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Monthly Archives: March 2012

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This Dance of Trust

“This way and then that

That way and then this

Up and then down

Down and then up

Left and then right

Right and then left

No and then yes

Yes and then no

Lie and then truth

Truth and then lie

Here and then there

There and then here

Come and then go

Go and then come

Open and then closed

Closed and then open

In and then out

Out and then in

said the sun to the earth as the day grew older……….

ÁB

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

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The morning stage is set on the Riviera and the sun is waiting to see us perform.  So maestro what shall we do today?

How about a self-audit in self-trust?

Before that lets see what Wikipedia has to say on trust:

• the willingness of one party (trustor) to be vulnerable to the actions of another party (trustee);

• reasonable expectation (confidence) of the trustor that the trustee will behave in a way beneficial to the trustor;

• risk of harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave accordingly; and

the absence of trustor’s enforcement or control over actions performed by the trustee.

Scenarios:

You are in a relationship or friendship or partnership in a company etc. and say I entrust something that is private in my life or the company with you.  I am the trustor and you are the trustee.  You meet another person and before you know where you are you have broken the trust and the other person tells me what I entrusted with you.  It could be a recipe for the cake that sells best in our company, it could be a patent we are working on, it could be that I have cancer or that I thinking of retiring etc.  The bond is broken.  I made myself vulnerable by entrusting my story with you and you abused it.  You are not trustworthy.  How do I feel about that?  How do you feel about that?  Will there ever be trust between us again?

You tell me you love me and that you want to be with me, you have sworn blind that there is no other one of significance in your life.  It transpires through default that you are in a relationship with three other people who love you but they don’t know that you love me and not them or so you say.  The other people are vulnerable in telling you they love you.  You are vulnerable in telling me you love me.  Can you trust yourself, can the others trust you and can I trust you?  How does that make me feel?  How does that make you feel?  Can there ever be trust again between all the parties?

Before we point the finger let’s explore our own levels of trust and how many times have we left ourselves down:

I make a plan, promise etc to do the following:

-to practice piano, football, cello, language, cooking etc and I haven’t done it

-not drink coffee and drink green tea instead

-not eat wheat, dairy products and eat raw food instead

-not eat crappy food ever again and learn about being healthy

-to cook at least five days out of seven for me and mine

-to maximize my income

-to be at peace

-not to struggle

-to smile more

-to exercise at least three times a week

-to go to the doctor, therapist, dentist etc and I haven’t done it

-to be honest in all my communication and dealings with others

-to be honest with myself and monitor how I am doing

-to give up cigarettes and take up chewing seaweed!

-to give up alcohol for a year and take up fresh fruit and vegetable drinks

-to rink 8 glasses of water a day

-go see my parents at least once a month

-to settle my affairs with the taxman and tidy up my life

-to read to my children every night before they go to sleep, if I am not there I will record a story for them

-to take my partner, lover, wife, husband on a picnic come hail or shine once a month

-to learn to sail this year

-to learn to dive this year

-to learn Spanish this year

-to sell my house and travel

-to study more

-to stop cursing and swearing

-to get to grips with my past and attempt to move forward without it getting in my way

-to be free to have that relationship I want

-not to play games with people’s hearts and minds

-to actively look for a man or woman to build a relationship with that brings love, joy and trust to our lives

-to divorce and stop the charade I am living

-to appreciate my partner, lover, husband or wife by becoming pro-active in my expression of it

-to stop fooling myself

-to take charge of my life and not have others telling me how to live

-to write 1,000 words each day towards my novel, biography, etc.

-to paint at least once a week

-to fish every weekend in season with my friends and or family

-to make a list of all I promised my friends, partner, lover, wife, husband, child etc. I would do for them and follow through on each one with joy and love

-to be aware of what I say to people that is not true or honest

-to be aware of my own behaviors, attitudes and habits that trip me up and sabotage my good intentions.

-to be honorable in all that I say and do

-to read books and watch movies that are life-giving and support my good intentions towards others and myself

-to follow my plan so that I can feel good and motivated about my life

-to stop being a miserable and grumpy git

-to practice acts of kindness everyday

-to give gratitude for all that is good in my life

-to watch for the bad fibes I radiate to those around me

-to be consistent in my love of others

-to de-clutter my life of distractions etc.

