While Meditating, I Discovered the Stick-Up-My-Ass and Decided to Get It Out.

Via Madison Moross
on May 12, 2011
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Part 2:  Following, While Meditating, I Decided To Buy a Vibrator.

The Difference between Me and a Drunkard

When we’re kids, we all want to grow up, be older, and be taken seriously for a change. Then we become adults, where we dream of a minute in time where we can just let ourselves go, be taken wherever the wind blows, lacking all responsibility, all control, all weight… and know that we will be lead back to our feet.

The other day, towards the end of dance rehearsal trying to perfect a show for its big opening, I found myself back to square one, not just as a dancer, but as a person. As I nervously struggled to “get” probably the simplest part in the damn piece, I found my outer adult battling my inner child (and winning) while asking myself, why are the simplest tasks so often the most difficult to master? What on earth is this pain in my ass? And, come on (outer adult), can I please have a drink?

The Awkward Walk

I walked around with blatant anticipation of my coming collapse, performing a painfully unnatural descent that looked more like I tripped over my own stick up my ass (SUMA, let’s call it, as we will be referring to it a lot) than anything else. As I resisted my partner’s help more and more each time, I embarrassingly shared the ride on the elephant in the room pondering how a body could be so graceful at times and at others, such an awkward anomaly.

(Bear with me for a short dance analogy… I promise it will make sense)

“I don’t know … It must be something emotional” I responded when my director asked what my problem was. It’s really the simplest thing, I walk around the floor side-by-side my partner and slowly let my weight lean and collapse, let him catch me and bring me back up to standing, and then repeat a few times. You don’t even have to be a dancer to do it.

In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone at some point in their lives has participated in this same physical interaction, as the only difference between it and a drunkard stumbling into the arms of his designated driver on the walk from the bar to the car is the absence of a few too many shots of whiskey.

In reality, I know he’s not going to let me fall, as he’s certainly strong and attentive enough to catch me, and even if he did, the floor is only 5 feet down and I’m sane enough to know that it sure isn’t goin’ anywhere! For some reason, though, I just could not let myself go… let myself fall.

The Discomfort

About that time, a couple tears snuck their way out – Not because the embarrassment, or because of the rigors, the uncertainties, the losses in my life currently; Not because of my missing big toenail, my pulled hamstring, or the pressure in my lower-back; The perfectionist in me wasn’t even upset that I just couldn’t seem to get this simple part right. Though these all present some challenge, none accurately represented my inner conflict or accounted for my tears.

“Just give me just one cocktail and I’ll be able to do it just fine!” … I only half-jokingly thought to myself.

Well, despite the fact that I obviously knew I had to learn how to do this one on my own (without inebriation), I decided it was time to confront the real SUMA, as the one in rehearsal resembled pretty plainly the one I carried fashionably around with me the rest of my life.

Where It Came From


It wasn’t long before I realized what the problem was. I realized that I wasn’t scared of my partner not catching me, instead I was scared to fall. In fact, I wasn’t even scared to fall down, I was actually scared to trust myself to fall in the first place. I was facing a power struggle with myself, where losing control seemed even scarier than possessing it.

I took the next few days to evaluate this strange phenomenon, noticing how the theme extended far outside of the studio, and far past me as an individual. This initiated a scary, at first, but life-changing shift in my consciousness (aka my inner-idiot-radar).

Bringing my awareness to it, I started noticing SUMA everywhere. As I started to become aware of all of all the people, places, and opportunities that I either resisted or clung to, purely out of fear of trusting them or trusting to let them go, a few days became a few weeks.

I was bombarded by the realization of how powerful my child-trained subconscious was at manifesting patterns in my life, and watched the same thing happening all around me, and not just with me. As much as I didn’t want to, I began to understand what I had heard a million times but had always brushed off, that trust is everything, and most importantly that you can’t possibly trust another if you can’t trust yourself.


I began to see how episodes of depression, withdrawal, attachment and avoidance, were really resistance of faith in the ability to participate in the ever-evolving environment, and trust that I was safe and secure in it. As I started to notice how it felt in my body, I even began to realize how often my own illnesses and injuries had been a direct result of this destructive trend. It’s amazing how the body really does speak the mind.

