Nobody Runs Like a Banshee

It is a well known and observable fact that screaming and flailing your arms like an energetic savage banshee whilst running is not an effective way to run.

It wastes energy. It breaks momentum. And it makes you dizzy. Makes people around you dizzy too. And frightened.

Not that anybody runs for travel anymore – we’ve tamed big metallic beasts who drool fumes and howl through fanged radios for transportation – but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how screaming and throwing your arms wildly isn’t going to make you win the 100 meter sprint final in the Olympics. Usain Bolt your windows, the banshee is warming up.

Swinging your arms frenetically and yodelling as though you are being swarmed by a battalion of radioactive bats whilst running makes you tired and stops you from being able to run your best.

You dilute your energy and end up kinda running and kinda fighting the air.

Sure, if you just feel like running and screaming and getting dizzy then that’s fine, and even encouraged on full moons and other auspicious occasions, but if your intention is to run from here to there then arm-flailing and banshee behaviour is going get in the way of glory.

And this is all really obvious.

Nobody runs like a banshee,
that would be obscene,
but that’s how most people go through life.

Metaphysically on the Run

Okay, so most people don’t literally go through life running like persecuted banshees on the defensive.

Most people don’t run at all. At best, they speed-walk to catch the deli for a pastry before it closes.

So what’s with the weird arm-flailing running banshee analogy?!
I’m about to tell ya. And it applies to you so listen up, banshee brain.

Most people do not live in ease.
They fight reality and limit their success and experience of life in the process.

Something happens that makes them anxious or angry or resist life or want approval or control or attachment or aversion or any of these things that nerdy psychologists and cross-legged Zen masters ponder.

A feeling or thought or emotion enters their reality and they think that they need to fight it to protect their precious ego / story / identity.

It feels real, like it’s a threat to their lives, so they start violently swinging their arms and screaming to defend themselves, figuratively, of course, and running for fear that if they stop moving then their identity and whole world will melt.

(Maybe ‘fighting’ is too tangy a word. ‘Specially since the fighting is internal. You experience a feeling and you oppose it. Maybe ‘oppose’ or ‘resist’ are better terms. Or maybe they just sit better because people don’t like to think of themselves as the ‘fighting’ type. Ha!)

Taking the contents of consciousness seriously – taking life and things that happen too seriously – puts you metaphysically on the run from yourself.

And all that fighting not only creates more tension and magnifies the feelings that arise but, just like our little banshee, it stops you from being productive and getting things done because you end up fighting instead of living.

Unwrapping the Packaging of Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions

So opposing and fighting the contents of consciousness makes the struggle and tension feel more real.

Not to say that anxiety and resistance and those things aren’t real. They are.

But you don’t have to take them seriously,
and they don’t have to define who you are.

People argue and get freaked out and disturbed by the stupidest and most trivial things.

Even if you’re a nocturnal basement-dwelling Warcraft lord who rubs peanut butter all over yourself while listening to Elton John in the shadows – a bona fide sociopath – you’ve likely still had the experience of seeing somebody get freaked out about something that you know to be clearly pointless. Like rush-hour traffic or waiting in line for thirty seconds longer than usual for their BigMac.

You don’t have to take them seriously either.

Picture walking through a dark room and seeing a figure holding a big scary knife of machete proportions. Your breath jumps ship and the particles of your being run to your neurochemical fridge and grab a can of fizzy adrenaline. You turn on the light and find that the attacker is just the shadow of a tree and your heart catches its breath. You turn off the light and now the shadow no longer scares you.

The shadow is still there – the feelings that dance through your consciousness are still there – but you don’t have to take them seriously and work yourself up over them.

That’s the essence of living a life of ease – nothing gets to you anymore.

You don’t mind what happens anymore.
Not like Tupac. Not reckless numbness. It’s not that you don’t care.

But now you live in ease.
No more internal struggle.

So What Then? Infinite Syrup? And What About that Savage Banshee?

Life still goes on. Feelings and thoughts and emotions still arise, but you no longer look to them for who you are.

The banshee within dissolves because you realise that there is nothing to fight.

You allow life to flow.

You stop distorting your experience of life with layers of protective judgements and you let life flow.

You stop flailing your arms and tiring yourself out.

