Liberating Your Starman – David Bowie’s Inspiration
Could Being Yourself Be Your Salvation?
Wendell Holmes observed that…
“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”
Not so David Robert Jones… alias Ziggy Stardust…Aladdin Sane…Major Tom…Mr Bowie. Bowie said…
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring”
The musical chameleon, the master of “ch ch ch ch changes”, the man who fell to earth, flowed through life and his presence influenced several generations. So deep is this influence that many of us reeled, disorientated by the news that Ziggy was dead.
“He changed my life,”
we kept hearing on news report after news report.
“I assumed he was immortal”,
Tweeted a disorientated David Baddiel.
This achievement not through politics, or military force, or moralizing; not shouting from a pulpit, or grilled on Newsnight, not tormented for our amusement on “I’m a celebrity get me out of here”.
No, on every level his music was completely out and in the world.
Time and time again he checked back in renewed. Each version of Bowie built upon the last, felt genuine, unreserved and based in wisdom born of experience. Each made his unique mark on those of us who noticed him.
As psychotherapists we hear the phrase “I don’t know who I am” and “I don’t know what I want” more frequently than any other statements.
It seems that too many of us have lost touch with who we might be if we simply let the brakes off. We appear to have become locked into a version of a self we think we “ought to be” for fear of what the neighbours, our employers, our parents, friends or enemies might think. We hold our ‘music’ in just in case it upsets someone, or gets us frowned at, or criticized, or worse, abandoned or punished.
This resistance to our own source energy, our essence, the fuel of our potential is literally self-defeating. It lies behind all of the cases that sit before me in my therapy room.
We have been persuaded to cultivate a mask to hide from others how bad we fear we might be without it on. If people ‘love’ our mask then we are in real trouble, because it saps so much energy to maintain it. And because the mask is inauthentic, the love does not reach our hungriest parts. Our hungers for love, appreciation and being witnessed exist inside who we really are, not at all inside who we pretend to be. This pretend self only has one aim, and that is not to be found out. Its dedication to hiding is one of the greatest disciplines known to mankind. So it is no wonder we do not know what we want, when who we really are is being given no air time, no practice, no experimental time, no friends, no time to fall flat on his/her face and laugh with joy rather than shrink with shame.
As Alice Miller says,
“the mask is like a false limb, it has no blood running through it”.
This should all be fine shouldn’t it?
We can at least get by with a mask.
True, but to cope with this we accept relationships that don’t fit, we serve others when we need to ask for something in return, we work so hard to be acceptable when there is really nothing wrong with us at all, we fear other people because they might “find us out”, we hide our best self and present our best front instead, we allow ourselves to be exploited, we achieve success and do not feel satisfied by it. We can survive, sure, but our essence will keep bugging us with frustration because we know down deep that there is so much more potential to living than just getting by.
Bowie came clattering out into the limelight over and over again regardless, and showed us what a truly liberating experience it is to shout,
“This is ME! Take it or leave it!”
Any masks he used simply served as vehicles for his essence, not as a means to hide his music away from clear sight.
The question “Who am I?” is a start I guess.
The really exciting question is “Who might I be next?” Then what we want becomes really clear.
Bowie truly lived that question.
EMSRP, or Essence Therapy is designed to identify and short-circuit the mechanisms that hold your music in. It is about learning to give yourself both permission and rights to discover, nurture and grow your essence. It reintroduces participants to their source energy, switches it on, and develops simple skills in rebuilding relationships to support the inevitable and invigorating ch ch ch ch changes that emerge by default.
The simple truth is that we already know we would all benefit from releasing our own inner Bowie.
One of our lovely participants has this to say about her experience,
“It often feels like I didn’t really exist before EMSRP – I just passively passed through life, withdrawn, without making any choices or having any direction or sense of self at all. Throughout the process I learnt how to let myself FEEL and how to turn up and participate in life with boundaries and rights, and how to have healthy relationships with people that support mutual thriving. My partner also went through his own process of EMSRP with you. EMSRP changed our lives forever, both individually and together.”
We are not designed to keep our music inside us. There’s a Starman waiting deep inside. He’d like to come and meet us but we fear he’d blow our minds.
EMSRP makes blowing your mind very straightforward indeed.
Mac Andrews (Psychologist) and Steve Harold (Hypnotherapist)