A Legacy Of Loss And Loneliness

A three-minute video improv poem on self-criticism

We Welcome Majo Madden to the SHINE Expansive Spotlight!
Majo Madden, Featured Guest of SHINE Expansive, is here to ‘Release’ before your very eyes. He is releasing himself from his pre-written poetry or a script of any kind, and opening instead to letting his true self shine through his wholeness in the improvisation of this moment.
Majo shares:
“This video emerges from my pain around self-criticism. Making this video feels courageous, authentic, and vulnerable because I improvised and I leaned into my pain. To create this video I had to move beyond the fear of being seen in my vulnerability. This video feels like a true self expression because it was not censored or edited.”

Enjoy Majo’s poetic example of Release: “Releasing You ~ Releasing Me.”
To watch this video, enter Password: Day 25

at this website: https://vimeo.com/143056487

Come Speak To Me of Love

On our Shine Expansive conference call today, I told Jessica Chilton (the creator and facilitator) that in my bipolar disorder, depression forgets its role as a part and takes completely over, asserting that it is me. She suggested the metaphor of a car, in which depression is no longer allowed to drive. She also suggested that I write a poem about it. Here’s the poem:

Come Speak To Me of Love  (Majo, 10/7/15)

All parts of me are good
But some don’t know their place
Dance with me depression
You teach me some steps that are graceful
But I will lead, my dear
Come ride with me in my shiny new Benz
But you no longer get to drive
Settle in, let the wind blow in your hair
Whisper to me of where there is pain
In me and in the world
But whisper
You no longer get to pin me down

And snarl those menacing words into my face
Tell me what I need from you
Show me where there is risk
Keep my feet on the ground
Teach me of vulnerability
It has value when I do not blame myself for it
When I do not say that I deserve ill
Caress me with your long fingers
Coo to me of how I’ve grown
How suffering has brought me here
Where I know so much
Of what hurts my brothers and sisters
But enough is enough
From now I learn mostly from joy and intimacy and love
Pain will come, but only when I need it
Only when it keeps me in balance
Not as punishment
Which I have sometimes thought I deserved
But no longer

Come ride with me, depression
But I will drive
Come speak to me
But only speak to me of love.

“I thought about you.”

I don’t ask people “How are you?” – you mostly get back bullshit.  I ask “What’s been a highlight of your day?”  All day long, I ask most of my customers – unless I am tired, too depressed, too burned out from one customer after another, or if the order is really small.  Very often they ask the question back of me and I get to share one of my highlights.  Sometimes, something in the encounter is a highlight for both of us – that’s where magic happens.  This is one of those encounters.

I asked, “What’s been a highlight of your day?” to a cute 30ish woman who later turned out to be a very accomplished potter.  (Asheville is so loaded with talented people, artists, musicians – they turn up everywhere.)  As so often in this job, she knew me, but I did not yet recognize her.  For all I knew, she might have never before come through my line – but she had.  She said,

“I was at Lowe’s this morning, having a nothing exchange with a cashier – and I thought about you.  I thought how you would ask me what was a highlight of my day – and something real would happen.”

This took my breath away, made me feel like it’s all worth while – and got me even more committed to asking my question.  I’ll never ask it all the time – and it would not be useful to do so.  Sometimes customers who I don’t remember or recognize insert it themselves when I haven’t asked it: “The answer to your usual question is….” Or they’ll start the encounter by saying, “I’ve been thinking about how I would answer your question today….” But I want to not miss the chance to ask it – I want to feel into “Is this a time to ask it, even if I’m tired or overextended or depressed?”

I want to not miss a chance to make it real.  What if this is a customer who at Lowe’s this morning was thinking about me?