Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Divining Character

These two words constituted one of the original names I had when I was first looking to discover the name of my "Genius".

I did actually weep a little when I said these words out aloud at the time but the intensity of feeling didn't last, not as it has for the name "Constructing Coherence"

It is however something that I do do - Divining Character, although it's always done as a means toward the building of understanding and entente between myself and others.

I adore doing "personality" quizzes! *blush* I'm actually very fond of Temperament Typing especially using the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or Kiersey's version thereof. Even the little pop quizzes over at Tickle totally suck me in! hahaha ;)

Ever since I was a young teen, I've been fascinated by the pieces of my psyche, nature, mind, thought, and emotional make-up. I love knowing how I tick and why!

In turn, I'm intrigued - sometimes obessively - with how other people operate and why. I am constantly on intuitive, empathic, even systematic alert for signals and signs, portents and observations in others that help me to understand them better and gain insight into what they're made of. I'm almost driven by the need to get inside people's heads (and hearts too occasionally) to find out exactly what makes them... themselves! What are their attributes? What are their loves; likes; dislikes; hates; emotional responses to such and such; background; modus operandi and so on?

And just like a person who uses a dowsing rod to try to unearth deeply hidden waters... So I use Temperament Analysis and Personality Quizzes to try to unearth valuable information about character both within myself and in others.

This need to understand character and to seek out that which makes a person similar to myself is a constant fascination to me. I don't have a clue why it intrigues me so to want to find out about people and why its so important to me to find that mutual common ground of understanding. One day I'm hoping to find the Perfect Quiz that will answer those questions! :)

But this habit of mine does have its drawbacks. My tendency is to judge people fairly quickly and summarise their personality/temperament on little more than a few skewed observations and intuitive assumptions on my part. I am however, always prepared to second guess myself and try to prove any negative assumptions wrong, at least for the first two or three encounters! ;)

Ironically, for all my love of the Personality and Temperament, I'd make a poor psychoanalyst nor a good psychologist! I'm not objective enough and way too empathetic in that I tend to take other peoples issues on board and identify with them too intimately! Building understanding is a subjective art not a rational science really, and I am way more of an "artist" than a scientist.

I still love personality quizzes though and probably always will. Despite the fact that they are sometimes silly and impractical, I do often learn something about myself and other people from them.

These "tests" may or may not be accurate! A lot of the material they're based on can be mere subjective nonsense, but I don't care about overall accuracy really - especially in those nonsensical tickle quizzes! They're merely a tool for insight and observation and just plain good fun really! :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I’m suspended

I'm suspended by the

Thought of you

In night time dress

In cares caress

In beauty deep

And to truths in sleep

I'm suspended

I'm suspended by the

Need of you

In daytime clothes

In jeans and throws

In beauty deep

and to heart's full heap

Of you

I'm suspended

I'm suspended

I'm suspended by the

Thought of you

In feelings dressed

In tears expressed

In beauty deep

And to truths too steep

I'm suspended

I'm suspended by the

Need of you

In laughters throws

In ties and bows

In beauty deep

and to heart's full flow

of you

I'm suspended

Being with you

Makes me better

Makes me whole

Being with you

Brings me closer

To heavens

Tiny door

I'm suspended

I'm suspended by the

Thought of you

Take me there

Inside of you

Show me thoughts

That make up you

Suspend me deep

Inside your need

And bring me

With you

Through Heavens

Tiny door.

© M. Pitman 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Why is it so hard to be in love do you think?

That soft tender ache of longing in the heart. The hard flutter of rushing nervous energy coursing through ones torso whenever one sees their beloved. The skittish and flighty body language that comes over one when within range of the beloved in question.

I remember these feelings from the first time I fell in love. I see them in my daughter as she grows older and experiences boys for the first time in her life.

But it is hard to be in love. It's the ache I think that kills. The incredibly sweet longing deep within to be connected to that desirable other.

Its hard but its incredible and wonderful too. The difficulties in feeling such intense emotion for another person can both wound and enliven all at the same time. Like bitter-sweet chocolate, both give a pleasure to the senses, physically and emotionally.

In a way its sad that so many couples lose these intense sensations after being together for a long time. To see so many couples who love each other but are not "in love" with each other anymore. The love they share becomes a kind of unmentionable accessory to their partnership. There is no real magic or fire in their relationship and it appears their union is more like a business transaction between entities rather than a communion of one soul in two bodies.

Ah but that early "being in love" stage is so palpably real to the senses. It enlivens and quickens the soul. And it is all about the senses - physical senses of touch, sight, sound, experience, and taste, and the metaphysical senses of wonder, joy, and possiblity. The senses are magnified by being in touch with feelings so visible they almost hurt when observed.

We like to feel love. When love isn't felt anymore and is just known about logically and intellectually it loses something in translation. It loses its capacity to quicken our pulse, flumox us and excite us deep inside. Being "in love" is a gentle drug of wonder, surprise, joy and anticipation along with an aching need to bring it into fruition and into that knowledge phase.

