Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

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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

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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

courage to connect

The challenge of Day 23, by David Spinks: [Who is one person that you’ve been dying to connect with, but just haven’t had the courage to reach out to? First, reflect on why you want to get in touch with them. Then, reach out and set up a meeting.]

@Cindy A Pavlinac at Sacred Land Photography

Wow, I struggled a bit with this one. I’ve had many ’dreams’ about having a dinner party where I meet interesting people to talk with, meet personally and discuss life, universe and humanity. I would invite pioneers, healers, filmmakers, artists, politicians, children, teachers, scientist, inventors, activists and even dictators or fictitious characters, you name it. Imagine a conversation between Adolf Hitler and Nelson Mandela. Yeah, I know…a fantasy! But if I could put my loathe towards Hitler and admiration to Mandela aside, it would be a fantastic situation to have a close conversation. I am curious about people and their outlook on life. But there isn’t a person I would be ‘dying’ to meet. Then it hit me: There is one invitation I would like to send out and it isn’t impossible to make it happen.

I invite you, fellow adventurer to a ‘Marga’ meet-up, as a walk-about in Life.

Joseph Campbell wrote about ‘Marga’ in his book “The Hero’s Journey”; “Marga is from a root word ‘mrg’, which refers to the footprints left by an animal, and you follow that animal. The animal you are trying to follow is your own spiritual self. And the path is indicated by mythological images. Follow the tracks of the animal and you will be led to the animal’s home. Who is the animal? The animal is the human spirit. So, following the elementary ideas, you are led to your own deepest spiritual source.”

MARGA – a path of self-discovery and empowerment. Are you ready to experience a spiritual, emotional, and physical metamorphosis?

What? We create a self-reliant open-space meet-up where we explore the possibilities of our potential, help each other to tap into the human spirit that resides in us. An ‘Open-Space meeting’ is a format that allows the participants to formulate their own questions, get response from the others that attend too. So it would be as we write down our own prompts but have the extraordinary opportunity to get feedback and other perspectives in person. In between the sessions we could have seminars from some of the participants on their subjects, for instance I could talk about the archetypal language and symbolism in our lives and power, or marketing or leadership, someone could talk about healing or writing or mediation or Tai Chi or how to have a digital sabbatical, de-cluttering, healthy food and exercise…the possibilities are endless. 

Where? Hmm, yes, that needs some consideration; I would like to be at a place with sacred energy (I’m not talking from a religious perspective). There are many places that I think of; Black Hills, US or The Labyrinth in Chartres, France or Stonehenge, England …many places qualifies to emphasize serenity and wholeness. Any suggestions?   

When? Let’s meet year from now. 21 June 2012. (Next summer solstice) We would have a four-day (maybe longer?) interaction where we create the experience as a group. I would be happy to take the responsibility for the arrangements. If you know someone who would be interested, spread the love. If not, that’s fine too. I have no clue if this will take off but it sure would an exciting adventure, don’t you think?

Price? The factual cost I don’t know yet. But the experience would be priceless. That’s why the meet-up would be a year from now. I guess most of us would have to start saving to afford it. But I will look into it, if I get 10 or more people report their interest.

Are you interested and/or do you have suggestions to where the meet-up could be and/or some thoughts about what we could do please contact me and I will seriously work to make it happen:

Michi Lantz

Website / Facebook /  Twitter / Email: michiatfacebook@me.com

Ps. if this doesn’t resonate with you, it’s totally fine. I thought it would be great to invite you, as an act of gratefulness for being part of my somewhat shaky steps towards self-reliance.

In’Lakesh, Michi

facing (and fearing)

The challenge of Day 19, by Dan Andrews: Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. [If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:]

Intuition. I love that word. In Wikipedia you find this explanation: “The word ‘intuition’ comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’, which is often roughly translated as meaning ‘to look inside’’ or ‘to contemplate’.”  To me it means to stay present to what resides inside you and listen with your heart and not your ears. That ‘voice’ is true more often than not. And yet, we tend to not hear it at all. The voice of Ego has a much stronger high-pitched voice and easily drowns our intuitive one.

Question One: “What are the costs of inaction?”

It depends. Sometimes the best action to take is to not do anything. Just to be still and be brave enough to wait. I have certainly done me share of outrunning myself through action, action and action. But I think I am more equipped today to ask myself better questions, listen to what my heart has to say and have more guts to not always try to “fix” whatever I perceive is broken. So how do I discern if I have to act or not? My spiritual mentor helped me with framing a question; “If I walk away from this, will I walk away sad in my heart?” And it has helped me. Whenever I want to act on or turn away from something I ask myself that and the answers are so intuitively correct I have begun to listen them. It’s the most important voice I have. One of the most life changing acts I have done, was to surrender to inaction. I ‘sat’ myself down on an inner stone within myself and waited for my soul to catch up and start to speak to me.That’s been going on for several years now but I am up and walking again so to say. Another life changing act was to act and sign up for this #trust30 challenge. I did it without examination, or trying to find the flaws, or think of the possibility of failure or humiliation, I just put myself in the hands of the unknown and in hind sight I can say that had I not, I would very likely still be in agony of the unexpressed creativity and yearnings in me that needs to see the day of light.

Question Two: “What kind of person do I want to be?”

