Warrior mind, peaceful body, passionate spirit...

This is my first "hooping epiphanies" post. (I only began hooping last week. It's AMAZING!) One of many? Maybe I'll stop labeling them such when it becomes more commonplace, dunno. All I know is, today I had a "wow" moment while hooping. And I could not *not* write about it. Yes, it was that powerful.

It may (probably not) surprise you (if you've known me for any length of time) that one of my heroes is Malcolm X. Given my deeply held, lifelong pacifism, this sort of contradictory cherishing of
a rather violent figure in the civil rights movement is kinda odd. (And yes, for the record, I hold MLK Jr with high esteem. And Ghandi. I'm no fool.)

A lot of people will hold up Brother Malcolm in (only) one of his many incarnations: younger, trickster Malcolm (ok, I don't know anyone venerating him this way, but many people live this idea), serious, angry, revolutionary X, or peaceful, thoughtful, changed Shabaz. But not me. I love them all.

What I love in the story of Malcolm (having read the Autobiography in high school) is this changing nature. Malcolm was not afraid to change, radically. He lived his life passionately, deeply, matched his actions to his beliefs and was not afraid (in the end) to take you on a tour of his changing belief systems. (With, yes, some apologetics. But not a lot. In fact, not enough, for most of his critics.)


And I began realizing, listening to Michael Franti while hooping today, that I have a lot of heroes in my life who fit (loosely or strongly) into that mold. Changing publicly from one extreme to another (Franti's musical journey from anger to peace warrior is one such example.)

But -- and here's the epiphany
-- I myself do not fit that mold. (Or do I?)

You could say I do. I'm a change maker sort of person. (Though my changes cycle faster than these examples.)

Nope. I'm still carrying these archetypes inside me, not choosing one or the other.

Trickster fool: yup. I fail often and loudly.
Anger? HELL YES, I am angry!
Peace? Bring on the calm! I'll out wise your mama.
Passion? You might say it's my middle name.

Most of all, I am and I respect authenticity and for me, the most authentic expression of myself is multitudinous. "I am vast, I contain multitudes" (to paraphrase -- or quote, I'm unsure -- my poetic "Uncle" Walt Whitman).

And so my heroes are people who contain those multitudes (not just those with clear linear phases, but the odd ones out, like me. The artists, the poets, the freaks and geeks).

And I most admire violence turning to peace (the peace warrior archetype has a lot of meaning for me).

Perhaps because that is a life I am leading. In a small, but sure way. Only my violence has (mostly) ever been directed inward.

And I am still learning peace.

(Whoa. Big flash there, writing those words. Wow. Powerful.)

And so yes, that's where these heroes of mine fit in, learning to calm the inner violence (towards self) and bring the peace I feel (and have always felt) towards the world into my own passionate being.

And boom! That's a hoop-piphany and a half, right there. A gift on a Thursday morning, all for me and shared with you, because I am the only one who can share it (or indeed, think it, in this incarnation). It makes me happy to think you might enjoy them and/or have your own flash of insight reading them. And the very act of writing leads ms deeper into the insight it came from. Writing is selfing and unselfing, let no one tell you otherwise.

~love the life you live, live the life you love~