Welcome home! You made it -Phew! I’m glad you got here when you did. Actually, your timing is perfect. I have been preparing to meet you, and I’ve been a little nervous to tell the truth -a good nervous. Its that buzz of anticipation thats getting me. Click About for more on this idea.
My name is David, and it has been 34 years since I began to delve into the depths of who we are, and how limitless our potential remains. I have climbed a mountain in a snowstorm (in sandals); slept in pig-pen in Costa Rica, learned recipes from street vendors in Thailand, built business that made 100k the first six months, then lost almost three times that a few years later.
I have confessed my sins to strangers on the streets of Auckland, and prayed for healing in Wal-mart. I’ve lived in a van twice a sailboat once, and most recently a cozy little tent on an organic farm in Kauai -miss you guys. I have had the money to buy anything I ever desired, and been so broke that food came from the bounty of the dumpsters.
Wandering became a safety net for me. Previously I wanted to become a doctor, and MD. But I wasn’t sure that I could. So I would go to school, then take some time off, then go to school, then take some time off. I am finishing my bachelors degree this may after a short 14 year academic trek. For the past five years or so, I had only one class to complete for my degree: College algebra. But I guess I wasn’t ready till now.
I’ve been studying NLP, and The Four Hour Work Week, and looking at the Innovation Sandbox, and more self-help books than you can imagine. The last few years I’ve been trying to implement what I believe academically to be the truth by reinforcing my studies with guided meditation and affirmations. I feel it steadily seeping down to the emotional parts of me that tend to get their way more often than not.
Its been a good long road of success and failu… I mean.. learning. Success and learning. When approaching life this way, you are learning to dig. I mean really dig. You learn to determine what vital nutrients your soul is trying to distill from the opinions of others, and re-wire so that you are being respectful to yourself. This is not always a cake-walk. Okay…it rarely is. So we have to learn to be patient with ourselves, and grateful for every step of the journey. It does take effort, but it takes way less than coping with all the stress of internal conflict, and self-sabotage. That’s the slow way.
Its the way I walked for a long, long time. Self-reflection by its nature is subjective. This can mean I beat myself up when I’m trying my hardest, then give up and then justify my giving up -thats a recipe for creating the mental loops that held me back for so long. Now and then I take a deep breath (or maybe a few) and remember: Its a path, an exciting path. I have experienced so much because of this path, that I am grateful for.
I love to learn those paradigm-shifting, earth-rattling, tsunami-making, light-switch lessons that I take with me; and I also learn dumb junk. I used to wish that I could delete the dumb junk I studied; the things that I spent long nights studying and then subsequently found to be false -even foolish. This ‘desire to delete’ was because I kept hearing this voice in my head YOU ARE DUMB. It was a ringing gong in my head. I would hear it at seemingly unrelated times, and then be angry with whoever was closest. Isn’t that bizarre? It’s weird to think that knowing anything could make you feel stupid. After all, it is knowing something, right?
Knowing stuff isn’t dumb. The problem was not knowing something that made me feel stupid; it was how I stored it that made the difference. The discouragement stemmed from a belief that I held, that wasn’t doing me a lot of good: “Being wrong is being Dumb” so every time I would fail at something, I use a big fat Red stamp that said YOU ARE DUMB. I’d label it, then store it -that was my system.
Imagine this: You finally decided to learn pottery. You sign up for a community class entitled “Introduction to Beginning Pottery”. The teacher is excited to start the class, and comes and thanks you for being there, she then brags a little about how famous her pottery had become. She’s made pieces for celebrities and Diplomats around the world. And then looks to you and says, “Before we begin, of course, I’ll need to see your protfolio, and a list of the celebrities and museums displaying your work.” Uh..what? Portfolio? “Umm, this is Beginners pottery right?” –and on-cue she would look at you with disgust and kick you out of the class. –Okay silly right? But this is what I was doing to myself.