You stop screaming and suddenly you can hear the sound of the universe breathing.

You stop running and you’re free to stop and smell the adjectives.

Of course, you can always still carry on running and working to get places in life, but now you’re free to actually experience it and feel the wind against your face instead of living a distorted banshee version that’s filtered through a defensively closed mind.

Realising the triviality of the whole thing lets you let go of pointless effort and fighting and just Be. Just live. In Ease.

This is expanding your consciousness. You realise that nothing that ever happens or has happened to you – including thoughts and feelings and emotions – could ever hurt or change or take away from or add to the thick syrupy infinite perfection that is the essence of who you are.

How to do this – how you go about realising that the contents of consciousness are just empty appearances on the infinite syrup of your being – well, that’s not only a good question, it’s THE question.

And right now I don’t really have an answer.

Ease. Oneness. Immersion in life. Realisation. Flow. God. Syrup.

The question that, in essence, all spiritual traditions and practises seek to answer.

I could just bombard you with sugar-coated rhetoric and big words. That’s what most people do.

But I don’t know how to answer it.

I have had experiences of it. Some days taste like licking the universe’s face. Others taste like licking its bum. Ups and downs. But I do know that awareness of and being open to the possibility that you don’t need anything to be you and that the essence of who you are is changeless allows you to let go of wanting to believe the yuck. It makes it less real. And you realise how stupid it is to take life too seriously. Woomkajam!! Ease naturally flows into your life.

Consciously feeling what it feels like when the anxiety and anger and yuck comes up and being aware of it when it does and feeling the space around it will give you glimpses of how seriously you ordinarily take life and how playful life really is.

Be aware of the yuck tendencies and consciously inquire within as to whether the anxiety and resistance and yuck is who you are or just an appearance in the infinite perfection of your true nature.

The glimpses will come when you consciously pour your awareness into the yuck.

It lets you see how beautiful and yum it is to live a life of ease.

It lets you realise that you don’t need to be a savage banshee.

Let me know how it goes.

Unleash Reality
Alex

P.S. I’m putting together a monthly movie night at the treehouse that is my home in Cape Town. It’s called “The Reel Love” and it’s going to be magic. Popcorn and Secret Lemonade will be served. First one is on Sunday 31 January. Email / Facebook me for info.

P.S. 2. Syrupy magic happening here soon so make sure you’re subscribe ;) free+quick

52 Comments

  1. Hey Alex,

    Do you know how incredibly odd, and unique, and unusual and fantastic your writing style is? I’m sure you do. “stop and smell the adjectives…” Love it.

    I’m working on not failing my arms like a banshee.. but it’s difficult when most people in our society do this, and it’s considered the norm. I too seek infinite syrupy perfect ease… and thanks for reminding me of that today. :)

    Karen

    • Karen BooooooOOOoooOOOOOoooooo (la la) !!

      Awwwww. You’re making my ego blush :P

      Def agree that most of society is bansheeing it up. Like a banshee clan. Yikes. But challenging the impulses to go banshee will give you glimpses at how stupid it is.

      On one hand, you wanna follow the banshee crowds. But on the other, when you start to see how stupid and trivial it is, it becomes really funny. Like how people put on fronts at nightclubs. You see through the yuck and it becomes funny.

      syrup=yum :)

      Hope your new years was magic.
      Keep well karen boo
      a

  2. I love your writing style as well! This is one of those articles that made me think.
    What I’ve been figuratively tooting my horn about lately is something similar to this. How we make choices all the time. And those choices and include how wrapped up we get in our emotions. We can CHOOSE to let go of those negative emotions, thoughts, thought spirals, and other things.
    Keep up the really interesting posts! :)

    • Steven you LEGEND!!

      always happy to inspire some thinking. or no thinking. either way :)

      i almost wrote a post about choice actually. Still marinating the thoughts but i’m rapidly being led to believe that we don’t actually choose much at all. except a binary “Yes to life or No to life”. Choosing good versus evil kinda thing. Still letting it stew though and might change my mind on the matter completely.

      keep in touch mate
      a

  3. Alex,

    You are definitely one of a kind when it comes to writing style. It amazes me how caught up we can get in our twisted world. If you see the post on my blog about the universe testing you, you’ll see that I chose to make myself miserable for 4 hours because some homeless idiot at the beach decided to make off with my towel and lost the keys in the process. We really do have a choice in terms how difficult we make our lives.

