NO EMPATHY, PL?!/PL RESPONDS!

In response to PL's post, "NO EMPATHY? ARE THESE KIDS FROM PARK SLOPE?!" "Anonymous" asks:

"Don't you have any empathy for them?"


Here's PL:

I am asked this question often by people who aren't listening. It's not the children that I am lambasting here, Anon, it's the parents. If you listen, or actually read my post, I make a very clear point of the fact that it's the parents who are "gutting their children" of any capacity for empathy. It is, in fact, my empathy for the children that gets me riled up. What gets you riled up? Having to be confronted by truths that make you uncomfortable?

Take another look, okay?

HOLIDAYS FOR HYPOCRITES?!

Tomorrow is... let's see... Memorial Day? Right? Right. Got your flag out to go along with your beer, hot dogs and potato salad tomorrow? Or maybe you're planning a shopping day to take advantage of all the sales? Or planning to just enjoy an extra day off to put your feet up and have a drink or two, watch some baseball?

No, of course you're not doing any of those things. It's a day of mourning, right? A somber occasion. A day of remembering those hundreds of thousands of American children killed over the years in wars and military actions. Children too naive or lost - or young - to know what war really is. Ask any soldier or veteran. I have. I used to work at the V.A. hospital here in Brooklyn. Soldiers don't know why they're fighting from a political or geo-political point of view. They're not even fighting because they are more patriotic than non-soldiers. They fight because they bond in a life and death struggle they're thrown into with their young peers and comrades in arms. They fight for love of each other, not for the flag or any ideology.

It's such a comforting myth when you're downing the last of your second six-pack, isn't it, that these kids are heroically sacrificing their lives so your sons can go to Princeton and get jobs at Goldman Sacks?

I'm sorry. I know this is very curmudgeonly of me, but I actually don't like most holidays. Why? Because what we're supposed to be doing on most holidays - honoring peace and love on earth, or redemption, or romantic love, or appreciating the toils of those who labor in dangerous jobs for minimum wage, or even celebrating our own birth - is so remote from what we actually do, and very far removed from what we do most of the year.

Holidays are part of an elaborate system of denial.

Cheat on your wife all year? Never tell her you love her? Buy her candy and flowers on Valentine's Day and all will be forgiven. Right?

Shorting bad sub-prime mortgages your bank gave out or by-passing safety measures on your multi-billion dollar oil rig ruining thousands of lives and costing taxpayers billions of dollars? Hey, how about a $50,000 ice sculpture at your Labor Day picnic?

Kill a few doctors who legally perform medical procedures to end unwanted pregnancies, or slander and oppress others because they look different from you or share love in a different way? No problem. You can still piously celebrate the man who said "Love your enemy" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," while you secretly bang your male escort and vote against "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

Sorry, folks, but while you're doing whatever you do tomorrow, try taking a moment to think about what you do for most of the rest of year. If you observe that you've been working on evolving yourself and connecting to your feelings and to the oneness of all beings, then by all means, put your feet up, have a drink and watch the game. Every day is a holiday for you!

STEPPING BACK FROM "THE CRIME OF SERIOUSNESS!"

GREETINGS FROM SANTA FE!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Big, bright blue sky, brilliant sun, 80 degrees by day, starry canopy and 50 degrees by night, no humidity ever – you gotta love the high desert! Well, I do anyway.

It’s called vacation, folks, and as I’ve often said, vacations are not really a luxury item in an actualized life, but rather a necessary reminder of how to live. A channeled entity once warned me back in the 1980's to be careful not to commit "the crime of seriousness" in my life. I have tried to heed that advice.

Playing, enjoying nature and life’s abundance are in fact the best and most efficient ways to get where you desire to get to on your path.

Have fun! Its very productive!!

IS YOUR WORK A CALLING OR A JOB? REFLECTIONS AFTER THE LATEST CITY ROCK READING!

Last Wednesday night, at The Players Theater in Greenwich Village, I was privileged to be the recipient of an amazing dose of creativity and love from almost two dozen extraordinary people doing what they love to do. With an amazing director, an implacable crew of one, and 21 gifted actors, the fourth episode of my TV series, CIty Rock, was put up in a staged reading. The spirited, gripping, poignant and hilarious performances filled the black box theater with so much light and energy that I felt like I was glowing afterwards.

With hearts wide open, everyone contributed their services for no financial remuneration, and on top of it all, they thanked me!