You see! We need to know Love too. We need to understand Love in a way that isn't swayed by emotion or desire but just is as it is - a deep but intellectual proof of connection. Its just that we too often forget to make our senses feel that " being in love" feeling again so as to enjoy the sensation of it coursing through our veins, quickening the pulse and sending desire through the roof again for our beloved.

When we experience one of these two without the other - "being in love" or Love - for too long, they each shrivel and die. "Being in love" does not last without becoming Love - deep and steadfast. Love without the ecstacy of that " being in love" feeling and that tiny wince of an aching heart that so desires to belong to the other person, becomes a mere partnership of bodies, lacking both sparkle and magic.

The feeling of being in love is intoxicating. Knowing that one is Loved is reassuring. Combining both brings both incredible union and one-ness to a relationship.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hello fish :)

Well some lovely person has put up a rather long comment on my "Huh?" post from yesterday.

Thanks "fish" for your comment.

I have to say your thoughts probably encapsulate nearly all the personal self-help development literature ever made available! :)

I do wonder though, exactly what its doing on that particular post! As valuable as the information is... it's kind of in the wrong place don'tchya think? ;)

At first I thought it was a spam comment you know - (all comments get moderated via my email before I allow them to be viewed here), but on reflection, it IS valuable "advice" which many of us could heed, so I have allowed it to come through.

But "fish"! It'd be great if you could put this somewhere more public you know!

If you are on about being self-confident - then don't hide your wisdom under a Mitch's "Huh?" - it makes it rather hard for people to find that way.

Thanks for taking the time to say your piece all the same. :)


Thursday, August 24, 2006


Well when I wrote yesterdays blog post it made perfect sense to me at the time. I even read it later when it turned up in my bloglines list just to be sure.

Today I read it and I'm like.... Huh? What the hec was I trying to SAY there?


Okay! So yes! I don't make sense occasionally! That's pretty normal for the most part for me in meatspace. I'm often looked at quizzically with a "What on earth are you on about NOW Mitch?" line thrown in for good measure.

My sister has always said that the one word that would suitably describe me is "Deep".

Well yesterday, I think perhaps I went soooo deep, the ocean depths of Mitch went completely to black! *smirk*

So anyway - I will address that post some time. Re-work it and try and make it more coherent.

I figure if I can understand it then most others should be able to huh? :) Right now - I can't make head or tail of what I was trying to convey there! If you can then please explain it to me in your comments! :)


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

But.. I didn't mean it like that!

We've all said things that have been misinterpreted and misunderstood.

Verbal communication is a rough science. It is not an easy thing to communicate so clearly and coherently that our exact intention behind our words is made perfectly known.

Clarity in all conversation is important and there will be times when another person will not clearly understand what you meant by your words. Sometimes the "right" words are difficult to form in ones mind so that meaning can be made clear. And there is always, ALWAYS, the flawed ability of another person to really LISTEN and actively seek to understand what you are saying!

There is however a small lie we often tell to our loved ones. We've become so good at telling this lie that we don't even see it as a lie anymore.

When we say something to someone we love in 'the moment' which subsequently gets understood in a way that makes us feel very insecure or uncomfortable we use this lie to cover our tracks and make ourselves appear guilt-less yet again. It gives us an "out" to our discomfort and helps us to smooth over ruffled feathers and/or receiving angry retaliation in return.

It doesn't matter exactly what we say nor even how we say it; what matters is its intent which comes from deep within our heart. What we say in these moments is always a reflection of exactly what is in our hearts. The intention behind these words is formed out of self-interest and Ego - at the heart of who we are.

Our heart can be clouded, its 'thoughts' unclear, so our minds will often filter the words that bubble up from it and turn them into "palatable" soundbytes for human consumption. When we think about what we are saying and attempt to be coherent and demonstrate loving gentleness in our speech and behaviours, the good oil of relationship can be made smooth and happy. Its when we don't think about what we're saying and we allow the 'thoughts' of our hearts to just "come out" of our mouths without thinking with our minds - that's where we get into trouble!

The excuse for saying exactly what is in our hearts before our mind has had a chance to think it through is the line "But.. I didn't MEAN it like that!".

Yes you did! You just got found out is all!

The mind is rational. It does not "deal" in emotion like the heart does. The heart is all emotion and is the basis for many of our thoughts. The mind must work to expose the ego-centricicity within our heart-thoughts and re-work these sentences into coherent and practical meanings based on a multitude of beliefs, behaviours, observations, ideals, and so on. The mind is good at making meaning clear through sifting and sorting. The heart just says exactly what it "thinks" each and every time. When we speak "from the heart" - we are speaking EXACTLY what we are really thinking.

