4. One way or the other, Moms know things

authenticity

Viewing posts tagged authenticity

4. One way or the other, Moms know things

*** Did you arrive in the middle of the story? Start at the beginning ***

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“I know. Someone already told me. They asked me not to tell you who it was.”

There is a very short list of people who this could be, and within seconds, I’ve narrowed it down with 99% confidence.  I’m pretty certain it’s my Aunt Maureen – she means well. If only I could have had some knowledge that my Mom already knew. This would have saved me from all of that stress.  I’m both frustrated and relieved.

I’m glad that the memory I’ll always have of this day is of her wry and conflicted smile that said, “How did I ever give birth to you – oh that’s right, you are 50% your Dad and that explains everything”.

I thought it would be horror and tears. I much prefer this version of reality.

For the next hour, I told her about how it all came to be. I told her about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider’s education course I took. I told her about my experienced rider friends who have been coaching me.  I told her about hours and hours of practice in empty parking lots.  I told her about all of the safety skills I’ve been learning in a nearly frantic effort to calm her nerves. I showed her all of the nice, thick leather riding gear I was wearing: leather boots, chaps, quality leather coat, leather gloves, and helmet, of course. 

We talked about all of the people we know who have whole careers of riding safely on two wheels.  She wasn’t mad, and honestly, she didn’t seem terribly surprised.  Definitely nervous, though. 

“I just lost your Dad… I don’t know if I can take another loss…”

(note: My Dad passed away last year of causes incident to his age and condition, which I’ll explain to you in the next chapter. While his death has made a huge impact on my life, the focus of this story is his life.)

To know who, and why, I am, you have to know my father: 

The original Duane. 

****

Next up: My Dumb Dad: Rifles, Rollerskates and Recovery

Receive updates about the next piece in this series, directly to your mail box. Join my newsletter: 

3. breaking the news to Mom

*** Did you arrive in the middle of the story? Start at the beginning ***

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I’ve done a lot of nerve-racking things in my life – 

Stand up comedy, 

Going out in public in pantyhose and high heels, 

Riding my bike naked through the streets of Portland, 

Putting the spirit of F*@K YOU PAUL DUANE into action.

A few things at Burning Man that shall remain at Burning Man…

What I’ve now done tops them all. 

I’ve found a new love, and the time has come to come clean with the most important woman in my life:

My mother. 

She’ll worry about me so much, she’ll be confused, she’ll lose sleep over this – 

She deserves to hear it straight from me, eye to eye. 

I’ve gone over this decision so many times…not only this new love, but the conversation I’m about to have with her. 

All of it is right. 

But God, I hate to break her heart.

I know how deeply she hoped I’d never do this. 

Hell, for most of my life, I didn’t know that I had this latent desire inside of me. 

I’ve played with the idea before, but never dared go further…

Something happened last year. 

An opportunity showed up. 

A friend extended an invitation.

I said yes. 

A switch flipped inside of me. 

I was terrified at first – it took some getting used to… I had to confront some of the most basic stories I had about myself and my relationship to the world – 

With the help of a couple of very supportive friends,  I did it, and I’ve never been happier. 

Something came alive inside of me that I did not know existed before, and I’m not going back.  I cannot unsee this new bliss. This will be a huge part of my life moving forward. 

I love everything about it…

the sounds… the smells… how it feels between my legs… even the black leather outfits. 

It makes me feel more alive than anything I’ve ever experienced. 

I

Had

No

Idea. 

I have to tell her. 

It’s not just her that would be shook up by what I’m about to drop on her –

My grandparents, too. They would be devastated. This goes against the very fiber of our family culture. 

The fact that they have not been haunting me and trying to persuade my course differently is a solid case for there not being an afterlife.  

In fact, I’m left with three possible conclusions:

  1. There is no afterlife
  2. There is an afterlife and they are too busy doing cool departed spirit stuff to know or care about what’s going on in my life
  3. There is an afterlife, they know about it, and they understand how important this really is. 

I spent an hour sitting in the parking lot of a nearby gas station, trying to sooth my nerves, preparing my speech. Hell, I even talked with an ex girlfriend  on the phone for 45 minutes about it.  

“Just do it. She’s going to be okay…. Your sweet mom.”

Painfully aware of all of the other ways I’ve disappointed my mom over the years, cringing at the morbid cherry I’m about to place atop it all, I head toward her house. 

This is my green mile. 

She’s not going to yell at me. She won’t lecture. 