Here are two e-mails I received:

"Hey Peter: It was great to be involved. Thank you for sharing your baby with me. It's an amazing script, cast, and crew and I feel honored to be a part of it. I look forward to creating more magic with you in the future!"

"Thanks again Peter! The series you have written is really intriguing and I think if for some strange reason it doesn't get picked up, you got screwed! (and I must say that I am not quick to pass out praise on tv scripts, as so many I have read or watched are, shall we say, predictable.) I also thought I would pass my wife's comments along. (She's an actress by the way, so if you're ever in need... blah blah blah) She commented on how well written it was and also that it was the best staged film or television script she had ever seen. She's wanted to see more. Anyway, enjoy your trip and hopefully we'll be working again soon."

So this morning, I found myself thinking about what the motivation was for these twenty-odd angels. It came into my consciousness clear as a bell - they were all engaged in their "calling."

What are you engaged in that you call "work?" Is it something that you believe that you have to do in order to make money, but you don't really enjoy doing very much? Or is it something that you do because it makes your heart sing, because you are passionate about doing it?

The first kind of engagement, for discussion's sake, let's call a "job." The second type we can identify as a "calling." Most of you know the difference between those two things, unless you've never done anything to make your heart sing, in which case, I doubt that you would be bothering to read anything here on Full Permission Living!

Many believe, however, that making money at a job is a given, while making money at a calling is rare. This is a complex and very common syndrome... and totally based in erroneous beliefs.

The idea that sustenance for one's life comes from suffering or unpleasant laboring is rooted in the character structures we form in early childhood. We are born in a natural state of complete trust, expecting our environment to provide all the nourishment we need, both physically and emotionally. When it doesn't, because of the dysfunctions of our environment, first and foremost our parents, we experience great pain, and so we create defenses to mitigate the pain, complete with belief systems and strategies for getting more of what we need. From there evolves the belief that through "hard work" comes our just rewards.

A reporter once asked John Lennon in 1963 if he thought the fame and fortune would interfere with the Beatles creative song-writing energy. The inimitable Lennon replied: "No, I find that I can write just as well sitting on a soft cushion as on a hard bench!"

Here's a quote from Steven Pressfield in his great little book, "The War of Art":

"The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. But the part we create from can't be touched by anything our parents did, or society did. That part is unsullied, uncorrupted, soundproof, waterproof, and bulletproof."

Indeed, when you are living your calling, you feel invincible, irresistible, in the "Zone," as it were, and expressing yourself creatively is its own reward. You're not needy. Not deprived. You care more about the sharing than the applause. And, if you do not succumb to those erroneous beliefs from childhood about abundance, being in the zone can easily bring you money, as much as you need, as much as your heart desires.

Ahhh... I can hear the sound of Resistance to that last one!

But it's true, folks. Free yourself up from all of your hidden beliefs through some serious self-work and you will be living your truest calling, pot of gold in hand, sitting comfortably on that cushion!

Thank you:

Karen Giordano, Pete Postiglione, Breane Wood, Jimmy Gary, Jr., Willie Teacher, Jason Kravits, James Christie, Carmen Gill, Anthony Perullo, Rich Orlow, Jaymes Hodges, L. Roi Hawkins, Nardia Blake, Lindy Rogers, Gerard Joseph, Steve Kleiner, Dale Thomas Krupla, Christina Giordano, Kamal Jones, Judy Jerome, Chaz Graytok, Steve Stitt, Todd Younggren, Mary Cavataio

ANOTHER ONE SLAMMED BY THE WAVE!!

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Republican Representative, Mark Souder, known as an"Evangelical Christian" and an abstinence only advocate acknowledged an affair with a staffer Tuesday and unexpectedly announced his resignation, giving Democrats a chance at capturing what many had thought was a safe Republican seat.

It's kind of a rule by now, folks: if you're anti-sex for others, it's because you're having that very sex under cover. If you're against sex other than in marriage, it's because you're having sex other than in your marriage. If you're against homosexual sex, it's because you're secretly homosexual.

It's just a rule.

Anyone else on the right want to come out before they're outed?!

Really?

NARDIA BLAKE REFLECTS ON THE MOST RECENT CITY ROCK READING!/PL RESPONDS!

