The elephant and the rider

The purposes in the human mind are like deep water, but the intelligent will draw them out. Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one worthy of trust?*

This is what creativity serves. It endeavours to bring some of our hidden life to expression in order that we might come to see who we are.**
John O’Donohue

The elephant is the human mind: vast, comprising
ideas, impressions, data, beliefs, emotions, thoughts, memories, preferences …
Churning these over in sometimes
unstoppable ways, but
the rider is also the human mind,
The one noticing, questioning, evaluating, deciding, learning, interospective …
Towards the more hopeful and compassionate and beautiful response.
The rider’s task seems impossible, and yet history has shown that
it’s far from impossible when we show that we are capable of
bringing beauty to expression
in so many ways.

*Proverbs 20:5-6;
**John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty.

The need for a deeper soul

The craft of questions, the craft of stories, the craft of the hands – all these are the making of something, and that something is soul. Any time we feed soul, it guarantees increase.*
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Of the many callings in the world, the invitation to an adventure of an awakened and full life is the most exhilarating. This is the dream of every heart. Yet most of us are lost or caught in the forms of life that exile us from the life we dream of. Most people long to step into the path of creative change that would awaken their lives to beauty an passion, deepen their contentment and allow their lives to make a difference.**
John O’Donohue

Soul-fullness looks different in each person,
But it is always about
becoming fully awake.
When we are not fully awake, we need
everything around us to be louder, busier, brighter, as well as
problem-solved, unsurprising, uncomplicated.
Of course the world and universe are what they are, chaotic and
Spending time and focus on your inside worlds is not only
an ancient human pursuit, but is
arguably more important than ever for dealing with life’s
decrease, but it is also the way to our
peculiar or boutique

Some people wake us up.^

*Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run With the Wolves;
**John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
^gapingvoid’s blog: Make Your Impossible Dream a Reality.


You can alter the story your are feeding your brain.*
Martin Amor and Alex Pellew

As an adult, I’ve come to realise that life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. Books are clay for exactly that.**
Tim Ferriss

You’ve made a lots of choices to get where you are,
Preferring this over that so many times that
it’s impossible to count,
And you are the result.
Sometimes you knew exactly what you were doing,
But every choice is tendrilous in nature to
a greater or lesser degree,
Meaning that there’s far more to you than you know.
It’s worth having a look every so often –
Which is what my work with people is all about –
Because there’s a lot more to find as well as
more to create to
fully fill all your life.

*Martin Amor and Alex Pellew’s The Idea in You;
Cladia Bedrick and Maria Popova’s A Velocity of Being.

Word journeys

It’s time to go home. It’s time to go back to where you belong. It’s time to discover what you really are.*
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

People of faith and hope are often unrealistic, and the realists have little faith or hope. We shall find a way out of the present situation only if realism and faith become blended again as they were in some of the great teachers of mankind.**
Erich Fromm

Journeys come in all sorts of shape and size.
I have been reading through several books and posts this morning –
A first journey of the day through ideas and stories,
And I have been gathering words along the way:
I think I am noticing these because I sense a journey ahead<
A journey that can be surprising and meaningful,
Or mundane and predictable.
It’s how I put these words together that will
the story:
Every idea and every
pursuit of an idea inside us
is life. …
The lack of ideas is death.^

*Susan Cain’s Bittersweet;
**Erich Fromm’s The Revolution of Hope:
^Peter Turchi’s A Muse and A Maze; from Thomas Bernhard’s Correction

Living the story

The source of all art is the human psyche’s primal need for the resolution of stress and discord through beauty and harmony. … Life on its own, without art to shape it, leaves you in confusion and chaos, but well-told stories have the power to harmonise what you know with what you feel.*
Robert McKee

When passion of feeling and technical brilliance come together the beauty can be devastating and transfiguring.**
John O’Donohue

The story is how we make all of that
passion and competence
breathe and live and dance each day;
Whilst comprised of thoughts and feelings,
It only finds full expression in our actions,
The making of the beautiful we are
each capable of for one another.
More than this,
The story keeps us moving through all the struggles:
The myth and its accompanying rituals
were a reminder that often things had to get worse
before they could get better,
and that survive and creativity
required a dedicated struggle.^

*Robert McKee‘s newsletter: What Makes a Story a Work of Art?;
**John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
^Karen Armstrong’s A Short History of Myth.

I don’t understand

I want to go on drawing with those old fashioned implements with which you can literally feel the shapes and dorms you are committing to paper – metal nibs, brushes, reed pens, quills. But today these drawings can be reproduced at any size.*
Quentin Blake

Keeping it simple in the twenty-first century involves another set of important tasks. These include decluttering our minds by switching off our devices and disconnecting from digital distractions.**
Anna Katharina Schaffner

Seth Godin writes about how ChatPDF can
instantly read and summarise a document for you;
The problem is:
It doesn’t work until we choose to understand.
Part of the magic of an actual book is that
the reader ends up understanding.
It seeps in, the aha’s are found,
not highlighted.^

But this isn’t about old versus new,
As Quentin Blake’s remark about
how technology allows his drawings to be
reproduced on a grand scale;
It’s about how the ability to use old and new smarter
will become a 21st century-defining quality.

*Quentin Blake’s Beyond the Page;
**Anna Katharina Schaffner’s The Art of Self-Improvement;
^Seth Godin’s blog: The Cliff Notes paradox.

To see or not to see

I always admire people who marvel at things that anyone could have noticed but didn’t.*
Brian Eno

I discovered things and wanted to share them. … Don’t look at me, look at what I’ve found. You don’t have to look far away. You have to know how to see. … The more anonymous you are and the more you lose yourself, the more you add to your self.**
Hedda Sterne

I suspect that if I look with more humility and
gratitude and
faithfulness, then
I will see more.

*Brian Eno’s A Year With Swollen Appendices;
**Austin Kleon’s blog: The work and wisdom of Hedda Sterne.

Goings and comings

Life is not linear. When you follow your own true not you create new opportunities, meet new people, have different experiences and create a different life.
Ken Robinson

Being a midwife is a cooperative exercise. When some of us are tempted to call the journey off, others are there to remind them that we all in the process of giving birth and that birth is hard, focused work.
Mary Ruth Broz anad Barbara Flynn

Whilst the saying is usually
comings and goings,
Goings allow for new comings –
A point of encouragement I cannot help but feel
as I look upon a new journey.
We don’t do this haphazardly,
We arrive at our new futures by
living our talents and values as large as we possibly can:
The soul is never at home in
the social world that we inhabit.
It is too large for your contained, managed lives.^

*Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
**Mary Ruth Broz and Barbara Flynn’s Midwives of An Unnamed Future;
^John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty.

The other story

You know … all of this could be rearranged to form quite a different story.*
Jan Kjærstad

The self is always under construction. The multiplicity of selves is what allows change.*
Peter Turchi

There’s a different story in each of us, some
new invention of self.
Not some fantasy or illusion
like the magician’s persona Peter Turchi describes:
Whatever the details, that
character is every magician’s
first illusion.*

This story is true, or truer –
Truth being a journey we are making through life –
And the truer we can be –
To self, to others, to our god or beliefs –
The more meaningful and weightier our lives will be:
May you see in what you do
the beauty of your soul.**

*Peter Turchi’s A Muse and A Maze;
**John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For Work.