After yesterday's blog posting, I can't stop thinking about cool. What's cool and what's not. Who's cool and who's not.
I'm wanting to think and talk more about the actual practice of leaning back into cool. In Alcoholics Anonymous there is a mantra, "fake it til you make it," (FITYMI) sometimes referred to as "acting as if." The essence of FITYMI is to improvise an air of confidence and competence so that eventually you will accomplish the task, thereby sowing seeds of genuine success. Leaning back into cool can serve a similar function to FITYMI; it's a reliable reminder during moments of uncertainty, fear or wavering confidence.
Leaning back into cool is also analogous to faith. Cool has a quality of letting go, of trust and security. During my spiritual direction training, one of my Catholic teachers used to encourage us to "lean back into God." It conjures up for me a lovely image of a big comfy couch, or the proverbial divine lap.
When I was a teenager, our family dog was from the Bouvier des Flandres breed. Jamal was a loving, powerful, protective family member, and we could (and would) literally lean back into him. Leaning back into God also evoked the happy memory of leaning back into Jamal. Strong, secure, loyal. Jamal was cool.
Leaning back into cool seems akin to God, or Jamal. Cool is an internal stance or energy that can be calming, grounding, reassuring. It isn't a costume, but it has style. Cool is awesome, groovy, bad, chill, far out, the cat's pajamas, the bee's knees. Cool is hip.
So ya wanna dump out yo' trick bag.
Ease on into a hip thang,
But you ain't exactly sure what is hip.
So you started to let your hair grow.
Spent big bucks on your wardrobe.
Somehow, ya know there's much more to the trip.
–from "What is Hip," lyrics by Tower of Power