Super Cropping Candor and the Theatre of Sacred Clowns

Image credit; K.Henderson  http://www.khenderson.com

One of the best books I have read this year, and in many years for that matter is Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, co –founder of Pixar. I was initially attracted to it for a few truly personal reasons. First, I grew up at Disney. My father worked artistically for Disney for most of his career life, so I was by proxy, exposed to a childhood of behind the scenes screening of the artistic and production genius of Walt Disney. Secondly was my fascination with Steve Jobs life and brilliance, and, ok a lot of mac-cult toys and stuff. And then of course all the Pixar movies, which have taken us all so far into fantastic and relatable realms of possibilities, compelling storylines and emotions with animated CG. Reading the book was a no-brainer for those reasons. Not to mention my insatiable desire to soak up tales of great leadership and extraordinary company foundations. With all these tasty points going in, little did I know that the book would expand on a topic incredibly significant to me. The successful and proven use of candor in community and group settings.

So before diving into my insatiable cravings for super cropping candor, I’ll loop in the clowns and seek to build a bridge to this malleable line of thinking. In a seemingly unrelated part of my life, I have been a study of the importance of Sacred Clowns, Jesters, and Coyote Medicine since I was a child. Probably because early on, I happened to be really good at clowning therfore I courted this major in study. Maybe it explains why my grandmother used to call me a little coyote. You can find an account of these revered beings in almost any culture around the planet with examples like the Zuni Mud Eaters, Lakota Heyoka’s, Cherokee Booger Dancers, Tibetan Crazy Thinkers, Kings Court Jesters and so on. There are many important roles these highly respected individuals brought to the community and with many differences based on the various cultures. However my simple summation of them is that they provided imperative, frank and honest reflection that supported, ego shattering, personal and community examination, and necessary growth and change. That sounds like a large framework and theatre built around candor in my mind. Send in the clowns!

can·dorˈkandər/

Noun: candour; noun: candor

The quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness

It was shared with me many years ago, by my Lakota Elder teacher, that the Heyoka’s would camp out on ridges and hilltops above the community for several weeks at a time. Watching. They would carefully view every member of the community observing personal actions, interactions, leadership decisions, daily tasks and chores. Literally scrutinizing everything. Then after they’re determined time of observation was over they would flood into the community and act out with great theater, humorous drama and deliberate confrontation all of the ridiculous actions of the community and its leaders and members without any fear of repercussions. After this time of uncomfortable reflection, the community would assemble in ceremony and discuss these actions to determine how to shift them to more sensible and conscious paths of leadership and ways of interacting directly and as a community. This is of course is a very abbreviated share on the depth of the ceremony and topic, however just a little offering to support the point. Like the jesters of king’s courts, all of these individuals were revered for their exceptionally different perspectives, relentless satire and humor and courageous candor. Unfortunately in a few passages of study, I have come across the tales of jesters crossing the line with a highly egoist, no humor king whom ordered disposing of the chosen truth teller. I will divulge now that I have had a few rough ups in my day from taking my role as a clown over the line, and can honestly admit that I may have just been looking for a good provoking or inciting. We all have our dark pleasures and fascinations. Don’t we?

In our modern culture we don’t necessarily have to live in tribal communities or kings courts to see the constant influx of sacred clowns and jesters in our lives. In fact the daily reflections of friends and intimate partners are modern replacements for these truth pranksters.

I often wonder then, where does the spiritual importance and courage of the sacred clown armed with candor illuminate our potentials for growth as individuals and communities. My first inclination is to ask, “what are the usual barriers to candor and reflection, and what are the pearls?” I would say that candor usually fails first and foremost in some form of intimate communication. From somewhere come the instilled fears from social domestication or company cultures. And whatever the source, I often observe that there appears to be a strongly anchored social thread of avoiding truth and frankness. Some will say it’s just rude, impolite or inappropriate. There seems to be an immeasurable list of reasons why many folks choose to not speak or share truth. My deeper question than is how can we possibly grow as an individual, an organization or community without an un-obstructed flow of truth?

There is a radical technique used when growing certain types of flowering plants called “super-cropping”. This technique involves bending and pinching the plant at certain points in the stem almost to the precipice of snapping the stalk. This action supports breaking up and opening the soft internal cellulose material allowing more nutrients to flow unimpeded thru the plant. As the pathways are then hyper opened to nutrients, the plant in response to this action will focus its energy toward this area of external weakness. Eventually the plant will build up over the bent area and will become exceptionally strong. The calloused outside band can then carry the additional weight of added flowers. I see this action much like the actions of the sacred clowns breaking up clogged internal beliefs and distorted egos to allow the flow of nutrient rich candor and truth to cultivate the sweet fruit of conscious communication. Maybe ill call it, “Super Cropping Candor.”