HERE'S NARDIA:

"I loved every minute.. once again we made magic and I know any minute the universe is going to respond and bring City Rock right were it needs to be!!! Performing for me makes my heart skip a beat. It's my first love. I realized how much I loved bringing a script to life when I spent 21 hours on a set and did not have the urge to complain once!!! This is much more than a job for me!!!

Thanks Again Peter!!"


HERE'S PL:

Well, for right now, City Rock is already "right where it needs to be." As John Lennon, whose spirit is very much alive in City Rock, once said: "Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be. It's easy. All you need is love!"

Thank you, Nardia!

BEING A COP IS STILL A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER!!

A police officer in a Brooklyn precinct, one Adrian Schoolcraft, became gravely concerned about how the public was being served. To document his concerns, he began carrying around a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors. In excerpts, the 81st Precinct commander, a lieutenant and a sergeant talked about the constant pressure from bosses to push cops to "get their numbers." Precinct supervisors talk about a specific "numbers" quota, warn cops to pick up their numbers, or else, and complain about outside inspections. In one roll call, a supervisor tells officers to stop drawing penises in each other's memo books and drawing graffiti on the walls. There's also an extended speech on the virtues of personal hygiene. The pressure for "numbers" (summonses, arrests, stop and frisks and community visits) was worst at the end of each month and the end of each quarter because that's when individual officers had to file their activity reports. In other words, stay away from cops after the 25th of the month.

Schoolcraft recorded precinct roll calls. He recorded his precinct commander and other supervisors. He recorded street encounters. He recorded small talk and stationhouse banter. In all, he surreptitiously collected hundreds of hours of cops talking about their jobs.

Made without the knowledge or approval of the NYPD, the tapes—made between June 1, 2008, and October 31, 2009, in the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant and obtained exclusively by the Voice—provide an unprecedented portrait of what it's like to work as a cop in this city.

They reveal that precinct bosses threaten street cops if they don't make their quotas of arrests and stop-and-frisks, but also tell them not to take certain robbery reports in order to manipulate crime statistics. The tapes also refer to command officers calling crime victims directly to intimidate them about their complaints.

As a result, the tapes show, the rank-and-file NYPD street cop experiences enormous pressure in a strange catch-22: He or she is expected to maintain high "activity"—including stop-and-frisks—but, paradoxically, to record fewer actual crimes.

Here are two pieces, one below, one following, that I posted last year in which I claimed that being a cop, in and of itself, is a kind of psychiatric disorder:

LAW PROFESSOR ARRESTED FOR..?

A renowned Harvard Law professor, an African-American Harvard Law professor, one Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested two nights ago entering his own home. The white police sergeant, one James Crowley is trying to not apologize for the mistake, claiming that it was understandable somehow that under the circumstances, he was doing his duty to protect citizens.

Right. Except that after they realized that it in fact was Professor Gates' home, they still handcuffed him and booked him and held him in custody for four hours because they didn't like his attitude! The charges of “loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space” were subsequently dropped.

I've already written and posted and reposted my article entitled "SAY IT: RACISM IS A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER!" so many times that I will only link to it this time. But now I would like to get even more offensive to the baby souls who blindly love blind authority and live with intense fear of the Other: "SAY IT: BEING A COP IS A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER!"

Come on: SAY IT!

First of all, tell me which experience you have more often - whatever race you are - feeling really comforted by the presence of police nearby, or feeling intimidated and maybe even harassed? Be honest, even if it's only to yourself.

Personally, I have never committed a crime. I haven't even gotten a traffic ticket in 20 years. Yet, when I see a cop, I feel uncomfortable. I see a person, almost always a man, with a gun and a wooden stick in a militaristic uniform, a man who has chosen a profession, not even drafted, but chosen a career in which the job description includes the possibility of having to kill someone. I think, what does that guy do with that level of aggressive intent inside of him if no crime is being committed in his proximity? Does he offer to help you find a parking spot when you're late to pick up your kids at school? Does he remind you to buckle up for safety or cross at the green, not in between? HA! More often, he gleefully gives you a $100 ticket to go with his "Come on, make my day!" attitude if you dare think about protesting the unfairness of the letter of the law sometimes.

I remember watching The Three Stooges back in childhood, hosted by "Officer Joe Bolton," a kindly-looking actor in a policeman's uniform. My earliest impressions of cops were based on TV fantasies about dedicated cops who loved good people and hated only nefarious criminals. I loved cop shows back then. But I grew up and saw the docudrama "Serpico" (I even met the real Serpico at a lecture in college) and I realized that benign cops were the exception, not the rule. Baretta, Starsky & Hutch, I loved those down-to-earth, uncorruptable working class heroes. (I was thrilled that Paul Michael Glaser directed the pilot of my TV series, City Rock this past December.) But they're not real, folks.