Its not often pretty! The heart can be a very ego-centric animal prone to selfish delusions of grandeur! If you did not "mean" what your mouth just said when you said it - then you need to search your heart to find out if that is what you really actually mean or if your heart is telling you otherwise! We lie to ourselves too with that line!

So be honest and admit with your mind and your mouth what your heart is really "saying" even if it hurts you more than you think it will hurt your loved one.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. This is coherent verbal communication in action.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Misery and the Me Gen

This particular post by David Wong of Pointless Waste of Time fame has had me thinking a lot of late.

Apparently I'm not the only one. The home page on this blog states that the article in question has recorded 50,000 readers! Wow!

Which goes to prove something about this cynical and rather pessimistically written piece - that it has touched a MAJOR nerve for many people.

And just what is that "Nerve"?

Well! I think perhaps that people are starting to finally realise that the "ME" Generation thing just isn't working!

Rampant individualism in Western Culture has been on a steady rise for nearly 50 years. From the the beginnings of modern Youth Culture in the 1950's, there has been a steady increase in the mythology of the "ME" Identity. We all know of so many people who seem to think that the world "owes" them something for nothing.

There is a cosmetics ad here in Australia that has a tag line that says "Because you're worth it!". Now that might be a cause for some controversy there really! We are worth it! But the truth is that it is ALL of us who are worth it, not just the beautiful, flawless amongst us as these ads portray. By the same token - we need to develop enough sensitivity to our surroundings as individuals to ensure that our sense of "being worth it" doesn't engender arrogance, pride and wilful neglect of ethical behaviour towards others! Being "Worth it" requires a certain self-abnegating humility as well as a healthy sense of value as a person.

To understand the Self is important. Self-awareness and understanding how we "tick" as persons of worth is a valuable study of personal intention, motivation, purpose and validation. I'm not arguing against the need for us all to "examine" ourselves on occasion. I do it here in this blog regularly :)

The Mythology of "ME" is slightly different. This isn't about self-examination and learning so much as about pure selfish indulgence. The generations that have been born since the middle of the last century have become increasingly selfish and obsessed with personal gain at the expense of community.

What this insightful article says despite its rather depressing tone is "Get a grip and get over yourself for a minute!"

We are "lonely" because we have made ourselves so by our refusal to walk in the steps of another. We do not want the responsibility of stepping outside our comfort zones and IDENTIFYING with someone else we are not comfortable with. We want others to identify with US... so long as we don't have to do it for them! This is the "ME" Generation's core theme, that it is all ABOUT "me" not you! Me-ism of the first order! It says "What I want I will have and f*** the rest!"

This crippling and pervasive attitude corrodes and does not build societies. It establishes a system of distrust, dishonesty, tolerance for un-healthy behaviours and a deep skepticism of everything whilst also engaging a strange acceptance of some very wierd and sometimes perverted belief systems. Me-ism implodes like a detonated building in on itself. When we are so focussed on our SELF in this way to the detriment of others, we do ourselves enormous damage as persons of worth and merit. How ironic is that?

No wonder the kids of the 21st Century, as according to this article, are so miserable. What isolated islands of despair we have made for all our beautiful "Me's"

This IS a generalisation of course. There ARE people out there in the world who do not subscribe to the Mythology of "ME" and are genuinely concerned with the world, its people, their communities, families and so on. These people grease the rails toward making life bearable and tolerable through their unstinting generosity of spirit and self-LESS love of others. They are the ones who are NOT miserable nor are they lonely or bereft of love. These are the people - young and middle-aged alike - who are confident enough within themselves to know their value but do not identify too strongly with their "Me" but with their "Us" - no matter how uncomfortable that "Us" makes them feel sometimes.

That is the key to genuine happiness! Stepping outside our comfort zones and engaging in the world around us with all its faults, flaws, difficulties, problems and tediousness. The basic tenet is that the world - and the people who live in it - do not owe us anything but that we owe them everything!

When we build up the ability within ourselves to freely express love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, we are in fact immunising ourselves from the misery that this article suggests is rampant in this fledgling 21st Century.

Love yourself but don't go too far inside your "ME" that you forget why you're here; To serve and be served.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The difference between self sabotage and self deprecation

When I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my tendency toward self-sabotage I mentioned briefly that there was a difference between that and self-deprecation.

It's time to explore the differences.

Self sabotage is rooted in fear. I fear a lot of stuff. I am afraid - dreadfully afraid - of being abandoned and left entirely bereft of love so I tend to subjugate myself and make myself "small" in order to be "accepted" by others.

Its terribly manipulative and not very generous or giving of me, but its an open admission on my part that this is what I instinctively "do" to protect myself from my greatest fear. It is a tough battle I wage between confidence and independant self-love and this long standing habit of being a defeatist slave toward others.

Then there is my skill. It's called self-deprecation. This is a good skill and for some reason Australians - as a culture - seem to be rather good at it.

