Friday, July 20, 2012

“You already have permission ... and you never needed it.”

Recently, I attended the “Lightning in a Bottle” (LIB) festival in southern California. LIB is kind of a “Burning Man Festival warm-up weekend, though in the same way you go to Kindergarten to warm-up for a Ph.D. program.

While I was there, I had a conversation with a brilliant artist friend that completely blew open and beautifully clarified my own understanding of this global shift we seem to be moving through.

If you’ve only heard about Burning Man, you probably have some idea that it’s one of the most other-worldly festivals on the planet. One of my other friends (whose clearly never been) recently said, “yeah, it’s that naked hippie festival, right?”

No, not quite. While you may encounter a few naked hippies there, Burning Man Festival is really about “permission”. Just as The Daily Love community is also about “permission”. Just as Oprah Winfrey’s work is about “permission”.

Think about this: the global shift happening on our planet right now may really be a shift in our understanding of “permission”.

It seems to be fundamental in our human nature to seek permission from the world around us; permission to feel what we feel, to think what we think, to behave the way we want to behave, to dress the way we want to dress. Often, we find ourselves at odds with what we feel deep inside to be true for ourselves and what most of our social community loudly endorses as appropriate and right. Thus, we suffer, because this contrast suggests something is wrong with us, that we’re somehow different from everyone else and that this is not ok ... and we buy into that insanity, which hurts.

As we read blogs like The Daily Love, watch Oprah’s Life Classes, experience gatherings like Burning Man and LIB; as we both discover and build more and more a world - and please note, we are both the explorers AND the architects of our world - in which we are given permission to be ourselves and give others permission to be themselves, we discover that who we are right now is not just ok, but divinely inspired, even necessary for this magical world to be complete!

Then, after this radical discovery, things really get exciting. Because the next thing that happens is the realization that we never actually needed permission outside ourselves in the first place. Nor has another ever needed our permission, either.

This is the shift that’s happening. We’re discovering that we don’t need to struggle to conform to social opinions about what is appropriate, or right, or beautiful. We are already appropriate, and right, and beautiful, just as we are. RIGHT NOW. .... and we discover that everyone around us is also already appropriate, and right, and beautiful.

There’s no job we need to keep, no amount of money we need to make, no right person we need to marry, no right thoughts we need to think, no right ambitions to have, no particular right way to live ... there’s nothing we can do or be or get that will make us any more amazing than we already are right now.

This powerful insight frees us to simply, fully express who we are in this moment, whatever that looks like. Importantly, it also allows us to support everyone else doing the same.

Events like Burning Man Festival and communities like The Daily Love are so thrilling because we get to witness first-hand the unfathomable brilliance that emerges from the imaginations of people who are fully self-approved to live out their dreams and inspirations in the present moment.

Sure, there are a lot of people working to fight this shift, scared of the hell they think will break loose when they give others permission to live out inspirations that don’t jive with their own.

Truth is, you really should see Burning Man. To the mind scared of stepping outside a particularly specific way of thinking, the unfathomable cacophony of sounds and sights and expressions of imagination might be overwhelming and confusing, even frightening. To some, even The Daily Love world of self-love and self-approval may seem inappropriate and offensive.

However, as you’re discovering, to be among those creating and living this world of complete self-permission, is to experience a world of deliciously unconditional love, authentic expression, sweet vulnerability, compassion, a lot of laughter, and inspired action for the benefit of all.

The shift we’re experiencing is about permission. Permission to simply be ourselves.

Imagine what us human beings are going to create on this planet as we deepen our experience of self-approval, giving ourselves complete permission to live out our unique inspirations today, all the while supporting others in theirs.

What possibilities do you see leaping out of your heart for both yourself and our planet?

p.s. deep props to brilliant illustrator/artist Dave Zaboski for sharing his insight around permission.

Dave Zaboski painting the Kiss at LIB 2012 from Dave Zaboski on Vimeo.

This blog originally appeared on the website "The Daily Love" @

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