Just to round this out, although I have never committed a crime, I have been the victim of crimes, several, in fact - break-ins and robberies of cars and property over the years, and once, a mugging in which I was jumped from behind by two men, in front of my own home, beaten, knocked unconscious and brought bleeding to a hospital. In that last one, unlike in shows like Law and Order or CSI, no cops even showed up to talk to me for FIVE DAYS!! The cops were on the scene when I was taken to the hospital, but it took them FIVE DAYS to come and pretend to investigate. I even told them I thought I might know who did it, and they basically shrugged, just as they did every time my car was vandalized.

So, scream if you want, whoever wants to, but think about it. That's all I ask. That's all I ever ask.

THINK ABOUT IT!

And don't waste on-line space writing to me about a good cop you know, or about exceptions. There are always exceptions... except when you don't have the change for the meter and you have to urgently run into a coffee shop to pee!

Officer Joe: "Don't worry, Sir, I'll watch your car for you while you run in to take care of nature's business."

Thanks, Officer Joe!

(Yeah, right!) NYUK! NYUK! NYUK!

MORE ON BEING A COP IS A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER! WHEW! THOSE "BAD APPLES" ARE PILING UP, HUH?!

BREAKING: SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A mother who was zapped with a stun gun in front of her children during a New York traffic stop has filed notice she'll sue the sheriff's department.

A police video captured by a dashboard camera shows Deputy Sean Andrews yanking Audra Harmon out of her minivan by the arm and knocking her down with two Taser shots in January. Harmon was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and speeding. Her lawyer says prosecutors dismissed the charges after watching the videotape. Harmon claims Andrews was improperly trained. She says a Taser isn't supposed to be used against people who pose no threat. In a notice of claim filed Thursday with the Onondaga County clerk, Harmon accuses Andrews of wrongful conduct. Andrews won't comment.

REPOST: GUT FEELINGS

This is an excerpt from a class I taught on the nature of feelings and how crucial it is to be connected to our emotions, especially those that we've come to refer to as "gut feelings."

How do we make the big decisions in life? Whether or not to accept a new job offer, whether or not to go back to school, whether or not to move to a new place to live, whether or not to marry, to have a child, to see a therapist…? How do we make decisions that can’t wait, that have to be decided in the moment? Whether or not to respond to a romantic overture, to return a first kiss, whether to throw the fast ball or the curveball, whether or not to order tonight’s special in a restaurant?
Using our minds through deductive reasoning and checklists of criteria is laborious, time consuming, and finally, when the pros and cons of a situation are about equal, ineffectual. These decisions can only be made by feeling.
"It just feels right."
When we make a decision from our feelings, from our "gut", that’s the accompanying thought, and we are much less likely to second guess ourselves afterwards, and indeed, much less likely to end up regretting our choices. Even major decisions can be made in just a moment, without hesitation. On the other hand, how often have we found ourselves regretting having not followed our gut and said things like, "I should have gone with my first impulse?"
So, what are "gut feelings?" Are they "real?" What are they based on? Superstition? Random, irrational impulses? Or something more definable, even measurable? Science began making some remarkable advances during the end of the 20th Century in understanding and charting some of the very essential purposes of emotions in human beings and how feelings operate within us.
In a science article entitled, "Gut Feelings", in the New York Times a few years ago, Sandra Blakeslee wrote about our "second brain", otherwise known as the "enteric nervous system" located in sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. "Considered a single entity", Blakeslee wrote, "it is packed with neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the brain proper and a complex circuitry that enables it to act independently, learn, remember and, as the saying goes, produce 'gut feelings." She also wrote: "The brain in the gut plays a major role in human happiness and misery… Ever wonder why people get ‘butterflies’ in the stomach before going on stage? Or why an impending job interview can cause an attack of intestinal cramps? The reason for these common experiences, scientists say, is because each of us literally has two brains - the familiar one encased in our skulls and a lesser known but vitally important one found in the human gut."