Self-deprecation is a little bizarre. It CAN seem like self-sabotage and sometimes it gets a little tangled up in that but for the most part - at least for me - self-deprecation is really about humour. This humour is based on a strong sense of self-observation of the ridiculous and silly within myself.

It isn't about self-loathing and it isn't about being completely under-confident; it does however grease the path for building friendship, understanding and breaking the ice with people.

For me self-deprecation means that I am not that afraid of being made to appear foolish or ask stupid questions. It means that I have a strong sense of my short-comings and that's okay because I ain't "perfect" and nor do I need to appear so.

Self-deprecation is about making others comfortable and at ease. Self-deprecation is also about humour and making people smile or laugh because they can't help it - you just make them laugh! :) It is not about manipulation based on fear but on generosity of spirit and gentle encouragement of others. The total opposite to self-sabotage.

The two may look on the surface to be very similar but they aren't. My sense of humour means that I will sometimes say things that sound like I'm "putting myself down" but often I'm merely making an observation about myself that I hope puts someone else at ease in my company and breaks down any misunderstanding between us. I above all do not want to appear superior but equal and creating that equality sometimes means showing some humour based humility.

The balance can easily tip over to self-sabotage though and I am now aware of this. When the Self-deprecation sinks to a level of mere grovel and a desperate lunge for acceptance in order for ME to feel valuable instead of the other person being made to feel comfortable - that is when it gets dangerous again.

I know this now. I'm working on making these two sides of myself more coherent and I'm learning to recognise the signs where my skill at putting others at ease through my use of humorous self-deprecation becomes merely silly self-sabotage.

I AM independant, loving, lovable and valuable! These are not boasts but truths not just about myself but of everyone I know and love.

I am also clumsy, occasionally thick as a brick, short-sighted and absent-minded! These are not just truths but also boasts because I'm glad I am not any more perfect than you! ;)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your best shot

doesn't always go the way you expect.

When you need to feel, to think, to tell, to show, to just be... sometimes you have to take the risk and go with what you ARE feeling, thinking and wanting to tell, right there and then.

To love is to risk, each and every time its expressed. To love is to expose oneself to the possibility that it may be returned or rejected.

We fear to express love because we fear rejection - abandonment and possibly even being made to look foolish and stupid.

That was the greatest damage done to us in the story of the Garden of Eden. When we "knew" our "nakedness", it wasn't just physical shame - it was a deep emotional fear that came over us too - a fear of isolation so intense and all encompassing that the mere thought of being abandoned like that inside that fear like a void so vast and inescapable it feels like it will consume us completely in its inky black, terrifying nothingness.

To love is to be courageous enough to step into that void with just enough faith and hope to know that you'll come out the other side, still whole and intact. What is on the other side is up to you to find. My prayer is that you find more love and more courage :)

God never fears to express love even when he knows it will be rejected. Fear cannot exist where there is love and He is Love - total and complete - no compromise.

Love expressed is always a good shot to take. If it misses... go on into that dark terrifying void of possibility and absence of presence and see what you find on the other side.

Its worth the step in faith to find your best shot for love. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

building inner sense

There are a million and one different "me's" inside this persona I present to the world.

All of them are like little pieces of a jigsaw that when put together make up the whole of who I am.

When that jigsaw called "Self" is in disparate parts... putting those pieces in can be a trying time of frustration and concentration.

As you know with jigsaws - pieces only "fit" in one place in one direction. The pattern must "match" or.... (yep! ;))... COHERE to make the outcome - the final picture - become real and observable as a beautiful thing.

Making sense of who I am, what I want, where I want to be, and just how I view the world around me is a daily journey of discovery.

Some days I find pieces that show me doubt and fear. Other days I find pieces of me that show me my joys and desires. There are scary pieces that refect anger, pride, ego-centric needs and there are lovely pieces that reflect my abundant sense of fun and wonder. They all make up the totality of the person I am.

In ALL these pieces of me there is a deep PASSION... to BE as I am - whole, integrated, my SELF.

That SELF I hope to see when all these pieces finally slot into their respective positions? Confident, joyful, peaceful, not given to emotional blackmail or pathetic neediness, strong minded but not strong-willed, independant, gracious and kind, giving but not manipulative, honourable and ethical, fun-loving and child-like but also wise.

Is that too much to ask of ones SELF? No! I don't think so! But it is a process. A daily journey of seeking forgiveness and starting afresh without rancour or petulance about yesterdays gone awry. It IS about approaching life from the reality of the NOW instead of living in the past and/or the future. It is about BEING as one is and admitting when the pieces are not fitting properly and taking responsibility for that.

The best thing about this process? We don't do it alone!

God is there forgiving us every moment of every hour of every day for our mistakes and errancy.

Family are there to keep us grounded in the now and help us to not get too esoteric or ridiculous in our search for coherence of the SELF.

