Imperfect, quirky you

Imperfect and proud of it.*
Seth Godin

Quirky a. having or characterised by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects.

Within every person lies
an endeavour worthy of
endless pursuit**.

This has many names –
Calling, vocation, bliss, element, dream, purpose, mission, must … –
But what I want to highlight today is that
when we notice what this is, then
we can grow it

*Seth Godin’s blog: Craft and imperfection;
**Katherine Morgan Schafner’s The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control.

I’m sorry

Knowledge of the self is as immortal as knowledge of the external world.*
Ken Robinson

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.**

There are obstructions on the path before us, and
when things go wrong we end up apologising, but
this can be more of a reflexive reaction.
The thing is, there are obstructions inside of us, too, and
humility ends up being the best way not only of
dealing with these, but also for
uncovering and embracing
the more that lies within each of us.

*Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
**Psalm 51:6


Discovering the right medium is often a tidal moment in the creative life of an individual. … Creativity can be inhibited by the wrong medium.*
Ken Robinson

What awe call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is were we begin from.**
T. S. Eliot

Except that life is not linear –
Because an end can be a beginning, and
we are capable of shaping our own
enriching environments, together with
every person having talents to
be developed,
There’s never been a better time than now
to begin.

*Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
**Ben Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent.

Not bad

We realise our toughest task in life is self-analysis as we try to fathom our humanity and bring peace to the wars within.*
Robert McKee

Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it.**
Susan Cain

The greater battles lie within.
Though some go through life at war with themselves,
Some of the most astonishing human contributions
emerge from the lives of those who
seek to make peace with who they are and
what they have on
a daily basis.
Whilst from a distance making war and making peace
may not look dissimilar,
Up close, the person who seeks peace looks upon their day,
Expressing the words of worship, of
Not bad,
not bad at all.

*Robert McKee’s newsletter: The Thrill of a Thriller;
**Susan Cain’s Quiet.

Keeping the channel open

We see the world not as it is, but as we are.*
Steven Covey

We see the world not as it is, but through a veil of perceptions.**
Ken Robinson

There is so much more world out there,
There is so much more in you to bring into the world;
We must keep the channel open –
In this we are poetic learners –
As in creative:
Poetry … is not to be confused with versification. …
It is about learning the rhythm of the earth.^

Not only the earth,
Also the rhythm to be found with
each other, our god if we hold to one, and
to ourselves.
To this end, we must bring intention of ritual, as
the ancients did, though time has passed, and
we must find new ways:
You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day,
where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning,
you don’t know who your friends are,
you don’t know what you owe anybody,
you don’t know what anybody owes to you.
This is a place where you can simply experience
and bring forth what you are and what you might be.
This is the place of creative incubation.
At first you may find that nothing happens there.
But if you have a sacred place and use it,
something eventually will happen.^^

*Ben Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
**Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
^Philip Newell’s Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul;
^^Joseph Campbell, from Austin Kleon’s blog: The Bliss Station.

How small is your dream?

Never be limited by the small dreams others have for you.*
Bernadette Jiwa

Are you holding yourself to, and judging yourself by, standards of productivity or performance that are impossible to meet? One common symptom of the fantasy of some day achieving total mastery over time is that we set ourselves inherently impossible targets for our use of it – targets that must always be postponed into the future, since they can never be met in the present.**
Oliver Burkeman

By dream I mean
purpose and meaning, which
I hope will be both big and small for you:
Big to sustain you for a fulfilling life,
Small so that you can give expression of it today
and every day.
If you have to keep putting it off, then
something is probably not right,
It may not be your dream.
If dreamwhispering can help, let me know.

*Bernadette Jiwa’s What Great Storytellers Know;
**Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks.

I need to hear your story

Merely factual information tends to activate your language processing centres. Stories, by contrast, stimulate much larger areas in our brains, including not just the language centre but also those parts that are responsible for visual and motor processing, as well as our sensory cortex.*
Anna Katharina Schaffner

We need myths that will help us identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe.**
Karen Armstrong

Truth is often deeper than we believe.
The truth about you and me will not be revealed
in facts and figures alone, but
in the stories we create for ourselves and each other,
How we use our imagination matters:
We use our imagination not to escape
from reality but to join it,
And this exhilarates us because
of the distance between and apprehension of
the real.^
Time and again we will discover our deeper truth in
our interactions with those who are quite different to us,
Not only present truth, but also future truth.

*Anna Katharina Schaffner’s The Art of Self-Development;
**Karen Armstrong’s A Short History of Myth;
^Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good.

It’s really all of this

What if our life skills had more value than our worldly possessions. The most content human by far is one who can create a world out of nothing.*
Keri Smith

There is another world that exists only because you exist: the world of your own private consciousness, feeling and sensations. Your world is one in which, as the psychologist R. D. Laing put it, there is only one set of footprints.**
Ken Robinson

It feels like it came from nowhere, that, somehow,
we made it out of nothing,
But everything comes from somewhere, from
some thing.
It’s just that we’ve embraced a part of ourselves we hadn’t
previously recognised and/or valued, or
put some skills together in a different way, or
remembered how we used to do this thing, and put it to
action in a new way.
May you explore your inner world, and
Bring us back something to inspire us
into our own, to make something
out of all of this:
Jimmy Baldwin used to like to talk about
is “achieving ourselves,”
finding you we are,
what we’re for and
making that possible for each other.^

*Keri Smith’s The Wander Society;
**Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
^Vincent Harding, from Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise.

Believing is seeing

What we call imagination is from the first an attribute of the senses themselves; imagination is not a separate mental faculty (as we often assume) but is rather a way the senses themselves have of throwing themselves beyond what is immediately given, in order to make tentative contact with the other side of things that we do not see directly, with the hidden or invisible aspects of the sensible.*
David Abram

The first great wonder at the world is big in me.**
Margaret Wise Brown

Victor Meldrew could see it right in front of his eyes, but
declared “I don’t believe it!”
He didn’t want to see it and, so, wouldn’t believe.
When we understand that “to believe” derives from “to love” or “hold dear,”
We understand that if we love something, or
someone, even though we can’t see something right now,
We will keep looking.
And that ultimately means we will be seeing more.

*Maria Popova’s The Marginalian: Ecologist and Philosopher David Abram on the Language of Nature and the Sacred Wisdom of the More-Than-Human World;
Bruce Handy’s Wild Things.