The list goes on and on depending on what you want from your life, what is going on in your life and who you are being.

To achieve anything you have to trust that you can deliver for you – from the small tasks to the promises you make to yourself and others.  Are you going to let excuses stand in your way to being a better person for you and those around you.  Is it worth it for you and what do you think it will do for your self-esteem?

To-day make a list of all that you promised others and yourself (past and present) and tick off what you have achieved and what you will achieve.  Begin today on monitoring your own levels of self-trust.  What love affair or not are you having with yourself?

To finish do we want to just ‘wish’ we could be trustworthy –  surely we want to be trustworthy?

What does that entail for you?

“I wish I was the verb ‘to trust’ and never let you down” -Pearl Jam

© Copyright The Possible Self 2012

info@thepossibleself.com

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There she is again painting the bay in golden and orange light.   What a STAR!   She turns up everyday looking so fantastic.   If only we could turn up each day in our lives with such effortless poise and beauty and less of our anxieties and woes – even for half an hour – time to be part of the bigger picture in nature. We trust the sun to be in the sky each day, no matter what weather we are having.

How will you show up in your own life today?

Trust is a wondrous virtue.  Few of us practice it with sincerity, selflessness, integrity, kindness, love and dependability.  Trust is hard earned and so easily lost.

On our world stage we have seen that wonderful virtue eroded by greed, arrogance and absolute lack of love, wisdom, or care for our fellow humans or the environment.  The financial systems are or were near collapse, the shifts and changes in legislation may work and may not, Europe has finally ‘trusted’ Greece to manage their loans to weather their economic storm as a global tsunami still rolls over us.   But is it enough?  If  there is no ‘real’ trust can there be change?

Will we ever trust the financial systems, politicians and church leaders again? It’s a wake-up call for the global population to reassess the systems, our own moral code, behaviors, attitudes, and habits and when or on what conditions will we trust again?

It’s much the same in our personal lives.  We grow up in families and trust in the security of their love, kindness, care, interest in us and us in them, their understanding and protection.  Sometimes there is no trust at all.   We carry the virtue of trust we have learnt in our families with us in our lives with friends, colleagues, and relationships or not.

Are you a trustworthy individual?

Can you trust in yourself to be the person you say you are?

Do you trust yourself to be honorable and trustworthy with your own life? Why not?

What are the parts of yourself you don’t trust? Why?

What part of society do you trust and not trust? Why?

Is trust too hard a virtue to practice?

Does your life get so complicated that you confuse your own mind with stories you tell yourself about your world, the many mind deluding trips you go on that get you in trouble with yourself and others?  Do you know you are doing it?  Do you realize how it affects you, your loved ones and those around you?

Using the excuse that we are ‘flawed humans’ so that we can continue to be sloppy and insincere in our communications and actions is pitiful.

You see, whether we like it or not trust begins with ourselves.  How can we trust in the financial and political systems that are designed and produced by humans, if we can’t know and trust ourselves?  All those people who built the financial and societal systems over generations had mothers, fathers, teachers and families like yours and mine.  You can’t build a trustworthy system if you yourself are not trustworthy, it shows up in the system in the long run and we are living with the results of a non trusting system right now.  Being cynical is not helping.  We are all part of the system in some way.  Have a look at your own life and the systems you created to live by and live in.  How honest are you?

Not easy questions?

Some of us grew up with system of believe to trust in a Supreme Being.   Were we taught in religious class to hand over this virtue of trust to a higher power and not learn about it for ourselves?  Not learn to be responsible for our words, thoughts and deeds.  Not taught to know how to care and share with a consciousness of the consequences of our actions except to burn in hell for our sins in another lifetime.  Are we lost humans without this indoctrination on the deserts of our own making?  Do we need to be whipped and suffer to be good people?  We certainly have not a lot to show for our religious ways in terms of our global humanity towards each other and our natural environment.

If we tell ourselves we are flawed we will be flawed.  If we tell ourselves we hand over all that we are to a higher being and expect him or her to safe us from ourselves; we are not taking responsibility for our thoughts words and deeds towards ourselves and our fellow man in this life.  Isn’t it time we took responsibility for our own actions, observe how we are being and make an honest effort to regain a sense of trust in ourselves before we involve others in our ‘game’ of life.  Trade our cynicism for personal observation and change.  Be what you expect in others.