So at that time I gave myself zero points for trying, and labeled my efforts with insults instead. Consider the long-term effects of that plan. Now what does that mean for the lesson I could have learned? Even if I try to look for it, I’m bombarded by insults. It means every time that I used to shine a mental flashlight around to consider my worth, or capabilities, or contribution to this world, there it was. The Red Stamp Era was destroying my mental economy. It grew like a weed choking out the light to the fertile soil of my mind. It was such that even if a new idea remotely resembled and old one -BAM! The Bright Red Stamp. Was my intention to feel dumb? Of course not, I wanted to feel smart, but told my brain that even trying was stupid. Then I wanted to remember that lesson, BAM! -red stamped it. I was actually quite good at it. I could head off an idea before it even became conscious! I could be walking around just enjoying my day and BAM! I guess I thought about thinking about trying to consider having an idea!
And although efficient, and masterfully executed, my system had a flaw. My Bright Red Stamp doesn’t fix anything….. Its like the mechanic that says “yer cars broke.” then never does anything else. What if week after week you kept going back and no matter what question you asked the reply was always “yer cars broke”
Success only comes by identifying and addressing an obstacle to overcome. If the system assigns failure to your identity, and not the obstacle, what result can we expect? During the Red Stamp Era the only assigned identity was to me. So, what then was there to overcome? Me? We can’t very well stop being us, though in the troughs of depression that may seem like the solution. Here’s the whammy. What happens between here, and the turn around is still a little fuzzy for me. And critical to duplicating the success. Any ideas?
Perhaps the vital serum for renewal is simply a grace extended by God to nourish us. It’s something that happens amidst the repetitive red stamping; a voice or an intuition that says “That’s not true. There is something else going on.” It’s a peek behind the veil to keep hope alive. Because the beginning is faith. It’s fueled by the beliefs that we have about who we are. Faith that with the help of God we can learn ourselves, and appreciate our own gifts of genius. This faith yields a motivation to try and practice self-mastery. *It is critical to celebrate all of your efforts. Win or learn 🙂 Appreciation encourages growth. Condemnation destroys it.
We can master our own infinitely powerful resources. We can address any obstacles in our life. We have in us a genius that only a few people recognize is there, and even fewer explore, and almost none seek to master. But its there, and we can.
Piece by piece, let’s learn our genius.
I’m learning to practice self-appreciation.That is huge. Its a little genius that I used to overlook. And when mindfully shifted to its correct place, it changes your world. The implications for that single revelation are endless: freedom to learn from criticism without feeling attacked (actually feeling loved) and accelerated growth in all areas because no matter what, I know that I’ll be a better person for simply having tried! I’m kinder to others, I’m more supportive of their dreams and successes. I want to be a part of encouraging others (one of main the reasons for this wordpress account to exist)
What’s your experience? I would love to hear how you have overcome obstacles in your own life, or support you through the ones you have now. Use the contact form to let me know what you think of this project, ideas for improvement, anything. I’m open to feedback, its a mighty gift, and I believe –there is wisdom in the council of many. Along this journey I have met some incredible mentors from all walks of life. They have been patient and loving enough to share with me the battles they have fought, the lessons learned and the richness that life has to offer all of us. I hope soon that you are one of them.
According to my good friends at wikipedia “A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of an unprecedented leap of insight.”
The Lord made you. You are unique in all the world, and so is the genius that is swirling inside you. Would you consider letting it out to play?
We will achieve all of the goals we set for ourselves. Start to understand why you are where you are in life. Know that you have the power to keep or discard any of the programming you have. Sometimes all we need to do is tweak a little part of it to get powerful outcomes. Consider that the first and most powerful thing I did was simply: change the stamp. I didn’t try to dismantle my entire memory and rebuild a storage system from scratch… Just change the stamp. 🙂
Can you imagine knowing deeply how valuable you are to this world. I am humbled by your presence here today. I pray that grace rests upon you. First grace with yourself, then an overflow to all of the people you encounter today. Feel free to contact me, I would enjoy the chance to get to know you.