Monday, November 26, 2007

Questions about Genius and Life Purpose.

Those of us who have gone through the process of finding the name of our "Genius" as described by Dick Richards, will testify to the agonizing and confusing, often protracted, job it is.

Finding ones Genius is like panning for gold. It's a long and drawn out process of sifting through a multiplicity of stuff within us.

When we do find a name that perfectly describes the natural and innate gift we bring to the world, we then find ourselves compelled to channel that new found discovery and insight into the search for our personal true purpose and reason for being here.

Genius and Life Purpose are linked for sure.

There is a possibility here though that I want to explore.

What if our Life Purpose isn't so much an extension of our Genius, but is in fact, something very uncomfortable for which we must take a leap of faith in order to grasp?

For instance, I know my genius is Constructing Coherence. I am all about logically and systematically making things make sense, establishing order and making connections between words, patterns, ideas and people. I do this instinctively without really having to "think" too hard about them.

But now I wonder if my Life Purpose is something that perhaps stretches me beyond this instinctive pattern of being.

Maybe my purpose here is to be engaged in something that takes me outside of having to use the same old, same old, devices I've always used? A Leap of Faith into uncharted territory that engages me and enthralls me and fulfills me like no other thing? Something that would normally terrify me! Something that doesn't make a lot of sense at all...not logically anyway.

What if...instead of my Genius, my modus operandi, creating the impetus for me to fulfill my Life Purpose, I instead have to use other emotional and intellectual tools that feel alien to me, that challenge me, but by the same token, fulfill me enormously and thereby create something wonderful for the Greater Good?

What if... my Life Purpose isn't achieved via the business of Constructing Coherence, which I do every day as a matter of course, but is something illogical, challenging, strange, uncommon and decidedly "Huh?".

Perhaps its in the opposite of my usual daily self where I might find the direction for my soul to travel.

The opposite of Constructing Coherence for me would be to rely not on logic but on intuition. I would need to do things according to what brings joy and fun for ME without always carefully thinking through the future consequences of my actions for everyone else. The opposite of my Genius would be for me to find strength within myself and not rely on finding it within the collective. The opposite for me would be to accept my own uniqueness and embrace my differences and not try to blend in with the crowd so much. I would have to accept being in the moment more, not plan so much and just be playful and joyful in the expression of my dreams. I would have to step onto the stage of Life and engage fully in it as a lead player, not as mere spectator or support crew.

That is scary stuff for me.

I am not very courageous and nor do I feel comfortable being in the spotlight. I love the stage but I have always stayed in the background or behind the scenes, preferring to work hard for the team doing my "bit".

It sounds so arrogant. I feel very small when faced with the enormous potential present in this. I have always WANTED the spotlight, craved it, yearned for it. I love being the centre of attention! I learned though, to sublimate this inside of me as a child. Being the "Lead" was only ever given to those who were more beautiful, more clever, more talented, more creative than me. Or so I believed. Then there was the notion of being "Humble", a big thing in my family background. Humility meant never trying to be "better" than anyone else so I did most of my "performing" in private on my own private stage inside my very private thoughts.

Thus, I learned to blend in with the group, to construct coherence as a support act. I became "invisible" and just cruised on the side-lines. My Genius didn't wither doing this, it became powerful. I am a team player! I am consistently and thoroughly engaged in the collective focus of the group mind. I can support others easily! It's just what I "do"!

But taking the Lead is not something I do comfortably. I like the sense of power and the accolades it brings, but it worries me because I fear being "by myself" out there under the spotlight. The responsibilities inherent in being the Lead seem challenging even if inspiring. I worry about becoming too "full of myself" receiving the applause and am ├╝ber careful to ensure that its never me who gets the praise but the group or those behind the scenes. Being in the lead is fraught with so much conflicting energy for me; on the one hand I adore being at the centre and in control, but on the other hand I fret about taking the accolades too seriously. I might need to TRUST that I am worthy of the applause sometimes! eek!

But what IF this is my Life Purpose? To be channeled toward the thing I have always craved but never felt entirely comfortable in grasping? What if I am being asked to fulfill my Life's Purpose by being very much what I am not every day of my life?