She might not even cry in front of me…

…but I know that she’ll never sleep well again for the rest of her days. 

My heart breaks – 

But I must tell her the truth. 

I slowly and strangely ceremoniously pull into the driveway, 

I turn off the engine,

I wonder if she heard me arrive…

I walk in the house, and there she stands.

In a fraction of a second, I can tell she already knows. 

“Hi mom.”

“Hi….. “ she said, that syllable a sponge saturated with oceans of motherly worry.

“Mom…

I got a motorcycle.”

*****

Next up: I know

*****

Stay in the loop as this story unfolds. Join my newsletter email list. Click on the image:

Morris Kunz: solving masculine dilemmas

Speaking of masculine dilemmas: I just finished reading THE TRUTH by Neil Strauss. This is one of the most fascinating journeys through traditional and non-traditional relationships (and sex addiction therapy!) that I’ve ever heard. I actually did HEAR it. I used Audible to listen to the book, which was narrated by the author, Neil Strauss, himself. This is by far the most entertaining, engaging way to digest a book. Get a free audiobook of your choice and a free 30 day trial of Audible by clicking on this banner. Enjoy!

Everyone wants good love. Fellas, there’s nothing like getting involved with a woman to reveal the places you need to grow in. Intimacy expert Morris Kunz shares some ideas on how men can grow and show up in their full power.

“Men, when your woman speaks to you, remember, it’s a message directly from God. Women – be nice.”  – Gary Acevedo

Nuggets of wisdom from Morris:

“The more loving we can be in EVERY conversation, the better results we have. I don’t care if you are doing business or whatever…”

“Be sweet to yourself”

“A woman will follow a man who is chasing something that is bigger than her.  Start dreaming again.”

“It’s about having fun and dancing with the ladies in our life.” 

Radical Intimacy Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/168516880412002/

miracles when it feels mundane

Its 5am, I lay awake in bed, for the muse has arrived. I hope I’ll be able to communicate this delicate idea. Let me know if you can relate:

I’ve always had this notion that to do awesome work, I had to also feel awesome. What that’s led me to is a pursuit of “feelings”, which can quickly turn into addiction, like a caterpillar into a moth. Ask any junkie. TV, crack, or cookies, it’s all the same. They are feeling chasers, regardless of the drug of choice.

During my radio years, for instance:

Live radio is unforgiving. The clock, nor the audience, care how your day has gone. At 14:06, the second the pre roll commercials are done, it’s on, ready or not. There were days I’d prepare well, show up early and have a good solid show. Sometimes I’d think I had an awesome show prepared and it would fall flat. While that was confusing and frustrating, even legendary teams lose on their home field sometimes. Though these losses were mystifying, an even deeper mystery lurks:

There were days when I felt completely uninspired. Tired. Empty. Nothing “to say”. I wasn’t physically ill and couldn’t justify calling in sick. I would go through the motions of packing up my laptop, walking out the door, and going to the studio. A mild, low level terror would begin to set in as the clock ticked into the upper reaches of the 13:00 hour.

Sure, I had a show plan, I did the work, but I just wasn’t “feeling it”. Looking over my show notes and the impending 120 minutes, I wonder if sherpas ever feel this way when looking at the nearly impossible peak as they begin their 578th ascent. I wonder if anyone is ever exempt from that deflating feeling of “Oh shit. This is going to be really, really hard, why do I do this to myself?”

(This, by the way, is but one of the reasons I adore the band RUSH). Want to see what eternal youth looks like? Go see these men in their 60’s pushing themselves as hard as they can, doing 3 hour long shows, of ever increasing intensity at an age when most dudes are happy to just cash checks and play golf).

I digress.

So many times on these “oh shit” days, A caller, a current event, an idea in my head would combine in the cauldron of the present moment to yield a moment of pure brilliance. I would walk out of the studio in complete awe at the unsuspected unfolding of inspiration.

These moments of unsuspected brilliance are not limited to the radio days. It’s happened in the Photo studio, in writing, and I once met a great love in similar circumstances. I didn’t feel like being there but showed up anyway, magic ensued.

This has me thinking a lot about feelings: of preparedness, of interest, of ability. Have you ever had the experience of doing your finest work on a day when you initially were sorely tempted to shirk?

I think it’s sensible to expect that under stress we rise to the level of our worst preparation. Good practice and preparation cannot be undervalued.

When I peel back the layers of my own experience, I realize that a certain level of my own feelings are just the weather of my own human condition. Rain or shine, they do not change the facts of that which is being built on the ground. The work – the practice, the preparation, always adds up. It creates something inside you that can be pretty easy to overlook.

