On “Being Nice”
by Candace J. Taylor
there is a real part of me
that isn’t “nice”
that part of me,
she lives in the shadows
drowning in a pool of
and being misunderstood…
The other day I was home, washing the dishes while listening to my son play in the background. All of a sudden he joyfully yells, “I love destruction!”
My immediate instinct was intrigue, curiosity. But some voice swooped in and erected a wall blocking that curiosity with bricks and mortar of “should” and “should nots.”
“You should tell him to think about peace, not destruction.”
Why “should” I tell my son to not think about destruction and instead he “should” focus on peace?
Destructions is inevitable.
Dare I say, normal, a part of life.
One of my many jobs as his mother is to prepare him for life in all its natural rhythms, its ups & downs, ebbs and flows. Destruction happens and it’s not without value or purpose. How do I prepare him for the fullness that is life if I choose to shelter him or re-write his experiences into what they “should” be rather than what they are?
Why do we tend to identify “life done right” as blissful days frolicking through meadows of wildflowers with rainbow-filled skies and unicorns with a million bucks in the bank?
That is not “life done right”, that is illusion, maya. This dreamland that is both created and chased in many ways is a pursuit of convenience and comfort and that life has softened us on all levels; energetically, spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally – wholly.
Perhaps it’s not destruction itself that is the issue, but rather how it makes us feel… uncomfortable. Its not that destruction is good or bad, right or wrong, perhaps its about our inability to both BE in discomfort and with discomfort; resisting, avoiding, distracting ourselves from the experience and sensations of discomfort as soon as possible.
Recently, I’ve been revisiting the yamas (a list of attitudes towards our environment) and niyamas (a list of attitudes towards ourselves) from the Yoga Sutras. The two yamas I have been thinking about a lot in particular are ahimsa (non-violence/non-harm) and satya (truthfulness). In many ways, interpretation of these yamas seem so clear; don’t hurt others and be honest. But…
What if my truthfulness causes harm?
Should I lie, breaking the practice of satya so that I can “keep the peace”, maintain “status quo” and “do no harm”? OR should I tell the truth?
One thing I am certain of is that to do otherwise, to lie to “keep the peace” may, on some level, feel like it protects others from harm but know that it isn’t without its harmful impact. Silencing my voice and performing a part focused on erecting maya, veils of illusion, to protect you from experiencing harm or discomfort ends up harming me and you in different and similar ways.
We both loose an opportunity to practice being both connected while being whole individuals with complex feelings, thoughts, emotions and a diverse tapestry of stories to draw on for support as well as to make in a moment of discomfort.
This maya, illusion we have co-created and, in our own ways, chasing may take a revolution of practiced honesty, among other things, to undo. That’s ok, hope is not lost. On some level, quite possibly a whole heck of a lot of levels, this may feel like destruction. It may not feel “nice.”
But who’s to say destruction will lead to all things bad and wrong, whose to say it can’t lead to liberation, rebirth, a new beginning. Who’s to say that folks involved in a “not-so-nice-but truthful” conversation will fracture their relationship and never be friends again. Perhaps that very same difficult conversation will be just the foundation needed to both nourish and grow the relationship between those conversing and ultimately within the self.
Candace is an intuitive healer and teacher dedicated to using her studies and experiences to provide a sacred space for transformational healing. Candace creates an environment with her students that are authentic and nurturing with an intentional focus on the whole-body connection.
Candace’s passions for holistic healing, social and environmental justice have led her on a radical journey that began as a child, in the kitchen, by her mother and grandmother’s sides. She learned all about her Caribbean ancestral and cultural herbal healing practices and the use of food, roots, fermentation and herbs as medicine.
Candace feels her grandmother’s hands guiding hers every time she connects to the Earth while gardening, preparing food for cooking or remedies for healing. She uses this ancestral wisdom each day in her personal life and her work with clients as a Holistic Health Coach & Chef and Wellness Educator.
Her journey as a healer and educator continued to evolve taking her through labor and birth doula training, 200-hour yoga teacher training, Healing Touch and Reiki Level 1 & 2 training. Candace’s studies and practices have been deepened by her work with shamans in Vermont and Guatamala as well as her immersion in studying sacred indigenous rites of passage for women.
She is an expert in the fields of social justice, anti-oppression and trauma with almost two decade’s worth of experience. She has created and facilitated various workshops and retreats and has spoken and taught at numerous conferences, colleges, teacher trainings and events.
Candace is currently immersed in advanced yogic studies with her teachers Will & Susan Duprey through the Hathavidya school where she received her Holistic Health Coach certification.
Additionally, Candace holds a B.A. in American Studies and Education from Smith College and a M.Ed. in Education and Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Vermont.
In her free time Candace enjoys cooking, studying herbalism and Ayurveda, dancing, all-things-food & eating related, being in her organic home garden, reading, practicing yoga and spending time with her partner Tony, son David, dog Roxy, chickens and dear friends, and family.
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