I started decoding the mystery of all of the unsatisfying and unsuccessful relationships I have experienced and observed that led to my pessimist (which I previously viewed rather as “realistic”) views of modern-day relationships, seeing that they were routed in trust as well.

I started to see that what was veiled as not trusting something – whether that be another person, an idea, or a system set in place – is routed not in the “trustworthiness” of an other, but in the lack of trust in oneself to authentically interact with that other; To fluidly and harmoniously give and receive support without force or resistance. Perhaps, trusting that we are both capable and worthy of such a thing, is what we are so often missing (excuse me for the generalization, but I don’t think that I am alone in this…).

The Decree of Domination

I also connected, kind of humorously, as I walked into a home and garden store the other day where I noticed that there were more space being used for things trying to “control” plants (insecticides, pesticides, etc.) than there were plants themselves, that the more we try to control our environments, the more out of control they seem to get. The same goes for ourselves.

We’ve all heard so many times “the only thing you can control is yourself.” Sure, I believe that statement is true, but I also believe we should not be aspiring to master such a thing. I think that control and trust are exact opposites, and that if we re-defined that affirmation by replacing “control” with “trust,” our relationship to ourselves, and therefore our relationship to our environment (the world), would change tremendously.

Call me naïve, but talk about changing the world!

Getting It Out and Re-learning How to Walk

In our numerically expansive, yet spiritually suppressive culture, where we seem to be jumping on the separateness bandwagon going in every direction … it seems that we have completely abandoned the idea of such trustfulness, let alone the embodiment of it. I truthfully don’t think it is destined to stay that way, though.

I noticed, as I started to surrender my control, I began to see huge differences in my life, in the studio, yes, but in my life outside of it as well. Not only was I not scared to fall, but getting back to my feet was much more graceful. I could walk forward a lot easier (figuratively and literally), and my ass sure feels a lot better without a stick up it.

In our adulthood, this battle between our outer adult and inner child seems to be a common source of conflict. We reflect on our pasts and become resentful, at times, of the responsibility and the rigidity we have inherited as adults; while at others, become resentful of the habits and patterns that we inadvertently developed that we may not be proud of, and search for the appropriate parties to blame.

A new technique.

Though many of our SUMA’s may not be there by direct fault of our own, which is important to recognize, so is our responsibly to re-condition them (which God knows is not an easy feat!). I say, scratch the fear of that responsibility …I, for one, am quickly learning that by learning how to trust and commit to the process, the results seem to take care of themselves.

Rather than dwelling on her vulnerability, I’d like to use my inner child’s creativity, authenticity and excitability, to enhance the wisdom and resources I have acquired as an adult. I’d like to use little Ms. Madison to fuel the flame, rather than to suffocate it.

As we all learn either out of love or out of fear, we sculpt the patterns in our lives. Which route we take is our choice.

So, I challenge you to next time something seems like a pain in the ass, check in with your SUMA and see if it’s really just telling you to trust yourself. I know I plan on it. Seems to be the key to just about everything.

Oh and now, the difference between me and a drunkard is no longer the stick itself, but the ability to get it out with no shots required 🙂


About Madison Moross

Madison Moross is a dancer, writer, yogini and amateur activist. She is part of The Big P (picture) Project and the co-founder of Radiance Movement, both projects aimed at revitalizing our individual and collective consciousness through sustainability and embodiment practices. She believes sustainability encompasses more than just the preserving the planet, but simultaneously our communities, bank-accounts, relationships, bodies, minds, and spirits; that despite popular perception, our people, planet, and our pocket-books work hand-in-hand quite harmoniously. Her favorite things include people, plants, dirt, dance and food.


21 Responses to “While Meditating, I Discovered the Stick-Up-My-Ass and Decided to Get It Out.”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Congratulations on SUMA-less-ness Madison!

  2. Amanda says:

    Brilliant. I love it. This was the first thing I read when I woke up this morning and I'm fairly certain I don't need to read anything else. Thank you!

  3. yoga-adan says:

    well the opening image certainly grabbed my attention 😉

    and the article did it justice, thanks!

  4. Michelle says:

    Love this! So true…..

  5. Fantastic, Madison. Valuable insight into trusting and letting go of control. Look forward to reading more of your work. Cheers!