So if the sacred clowns bring us the reflections that need to be addressed and candor is the macronutrient by which to mend and strengthen our path to better communication, what are some real world tools that we can use to support these medicines? If our goal is to create higher consciousness and ascension based unity in comm-unity then conscious methods of communicating has to be an important place to start.

As I’m sure there are many paths to initiating and inviting candor to your life and communities, I’ll share some tools that work well for me personally and in in my community organism development.

Super Cropping Candor Framework and Techniques

Be Kind, Considerate and always ask permission

The clowns are an accepted part of the community for the ceremony they engage, therefore their shares are always invited and welcome, although not always pleasant. Luckily, they usually only engage the ceremony once every few years.

In our circle’s it is important to check in and ask if it’s ok to share your perception. Just because we observe something wrong or amiss from our perspective does not always make it ok to just pounce on someone and regurgitate our feeling or beliefs. Ask someone if they are open to a share or hearing some feedback, see if they have time, if not, check if they are willing to make time for exploring your perspective and feelings. In my years of working towards this type of communication, I have found that those who bring self-proclaimed entitlements and victim mentality struggle to apply this necessary filter. This is often the point where I engage boundaries, or interests (as I refer to boundaries in the affirmative). When someone approaches me confrontationally, I will often state my request for consideration and if not, honor myself by removing myself from the situation. If this first step is impossible for someone to meet, the likely hood of a positive outcome in the moment is unlikely. The Buddha has been quoted (as have others) “If you propose to speak, first ask yourself, Is it True, Is it Kind, Is it Necessary?”

Be clear of your intentions, Seek to Empower and Grow

Is it in your heart to help support change and empower the listener or, do you just need to be heard and validated in being right or worse, to slander or undermine another? If the energy of true conflict resolve, growth and empowerment for both parties and the community is in our hearts, the prospect of fruitful candor and non-confrontational communication is highly probable. Remember, if you are engaging this process than you are in service to some vision higher than self. Find the compassion to always speak directly thru and to the vision.

Create Sacred Space, be in the moment

We can start our conscious interaction by truly committing to the moment. In our groups and intimately, we find places that support privacy, we move away or turn off technology distractions, and we often pass aromatherapy oils that helps us all get on the same vibrational page. Our favorite is Laurel Leaf or Sage, which thru history supports courage, and truth. The oil just helps us all tune to the commitment of the moment and the conversation at hand.

Be willing to dismiss social or company hierarchy

This especially applies to leadership or social situations where there is an established or perceived sense of leadership or hierarchy. To openly hear truth, listener and sharer must approach from equal grounds. This is where heartfelt language and consideration for each other plays an enormous role. I get a lot of feedback that this one is very hard in certain company environments, and I honor that and still share, we must all be willing to do our best.

Speak to the issue not the person

Making an issue personal is the quickest way to derail successful candor and truth. If your intention is truly resolve conflict, engage empowerment and growth than a personal attack just does not fit. Sharing how a person’s action makes you feel or how you perceived a situation will go much further than blame or accusation. This is also a great place for the listener to practice not taking the shared components personally. I encourage moving into the practice of seeing someone in there highest self and light. If the intention of this sacred moment is to empower and find resolve, then seeing the person or situation and outcome as critically important to us will help the situation far more than projecting into a confrontation with a wicked protagonist or unsolvable situation waiting for us.

Hold Space, Listen

It is important to commit to giving the sharer the opportunity to get thru their part. This is a sometimes difficult exercise that becomes easier the more it is accomplished. Truly listening with the intention of growth, empowerment and resolve without interruption reaches deep into the grounding of all-future candor based relating. When we constantly interrupt, spin off into the how we will respond or retreat to the banks of our anger or triggers, especially if the share becomes personal, we loose the opportunity to stay in focus with our intentions. When we find the place of honoring the courage that it takes for someone to share uncomfortable truth and that by simply holding space and allowing the flow, we empower and encourage another and ourselves to grow in this path of sharing candor.