And in this temporal world we live in... one of the most precious gifts we have been given - to help us on this daily journey of discovery - are friends. Not acquaintances or simple passers-by who just acknowledge the mis-shapen picture of ourselves - not yet whole - and make their assumptions based on the holes therein... but real friends who love us, know us and keep helping us to seek the right fit for that piece right there that has our current attention. Be that piece the "lonely gloomy" part of me, or the "fun-loving, generous" part of me - they don't discard any of them but help me to integrate all these pieces into the construct of the final picture - loving and enjoying each part because it makes ME who I am in the end.

The people who BELIEVE in the potential of that final picture are the ones who make all the difference to our sense of SELF. These are the people God gives us to be his hands and feet to us - his living arms and his open loving heart. These are the the people who bring sense to our lives and make things more coherent. These are the people that make being Whole important and worthwhile.

For what good is it to be whole in ones SELF if one cannot make it better for ones friends. :)

It is with some awe that I add this link to Alexys Fairfield's blog over at Unraveling the Spiritual Mystique - she wrote, just a few short hours after I posted the above, on the same theme of Jigsaw Puzzles :) It says what I'd like to have said if I could write like her. Thanks A. You rock! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Love your scars

My body is spotted with little scars from past accidents.

I have a scar on the little finger of my right hand where my brother slammed the car door on it when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

I have a more recent and very obvious scar on my left forearm where the doctor removed a suspicious looking skin "thing" a couple of years ago.

And I have a scar on my right foot from when I crashed a motorbike into a tree at age 12 (I was dodging a snake at the time *blush*)

Should I worry and fret about these scars? They're not 'beautiful' after all!

No way! I love them! Seriously! I love ALL my scars. They tell "My story"! They are my history and they somewhat help to define the ME that I am now.

Same with emotional, spiritual and intellectual "scars". The wounds that cut deepest and are often hidden from the world. I love these more difficult scars too. Or at least I'm learning to.

These scars are also not 'beautiful' but they are as real as any physical scar. They are evidence of lessons in life, love, hurt and pain. All stuff that helps me to grow, move and change toward more life, love, joy and freedom :) I will NOT give up faith, hope AND love just because of these deep wounds inside me that no one else can see! They define me and make me who I am right now and will go on being the foundation for making the 'Me' that I will be in the years to come.

Some of these hidden scars are now healed over - the evidence of them exists but they are now just like my physical scars - patched over with new tissue - new hope and life - lessons learned. Other wounds are yet to heal completely.

The thing is that these emotional wounds can sometimes take too long to heal until I stop picking away at the "scabs" and just allow some emotional "scar tissue" to grow across them.

Scar tissue is necessary for healing. Scar tissue is the COHERENCE of the self again - the glue that binds it all together and makes it not hurt anymore! It means that the wound is still visible but HEALED and whole again. The history of its making and the way it changes me - makes me who I am now and into the future - is just as it is, a memory, a time-frame, a piece of my past. And a basis for what is to come.

Love your scars. They make you dearly precious and as unique as a snowflake or a fingerprint. NO ONE has ever had or ever will have the scars you do in quite the same way as you. The unique story they tell is YOUR story and no one elses.

Scars are not to be reviled but relished as evidence of a LIFE made whole again.

beautiful empty spaces

its in the quiet spaces i found you
unspoken and unheard
where no mask or cover could hide you
from this truth beautiful - absurd

its in this ether - this nothing
amorphous and surreal
where cost could count for no thing
the prize being love - the sweetest deal

its in these empty moments
peaceful and serene
where i find joys best moments
and fulfilment for this dream

© M. Pitman 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006


And now that I have your attention! :)

This is actually about communication. What is unspoken in love rather than anything spoken.

Its the communication in the quiet spaces in between talk and words, where we find some of the truest and deepest intimacies in our relationships. When the peaceful quiet between lovers is filled with gentle calm, comfortable communion, warm being - that is when you have a relationship worth fighting for during disagreements and misunderstandings.

and yes... sex is communication :) The ultimate form thereof really. We say a lot about ourselves in our expression of sex. When its about the one you adore and you simply have no other way of expressing your love for them except through the physical, [with or without words], it can be the most beautiful communication there is.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The gentle 'art' of being pissed off!

In a BAD mood today!

I did not deliberately choose to be in this mood. In fact this morning, I actually wondered what mood I "should wear" for the day!

I didn't HAVE a mood when I woke this morning. I felt strangely disjointed and outside of myself not "all there".

Pissed Off decided to visit today instead.

Nothing to be pissed off about really. Just FEEL like being irritable, irrational, irksome and gloomy.

I know it will pass. It always does.

On days like today I take the Scarlett O'Hara meme and figure "Tomorrow is another day".