    • Srini Supremo!!

      Always cool to see you ’round these parts.

      can just imagine you getting bleak at some chuckling homeless dude. Sucks but teaches us a lot. I kinda like it when stuff like that happens cos it lets us face our reactions and who we are.

      Chchchecking out your article now.

      Hope your new years was written in fireworks and glory.

      Keep well mate
      a

  4. Jen

    So many great analagies in here!

    “Some days taste like licking the universe’s face. Others taste like licking its bum.”!!

    Great message and so true, we really do make things hard for ourselves sometimes!

    • Jen!!

      awww. you’re making my ego blush :)

      may 2010 lick your face and leave streaks of gooey ambition and glory jen :)

  5. nys

    Found you through your Mark & Angel’s article- Fabulous article and boy am I glad I clicked through. Great stuff here! & LOVE THE PICTURES YOU USE btw!! They absolutely tickle me…

    • Hey NYS!!

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Always makes my soul smile :)

      Keep well and check back soon!! :)
      a

  6. Great post man!

  7. Alex, man, I just want to ditto what karen said. I love your style. I love you, man. You rock the universe!

    • Jay Deluxe!!

      Thanks so much for the words man. Really appreciate it. warm and fizzy feelings – like champagne is coursing through my blood – as i read that.

      keep in touch ehy.
      a

  8. Hi Alex,

    love love love your writing! It has lots of energy and movement…I like your expanded perspective and the way you flip things every which way. People/society just love to press the banshee button…but luckily mine is getting harder to find :)

    • Hey Sheila!!

      this comment made my insides do handstands in a pool of laughing gas. Tingly warm feelings. thank you so much for the kind words.

      really love your site. quirky and clever :)

      keep well. and in touch.
      a

  9. Yup, it’s all about seeing through the delusions–”much ado about nothing.” Thanks for the reminder in your uniquely reverberating style!

    • Kaushik!!

      Everything is brighter and louder when you comment here. Like a zen master walking in the room and squirting a water pistol at the seriousness :)

      Thanks so much for the kind words my friend.

      Hope all’s well
      a

  10. I agree that in life you do need to stop fighting and go with the flow. When you learn to flow with a situation be it good or bad, without resistance, you can nearly always find an answer you are looking for.

    Life can be stressful at times, ,we all know that. Let it go, don’t make it worse for yourself.

    Thanks for the post Alex.

    • Angel!!

      You’re like that feeling you get when you come up with a new word when all you really needed was a word that fit.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Keep well. And in touch!
      a

  11. Hey bro,

    Your writing style has definitely developed in crazy ways… Really cramming some cool words into sentences and creating some trully unique analogy’s… seriousely man it’s so good.=)

    I understand the whole concept of living with ease and as such being better equiped to deal with what life throws at you.But I think at the end of the day it’s what you DO that is important. and that you do the things that work for you.That you live everyday to improve your resourses and basically focus on the things that improve you.

    • Mikey G aka The G-SUPERSTAR aka The Supreme Leader of Redhead Babes Worldwide

      How’s that going btw? Hope there’s the smell of musky yum and that she’s wearing one of your tshirts, giggling over your shoulder while you’re reading this ;)

      glad you’ve noticed an improvement. Been putting in serious hours reading and writing so I’m glad it’s had an effect. I can feel it growing. Making myself laugh constantly with some of the stuff that my mind is spewing out recently.

      I’m not so sure that it’s what you DO that’s important. On the other hand I think it may just be all that matters. Gonna let it swirl and marinate a little but my instinctive thought on it is that what you DO is irrelevant and is an inevitable manifestation of who you ARE. What you do is determined by who you are. Though the other way around is true too. What came first, the pimp or the makeout? Jeffy would prolly say the makeout, tyler’d say the pimp and the Dalai Lama would blissfully point out that “the pimp is the makeout”. This is not a riddle and nothing is implied. Except that everything is connected.

      Hmmm.

      Must def catch up in the week. Been getting work done and it’s going awwwwwsomely so game to go lord it up.

      What’s news on romeo+juliet?

      hope all’s goods.

