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    Boys Can't Wear Purple

           Riding the subway the other day, a little black girl, around eight years old, was staring at me. Little kids stare at me all the time. It’s probably a combination of physical and metaphysical attributes. The way I dress, my use of jewelry, a vibrancy of spirit, my playfulness. Kids intuitively pick up on all that. When I catch a kid staring at me, I always smile back, sometimes say hello, and send out loving and accepting vibes, as if to say “It’s okay to stare”. When kids stare, there’s the presence of fascination, curiosity, and wonder; elements that are in short supply with adults.
           This little girl smiled back and started talking to me, as her parent looked on. She had bright plastic purple Mardi Gras beads on, and said, with a huge smile on her face, “I like purple!”. I responded, “I can see that. I dig your beads.” Then I said, “I like purple too. I’m wearing purple shoes.”. I pointed down at these killer leather Cole Haan’s that I had bought in Phoenix over a year ago. This was the first time I had worn them. She hadn’t noticed my purple shoes until I pointed them out to her. When she looked at them, her mouth went agape. And her response was very telling.
           “Boys can’t wear purple!”, she said. Boys can’t wear purple. Wow. Eight years old. And the indoctrination of acceptable male color schemes is already firmly entrenched.
           This is what we’re all up against whenever we do anything outside the box. Years of socialization, constantly reenforced through the media, through other people’s responses, and through our our thoughts. We get it from all sides, all the time. And we are usually unconscious of it, and just accept it as dogma, without even realizing it. And if we do realize it, we fight an uphill battle with ourselves and with our peers.
           How do we deconstruct all this shit? How do we get to a place where we’re okay with more vibrant self expression, more emotive behavior, more emotional content in our living?
           Well, the first step is realizing it exists, on a very deep level, within ourselves and within our culture. Our awareness of how prevalent and ensconced this strict, judgmental, and limiting way of being is can allow us the opportunity to work with it. The first step is always awareness. Of making what is unconscious, conscious.
           The next step is choosing to take some action. Deciding that this belief system is hindering your vibrancy, creativity, self expression, emotional availability, and aliveness, and that you want to do something about it.
           The actions, the exercises, the new ways of dealing with this, are what I’m working on. Techniques that can help free us from this prison of obsessive unconscious conformity and repressive socialization. It’s taking longer than I thought, but soon I’m going to be doing podcasts, webinar’s, and live presentations that will assist people in breaking down these oppressive walls. I’ll be inspiring people to express themselves more freely, more vibrantly, with more authenticity, more vulnerability, and more aliveness. The book I’m writing works with this too.
           We are feeling beings, capable of so much more expression, vibrancy, and emotional aliveness than we realize. I will guide people on that journey.
           I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating here, because it’s so poignant. An ex-girl friend of mine once paid me a compliment of the highest order. She said, “It’s not that Clint thinks outside the box. Clint doesn’t know there is a box”.
           Conformity can be four letter word. So can “box”.  
           Fuck the box.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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