Possibilities Feed

it's never too late to fly

 

I want to fly.

There’s no doubt in my mind now.

Not anymore. Not now.

I want to fly, and my dreams have been gloriously reawakened.

It has taken me far too long to think it through. It has taken far too long to embrace. Thankfully, however, I am fortunate, that there is plenty of time to see it through.

I want to fly.

No doubt about it.

Having never flown before, I am well aware of the risks. Even if I wasn’t, there are many kind, or seemingly kind people, who are willing to point those dangers out to me. To discourage me and you for that matter, from flying too close to the sun. From dreaming. From trying. From living an vigorous life, instead of watching from a distance. A life of timid but safe observer.

After almost five decades of listening to people, you get to a point in your life where you stop caring about the risks. You stop giving some rats behind about what people say. Stop caring about the seemingly inevitable calamities that lie in wait. How embarrassing it will be. How humiliated you will feel.

You begin to trust and use the wings that you were born with. You become empowered by them. You marvel how they have grown in strength over the years, despite the fact that they have never seen high winds.

You begin to anticipate and dream about your moment.

The moment when you excitedly nudge yourself forward, toward the precipice of possibilities. Hoping you will not change your mind. Hoping for the beautiful things to come. Hoping you won’t waste any more time and will now, right now, summon the courage to leap.

You should fly too.

Fly towards your dreams. Fly to places of unseen opportunities. Fly with people you would otherwise never have a chance to meet.

After all, you’re not flying away from something, but to the contrary. You are flying towards something. Something new. Something meaningful. Something absolutely magical.

Staying grounded is safe and comfortable.

But you were not built for safety and comfort.

You are governed by powerful inner voices, for sure, like your conscience, so that you don’t do anything truly stupid (anymore), but outside of those few mishaps during those college years and beyond, you were always meant to be great.

You were meant to be a force to be reckoned with.

And you can’t cause trouble, walking around, half asleep or semi awake, definitely fully confused, waiting for a sign, hoping for a push, and being content with so very little.

So, come fly with me.

Ignore the dangers of flying too close to the sun and realize the agony of flying too close to the ground or not flying at all. Of giving up, and not making any effort to share your gifts with others.

I will fly alone, but I prefer some company.

The sky is a big, majestic space, full of infinite possibilities.

With room for everyone.

But those possibilities won’t come to you. You must come to them.

I feel sad and nauseated because I haven’t leapt before. I wasn’t willing to work hard enough, long enough, and I quit way too early, before I could embrace my dreams. But as despondent and stomach-churning as this reality is, I think it would be unforgivable and indefensible, to believe that it’s too late for me now.

It would be unforgivable and indefensible for you too.

Time moves forward and for this reason it is never too late.

Never too late to let go of our fear.

Never too late to ignore the negative chatter that binds us to our insecurities.

Never too late to begin.

Never too late for courage.

Never too late to leap.

Never too late to fly.

 


I see snow

 

I see snow.

You probably see winter. Blizzards. White out conditions. Accidents. Slippery roads. Fast and dangerous drivers weaving in and out of traffic.

I see snow.

But I’m not blind to what you see.

I drive the same roads. In the same weather conditions. With the same time constraints, and I get lapped, by the same reckless drivers.

But I choose and want to gaze at the snow.

The fluffy, beautiful, falling snow.

But it wasn’t always like this.

There was a time, a long period of time too, when I was unable to be comfortable with myself, and refused to let go of the many stories, which I falsely invented about myself. Stories that held me back, like quicksand. That demanded way too much of my life, and left me completely exhausted.

There was a time when I resembled the walking dead. A time when I was not alive.

I did not know happiness. Or understood that I was not determined by my environment.

I became a human being that has learned artfully how to bend, to bend low, and bend often, but no longer a creature, that could not help himself and break.

And so, I now see the snow.

I see one snow flake anxiously following another, in very rapid succession and purpose. Falling on trees, on the cold pavement, or on anything and everything in its sights.

Relentless. Unapologetic. Unconcerned with what we think of it.

Unforgiving.

I see snow.

I hope you do too.