  12. Well now you’ve gone and said it all. NOW what am I going to write about!? This is like seeing ALL my blog posts in one place. Oh well. I’ll just take up quilting or something :) .

    • Trish, you little pixie of glory sprinkled in clever dust and dipped in chocolate!!

      The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali wrote all this stuff 4500 years ago. Duddn’t mean we can’t write it in a more accessible way with our own humble additions. And remix a little Sanskrit into comma-spliced metaphors. What gets to me is that this stuff has been out there for thousands of years – and things have gotten WORSE!! What the hell has everybody been doing?!?! Imagine you blink and pooftyabawacka!! it’s 4500 years in the future. You open your front door and it’s dark and people are in the streets like zombies, eating plastic using computers as plates. It’s ridiculous how we’ve come so far off track. It’s the bluddy Americans’ fault. Definitely. If only they learn’t to spell “empathise” without a fvcking Z, this never would have happened!

      :)

      you could quilt me a jersey. But it must look all old and tattered and second hand. It’s stylish to look homeless nowadays – dirty chic undernourished is the new “it thing”.

      Keep well Trish.
      and in touch.
      a

      • Ha! And before the Yoga Sutras they said it with drums. I think that was the way to go to real understanding but then we got all excited about language and as you pointed out things have gone downhill ever since. The really wonderful bit is that it doesn’t matter!!!

        And I can’t leave without saying Alex, I will treasure these words forever; “Trish, you little pixie of glory sprinkled in clever dust and dipped in chocolate!!” When you put it like that, language is very, very good. You just couldn’t have said that with drums.

        I’ll give the dog your quilted jersey to break in. It should be ready in no time.

        • yeah, every now and then I happen across somebody playing drums and there’s something about the way they grunt and drool and bark that tickles a primalness in me. makes me want to go hunt and throw my girl over my shoulder and take her to my cave. grrrr.

          And i’m not sure that it’s gone downhill Because of language as much as it has because of the structure of our cultures and society. love putting on my geeky conspiracy mayonaise-sandwich eating “they’re coming man the aliens are coming to get us and zap us with their beetroot guns and explore our brains man” impersonation when i catch myself sounding too much “against society”. Although i really don’t think that any species intelligent enough to get from their planet to earth would want the slightest thing to do with these human creatures. they’d take one look at us and run home where it’s safe. they’d watch us wake up to a noise round screaming device at 6AM before the sun is even up, then jump under an artificial waterfall and apply a foamy chemical to our fur and… struggle and …. bleh!! If i were an alien i’d stay as far away from earth as possible.

          i could say anything with drums :)

  13. Alex,

    When I come to your site – stopping to smell the adjectives is one of my first priorities. You are full of awesomeness, Alex!!

    Running like a wild banshee should only occur when the sole goal is running like a wild banshee, because, I think we all agree, sometimes it’s just fun to run wild. Yes?

    Your post is full of gems – you’re spot on, Alex. Why expend all that energy, when we can just turn the lights on to expose the shadows? Shaka that.

    May I ask, what components constitute “Secret Lemonade”?
    Count me in for movie night!
    ~xo

    • Lori,

      When you come to my site it’s always magic.

      Yip. I don’t go back and read my writing once it’s done but I’m pretty sure I said something about it being perfectly fine, encouraged in fact on auspicious occassions and full moons, to run like a wild banshee as long as you’re doing it because you just feel like running like a wild banshee. Always fun to run wild every now and then.

      I’ll Shaka that all the way to the stoneage. And back again :)

      The Secret Lemonade is, well, secret. But seeing as you’re in the inner circle I’ll tell you this: lemons, cinnamon, plums, starjuice and a single butterfly tear. The rest is in the way you talk to it.

      Keep it reals lori boo
      a

  14. Phew! I made… finally. I still haven’t finished all those stupid chores I told you about, but I couldn’t wait any longer to get my Alexy goodness fix. NOW I can breathe…

    :)

    Thanks… again!

    PS: This post made me wish I wasn’t already subscribed to your blog, so I could subscribe today… because of it. Weird, huh?