  6. leelaa says:

    love it!!!! spoke volumes to me ….

  7. jessie p says:

    SUMA is so f-ing funny, proud to call you my sister!!!

  8. Madison says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to read.

    Wooo SUMA-freeing party!! — today and everyday, I hope 🙂

  9. amcquinn says:


  10. Kris Nelson says:


  11. […] have always been particularly adept (and interested in) controlling our environments. We cut down forests for shelter, we created “air conditioning”, we build dams and […]

  12. […] I lay there questioning myself, bum exposed. […]

  13. elephantjournal says:

    This comment was Jonas Brothers spam saying article was long! Blocked and deleted. ~ Waylon

  14. Anna says:

    Madison, I've read this article through twice now, as well as "While Meditating, I Decided to Buy a Vibrator." They are both well-written, thoughtful, and resonant with a liberal, feminist and humanist life-view. I'll be happy to read more from you!

    Perhaps the editors didn't read that "vibrator" article, since the first picture A) seems to me to be radically opposed to your worldview after that party experience in that post, B) has nothing to do with this current article that I can determine, and C) is tiresome, offensive, and maybe even traumatizing to some of the women included in the sexual abuse statistics you quoted in the previous article.

    There are lots of ways to illustrate trust in oneself and the giving up the illusion of control, including sexually, that do not include images of imbalance of power, corporal punishment, humiliation and infantalization. Can't imagine how this picture was the best selection for this article, which doesn't need any illustration to convey its meaningful views.

  15. Nicole Wolf says:


  16. Christi says:

    Thank you Anna for posting about the absolutely awful picture at the beginning of the article WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ARTICLE. I am absolutely angry that you would put a picture up that is so horrible and has such negative connotations especially related to giving up control and learning trust.
    Be a woman of your word, use it for the good.
    I appreciate your view and hope to read more about your unfolding path. Please add empowerment to what you are saying and spreading.

  17. wake up says:

    I think the opening image is offensive, and not necessary. Child sexualization, child abuse; abusive to women.

  18. wake up says:

    yes, go ahead and have a drink? Maybe that's the problem here.

  19. Madison says:

    Dear readers, I hear your opinions and concerns about the beginning photo in this article – and I also believe they are valid. I wanted to briefly describe why I chose this photo. Female disempowerment is obviously a real thing, and something that, whether we believe it or not, we often times allow or even choose as women. That photo resonated with me, as going through my evolution as a woman, I very vividly remember being aware and awake during the sexual abuse I experienced. I allowed it because a) I did not believe I was strong enough to leave or b) believed that was the best I was going to get… like I've written, that sex was love and if I was grabbing attention sexually, whether it felt good or not, that was what I "should" be doing.

    With this said, the picture is not about what I'm advocating for, but rather an image that illuminates how real it is…. reminding us that it IS in our ability to trust OURSELVES that provides us the strength to enter a different reality. Also, that whether we like it or not, that reality still exists for millions and millions of perfectly good, perfectly beautiful people… men and women.

    Thank you for your time in reading my articles, and your heart-felt responses!

  20. yoginimichelle says:

    My displeasure at the initial picture stems from another viewpoint… As I share some of these articles to my non-yogi, non-meditating, still-evolving friends on Facebook, etc., it makes it difficult for our viewpoints to be taken seriously. It makes it difficult to begin discussions if something like this pops up and pushes them backward into the stupid, giggly teenage boy mentality. I get it that it had deeper resonance with you personally, but when well-thought-through articles such as this one could spark some really wonderful growth (in those who are still growing) gets disqualified with a "lowest common denominator" cartoon, I decide not to share it.

    My circle of friends is wide, and I try my best to get them thinking and discussing, so I can eventually drag them kicking and screaming into expanded thinking as they learn something, but it can be so easily undone with one well-placed gettin' booty-smacked Jessica Rabbit.

    No offense intended, only pointing out that well-written pieces like yours deserve to be shared. But I'm embarrassed to do so.

  21. Madison says:

    I appreciate your feedback and opinion. And the me 4 years later agrees with you. As my above comment explains why I chose the photo, I know that every seed whether it is a thought, belief, conversation OR image creates the perspectives and realities of our world.