What’s the point of this all? I want you to know that the little things you do every day to build yourself – the journaling. The meditation. The exercise. The rehearsals – they all matter, even if they feel mundane. ESPECIALLY when they feel mundane –

Because one day, you will find yourself in a place you don’t necessarily want to be in. You won’t feel your “best” but you’ll be there anyway. You will unceremoniously do the thing. You will go home, and soon realize that you just participated in a life changing moment. You will realize the value of showing up regardless of the weather of your silly little soul, and life will never be the same after that.

Ultimately, you will come to understand that the basic act of showing up is a self fulfilling prophecy of your (sometimes hidden) knowledge that you are worthy of that which you desire.

Much love-
Paul Duane

What is keeping you from your greatest potential?

I get asked a lot, “How can I live a more authentic life?”  I’d like to guide you through a short thought experiment that will open the door to finding your own truth about this.  Be someplace where you can be deep in thought for about 300 seconds. You will need a piece of paper and a pen or an electronic device you keep notes in.

Imagine moving to a new city of your choosing via time machine. Pretend that it’s 1983 and social media doesn’t exist, so, your reputation does not follow you to this new home. Nobody knows who you are and nobody has any expectations of you, yet. You could be the town bum or a visiting celebrity, for all they know. You have a completely clean slate in every way.

  • How would you show up?
  • Would you change your name?
  • What work would you seek out?
  • Who would you date?
  • How would you vote?
  • What social circles would you want to be in?
  • Would you change anything about your appearance?
  • Would you act differently?
  • How would you introduce yourself at parties?
  • What kind of reputation would you seek to create for yourself?

Close your eyes and really sink into this imagination of yourself for a few minutes until all of your senses are involved.

  • What does this reality smell like?
  • What sensations come into contact with your skin in this version of reality?
  • What sights do you see on a regular basis?
  • What does it sound like? Do you commonly hear ocean waves? Aircraft? Galloping horses? Children playing?
  • What flavors cross your palate in this version of life? (mine involves a lot of mango salsa)
  • For you ambitious dreamers…. what does your sixth sense feel like in this new reality? What spiritual knowings and experiences do you have as this version of you?

This will start to feel really good. Once you can hear, smell, touch, see, and even taste this alternate reality, sit back and play in it for another few moments.  Let your heat, mind, and soul marinate in the imaginations of your senses.

..

.

Apparently you’ve had enough and have opened your eyes again. Welcome back!
Compare the alternate version of reality you just imagined.  What are the factors that are keeping you from showing up in THIS world, like that, today? Name them. Write them down. Seriously. Right now. There’s something about seeing them as words in front of your eyes that will be good for your soul.
Look at your list of reasons.
These are the things holding you back from your deepest authenticity, and your full power as a human being. I know they are all rooted in good intentions, but that’s not the point. Do not judge the reasons. They are not good or bad, they just ARE.  Just stare them in the eyes.  I’m not suggesting that you eject all of these things from your life today; quite the opposite. Maintain your status quo for now. Today it will be sufficient to become very honest about the role they play in your life. Does it make you uncomfortable to see some of these things on the page?
Good.
It should – and that’s totally okay.

Before today, you had secret, unspoken agreements with them to make compromises in your life. I promise you this – even if you decide to keep some of these things in your life, your relationship to these things will only get better as you become brutally honest about the little deals you’ve made with them.  No more secret deals in your soul.
Pull all those contracts up and put them on the table under a good lamp. Read them. Brush up on the terms of those deals. Aside from freak accidents, everything that’s in your life right now is something you’ve either signed up for, or allowed to stay.  Give yourself permission to feel sad, angry, awkward, or whatever. Just get comfortable with the discomfort of knowing these are the things you’ve allowed to stand between you, and the fullest, most glorious, powerful version of you. This will probably take some time.
Maybe a few days, months, years, even.
That’s the first step in moving into your full authenticity, your full majestic power.
You are a God in embryo.
Don’t think there’s anything righteous about playing small –
Your potential is massive beyond your comprehension and that’s the final truth of the matter.
I hope you’ll give yourself permission to start looking toward that light –
Your own light.
That’s all for today.

Come back soon and we’ll discuss more.

much love –

Paul Duane

 

If this is a topic you are keenly interested in, consider joining my email list. I’m in the process of writing a book about this topic. The email list is the best way to stay in the loop with updates on the book and related events.