Trust is probably the most difficult virtue to hold on to when it is betrayed or broken, it reaps havoc in our personal lives and in societies across the world.  When trust is honored between two people, companies, organizations and nations it is a great feeling of security, love and belonging.  Trust is what binds us and divides us.  Trust creates the space for vulnerability;  a place with people whom we can tell our stories of pain and love, people who won’t judge us but will tell their stories too, because we are all human, with the same fragility and honour.  Trust allows us to be vulnerable with each other.

The big question for today is; do you trust yourself to have integrity in all that you do for yourself and those around you today?  Can you trust yourself?  What does trust mean to you?

How many times have you been found to be non trustworthy?

Do people find you trustworthy in all your dealings with them, privately and publicly?

What stories are you telling yourself about yourself and which one is you?

Difficult Questions!

And by the way no coffee for over 40 days and we are also still supporting our friend abstaining from alcohol. The Possible Self is in action.  How are you doing in your resolves?

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trust/

http://blog.ted.com/2011/11/01/trust-morality-and-oxytocin-paul-zak-on-ted-com/

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

info@thepossibleself.com

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Hey Sun, what is going on out there, there are clouds covering you up and winds racing across your face, white horses are galloping on waves and yet you peer through when you get a chance.  You are always there even on a cloudy day.

I had a grand notion I would be sitting in the sun in the port where I live having a green tea and croissant which I do every Friday when I am here.  However, I spent my time chasing napkins, menus and other debris that was flying past, it was all very refreshing, my mind was chasing too with loads of ideas for the last blog on vulnerability and other stuff I am working on.

Vulnerabilities bring negativity into your life: sometimes you feel so exposed you almost fall apart.  We are not Humpty Dumpty’s who fall of the wall and never go back together again.  We fall of our wall and go back together again in better ways if we work through it with awareness and understanding.

Imagine a story where you speak up at work when something is going wrong.  Your colleagues select you to go to management and agreed to back you up.  Well management challenges you and you have a fight on your hands.  Your colleagues see what happens and they let you hang out to dry.  You are as vulnerable as you can be in that situation.

What can happen?

1.  You leave/resign etc.

2. You back down and get on with your job and the bad atmosphere.

3. You take your grievances to the company board of directors; your union or wherever you get yourself heard and supported and you stay working.  You finally get the results you wanted many weeks later.  Conditions for everyone improves.  Your colleagues suck-up to you. You treat them with contempt or you acknowledge their cowardice and you hold no grudge.

Imagine a story where you are in a volatile relationship.  Your partner has a raging temper and gets verbally, emotionally or physical abusive.  You have choices:

  1.  You leave and never come back.
  2. You call the police and have him/her arrested.
  3. You call a friend to come over and give you the support you need.
  4. You take the abuse and take on the roll of the victim and continue to live this way.
  5. You ask him/her to leave and you change the locks.
  6. You ask him/her to leave for 24 hours and to come back when s/he is calm to talk it through.
  7. You ask him/her to leave and not come back until s/he sees a therapist for their anger etc.
  8. Sometimes you can help another but when there is anger you need a trained therapist.  You can agree to support your partner through the process and see where it takes you.

Imagine a third story:

You fall madly in love and become extremely vulnerable to ‘love’.  It takes you on a roller coaster of chemical releases in your body and mind that keeps you on a high you love to be on.  You both are in the same place and open up to each other in ways you have never done before.  You feel safe, secure and supported in the ‘love’ you share.  And then an event happens that crushes the love.  What happens?

  1.  You are in shock.  Not only have you fallen of your horse but also you can’t seem to find him anywhere.
  2. You get angry and express it in all kinds of ways, writing streams of painful essays to yourself and emails to him, leaving telephone messages, telling your friends all about it over and over.
  3. You try to put the fire out and stop what is causing it in the first place.  The heart ache won’t stop
  4. You cry and cry and/or put on your mask to hide your pain.
  5. You get perspective by talking it through with friends or a therapist.  You begin to see the situation and events that lead up to it and you come to terms with your own feelings about it and yourself many, many weeks later and sometimes it takes years for some people to get over the betrayal.
  6. Finally you may ask to meet him or her to understand why.  You listen s/he talks, you talk and s/he listens.  Hopefully it gives you closure or room to negotiate the terms of the ‘relationship’.
  7. Or you never get closure because you do nothing about it and carry it around with you only to repeat it in later life.

