Emotional Freedom

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

May 27th, 2011 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

I keep not writing blog posts. Partly because I need to prioritize my time for paid work, and partly because I don’t feel I can do justice to certain topics unless I take a few hours to write about them. But I’m going to try, again, to get into a flow where I just write whatever I can in about 15-30 minutes. Because I feel like all this knowledge and all these stories are going to fade out unless I get them down.

So today’s topic is emotional freedom. I had a radical commitment to emotional freedom since graduating college. I moved to Los Angeles, and that’s where I became myself. Growing up and becoming an adult, I came to understand, meant finally being free to be the child we were always meant to be but not allowed to be.

I have a lot of stuff about that too – ideas about how children behave and how adults behave. I have always lived in a fluid continuum, and the various barriers felt artificial. In a lot of situations and on a lot of levels. But here I’m getting abstract or esoteric or not clear enough about what the fuck I’m talking about, which is exactly why I don’t like to write unless I have a few hours to do it.

So back to the radical commitment thread. I’ll talk about smashing bottles. The first time I smashed a bottle, I was home alone with my sister. But I’ll save that story for another time. I really started getting into bottle smashing after talking with a friend of mine who was a survivor of incest. I think we met at a Take Back the Night rally at my college, the year after I graduated.

At any rate, inspired by her, I would take my pent up emotions, release them into a bottle, and late at night, after looking below and making sure the coast was clear, throw that bottle down the, oh, four or six flights from my Westside apartment. SMASH! All those emotions dissipated into a million shards of glass.

Why don’t we have, as part of our social norms, bottle smashing ranges? Designated areas where people can go and release their emotions?

People talk about how the youth is wasted on the young, how people spent their 20s being stupid. My youth was spent dedicated to what you might call Absolut Freedom. 100%. Full speed ahead. My mantra was, “There is no limit.” I challenged myself constantly. I defied my fears and defied convention and crossed the threshold of socialization.

People assumed I had not been properly socialized, like I’d missed a memo or 107 along the way. No, I was properly socialized alright. And then I challenged myself to uber awareness of what was mine and what was imposed upon me. And I activated my core, authentic Being.

It’s actually why I became a writer. I figured that if I kept going the rate I was going, well, you remember that song, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away?” I realized I better get some clout and fast.

It’s interesting how people assume that when someone is not doing something according to conventional norms, they are “crazy.” It’s kind of like, if you don’t believe in Jesus, you clearly haven’t heard the gospel. It’s not possible that you’d know all about the Jesus trip and still not buy it. It’s not possible that you actually know how to act like a so-called civilized, so-called respectable young lady, but actively choose to act differently.

Why do we emphasize things like math and science and all the “basics” but not human freedom and authentic expression? Why do people typically ask questions like, “What do you do,” “Are you married,” and “Do you have kids,” as opposed to “Is your soul manifested in the work you do,” “Does your spouse honor your authentic self and encourage you to fly,” and “Are you living life on your terms?”

When I lived in a house, I smashed bottles. Wait, did I write about this already? Anyhow. There was a cement area in the back, with a fence around it. We built the fence higher, then added a net on top, with the net curving inwards onto our yard at the top, so that any glass would stay on our side of the property.

When I’d be in a bad mood – not a fit of rage, mind you, but just feeling yucky energies I didn’t want floating around in my system – I’d go to the backyard, yell whatever the hell I wanted, at the top of my lungs, and smash bottles. Jamaican ginger beer bottles were my favorite, because they were light to toss and gave a crisp smashing sound and thorough shattering. Satisfying.

Within minutes, I’d be chortling, giggling, like a fresh little baby, full of delight.

OK there’s a lot more to this story, but I’ve come to the time limit for today’s installment. Nighty night.


Monique May 27th, 2011

It’s the people who don’t fully fit in for whatever reason who are responsible for things like, oh what do you call it….oh yeah, electricty!

It’s the people who aren’t the mindless drones who bring the most change!

Summer May 27th, 2011

There are actually smashing ranges! You can throw plates, bottles, computers, cell phones – all kinds of stuff. Take your own or buy stuff there to smash. :)

Hayley Cafarella May 28th, 2011

What a brilliant tactic! I love the release of smashing something, but have always thought of it as destructive. Thanks for opening my eyes to the fact that it doesn’t have to be that at all :) xx

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