Posts tagged ‘courage’

fault and change

The challenge Day 32, by Carlos Miceli: [Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?]

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The devil may wear Prada, but I am rather naked than gutless.

   ”Could you come into my office, now?

I was abruptly disturbed from my daydreaming by the voice in the intercom speakers. It was the voice of my boss, an arrogant woman with a charisma of a black widow spider in heat.

   ”What now?”

I dragged myself out of the chair, out of the office room, out in the corridor and in front of the closed-door. My hands were shaking a bit and I hesitated to press the button under the name I hated – Ms. Agnes Halliwell, CEO. There was absolutely nothing “Agnes” about her. I knew her name meant “chaste or holy”. She talks about it every Christmas party when she has the speech of the year to the staff. And what about her surname – Halliwell? She was far away from a “well of holiness”. Ms Agnes Halliwell was a stinking puddle of envy, wrath and greed. Wonder what aspirations her parents had for her, did they feel touched by God to have a baby and how then could she grow up to become such a despicable person? She was a cold-hearted woman and most people I knew at work despised her. She degraded my colleague in front of the rest of us for no reason whatsoever than that she had the power to do it. I pulled myself together and pressed the button and the light showed green which meant I could enter.

Sit” she said and pointed to a chair in front of her desk and signed that I be quiet. She was talking on the phone at the same time with someone else and was upset and angry.

Now listen to me, I don’t care who did what to whom or if you just got the information five fucking minutes ago! You work for me and I am the one that feeds your disgusting little children. I want it fixed within the hour,” she ranted and I watched her walk back and forth in the room.

She was impeccably dressed; black tailor-made dress, white shirt, pearls in her ears, fantastic manicured French nails and high-heel black Manolo Blahnik shoes. A conspicuous woman, in deed, but she was made of stone. She never exercised compassion or kindness. I couldn’t remember if I had ever seen her smile. She was beautiful but such a pain in the ass. She hung up the phone, sat down and grabbed her bag and pulled up her lipstick and refreshed her lips with a flaming crimson colour.

Take a look at this. I want to hear your opinion” she said and threw a pile of paper on the desk. I picked up the pile and started to read a business report. It was about a business deal about an acquisition that had its flaws but all in all it showed a good and sound business model that with some adjustments could be great.

Time is money, you know. The deal is not happening so I want you to tell me whose fault it is. Whom am I going to hang for this poor execution?” she said and looked at me with a stone cold face. She wasn’t going to let me off the hook easily.

Excuse me?” I said and couldn’t believe what I just heard.

You heard me. Don’t play stupid. Whose fault is it? Who’s to blame?

I have heard about her interrogations and pestering before but I haven’t been called into her office myself.

Don’t stall. Give me an answer. Now.” she said and reached for her mobile phone that announced an incoming text message.

“What do you want from me? I don’t think it is only one person’s fault if something goes wrong” I said and wondered if she was going to eat me alive. I put down the papers on the desk and hoped that she was content with my answer. I looked at her and could tell that she wasn’t.

Do you have an idea what it takes to run this business? Do you have at least some brain cells in there?” she hissed and pointed to my head. She made me feel like a squeezed lemon. I tried to look firmly into her eyes without yielding but I couldn’t. I gave way to her hard glance. I picked up the report again and started to look through it. There were some irregularities in the presentation, but they were minor and could be adjusted with some calculation wizardry.

Why does everything have to revolve around fault and guilt?” I thought and looked at her again. I noticed that even if she was a beautiful woman, she had a sort of thin tight upper lip, which made it easy, with little imagination, to turn her into an old ragged witch with a wart on her nose. That picture almost made me smile and I felt for her at that moment. I saw a very lonely woman who assumed that to be powerful she had to use the tactics of coercion, to threaten with reprimands for anyone that opposed her or failed to carry out to her satisfaction. I filled up with unfamiliar self-assurance. She couldn’t make me inferior unless I let her. She was actually in need of anyone or me to give her power.

I do have brain cells and they tell me you are making an unnecessary assumption. You look at business as fault and entitlement. But mistakes can be rectified and success is relative. ” I said and surprised myself that I managed to sound so calm. I looked straight at her and put down the pile of paper. She stood still and looked at me with the same stone cold face she had all along.

Why does someone have to hang if the deal isn’t going to happen anyway?” I asked.

Because as long as one or two persons are held responsible for a mistake or misfortune in our business, the rest of the team can go home with illusion of happiness and come back tomorrow and be better workers than they thought they could be the day before” she answered without hesitation and sat down.

But that’s just scapegoat mechanism and isn’t sign of strong leadership. It’s just bullying. It’s scare tactics.” I said and anticipated her to start arguing. The intercom speaker crackled.

Ms Halliwell, there’s a call on line two

Debby, what is it you don’t get? I’m in a meeting. Take a message and don’t disturb me

Yes, Ms Halliwell. I am sorry, Ms Halliwell”. The speaker crackled again when the nervous secretary hung up.

