Being Yourself Is Abundance
Today, Saturday 9th September, we took a stroll into the city centre to check out a pop-up vintage clothes market. It wasn't that great, not our kind of vintage stuff, and then walked along Princes Street, intending to go home via the grocery shops. After spending some money yesterday to get to the beach, we weren't intending to spend more today but I felt in the mood for a coffee at a cafe. Since 2020 when the first lockdown took place, we were unable to get into most cafes because we refused to wear masks. We got used to making our own lattes and cappuccinos at home for the next couple of years and when finally the restrictions came off in 2022 it never felt the same to go back to cafes. We felt slightly aggrieved that they all went along with the covid agenda and so why should we support them by giving our money when they treated us like outcasts during that time. However, I also recognise the saying don't cut your nose off to spite your face. If these things bring some pleasure and enjoyment then why deny yourself that? We are just more selective now of when we do these things. So it had been a long time since I'd sat in a cafe with a coffee and I felt like it today. As we went into a Pret (only place with organic coffee) and approached the counter the barista commented on what we were wearing, "you two are very colour coded!". We were wearing these outfits...
We didn't dress deliberately to match, it just happened to be what each of us put on today. Anyway, his female colleague enthusiastically commented "yeah, its great, I love it!" and then proceeded to serve me. I was just about to pay when she said it was on the house because she loved how we were dressed. I've occasionally been given a free cake or pastry with my order from Pret before, mainly when I used to busk, and there was one occasion with Kate in Berlin when we were struggling financially and could only afford a coffee when the woman gave us each a free piece of chocolate cake but I've never been given a completely free order before. It felt like we were being rewarded for nothing more than being ourselves!
It's funny how life works. I once wore a similar shirt but in purple to primary school when I was about 9 years old. (I think my taste in vintage fashion was already in me at a young age, perhaps an indication its authentic). The whole class burst out laughing when I took my jacket off and I was getting called gay for the rest of the day. I never wore something so daring again until I was about 22. Which reminds me of another incident around that time. Everyone in the class had to write a poem for Halloween and the teacher would pick the best and they'd have to read it out at school assembly to the rest of the school and the parents. I definitely didn't want to win as that prospect terrified me. But I did win, and my teacher had me stand up in front of the class and read it out to practice for the assembly. I was nervous and so my mouth was dry and I wasn't pronouncing the word "pumpkin" clearly. She had me read it over and over again, each time taking the piss out of me, and encouraging the whole class to laugh at me. After several attempts I threw down the poem on the floor and walked out the class upset. She came through to see me, apologised for mocking me, and convinced me to do it at the assembly. I still dreaded it but I got through it. I always think it was funny how that incident showed up early in my life and then I went on to write songs after leaving school. When I look back I see any time my true self was trying to come through and express itself, most people around me would shut it down, particularly those in positions of power in institutions. They hate seeing that true power of self-expression because it is a threat to the system but I never let them shut that down in me. I wasn't outwardly rebellious like a lot of kids but internally there was a quiet power that felt "fuck you" to anybody who got in my way, because my own inner voice was so strong and nobody could disconnect me from that. A sense of "this is what I have to do in life because my own soul tells me so" and who the hell are you to tell me its wrong?!
So I can see now that the same thing has always been trying to express through me, right from the beginning, and its just taken time for it to burst through fully and that process is ongoing and ever-expanding. I'm just getting started! The reason the baristas at Pret were so friendly and enthusiastic is because something in them recognised we were expressing authentically. There is beauty in that and people need and respond to beauty just like they need food and shelter. Art doesn't just have to be what you create in the ways we usually think of it, you can be a living piece of art and it has value and brightens peoples day. It adds colour to an otherwise mundane existence and that is appreciated and rewarded because life tends to support you most when you are being most authentically you. That doesn't mean everybody has to dress like we do. It will express uniquely in each individual but it must start from within. The inner state will guide you to how you should present yourself outwardly. It's already in you. The first record I bought for myself when I was about 7 or 8 was a Shakin' Stevens Greatest Hits because it had "Green Door" on it. I loved that song. I didn't know then it was actually a cover of a 1950s song but it all makes sense. The love of 50s/60s culture was in me even at that point. So living authentically brings its own abundance and life could be like this for us all.