Acknowledge/ Reflect

When there is consensus that the person-sharing candor is complete, it is vital to acknowledge and reflect on what has been shared. Before launching into a retort, give the space and consideration of repeating back what you heard in the share. Often times it is here that the misinterpreted feelings go awry by recreating our version of what wee think the other person shared. By repeating back what you heard, you sow the fertile soils of seeking deeper understandings that fruit truth. My experience has shown that it is at this point where most conflicts get resolved and sometimes laughed at as the ridiculous nature of the innocent communication misunderstandings reveal themselves.

Bring yourself and personal solutions, Own your part

My goal here is to do my best in the opportunity to deeply honor what conditions may have invited an interaction, and that it is most likely a reflection of self that supports the moment that arose. When we are able to bring the components of what we brought to the interaction, or “our part”, and choosing then to see it and “owning or accepting it”, quite often it removes the blaming and accusational aspect of many communications and interactions. Often the issue or misunderstanding has to do with us. Oftentimes stemming from places we are in lack of, or non-support of ourselves. If we can earnestly speak to our own needs, and even more maturely, how we can ask for support of these needs then we are presenting affirmative solutions. Coming with solutions, and not just problems, is a highly developed method of collaborative candor. Bringing ourselves also does not mean that we have to take on something shared that does not fit either, sometimes there is purely misunderstanding or fragmented perception.

And a few more Advanced Techniques to anchoring candor

Touch your Heart

Literally! I have found that when my hand is touching my chest over my heart in candor communication, I have a quicker line of connection to my feelings, over my thoughts, and sometimes it helps to me to quickly transmute hard to hear truth. I view it as a powerful act of supplication to my partner and myself.

Time out

It is important for us to know ourselves well enough to know our “redlines” that no longer foster good communication. This happens to us as emotionally driven human beings. It is just as important to know when to take a breath and step away from a moment of heat and storm. To use ‘Time Out” effectively it is very important to do it with integrity. Be sure to share that you are still interested in the outcome, and that at the moment you have exceeded your emotional capacity to carry on effectively. In intimate settings, this is a great place to share that even though you are angered or triggered, that there is still love and compassion. Always commit to return and complete the process, and use the time out to really look at where you are in need of further understanding and support from yourself. Be sure to communicate your learning’s when time out is over and dialog resumes.

Ho-opono-pono

Practice repeating the powerful Huna, Hawaiian Mantra Ho-opono-pono. Really good during time outs, or preparing for an interaction.

Im Sorry, Please Forgive me, Thank you, I LOVE YOU.

Gratitude

We often hear about the many forms of gratitude and how rich and fertile its vibration and frequencies can carry us. It is important to acknowledge gratitude and thanks at all aspects of the candor process that unfolded and all individuals involved. Be sure to share this aloud at every juncture possible.

Well as Forest Gump Says, “that’s all I have to say about that”

“that’s all I have to say about that”.

Developing community candor is not a perfect process, and sometimes it can get messy. Especially when the holy hell fires of intimate relationships or community storms strikes hot and fast and our candor clad tools belts go flying out the tornado broken window. Right next to Toto and the witch of the west on a rickety bike. Or was it the east? Either way someone got squashed.

Candor can be uncomfortable at first, and it takes a whole lot of practice to master the steps and the concept. However creating partnerships and communities that can hear and share truth and commit to candor for the good of a higher vision will go a long way.  In my humble opinion, it is imperative for us all to step forward in the universe as conscious and considerate beings. In a world riddled with deceptions, hocus-pocus and shenanigans, seeking and sharing Truth is a powerful act of RE-LOVE-UTION.

Blessings,

David Starbear

The Unspoken Discomfort of Metamorphosis

A few years back a very dear and significant uncle of mine passed away. Uncle Billy or “Wild Bill” was my rock n roll guru and hero.  So much of my current appreciation of music that stemmed from the golden days of rock came from his humble rock n roll tutelage. To me Uncle Bill was a quintessential icon of a 60/70s rock musician. I remember so many times sneaking into his stored collections stashed in my grandmothers LA basement den. I would put on an original Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath album and rifle thru his other vintage albums, assorted umm, summer of love paraphernalia and hand drawn old band flyers. As I was born in the summer of love ’67, I often would feel a tad melancholy that I missed the time I was most likely a natural fit for. Viewing his old stuff reminded me of this and still I was sure he was someone I wanted to be just like in my time.  He was one of the coolest dudes I knew, and the fact that he, along with my dad always encouraged me musically and always expressed his awe at my playing was such an important support and inspiration in a very turbulent time of my life.  As he approached his conclusion from brain cancer, he had a brief moment of remission where he had enough strength for the family to fly in and gather for one last recorded Jam session. Billy conjured up the strength to tear up the lead guitar and even belt out a few blues harmonica solos.  He passed a short time after, and it was like a giant cosmic vacuum sucked the soul out of everyone who loved Billy and replaced the void in our hearts with dense grief and loss.  His life was, and still is so meaningful to many of us in so many different ways.