Many of us become stuck in what the psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl called, the existential vacuum.

We become trapped in a dense darkness. Not a suicidal type of darkness, an emotionally painful darkness, but the type of darkness that confounds many brilliant astronomers. The darkness of space and time, where nothing exists, and nothing happens.

All of us. Without exception.

At some point, inevitably, absolutely, and sometimes, a few times over, we face this existential vacuum, despite our stubbornness.

When we are born we are given this task, to figure out why we are here. To figure out what being alive is all about.

We are on a quest to figure out what makes life worthwhile.

What makes her meaningful.

Perhaps we are here to see the snow. Or ignore it, and see instead, the havoc that snow gets blamed for.

Boredom.

That is the true indicator, you are smack in the middle of an existential vacuum.

Boredom.

You have nothing to do. Or you have so much to do, that you can do nothing.

You have no time for yourself or for anything that matters.

You’ll do it later, of course. When you have more money. More time. When you retire. When your kids grow up. When your husband changes. When they elect a new president.

You are satisfied to live a life of exhaustion. Numbing repetition. Confusion and full of anxiety.

You’ve settled for a life without excitement.

A life with traffic accidents, but a life without snow.

When was the last time you let a snowflake land on your hand and gazed at it like a child?

Saw the stars? Visited your grandmother who is imprisoned with dementia? Were kind to your ex-wife? Or were understanding of the pressures your children’s face at school?

When was the last time you were truly excited about something? Couldn’t sleep because you couldn’t wait to get up and get going in the morning?

Ate meals to fuel your body, instead of to simply pleasure and soothe your mind?

I see snow.

Do you?

I see things that I missed for decades.

I am excited about living again, to the point that I’m worried I will burst.

I hope you don’t have to wait that long, to get excited too.

I hope you get to see what for so long, choose not to see.

I hope you let go.

And see the snow.

 


the dead of winter

 

The shimmering, colourful lights are slowly beginning to disappear, one house at a time. They are vanishing with deliberate purpose. The long and exhausting period of preparation, followed by a frantic but brief celebration, has come and gone.

And now we turn our gaze to spring. The slow, subtle, unassuming pace of the coming of spring.

But if you get still and quiet for a moment, and look to the left and to the right, it will hit you any minute now.  

Winter is here.

It’s sincerely cold outside, and you realize, perhaps for the first time, that winter has only just begun.

Nature seems to be sleeping, or at least playing possum. Everything that was once vibrant and colourful, beautiful and vivacious, is now pretending to be dead.

And what about you?

What are you doing?

Going for a nap? Hibernating? Finding a nice cave to snuggle next to a grizzly bear, and fight her, along with her cubs, for a warm blanket?

Are you going to wait until it gets warm and sunny? Wait for a more reasonable time to do something? Wait for tomorrow and another tomorrow? Or are you going to get to work on your dreams?

Waiting for tomorrow is a horrific trap. Waiting for the right time is another.

We have to remind ourselves that we are not separate, but very much a part of the whole. A small, fractured piece, yes, but a piece of the infinite whole, regardless.

We are not on the outside, looking in. We are all part of this one marvelous creation, and we get to give back, push back, with gusto. 

We don’t get to pick our life.

Pick and choose the right season. Pick and choose the right mood. Who we are, our challenges and scars, or what we are capable of becoming.

Winter is the perfect time for silent reflection and map making.

The forgotten artisan craft of dreaming.

Planning. Preparing. Practicing. Investing. Risk taking.

Leaping into the unknown possibilities.

Take this time of year and design your map, if for no other reason, than that its dark and cold outside.

It’s icicles on the testicles kind of cold.

Dangling participles on the nipples kind of cold. (Ok. I may have gone too far here, but very few words rhyme with nipples).

It’s cold. It’s winter. And I get that you’ve got a terrible vitamin D deficiency.

But get over yourself already.

The sun rises late and it fades early.

Such is winter.

No matter.

The hours in your day remain the same.

Don’t waste this beautiful moment.

Don’t waste the quiet, self-reflective days of winter. Don’t ignore today, imprison yourself in yesterday, and wait endlessly for tomorrow.