    • chores can go eat a purple pogostick.

      you can always create another email address and subscribe again? it’d help. serious. it’s one of my best pickup lines. “ehy!! ehy cummere. i’m famous online, i have X subscribers, so cummere and lick my face”

      wow-wa-woo-wa

    • This IS the article (and ALL the juicy comments!) that made me subscribe to A’s blog today for the first time!
      New ritual: plug into unleashreality.com ~ the aroma of your adjectives will be what’s wakn me up from now on!

  15. Who you calling Bangee Brain, Syrup face. Man, I love your writing.

    • HellsYEAH!!

      i’ll take “syrup face” anytime :)

      submission for your piece is almost done but don’t wanna just do some quick meh so i’ll send it either later today or tmw.

  16. Thank you so much for such an amazing article. I need as much reminding as possible at the moment, to stop fighting change and stop resisting life.

    • Roxy3000 Deluxe!!

      glad i helped you sign a ceasefire with change and life. I think that they’re like most people, they fight back if you start with them but otherwise they don’t really want to fight. Most people don’t want to fight but if you start getting in their face then they tend to get a big angsty :)

      thanks for stopping by Roxy!
      a

  17. Awesomeness.
    This morning, I feel like licking the but of the Universe, probably because I licked his face last night.

    I’m sure I will start licking his face again during the day!

    Amazing Alex, thanks

    • Once again you leave an autoerotic dirrty bastard greasy assed comment.

      :P

      sigh.

  18. This is a great post… and very timely for me. I guess that’s what the magic is all about. I have this wonderful feeling of “ease” when i just decide to “be”.

    In the Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto, there is a wonderful statement which has been the highlight of the experience of life in the last 2 weeks…He calls it the prerequisite of growth and it is “The openness to experience events”… and that is a major lesson for me from this wonderful and valuable post.

    Thank you.
    Christopher

    • Hey Christopher you LEGEND!!

      Deciding to BE is one of the most decisions you can ever make. I don’t even think it’s so much “deciding to be” as much as it is “deciding to not distract yourself from being”. or summen like that :)

      Never heard of Bruce Mau but wiki’ing it as i type this. Openness is probably the essence of all this stuff that i’m talking about. Prolly going to write something about openness soon. inspired :)

      thanks for stopping by mate
      a

  19. Hey, there’s my friend Lori. Hi Lori!

    Now back to you, Alex.

    So many folks have commented on the writing style. Truly there is nothing quite like you in the universe. And THAT is super-cool-a-licious.

    I used to train paramedics. One of my fav teachings was, “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” Kinda says it all, eh?

    Cheers, and sorry I can’t make it to movie night. I will however, add the good Cape to my list of places to visit!

    George

    • Awww. See you and our Lori are getting friendly. so cute. always touching to bring two hearts together in a union of musky golden love. or friendship. whatever you kids are doing nowadays.

      so glad you like the way i write. ‘specially coming from you – supreme leader of the writing guild of glory.

      crazycool that you used to train paramedics. things like that are what separate regular travelers from mysterious outlaws. one thing i’m really big on, and it isn’t something i’ve written about yet, is deliberately putting yourself in wild situations in order to show yourself that you can deal with anything and to make your life louder and tastier. strengthening your reality.

      Cape Town is a remix between an african version of the wild west and a cup full of joyful parrot tears. Highly recommended.

      a

  20. Alli

    When you are going with the flow, not resisting life and you have an easiness about you and a comfort with your environment and an easieness with the way you interact with daily activity and life – the result is amazing. I cannot say I have reached this elevated state of awareness YET, but I definitely know Its an intangible state yet its very visible one too. IMO this state is colloquially known as a swagger, however with a great air of humility.

    Dude As I was telling you when we were chillin the other night when I first met you, you had this amazing aura about you, [sounds kinky :) ] at first i didnt know what it was but after a while I realised it was a proper swagger(of the humble persuasion of course) that you had going down!

    I been wanting to get me a swag ever since :D
    But seriously you can easily see when some1 has their shit together and has an easiness about them. And it looks like it makes everyday, pure bliss.

    For anyone who hasnt met Alex, I can vouch for the swag ;)

    Just

    • Just aka spartacus3000 aka Captain Just GoldDaddy aka The BOSS!!

