Campfire: Evening light

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Between this site and Facebook, we have folks chiming in from New Hampshire, Maine, Alberta,  Ontario and Washington State. We even have someone along for the journey from England!  I am so happy to hear from you- I love the feeling of shared intention, and the experience of knowing other folks are out there exploring this topic of trying new things or familiar things under new and unfamiliar circumstances.

So, as the day wraps up, I want to talk for a moment about self-stories.

Self stories are the often limiting but not very often supportive stories we tell ourselves (or heard from others when we were small) that keep us from exploring or pushing the edges our current capabilities, our current interests, our current selves.

They are about what we are good or bad at, what we are like, our personalities, our proclivities.  They may or may not be based on reality.

These stories can feel so familiar and so definite, but life isn’t.  We aren’t.  What if we left ourselves some room in the margins of our stories for evolution? What if we might not have been adept at something once upon a time, but what if we might become adept with a little bravery, a little COURAGE, and a little practice?

Hearing music-ish stuff come out of that ukelele earlier today brought me pure joy. It did. I would *never* have imagined I could make something other than droney badness happen with that instrument. I am still thoroughly ensconced in the land of suck, but still, my progress made me happy. My progress makes me happy.

A million times I have told myself that I want to be able to play an instrument. But I said that as if the only way it was ever going to happen is if someday I woke up and miraculously knew how. I did not imagine, could not imagine, that I could simply try. I could begin at the beginning, and I could learn.

Oddly, I pride myself on being a “life long learner”– but this prideful piece of my identity/self story appears to have been limited to comfortable, non-risky incremental lessons that build on what I already know. Or, things that did not impact my own perception of myself somehow.

So, here you go brain, here you go heart. Check this out: I’m a beginner.  I began at the beginning.  I am beginning by making noise.  By not being great.

***

What about you? What self stories were you exploring today? Which ones will you explore tomorrow?

If you’re a journaling sort, I invite you to reflect on your day. This includes a direct look at any avoidance you experienced.  There is a lot to learn from avoidance, isn’t there? What felt like it was at risk? For some of us, when we really look at it, maybe not so much! But others of you, some in particular I am holding in love this day, the risk might be very big.  Go gently.  Be kind to yourself.  Decide what you think you might try tomorrow.

I’ll be back with a post at around 9am.

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About Kate

... recognizing there is beauty and value in mended things. www.kate-johnson.com I also blog about parenting after infertility at www.icantwhistle.com
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2 Responses to Campfire: Evening light

  1. Lorraine says:

    After a night of post pondering I was reminded this morning of a question I asked a few months ago – what would I do even if I never moved past sucking. (My list was guitar, photography, soccer, volleyball and squash.) For some reason I’m in a different world where good doesn’t matter when doing these these activities. The Joy flowing through me takes me to a different space and supersedes any criteria my mind tries to use for evaluation.

    Hearing you play the ukulele was hearing Joy. I have no idea if you were good, bad or somewhere in between. The Joy came through loud and clear and brought me into its bubble too. Thank you for showing up and sharing you!

    • Kate says:

      You know, once you realize that it is not about unsucking, but about enjoying, the whole world opens up, doesn’t it? Once upon a time, I played rugby. I always sucked, but I had such a great time. I think that was the last time I mindfully kept doing something I persistently sucked at. I love your list! Here’s to trying things, for doing things, just FOR THE FUN OF IT.

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