What if all of us who have found their Genius are in fact being asked not to seek their purpose from the starting point of their Genius, but beyond it where their Genius rarely dares to venture? What if we are in fact to reach beyond that which we do so naturally? What if we are being asked to engage in that which stretches us outside of our comfort zone?

This confounds and inspires me, this idea. I wonder what Dick would say? :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I, Hope so...

One of those mini insights into the self today.

I think...and its not really clear yet...but I think and feel that my whole being is driven by one ultimate passion.

Hope.

I live my moments, my nows much of the time with the future in mind. I'm constantly scanning the horizon of my forthcoming moments in order to establish grounds for the Hope I have that things will come to pass as I wish them to.

weird?

sure!

Thing is...these little weird revelations about my own inner bean seem to settle and calm me so I figure if that's the case, then they may well be very close to being the "truth", at least for me anyway.

selfish?

you betcha!

I hope for a lot of stuff.

I hope for passion, romance, energy, faithfulness. I hope for prosperity, wealth, honour, esteem and yes... I admit ...even a little bit of fame sometimes (until I get real again anyway).

I hope for Heaven and the resurrection at the end of time.

I hope for my friends, my loved ones, the earth, 3rd world peoples and for the displaced and disparaged. I hope for my co-workers, my children and my parents and siblings.

I hope.

I hope I live to 95 with all my mental faculties intact.

I hope I can lose this last 10 to 12 kg I am still carrying.

I hope I see rainbows until the end of my life.

I hope to travel to germany a thousand and one times in my life to come.

I hope to write...ahhhh yes! I have always harboured ambitions to write that "great" screenplay but have always been far too overwhelmed by the task.. but I still hope to one day even so.

I hope to still be able to see and not lose the sight in my one good eye.

I hope we have a good time in Darwin over Christmas with my sis and family.

I hope.

I live in hope.

Constantly, eternally, every single day, almost every single breath I take is a pointer towards my hopes.

Being the dreamer and idealist that I am, I am never content with the status quo. I yearn for my tomorrows and I HOPE for them like no other person I know!

Perhaps I should change my name to "Hope", but I hope not! I quite like my names thanks.

Hope is so powerful, so intense, so charged with possibilities, it engulfs the soul and makes it yearn. The danger is that I can sometimes yearn for the things that in my imagination seem so "perfect" but are in fact not quite what they seemed once I get there and experience them in the present moment.

A lot of stuff surrounding Hope, is decision making. Making choices at bends and forks on ones path. You kinda guess what lays ahead without really knowing the forthcoming landscape but you still hope that your decisions will get you where you want to be eventually.

Hope is a dangerous thing too. It can easily lead to all sorts of silly addictions. I've talked HEAPS in this blog about living in the moment and while logically, I know that to be the best thing to do... I rarely do it because I'm so naturally wired to live in the future. It's a good thing I'm not into gambling "that" much...or I would be addicted for sure. Gambling relies on hope!

Hope can bog you down too. Around my neck is my chain with the Faith, Hope and Love symbols. Hope is represented by an anchor. It's a grounding thing. It provides a surety of potential. A kind of blank cheque for future success and happiness. Thing is, when you rely so much on Hope to fulfil your inner bean with happiness, you are often left disappointed and dismayed that your Hope never lived up to its potential when you dreamed it in the first place. This can make one rather cynical and a little bitter about life. I hope that never happens to me!

so anyway, I hope I haven't bored you! I hope your day has gone well. I hope you are fit and healthy. I hope you've chosen your friends wisely and that your enemies are very few. I hope you live life to the fullest. I hope you find your soulmate. I hope you are given access to every opportunity for success. I hope you climb mountains, swim rivers, and sail oceans of love and joy. I hope the world finds Peace and the absence of cruelty. I hope there is joy in being unique for every individual. I hope the collective consciousness of mankind is aroused by the Joy of knowing God. I hope for dolphins, bears, dogs and cats. I hope for children in Uganda, India, China and Romania. I hope for the doggies at the local pound. I hope for the indigenous cultures of the world. I hope for the Aussie Federal Election to be OVER A.S.A.P.!

Hope isn't about love so much as its about Faith. Hope and Faith are inextricably linked. But Hope can live quite happily without Love. So if one is to Hope, then one needs to also cultivate Love. Something I need a whole lot more practise in.