Congruent. I want to be a congruent person. I want to mean what I say and say what I mean. I think it’s much harder than I think, due to all the lies I am capable of telling myself. It’s not about to never being afraid, that’s one hell of utopia. I will be afraid. That’s okay and necessary. Fear can be a very good teacher, guide and an intuitive poke showing you that you need to get clear about yourself. Fear can absolutely be crippling too. I have experienced it, as most of us have one way or another. But Steven Pressfield says: (I know I have quoted this as comments to some of my #trust30 friends before) “ We all live two lives. The one we live and the unlived life within. In between lies Resistance.” I find that brilliantly put. And the resistance could take the form of fear. But to be congruent is to be whole, integrated and true to what’s me. Yes, of course I want to be loving, compassionate, brave, tremendously creative, to be of service to others and healthy in mind, body and soul. But to be that I have to be fully congruent and that takes deep soul-searching and is a life long commitment.

Question Three: “In the event of failure, could I generate an alternative positive outcome?”

Absolutely. When bad, hard, outrageously challenging things happen  it might very hard to look at the situation through the lens of positivity and graciously embrace the lesson. As I look back on my life and my decisions I am more likely able to do that. I have had my hard knock experiences; bankruptcy, dark night of my soul, threats of violent nature, dealing with a tumour in my breast (which turned out benign, thank god), humiliation, disappointments and the list continues. But even if I won’t remember in a specific moment that I am going through a lesson, because I am busy experience it, I am a firm believer of that there aren’t really mistakes in life, only lessons. And I will continue to believe so, even if there will be days I’ll question what I just wrote.

And to end this prompt I just want to say that I think we face fear much more than we give ourselves credit for; we pick up the phone and make that uncomfortable call, we walk on to a stage even if we want turn around and run, we say our opinion in an business meeting fearing we will be rejected. We confront our fears often, maybe in small versions, but still. It’s when it takes you hostage it becomes dangerous to your soul, when it keeps you in the loop of spiritual scarcity . Fear is part of the human equation, and sometimes is sounds like we shouldnt have fear, that’s somehow bad to experience fear. It’s not as long as we can look at it as intuitive guidance and not something to fear.

So don’t fear the reaper. Fear it’s just growth coming to get you.

afraid to do

The challenge of Day 9, by Mary Jaksch: [Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.]

There is one special memory I can’t write about. I can’t. One day maybe and then probably in a fictitious narrative, not through my own personal voice, it would have to be in third person. It’s still toxic. Why?

S . H . A . M . E

[while guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one’s actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person.] 

It’s not guilt I feel, because I don’t regret my experiences. But shame is what has rooted itself in me as a vampire that comes and goes as it pleases, as I did the mistake to invite it into my soul in the first place.

One particular action I did was against everything I stood for and believed in. I succumbed. I caved. I violated an important part of me. I am afraid to write about that shame. Not of shame in general, but about that specific shame connected to a specific event. I am not afraid for my part but for the effect it would have on people who are the most precious to me. Enough said.

To always do what you are afraid of? Well, that doesn’t apply everywhere and/or always. Not in my mind or my heart. Period. If someone were afraid to die, I wouldn’t tell him or her to die to confront the fear. But metaphorically and symbolically to always do what you are afraid of, yes. If we fear to look at ourselves honestly, in the glory of our brilliance or in the shadow of our shortcomings, the bravest thing to do is to take one (well, probably continuously) hard good look at ourselves. But do it with compassion, because usually we don’t appreciate what we find. We get blinded by truth. I found shame and I am learning to accept myself for it and look at it straight-backed.

One day I hope to let go of that memory in a way that releases the shame. And when I do, it might very well be that this particular memory is best left unsaid. Maybe…or I might write a masterpiece about it.

dare to be bold

The challenge of Day 7, by Matt Cheuvront [The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue?] 

I could write about my wounds. I could write about my bankruptcy when one of my creative dreams fell apart. I could write about when I, as a single mum, was facing living in my car with my two kids. I could write about when I fell in love again, despite I was convinced that I was better off alone. I could write about how I doubt my self-worth and potential to create anything of significance. I could write about my Dark Night of my Soul. I could write about my envy, my pride, my anger, my resentments and my fear. I could also write about my love, my kids, my passion, my understanding, my imagination, my big heart for anyone who needs me to listen to them. I could write about my dreams and my soul. I have gained and I have lost. I have experienced a lot in my life. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Violent stuff. Fun stuff. Boring stuff. Learning stuff. Unwise stuff. It’s Life.

I started off today writing another answer, a true and sincere story about that I wrestle with my creativity every single day since my production company’s bankruptcy 2003. How I fear that I will lose everything again. But reading the question again, I can’t say one thing I have always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue. I don’t think in terms of accomplishment. I dream and I am not afraid to pursue them. I know what I want. I want to be a writer, filmmaker, photographer and an agent for change for a better world; concocted to one hell of a storyteller. Can I do it? Do I have what it takes? Absolutely. My soul tells me so. And I know that I have to commit to write so and so many words per day; one word at a time.  Am I afraid? Sure. What’s holding me back? I do.

I am redefining myself. I am growing new wings. After my bankruptcy, many were keen to tell my partner and me how unrealistic our dream was. That we should have aimed lower. I listened to that trash talk, adopted that attitude and fell into my black hole and questioned everything about my life and myself. But I am still here; I am still standing, though scarred around the edges, getting ready to rise and shine.

So to write a tangible plan to overcome my obstacles? Well, no thank you very much. I am doing it by participating in Self-Reliance.

But I have an inspirational MANIFESTO to remind myself to never ever again be realistic and never ever regret a thing.

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