Well, it’s interesting to hear what you think leadership is all about. Now let me tell you what I think” she said and stood up and walked around her desk and stopped in front of me. She had a malicious smile on her face. At least it was as close to a smile she would have I thought and felt uneasy having her so close to me. I was certain she could smell my growing nervousness. I was her prey and she got ready for the kill.

I don’t need people to like me. I need people to do as I say. I do business. I do it well. I make huge profits for the company. People get paid well. People are happy. But when things go wrong, and it always does. You’ve heard of Murphy’s law, haven’t you?”

Yes

Good. Then you know that if anything can go wrong, it will. So when it does, people need to see that they aren’t the ones that caused it but someone else. Then people can continue to be happy. So they obey and do as I say. I am the one that have to make that call. Strong leadership is the necessity to send someone to be hanged and held accountable for mistakes so the show can go on” she said. I knew she was uncompromising but I didn’t thought that she could be like a piercing winter storm on the tundra. She was relentless.

I think responsibility for one’s actions is important, but I can’t help but wonder how constructive ‘fault’ really is? At the end of the day, you are the one that is responsible for it all, for the company. So if someone fails, you fail. You think in terms of mistakes. What if the mistakes can be looked at as opportunities instead, opportunities to do better?” I said and watched her when she laughed out loud. It was a scornful laughter. I felt ridiculed but I decided to not yield into her bullying. She was pitiful.

Oh dear Lord, you are one of those. Do you really believe in an idealistic world where you’re in service for the betterment of others? People only serve for the betterment of them selves” she said and an air of attentiveness flew over her. She sat down and watched me.

There is a Chinese saying that says if you point a finger towards someone else, three point back to yourself” I answered after a while hoping she would get my metaphor.

Oh is that so? All I have to say to that is only if you believe in mumbo jumbo like that.” she said and leaned back in her chair. She looked like this amused her; as if it has been a long time she had a hunt like this, a prey that actually gave her a fight. I felt as if I just was bit by a venomous spider and could only wait for the paralysis to kick in.

Are you going to proclaim it’s my fault then?” I said and felt my courage disappear. It seemed I had nothing to gain by trying to resist her habitual accusations and blame games.

Oh no, that would be too easy and no fun at all. No, my sweet Ms. Clueless, you are going to do the finger-pointing for me. You will step into my shoes.” she said and for the first time I saw her actually smile. My god, even her teeth were white, straight and immaculate. Her soul, however, was suppressed to the extent that it seemed totally absent. Then I felt a flood of tremendous force, a courage and strength I haven’t felt before. I stood up and straighten my back.

No, I won’t. I will not point out a person to carry fault and blame alone so the rest of us can pretend everything is okay and fine. That’s your ball game. Not mine. When I walk out the door, I will never come back. And I feel for you, you know. You are one of the loneliest persons I have ever met. You carve your name in marble because you don’t know what a heart is. I will leave you with one thought to ponder, when you die, and you will, who will attend your funeral and from their heart say they miss you because you were such a loving and caring person. Who?

I turned around and walked out the door. I was tempted to look back to have a last glimpse of her to see her reaction. But I didn’t. I knew she was knocked right out off her Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Fault turns easily in to a blame game. Human societies are founded upon myths of sacrifice, to hold a complex structure of power together, so we habitually oppose force upon another. As long as the receptive community accepts it, the balance of power is kept even if one side lose more than the other. It goes something like this: “If you do work for me and serve the needs of the greater group (like a workplace) I will protect you and what you produce”. The scapegoat mechanism is part of that power exchange. If something goes wrong, force of coercion is used to keep people on track and remain in power. Hence someone has to ‘pay’ and made into a scapegoat and held responsible for the misfortune, and that scapegoat will carry the fault alone and relieve the larger group from the burden.”

I read a wonderful short novel “They that leave Omelas”, by one of my favourite writers Ursula Le Guin, on which I took the inspiration for this prompt. In that she writes about an invisible child that has to suffer awful abandonment, isolation and cruelty for the sake of the village’s happiness. The inhabitants were aware of the child, but thought as long as that one child carried fault, guilt and blame they could continue to live in blissful ignorance. But there were a few people, who couldn’t bare the knowledge of placing guilt upon one single child, and left the village to never return. They chose to enter the uncomfortable but liberating realm of responsibility of one’s Self and one’s actions.

So I don’t think fault is constructive. Mistakes are lessons in disguise. Do I place blame and fault upon others? Yes, sometimes I do and on myself too. Because my narrow-mindedness makes me believe I see the whole story. But however I justify the fault, or what I believe I am right about, never makes me happy. It always leaves me aware of my ignorance. It takes a lot to have 360° vision but I work to have one. I believe that what might be one man’s vulnerable wilderness is another man’s theme park. Fault never tells the whole story. But if we change our view or at least have the courage to hear other versions of a story we might get a wider perspective.

 

fear of vulnerability

”I need the chance to climb out from the place I was born in.” 