Love is the supreme expression of Faith and Hope. Without Love encompassing these two foci on the evidence of unseen things promised in the future... then Faith and Hope are merely selfish aspirations of nothing much.

May Faith Hope and Love reign.

I so hope so.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

sleep away the tapir man

Last night I had one of the WORST nightmares I've had in a long time.

It was graphic and very "Hollywood Horror". This is despite the fact that I rarely, if ever, watch horror blood and gore films (Pulp Fiction notwithstanding...but that was more weird art than horror really).

I woke to feel very distressed and unwilling to fall back to sleep and when I did I had a whole bunch of other very graphic and involved dreams (including a rather convoluted one featuring the Pavlina family!!! *scratches head* Huh?).

I have tried writing my "horror" dream (Sorry Steve... this one wasn't really about you...although that dream WAS creepy in a subdued kind of way)...into a short story, but it remains to be seen if I can make it as tension packed and as graphic as the dream I witnessed last night. I'm not really sure I want to you know. It's very hard to write what one does not want to think about again.

Still! The process of writing out the dream and padding out the non-dreamed scenes in an attempt to fit it together has been cathartic if a little unsuccessful.

The title of this blog sort of describes the main elements of the dream.

It involved young lovers, sleeping bags made for two and some mutant creatures that resembled men but were more like upright tapirs with thick white fleshy skin barely covered with hair and yet covered with much blood...

....you get the picture! Or perhaps not, which would be a lot nicer for you really.

Ugh!

Nightmares are really not very nice things.

If anyone is interested in reading one of my preliminary drafts of this story... email me at michelle underscore pitman at hotmail dot com with tapir man in the subject line and I'll forward you my work in progress such that it is (martin says it needs a fair bit of work to make it work :) so be warned ...its not "that" good).

other than that...I'm off to bed now for a nights SLEEP with no vivid dreams that I shall remember for years to come! *shudder*

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Outside me Inside me

Dave Pollard doesn't always do "it" for me but lately I find myself reading his blog again after a long hiatus.

This particular line in his "Sunday Open Thread" on November 4th triggered in me that lovely wee glow of desire for delicious self examination.

How does your public persona, the way you choose to project yourself to the world, most differ from your true self, your true nature.Why?


Hmmmm!

My outside self is generally friendly, self-deprecating, a little detached, a bit aloof, magnanimous,loquacious, giggly and a bit moody on occasion. I think I come across as a lot more organized than I actually am too. My outside self dresses practically, blockishly, understatedly. I "blend" in but with a few twists to be a little bit Individual. I am sort of ordinary but with these tiny flashes of "WTF-spontaneous-left-of-main-stream" un-ordinariness thrown in.

The more I try to fit my Outside me into the world, the more my Inside me is terrified of being abandoned, being victimized and being seen to be "dumb". I am also inordinately concerned with what other people think about me, summarizing my Self from what I think I see of me behind their eyes.

My REAL inside self is reclusive and very private. I live in an imaginary world most of my day with this internal ever-present conversation with my inner voice. Now that I think about it I probably seem like I am stoned half the time actually :) I assure you my demeanor is not chemically modified...I"m merely lost in the labyrinth of my thinking is all :)

My Inside me is sort of quiet in a way, despite this conversation I run constantly in the back of my mind. I am always scrutinizing, observing and analyzing the world around me - sometimes without realizing it. I'm generally trying out a strategy for manipulation of others, or merely because my curiosity demands I do the research. It's a kind of intense surveillance of the inner worlds of other people. I can forget their name, I can forget what they were wearing and I can forget what they order for lunch every day, but I rarely forget my impression of their persona and essential character. I usually make grand assumptions about people very quickly based on a lot of "unseen" data. I do this almost automatically without even being aware I'm doing it.

If my Inside self was to be expressed, I would most likely look like a really badly put-together hippie! :) I'd wear lots of really impractical clothing like designer stuff for an outdoor barbeque or frothy. silly stuff resembling handkerchiefs at the Opera! And I'd most definitely wear a lot of very low-cut, cleavage-flashing tops!