It’s your turn. Your time.

The spring and summer can wait.

Embrace Winter. Make your map.

Where are you in your life?

Why are you here? What brought you here?

Where do you want to go? What do you need to get there?

What do you have? What do you need?

When are you going to get started?

 


this is the end

 

This is the end.

The end of a year of Diggin’ Ditches.

A bitter-sweet end, but a most joyous end, none the less.

I really didn’t see this day coming. When I started writing and sharing my thoughts at the beginning of this year, I was only concerned about not slipping into my old habits, or reverting back to the person I no longer wished to be.

A year has come and gone and I have faithfully and dutifully written every day, or much as I possibly could have imagined. My little, hesitant, and sporadic writing steps, have grown steadier over time, and have now become, most dependable.

I have proven many things to myself. On this quiet, insignificant, and lonely journey.

Writing is a lonely journey. A most frustrating symphony, but a very joyous work.

I have learned that I can wake up at 4:02 am every morning, with a smile on my face, and embrace weight training, like it’s the last piece of cheesecake in my line of sight.

I have learned that it is possible to take away all emotions, suspend hopes, and must all dreams and simply retreat. Retreat to a place where all you do is follow a plan and dig ditches.

I have learned that you just wake up. Tired. Rested. Hopeful. Defeated.

No matter.

You just wake up, because it’s your time. It’s your moment. You make it your moment.

You wake up when its dark. You wake up when everyone else is asleep, and you get to work.

You get to work on your body. You get to work on your mind. You get to work on your soul.

You pick up your imperfect shovel and you heave, one pile of dirt, upon another. You transform your life, from that of a passive dreamer and observer, into a life of a professional dirt slinger.

I am a dirt slinger.

A ditch digger.

A Digger-Slinger?

I am definitely confident. Confident to finally admit that I am a writer.

A good writer?

I am hesitant.

That promotion rests in the hands of time and the bank accounts of my future readers.

This year I have wrestled with writer’s block. With my inner demons and very powerful temptations to quit. I have debated bringing this misfit blog to an end, because after a year or so, so few people have read it and care anything about it. 

I want to thank them.

Thank you.

Thank you for your time. Thank you for your comments and private messages of encouragement throughout the year. It has all meant so much to me.

I cannot tell you how much you mean to me. I will be eternally grateful for your confidence in me. And the life you have help me forge.

I fought the good fight this year. I have run this race, right to the very end.

The end of 2017.

And every finale brings with it seeds of something new.

So, this is only the beginning. The beginning of year two.

A year, that will be as challenging and as surprising as the last, because I don’t imagine the dirt getting any lighter.

This will be a year I cannot see. I year I cannot imagine. A year I am unable to predict or understand, until I have lived it. Until I dig more ditches. Until I work, and sweat, and pray, and overcome, whatever I am meant to overcome.

This is a five-year journey.

This blog will end, but not today.

Ten Minas will end on the last December day of 2021, because as a writer I want to execute the final chapter. I want the credits to roll. I want the story to be complete. I don’t want to just suddenly disappear.

So, this is the end.

The end of proving that an amateur who has never written anything, for the first forty- five years of his life, can wake up early each morning and before he begins his other life, has the inner strength and ability to share his thoughts with the world.

The world as he sees it.

The world as he wants it to be.

Thank you for reading my thoughts, dear friends, and fellow tribe members.

Thank you, and blessings to you, on your own journey.

 

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


Pawn to E4

 

I am not the autumn moon, Chris Cornell sang in I am the Highway, I am the night.

The night, not the moon. The highway, not the rolling wheels.

But what are you?

The autumn moon or the infinite night?

The one seems stuck in a gravitational orbit that pins her to insignificance. A life that is not her own. The other is infinite, and mystical in nature, anchoring itself in the infinite participation in everything.

This feels a bit like a no brainer.

The choice is seemingly obvious, don’t you think? But many people, myself included, have chosen to be the moon. We have stubbornly denied our rightful inheritance to be the night.

Ben and Rosamund Zander, in their book The Art of Possibilities, see it this way: you are either a chess piece, or else you are the board.

