What About Me?

by Simon Goland, December 1, 2014

man and dogFor many years, I have been a fan (truth be told, more of an addict, really) of the 1 Giant Leap project, movie, music. I remember buying a box of their CDs and DVDs, as gifts to friends, when I stumbled upon it first. Then came out the second one of their projects, What About Me?

“Finding meaning starts with surprise. When you start being surprised, you begin to be grateful for the things you have taken for granted. So surprise is the first baby step.” – from “Living Deeply: The Art & Science of Transformation in Everyday Life” by Marilyn Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten, Tina Amorok

As I kept watching it this weekend (and not for the first time, obviously), something kept opening up within me. Something deep, primal, authentic, and core kept emerging to the surface. Music played me and my emotions. So do the images and the words of this movie. Thoughts, emotions, and insights keep flowing, and I am sharing some of them here as they emerge. This phenomena has always been interesting for me – how is it that I can watch the same movie or read the same book, and at a particular moment in time, something completely new will open up for me for the first time?

“The good news: opportunities to transform your life in ways both small and large are available to you in every moment of every day – there are an infinite number of doorways into living deeply. The possibly daunting news: living deeply may require nothing less than a complete transformation of the way you view the world and your place in it.” – Living Deeply

We who work with adults – coaches, educators, facilitators, counsellors – have a whole lot of undoing to do, that goes back to our childhoods and all the unresolved baggage and trauma we carry with us. My own currently-in-progress self-inflicted rebranding process brought forward what feels like the key theme of my work everywhere. Unleash. The process of unleashing the individual or the organizational energy of creativity and innovation needs to start with unleashing that core spark of our human soul. And this is where the baggage is getting in the way. There are way too many messages we have all received growing up, and believed them to be true. But they are NOT!

You. Yes you. You are beautiful. Loved. Worthy. Cherished. Creative. With a lovely voice. Strong. Right. You do see pink elephants and they do exist. If you want them to fly too, let them. I trust you. Of course you can do it. Crying is OK; actually not just OK, but needed and welcomed. Come to think of it, any and every emotion is welcomed. Anything you want to share with me is welcome too. I am always here for you, not only in empty words, but in real actions.

“…change is what happens when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.” – Living Deeply

“The core of democracy is the engineering of consent.” A potent statement to spend time with. So is the “Why is it so uncomfortable to be still?” question. And is there a connection between the two?

“To be conscious in this moment of human history is to be sad.” How true! And not only sad. Feel it. Don’t suppress. Open up to the pain, the sadness, the grief, the rage. Let it wash through and over you, and then, while still feeling it and feeling your heart wide open – broken perhaps – go and engage with the world, letting the arising compassion be the compass for your thoughts and actions. Many indigenous cultures would say that they don’t trust a person whose heart was not yet broken – because they have not yet experienced compassion. They might have known something we continuously make a lot of effort to avoid and forget.

And then, there is music and dance and colours, that blend together to a passionate, vibrant, and primal unleashing of energy. Beautiful, engaging, and in community where everybody is a part of it, in one way or another. Something happens to people who celebrate together, singing and dancing and sweating in this eternal and timeless way we humans used to come together. There might not be sophisticated music instruments, fancy cars, or houses, but there are genuine smiles and hands holding, indicating that perhaps – just perhaps – the most important things in life aren’t things after all.

“…as you let go of self-interest and begin to feel a greater sense of belonging and interdependence, you simultaneously experience a stronger and deeper sense of your own authentic self. … this movement from ‘I’ to ‘we’ is typically – and paradoxically – accompanied by a corresponding movement from ‘we’ to ‘me’. The more you feel your connection to others, the more you are able to be authentic and appreciate your unique role in each set of circumstances.” – Living Deeply

I invite you to take a couple of hours off and spend them with What About Me. It will be worth it.