Day 8: teepee
This morning I wanted to wake up at 5:30am to get an early and non-rushed start on my blog as I had obligations at noon. I like to get my blogs finished as soon as possible so it was important to me to get it finished before the busyness of the day began.
For some reason I just did not want to get up; I snoozed the alarm until 7! This was very upsetting for me as I try to be as consistent as possible with this project. I don’t want my readers to lose interest, and knowing myself (or rather, acknowledging my ADD), I would lose interest fairly easy.
We had to leave in somewhat of a hurry, and I realized with dismay that I didn’t have any vegan food to tide me over. Noah and I stopped at a grocery store, got some expensive organic cereal, some Kombucha, and some fruit.
Kombucha is a very strange drink. It tastes like carbonated light vinegar, and makes me feel really strange. It has a .5% alcohol content, but there’s something else about it too. It feels as if it’s working to cleanse my body of impurities, which may explain why I made so many bathroom breaks afterwards.
Later that day though I met with a life coach and she pointed out to me that New Age people don’t live by such strict standards and that I should embrace my inner flake. This concept was a huge weight off my shoulders; I felt immense relief in knowing I didn’t have to set such high standards for myself.
Of course, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m loosening the reins on my perfectionism about my blog. If I choose to scratch the surface of my experience out of laziness, I’m losing what makes this blog readable. Generic writing and thoughtless thinking are factors that lose readers, not inconsistency.
It taught me a lot about letting go of the need to put myself down and thus, put more weight on my shoulders than needed. I’m learning to loosen up, which is vital to becoming spiritually centered.
Later that day my mom told me about a teepee she was going to. She said it was a private teepee and she didn’t know if I could go so she made a quick call and told me I could attend the potluck portion.
In my head I imagined a circle of adults talking about new spiritual challenges and theories they had. I visioned it would be somewhere in a living room/lounge area, the food would be ethnic and most likely vegan/vegetarian. I realized maybe I should take things more literally though because when I got there, there was an actual teepee!
The house itself was where the potluck occurred and the food consisted of mostly salads, one roast chicken, some vegan cake (from mom), and some chips.
Most of the people had heard about my blog from my mom, and mom had forwarded me some of the their emails as a resource for gathering more knowledge of New Age people. Some of them were very much against labeling themselves as New Age. The label seemed to hold a stigma to it, even more so that girly girl.
I’ve never heard much animosity towards the New Age movement myself. Though at times there seemed to be a lack of respect for their beliefs. I think that many people are under the impression that New Age people believe in things considered completely ridiculous many like extraterrestrials and faeries. I think there are some beliefs that are hard to take seriously, and when a genre of people are associated with those beliefs (whether or not New Age people actually believe them) people tend to not respect them too.
Also, there is a slightly threatening stigma created by the church. The host of the teepee showed me a book she had called “Dark Secrets of the New Age” written by Texe Mars, a Christian.
It was interesting that to some New Age was viewed as an organized movement to dominate the world.
I could sense there was some tension about my intentions with my blog and what I was trying to say/thinking about these people. I made sure to not push the subject, and I explained as much as I could without ranting that my intentions were not to label.
Later throughout these experiments, I expect to be met with a lot of hatred/animosity towards my project, as it is easy to take it the wrong way. Some people think I’m not able to accept myself, and that I’m doing this because I wish I were a different type of person than myself.
Some people think I’m insulting/stereotyping certain subcultures, and are angry that I’m being so disrespectful. Others are simply upset about the idea of labeling anyone, a complaint I fully understand, but I also understand that if I say that I’m going to be more “spiritually minded” for a month then it wouldn’t have as much power as saying “New Age”.
The negative connotations are really what makes this project interesting (at least to me). I used to wonder “Why would anyone want to identify as girly girl? It’s not something to be proud of, its terrible and shallow!” But as I became more exposed to girls like that I came to realize they had something that I was missing and many of them seemed happy in their own ways. Still, many people have problems with most specified personality types, and I hope reading this will show that its good to broaden your horizens.
I wanted to ask them all “What do you believe in? What do you practice?” but I didn’t want to seem as if I were pushing them into labels. They were very logical people, and their beliefs were their own, that much I could tell. There were no crazy theories thrown out there, no pushing of a new idea. It was full of open conversation about many ideas.
When it came to everyone actually entering the teepee I got up to leave but someone asked why I needed to go and eventually it was agreed upon that I was welcome to join them (as long as I didn’t blog about what everyone said).
The teepee was very roomy, and not at all what I was expecting (though honestly, I didn’t know what to expect). there were wooden benches surrounding a fire pit, the fire was lit and the smoke was floating through a hole in the roof. It was a great place, and I greatly wished that Noah could have been there as he always tells me how much he loves sitting around a campfire and talking.
The host read an introductory speech; I’m not sure what I’m at liberty to say and I honestly as I’m pretty sure the host wrote the speech herself, but it was meant to facilitate an open and honest environment, one that accepted all beliefs and concerns one that valued listening and confidentiality. At the end of her speech she said the four directions (east,west, north, south) represented a certain thing…what specifically I forget (I hope to talk to her about it later) and then someone took some really nice symbals, walked in each direction and chimed them once. The noise they made was really eerie, like the frequencies were somehow special, different than normal sounds.
This isn’t quite the same type of cymbal, but I googled the crap out of it
The circle went clockwise, and everyone was given a chance to express whatever they felt like expressing. I was worried that when it came to me I wouldn’t do it right; I would say something completely inappropriate or irrelevant, but as everyone shared their thoughts I realized this was a place where if I wanted I could simply sit in silence for 10 minutes or ramble about the most mundane recent events if I so chose. The security didn’t prevent me from feeling insecure about my ramblings. When my turn came around I felt an invisible force telling to keep it quick and simple, not to drawl on but to get the point across and be done.
I think that brought out a little known insecurity of mine. My age group especially makes it hard to hold a conversation for too long.
People talk about something for a short period of time and then someone changes the subject. I usually want to talk more in-depth but I try to be conscious of others and where they want to go in conversation. I usually have a lot more to say than just the definition of something, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing by any means, but many people are done thinking about it after they understand the basic principle of it, which is a concept I can at times respect.
I ended up cutting myself short, as I simply was not used to such an open and accepting environment. I felt silent voices anxiously complaining: “C’mon Corrina, everyone needs time to speak, you’re wasting everyone’s time!!”
Still, the session in itself was amazing and insightful. I realized how much I’ve changed over the past week and how much more open minded I’ve become. The acceptance within this group of people really made me remember that the world isn’t full of judgmental people I need to be leery of, that that mentality is not neccessarily the norm.
I felt blessed and grateful that I got to experience it, and left with a lighter load on my back. It was about a 4 hour long event overall, but it didn’t feel that long, and things could have gone longer if weren’t for the fact I had to pick up Noah from his house back to mine.
I’ve recently realized ever since this experiment Noah and I have seen a lot of hawks. It’s only been a week but there seem to be signs everywhere!
I was recently given a Shamanism book from someone who wanted to help. I read that people have “power” or “totem” animals,
but I am unsure if this is a sign of what my power animal is as it seems to indicate that your power animal comes to you in dreams, visions, or meditations. If the hawk were my power animal, I am very blessed to have such a majestic creature guide me!
I do think spiritually speaking this must be some kind of sign, some sort of signal. Of what I can’t say… But if you’re reading this and you have some knowledge that may be of use, comment please!! Not only me, but my readers will appreciate the feedback!
Noah and I both had had long but full days, so when we got home we passed out pretty quickly. It was a good day!