This is lovely, you must be thinking.  

Moons. Highways. Wheels. Nights. Pawns. Rooks. Queens. Kings. Oh my.

What is this? Metaphor Thursday? 

But let me explain.

For years, and on the rare days I still forget, I consider myself a pawl.

On the good days, I imagine myself as a King or a Queen. Maybe a Castle or a Knight. On the not so good days, I dejectedly accept my role as an expandable pawn. Limited in movement. Born and bred as cannon fodder. Unimportant. Unworthy. Afraid. Susceptible to the sudden power shifts by either side.

I have spent my entire life, it seems, trying to become something I am not. To be a more desirable piece. A more important piece, that matters, in a game I didn’t agree to play. Desiring be someone who is afforded a little more movement. A bit more power, and perhaps a tiny smidge of panache.

But we are not chess pieces.

We are not doomed to react to people and the environment around us.

We are, we are not convicted to do.

When someone asks you how your day is going, they are seeking a little more insight than a hap hazard weather report.

When bad things happen to good people. When we face down our own fears. When we stumble back again into our addictions, we need to choose if we are going to be the moon, or all-encompassing night. A chess piece, or the board.

What you decide, makes a big difference.

If you become a chess piece. Your mistakes become fatal. Your decisions or indecisions become a matter of life and death. In a scarce universe, the things you say and do, bring you closer or further away from the material riches and the life you are dreaming of living.

If you are the board, you know well enough, that you have to suspend all judgement, about anything; about everything.

There is no us and them. There is no black and white. We are everything.

We become all the pieces. We command all the squares.

Yes, we will always be a seemingly insignificant little chunk of blood and guts, but also a meaningful part of an infinite whole.

If we choose to be.

The failures you face today will knock the wind out of you. They will make you spit blood. Drop you to your knees.

There is just no pleasant way around it. The only shortcut is the long way through them.

But in time, those failures and mistakes that shook us to the core become faded moments of triumph, or turning points. They are reimagined as shining stars leading your way to Bethlehem.

It’s really easy to be a pawn. It’s easy to move forward to E4.

But it’s not a game you want to play.

The choice is yours.

It’s your turn.

 


sharpen your knife

 

It’s almost impossible to cut through life with a dull rusty knife. No matter its size and regardless of your stubborn strength of purpose.

You just can’t rely on habits you don’t have, or care to sharpen regularly.

But it’s really quite simple.

Simple to think and say, certainly. Simple to imagine and dream, surely, but far more difficult to execute and put into action.

That is our struggle. Especially when the initial excitement of the moment is all but left for dead, in a ditch somewhere, by the side of the road to success.

So, you must dig your ditches and take your lumps. You must follow orders. Without compromise. Without consulting. Without fanfare. Without anticipating the lunch time whistle.

All successful people trust their life to their habits.

Those habits are life changing and require much hard work to build, but they are not as distant or impossible to embrace, despite the stories you tell yourself.

You can build and become whoever you damn well please.

Most people are defeated before they begin.

They think they can’t. They feel they can’t. That they’ll undoubtedly fail because they are fighting unbeatable windmills. It’s no surprise than, that their dutiful mind delivers everything as planned, and on time.

Failure and disappointment. Another example why they can’t.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Take a step. A step towards something or a step away from something. Building a habit or breaking a habit requires the same bravado.

If you’re looking to lose weight. Chew your food a little slower. Keep it in your mouth like you put it there for a reason and turn it into mush. Don’t stop until you’ve sucked all the taste out of it, like a flavourless stick of gum. Repeat. Until you no longer think about it. Until you no longer drive the habit, but the habit drives you.

When you master one thing, keep going, and master another.

You’ll drop things, forget things, and break things.

No matter.

Keep digging.

Simple steps. Simple changes. Repeated over and over again. One building upon another. Brick by brick. Rep by rep. Becoming stronger and deeper. A chorus of voices that will eventually lead you to places you never imagined.

But don’t forget to sharpen those habits.

Repetition moves our habits forward, but over time it dulls and rusts our resolve.

