Distilling My Cacophony (January 15, 2015)

Death to drama.

When I created my editorial schedule for January, I assigned Thursdays for posting a weekly commemorative feature. It’d bear the luminous heading “What I’m Celebrating” and be smothered in Pixie Dust by Martha Stewart.

The above paragraph’s as far as the idea has advanced, thank God. It’s boring. It’s tired. It’s what I would’ve created in a past, tethered grind. Today, life’s a badass cacophony that requires constant distilling and I love it. “What I’m Celebrating” doesn’t remotely do my dazzling crazy or me justice.

Hmm. Cacophony. I like that word.

Done. Welcome to Distilling My Cacophony. Expect to see it rear its head every Thursday.

In this inaugural edition, let’s discuss drama, the queen of cacophony, and how I’m always in search of less of her.

Having been raised in controlled chaos, it was everything I could do to just keep calm in the moment, most moments. This tension followed me beyond Buffalo, and although I thankfully shed my dramatic skin a teensy tiny bit each year (yay maturity and sunshine), it’s still a bitch I battle often.

In 2005, I knew that there had to be a better way to exist. I was tired of feeling as if a thin, unproductive veil was all that was holding me back from having a life I truly loved. In the midst of some pretty deep unhappiness, I created a world of disorder, and in some cases, hurt. I lied, I cheated, and I stole too many late nights and early mornings away from creating something profound for myself. I was an asshole and I wasn’t sure where I hid the ladder I used often as a child to climb out of my cave.

The whole idea of exploring hippy, dippy positive crap wasn’t appealing to me at all. I was comfortable with a little dose of venom, a side of the disheartening, a spoonful of bitter. Too happy was too creepy…until it wasn’t, until I looked around and saw that the people in my life who were working hard, playing hard, in sync with their tribes and their spiritual quests had or knew what they wanted. They were connected. They were healthy. They weren’t toxic.

It dawned on me: I was allowing the edicts and verdicts and stories of so many own me, pave my road. I didn’t want that; I wanted different. I wanted death to drama. Like a moth to a flame, my professional life played out (almost) as dramatically as my personal. I was a fundraiser for the arts and planned events (particularly weddings) over the course of 17 years. Enough said. And enough of that, too.

I’ll always be grateful for Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, The Landmark Forum, and Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions (and those who introduced them to me) for showing up just when I needed them. These compasses assisted me in weathering the storms unforeseen and predictable, and the tools I learned from them are still some I practice today.

Yesterday was a day of straight talk with loved ones; there are challenges to be faced head on right now and hopefully overcome quickly. In years past, even up until just this past year, I would’ve been spun, allowing the emotion of the moment to direct my course of action and consume my inventory of Kleenex. Instead, I stopped. I listened. I took a breath, stayed calm, and spoke with clarity, honesty, and resolve. I met each moment with love and respect.

I’ve finally learned what battles the drama demon. With every opportunity for a situation to spin out of control, I’m putting forth the effort to correct the course with reason and compassion. What a welcome result.

Drama = 0, Bek = 1

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