197051_1646206078962_4771358_n.jpg

My personal process for loss and grief is to go deep and internal, hide out with a pen and guitar and ask spirit to help me transmute this crushing emotion into something tangible and usable. During this process of my internal reflection From Billy’s Passing, I took myself away into the wilderness, camping in the back of my truck somewhere near Telluride Colorado. As I sat mid mountain nurturing and licking my heart wounds, a butterfly fluttered down on my arm. It seemed to stay there comfortably and quite purposefully for quite some time, doing what butterfly’s do when temporarily landed, meditatively moving the wings back and forth ever so slowly like some kundalini heart opening asana.  In the length of that spell I just stared at this little being, it seemed to be the voice of spirit that chose to download to me several gifts of songs that eased my pain. One of which called itself “Nagual”.  Nagual has several notable definitions that supported the content and lyrics that came thru. One Mesoamerican folk story is that the Nagual are the magical animal shape shifters, Masters of Meta-morphing.  In traditional Toltec tales as shared in Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements”, The Nagual is the light and space between the stars. This expansive contemplation of vastness of space harbors our highest nature of sprawling love, light and change into our higher selves. The butterfly started me on the process of the songs incarnation by sharing with me that the metamorphosis that occurs from caterpillar thru cocoon to spectacular colorful winged being is terribly painful, frightening and rides the razors edge of death itself.   It seems that what I garnered from this interaction was that in our sometimes hermetically sealed, Disneyland safe mentality of society, we sometimes forget or dismiss that most, or arguably all beautiful things in our world come from chaos or painful and challenging journeys.   With that epiphany ingrained, the rest of the song wrote itself. *

I suppose the reason and relevance of this share is so present for me now, here at the stark center of winter’s bitter coldness, and right as we approach the New Year just a touch past the winter solstice, may need some explaining.  This aside from the obvious insinuations of personal transformation and change wishing that permeates most folks New Years resolutions. Or even the age-old significance and implications of the transformational swing of dark to light post solstice. No, this year there is a much more personal and emotional connection to metamorphosis for me.

As some of you may have heard or read in a recent True Nature newsletter, we have decided to significantly pair down our True Nature Kitchen offerings to now focus on a few products that are gaining extraordinary momentum. To the four of us as partners, this was a difficult and bittersweet decision for us. In the now approaching 2 years of TNK life, our team created and produced what we honestly believe are some of the best High Prana Living Foods and Juices available. We boldly chased down numerous opportunities and creative directions. We went to great lengths to create an ascension-based company built around the importance of wellness, reciprocity and balance for all of our stakeholders. However we all came to an important and self-honoring decision that our energy, efforts and resources are being spread too thin for our own good as a company, and equally for each of our own health and peace of mind.

Deep passion and connection to manifestation momentum is a curious thing.  When I contemplate this, I often conjure up the image in my mind of me acting as the sorcerers apprentice Mickey Mouse in the 1940 film Fantasia. His excited and passionate dance with the wizards magic cap, incarnates and animates the diligent working brooms with buckets of water that appears to be a hoot and a scream to Mickey until the brooms and the water multiply exponentially and get completely out of hand. The four of us (Eaden, Deva, Pam and Myself) seem to have similar attributes when we combine our powerful intentions. An alchemical and ambiance Midas touch for creating and exponentially incarnating high prana magic and engaging settings for our communities. Often stemming from multiple requests for items that will support living food and spiritual based personal growth. It can be so hard to say no when people are diligently and earnestly seeking wellness, and when your gifts support their growth. And yet at some point, our amazing creations, like Mickey’s buckets take over, and keeping up becomes impossible and overwhelming. We all took the High Prana food creation so serious that we became a non-stop Raw-Vegan- Living Food- Wonka Factory. Unfortunately the demand for products and the energy to keep up started turning the four of us in to more of the jaundiced looking orange-faced oompa loompa minions, rather than the calm creative genius of Willy Wonka.

