Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

March 2, 2010

"Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon ..." ... The Young Rascals 
"Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon ... on a Sunday evening ... on a Monday morning ... on a Monday afternoon ... on a Monday evening ... on a Tuesday morning ..." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Groovin!, is the companion piece to Brightness On Main Street.

It is also the eighth in an open group with titles borrowed from Songs:

Sometime around now (it may have been during your teen years or it may have been earlier, but nonetheless sometime around NOW)  you discovered you love groovin'. You enjoyed your life. You were alive  with your life. You were excited  about your life. Indeed you were excited about being alive. You walked around with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, groovin' along.

Then something happened - and you stopped groovin'.

If you tell the truth about it, you're not exactly sure what  happened or even when  it happened - not unless you've taken the time subsequently to intentionally recall  exactly what happened. It may have happened once, after which you made the decision to stop groovin'. It may have been a combination of incidents over a period of time which, taken together, you concluded were the preponderance of evidence  you shouldn't be groovin' anymore, so you decided to stop.

Whether it happened once or whether it was a combination of incidents, something happened nonetheless. One minute there you were, groovin' along, enjoying your life, alive with your life, excited about your life, excited about being alive. Then something happened, and the next minute you weren't groovin' anymore. The next minute you'd gotten serious  and significant. The next minute, based on the evidence, based on what you concluded, you decided groovin' isn't something a serious and significant person like you should be doing.

So you gave it up ... just ... like  ... that. And although you really missed it, you made up and bought into  reasons which justify not groovin' anymore. In your heart you don't believe any of them. Yet you stuck to your guns and abandoned groovin' as youthful folly, as a thing of the past.

What happened is really quite simple, as simple as it's obvious - which is why it isn't clearly seen or easily articulated. What happened is you lost your power. Something happened ... and you lost your power. Later we'll say more rigorously you gave up  your power to what happened ie you chose to relinquish  your power to your circumstances. But for now, saying you lost your power is good enough for jazz.

Something happened, yet it's only interimly  useful to get in touch with what happened. Perhaps someone did something. Maybe someone said  something. It could be you didn't get a result you expected or you were invalidated  by something or someone, or you were embarrassed, belittled, insulted, unfairly judged, made wrong etc ... or something like that. Whatever happened, there was a loss of power, and then you stopped groovin'.

It's always useful to come to grips with exactly what it is which brings on a loss of power because clarity  is half the battle. When something can be seen in stark relief and is no longer haunting from the shadows, it's easier to reconcile, manage, and deal with. Indeed it's easier to complete it and get over  it by letting it be.

But it's more than simply clarity which comes with recalling incidents around power losses in stark relief. What ultimately comes is a much more valuable vision. What ultimately comes is the distinction between "I lost power when such and such happened" (useful) and "Such and such happened, then I chose to relinquish my power to my circumstances" (extraordinary).

It's the latter distinction which has leverage and the power to make a difference. It has a transformational  quality to it. The access to it is this: come to terms with the loss of power by regarding it as a loss of power  rather than by explaining it or by blaming someone or something for it. When a loss of power is simply a loss of power, then it's accessible, then it's confrontable  as what's so, then it's no longer buried by an explanation, by a blame, by a concept, by a belief, or by an understanding.

When a loss of power can be gotten as simply what's so, only then  is it possible to consider speaking it as a choice. That's not "the truth"  by the way: that a loss of power is a choice - and it may be. It's not a fact  that a loss of power is a choice - and it may be. It's a possibility  that a loss of power is a choice, and when a loss of power is spoken as a choice, a new space becomes available ie new room to move  opens up which wasn't available before, which wasn't possible  before.

To be sure, speaking a loss of power as what's so is indeed telling the truth, and kudos  for this. But daring to speak a loss of power as a choice is where the freedom comes. It shifts the entire onus of the experience from something which happened to you  over which you have no control, to something you, well intentioned or not, erroneously or not, chose  - over which you have total control. And when you've reinstated choice in the matter of a loss of power, you've reinstated your ability to choose to take back your power again, to reclaim it - not like "the truth"  but rather like a possibility.

When you choose to reclaim your power, the joy of life returns - that is to say you re-experience  the joy of life since it never really went away in the first place. And here you are again, groovin' again, enjoying your life again, alive with your life again, excited about your life again, excited about being alive again.

There's groovin' like innocent frolicking, like joyous frivolity. And then there's the exact Self  same groovin' only this time like a powerful "don't mess with me"  possibility, like an assertion of the celebration of Life.

This is ... groovin'  ... "down a crowded avenue"  ...

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