Candace Pert, best-selling author and professor of biophysics, corroborates these findings in her book, Molecules of Emotion: "Recent technological innovations have allowed us to examine the molecular basis of the emotions, and to begin to understand how the molecules of our emotions share intimate connections with, and are indeed inseparable from, our physiology. It is the emotions that link mind and body. Repressed emotions are stored in the body - the unconscious mind - via the release of neuropeptide ligands, and memories are held in their receptors. The entire lining of the intestines is lined with nerve cells that contain neuropeptides and receptors…and may be why we feel our emotions in that part of the anatomy, often referring to them as ‘gut feelings."

Various scientists explain that when the mind perceives that a situation is critical to the well-being of an individual, chemicals are released that stimulate the gut’s brain into action triggering instantaneous hormonal releases. A whole lifetime of accumulated relevant experiences can be accessed without thought. We are compelled to action by an irrepressible feeling, and as anyone knows who has ever been "in the zone", in athletics or any creative moment, there is a clarity and single-mindedness that goes beyond thinking.

Here’s an illuminating passage from the bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman: "Sociobiologists point to the preeminence of heart over head at crucial moments when they conjecture about why evolution has given emotion such a central role in the human psyche. Our emotions guide us in facing predicaments too important to leave to the intellect alone - danger, painful loss, bonding with a mate, persisting in a goal. Each emotion offers a distinctive readiness to act."
Goleman continues, "The intuitive signals that guide us in crucial decision-making moments come in the form of limbic-driven surges from the viscera that Antonio Domasio (in the book, Descartes Error) calls ‘somatic markers’ - literally ‘gut feelings.’ Feeling is crucial in navigating the endless stream of life’s personal decisions. While strong feelings can create havoc in reasoning, the lack of awareness of feeling can also be ruinous, especially in weighing the decisions upon which our destiny largely depends: what career to pursue, who to date or marry, where to live…Such decisions cannot be made through sheer rationality; they require gut feeling and the emotional wisdom garnered through past experiences. We usually do not, in the moment, recall what specific experiences formed the feeling, but when the signal of a gut feeling rises up, we can immediately drop or pursue a course of action with greater confidence, and so pare down our array of choices to a more manageable decision matrix. The key to sounder personal decision-making, in short: being attuned to our feelings."

I would extend the scope of Goleman’s statement about the importance of weighing decisions by accessing feelings. I would say that not only our personal destiny but the destiny of humankind as a whole rides on this capacity. This type of understanding and appreciation of the value of our emotions is critical in our world right now, in this time of high technology and super-destructive weaponry. With such instruments at our disposal, making choices only from the calculating mind without the involvement of our heart and gut, without feelings, is frightening indeed. Without compassion, empathy and the wisdom of the heart, how can we run a country, a business or a family without creating a disaster? Indeed, the calculating numbness to feelings which permits all kinds of cruelty and deceit is one of the hallmarks of the psychopathic character structure.
Another factor that is critical in decision-making is self-honesty. If we are feeling one thing, but trying do another, trying to overrule or deny our gut feelings about a situation, in a sense, trying to deny our inner truth, our bodies will tell us. When a person is being honest, aware of their true intentions or purposes, and following them consciously, the body enters into a state of balance at the biochemical level that we experience viscerally as a state of harmony and confidence.
Candice Pert writes: "There is a profound physiological reason why honesty is stress-reducing…emotions bring the whole body into a single purpose, integrating systems and coordinating mental processes and biology to create behavior."
Pert found that the body "gets behind the intention [of an emotion] and does what needs to be done" by mobilizing systems, and enzymes, etc. However, if we are not internally and externally aligned in truth, if we are at "cross purposes…going through the motions…saying one thing and doing another, then…emotions are confused" and the lack of integrity is expressed physiologically as well.

In other words, the body is preparing for one kind of action, while being forced into a different one. A common example would be smiling when we’re really angry. Biochemically, the body is preparing to assert itself in an aggressive way, perhaps pumping adrenaline, tensing muscles for a fight or flight action in response to the anger, yet the face is being forced into an expression of pleasantness, welcome, maybe even delight. This is, of course, the typical "frozen smile" one encounters throughout the rounds of our daily lives, a look that is usually betrayed by blazing eyes or arched shoulders or other aspects of body language which we will be looking at later in this lecture.
"The result", Pert states, "can be a weakened, disturbed psychosomatic network, leading to stress and eventually to illness." She concludes, "Honesty, it seems, is supported by our biochemicals, and it only slows us down to choose otherwise."

