Archive for June, 2011

image

The bonus? challenge Day 31, by Matthew Stillman: [Mess up your hair. If you are wearing makeup – smudge it. If you have a pair of pants that don’t really fit you – put them on. Put on a top that doesn’t go with those pants. Go to your sock drawer. Pull out two socks that don’t match. Different lengths, materials, colours, elasticity […] Take a picture. Get ready to post it online. Are you feeling dread? Excitement? Is this not the image you have of yourself? Write about the fear or the thrill that this raises in you? Who do you need to look good for and what story does it tell about you? Or why don’t you care?]

Ministry of Self Reliance

Seriously, is this woman really an aspiring writer?! @2010 T. Jorgensen

All of us misunderstand and are misunderstood. If not by others, so help me God, by our selves. We don’t have to be geniuses to be and do that. Take this prompt for example; Trust30 says 30 days of writing, so yesterday was a closure for those of us that had reached challenge 30. We said our goodbyes and complimented each other for having ‘hung in there’ and some felt, as yours truly, exhilarated to have started to see them selves as a writer prospect.

This morning I stretched out in my bed with a fantastic image of myself. “Goddamn, I feel good about myself. I had actually done it; I wrote for 30 days in a row and enjoyed every bit of it. I got out of bed, had breakfast, and started to write about my next post, which was a sort of answer to a comment I got on one of my posts. I wrote and I wrote and then I felt the urge to see what the Ralph Waldo Emerson site said about the project.

What? Another prompt?” What can I tell you, I felt stupid (Don’t I know how to count?!), then a bit annoyed (don’t THEY know how to count?!) and then rebellious (nope, I am NOT going to write about this!) and then rather entertained (Is this The Domino Project’s way to let us know that they are great and so are we, because we misunderstood?) Don’t know and frankly don’t care that much either, I am in a writing spree, so shoot, “Let’s write!” I feel very self-reliant while I write this. 🙂

Take a picture?!” Well, my self-image is VERY differentiated, it depends on what mood I’m in: goofy / funky / ugly / sexy / totally undesirable / beautiful / tall / short / fat / thin / funny / boring / intelligent / stupid / young / old / all / nothing / alien / human… I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have no trouble to look silly, be silly, act silly, talk silly and even walk silly, if I am in the mood. Life is too short to not have fun, as they say. True, but sometimes we aren’t able to play. As I’ve written before, my dark night of the soul is no fun or silly. But just for today, let’s seriously play! I will walk sillier, talk sillier, and look sillier so I can embrace the freedom of being capable to laugh at my self and others, not to humiliate or be humiliated but just to acknowledge I AM what I AM. So what if I am misunderstood or misunderstand?! I feel alive and it’s been a long time coming! In’Lakesh and let the fun begin!

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

10 year text

The challenge of Day 30, by Tia Singh: [Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?]

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Thanks Me! I was spirited away by this writing event and shown my talents. I know that nothing can be hidden in the light, so I will continue to write and do what I can until my destiny is revealed. I am another you – In’Lakesh 🙂

 

 

 

overcoming uncertainty

The challenge of Day 29, by Sean Ogle: [Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. For each goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from. Now you’ll be able to make smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. So begins the process of “trusting yourself.”]

© Adam Hughes "Snowbunny Padme and Yoda"

I read a quote somewhere (I forgot who it was, sorry!); ”Fear is just growth coming to get you”, and what I add to that quote is that fear is part of our intuitive system which resides in our right brain and should be listen to. Note, I said listen to, not ruled or governed by fear. To succumb to fear can be very paralysing, but perceived as a guide it’s a great teacher, if we dare to listen. Most of our experiences are about personal growth. I have found myself in absolutely fearful situations where fear is an adequate reaction, but mostly my fear portrays my resistance against change.

It’s not personal Mr Ogle, but I won’t jot down one major goal and attach 3 ‘fears’ and 3 ‘reasons’ for each fear to overcome whatever uncertainty I perceive. That’s enough of that in this #Trust30 challenge. Dark Night of my Soul will absolutely suffice in that respect. It’s not a major goal per se, but the profound knowledge and insights that comes with it is. Dark Night is all about confusion and uncertainty and one shouldn’t take it lightly, not at all. Anyone who experienced it knows what I talk about. I lived and breathed uncertainty, confusion and fear as almost palpable, and oh so insisting, friends in that type of darkness. I wanted to ‘die’, so I could live. It’s awful and is all-consuming and during this Ralph Waldo Emerson challenge I see that I have come a long way towards a new dawn. It’s a process and I think I’ll write a book instead or create a seminar, as a fellow writer suggested.