You begin to question how you got here. Why you are doing this. What the point is, and how great it would feel, if you just stopped and took a break. Or did that thing you know you shouldn’t, just one last time, because you’re stronger now, for just a little while.

If you get the urge to stop, don’t.

It’s time to sharpen your knife.

Change is what keeps us sharp. The quiet revolution of doing and thinking things differently. Of being open to new possibilities and realities.

It is always change that sharpens our resolve. Change gives us laser focus and revitalizes our tired habits.

The very thing that scares people, is what ultimately heals their life. It will help them avoid what is weighing them down, and uplift them into new adventures.

Don’t be afraid to begin something new. Don’t be afraid of building a new habit.

Stick with it. Work at it. Don’t stop.

When it’s time, don’t forget to sharpen, to adjust, to change your habits.

Change so that you can hear yourself say that you can, and no longer behold the illusion of you can’t.

 


be yourself

 

To thine own self be true.

And if you do, then you can’t be false to anyone, least of all, yourself.

And it’s not even a matter of being false. It’s a matter of not having the tenacity to live up to the life you deserve.

Let’s face it, you’re nothing special.

You’re certainly not better than any of the thousands of people you are going to pass by today. The faceless men and women going to and from work with great excitement and furry.

You are just like them.

Filled with identical, but somewhat dormant hopes and dreams, wishes, prayers, groans, moans, but the exact number of hours, each and every day.

Exactly.

To the millisecond.

But you’ll probably object. Object, because pushing back on this point is far easier than becoming the true you.

The anonymous men and women you pass every day, all face the same challenges and struggles. They pay their taxes. They consume food on the run. They grow old, far too young. They dread the darkness of winter and anticipate the warm heat of summer.

This is exactly why there is absolutely nothing special about who you are.

In a sense.

You’re just a tiny part of a comfort obsessed majority. A progressive, pleasure seeking collective. A human race that has traded in the vision of life full of limitless possibilities, for an illusionary life filled with conflict and scarcity.   

If today, you continue to stand firm with your industrial, corporate brethren, then you probably deserve nothing less and nothing more, than what you can win or horde for yourself, in whatever time you’ve got left.

You better go out and gather your nuts.

I hear it’s going to be a bitch of a winter.

But in a deeper sense, and the truth of the matter, everything that you are and everything you were intended to do is special.

You are a special snowflake.

A very, very, beautiful snowflake, and I use that phrase only because it irritates every molecule of my body, and springs forth vomit to the precipice of my lips.

I use it because I need to begin to master my words.

But truly.

Without doubt. Without question.

Without a moments hesitation, you are a special snowflake.

Just accept it, and get on with it.

Be yourself.

The person you should be. The person you were born to be. The person you have to be.

A dying woman, when she is ready to reconcile her life, rarely regrets the things that she had done, because at some point, when you get older, you simply come to terms with all of your silliness and childish ways.

You only regret what you have failed to do.

Failed to do.

To be or not to be.

To live a life that feels right, or to exist in a life built for someone else.

Dreams are dangerous.

They lead you to the edge of an abyss and as Nietzsche so wonderfully wrote, when you summon the courage to stare at the abyss, the abyss always stares back at you.

It cripples you with fear.

Fear of what they will think. Fear of what they will do. Fear of what who you are.

Fear of what it will mean. Fear of the unknown. The undiscovered. Fear of failure. The very thing that will take you back, way back, when we you were a little boy on the playground, with your pants down, unable to hide, from the menacing eyes and pointing fingers of your unforgiving classmates.

They are gone.

You’re not seven anymore.

It’s time to be yourself.

It is your turn.

Time to be.

To be that very special snowflake.

 


mining an abundant mind

 

Your mind is perhaps the most powerful device you have ever mistreated or underutilized throughout your life. The most important tool that doesn’t get sharpened too often, and stays unused, perhaps even a bit rusty, in the back of the cluttered shed.

But your mind the key to everything.

You just can’t outperform what you believe you cannot do. You can’t outperform a low self- esteem, a loser’s limp, or a toxic attitude towards everything, but thank God, it’s Friday.

