Getting an iPod changed my life. It’s a pocket sized miracle. It carries a lot of music, and a whole lot of me in it. The playlists are like a biography of various parts of my personality. There’s the workout play list; Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Sick Puppies, Bush…it’s all hard hitting and intense. The first time I worked out with my iPod, I was lifting heavier weights, doing more reps and feeling stronger than ever. The difference was amazing. I call this play list “Testosterian.”
Then there’s the meditation play list. It has Sheila Chandra, Gregorian Chants, and various aquatic animal sounds on it. It takes me into a deep peace and I especially like to listen to this one while hanging upside down like a bat. Pure bliss! I call this play list “Euphorian.”
I’ve also got a compassion play list. It has James Blunt and Adele and other tear jerking music on it. I listen to it when I feel overwhelmed with sadness. I call this play list “Melancholian.”
Me, myself and MiPod. It was kind of Apple to include the “I” in iPod for Ian. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I discovered the shuffle command. Merging all these different play lists creates a smorgasbord of musical surprises.
So one day my various play lists had a battle for supremacy. I was on an airplane and hit the shuffle key. First, one of my testosterian songs played. I didn’t know what to do with all the energy. I started edging my arm across the armrest. No one messes with testosterian. Then just as suddenly, that song ended and James Blunt began. My arms melted to my sides and I began quietly weeping in my seat. “Goodbye my lover!” Melancholian took over. Before I could wipe the tears from my face, Sheila Chandra started crooning in my ear and I could have sworn I had died and gone to bliss heaven. Euphorian took center stage.
This musical ego shuffle went on for some time before I even realized how insane I had become.
I had so identified with each persona that I had forgotten how fickle and changing they are. I felt like Sybil or actually more like Tara battling with Buck and T in The United States of Tara television series about multiple personalities. Luckily no one was hurt on my little flight with Air Ian. But it was a little musical wake up call. Next time I plan to fly United.
There is nothing wrong with play lists, personas are important and it’s even healthy to shuffle them up from time to time and keep things interesting. But the truth is that people do get hurt when we fixate mindlessly on personas and fixed identities. The need to defend these separate selves becomes a life and death struggle, and is behind so much internal restlessness, relationship conflict, world wars and religious rivalry.
Enough! Life is too short for petty rivalries, whether internal or external. Sit back, enjoy the music of being united, and relish the peace of knowing at your essence that you are intimately related to all others.
All it takes is a little self awareness. Become aware of your multiplicities and idiosyncrasies, enjoy them for what they are, but don’t imagine that any of them define you. You are the sum of all of them, and so much more, dancing between who you’ve been and who you’re becoming in each moment.
Kemmy Nola said,
Between who you once were, and who you are becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place; dance to the tunes of life with great new knowledge.
I’m offering a free one hour video class on Awareness on February 26. You can join in live for free or else subscribe to a monthly en*theos Academy subscription and have access to ALL the classes, at any time that suits you. I recommend this option. Click here for more info.