Our fed and nurtured selves are almost always more agreeable than their under-satiated counterparts. When we lack the things that we ‘need’, we begin to suffer minor distortions in our perceptions. The longer those needs spend without ‘attention’, the larger those distortions can become. As toddlers, we have immediate responses to unwelcome or unexpected stimuli, and our caregivers begin the process of quickly eliminating the offense or redirecting our attention in another direction. If what we need is food, water or sleep, however…good luck! We might be swayed by shiny objects for a short period of time, but the mental consequences of ‘lacking’ what we ‘need’ can produce the effect that is commonly known as ‘a tantrum’.
As adults, we generally gain more control over those outbursts. We learn how to put words and actions around our needs, but that doesn’t make us free from the behavior, it just makes us better prepared to handle it. Situations can and will occur that take us from our ‘acceptable’ reactions to the heightened state of ‘outburst’, like Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. Overwhelming feelings can take us out of the space of safety and place us squarely into the realm of ‘not reasoning’, therefore, not considering, the resonating consequences of our actions. These highly reactive decisions can change our lives in ways we don’t and can’t anticipate while we are operating in some form of ‘fight or flight’. When we aren’t being properly nourished - emotionally, spiritually, mentally and/or physically - our basic instincts begin to take over and our ‘grounded’ reasoning may become ‘a little off’, especially if simple basic needs aren’t being met for extended periods of time.
Regular care and feeding remain vitally important to our soul/ego balance throughout our entire lifetime, and we all have a different idea of what that actually looks like. The Smith/Pinkett Family has laid bare many of their personal conflicts on their series, Red Table Talk. In doing so, they have also invited more opinions than they could possibly take in about their choices and motivations. They have put themselves under a great deal of scrutiny with the intention of being honest and talking openly about difficult, even taboo, subject matter. I can’t know the deep roots of why Will Smith felt compelled to jump on that stage or become physical in that moment, but I’m confident that it wouldn’t have been his considered response.
Moments later, as he was accepting his Oscar, he talked of ‘being called upon to be a river for his people’, which makes me wonder exactly who all he includes in that description? Is it his fellow human beings, or a more select group? There’s been background talk of Will Smith entering politics, and even prior to this act, I have wondered what his platform would look like and what he might choose to stand for in that arena. As a fellow 1968 Libra, I’m now curious to find out what he will do with this opportunity to nurture the tender, fragile roots that will continue to grow as a result of the ‘slap incident’. The best news for the rest of us? There are no legal entanglements. We may not initially appreciate the impact of that fact, but it speaks to a much larger ‘soul’ movement, where we actually put intention toward taking care of each other.
The graciousness of Aquarian Chris Rock in this moment should not go unnoticed….Ever. Will Smith may be a collective lesson in taking responsibility for our personal behavior, but Chris Rock is a lesson in humanity: recognizing and allowing others the space they clearly need when they are ‘in crisis’.
The public platform that is available to ‘famous people’ contains a lot of food for thought, if we stop and think about it. The whole of celebrity is a drastically influential group of people with Intentions and Values as varied as the rest of us. The power they wield, from what we wear, to what we watch, to how we think, continues to rise as our access to the way they live their private lives (for the camera, at least) becomes more available for public consumption. The problem lies in the degree of interest we, as fans, take in someone else’s life vs. putting healthy energy into our own. We are essentially asking ‘famous’ people to assume the role of Mentor in our lives, whether they want to be that or not, simply because they are publicly known and we find them ‘attractive’ in some way. They Inspire and/or make us feel good in ways that we want to emulate, or they evoke long-held issues from our roots. Even bad behavior can be revered by those who share a lot of unresolved feelings. They want to feel justified for their own actions as they attempt to fortify a solid sense of self, without dealing with old trauma. Deep down, we all really do want to be able to ‘feel good’, even if we publicly ‘declare that we don’t care.’ Unfortunately, based on a lack of nurturing, some of us become convinced that we don’t deserve it, or that it will never be available to us. When our ‘nutrition’ is derailed, we are ripe for the picking when those ‘in power’ seek to take advantage as they feed the needs of their own hungry egos.
My dad has always claimed a chronic loathing for politicians, lawyers. and hospitals (even though he has several good friends who are lawyers :). His face contorts with a look of distaste at the mention of any of the three; a dramatic, but hilarious physical reaction. He becomes equally as excited about the things he loves: good conversation, good food, and good times. As I’ve mentioned, he’s been in the ICU for the past few weeks, struggling to produce the amount of oxygen his body needs to do all of the things he’d like to be doing. Today, he’s getting acquainted with a tracheotomy and a feeding tube, at least temporarily. These things are all occurring in his least favorite place, while seriously limiting his ability to engage in the things he loves.
This is a man who has set up his life to enjoy it. He’s used to having what he wants when he wants it, and this can’t be easy for him. I know that a big part of him wants to tear out all the tubes and monitors and say “F%*& It”. The other part of him is assessing the amount of physical and mental work in front of him and gaining the spiritual and emotional strength to tackle it. ‘Waking up’ from a heavily sedated state and finding that your body is functioning differently is pretty rough. The conversations explaining what happened are challenging, especially when the patient can’t talk. My dad is no exception. He understands the limitations in place for his safety and healing, and the complicated situation his organs are experiencing as they try to gain symbiotic balance. There is one ‘need’ still going unmet - he’s not allowed to drink water yet - not even an ice chip. We are still trying to explain to him why he can’t have what he wants most: a basic need that no one should ever be deprived of unless medically necessary. Even though his lack of water is necessary, it’s a challenge to distract him from that thought because it is so integral to his idea of what satiation feels like. He knows he needs water to heal, and his thoughts have to bypass the physical danger signals and tell himself he is okay without it - repeatedly - while his mouth remains dry during every single second.
Food Week offers us the opportunity to recognize where the surplus and lack have occurred, or continue to be present, in our daily lives. It also gives us the opportunity to see those ‘qualities’ in our friends, families and communities. We can objectively ‘see’ the mental construct that defines each of us solely based on how ‘fed’ we feel, and have felt, within our bodies. A mental measure of those conditions exists for every one of us, celebrity or not, so when we ‘ask’ someone to be ‘an example’ for others, we’ve got to be ready to receive all of their behaviors in wholeness, whether we agree with them or not. We are all ignorant when it comes to the care and feeding we have imagined to exist for others, and we all have our own root systems that need tending. Supporting others’ desires, careers, ideas and efforts is a way we can ‘feed’ the people we love, and it also keeps us fully aware of our humanitarian connections. It is my ideal hope that each of us gets to feel just as valuable as the person next to us, or on our screen, or in our news. We must take good care of ourselves in order to be effective nurturers for others. Don’t forget to spend time in H2Om (water.breath.alignment). If you don’t feel like doing it for yourself, feel free to do it for Duffy! Happy Food Week.