But what I will do, when uncertain and fearful, is to read my post ‘Alive-est’ again and again and say:   Getting wiser in my life I will

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

alive-est

The challenge of Day 28, by Sam Davidson: [When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.]

“Getting wiser in life you will” 

An archery teacher’s lesson on how to become one with what is.

Goddess of Wilderness / Huntress of Forage

”Don’t hold the bow so tight”. I am at the archery club for my third time and had just aimed for the target hundred feet away. ”Try to barely hold it at all” he said as he stood diagonally behind me. The teacher was old in the game. He had shot archery for 52 years. He was quite short, had white hair and fingers that seemed casted in a different mould, like resilient and flexible timber. He took my elbow and showed me that I had to pull back my arm all the way so my hand was at the same level as my ear.

“And use three fingers to hold the string. You seem a natural at this, but the trick is to hold the bow lightly” he said and let go of my elbow. “Don’t focus on the target itself, then you lose your ability to relax and let go. Don’t force your will upon the arrow; don’t try to ‘make’ it hit the target, because then you are going to miss it for sure”. I absorbed his words and felt as if no one else was in the room. I felt as a goddess roaming in wilderness or a huntress foraging for food. I thought of my grandfather who hunted. He said it is important the rifle becomes a part of one’s body, one’s arm. If not, you get tense and may hit the animal in a way that forces the animal to die an unnecessary painful death.

“Focus on how your body is facing the target. Then your breathing, your arm, your sight on the arrow and how you stand with your feet will become one with the arrow, the bow and the string and thus part of you. Make a ritual every time you aim with an arrow; inhale, exhale, relax, tighten the string and let go of it. Then let the arrow do its work.” he said and moved away to the left side beside me. I closed my eyes and took a breath and did the steps he said and all scattered fragmented crystal pieces of my Self became fused into one whole piece. I felt very much alive and made into one with something greater than myself.

“Feel it, don’t focus so much on the arrow, the bow is strong enough”. I tightened the string, looked through the sight on the bow and let go. I hit the bulls-eye in the middle of the target three times in a row. This was a symbolic and intuitive moment for me. I ‘saw’ how to connect the dots in my life. If the bow is my soul, the string is my stamina, the arrow is my intention or truth and the target is my change (longing, dream, aspiration and so on) then lesson with my archery teacher was a sort of initiation to higher perception.

So let’s do an interpretation:

”Don’t hold the soul (bow) so tight. Try to barely hold it at all”

“And use three fingers to hold the stamina (string). You seem a natural at this, but the trick is to hold the soul (bow) lightly. Don’t focus on the change (target) itself, then you lose your ability to relax and let go. Don’t force your will upon the intention/truth (arrow); don’t try to ‘make’ it hit the change (target), because then you are going to miss it for sure”.

Focus on how your Self (body) is facing the change (target). Then your breathing, your arm, your sight on the arrow and how you stand with your feet will become one with the intention/truth (arrow), the soul (bow) and your stamina (the string) and thus part of you. Make a ritual every time you aim with an intention/truth (arrow); inhale, exhale, relax, tighten the stamina (string) and let go of it. Then let the intention/truth (arrow) do its work.

“Feel it, don’t focus so much on the intention/truth (arrow), the soul bow is strong enough.”

There are many situations in my life where I feel alive – good moments and in bad:

• each morning I wake up to my boy friend’s word “ I love you”. I am a very wealthy woman in that respect.

• when I have an engaging conversation even if it’s provocative

• when I listen to people who needs someone to talk to and ‘see’ them and I am good at that. It’s a In’Lakesh exchange;  I am another you (Mayan greeting)

• when my kids hug me for no other reason than they want to

• when I feel angry and outraged by ignorance, but can let go if it

• when I have an urge to poke an idiot’s eyes out, but resist because I know I am judgmental  (even if I am, of course, right! 🙂 )

• when I cry for any reason I can think of

• when I learn new things, even hard learnt lessons. I want to learn and seek and gain deeper knowledge about life itself.

• when I perceive myself capable of being in between time scales; that I can analyse the past, dream about the future but stay in the present because it’s where the action really is.

• when I realise, in hindsight, that my dark night of my soul was and is a process of ‘emptying out’, so I can be filled with tremendous, deep-seated and bright life force. Not necessarily a situation I had thought of as an alive-est moment before writing this, but it was and is.