There's an "art" to being pissed off without being in everyones face about it. So... I have this "mood" happening. Not sure why, but something inside my brain is not sparking like it should. So I choose to let it ride itself out and separate myself slightly from it and look at it from the outside in. I "observe" myself objectively being "in a bad mood" and it doesn't feel quite so "bad". It's just a mood that Mitch is in and nothing need be done about it except maybe a good cry and a good nights sleep perhaps.

This is a bit like a mental paper cut really. Ouch! But it gets better quickly.

The cause of it is moot. Brain chemistry is as hard to figure out in bad moods as they are in good - I'm not particularly fussed about "analysing" my behaviour today - it's just a "thing" I need to let happen and the less I fight it, the less likely it is that it'll stick around.

If it DOES stick around for more than today... I will TALK it out with a friend, always the first port of call in remedying an errant non-constructive mood behaviour.

Bad moods are to be treated as you would a child throwing a tantrum in a supermarket! Calmly and firmly - no rewards and no bribes, just pick it up and carry it home and do the shopping later.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Genius so far...

This is post number 111.

My "eleventy-first" :) (thanks Bilbo Baggins)

... no big celebrations. Nor am I about to disappear into the night.

This is just a simple muse on the question, "How far have I come since naming my Genius?" Its pretty introspective this blog today so I'm not really going to be surprised if people roll their eyes and click over to the next blog at about! *grin*

Am I really Constructing Coherence like I thought?

Yes! I still believe that that name is the "right" one for me. It just makes so much sense really (to me) that this is what I DO.

I stick to things and people. I try to make sense of the world, to find meaning and order along with Story and magic too. I gather like things together and try to make them fit into a logical whole. My "coherence" is not really so much about "solving puzzles" although I am inclined to want to do that - particularly "solving" puzzling people! ;) It's more about building up trust and friendships and creating that entente I love so much.

The really big thing I've noticed is that I AM about team-work. I like working on my own but I tend to live inside my own head too much. My Genius gets underfed when it lives inside my own head for too long... it needs people around to help it grow and do its thing! I think perhaps this is why I have stuck around the Genius Workshop for so "feels" like there's a team in there! Thanks Dick, Martin, and to all the members who quietly sit in the background taking notes *grin* (yes... I know! I need to shut up more and let others have a say in the GW too! huh? I hear you! *blush*)

I've also noticed a huge jump in my story-writing since naming my Genius. Writing is a long time love of mine that has never really found full expression. This year is the first year in probably 7 or 8 years that I have been engaged in the process of writing a lot more. I have discovered that I "am" text. I feel more "me" when I write in words and sentences than when I speak or move in my bubble of space. My physical self is a klutzy, ditzy, rather strange mixture of self-conscious exuberance. My writing self is quieter, more intimate and detailed: my writing self is better able to make sense.

The writing this year has been intense. I've loved every minute of it. This blog has opened new opportunities for me to explore some really deep thinking that I just cannot find expression for elsewhere. :) It's been quite exhilarating and cathartic. I've had more joy this year than I can remember in a long, long time.

I've had periods of writing before such as (bad?) poetry in my late teens and young adult hood etc. I also wrote a lot of church drama's a few years ago which totally enthralled me but I burnt out from that process because it wasn't "just" writing it was directing, producing, acting in and rehearsing them as well etc! A tough gig every two weeks with a wee family and a business! Phew! I have no idea how I did that now! :) (You can find some of my drama's here under Michelle Pitman. They are available free for use in any setting :)).

But Story! Story thrills me! It moves me and engages me like no other writing. I love the way a Story can just come together out of nothing but an idea and maybe a few scraps of un-related words. This is, I think the biggest change to come from the naming of my Genius, the discovery of Stories that live inside me. I love that. :) I do owe some thanks to Martin Spernau in this discovery for his encouragement and many of those un-related words! :) Thanks mate :)

The other changes? New found friendships, a new found zest for life and living, a new hope for the future and a surprising amount of confidence I didn't know I had! :)

Naming ones Genius (or Gift you prefer) may sound like an exercise in self-indulgence and arrogant pride but it's not! It's a journey of humble self-discovery. It is also a process that continues throughout life in the company of strangers and friends. We all have something to bring to the table and we all have something to take as well. Life like this is meant to be savoured, both bitter and sweet. When you find - and name - that gem of uniqueness and amazing wonder inside you... you can't help but feel astonished that you ever had so much power!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Heart and guts my friend

I was musing on the "how" I make decisions with a friend the other day.

I tend to trust my gut feeling for any big decisions I make.

For the basic everyday decisions, my intellect is pretty much in charge. But the BIG decisions of my life in the areas of love, desire, need and yes overseas trips... I have relied totally on the feeling I feel inside my gut.

I rarely trust my heart to make my decisions for me.

You see my heart - not the actual organ but that metaphysical "heart" of inner being - is too romantic and fanciful. It constructs possiblities and fantasies which rarely come to pass. It is an unreliable servant at its best and a disasterous master at worst.