Many people in therapy have also experienced the relief and grounded feeling that comes from facing a truth about oneself, even about something they had been quite ashamed of for years. A person will frequently laugh out loud with revealed pleasure when confronted with a previously denied truth about their inner life. For example, after insisting over and over - "But I do want to have a successful career", or "I do want to be in an intimate relationship", if one finally admits the hidden negative intentions that also reside in the subconscious - "Well, actually, I really don’t want to work at all. I just want to stay home and eat and watch TV all day", or "Yeah, relationships are too much pressure, having to listen to someone else’s problems or share my space. Who needs it?!" - immediately comes alignment and relief.

IT'S TONIGHT! THE FOURTH READING IN THE CITY ROCK SERIES!!

The next episode of the CITY ROCK series, Episode Four: "HEAT WAVE," will be put up in a staged reading at The Players Theater (115 MacDougal Street) in Manhattan TONIGHT! Wednesday, May 12 at 8 PM.

This is the fourth in the series of monthly readings of the entire first season of CITY ROCK.

CITY ROCK YouTube Video HERE

The accolades are still rolling in for last month's staged reading of Episode Three. One producer in attendance at that April 12th performance said this:

"Look what you've created! A world of characters seems to have been born! There was some real energy and excitement in the room yesterday. I was struck by what a grand creation it was. By having these monthly readings you are willing this series into existence. It feels like it's inevitable that this show will happen, so people should get on board. Plus, the writing is really great! Great job, Peter! I'm excited to see what the next chapter will look like!"

After three amazing performances in staged readings thus far - one of the pilot episode in December, directed by Paul Michael Glaser at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and the other two episodes performed at Shetler Studios in March and April - we are expanding into a larger venue at The Players Theater for the next reading, which will feature an all-star cast of New York actors, and will be directed by the multi-talented Karen Giordano, who most recently worked as a creative consultant and acting coach with Lee Daniels on the Academy-Award winning film, "PRECIOUS."

Producers have never seen a TV series pitched like this before, because there has never been a show on television like this before! This is a show that takes us inside life on the gritty streets of New York City as it was in the early 1980's, a time of major transition, both in the city and in the country at large, a time that still is having ramifications for us all today. These characters, this amazing group of misfit warriors and working class heros will be remembered long after the Sopranos have faded into television history.

The next one-hour episode of the CITY ROCK series, "Heat Wave" will be put up in a staged reading at The Players Theater (115 MacDougal Street) in Manhattan - tonight! - Wednesday, May 12 at 8 PM.

So, put on your Swatches, Jellie shoes or Gucci loafers, your Ra-Ra skirts, leg warmers or Members Only jackets, and, of course, your Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses, and come enter the world of City Rock... before it gets to HBO!

For more information, contact Peter Loffredo at: fpliving@aol.com. And check out the synopses to CITY ROCK and Peter's other award-winning projects for film and television on this blog, and see the City Rock YouTube video HERE.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"I believe in prescription drugs. I believe in feeling better. But I also believe if you're sitting at the blackjack table wearing an adult diaper with a face the size of Elvis's ass and a four-hour erection -- maybe it's time to slow the process down a little bit."
Dennis Leary (Read the whole piece HERE)

REPOST: "AUNTLORI DOES MOTHERING RIGHT!"

Last fall, I wrote about the very enjoyable experience of witnessing some down-in-the-trenches mothering that soothed my grumpy heart. I decided to reprint it here today in celebration of Mother's Day. Some people mistakenly think that because I write and rail so much about narcissistic, over-involved parenting that I just don't like kids. It's quite the opposite. The problem for me is that I love kids. I always have, and they love me. It's parents that I don't like!

Anyway, onto my weekend at Auntlori's last fall...

"Auntlori," a regular reader and occasional contributor to this blog, is forty-three, and has two beautiful baby boys, ages two and a half and one year. Both boys are healthy and adorable, but more importantly, they don't exhibit the kind of anxious, aggressive, hyper energy that so many young children do, nor are they overly docile or passive at the other end of the spectrum. In other words, their spirits are not being broken by what euphemistically passes for child-rearing in our culture.

Auntlori, in other words, is doing mothering right!

What do I mean by "right?" I mean that she understands that her own self-actualization must always come first or she could not possibly be a mother that would be giving her children the smoothest road possible to their own developing selfhood.

