The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.
Pillow Fight ClubNews, Psychotherapy January 17, 2014 - 8:27 am No Comment
I’m just gonna let this one roll without any dressing… Au naturel.
I have been “up against it” for the last two weeks. What I am trying to express is that I have been completely pressed by everything in and outside of myself, like a pressure cooker.
Great F’ing start to the year!
The good news is that I can easily see the mirror—that all of my experiences in the world are a reflection of my inner state of being. How I treat myself is reflected. What I stuff down is reflected; dealing with this is no joke.
Needless to say, I have needed some tools. I usually meditate daily anyway—do yoga, dance, climb, juice, jeez, I even prayed…all of it, but none of it these last weeks was “working”. By working, I mean bringing some semblance of peace and sanity to my life.
Hello, edge my old friend-how are you doing?
Basically, if there were a camera hidden in my room yesterday you would have seen me going completely psycho, hitting my couch with a crazy pillow that looks something like one of the monsters from the book “Where The Wild Things Are”. At first, I was grunting like a piglet and then I got me some Rarr out—to say the least.
PIllow-hitting-session take one? Ok…let try it I thought. I started pretty intensely, Wham, wham wham!
Then I was like, “Man, this feels f*ckin’ great, this is better than any yoga class I have ever been to!” Wham wham, wham!
After a little while, because of my amazement at how great this release was, of contained yet reckless abandonment, I set my timer for 15 minutes and went for it! Wham, wham, wham, wham!
It was totally liberating!
All of the muscles in my usually floppy little flexible yoga body engaged. I sweated! I was sinking deeper and deeper into my power. All of the obstacles—Wham, wham, wham, wham!
“That’s right, I am attacking you on the astral level, you dense-matter f*cker. I’ll show you! Let’s see if your subtle body can take that! And that!” and with that, in all honesty I went a little mad. Wham, wham, wham!
I am no stranger to hitting therapy.
Even though I’m a shrink and often in my head, I love using my body to discharge emotional intensity. Karate and Kung-fu were full of delicious full contact sparring where I could focus and externalize my pent up feelings in a healthy way instead of projecting them onto innocent others.
When I was a kid, my friends and I would have epic pillow fights often ending in someone begging for mercy. This is perhaps not something you would typically imagine from a quasi-Buddhist, sensitive, creative, Vegan, inquiring child, but we loved to whack the sh*t out of each other.
I am going to air my dirty laundry even more and just go out and say it: I hate New Age spirituality.
Yes, I hate it. I hate it with a passion. I am hitting it with my large stuffed pillow right now.
I am sorry—please forgive me, but I do. What I hate about it is that it is “lite”—as in not light but something fat-free from the early 90’s, before we knew our brains needed fat to function. It’s all affirmations and repression of primal, core feeling. It’s sanitized and often packaged like fast food for digestion without being truly nourishing.
If anything, as you go deeper into your heart you are forced to find your true grit. It takes grit, it takes endurance, it takes a whole lot of personal work and accountability to live a life beyond mediocrity.
Being my unveiled-tender-sweet-fierce-animal-skin-self is the only thing I really care about right now. It is what I use to describe that palpably pleasurable feeling when I am totally in the intelligence of my body—it is real, it is shadow and it is light, real light. I guess you could just call it being full, but I like animal-skin— it came to me when I was in the bath.
Mediocrity is like banging our head against the wall, except we don’t know we are doing it—everyone sees that we are being lame but we just keep at it over and over and over. The only thing I will give mediocrity credit for is that it’s safe for the ego, but not for the soul.
A lot of times in polite society (which is actually repressed society) we don’t have any room for big emotion, or our intuition, often they get unceremoniously exiled to the basement. This is something we have seriously got to resolve as humane beings.
I believe that repression of real sh*t and piss emotion is why people go postal and bring guns into work, beat their wives, cut themselves, become addicted, anxious and depressed.
I know that it may sound like a simplistic understanding of difficulty, but I do believe that insanity in the world can be reduced to a basic lack of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not New-Agey, its primary to successful evolution. When an animal senses an attack or violence, its teeth start to show and it growls. My dogs teach me this all of the time: they are honest about what they feel, that’s emotional intelligence.
Do I need a Ph.d to say that it is not healthy to repress emotions, but it is healthy to have tools that address difficult emotions in constructive ways?
Let’s get back to natural— create opportunities for our wild animal selves and then regulate back to calm. So much in spiritual jargon is pretend, is soothing “look to the heavens and repress your shadow” inane claptrap. Lets welcome the light and learn to look at the dark full frontal.
We need to stop making it wrong to feel the darker emotions, fear, frustration, anger, despair, hopelessness. We need to make it okay, a part of our self-care beyond green drinks, self help books and a couple of cleansing breaths. So go and grab some f*cking pillows, dance, run and shout on a mountain top, get it out! Feel the fire in your belly, in your heart.
It may not be the complete answer to world peace, but I know for myself, beating the sh*t outta my couch certainly got to the root of my perceived external agitation.
I was a lot kinder afterwards.
I felt like I needed to at least pass the suggestion on.
Ps: international pillow fight day was on the 6th of April, check out