All three stories are about vulnerability and where it takes you;  “I am vulnerable, it’s scary as hell but I either learn to cross over this bridge or stay on it for the rest of my life.”  Choose to work through it with awareness and use all your faculties to understand what is happening to you and you will cross over to a new place in yourself, a lighter and brighter place in yourself.  If you choose to be lost to your vulnerabilities and clam up, you will build walls around you that will some day fall in on you?

We are not condemned to suffer.  We are on a live stage all day every day.  We can choose to be a victim, a walk over, someone to be used and or abused in any way by anyone and especially yourself.  Or you can choose to be the hero/heroine of your own story.  How would it feel to be that character on lives stage?   You have developed qualities that will take you through any storm.

Hero’s and heroines are courageous, empathic, compassionate, kind, loving, and fearless, charismatic, and self-loving people.  Practice being that character in your own life and see what happens to you.

Never, ever give up on yourself.   There is more to you than you might see or feel right now if you are in a painful place.  Remember you matter to you and those around you who love and care about you.  Life is an ongoing process, to be stagnant is not good, and to be freely moving is a whole lot better.

“Knock, knock”

“Who is there?’

“The Possible Self.”

“Go away I am miserable”.

“Knock, knock,”

“What?’

“I will always be here for you!”

“OK”

Make it a wonderful weekend and keep on wearing your smile.

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

info@thepossibleself.com

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Another magnificent and windy day on the Riviera.

This tree took my eye this morning.  When it started to grow it had no idea which direction its branches would go except towards the sun.  And in the winter it has no choice but to lose its leaves and bare its bones in all its vulnerability to the human eye and the elements.  We can see it is a complex tree with branches turning in many directions; towards itself, around itself and away from itself.  This tree is growing at an angle and not straight up.  It is not a perfectly symmetrical tree either.

Imagine yourself as a tree and how it must feel to be that vulnerable.  Imagine exposing yourself to yourself on a yearly basis without caring a fig for what anyone might think of you.  In this state of being you reflect on how you are and who you are becoming with curiosity, empathy and compassion.  And you make attempts to grow in different directions.  You do so because you know spring and summer is coming and you will begin once again to dress yourself in flowers and leaves, extending your new growth as you dance in the midday sun.  You have trust in your vulnerability because it helps you to grow and you have done it year after year.  Each time you sense and reveal your vulnerability you grow stronger and stronger in who you are.  It becomes your way of life.

Consider the effort it takes to carry all your troubles and woes, your scary memories and experiences with you in a closet under lock and key in your minds vault, hidden from yourself and others.  What a dark terrain you might be living in!  Imagine a city of this kind of ‘you’s’.  A short fuse and they blow up!  Imagine governments negotiating with other governments, companies with companies, butchers with butchers, workers with workers, lovers with lovers, consultants with consultants, engineers with engineers, artists with artists, shoemakers with shoemakers, engineers with governments, artists with butchers, companies with workers etc.  And no one has learnt to share his or her vulnerabilities to know what it is to be human.  How can there be honest and meaningful conversations with minds that are not open with themselves whatever about with others.  What a melting pot that is!

When you say ‘I love you’ do you know which ‘I’ is saying these magical words; the vulnerable ‘I’ or the ‘I’ that wears many masks.  Consider the masks you might be wearing when YOU say;

‘I love you’

‘I care about you’

‘I want the best for you’

‘I will always be there for you’

We use these statements so often and so freely and walk away.

I wonder if you were to have your kimono open and we could look inside whilst you say these words what would we see?  What would ‘you’ see?

“What was more, they had taken the first step towrd genuine friendship. They had exchanged vulnerabilities.”  Arthur C Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012

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March 21 is the 81st day of this leap year in the Gregorian calendar.   In the northern hemisphere the March vernal equinox (20th/21st) marks the start of spring and has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth.  In astrology, March 21st is the first full day of the sign of Aries.  It is also the traditional first day of the astrological year.

If you made New Year resolutions on the 1st of January this year how are you progressing?  If you are still on target; congratulations to you. If you have lapsed, start again on this celebratory day of new beginnings.