My heart is given to wanting things it cannot have, seeking after romantic desires that are not possible, reading things between lines that may not actually be there.

So to trust it for decision making for me is very unwise.

When I have a big decision to make, I ask a question and then pose either a Yes or a No to that question. After each time I ask "Yes?" I LISTEN to what my gut tells me. After each time I ask "No?" I LISTEN to what my gut tells me.

If I feel a resonance, a ripple, a tingle, or any strange sensation deep inside my gut (and yes I'm talking my physical gut here down near my belly button ;))... then I have my answer. If I feel nothing I also have my answer.

I do this a number of times to be very sure. My analytical, logical (and somewhat skeptical) side demands that I continually test to ensure I do indeed have the "right" response and that the outcome will be "appropriate". This gets tricky when my gut says yes to something that my head says isn't such a good idea! But I'd much prefer to trust my gut than any inner "Vulcan" in me anyway :)

My head doubts. My heart romanticises. My gut tells me what I really want.

How do you make your big decisions? :)

You don't always need to think! Sometimes what you feel is more accurate.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

One day I'll wake up and smell the Reality!

I live in the future!

Always have.

My whole being is consigned to this obsession with what will happen in the future.

I dream about the future, I construct possibilities for the future and I negotiate with God about the future. I ache for the future and I dread the future. I have this insatiable desire to KNOW the future - to make the possibilities inherent in it - be they good or bad - fact and history before they've even begun!

There is only ever NOW. The present. This gift of time that belongs nowhere else but at this spot, point, place, right here NOW.

So why do I invest so many of my waking hours dreaming of potential "things" that will or will not potentially come pass?

Because by thinking about my future I can easily ignore any responsibility I have for this present.

This Now isn't always as lucrative, enjoyable, scintillating, inviting, nasty, vicious, unrestrained, restrained, expansive, immutable, mutable, joyful, hateful, kind, generous, ill-begotten, strange, wonderful, boring, or as exciting as we expect it to be. Our Now is as unpredictable as change itself!

Living inside my head in a constructed imaginary future gives me escape and hope that I have some kind of control over my life. That my moments will not play out like some cruel cosmic joke designed to keep me permanently disappointed in life.

The future never actually arrives. It's always Now. What I think and imagine about the future is not reality - they're dreams, constructs of ideas. Thinking about the future is like constantly rewriting a story, creating new outcomes and endings, plot twists and developments. Imagining the future is creating Story.

And why do I do this?

Because I AM story! I live in a story book world where I am never totally engaged in my Now but in my fairytale instead. I was like this as a kid. I NEVER took responsibility really for the circumstances of my life but turned instead to my love of Story to escape my painful present. Imagining the portents of the future was and is my way of living outside of my Now. If I don't live inside my Now...then what happens in it cannot be my responsibility can it? Yeah right!

I've grown up now. I DO have responsibilities I must accept about this Now I live in. I'm wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and child of God. What I do NOW, is every bit as important as what I will do - might do - never do - in my Now's to come.

I can plan for the future but I must not become so engaged with those plans that I neglect my Now. My Now is dependant on having good future plans but those plans must feed my Now - not the other way around.

What is real is what is here in my Now not what I imagine tomorrow to be. I know this and as I've gotten older I do try to live by this principle.

Its hard though - living in the Now! The future is always so much more entertaining really and I do so love to be entertained. Story is always about being entertained afterall.

So yeah! One day I really might just wake up and smell the Reality. When I do I shall have lost just a little bit of my imagination and my story. In a way that's kinda sad, even though it's very pragmatic and responsible.

Its for this reason that I'm NOT giving up living in my imaginary future. I KNOW its imaginary and its not real but to lose the pleasure of dreaming it is just too much to bear.

In the end - just because I love my stories so - I shall always enjoy imagining a thousand different futures even if they never come to pass.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Martin shows Mitch how not to "be small".

There’s humility and then there’s self-sabotage.

Martin Spernau and I had an interesting chat conversation the other day. We were talking about speaking in front of large groups. I mentioned that I thought it was something he could easily do but something I couldn’t. He of course asked why! And instinctively I said:

“Because I’m too self-concious”

He mused on that for only a second before telling me that I thought myself “small”.

Well! Talk about hit a nerve! Ack!

“You make yourself soooo small Mitch!” were his words.

His next were, “There is a difference between humble and self-sabotage!”

Well of course I disputed this impression I thought he had of me most vociferously! I mean me? Self-sabotage? Never?

And not long after that I HAD to admit that yes – indeed I do. Always have!

