When I went to bed last night, I asked Spirit to deliver me a song in the morning… a song that is meant to be shared… now… a song that represents, near perfectly, what PATH of Authentic Voice is all about… Power, Acceptance, Truth, Heart… that reveals for us all to witness, a person wrangling all aspects… under extreme and challenging conditions… as we all are at this very crucial point in time…
Spirit answered. A song was delivered in the eerily quiet early hours that are normally humming with commuter traffic. That song is… Quiet, from Matilda the Musical. I can honestly think of no other song to run through, what I call, the PATH filter. I am intimately connected to the music from this show, having immersed my body and soul in it last year, with three days to integrate and embody the execution of each and every facet of intricacy, under immense pressure, and five weeks of performances as pit conductor and pianist. The intensity of the situation required that I rigorously work every Personhood Pillar (Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart) throughout the process and as I was watching the main protagonist and her allies do the same onstage and with the incredible cast, so adeptly playing the parts… our collective skin totally in the game.
Matilda, our heroine in this classic Roald Dahl story, is a brilliant ‘little girl’ and a ferociously large Spirit, who bears, until the triumphant end of the story, the horrendous conditions as repeatedly set before her by her parents and, adding to misery and insult to injury, the terror-invoking school and the astonishingly abusive headmistress and corruptly crazed, Miss Trunchbull… each ‘adult’ representing and inflicting what is dreadfully misguided authority. Despite said misery, Matilda continues to stand for what she believes is right and just, even as those around her continually, and even gleefully, lean into deception, violence and blood-boiling, exploitative injustice.
So, have a listen to our song…
Now, let’s talk about Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart, as it relates…
In this pivotal moment in the show, Matilda enters into, what can be described as, a trance state… the world in all it’s ugly madness is spinning around her and she dramatically splits off from her immediate surroundings and paints for us a sharply focused picture of her vividly perceptive inner world, culminating in the following, lyrical epiphany…
And though the people around me.
Their mouths are still moving.
The words they are forming.
Cannot reach me anymore!
And it is quiet.
And I am warm.
Like I’ve sailed.
Into the eye of the storm.
Indeed, she has… ‘sailed into the eye of the storm’. She enters the liminal state that readily arises from being connected with one’s Power. She realizes, in this preciously sacred moment, that no matter what is going on around her, she is Sovereign and she truly realizes that she possesses the ability to respond, rather than react, in any given situation (the key component of my own personal definition of what being empowered means) and that the state she has achieved is available to her at all times and, more importantly, that no one can take that away from her… not on her watch.
The beginning of the song indicates her struggle against the troubling ‘reality’ surrounding her. Once, however, she shifts into the Quiet, she is surrendered into a state of Acceptance. Acceptance is not the same as tolerance. On the contrary, she strongly rails against that which she is no longer willing to tolerate and what she decrees to be reprehensible human behavior. It is only from this place of Power and Acceptance, however, that she can truly take in the circumstances around her and respond in ways that are True to her Sense of Being.
Matilda pulls no punches. When she sees someone acting out of integrity and intentionally disadvantaging her fellows, she calls it out. Feet wide, chest puffed, hands on hips, she decries robustly, invoking a deathly and cathartic silence…
“That’s not right!”
Throughout the show, she uses her Voice to stand up for her herself and her peers… for peace, kindness and, ultimately, Love…
It is Matilda who, at the end of the story, when given the opportunity to wield retribution against her egregiously abusive father, by a Russian mob boss who is, himself, hungrily eager to cook the crooks goose for undercutting him… She, Mighty Matilda, says,
“… this is a very tempting offer. But he is my father. And I am his daughter. I think I’ve had enough of revenge.”
Her father knows that he’s gotten off lucky and that it is only through Matilda’s mature and wisely sophisticated Heart that he escapes with his life. Finally, in an unusually sincere gesture of tender, loving, kindness, he then releases her to the care of her teacher, Miss Honey, who has rallied for Matilda’s well-being from the very beginning.
So, back to our song. This flash capture in time, and the story of Matilda itself, offers us an extraordinarily poignant reminder and invitation to be in active relationship with Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart. The fundamental state that makes it possible for all four to emerge, grow, and become strong, with insightful and potently profound clarity is… Quiet.
As life circumstances swirl around us, whether or not pandemic in size, it is imperative to remember that we do possess the ability to actively practice and conjure Quiet. However challenging the times, for us to transform what is no longer tolerable and/or workable into sustainable systems and ways of serving the highest good of all, a whole and healthy relationship with Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart, and Quiet, is essential.