Oompa loompa doompety da

If you’re in balance you will go far

You will live in happiness too

Like the -Oompa Loompa Doompety do

I remember once hearing Don Henley from the Eagles associating the bands creative, explosive success and the strains and pressures that came with it as the beast.  He solemnly shared once referring to their huge breakup after the long run they had, “We created a beast, and then, it Ate us”.  It took years for them to even step into a room together, however when they did what a transformation! For me its still one of the best and most emotional musical metamorphosis I have ever been blessed to witness. And for True Nature Kitchen the four of us firmly believe this journey will lead to a similar accelerated transformation thru conscious metamorphosis.

The even deeper heart sadness and discomfort that this transformation has currently necessitated was having to lay-off some of our dear kitchen folks. With the substantially decreased production comes far less hours and need for all of our staff at the moment.   This has been particularly emotional for me. Within our True Nature Kitchen vision and the intentions we wove into its inception, we are blessed to magnetize and attract extraordinary beings that align to our dream and to spend their time with us. No one in the kitchen ever shares that this is a just a job. More that it is an orientation to a belief and a culture that we have created, and a reciprocity exchange of connection to their own individual expansion. In the 35 plus years in my career and several decades of leadership and business building, I take nothing more seriously than the human investment, development and love I have for each of my folks as a committed leader.  They bless us with their time and belief and we owe them all that we are for this. Sometimes that comes in the form of candor and uncomfortable truth and action. In the sadness of having to surrender or back burner some of the extraordinary foods and beverages that we have created, none compares to the anguish felt in displacing a person from a position they adore. As our leadership team shared this information with each person individually, each person reflected understanding and love for this vision, and the knowing that this was the right choice for the kitchens sustainability. Once again illuminating to us the extraordinary integrity of people we attract by loving this thing so much. We feel that this difficult decision in the moment is going to ground us and make us even stronger and more re-generative as a company and ultimately provide us with the opportunity to invite some folks back. Already as we have fine-tuned our focus and commitment to our strong products production, and consequently our reach and visibility has now extended well into the Colorado Front Range. For us, it is the validating witnessing of the first tips of our evolving wings emerging from the challenging incubation of our kitchens chrysalis state.

Just like any substantial metamorphosis in our world, comes the requirements of trust and surrender it compels for getting there. Of passing thru, and grounding in gratitude each step of the holy fire that tempers us, and readies us for the next evolution of what we came to become. The caterpillar likely has no idea the journey it will undertake during the viscous dissolving of everything it knows, yet, must exhibit divine trust that the new incarnation will be extraordinary and spectacular, and more importantly that there is only the choice to evolve.  In this our current cultural paradigm, where things feel chaotic and unsettled, scary and unsure, may we all choose to enroll divine gratitude for all the journeys, challenges and people whom got us where we are today. May we surrender fear of the unknown, and trust that the new version of our world and our illuminated selves will exceed anything we are capable of imagining. For despite the discomfort of change, metamorphosis and evolution is amongst the greatest jewels of this existence. Blessings to all, and a blissful expansive and joy filled New Year

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

 

David Starbear / Chef Pam and the True Nature Tribe

*Link to Nagual Lyrics

http://chefdavidtruenaturekitchen.com/2015/12/20/nagual/

Header Image Credit: DEATH HEAD MOTH Repaired altered image Reproduction From early Victorian Book. Artist: missquitecontrary

https://www.etsy.com/listing/75658399/antique-natural-history-print-deaths

Wizards of Whitecoat

Wizards of White coat

 

Elixirs and Potions and Magical worlds

Distributing Comfort from behind closed doors

Stick out your tongue now, Come on and say Ahh

Now give me your wallet, your kids and your car

Write me a check now Ill grant you life for the day

Now take all these pills, and do what the good Dr says

 

Were the wizards of Whitecoat, Trained in Deception

We might have a potion for that nasty infection

Just put al your faith in them degrees on our walls

Now hold real still, while we cut off your balls

 

Hypocratic Oath, It’s a cute little poem

But it disrupts the payments on our 10 story home

Now making appointments is our little joke

Well keep your ass waiting while your family goes broke

Got no coverage, well its just not your day

Wed really love to help, But we gotsta get paid

 

Chorus

 

Well try to diagnose, but were really not sure

Well run some more tests, while we cook up a cure

Im gonna refer you to my buddy Dr Way

He just bought a boat and a modeling babe