Writer’s Note: I was recently in Atlantic City in a club, dancing with a few friends. I was not sober. In the club, I had an epiphany. I stopped dancing and just stood there. Deja vu, kind of. The last time I was in that club, I was not sober either. It was the last time I saw my cousin before he committed suicide. It’s amazing that I remembered it, because I want to emphasize how “not sober” I was.
I believe it happened for a reason. The epiphany occured so I could share this speech, which I gave to my Toastmaster’s Club. I believe that what is written here can change the world … and will.
Some parts of what is written below might read funny because it was intended to be spoken, not written. Please overlook funky grammar.
Please also realize that as I was scared to share my depression post with you out of fear of judgement, I’m scared to share this with you, as I was scared to give this speech to live people. Because I’ve found that running into my fear rather than away from it as incredibally empowering, and wanting to lead by example, I share what is written below.
For those of you don’t know me, I used to burn myself with coat hangers that I’d heat on the stove top. I wanted to hurt myself because I thought it was my right and I wanted to feel alive. You see, I come from a subconsciously self-destructive family. We seem to want to harm the bodies that allow us to exist. With my self-inflicting tendencies, my Uncle’s mentioning of wanting to shoot himself at times, and my cousin’s downfall, I’ve discovered that keeping myself above the happiness threshold to be of paramount importance.
Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow TM’s, and Honored Guests, I’d like to share some of the things that I’ve learned about love and happiness with you why its important to let these energies breeze into your living rooms or any other space you may be occupying.
Lesson 1: People need to be touched. Not sexually for any of you SICKOS in the room.
Seriously, even dogs and cats, just need your hand tugging at their fur.
Touch has become a genetic requirement for emotional health.
Being touched tells your brain that you are loved. Love gives you the social support to share the burden of everyday life, whether that’s finding shelter, hunting and gathering food, finding a mate to spread your genes, or working a 9 to 5 in 2012. In today’s world, it saves you from the intolerable hopelessness of being alone.
Touch, is a way in which you can create an ocean breeze, loving suttly from one person to another.
Lesson 2: Love buffers pain.
As a chiropractor, I’ve realized that alot of physical pain is caused by the mind and spirit. Many people don’t talk to anyone about what is hurting them and this torment brews internally.
Here is a little experiment to try. Next time that YOU and ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING you observe is spiritually sufferring, that means they’re depressed, sad, or not happy, try this.
Set aside 15 minutes to give your unbiased, focused attention. Sit with this person. [Kneel next to person in front row.] Look at her right eye (her giving eye) with your left eye (your receiving eye) to set it up so that she subconsciously wants to unload her burden in your company. Put your hand on her knee, shoulder, or hand, using the power of touch. [Put your hand on her hand.] Mimic her posture or gestures to create repoire. Remember that there is no other thing or person in the world at this time but who you are sitting with. It’s complete blackness, and she is all that exists.
Then say with intent …
“These 15 minutes are YOUR’s. Tell me …. what’s wrong.”
Then, wait for a few moments until she realizes you’re serious. When she still hesitates, here is what you’ll say next:
“I’m sorry, but if you smell anything funky, I just farted.”
Next, you’ll both laugh, and her guard will be down. Finally, the floodgates will be opened and she’ll unload her burden and talk. As you emotionally remove the spiritual knife at her side, all you want to focus is on feeling her suffering.
Your goal is put yourself in her shoes, so that you come from a place of compassion, so that she knows, she is not alone. Not to put her load on your shoulders, but to acknowledge what that burden is as it falls to the ground. And when you’re done, hug her. And tell her, “I feel you, you’re not alone, and I love you.” Follow that with “Again, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have eaten those beans.”
This type of spiritual engagement between two beings is like a twister carrying a slap in the face. Now we’re starting to feel alive.
Lesson 3: Plants flower. But humans flower too.
Love was always there, as evidenced by the nurturing that mammals give to their offspring, but more recently, love seems to be expanding, or flowering if you will.
[Pull out rose from brown paper bag.]
Land plants have been around for approximately 425 million years, but the earliest fossil of a flowering plant is dated about 125 million years ago. With the flower, a new level of beauty has been seen. And every time that an organism recognizes a flower’s beauty, completely enveloped in its infinite existence and unbound presence, a person comes back to their true existence, and that is of love, to love, and in love.
Pay attention. Can you see the way the world is changing? The economy was and continues to be down. Low skill jobs are hardly needed, requiring a higher level of intelligence in order to make a living in this world. As we evolve in intelligence, people begin to support more and more of their communities, understanding that the whole is more important than the individual. That love, in the words of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, is all you need.
The intraearthly whirlwind of wanton love is not about Chinese dumplings (wontons). That 15 minute conversation would result in one heck of a fart storm if that were the case. But about a movement (not a bowel movement), but a social movement that has no motive or provocation or reason for showing up. Love, like the storm that was Hurrican Irene without any apparent cause, is gathering momentum, gusting whispers and sweet nothings to every passing soul and spirit. I see more and more people touching others. Sharing suffering. Looking at one another’s eyes. Listening with their undivided attention. Observing flowers (even the machoest and gassiest of men like myself). Making the world a better place.
If this whirlwind continues to spread, and people continue to flower, can you imagine what the world would be like?
Next time you picked up the coat hanger off of the stove top, the whirlwind would come through, and someone would be there to listen to your pain, and you’d put the coat hanger down.
You would make the time to go to Atlantic City with your cousin, who reached out to you for weeks, before he committed suicide.
Instead of thinking about the twenty chores you have to do today, you’d actually finish the conversation with the person who is desperately seeking someone to talk to about their bad day.
Gandhi didn’t say we should talk about the change we want to see in the world, he said to be it. Don’t you think it’s about time we stop talking about making this world a better place, and start being it?
The whirlwind is expanding. Keep it moving. You just don’t know whose life you might save. Mr. Toastmaster.
[Give flower to woman in front row]
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ. He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”. He loves to help people in ANY way he can. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.