A Slow Dive

My experience of expansion in THNK’s first module shifted to a focusing inward, a gradual convergence in module 2…The first module was a complete unknown and I tried to go with an open mind, open to the unexpected, without judgement, and to let new experiences flow. I had cleared space in my life to do that. To allow for that space to create, to be fully present.

The second module came so quickly I felt like it caught me a little off-guard…I found it interesting to observe how I was more open and willing to go blindly into the great unknown than when I already had my mind engaged, my perspective filtered, looking through different lenses, or as Yoda would say, “too many minds.”

I found the transition harder this time, harder to let go of the demands from the world outside and to become fully present in my THNK home took a few days. In part, this was because, THNK module 1 had flung the doors in my mind wide open! It felt like there was a universe inside expanding and the earth’s orbit was accelerating. How in hell was I to focus, to bring it all in, to begin to articulate my vision?!

The beauty of this experience is that you are not alone. This module was more about the deepening of relationships and truly meaningful connections with my fellow THNKers than about the ‘dos’, the projects, the challenges, the tools…

There was always someone to give you a gentle nudge at just the right moment, someone to lean into or to lift me up and out of the darker, fatigued or hidden recesses of my mind. Lots of THNK hugs and sharing, all tuning into the same frequency, creating this beautiful resonance – a sound wave that carried us through the stress points, the cracks in our emotions, our vulnerability…without breaking.

This module was about visioning but instead of trying to search ‘out there’ it was really about how we visioned our Selves. A Heroes inner journey…to first articulate my Self. A storytelling process that has continued well beyond the module timeframe, spilling out into my life – a process that feels like a slow, deep dive.

I have been struggling a little with how our stories get shaped – selectively, the bad bits easily edited out, self-censoring who we really are…
Now, I’m exploring ways to break-down my script, those limiting beliefs and uncover the false truths, the hidden narrative, the edited-out footage of my life that impacts my future, how I make decisions, my behaviour…to find my own truth.

Or as Sharon Chang put it so beautifully, “If you want to shift a script you have to change it in your heart.”

Visioning is process of truth and that’s tough work. It happens at the crossroads of ‘Should and Must.’

Storytelling comes from our desire to understand and to be understood, as powerful a human need as sexuality and self-preservation. To be a storyteller, one that moves to act, requires the integration of deep inner work with inspired action…It begins with getting to know ourselves, by asking, “what is my wave? My ‘Must’? The thing that pulls me?”

When we do this, it results in a new way of being that challenges old assumptions and pushes you to imagine new possibilities.

My vision for myself…is not to keep it bottled up! To share who I am, what I want, to ask for what I need…

I went through a literal, physical release at 90s shoegazing band Slowdive’s first gig in nearly 20 years at Hoxton, London, not long after THNK. I realised that the law of expansion had been broken by suppression. The frequency of the music had released that in me, so my tightly bottled emotions spilled out and my narrative began to unravel. I felt open, lighter.

For me, I need to shine, to let all the colours out and to be free to express the fullness of that in the most self-expressive, creative way I know how. To shed the heavy armour that only weighs me down and restricts my movement, to open up to myself, to keep releasing and to wear my vulnerability well. Slow it down and breathe deeply.

In free-diving, it feels counter-intuitive but, the slower you move, the more you relax and the less effort you put into the ‘doing’ and just let your mind be allows you to overcome the fear, to dive more deeply and to stay below the surface longer than you thought possible.

I have been searching for focus and clarity so I can articulate my vision but the focus and clarity comes when we can articulate who we are. When we uncover our truth and know ourselves.

It’s tough work that needs support. We need to bring others in…

“The soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Others who can hold up a mirror to reveal the parts of ourselves we wanted to keep hidden, or the beauty inside that for too long we denied. Friends who can hold us when we unravel, who can help us put the pieces together to reveal the vision that was broken and fragmented but that we always had inside.

Or friends who can get you to sing in public and learn how to sing in ‘whale’!