 

Today I abstain from alcohol for a year to support a very dear friend.  Her health is not good, she has been told by her doctors that her weight has to come down as it is putting pressure on her knees and hips, which will have to be replaced in the near future if she continues to behave as she does now.   She lives in the US; beer, wine, bread and sweet food are what cause her weight to fluctuate.  She has been yo-yo dieting for the past ten years.  Prior to that she was healthy, trim and happy in her body.  She is a creative director in a graphics company, food and drink are her ways of dealing with stress; she stuffs her mouth as tough it will keep the stress on the inside, and when she is calm she is back in the….‘when I get this job done….when I am thin….I will start tomorrow….I will be good…..I lost a stone last year so….I have no junk food in the house….I know I can do it, but it is not happening.”  The inner monkey story is always ready to get her over the hump in the same way each time, a revolving door of promises she makes to herself.  She says she is very vulnerable now and it started ten years ago when a relationship broke up, since then she tells herself stories about herself that are not true and if she keeps busy ‘working and eating’ she can avoid them.  I suggested she takes herself off to ‘Hippocrates’ instead of going on a holiday.  She is heading there today for a month.  She needs a clean break and focus on what is blocking her way to enjoying health.   She can just about afford a month there. Hippocrates will introduce her to a new way of understanding health and then embracing it as a way of life for the rest of her life.

Each week we have planned to check in and see how we are doing.  She is an important person in my life, we share a lot of memories and if I can help her build health again I am there for her as she was for me when I needed her help.   As I am having great success with abstaining from coffee I expect the same with alcohol.  There will be times of vulnerability and there will be lots of temptation.  Living between Ireland and France, alcohol is part of the daily diet and both countries produce their own variations.  If you want to make a change in your lifestyle; how you feed, nourish and exercise your body why not join us and see where it takes you too.  It takes courage to ask for help when you are vulnerable and we have all been there.  Moral support without judgment is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another and to yourself.  Is there someone you can support and is there someone to support you to  achieve your resolutions?

 

I took this photo on Monday and in some way I use it as a metaphor for our own ‘personal tree of life’.  The main trunk symbolizes your time line and the branches are the individual experiences you have had along the way.  This is a two or three-day exercise we do during a typical Possible Self program.  Draw your own tree of life from birth to now, each branch is a five-year period with sub-branches for events, people you lived with what you were doing etc.  You can do each one in a different color and do it all the way to now.  Take a small notebook and write vulnerability on a couple of pages.  Travel over your tree of life, and stick as many note papers by the number of times you felt vulnerable throughout your life.  Sit back reflect and observe if the feeling that went with each time you felt vulnerable was the same or different.

What did you do about your vulnerability each time?

Why and what does that tell you about yourself

Start to write your own story….once upon a time I was a small child who grew up to feel a sense of excitement, joy, terror, love, peace, anger, fear, creativity, imagination, playfulness, wonder and vulnerability living inside my body, mind and spirit, and in the world around me.  My journey is a roller coaster of feelings and emotions as a result of my experiences of the past, in the now and will be in the future.

What are my patterns and behaviors of thought, word and deed that inform my story of who I am to myself each day?

What story am I telling myself about myself?

Is it true?

Is it a fantasy?

Is it tangible and based in reality?

Am I in crisis?

Am I calm?

Am I out of control or in control?

Am I doing what I am saying?

Am I willing to be vulnerable about my own story?

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” James Allen

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”  Havelock Ellis

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” Anton Chekhov

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”  William James

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  Buddha

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”  Mark Twain

“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”  William Wallace

©Copyright the Possible Self 2012

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Another brand new day and the stage is set once more for another meandering blog.  I have no idea when I sit to write where it’s going to take me.  But, I do it anyhow and would strongly recommend you starting a blog as it’s fun, you discovered a lot about yourself, and it allows me to explore the challenges clients have during the Possible Self programs.  It’s also a great discipline, so thank you readers for your support,  thoughts and comments thus far.  My daughter tells me to make them shorter, I try but the stream of consciousness takes over, maybe over time that I will manage to do so…………..

No coffee for the 36th day.  Lemons are on my menu these past few weeks as they are growing in the garden where I live.  To pick a lemon, savor its smell and texture is a pure delight.  The smell is awesome and it fades very quickly once it sits for an hour or so.  So I pick and use them immediately to make breakfast:  Grate an apple or pear in a bowl, grate the zest and squeeze the juice of one freshly picked lemon and add to the apple, pour on some organic apple juice, add your muesli mix maybe five desert spoons, mix through add more juice to your taste, of ‘sloppiness’ or not, toast a tablespoon of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chi and flax seeds for taste, mix with another desert spoon of the same raw seeds and sprinkle on top…..divine…..especially if you sit in the sun and wash the sun’s performance on the bay before you start your day.  Enjoy!

