|Smuin Christmas Ballet, December 2017
“Mom, I’ve never experienced anything quite like that before.”
Forget not an ounce of that sensory treat from yesterday, oh self. Why would
you choose to live this life void of such gifts?
My greatest sensory adventure took place at the Smuin Christmas Ballet
yesterday. It was as if a heavenly baker combined the finest ingredients with
the most unique recipe and added the elegance of a watercolor painting to
ensure the perfect sensory dessert. A cake that was prepared as a way to
enlighten us and remind us of how it feels to let go of all stress and worry, if
only for a couple of hours on a blissful Sunday afternoon.
My ears enjoyed the naked cake of this heavenly baker. Beautiful music of
differing styles, genres and emotional journeys flooded my auditory system.
Some helped me escape into memories while others provided opportunity to
My eyes got to experience the frosting of this master cake. The choreography
provided a masters touch, acting as glue, securing the auditory experience to
the visual one. The grace of bodily movements flowed as a gentle brook
through the redwoods on a clear, fresh, crisp spring day. One alone or many in
synergy, the movement captured my vision and requested my visual attention.
Rambunctious, flirtatious, elegant, meditative…these various movements told
me the secrets far better than any words possibly could.
So, once the master baker bakes the cake and frosts it, it would be fine to eat;
even quite enjoyable, I’d surmise. So, would you like your piece presented to
you on a napkin without a fork, to eat on the go? Or, are you in the mood for a
server to bring you a piece on beautiful china with a fork of precious silver?
The cake and frosting are the same in each case, but the experience is quite
The Smuin team presented me a luscious dessert and I felt like a king dining
on the finest of china. The emotion I felt from the dancers warmed my heart.
They frolicked during the fun pieces and fell in love during others. Although
just actors of sorts, they convinced my emotions and I happily fell for their
Reality is, they portrayed the best parts of our human experience through
their performance energy.
Lesson learned and felt: if we combine all the best parts of ourselves and mix
them together with those of others, we can enjoy a beautiful, sweet life
experience. The cake alone is good, but the loving energy with which it is
shared, turns a napkin into fine china and a cake into the sensory experience
of a lifetime.
Pat-a- cake, pat-a- cake, bakers man, bake me a cake as fast as you can.
That’s my new prayer for our world. Thank you Smuin team. May many
support your gifts and enjoy their true elegance.
Your new groupie,
WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU
Seeing This Waterfall
I heard your medical news today and am here to say that you will be a great “healee.” Your smile
and inner truths are assurance of this.
Make time to meditate each day; it is the most important kind of chemo. If you’re not used to doing
it, you may think I’m crazy. But I am a professional in this area and know some secret stuff. I’d like
to share it with you if you’d like to continue reading…
You can just paint a picture in your mind of plump, healthy cells gently, but firmly, setting the
cancerous ones free to be transformed. This is an important energetic distinction. Many call it a
“war” against the cancer cells, but that sets up the body for “fight or flight” internal adrenaline
rushes that leave the body helpless during the down times, when they aren’t in that mode. What
works better is to see golden, healing light from the sun radiating throughout your entire body.
Please mix in silver, violet and white, too.
With each breath in, reflect on love you have received and given. Focus on a specific memory that
warms your heart or makes you laugh or smile. Then hold the breath at its peak for 5 seconds,
marinating in its freshness. Then exhale gently and release stuck energy to be transformed. You
needn’t worry about what happens to it afterwards…just take in the next luscious breath.
Repeat for as long as you like. Building tolerance for allowing yourself time in the day for this is
the trickiest part. I know you’re used to running things in a kind manner and the ideas you have
get shared and implemented. You have been properly prepared for this part of your earthly
journey. Ideas and concepts enter your mind for successful work stuff. They will also come to you
and guide you to healing. God gave you this special ability. Listen carefully when you have a
thought between the inhales and exhales, for those are the answers. They will comfort you, inspire
you and give you inner peace.
You are a gift to so many, Gary. You have certainly allowed things to happen in Mazeppa that have
changed my life forever. Thanks for that, by the way. Now harness that goodness you so freely
share with others and turn it inward for a while. We’re not used to doing that and we’re often
raised to believe it’s a selfish attitude. But the biggest secret is, are you ready…it’s not. In fact, it’s
the gift given for times like this. The rest has been the practice and nurturing of the gift.
Well, there it is, episode one of, “Healthtalk with Teo.” I’ll be watching your Caring Bridge site and
sending you healing energy from California. This may sound strange, but enjoy the journey. You
will evolve so much and more love will come your way than you ever knew existed. Love heals
all…let it flood your heart, mind and body.
