The death of Robin Williams this week struck a nerve in me that I'm having a hard time shaking. I am no stranger to suicide. A good friend took his life several years ago, and it turned my world upside down. I've known a handful of others to die by suicide since then, and a very close loved one now sees it as a very real option, a prospect that looms over and haunts me every day. Perhaps because it is so personal to me, I cannot condemn someone for making this choice. It is THE most profoundly personal choice a person can make, and I cannot pass judgement because I am not the one experiencing the inner turmoil and despair.
Yes, suicide changes the lives of those left behind irrevocably. When my friend passed away, it shook my foundation and was the catalyst that eventually led to some monumental, positive changes. It forced me to reevaluate what was important in life, and this time with Robin Williams is no different. We are living in a time where technology and the Internet display the best and the worst of humanity. Some have lashed out with cruel and callous words. Have we become so hardened that we can't sympathize with another's pain, or at the very least be respectful of their grieving family? I mean, fuck! I am not immune to the cynicism and misery and snark that seem to have become the norm these days, but at this point it feels like a monster that is out of our control.
Except...it's not. It is completely within our control. Talk about choice! We have just as much choice to let the person get on the train before us as we do to push them back. I'm not talking about walking around in Pollyanna land and being a doormat, but is it so fucking hard to just be nicer to people? I am angry. And I am tired of people being ugly to each other. Rather than condemning, suicide makes me think about how everyone is going through something and could use a little human kindness. A phone call instead of a text. A hug instead of an emoji. As the technology and energy get more and more intense, I find myself yearning for more connection to the earth and to other people. Maybe a kind word, gesture, or invitation won't be enough to stop someone from killing himself, but what could it hurt? Why NOT try a little compassion? People will always be in your way on the sidewalk. They will always inconvenience you. You cannot teach the human race a lesson by showing one person what a dick they're being. And being a dick back will help no one, least of all yourself. Being rude is an everyday occurrence, but someone might just remember you being nice, and they might just pay it forward.
For myself, all I can manage is my own expectations and reactions. Yes, I will get angry, annoyed and inconvenienced. But I can CHOOSE to take a step back, see the bigger picture, and get better at picking my battles. Life is too short to look back and see where I could have lent a helping hand but didn't. Where I was nasty to someone and regretted it five minutes later. The only way to change the world is to start with yourself.
So fuck it. I'm going to make an effort to be more compassionate and to operate from a place of love. Otherwise, what is the fucking point?
"Spirit of love, come to us! Music selector is the soul reflector, and right now my soul is a hi-NRG house music freak out. It's a body shock." - Petropolis, Rhythm Nation Today
You've been warned. This ain't yo mama's spring mix! But well worth the wait, and good to keep it poppin' all summer long. Obstacles and delays were rampant this year in the StuStuStudio, but finally it has happened to me, and nobody's gonna stop my song! We ain't got time to be playin' around now, time to get into it. The House of Deee-Lite takes it to the streets with Uptown Doodie Brown, Jeromé Divinitay, Gianduja and Scrawberry. No parking on the dance floor. I wanna see all you fly mothers get on out there and DANCE. Dance, I said...
Hello, lovers. While we count down the days till spring, things are heating up fast in the StuStuStudio. From the filthy mind that brought you LoveGame and LoveGame 2Hearts, it's time for a little Menage a Trois. Follow me to the late night dark room, where fantasies become reality, where fallen angels step into the invisible light. Go ahead, touch me. Touch me now.
Instead of resolutions, every year I pick a theme word that sums up my intentions and focus for the new year. 2013 was ACTIVATE, because I wanted to get a lot of new things and energy going. I had no idea just how appropriate that word would be. I think it's typical of human behavior to strive, achieve, then strive for more without taking in the gravity of and gratitude for our achievements. I get frustrated with areas of my life where change is slow and stubborn. So the coming new year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous one and be grateful for what came before. In 2013, I started an intense period of self discovery and development, with the help of many books, friends, and new mentors/teachers. I started a pet sitting side gig. I started working for a mind body fitness studio and discovered a way to exercise the feeds my spirit, along with a supportive a like-minded community. I moved into my own apartment in NYC! I still give thanks every time I walk through that door. I began an herbal medicine apprenticeship with a teacher who has changed my worldview. I overcame a back injury that led to my daily meditation, stretching and quiet morning practice. I discovered Budokon yoga, a moving meditation that is deeply healing and strengthening. i finally joined a hiking group and began more outdoor adventures. I became more involved with the NYC pagan scene and made some lifelong friendships. I deepened many existing relationships, especially the one with myself. I have found so much self-love that I never knew how to access before. I started to learn how to truly respect and care for myself, so that I can show up with compassion and be of service to others. Though it hasn't been easy, I feel more comfortable and in tune with myself than ever before. The only way any of this happened was by creating the space in my life for new things and ideas, and allowing them time to grow. I'm still searching and striving. There's a lot of work ahead in 2014, but I now realize I've laid a solid foundation to see it through. Today I am filled with so much hope and joy and love for the world, and I hope to inspire that same sense of reverence and elation wherever the road leads next. Happy New Year! Paul
Hello all you lovers out there in radio land. You're listening to the Quiet Storm. The sirens blare in the distance, the neon signs reflect off the wet streets as you make your way where it's warm inside. Time to close the blinds, pour some wine and settle in for a sultry night. Go ahead, treat yourself. Is that a crime? petropolis