Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Source of Bad Information

There’s a boy in you
About three years old
Who hasn’t learned a thing
For thirty thousand years.
Sometimes it’s a girl.

This child has to make up its mind
How to save you from death.
He says things like
Stay home.
Avoid elevators.
Eat only elk.

You live with this child
But you don’t know it.
You are in the office, yes
But live with this boy at night.
He’s uninformed
But he does want to save your life.

And he has.
Because of this boy
You survived a lot.
He’s got six big ideas.
Five don’t work.
Right now he’s repeating them to you.

--Robert Bly

This child has been repeating to me those five big ideas that don't work, night after night, year after year, decade after decade. This child has made every effort to keep me small. Keep me in doubt. Keep me safely tucked inside of my cozy comfort zone. For my own good, of course, or so I've been led to believe.

Six big ideas and five don't work ... 2010 has been my adventure in finding the one that does. Although I'm not certain I've put my finger on it yet, the quest itself has created a shift. My comfort zone isn't quite so comfortable anymore.

Every November has a way of bringing me around to assessing how well I was (or wasn't) able to rise to the occasion throughout the waning year. I embraced opportunities in 2010 on which normally I would pass. See, sometimes even little, no-big-deal-ish things can be a stretch for me. Too many years of listening to bad information, I suppose. That's okay. I'm a late bloomer. I've made peace with it.

This year I learned that the further I stretch, the further there is for me to go. I am looking over the unchecked triple-dog dares on my 2010 list and mulling over which of them to carry over into 2011. I am looking for clues toward new directions to explore. The urge to purge is increasing in intensity these last eight weeks of the year. It's time for the making and holding of space for what's new and true.

Yes, January 1, 2011 arrives just eight weeks from today. A powerful day, at that, with the Alchemist's New Moon at hand. What bad information are you releasing right now so that you, too, can make room for that one big idea that works?

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