Auntlori had her first baby at age forty. She had a career as a college English professor, and had a private hair-cutting practice prior to becoming a mother. She got married, for the second time, a couple of years earlier and her relationship with her husband is thriving. Auntlori has traveled, has experienced loss and death in her life; she has and is experiencing love, Eros and sex AND she has some years of therapy and self-work under her belt. These factors are what I consider to be healthy and sane prerequisites to a decision to have children. She has lived enough to have attained some wisdom, and knows and loves herself enough to truly be able to give to another. And of course, she knows that her own growth and self-care cannot get put on hold, now, because she has two little children.

Does she read to her kids, play music and videos for them and otherwise provide stimulation? Yes. Does she worry about what college they will be able to get into or what they might end up doing for a living one day? No.

Do her children cry, have tantrums, get sick, throw a little food around? Of course. Does she take her kids to fine restaurants? NO!

Here's an eye-opener, folks, though it shouldn't be. Your kids don't thrive to the degree that you dote on them or live for them or sacrifice for them. They thrive to the degree that you do.

That's right. More than anything you do for them, your kids learn from you as role models what it is to be an adult. Now, try and imagine what a kid might be thinking when they witness parents who have forgone their sex-lives and creative expression, who bend over backwards to respond to every whimper and demand from their children, adults, in other words, who live lives of quiet desperation, unfulfilled except to the degree that they are focused on their kids twenty-four-seven. Logically, said children, seeing such parents, would have to decide that growing up isn't such a great deal. Think about it. Kids are much more utilitarian and sensible than we realize: "Hmm... I could grow up and be like Mommy, a full-time servant, who looks subtly (or not so subtly) tense, sad or angry a lot of the time, or... I could just stay a kid and be waited on hand and foot. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Pass the narcissism please!"

I've said it before, too many time for most parents, and I'll celebrate Mother's Day by saying it again: Do your kids a favor, parents - Get a life!

Thank you, Auntlori, for giving me hope!

I may even try going back to Provini for dinner tonight!

HARTKITT NOT HAVING ANY DUALITY ON GENDER TRAITS!/PL RESPONDS!

Here's Hartkitt:

Wait, PL, isn't Diva Carla actually advocating thinking dualistically? To just accept or even celebrate that men are manly in the work force and women are womanly in relationships and never the twain shall meet?

I'm with A2Person on this one. Every discussion in which the Great Truths about Men and Women are touted is overtly placing those who don't fit into this grand black and white scheme in the not-quite-normal category.

There are many ways to be in a complimentary relationship with another human and they don't all have to be along the masculine/feminine axis, even between a man and a woman. The classic archetypes are comforting because of their familiarity but that doesn't make them right for the way we live our lives today. Today's society means that we live with people who are not like us and part of that process is understanding that many people live perfectly valid lives that don't actually fit our cherished archetypes (or stereotypes.)

It is NOT time to stop expecting men to function like humans and not automatons in relationships and it is NOT time to expect women to go home and stop bothering the big boys at the office. It's time for each individual to be able to arrive at their own comfort spot on the continuum of sexual identity or to even accept that some people pick and choose one thing or another. Or even that someone can be masculine and feminine all at the same time because they aren't mutually exclusive eternal opposites.

Lip service to sex role and gender fluidity is not the same thing as having it permeate your understanding of the human condition.


Here's PL:

I hear you, HK. As I said in response to Diva Carla: "Yes, if we aren't thinking dualistically, any two individuals can simultaneously celebrate their differences and the aspects in which they are similar, without needing to try and change the other." This was intended as a statement beyond gender identification, of course, and I'm not sure that DC was saying something other than that, but it's certainly a worthy discussion.
Thanks!

NICE NOTE FROM "DEB, THE THOUGHT CHAPERONE & BLISSMONGER!"/PL RESPONDS!

Hi Peter,

I'm writing to extend my appreciation for the work you do and the evolved worldview that you share with others. I found your blog after doing a search for "permission living," a phrase that showed up for me recently about the direction my blissmongering work might take me next.

Based on what I've read so far, you seem like the kind of person who wouldn't feel infringed upon if I wanted to use the term in my work to spread the message of permission living as well. I'd also love to link to your site from mine. Please let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Regards,

Deb Schanilec
Thought Chaperone
blissmonger.com


PL:

Thanks, Deb! Yes, living with full inner permission is an intrinsic and essential part of following your bliss, but only after the negative, destructive impulses have been made conscious and released. That's what we're working on around here!