The trick is ‘Don’t hold on to the soul so tightly, it’s strong enough’. That was an ‘alive-est’ soul lesson from an old master of archery on how to become one with what is. It’s really about Self Reliance.

 

 

personal recipe

The challenge of Day 27, by Harley Schreiber: [Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”]

A personal recipe to prevent becoming what you DON’T want to be? Well, I believe that thought is the seed of action, so…

 

 

 

call to arms

The challenge of Day 26, by Sasha Dichter: What if today, right now, no jokes at all, you were actually in charge, the boss, the Head Honcho. [Write the “call to arms” note you’re sending to everyone (staff, customers, suppliers, Board) charting the path ahead for the next 12 months and the next 5 years. Now take this manifesto, print it out somewhere you can see, preferably in big letters you can read from your chair.]

I have written a manifesto two years ago. I have it as desktop wallpaper and written foremost for myself. Then I thought as I am building up a business with my partner, we give this Manifesto of Self to everyone that work with us.

THE MANIFESTO OF SELF

Michi's Manifesto of Self

 

ps. I have posted this manifesto before as an addition to an earlier published post.

 

ordinary

The challenge of Day 24, by Patti Digh: Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson [What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world.]

Of grotesque faces I need say nothing, because they are kept in mind without difficulty – Leonardo Da Vinci

I started to write what you can read below and it’s about the extraordinary ordinary, our relationship to power. I paused after a while and started to read other posts, which I found brilliantly written. I will be brutally honest, what happened to me, as a reaction to other posts, is exactly what I write about. I went through the stages with myself. I compared, expected and invested on false terms. But as I recognised the process of falsehood, I could act differently and not just react accordingly.

Phanthom of the Opera

So you think you can dance?!

“Let’s dance” he said and took me by the arm before I could reject him. Suddenly I found myself on the dance-floor trying to follow a man definitely very capable of Argentinian tango. He had a tight grip around my waist and I could smell his cologne. I had to admit he smelled wonderful of sandalwood and citrus. His hot breath reached my ear and I could swear he held me tighter and I couldn’t do much but to follow his sexy steps. “Are you really going to do what you are thinking of?” he whispered in my ear. I heard him loud and clear even if the music drowned everything else. “Do you really think you have enough stamina to stand up against me and choose change?” he said with such a low voice I could swear he was inside my head. He bent me over his knee and I thought for a split second he was going to kiss me. “Let me just say that many others dance better than you” he said and in the next second I was upright with his mouth close to my neck. I felt minimized and noticed how I started to watch the other dancers. I stopped dancing and he stumbled over my feet. He regained his balance and looked surprised at me. “Excuse me, but what is your name? I said and slipped out of his arms. “You can call me Saboteur”. Okay. Well, Mr Saboteur, at least now I know the tunes you dance to. So thanks, but no thanks” I said. He looked at me, nodded and smiled while I walked off the dance floor.

The saboteur-in-me dictates my false comparisons and is the Guardian of Choice. All of us have areas where we sabotage ourselves. I can easily fall into Mr Saboteur’s arms if I don’t listen to the music he dances to, because I fear the change he brings with him and the hard work it demands. However, when I hear the tunes, I can make better choices to not follow his lead. And ultimately that is ‘the goal’ of the Saboteur-in-me – to make me stand up for my Self and not succumb to outside factors that block my empowerment.

Charlie Chaplin

Why doesn’t anybody ask me to dance?

I had arrived to the club in excitement. Tonight I was going to have fun. Tonight I was going to dance like nobody watched. The club was crowded with beautiful people. Many looked like they belonged to the in-crowd. That didn’t bother me; I was feeling good about myself and had a figure-hugging dress and shoes one could die for. I looked just as hot as anyone else. The DJ started to pump up the jam and the dance floor quickly filled up.

I felt a cautious tap on my shoulder. I turned around and saw the most pitiful man I have ever seen. He wore ragged clothes and had no shoes. “Is he the only one that wants to dance with me” I thought and just stared. ”Is it possible for me to dance with you?” he said but looked down on the floor. He looked nervous and didn’t quite fit in. “Am I going to miss out on the fun tonight?” I tried to think of a smart way to deny him to dance with me. I started to feel anxious. “It’s unfair that if I’m going to dance, I have to dance with a loser. What will people think?” My thoughts were speeding and I looked down at the floor. I felt vaguely ashamed that I didn’t have the guts to look at him.