      Man. Funny thing is that flow and nonresistance and yumblisskawabunga!!! and all that oozingly excellent magic is what happens when you stop reaching. You can’t reach it. It’s a state of relaxation into life. You get there when you stop trying to get there. You get there when you stop forcing life and forcing tension and all that yuck…

      And i’m def not there all the time. not at all. but i’m creating bullshit less and less and the yum is shining more often. I think it’s just about allowing those moments to come so that you see how trivial all the yuck is and you decide to stop creating it. Stop looking for it. and just BE!!

      noone on the corner got swagga like us. swagga like us. swagga swagga like us.
      noone on the corner got swagga like us. swagga like us. swagga swagga like us.
      noone on the corner got swagga like us. swagga like us. swagga swagga like us.
      swagga like us swagga swagga like us.
      - The anthem of the GLORY CREW ;)

      hells yeah. when you’re in that mode you can dip chips in your aura and taste what life would be like if you could make it into a thick sweet jam :)

      that’s what the game is about man. that’s what life is about. and the swagga is what happens when you stop controlling life and let it flows. nahmean!

      swaggadocious :)

      thanks so much for the words man. much ‘ppreciated :)

      keep well and drop by any time mate.

      and keep lording it!!
      a

  21. Hi Alex.

    This post lacked sugar-coated rhetoric and big words, but I decided to give it a chance anyway.

    I am on the same page as you here. There’s times when I resist this ease for one reason or another, and then it takes 2 hours to do something that takes 5 minutes to do when the ease isn’t resisted.

    I might end up writing a post that comes out like your posts, because we are not that different in how we think, and I sometimes am in “action mode”.

    I had an idea about doing an ongoing set of posts where I write about my topics of interest as usual, but write each new post emulating the style of another site-writer. We all have different ways we send our message.

    That sure sounds cool about monthly movie night. I like creations such as that.

    • Hey Armen!

      Yeah. figured i’d put unleashreality on a diet and feed them healthy natural psychedelics as opposed to saccrine-tinged sugarfrosting.

      it’d be great if you wrote a post inspired by something i’ve written or the way i’ve written it. i think feeling out other people’s points of view is a great way to learn. trying out other writers’ styles is like astral-traveling to new climates with a pen dipped in the emotions of a nature of that newfound unexplored land.

      lemme know how it goes

      a

  22. Hi Alex,

    This is my first time here, and what a delectable visit it has been! Oh, your writing style speaks to me in a very profound way. I have something called ‘synesthesia,’ wherein I experience a ‘taste’ to words, and your writing style feels designed to speak with me in the most delicious way, so thank you. You gave me much to not only ponder, but to ingest, to roll around on my tongue and swallow in sweet deliberation. I’m looking forward to additional servings of inspirational medallions to swirl about in for a time.

    Film night sounds delish, and I’m aching to discover the secret to your lemonade :-)

    Thanks again for writing such a serendipitous piece, it reflects the cogitations of me own wee brain at the present. I’ve not been a blogger in the past, but you may find my website worth a peek, at http://www.LauraSaba.com

    Create an amazing day for yourself,
    Laura

    • Hey laura deluxe!!

      your comment makes the smoldering white light in my belly spin around in circles and do handstands and get dizzy :)

      synesthesia has always been a magic idea to me. like French girls, pancakes and trampolines. i’ve heard of colour experiences but never taste. done some research and turns out there are a bunch of different sensational crossovers. superwow with an inside-out cherry on top!!

      really loved the way you described what it’s like for you to read something like this. makes me reconsider the statement “hunger for knowledge” :P

      lemonade secret is, well, secret. but seeing as you’re pretty much inner circle, i’ll let you in on a key ingredient: a single butterfly tear. yip. now shhhhh. it’s secret.

      stumbled your site. hopefully sends you some traffic. couldn’t find a blog section but what i read was absorbing – would digg to find your blog if you have one.

      keep it reals laura
      a

  23. i strongly agree Alex
    i like this post so much :)

  24. This blog captures everything I know to be true, but didn’t have the words to express. I read one of your posts everyday to remind myself of what’s important. I don’t even know how I stumbled across it, but I’m so glad I did. You seem like the coolest dude with a great head and heart. Thanks for ruling xoxo

Links to this article from other sites

  1. Personal Development and well being carnival 17 Jan 2010 | KARTHIK RAJ G
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