The New Motivation

I go to a whole bunch of recovery related meetings. At each meeting each attendee is usually given a couple of minutes to share. For the past three and half years I have attended at least three meetings a week or something. That means, that on average over the past 3 something years, I have practiced public speaking about 156 days, two minutes at a time, totaling about 312 minutes which is about 13 days of cumulative public speaking.

As you might imagine there’s a great deal of unconscious, boring ass, rambling ass shit in those thirteen days. BUT, there is also, and with increasing regularity, incredibly relevant and inspiring moments of awe flowing from all the possible conscious contact one soul helping another can conjure – tonight’s share was one of those moments.

It’s almost an out of body event. The experience of flowing before an audience is absolutely intoxicating. The power of sharing it, of unifying consciousness across a field of bodies is unmistakable. It’s a living resonance that’s tangible. Everyone was laughing, and when I finished my friend next to me gave me a high five! I kept thinking that I was only the vessel, the high five was on behalf of the Event, not the agent – the Godding, a moment of incarnation – “I,” wherever that was in the experience, felt embarrassed for being so bright.

The topic was “Motivation.” I started by relating a story I heard on an speaker tape which was fine. Blah, Blah, he was asked to pray for his business partners son in the hospital and he questioned his motives. Were his motives for the continued business relationship or for the genuine selfless act of prayer for his partners son? He concluded his story saying that God spoke to him with a question: Did praying for his business partner’s son violated any of his spiritual principles? …which of course it didn’t. Motivation? Who gives a shit.

Then I shifted to talking about how I’m crazy:
My school is an all girls school. They’re putting on this huge event for women’s empowerment. I’m a dude, and I’m all for women’s empowerment. My job doesn’t exactly feel that secure so I thought I would volunteer for the all night workshop a few days ago, and I got an e-mail back saying men weren’t allowed to volunteer for the all night think tanks. Ok. I felt a bit put off. They did hire me as a teacher AT the ALL GIRLS SCHOOL. Anyways, I guess I’m too much of threat in my masculine body to be an all night volunteer. Or their just misanthropists? Whatever. Today at lunch – I was sitting at a table of almost all men – I mentioned how I had volunteered and been turned down for being a man. It was hilarious. They all gave me hard time about it and the consensus was that I was a dumb-ass. Its an all girls event you dumb-ass. All the women organizers say they want men to come, but come on! Men have had their turn – over the past 5,000 years or so the story goes. The point is how my unconscious character defects orchestrate the very condition of my playing the victim again. “Oh! They don’t even want me to volunteer now! Well, Go Fuck Yourself!” What?! BUT, yeah… that’s where my crazy-ass mind will go. Not for long, but it’s there. So again, I come back to the truth of things: I don’t know why I do anything! BUT, the more that I become conscious of that deep, disturbing truth – the truth that I am at heart and at best an actor in this play and NOT God – the more easily, peacefully, and lovingly I perform my duty.

Those wicked scenarios that I will unconsciously manifest to feed my ego – the very stuff of my life where I play the victim or the most gracious – have consistently diminished over past three and half years as I have done the work of growing spiritually conscious. So motivation? Who gives a shit? 🙂

The Long Journey

I am enjoying the longest sustained employment in my life. Funny. Among a number of other superlatives this past year, I will be singing as a guest soloist in my first concert with an all girls choir; I just produced my first green screen video explaining a mnemonic device to learn the names of all the South East Asia countries (view here); I am about to move into my own house and buy my own car; WHAAAT?! I play more soccer than I have played in years, and my body is stronger and faster than it has been in years – since college.

The really cool stuff isn’t as grossly measurable as the material lists of change. It’s the subtle stuff, the spiritual stuff, the very stuff that the material manifestations of empowerment are founded upon – as Allen Watts might say, “the space between the notes.” We hear the melody out of the silence, the gaps between the notes and tones. The creativity is in the stillness and silence as much as the active hits of materialized vibrations. This is such a good analogy for my experience over the past 4 years.

How do I explain the subtle stuff then? How do I tell you, my 3 readers, what transformation feels like? It is specifically configured around AA, which is at heart a consistent growth and maintenance of spiritual experiences. Spirituality has become a number of integral practices designed to intervene on my will. All my ideas about how things should unfold have to be utterly smashed. My identity is literally being born again – Christ was right. The problem with my will is its complete obsession with itself which stunts my ability to act differently. The self (with a little “s”) is absolutely bent on serving its own narrow livelihood. Eventually, it binds/contracts/grinds down under the weight of this management – an obsessive cost/benefit analysis – that leads to futility, and in my story, loneliness and addiction.

Perhaps all this is simply age. I am 34 years old, I feel like a late bloomer. I am a body that divides the space between Gen X and the Millennial’s – a mixture of political and historical identities. On the left an intellectual radicalism and counter-cultural values and on the right a deep care for sustained responsibility and faith. Those go together right? Perhaps I spent to much time in San Francisco. I recently joked that I have PTSD from having spent to much time in San Francisco. I’ve resided in Chattanooga, TN for over a year now. God help me if I spend to much time here!