Happy Healing Gary!
Love, Matteo Musso
SHINE: What Happens When the Son Comes Up
Painting a new view on life with the Autism Paintbrush
I’d like them to experience every day things in life with a curiosity and sense of wonder, not just “blah blah blah,” “can’t wait for Friday” type of approach. If you do that, what happens to the possibilities that lie within Monday through Thursday? Too often we say things like, “Can’t wait for school to be over next month,” or “I wish this project would just be done already,” or “Can’t wait for our vacation next year.” It’s good to be excited about special events. We all love them. But what if each day was considered a special event? We just have got to search for the secret ingredient that made it so. Each day brings new possibilities for everything; our job, our relationships, our fun, our learning, our emotional expressions, and for a kid with autism, a new way to try and reach those we love.
It’s like if you look out at the ocean and see this huge mass of water you think, “Wow, that’s a lot of water.” But, as that thought fills up your brain and you unwillingly go through all the different types of water you know of, you can’t stop your brain from processing water images until you look at something else, think about something else, or notice something with your vision that’s not water.
This means, as you’re absorbed with water, you miss everything happening on the land. Friday is the ocean, but without Monday through Thursday, you’d be swimming constantly. You would get tired and eventually, just give up.
To choose to experience life this way isn’t easy, but sometimes circumstances make it the only option if you want to maintain any sense of sanity. Living autistic is like swimming in the ocean. Many throw life preservers through different therapies, diets, supplements and so on, but too many of these aids can kill a tired swimmer. What if one just hit us in the head and knocked us out because we were trying to pay attention others! Finding your voice in whatever manner that ends up being for you if your autistic, is like the Disney cruise ship showing up to rescue you. Think about it; God doesn’t award our patience and perseverance with two guys in a crabbing boat. Instead, He sends the amazing Disney cruise ship. Patience is love, kindness and understanding. God likes that sort of thing. God doesn’t run on a punishment/reward system, but rather just a “gift after gift” system. Some unwrap them while others refuse to notice their presence. If we know they are there, why wouldn’t we look for them? Are you anti-present or are you afraid you’ll have to give one in return…and it might not be as cool? You only need say thank you and love each other more.
So as we were floating on our backs or treading water, waves came all the time and add the constant possibility of sharks finding us. If that wouldn’t put you on high alert as waves tossed you around, I don’t know what would! You can only see so deep beneath the surface of the water and if no one tells you will be safe, it’s scary and lonely. If all the fish are chattering in some fish-language they assume you don’t know, they’ll choose to never include you in their fish chats. Really how hard is that? Blub, blub.
When people realize we do understand language even if we don’t speak much, that’s when our sunrise begins. Otherwise, the night remains and we tread for survival, one paddle at a time. Oh…the sun has never shone so bright as it did the day we found RPM and that Disney ship sent people to rescue me from the waves and sharks! For you non-autistics, (I call you NA’s), it would be as if you were in a deep well, calling up for help because you were trapped. Then everyone who loved you, being so eager to help, jumped in with you it got really crowded, hard to breathe and everyone was losing patience with each other. Then a calm person walked by, saw the situation, then hesitated. He or she yelled down, ”Hey you guys! I can’t see you but I know you’re there. I’m going to get you some cheeseburgers because I’m sure you must be hungry. While I’m out, I’ll grab the nice firemen and they’ll know how to get you out. I don’t have any rope with me, so I’m better help to you up here. I’ll be right back in twenty minutes. Hang in there…you’re safe and almost free. I’ll get a couple of burgers without cheese just case of any lactose intolerance issues. I just am trying to be helpful. Back real soon.” Minutes later, we hear the sirens and smell the Number 1 combo from In N’ Out. The impending meal produces a salivating response and your heart pounds for the rescue to come. At the top, on solid ground once again, tummy full and free once more…there may be your sunrise.
Autistics with a way to communicate are infiltrating mainstream society with a loud message. Will you be one who hears it? Will you be one who repeats it? Will you be one who embraces opportunity to see life from a new perspective and embrace true love. God will help (the universe and energy all the same), call it what you will. Embrace with a smile the idea that there is a higher power whose running this show. Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy life. We’ll teach you how. If you’re able to hang with us. Read and ponder our words or just open your hearts and minds to ways of love. They’re everywhere around you, sometimes hidden, sometimes blatant but all relevant and yours for the taking.