GREAT COMMENT ON: "THE MALE BRAIN: BUILT FOR SEX AND SOLVING PROBLEMS"/PL RESPONDS!

"DIVA CARLA," who has a very worthwhile blog, called "ORGASMIC ALCHEMY" (link on the right side of this page) left this comment on the man-woman subject:

"It is time to stop bashing men for not being more like women in personal relationships. And it is overdue for society to stop demanding that women be like men in the world of work and career.

If we could say what we really want of each other, it is more like: I want your presence with me intimately. I want to explore the frontier where our two different minds and energies mingle and tangle. That's where it gets challenging, but we have the skill and desire to work with it. That's where the turn on lives.

I enjoy your blog. Lots of good writing and perspective."


Here's PL:

Thank you very much, DC. I try to have as many "naked coffees" as possible in the course of my daily life, by the way!

Yes, if we aren't thinking dualistically, any two individuals can simultaneously celebrate their differences and the aspects in which they are similar, without needing to try and change the other.

Keep up the sexual healing work. It truly is the solution to so many of the worlds problems.

THE WAVE IS STILL ROLLING!

Okay, okay... I've referred to it a couple of times, now, so I'll explain. Why? Because we asked for it. Not just for an explanation, but for "The Wave" itself.

There are times in our linear history, as we think of it, when major changes in consciousness are afoot, times when our state of being evolves at a very accelerated rate. Often these times are heralded in our mass consciousness in advance. Thirty, forty and even fifty years ago, many of the shifts we are experiencing in this new century were predicted.

In the Sixties, the "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius" was proclaimed in the Broadway play, "HAIR," not coincidentally revived on Broadway in the 00's. In the early Seventies, many were captured by a book that became a pop culture phenomenon, "Future Shock," by Alvin Toffler. Toffler maintained that society was undergoing an enormous structural change that would overwhelm people, causing a shock-like effect in those who weren't prepared. In the late Eighties, there was the "Harmonic Convergence," which began the modern New Age movement, with its focus on expanding consciousness and non-religious spirituality, reviving the prognostications of famous psychics like Nostradamus and Edgar Casey and even the Mayans about the era that we are now in.

In what Carl Jung once called the "collective unconscious," more aptly understood now as a collective consciousness, we not only hold archetypes of past events and symbols, but we collectively agree to accelerate ourselves forward at certain times in the future.

This is one of those times.

The current surge of volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, the horrific oil spill currently engulfing the Gulf of Mexico, the collapses in our banking and housing markets, the exposure of nefarious behavior and corruption in government institutions and the Catholic Church, right on up to the Pope himself, these are all negative manifestations of The Wave. (On the positive side, the sudden sweep into the White House of a relatively unknown man of color in 2008, the passage of health care reform recently, etc., moreso in their symbolic meaning than legislative impact, these events are also part of the Wave.)

Toffler's shortest definition of future shock was: "a personal perception of too much change in too short a period of time". Indeed. In a recent edition of the NY Times, there was an excellent essay by Charles M. Blow, entitled "WHOSE COUNTRY IS IT?" in which Blow discusses the shock that staunch conservatives are in right now.

Here's Blow:

"You may want 'your country back,' but you can’t have it. That sound you hear is the relentless, irrepressible march of change. Welcome to America: The Remix. The problem is that the country romanticized by the far right hasn’t existed for some time, and its ability to deny that fact grows more dim every day. President Obama and what he represents has jolted extremists into the present and forced them to confront the future. And it scares them. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy. The Tea Party, my friends, is not the future."

But what about individuals and The Wave? What about you?

In the last three months alone, I have witnessed movement in the lives of my patients, friends and family, the likes of which I have never seen before at such an accelerated rate. And I get it. At times like this, times of increased energy becoming available for change, one of two things happens to people: to those who are open, or working sincerely to become open, the Wave sweeps them forward on their paths, supporting them in their growth, and to those who are closed and resist change, the Wave slams them into crisis, in their finances, in their relationships, health, in some cases, even resulting in death.

It's pretty amazing to witness. On the one hand, I have seen people accomplish measures of growth in a matter of months that used to take years; on the other hand, I have seen people, well, dropping like flies.

So, folks, if you're finding yourself in a state of turmoil, or you feel like something is changing in your life or needs to change, my suggestion is - Don't resist!

Get out your surf board and ride the Wave!!
 

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