By Tanya Tiger
As you read this feel free to substitute rainbows, sprinkles, sparkles and dancing with whatever floats your boat.
I am not “normal.” Anyone who really knows me knows this to be true. I own my freakiness. I exalt my unique brand of me-ness. There is no other way I would rather be. I am a free-thinker—a self-reliant seeker of wisdom and truth. And, I am not alone.
I know that there are many others out there who feel the same. There exists an army of dreamers in the world who dare to test the limits of what society deems “acceptable.” They refuse to accept things the way they are, “just because that’s how it’s always been.” They refuse to sit by and let life happen to them. They stand up, take life by the cojones, and make it their own. They/We are the Neon Rainbows in a black and white world. We are the ones dancing to the beat of our own drummer while people on the sidelines yell at us to get back in line.
We are the Tattooed Buddhas—the ones who challenge pre-conceived notions of what is normal. We are the ones who choose to stand out rather than fit in. In a world constantly trying to change us—to make us all fit the same mold—we create our own molds and then stick our tongues out at those who judge us. We do not want to be little boxes who think, and talk, and look like everyone else. We want to be stars, moons, whirly-twirly-squiggles, and jumbled knots of awesomeness.
We want to be free.
So how does a rainbow, sprinkled soul exist in a world that demands a cookie-cutter existence? We shine our asses off and dance anyway. We endure the dings and dents of verbal grenades thrown our way and we turn the shrapnel into beautiful mosaics on our souls. We join together in tribes of seekers, mystics, quirky lovers of all things beautiful, nature-lovers, tree-huggers, take-your-box-and-blow-it-wide-open thinkers and doers.
We don’t merely exist in this life; we eat it, sleep it, breathe it and feel it in our bones. We thrive in this life because we believe there is more to this lifetime than meets the eye. We believe that things can change and that we, as a species, can do better. We know that there is so much more to living than working hard to make money so we can buy more stuff and accumulate debt so that we have to work even harder to make more money to buy more stuff to accumulate more debt, and on and on and on… We end up caught in the hamster wheel of an American Dream-turned-nightmare that has been sold to us by a group of people who could never really understand us.
We are not naïve, despite those who would say otherwise. We are optimistic realists. We know that the world is not always sunshine and rainbows and that some pretty heinous stuff goes down on this planet. We also know—deep down—that there is far more hope and beauty than “they” want us to realize.
We are the keepers of the dream.
We are the ones who continue to sparkle and shine despite the haze of negativity that tries to overwhelm our senses. We are fully aware of the disparities that course through our society. We see and feel the increasing gap between rich and poor, the tired eyes of hatred fixed upon past injustices, lonely hearts looking for salvation in all the wrong places. We see and feel all of this and we strive to remedy this global heartbreak by including everyone in our dance. We see all people as one big tribe just trying to find our way.
As Ram Dass wisely said, “we’re all just walking each other home.” I love that quote. Regardless of where we stand, physically and metaphorically speaking, we are all on the same journey. We are all spiritual neighbors walking beside one another toward some unknown “home.”
Some may call us foolish dreamers. Some may call us crazy, or out of touch, or “woo-woo.” Some even pretend to not notice us at all. We don’t care, or rather, we don’t let that stop us.
We have a mission.
Our mission is to shine and shine brightly. We know that the ones who matter don’t mind our craziness and those who do mind don’t matter. We’re can’t be concerned with what the black and white world has to say. We have bigger fish to fry. We have decided to bring some light into this world and we choose to live our lives in vibrant color. We choose to focus our energies on making this world a Technicolor expression of peace, love and joy. The “some” that would have us sit quietly, fall in line, do as we’re told, and “turn it down a notch” can keep on keeping on.
They have made their choice.
We, the “Freaks,” the “Hippies,” and the “Dreamers,” will continue marching to our own beat. We’ll wave the flag of hope as we stand strong in the knowing that we are the ones who make change happen. We are the crusaders who will save the world.
And, we’ll do it with feistiness and fistfuls of glitter, because we can. Because it’s how we were made, and because the world needs a little more sparkle.
Editor: Dana Gornall