Some just flows out the finger. Maybe not in order. Now lets just keep writing stuff. I’m on a roll.
Today I make real the discomfort of many autistic and NT’s (neuro-typicals). My autism colleagues paint an exaggerated picture of the challenges of mankind in its current state. Let’s discuss a few examples. Meltdowns anytime anywhere. We just let it rip. Our inner feelings explode whether during a sermon at church, at a crowded store, and heaven forbid at a children’s library during story time. My secret spot was a library. Mom stopped taking me there. So I’m sure I was deprived of many a poetic recitative. Including many Dr. Seuss favorites but thank goodness my mom is crazy and could impress upon me the importance of voice inflection while reading out loud. These meltdowns, as their affectionately called, have their place. For instance, our meltdowns may encourage you to leave a store sooner than planned, therefore saving you money. We teach you to get the necessary items first, just in case. Isn’t that a smart way to shop anyway? How many of you go to the store for three items and leave with 23? If you add a “melter downer” with we’d have protected you from those dollar killing extra items. Sure, we must have a trigger to ignite us. This is where some of our autistic challenges guide us. I’m not saying it’s fun for us. Don’t get me wrong, but you can learn and even benefit from them. Isn’t that a crazy idea? Oh, that’s just one in a million I have for you. So, how in other ways can they influence you? Self-evaluation. Ooh, does anyone enjoy that? I do. But then again I’m not the one considered normal in this society. So what do you expect?
Embarrassment, there’s a fun one. What drives it? What’s at its’ core? Our own self-judgment, or even more, our concern about the judgment of others. Curious, this concept. Autistics, in general, don’t judge others. We can get hard on ourselves and our mischievous and misbehaving bodies, but that’s another story. It’s a lot easier not to judge others from what I can surmise. If we do, it actually comes from somewhere deep within ourselves. If we don’t think someone’s artwork is good enough, it’s because we actually are insecure about the acceptance of our own. If we tell a friend he’s not a good playmate maybe it’s because I’m not a good one.
Autistics have a different view about everything because we see people from the inside out. Sometimes we don’t even notice what color your hair is, but we can see that of your heart. We don’t notice someone’s size and judge it as pretty or not, just on how nice it feels to hug. When we stop judging others, we stop judging ourselves. I have and continue to give many people opportunities to judge me. It’s a blatant way of teaching, even though most never realize they’re a student.
Patience, yet another opportunity the meltdown provides, especially for those closest to us, who we love the most. I know we can be very persistent with making our point and since we don’t use simple, plain English you get to work on the skill of patience. Because patience is many things learned and not learned. If you had a bunch of people behind a screen and you could only see their heads all next to one another and a guy comes along and says he’ll give you a million bucks if you can encourage them to all bop up and down or better yet climb a hidden staircase five steps tall. You say, “cool, you’re insane.” He adds, “by the way you have three minutes in which to accomplish this.” No problem, just say when.” Go! Okay, everyone turn to the left and there will be some stairs. Don’t worry that this crazy person blindfolded you before came in here. I’ll guide you with my voice. I know you’re not able to speak back to me during this little exercise. Okay, go.” Number one, there’s the first step, got it from here. So, this continues for eight people. They all are at the top as directed. The last guy gets to the first step and freezes. “Hurry up,” you call out. He stays still. What’s the problem? “Trust me, you’re right there,”
you say with angst in your voice. Still, no movement. Time is running out you look down at the lower shaking your head in disgust as you notice a wheel sticking out from under the barrier between you and him. Then you realize he’s in a wheel chair. Your frustration immediately vanishes. Your lost patience returns as inspiration. Hey other guys get down here and help him, he’s in a wheel chair and he needs your help. You’ve already felt the stairs so use what you felt as knowledge to complete this task. They gladly helped their million-dollar teammate and together they were victorious. Off came the blindfolds and hugs were everywhere. You as the man in charge of the team just sat in silent reverence, reflecting on his three-minute emotional rollercoaster ride. Everyday contentment to shock and excitement that someone wants to give away a million bucks to adrenaline rush during the challenge to appalling frustration and patience and then renewed hope after discovery, creativity in a solution, joy in the victory. But then came the remorse of how quickly you turned to frustration and impatience. That’s how patience can become the most desirable virtue to nurture within your self. Patience can promote curiosity and creative thinking needed to solve life’s problems. Without it, you jump directly from frustration to hopelessness. While you build your patience and tolerance for our craziness, we feel it and are allowed freedom to calm ourselves without the stress of a ticking time bomb in our midst.