attention we give to the mainstream media that can only serve to fragment our energy more and more, the collective is beginning to awaken at last, from its narrower third-dimensional focus, into one that has room for ever-increasing subtlety and a higher vibrational existence.
I am noticing the split more and more, between optimists and pessimists in these supercharged days on planet Earth. People who understand quantum physics, where everything is energy first and matter second, eventually come to the logical conclusion that we must shift our energy before we can shift our material reality. And this is where The Counter-Intuitive comes in, for quantum concepts require nonlinear thinking, which constitute a whole new way of operating and a necessary break from the fundamental assumptions that have dictated our belief-systems thus far.