I'd wear yellow without being concerned that it made my face look sallow! I'd be into sitting on cushions with my legs crossed and I'd wear amazing jewelry I designed myself. I would listen to Alternative Rock (Oh! I already do! ha!), and laugh out loud at a lot of things most people take very seriously, without being "That" concerned for their feelings.

Notably, my Inside me hardly follows anyone else's rules but those I choose to follow. Any rules that do not serve my purposes are quietly bent, very much, out of shape by my subtle but profoundly indefatigable will. :) I am a sort of velvet covered steam-roller when it comes to things like that I guess! :)

You know, it's interesting but I just realized that for the first time in my life.. at age 45... my Outside me is very much closer to my Inside me than I ever used to be. I am finally beginning to integrate and becoming "true" to the self that I really am instead of being so terrified of being on the "outside" just because I feel so "different" to other people on my inside.

And I guess I'll change my mind about all the above at some stage! :)

We shall see.

:)

Monday, November 05, 2007

the holding breath man

*this is actually something I dreamt*

She was very concerned for it. She couldn't really understand why she would be feeling so concerned for a mere doll!

It was a little plastic man-doll, standing straight and tall like a toy soldier, but without the clothing or demeanor of a soldier; its long legs set together and its shoulders square and pulled back, it's head held stiff and high.

She considered it for a few moments, the anxiety rising in her throat from who knew where. The doll was sort of hovering just below the surface of the water. Not really floating but not sinking either. Even weirder was the fact that the wee little man-doll was floating vertically in the water. Immovable like a baton but aligned in perfect symmatry to the clear blue waters of the backyard pool.

She felt strangely as if the man-doll were about to "drown".

She reached in and pulled it out and lay it on the edge of the pool. It promptly rolled off the edge, sank to the bottom, rolled along the bottom of the pool in a kind of stacato bobbing motion and then floated up to hover just below the surface again vertically.

The mounting tension inside of her began to really bother her. She felt suddenly that this man-doll was trying to tell her something. Leaning as far as she dared over the edge she reached into the water and grabbed at it again and pulled it out.

Again, she set it on the edge of the pool, laying face up in the sun. She noted its appearance was struck by the clarity of its eyes. It was wearing a dark pullover with a high collar and a pair of black jeans. It had tiny perfectly formed little sneakers on its feet. Its hair was auburn and swept up off his high forehead, a kind of non-descript hairdo that was neither fashionable but nor was it ugly. He had a small nose and hardly any mouth. His eyes though were something else. They were large round eyes with bright sky blue irises and the longest black lashes she'd seen on any man-doll. Then it seemed to look at her from under those lashes blankly and then rolled back off the edge to repeat its underwater dance of vertical hovering.

"How bizarre!" she thought to herself. She left the little man-doll floating for some time then but the rising concern would not go away. She fretted that it was actually drowning and it worried her.

Then passing the pool again later that day, she noticed it was in the very centre almost at the bottom but still vertical and with a determined air too...even though that idea seemed too strange to be real.

She slid into the cool water and went to the little man-doll and scooped it up again from its watery haven. Holding the tiny man-doll by the legs she held it up to her face and peered into its little face. It stared back at her.

Then blinked!

She started! "Are you alive? Two blinks for 'Yes' and one blink for 'No'" she asked somewhat surprised.

It blinked twice. Two determined, slow and deliberate blinks of those crystal clear blue eyes and long eyelashes.

"What are you trying to do?" she asked again. "Drown?"

Blinking slowly once the little man-doll seemed to be sort of smiling a sad smile even though he had hardly a mouth to show for it.

"Are you trying to break a Breath Holding record then?" which was a sort of half-joke really, but the occasion seemed as if it demanded a bit of levity with which to lighten her befuddled sense of reality. The man-doll blinked twice.

"Huh?" She was now suitably confused and perplexed and very concerned for the little mans wellbeing. "So... you really want to hold your breath for as long as possible under the water here?" she said in slow, deliberate tones. The little man-doll blinked twice.

She gently set him into the water again where he sank vertically to just below the surface to begin his "Breath Holding" record-breaking attempt yet again. A sort of psychic infusion of thought reached her brain as she watched him. Her concern for him was still high, higher because she knew him to be very much alive under all that plastic hair and soldier straightness. However, now she felt very much like this was not so much an exercise in drowning as an attempt to prove something beyond a doubt.

