This week I contemplated all things around renewal, regeneration, resetting. I even had an article in my newsfeed this morning on the science around reincarnation, which helped lighten my mood and also made me realize that what I am considering is beyond simply “beginning again” — it’s the idea of transformation.
A great leap — that time when you say, “never again” and you know that this time you mean it.
It’s such a tough thing for me to contemplate with compassion and kindness. And in my brief experience with life it’s the only way for transformation to happen.
“We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”
— Adrienne Rich, via Maria Popova in Brain Pickings
“Enormous energy is now directed to making things appear ‘authentic’ – that is, particular and distinctive, standing apart from the typical, the ordinary, the mass-produced. Uniqueness has a social status and value of its own.“ — Joseph E Davis, When your authenticity is an act, something’s gone wrong
“Authenticity has become an obligation. Reckwitz captures this conundrum with the paradoxical concept of ‘performative authenticity’.” — From that same article I quoted above.
I’m reminded of the book “The Courage to be Disliked” this morning. This idea that there are likely ways in which you yearn to be free, to be less pressured to be “unique” to eat less homemade sourdough, as it were.
A yearning to transform into who you are.
And yet – A fear? Perhaps? That fear that truly, ‘you can count on so few people to go that hard way with you?’
I get it. As someone who has spent the last several decades hewing to the goal of becoming who I am, there have been great swaths of time where I have retreated, only to pick up again as I can’t refuse the call. And, I can say, it has so far mad a world of difference.
I shared a video awhile back that I will share again this morning: Caroline McHugh on The Art of Being Yourself. Worth watching.
So, a question: Who are you?
Next up, Kierkegaard — from that same article:
”Our existential condition reveals itself to us most clearly when our lives have become unmoored, when we come face to face with our vulnerability, our dependence, our limits, the seeming meaninglessness of it all. Just here is where Kierkegaard intervenes. If we want to live authentically – properly understood – there’s no wiser guide.”
In case you need a reminder at this point, “The performative mode fosters a profound isolation and sense of insecurity.”
So, onward, into our most vulnerable spaces, our limits, the meaninglessness of it all.
Yikes! Really, on Monday morning? Who are you, Wendy? :)
Set it aside for later, if you wish, but come along. It’s okay. Transformation awaits…
The idea is, this week, to simply set aside time for an “Artist Date” That lovely idea begun by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.
Set aside a time for you to take you on a date. The ideas suggested in the Artist’s Way include things like going to an art supply store, a toy store, a small cafe. Take a walk in the woods with just you. The idea is to go, with yourself, and do something you enjoy. Not an escapist kind of enjoy, so not watch a movie or read a book…more — do something, with yourself, that you enjoy.
Try it. It’s really fun, vulnerable in a sweet, kind, compassionate way. Try not to tell anyone. Try not to post it or share it. Try not to take a picture of the experience at all. Let it just happen.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
I have a way to integrate, make peace with, my unwanted moods. I think I will share if helpful.
Since suppression only ensures that the the thing will likely fester and grow much worse over time, and indulgence is also likely, often, usually a bad idea, I have grown to allowing, acknowledging, integrating the emotional state, the mood.
The metaphor I have heard expressed for a similar idea is that the mood, the emotion is like a child…and just as much as you don’t let the child drive your car (you life) you also don’t stuff the child in the trunk.
Keeping with that metaphor, you strap that child into a child seat, safely, perhaps give them a snack :) and *you* drive the car while you listen to them.
Often that “child” will tell you some valuable insight. Again, keeping with this metaphor, don’t adhere to everything the child says :) but listen. You may notice something important that you may have been avoiding in your life.
6. Video — Caroline McHugh The Art of Being Yourself
7. Course (First Chapter of “Walk In The Woods”— A journal/exercise book to open you up to new ways of seeing yourself and the world around you <= I need feedback on this — please let me know what you think of what I have done so far.)
8. Poem (Adrienne Rich, again, via Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings)
An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.
9. Hero: Maria Popova — Reader/Writer/Founder of Brain Pickings
Why? So many days have been made just that much better by reading her weekly newsletter.
10. Take Care of Yourself This Week and Share if you know someone who might like this. Please share with someone you think may enjoy this weekly.
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