Imagine you are about to come into frame bottom left of todays  photograph in your boat and you are going to head around the mainland and exit top left to begin a years voyage of the Mediterranean.  All your worldly goods are on your boat.  You have given away everything you accumulated over your lifetime, sold your house, car etc.  You have a comfortable sum of money available to you once you have paid off any debts etc. to explore being totally on your own.  It’s your gift to yourself.  You have music, movies, books, drawing and painting material, writing and photography equipment, including a dark room, a musical instrument of your choice, the internet once a week on a Friday for two hours, a radio, no other access to your computer except to write.  The boat can be whatever kind of boat you desire, so long as you have learnt to handle it with ease.  It has all the comfort and gear you need to enjoy the sea and to exercise.  Going on to mainland is your choice for a day or days at a time but you return every evening to your boat.  You keep a diary and take photos everyday.  Your diary  will be published and distributed worldwide.  The income from the book gives you enough cash to choose another year doing something else or maybe the same but in a different place.

How vulnerable would you feel thinking about this possibility?  Some people are water people others have no interest at all and prefer solid ground under them.  Others would prefer; the desert for a year, trekking in the Andes, horse riding the slopes of Russia, back packing in Indonesia, living on a remote island in the Pacific, a cottage in the west of Ireland, a vineyard in California or Italy, a city on the opposite side of the world, walking in Canadian forests, driving a motor bike across China, Russia or the USA, filming art, and or nature worldwide and some have no inclination to move at all.

No matter where we are or what we are doing we live inside one body, mind and spirit.  It’s our personal terrain made up off many scapes, one day it’s a desert, a sea, a mountain, a forest, a busy city, a shoe box of darkness where we are our own prisoner, a well of magical dreams and creative ideas, and other times it’s a pasture in the sunshine.  The terrains grapple with financial, health, family, work, relationship, friendship, intellectual, creative challenges that can be positive and or negative energies that flow through our being.

How do you handle, cope, manage, live with and express your vulnerabilities?  You take them with you wherever you go!

Imagine you are standing in front of 1,0000 people and they have all come to hear you talk about your published diary of your voyage on the Mediterranean.  Your story warts and all is out there in the public domain.  You hadn’t realized that so many people liked and were interested in your diary.  You are very nervous and had not anticipated this moment.  You are struggling to find the voice from your diary but it just won’t come.  As the crowd applauds your entrance on the stage you have no option put to put up an image on the screen to distract your nervousness.  It’s a photo series of a treacherous, frightening night where there was a storm and you felt you would not manage to secure the boat, there was no time to call for help, it was you against the elements.  The crowd was silent.  Your recorded voice was playing over the photographs.  You listened and when it came to an end the crowd were even more silent.  The applauding began again as the crowd stood up cheering you on.  When they sat down you looked around at them and said “You are the sea, you are supportive of me but I am still drowning, I am so scared being here sharing my story with you, cause the gremlins in my head are saying ‘who do you think you are, you are nothing special‘.  The crowd got to their feet and together they chanted “ you are you and you were scared, but you did it anyway and we are going to do the same, so tell us all about it.”

We have listened to stories in fables and tales since we were children.  We read and watch stories on tv and in the cinema.  We are works in progress along with the rest of the human race, working it out as we go along.  We didn’t get an instruction manual on the way in.  We walk a windy path branching off along the way according to hunches, sign-posts and direction we consciously or unconsciously followed.  We have many vulnerable moments that have taught us so much about ourselves.  Whether you go on stage to tell your story in public or not,  you have your own stage and by telling it to yourself you give you the courage to live your life with greater awareness, even more courage and imagination.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

“An artist feels vulnerable to begin with; and yet the only answer is to recklessly discard more armour.” Eric Maisel

“Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.”  Theodore Roethke

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” Erich Fromm

“From a real antagonist one gains boundless courage.” Franz Kafka

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” Orison Swett Marden

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

“It is curious, curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. “Mark Twain

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