A greater narrative

I would like to be able to take a photo of a dream.*
(Hélène Cixous)

Although an initial reaction may be highly negative or debilitating, all painful experiences can be reframed, reinterpreted and ultimately used growing experiences.**
(Ben Hardy)

Dreams and reality: two different worlds. Or are they?

Our stories have far more to say to us than we often notice. We mishear or even unhear them:

everyone’s an expert of something. Often the “something” has nothing to do with what you went to school for or even what’ve been doing for however many years you’ve been working way at a job^.

Something else is happening here and we have to take a longer view of what I have come to understand as a slow journey in the same direction:

the essential thing “in heaven and earth” is … that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living^^.

It seems there are two narratives for our lives.

There is the day-to-day narrative of work, people, play, illness, anxiety. There is also a greater narrative which we speak of as quest, challenge, struggle, triumph.

When we are able to bring these together more then life seems to change, innovate. All of this has always been there, but we try to notice in a hurry, when we need to notice slowly.

Thankfully, practices of slowness and noticing are re-entering our day to day, after being lost to us for so long:

Most innovation is a gradual process.*^

Moment by moment, day by day.

Our stories haven’t finished with us yet, simply because, when we slow down and notice, we are in a better place to create them.

*Hélène Cixous, quoted in John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**From Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
^From Chris Guillebeau’s Born For This;
^^Frederick Nietzche, quoted in Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction;
*^From Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works.

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