You cannot mine the gifts you don’t believe you have. You cannot become the person who you don’t feel you deserve to be.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

It can all change if you let go and begin to nourish your mind.

Feed and grow a mind that believes in abundance. In infinite promises and opportunities. A universe of abundant possibilities.

There is no genie lamp.

You can’t find one on eBay, rub it, and hungrily demand that this or that come true, like a petulant child.

Life is much better. Much fairer. Far more forgiving. Far more encompassing.

The fact is, we cannot feel ourselves into the future. We just don’t know what tomorrow is going to show up to greet us. We cannot accurately predict if the things we are working for will provide us the life we think we will embrace, or gut us into assuming the fetal position.

In the middle of this coming winter you will probably dream of getting away to Cuba, Mexico, or perhaps one of the glorious Caribbean islands. Nothing but glorious sun, you’ll hear yourself say. You will say it. See it. Dream it. You will save your money, find the time, and jump on a last-minute deal to paradise.

You’ll arrive in the happiness you anticipated when it was cold and dark.

The moment you land however, and before you even unpack, you’ll sense the beginning of a cold. Worse, you will probably drink too much on the first night and spend what remains of the morning, dancing with the toilet, babbling like a fool.

Ok. I’m not saying that this is inevitable. I’m simply saying that we have no idea what will happen to us in the future.

We take our cues from the past. We feel the future. We live and toil in the present.

Your mind is the key to everything.

You have to mine your mind. You have to dig and believe that it can produce abundance.

You cannot serve two masters. Things are either scarce, or there is plenty of them.

If life is scarce, it is probably better to give up now, then to deal with a lifetime of disappointment. It is better to quit before you begin, than be crushed under the weight of inevitable defeat.

But what if the word scarcity is just a concept buried deep inside your mind? What if abundance is nothing more than a different concept of the same mind?

What if you get to choose the way you want to see the world and act accordingly.

If you believe you are fit, won’t you do things that fit people do? If you believe yourself to be a musician, won’t you be performing something somewhere?

Scarcity will inevitably lead you to deep frustration and competition. Abundance will guide you towards hard work and selfless cooperation.

You have the power today to decide what your mind is going to mine.

Believe you can, or believe you can’t. Either way, you are right.

All things considered.

Believing you can is much better.

 


a universe of possibilities

 

We can’t escape or avoid the world of judgement and measurement.  This is certainly good, in a sense, because it shows us reality. It identifies who we are and where we are. It keeps the dim lights separated from the bright lights. It allows for some of us to make French fries, while others get to perform the tedious task of brain surgery. I hear it’s tough to make really good French fries, especially without saturated fats.

Ben and Rosamund Zander identified something magical in the Art of Possibilities.

They showed me a way out.  A new way of thinking about my life, both where I have been and where I have a desire to go.  They outlined a new way of doing things. A fresh way of thinking. 

It is not a new way. It has been around for a very long time. It is open and accessible to anyone and everyone. It is free and certainly worth embracing. In short, it is the path we struggle to take, because it leads to a universe of possibilities.

The world of measurement is comfortable.  It is comfortable precisely because it is scarce and can be counted.  It is real, unavoidable, and often for these reason, very burdensome, but the splendid universe of possibilities, is not.

The universe of possibilities rests and will forever rest in our imagination, until we make it real.  Until we crawl, walk, run, and sprint towards what’s possible.  The universe of possibilities is missed by so many, because too often we are undecided, we weight our options, weighing, feel guilty, feel shame, regret, never giving life a second, or fifteenth chance. 

We refuse to give the possibility of what could be a real chance.

But the universe of countless possibilities is not a burden.  It is also not some positive, abstract, drunk, fleeting thought of fancy.  A magical land of lollipops and rainbow unicorns.  The people most invested in world of measurement, of judgement and gossip, are the ones that try to convince you otherwise.

The universe of possibilities is undefined.  It is unique to every single person.  It simply asks why not? 

It doesn’t negate or deny the reality you currently find yourself in. It will not help you pay your rent. Fix your broken marriage, or regenerate your poor, black, smoker’s lung.

