In order to illustrate a few points, I’ll tell you a bit about me today… When I was in high school, I dyed my hair every color of the rainbow. Green was my favorite. I pierced my ears, my nose, and eventually I even pierced my lip. As a filmmaker and standup comedian, my image was a powerful statement. It certainly helped me on stage at a time when I wanted to feel assertive and commanding. My punk aesthetic was a way to stake my claim for freedom and individuality and playfulness.
Several years ago, I started a circus and took it on tour across the country. My circus’s gypsy aesthetic of the motley tribe of wanderlusts sent me fishing through antique clothing stores to invent my ringmaster costume… It was another avenue for creative expression that was powerful and unique in a new way.
Recently, I traveled in India for several months. I spent time at ashrams, learning yoga, meditating, meeting new people. I packed one pair of jeans and a few t-shirts from home. It was with a delicious contentment that I gathered beautiful, flowing scarves and punjabi pants at each stop along my dusty journey. I had removed my lip ring and let my hair grow, and it’s now past my shoulders. For many years, I enjoyed playing with people’s perceptions about appearance, knowing all along that the essence which radiates from deep within is more true than what clothes I put on, what shape my body is, where wrinkles have settled in from smiling, or what color my skin is.
And today, I enjoy a sense of confidence, creativity, and freedom that I wear along with my long hair, high heels, and a new brown jacket. I am having a ball dressing in a commanding way, and fully inhabiting this new space. My interactions with people feel unfamiliar. Along with a sense of power, I also feel a sense of responsibility with the power I’m commanding, and a desire to increase my humility, my grounding, and my compassion to root myself.
How we present ourselves is a manifestation of how we see ourselves, and a wish for how others might see us. I encourage you to experiment with your appearance. Step outside of your comfort zone. If you always wear suits or dresses, try putting on a crazy hat and wearing your clothes backwards to the park. Creativity is about exploring possibility, and it’s fueled by your willingness to be in the unknown. Are you ready?
"When one lives with concepts one never learns. The concepts become static. You may change them but the very transformation of one concept to another is still static, is still fixed. But to have the sensitivity to feel, seeing that life is not a movement of two separate activities, the external and the inward, to see that it is one, to realize that the inter-relationship is this movement, is the ebb and flow of sorrow and pleasure and joy and depression, loneliness and escape, to perceive nonverbally this life as a whole, not fragmented, nor broken up, is to learn.