Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Story About Walls

Its been a long while since I've had the motivation to publish something.

This lack in expression is not, however, the product of sloth; nor the child of chaos. The last months have been a period of deep personal exploration and transformation, the effects of which are beginning to make themselves evident.

 Like all major change, however, this period has been challenging. I have been tested physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have met some with great success, faltered on others, and the occasional wall or two. Truth be told, I could tell you everything about walls. The tall, slippery ones; the ones with a blind landing; and the low ones you dont see until the last minute. So today my story is a story about walls. Well, The Wall.

Foxx has a dirty little secret...

Sometimes he doesn't like himself very much.

Not very dirty, I know. Sorry to disappoint you.

 I suppose we had better call the secret guilty, really, as guilt is what bubbles in my belly when I feel that way.

 Guilty for not living up to my potential, guilty that I've let others down. Guilty for struggling to keep up with commitments and guilty asking for help.

 Most of all, I feel guilty for not having the courage to love myself.

 "Thats crazy!" you must be saying. "Foxx, you're talented and gorgeous and awesome! How could you not totally love yourself?!"

  I appreciate the compliments but, in all seriousness, this is my most persistent wall. It is THE Wall. It surrounds me. It IS me! and every path leads through it.

 Usually, its pretty easy to look like I'm on track. I like to give people the impression that Ive got my shit together; even when said shit is sliding slowly, inexorably, fan-wards.

Sadly, I can't fool myself. No matter where I turn, there I am staring back. "You have to Love me!" I tell myself. Sometimes I just forget how...

A reminder is needed,
but what could it be?
When The Wall is too  high... Of course!
Can you see?
The doorway inside, right through to your chest.
In there beats the rhythm that knows you the best.

Among those tick-tocks, and kerpounds, and kerthumps,
There is a Love that waits to abound.

You don't have to hunt, or search to and fro,
Give yourself a big hug, you're ready to start,
You've got it already, right there in your heart.

It has all that you'll need,
when the weather turns sour,
to light your way home and find you your power.

Power to tear down the Wall that you fear,
Power to sing the songs you hold dear.
And dance silly dances, and play silly games!
You just need to remember: get out of your way!

The fun you will have! The plays you will play!
When finally, silly, you get out of your way!

Let your heart open up, create and unwind,
Relax! Its OK! No one will mind,
That the Love shining through
might make them go blind!

 That Love is your hammer, your trusty old mace,
and you'll smash that tall Wall with nary a trace
of sadness, or illness or any disgrace.

You won't hardly miss it, I promise you that,
the big old Wall you had holding you back!

Oh, you'll meet more Walls, some high and some low,
Some when your song is beginning to flow.

They'll look dark and dreadful when you draw near,
but trust me, look closely, you have nothing to fear!
With Love in your heart all the walls are the same,
Don't worry, you got this! You're good at this game!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Attitude Determines Altitude

Some years ago, when I was working in the mountains of Montana, I was awarded one of those 'Employee of the Month' titles. Along with it came a long sleeve t-shirt with a mountainous scene on the back and the words "Attitude Determines Altitude." Simple message, and one that I keep reflecting on often these days- probably too much, hence this monologue.

It seems that this phrase has been kicking around self-helpers and Motivational Posters for a while. Its catchy, easy to remember. It has assonance AND alliteration. Its the cloying distillation of years of personal improvement demagoguery.

And its a scientific fact.

"Really?" you might be asking yourself. "A SCIENTIFIC fact?"

It is, truly. Here's how:

In the study of Aeronautics -the science of flight- the terms 'altitude' and 'attitude' are intimately linked.

Altitude, of course, refers to height above the ground.

Attitude refers to the orientation of the aircraft in relation to the Earth. Most aircraft, in fact, have a handy little device called an "Attitude Indicator" which lets the pilot know exactly how he relates to the earth in both Pitch (nose up or down) and Roll (wingtips up or down). This is particularly useful when a pilot has to fly by instruments alone, such as in inclement weather- but I digress.

Whats important to take away from this is that Pitching the nose up from horizontal, level flight (zero), increases the attitude angle (positive attitude) of the aircraft, which generates more lift on the wings and an increase in altitude. Conversely, if you pitch the nose down, decreasing the attitude angle (negative attitude), you will begin to descend.

Since aircraft are moving through a dynamic fluid, in this case air, merely keeping it level requires continuous minor adjustments in attitude and any extreme attitudes can be disastrous. Much like life, hey?

If someone has too much positive attitude and not enough 'engine power' - that is, will and skill- they'll stop generating lift, stall and risk going into a disastrous spin. They might recover... but they might not.

As for those with a consistently negative attitude... they plow right into the ground sooner or later. Bad attitude + Engine Power? Major nosedive!

Reaching a desired height, or a personal goal, requires a lot of positive attitude to get you up and keep you flying, and touch of negative attitude from time to time to keep you level.

Wanna raise the altitude? Raise some positive attitude!

See? Its science!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: A Year Through The Looking Glass

`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

What a strange adventure it is, to live amongst mad people. Mad people insist that their madness is sensibly normal; while to eschew normalcy, and live with true sensibility, is thought the height of madness.

The use of reason, it seems, is not enough to overcome madness.

Even I have reasoned reasons to be mad. I'm sure I still do. Its not terribly hard. Reasonable creatures reason out all sorts of reasons to be mad, stay mad, drive others to madness. Madness enjoys nothing better than company.

Maybe Fear. Madness enjoys Fear quite a lot, too. They encourage each other, like cliff-jumping teenagers.

Madness and Fear; Fear and Madness. What a pair. Drop your guard for a second and they'll have you bent over a dumpster in a dark alley.

2011 was a year of Madness and Fear. I was immersed in their putrid marinade, sauced and tossed and broiled. Surrounded by Mad people living Mad lives, demanding Mad things.

Trapped in this Mad embrace I lost direction, and the connections with myself that I had so carefully cultivated.

I was full of Fear at who I had been, Mad with old desires. Fear of decision, Mad with inaction. Fear of prejudice, Mad with judgments.

Afraid to believe in myself. Afraid to seek myself.

Mad not to.

So I did. I took a break from Madness and went seeking.

And, wouldn't you know it? I found a cure for Fear and Madness. It goes like this:

Start with a big jug of Love and a good helping of Truth, mixed well in a large bowl. Add a handful of discipline, stirring slowly, and a pinch of Faith. Throw in a few spoonfuls of Creativity for texture with some Humor and Gaiety for color.

Whip this concoction until it stands on end, then serve with a slice of humble pie.

Enjoy this deliciousness that is your True, Loving self as often as possible until Fear and Madness melt away. Use it as preventative medicine. Snack on it. Have it for every fucking meal.

Fill Yourself with It and go forth and live It. Fear can't touch It, Madness can't touch It, Others can't touch It.

Its all you, all the way down. As it was with me.

And now... Foxx is happily stepping back through that lens of Madness into a world of bright Transformation. I'm dedicated to improving myself and stoked to work with beautiful, inspirational people as we create the world that we perceive.

Thanks to all of you who loved me in spite of myself, who reminded me of the faith others had in me and who put up with my Madness. I love you beyond all measure and I promise to live up to the potential you see in me- it is the only way to properly honor all that you have gifted me with.

2012 will be a year to remember! Are you ready to Create with me?