It can’t give you back time.  It doesn’t make fraudulent promises.  Not does it whisper seductive jingles or offer you sure, tried, and tested short cuts.

The universe of possibilities only offers hope.  Hope that if you have faith in yourself.  If you have faith in what has not yet been written or preordained.  If you believe in freedom.  If you have love for yourself, forgiveness in your heart, and a soul open to reconciliation, the world of possibilities shows you the things that you can do, despite the things that you certainly can’t do.

It shows you that while it is important to struggle to do, it is immeasurable and infinitely more important to be.

This is a vast topic.  There are so many little nuances that need to be touched on and threaded out over time, but I made a promise to myself and to you to keep this short.

In the meantime. Keep dreaming. Strive to be better. Improve your score, your wealth, and your circle of influence.

Keep dreaming.  Keep your faith.  Keep hoping.

It is all possible. 

Two women looked out of their prison window and gazed at the world outside their reality.  One saw the stars and got lost in the infinite distance of space and possibility.  The other one saw the bars on the window, counted them, and resigned herself to remain a prisoner of her own making.

 


the world of judgement

 

In their inspirational book the Art of Possibility, Ben and Rosamund Zander speak about the world of measurement. A world we all know too well. A world that judges us and in turn is judged by us. The results are often crippling. We hide from the life we wish to live, but I wouldn’t be writing this if there was no hope. Indeed, there is an infinite universe of possibilities. 

We judge not because we are mean, but because as children, we were somewhat helpless and needed to identify, with some gusto and efficiency, the things that would help us or hurt us.  There were indeed many dangers lurking on various corners and staircases, when we were young, and our ability to measure and judge served us well by increasing our safety and preserving our security.

The problem is, as you and I grow up, less and less dangers present themselves, at least here in the free world.  As we become adults, we became capable of handling many situations, and are prepared to handle many things.  We are no longer afraid of campfire ghost stories, our school bullies, or our countless nightmares.  We became confident in navigating our way through the brave new world, but our childhood habits of judgement and measurement, are never quite abandoned, and so we continue to employ them in our service.

The world of measurement and judgement limits us.  It sentences us to repeat our past mistakes.  It forces us to do the same things, and reap the same rewards.

We become our own nightmare, our own worst critic. 

Our hearts are filled with doubts and our minds are often full of regrets. 

Full of I told you so.  I knew this would happen.  What was I thinking?  Nothing good ever happens to me.  Full of thoughts that you’re not worthy.  That you don’t deserve this. 

But who do you think you are?

Who gave you right to judge yourself?

When we attack ourselves, those closest to us are rendered helpless.  They are more than willing to spring into action when a stranger raises his fist against us, or a keyboard warrior spews garbage in our direction on Facebook.  They are rendered helpless however, when we run away and judge ourselves useless.

They become helpless to help us.  They are unable to show us who they see.   

And we are blind to their attempts anyway.

They hold part of the truth of who we are, and we need to listen and hear them out.

It’s not easy to silence the world of judgement.  It is a habit that comes easy and springs up in everything we do.  Regardless of how hard it may be, we have no choice but to fight against it.

Beautiful women hide from the world, because they have come to compare themselves to a Photoshop illusion.  They cringe and cannot accept a genuine compliment.  They are unhappy with their weight.  They are unhappy with growing older.  They are unhappy but they persist in measuring themselves against others, of judging themselves against their younger self.

It is a war they cannot win.

Young people try so hard to achieve in top marks school, and some end up depressed, burdened with ulcers, or opioid addictions.

They are so quick to struggle and fight against the world.  To tell you how unfair the whole system is, and in the same breath they accept and embrace the world of measurement.

The world of measurement says that our resources are limited.  There is not enough for everybody.  We have to hide and protect our stuff.  As Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman so beautifully puts it, “its fuck your buddy, cheat on your wife, and send your mother a mother’s day card on mother’s day”.

We measure and judge ourselves to death.

We have created a culture of death.  A ladder which keeps us from meeting and getting to know each other.  A world of doing that keeps us away from being.

You need a universe of possibility.

A place where anything is possible.  A magical land where dreams take flight.

You need hope.

You need tomorrow.