Leaving him alone, she went inside and after awhile her thoughts slipped away from her concern for the little man-doll floating in the backyard pool. If he was holding his breath, then he was doing a fine job at it! Hours and hours passed and she finally went to sleep but fitfully and restless as if there was something on her mind; which there was.

She awoke with a start and felt the pangs of guilt at her "forgetting" her little man in the pool. Running from her bed she went to the pool to see him still vertical at the bottom, upright, immovable, with an inscrutable smile on his mouth-less face...just holding his breath until whatever record for that was all but a memory.

Frustration, panic, and compassion was all she could feel for him and something else... admiration? She wasn't sure. He just seemed hell-bent on holding his breath and she was forever afraid that he would just stop his fight and simply drown.

She could not bear to see him drown.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Castle Love

Somehow, she knew she had to break free from her own trap.

She'd been happy to make it back then. Content to let it grow its vines around her turrets and set roots into her crevices.

The trap was her marriage. She had welcomed it and honored it when it began. Opened her yawning maws with a smile of gratified contentment that it would be a "good thing". It was so little, such a pretty little thing. A little bereft looking and a little bit lonely, she let it envelope her and was not unduly dismayed.

She even fought for it when fronds seemed to die off and wither away. She would have a healthy growing trap if you please! Not one that was a dead, chaotic tangle of exposed woody vine matter showing its ugly face to the passing world! No way! So she tended it. Watered it. Loved it through her daily sacrifice and gentle subjugation of her walls and boundaries.

The Vine was voracious.

It demanded more space from her daily. The creeping, wriggling little vine-lets with their soft cute growth seemed so pretty but in truth were a malevolent force intent of using her to fortify it and strengthen its resolve to conquer her ramparts.

Pieces of her started to fall away. First she lost tiny pebbles of respect but ignored them and refused to shore the walls from where they fell with the mortar of self respect. She allowed the vine to eat away at her, sucking the clay from between the stones of her resolve, making those very stones dangerous to passers by.

She became weak, vulnerable, and impossible to predict! She was not "safe" anymore. Something in her forced others away from her. She became abandoned and derelict, a sad excuse for a castle on a beautiful hill. The Vine seemed content but found it harder and harder to be fed by her. It had taken so much of her core, her "glue" from between her lovely stones... it was hard pressed to find more. It demanded from her ever more; urgently, it required she meet its needs and not ask anything of it in return.

The castle had to do something drastic!

It stopped feeding the vine. It prayed to the Sun who answered her prayer with a difficult challenge and an awesome opportunity. The Sun came and dried the mortar that was left between her stone walls into hard, unyielding clay such that the vine could not penetrate with its voracious little roots. The castle solidly stood its ground and waited under the parched sky as the land around it began to suffer and burn under the relentless heat of change.

She was immutable however. She accepted the stinging warmth of the blazing sun on her flagstones and just waited!

The vine shriveled. It retreated its green down to the first few stumps of its original growth, spluttered and then almost died.

And there she stood. Grey and unwelcoming, covered in the very thing she had always feared the most...those withered bare roots encasing her like the trap she had always thought she would enjoy if it were green and alive!

A gardener passing by saw this and made a fated decision. He tore away the vines. He poisoned the last remaining clinging roots so they could not return. He brought in people who could re point and renovate the castle to her former glory. He brought her out of her trap so she could be herself again. Free to be as she was meant to be without restraints or demands.

The castle rewarded the gardener and gave him the heart of herself...her very soul deep in the interior of her being. There he made his home and they both found deep contentment and joy even in the hard times. The gardner did not need the Castle but nor did the Castle really need the gardner but they were simpatico and they grew to love each other as love should be expressed. No demands just a gentle decision to care for and meet a beautiful thing where it wanted to be met.

The gentle rains came back and the hill was verdant and aesthetically marvelous once more. Life tread out a steady rhythm of freedom and safety such she had never known or understood until then. No more would she need to subjugate herself in order to keep something alive! She was loved for who and what she was and was not required or expected to be entrapped by it.

Beware the roots of pretty green things you only think will serve you well.