Excuse me, but would you do me the honour to dance? I think you are the most beautiful in the room, but maybe you expected to dance with someone else?” he said and put out his hand. I looked up and saw myself reluctantly take his hand and we started to dance. He moved with such confidence on the dance floor he looked like a king. I looked him in the eye and found that I didn’t mind his ragged clothes and his shoeless feet. “What is your name? I said and enjoyed being in his arms. “You can call me Victim, but my friends call me Victorious”. Oh nice to meet you. I like the music you dance to” I said and could have sworn that I grew several inches. He looked at me and nodded his head and smiled while we continued to dance all night long.

The victim-in-me dictates my false expectations and is the Guardian of Self-Esteem. All of us fear being a victim because it’s our most vulnerable aspect. I can have very low self-esteem and think that other people’s opinion is much more valuable than my own, that if I set boundaries for my Self I separate from others. The Victim’s primary aim is to develop self-esteem and personal power and demands that I evaluate my relationship to power and control issues. It calls me to take responsibility for my independence.

Marlene Dietrich

What do I have to pay to dance with you?

I arrived early to the club in the dark alley making sure that I didn’t miss the woman I was about to meet. I was thrilled to meet her. She was a renowned choreographer and had agreed to teach me how to dance street dance, if she liked was she saw. She wanted to check what I was made of first. She didn’t arrive in time but when she did I saw an extraordinary ravishing woman with the tallest legs on earth that blew me away. “How could I ever convince her to take me on?” I thought as I stood up in strict attention and put out my hand to greet her.

Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful, I just know what to do with them,” she said as she sat down with a graceful movement like a cat that got attention from everybody around us. She lit a cigarette as she measured me with her eyes. She formed her voluptuous lips and blew out a smoke ring while leaning back with certain supremacy. I couldn’t help but find her dangerously seductive. She did a gesture to make me sit down again. I did.

“If I teach you what you want to learn, what’s in it for me?” she said with a husky voice. What’s your price?” I said and hoped that the money was enough for her. “Hm, I don’t need money, so money isn’t my currency,” she said without changing her facial expression of mild arrogance. “It has to be something else. What are you willing to pay, so you can get the knowledge of my body?” She put out the cigarette and smiled for the first time.

I felt uncomfortable and tried to think of an answer that she hadn’t heard before. I needed desperately that she taught me how to move and dance to the rhythm of life. I had nothing to offer and she glowed with self-possession. I wanted to have the same glow. I knew I had to come up with a clever answer so I brazed myself and said: “I can be your bitch. I can do whatever…”. “My darling, my lessons are valuable. I know my price. But obviously you don’t know yours.” she interrupted and regained her air of mistrust and detachment. I sank down in my seat and wished I vanished from the place. “What do you believe in?” she said with a softer voice. I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders. “Don’t know” “Do you believe that you can do what I teach you?” she said insistently. I gave her a resigned look. “Yes, I believe I can do that, I guess. Belief is all I can offer” I said and felt paltry. “But belief is exactly my currency, my dear” she whispered and stood up and started to walk away.

“Wait, what is your name? I said. “Most people call me Tramp, but my given name is Faith.” She walked back over to me and kissed me on my forehead. “To have faith makes all things possible. Love makes all things easy. Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to” she said and walked out the door.

The prostitute-in-me dictates my false investments and is the Guardian of Faith. All of us have something that can be compromised. To give away our sense of self-possession for security, usually of physical form, is harmful to our soul. This energy is financial even if it doesn’t necessarily ‘deal’ with money. The primary goal for the prostitute-in-me is to have enough faith that nobody can ‘buy’ me – my intellect, morals, integrity, word and so on – I am self-possessed and not self-obsessed.

Michi in person

The power exchanges I write about are common and ordinary in our everyday life. I think that the ordinary can be extraordinary and the extraordinary can be ordinary. And I need to know ‘my grotesque faces’, how my fears look like. When I do, I ‘see’ that it’s a mind-set and that it is a shadow that obstructs the light within. I can powerfully choose to act accordingly to my light, my higher source of Self that is always standing in truth.

Nothing is hidden under the light. It withholds a fire that destroys falsehood. We all share that type of energy, yet how we deal with it differs. The essential core of the energy is the same but as I said in an earlier post – we are emergent properties and as such the ordinary turns into extraordinary. It all depends on which scale we look at it.

So what I do in an extraordinary ordinary way is be who I am. No more, no less.

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