Martin is a good coach – he sees things and notices stuff others would not notice. He’s a good friend to have in things like this – in ones personal development journey. He’s open to encouraging change but never confrontational about it. :)

When I was a wee girl, I was bullied a lot. I am a soft person, not given to bravado and aggressive stances – it’s just not hard-wired into me. However, in order to survive, I learned this “trick” of perverted humility called “Self-sabotage”. [Some might call it Self-deprecation but more on the subtle differences between these two concepts another time perhaps. :)]

My self-sabotage was/is a bullying de-fuser. Basically, if I set myself up to be “smaller” than another person initially and give over some of my personal power to them, then this “protects” me by virtue of my “gracious condescension” and “humility” and I therefore receive feedback in the form of gratitude and good humour from the person I have “elevated” above myself. IOW - I circumvent the possibility of any potential bullying occurring from someone else by bullying myself first! Does that make sense?

It’s very “ape-like” of me really. I do that whole crouch low and grovel stuff in front of the status member of the pack like in chimpanzee society. It’s a way of helping me ingratiate myself into the "alpha" male/female's “good books” and therefore survive - feed even - on the flow down effect of their gratitude! It is a form of "constructing" I do for that coherence that I crave with people.

It’s perverse and very manipulative really without intending to be so consciously. I never intend/ed to give any of my personal power over to others but it’s become such an ingrained habit/survival strategy that I just don’t notice doing it anymore. It’s no wonder I get confused when people refuse to accept my self-abnegation and sabotage because they just “don’t like me" anyway!

Intellectually, I know all about self confidence and humility. I know that one can be humble but still as equal to or even more externally successful than another! I understand all that stuff – intellectually. But deep down, it’s a whole other ball-game! Emotionally and Spiritually, I just do not accept that I am equal to others at all. I believe myself unworthy of so much – and not just because that puts the power into the other person’s territory, but because my inherited Judeo-Christian Ethic is completely screwed by a deeply flawed understanding of that whole Humility thing!

So what IS being humble without giving away pieces of ones self?

Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa! All these people embody a humility that is not about self-sabotage but Grace. They were content to BE themselves and choose consciously their own right to be who they are and what they did. They did not kow-tow or balk in the face of potential humiliation but rather courageously and almost defiantly stood their ground.

And yet, out of this confidence they had in themselves they graciously and non-violently assisted others to be themselves too, never hoping to receive any rewards or gratification for doing so. They were not interested in personal survival or feedback of the kind I seek in my self-sabotage. Instead, they gave of themselves willingly because they genuinely cared that other people should know the same Grace and confidence they also experienced.

So what have I learned that I need to change? That being assertive and confident is not inherently violent or aggressive. That I can be happy that I am as I am. That I do not NEED to make myself “small” to receive protection or any other faulty feedback. That my survival as an emotional, intellectual and spiritual being, is not dependant on other peoples valuations and assumptions of me - that that validation comes from God alone. That I can find positive feedback from my own sense of value in what I am and what I do.

I need to seek a state of Grace in this that asserts that I am just as able to lead or be lead as anyone else; that my skills, talents, knowledge and abilities are just as valuable as anothers. That I am a person of merit and value, and that when the push comes – I do have what it takes to be there to meet the challenge and give the best I can to make it happen! This isn't about arrogance or pride at all. It's about CONFIDENCE and BELIEF in who one is and what one does. It is not about "me" its about just BEING me for the benefit of my God and the world around me. :)

Now to actually practise that? :) Let me work on it - it takes time to change bad habits but I get there in the end for the most part. :)

:) So…? Anyone need a coach? I happen to know someone who’s not too bad at it – at all! You’ll find him here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Explore and Exploit - The Genius Way

The Genius Workshop has had a very interesting thread of late.

Biren has gently shared his struggles to find both the name of his unique gift and his purpose. Its been tough on him as it can be when one delves into the inner recesses of the soul.

The key point raised from his search has been this:

"i need to stop exploring, and start exploiting"

Insight right there! :)

It is all too easy to navel-gaze endlessly over our various faults, flaws and fabulous features! We all too easily can become so self-absorbed in our search for meaning and personal value that we forget that it isn't about "us" - its about what we DO!

When we begin to "exploit" our gifts and unique selves for the benefit and purpose of meeting the needs of those around us - that is WHEN we truly discover who we are and what our value is. Our truest sense of self is expressed in our forgetting what we are and just being who we are as God made us.

Sure! It's still valuable and even necessary to refine our knowledge of ourselves and what our unique Gift is that we bring to the world - but that's not the be all and end all of our exploration. Our exploration of ourselves need not spiral ever inward! It is to be demonstrated and explored - exploited even - outward into the world we live in! That is the work of true Genius - all the rest is just arrogance and self indulgence.

Biren has deeply understood the significance of this. Instead of continually focussing in - he has sensed that its time to focus OUT. Ironically - it will be the focussing out that will probably give him what he really needs and wants to know in the end anyway. :) I hope so.

Please be encouraged to join the Genius Workshop and explore your own journey on naming your Genius and finding your purpose. We weren't meant to do this kind of thing on our own I think :) A supportive network of like-minded friends and acquaintances can make the difference between mere exploration and refined exploitation.