Greetings to all who are reading! Khalilah The Peace Dancer here, honored to share my knowledge gathering process with all. Learning has intensified as we roll into week 7 of Shelter In Place. We are spending far more time indoors, unable to distract ourselves by going to restaurants, shopping malls and movie theaters. This has caused each of us to look just a little longer in the mirror and at those around us. What do we see in ourselves that we would tweak? Do our relationships need attention? Is our current mindset bringing us closer to or farther from our goals? Consider this within as we delve into this week’s topic.
I know of at least souls, myself included, to have had a birthday during this time of quarantine. Mine was early on during week three, so naturally I mourned the lost opportunity to gather with as many people as possible and dance the night away. I used the time to read in bed while funneling all the beautiful messages that came across through text, calls and social media. After reading through a few dozen of these, it sort of began to tingle. A strange mixture of shyness, excitement and giddy joy ran through me. It crackled and sizzled. My face was warm and I was sweating. "What is this?” I thought. The answer came just as the question entered my mind. I was being lifted up and carried off by the sheer magnitude of love and well wishes coming my way. There was a feeling of nervousness about not knowing how long this wave would last and the shiny newness of the experience. This from a peace dancer who loves life and people like crazy and is comfortable being loved in return. This wave of love felt miraculous and transformative. People used my birthday as a catalyst to express extreme love and appreciation. Seeing this changed my perception of myself and life in general. I meant more to the world than I realized. This insight motivated me to serve on a higher level. My life was changed forever by this tipping point of mega love.
Another story: A few days later I was dancing near my home in Japantown. It was golden sunset hour. A lady came along that I remembered from the Campbell Farmers Market. Upon hearing the Billie Eilish song, “Everything I Wanted” she sprang into action. Her English was a second language. That fact made her interpretation of the song lyrics one of the most creative, fun renditions I had ever heard. Her movements were unbridled. Her pink hair flew in the wind. “People might think I’m drunk” she said, “but I don’t care! I haven’t had this much fun forever.” She continued her wildly joyful movements for the entire hour. I was in awe! Rarely do people joining the Dance of Peace fully let their guard down in the public eye. This lady did not let anything stop her quest for happiness and self expression. She displayed ultimate love and trust by lending her spirit to the dance. Watching her made me laugh and shriek with delight. Her freedom was my freedom. Her love became my love. Together, we channelled incredible light, peace and harmony for the greater good.
I chose the topic of unbridled love to highlight the opportunity hidden in this peculiar time in history. All of us (and I do mean ALL) can change someone's perspective, uplift others, and positively impact the world with the strength of our love. Maybe we can’t hug each other right now, but that’s all the more reason to put other aspects of our love into overdrive.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Dr. Martin Luther was ridiculed and called “soft” when he addressed this in his speeches. Here in the modern age, we can be as radical as MLK was when it comes to expressing love. Bodacious, rebellious outrageousness is needed! This over the top type of love is needed in order to create the world that we want to see. Letting people know how MUCH they mean to us has the power to ignite someone in an instant, like what happened to me on my birthday. The old ways of being “too cool for school” don’t work at all. Those ineffective methods have failed us repeatedly. We have witnessed the negative effects of gossip, criticism and fear based prejudices. Now is the time to throw those old attitudes out of our society. Being radical in love produces vast positive results in ways that we cannot yet fathom.
True, it may feel totally uncomfortable to display radical love. We may get embarrassed, feel awkward or worry that our love won’t be returned. That’s normal because this whole love thing is new to us. I’ve even seen people cringe at the idea that this pandemic has made people nicer to each other, more considerate. They felt more comfortable being callous toward people. If this is you, no worries. It takes practice to display love at all, much less to show it with fierce boldness. Here are a few suggestions that, when practiced, can carry us from beginner to intermediate in our love practice:
- Give in secret. It doesn’t have to be money (though everyone loves that!). You can give of your time and attention. Something as simple as joyfully doing the dishes when it’s not your turn shows radical love. It’s fun to light up someone’s world with unexpected, anonymous gifts and selfless service.
- Meditate. This technique may seem like an overly simplistic solution for radical change. It isn’t. There’s a saying I love: You can’t argue with results. That’s what meditation achieves. Internal results that lead to external transformation.
- Laugh in the face of awkwardness. Awkwardness may occur when we dare to love radically. We are conditioned to hide our emotions, to protect ourselves. Turn awkwardness on its head by not being afraid of it. Laugh within when that emotion surfaces. Know that loving radically changes the world for the better. Awkwardness is a small price to pay to embark on the exciting adventure of practicing radical love.
Make this love adventure one of the most enjoyable things in the entirety of quarantine! Thanks and see you out there!