I write this because of a question and comment I got from a friend in my #Trust30 post about overcoming uncertainty. She wrote in her own post about how fear dictates many of our choices and is the cause to so much negativity and destruction. She wondered if it made sense to me, and yes it does. But the comment got me thinking about fear, vulnerability and my relationship to it and I want to share that.

This post’s headline is a line from a movie I watched the other week on TV called ”The story of Liz”. It was a true story about a girl who grew up with addictive parents, her mother was schizophrenic too and eventually both her parents died of aids. She didn’t go to school, ran away all the time, rejected authority and was eventually homeless. And yet she was trapped in the world she lived in. She had an utterly awful childhood. But after her mother died and she had nothing else to lose, she decided to study, to re-define herself and said to the principal when she tried to get accepted into school – “I need the chance to climb out from the place I was born in”. She got the chance at age 15 or 16 and it changed her life. It’s as I wrote in my post about my Tramp vs. Faithfaith isn’t faith until that’s all we hold on to. But it can be excruciatingly hard.

The more fearfulness we feel, the more we diminish and can get trapped in our history and our past, unable to anticipate the future and be in the present. We become hostage of our wounds. Don’t misunderstand me, when we are victims of awful wrongdoings, we often feel powerless. It’s not easy to set healthy self-protective boundaries in those situations. What we usually choose then is to shut down. We disconnect with our Self, so we can ‘endure’ the intolerable situation until it stops. We begin to think of ourselves as worthless – worth less than the perpetrator. So yes I also believe fear is the prime motivation for negative thoughts and patterns.

And here is also what I believe: fear patterns block healing. As an intuitive alarm system it warns of loss, failure, danger and potential wounds. But to live constantly in fear of the unknown and/or with a person that hurts us physically, psychologically and spiritually, disrupts what keeps us grounded and healthy. To feel we are victims of forces that can inevitably destroy us, creates a state of chronic alarm that suppresses our life-force. If we don’t find a way out of the fear, we will move into darkness and stagnation. We become sick and can’t detach ourselves enough from our ‘wounded’ history. We will carry a feeling of being ‘dead’ as my #Trust30 friend wrote about.

I’m not saying that fears are easy to overcome. That all we have to do is to ‘look’ fear in its eyes and then it’s all over. But there is no other way around it than to face it. When our wounds trap us and drag us down the swamp of humiliation and worthlessness, we re-live our wounds and it’s easy to start self blame and believe it’s our fault what happened to us. We constantly repeat the fearful and incomprehensible situation internally. That is a choice, even if it’s an unconscious one, and doesn’t serve our healing and is hard to get out of. Because we want to know ‘why’ it happened. We go over the trauma again and again trying to find answers, trying to understand the inconceivable. And it may never be answered, hence the difficulty to heal and not let the experience define our self – image. What happens to us is out of our control, but how we deal with it isn’t.

So fear drains us, and can suck the life out of us if not dealt with and it demands soul work, courage and stamina to deal with our wounds. When we let fear determine our choices it’s detrimental to our souls, because we don’t trust ourselves, we give away power to outsides factors to run our lives for us. Healthy relationship with fear means, to me, that we allow it be part of our lives, as a friend that lets us know that we are about to lose our power. Lose the power to act, power to choose, power to stand up for what we believe is right, power to live our lives accordingly to our hearts. Dr Mona Lisa Schulz says: “There are five basic emotions or feelings. There are the positive ones that nobody complains about having – love and joy, and the negatives that give us discomfort at times – fear, anger, and sadness.” The negative emotions are as important as the positive. All of them form our emotional energetic makeup and put together as agile as possible, it’s a fantastic compass for life. Without it we wouldn’t experience who we are and can become. We need to learn how to wax on and wax off, as Mr Miyagi says in the movie Karate Kid.

My spiritual mentor and I talk about wounds and vulnerability often. He says that I can’t cover up my heart and say I am strong at the same time. I used to equal vulnerability with weakness and powerlessness. I thought I had to be ‘strong’ and not vulnerable. I feared my vulnerability because then I exposed myself for potential injury and sadness. And the way to deal with that fear was to detach myself from anything close to deep emotions and/or to show them. I always seemed ‘rock-solid’. I was wrong. Vulnerability is the core of love, strength and courage. And yes, it’s connected to fear too. That’s why we to turn back to subordination, candy, alcohol, shopping, minimising ourselves or whatever the flavour of anaesthesia we prefer, so we won’t have to deal with it. Vulnerability is about the ability to be wounded and NOT fear it; to believe that we somehow will come out whole on the other side, that we are strong enough to be ruled by our hearts. It doesn’t have to be comfortable or even positive, but if I am wounded and believe I can heal, I am compassionate as a saint and strong as a soldier, as Caroline Myss (my Sacred Contract teacher) would say.

I come to think about a brilliant TedX talk I listened to last year, where Dr Brené Brown talks about vulnerability. So I post it here, as a closing argument for that fear is part of our intuitive system and that through our hearts we have access to the courage to express who we are – vulnerable and worthy. What we need is the chance to climb out from the place we got stuck in.

In’Lakesh, people – [I am another you and you are another me]

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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