Clear the past to stand in the light.
Triggered. Glitched. Snagged. These are the terms I use when a simple event takes a hold of my heart and squeezes tight and suddenly I’m not me anymore. In a moment I timeline back to being 16. Now the tempestuous teen is in charge, oh oh.
This happened when I cracked this website to finally tackle a long stifled desire to write. With my fingers poised over the keyboard I freeze. Triggered.
Suddenly I’m feeling that special brand of teen rage come over me, coupled with a deep need for a long nap. Now I’d like to say that I recovered quickly, but no, it took me a while to realize I needed to dig into my past to find the original trigger.
At 16 my father told me “It’s ok that you didn’t do well on that test, you’re a generalist.” Got it.
As I reflect on that statement many years later through the lens of being a parent myself, I am certain that this statement was intended to comfort me. In the moment, and for many years, all I could hear is “Enjoy mediocrity sweetie. You’ll never be great.”
Please forgive me dad, I harboured the meaning I made of it and didn’t see the greater intention. I love you.
I can see now that I’ve carried this meaning in my pocket all my life and, if I’m truthful, I’ve used it to keep me safe. To keep me from stepping too far out on the limbs of the unknown. I can stay away from arenas where great masters have carved out their legacies and say, not for me, I’m a generalist. I’ll be over there in the mud. You play in the technicolour.
But if I really do want to write, and I really do want to be great I’ll have to do the work to wipe away the meaning and let go.
Fortunately for me, I’ve studied with Susanne Conrad of igolu (www.igolu.com) and she taught me a very valuable technique called “Timeline Clearing”. Here’s how it goes.
I’ll and travel back to that day, see my dad, see my test, feel the feelings I had that day and create a new reality. I get to. I see my dad come through the door excited to see me, we embrace. I tell him I’m sad that I got a D on a test in math. He sighs, hugs me and tells me it’s going to be ok. He rolls up his sleeves and sits with me to help me get better at math, cause, well, education is important and a privilege. He has an earnest look on his face, one that says “when you suck you’ve got to get to work in order to shine”. He teaches me about hard work and that everything is a practice. He tells me that a grade is a measure not to take personally but still something to use to know where you are so you can choose where you want to go.
Ah, now that’s better.
This process allows me to take responsibility for the meaning I made of a seemingly simple experience in my life. Was it traumatic? No. Did it have impact, well obviously if I can still get triggered when I can’t figure out how to spell “privilege” (thank you spell check). These mini failures can send me into a tailspin back to a younger version of myself. I’d rather be my age, with all my experience, wisdom and love at the helm.
So now who’s the mediocre generalist? Not me! I’m clear. I’ve created a new memory. It’s not denial, it’s a powerful choice.
The next step in clearing a timeline is to make a declaration based on this new reality. Mine is “I allow greatness.”
In allowing greatness I also allow failure. It’s all a practice. Including this article.
And today I am in action to lift the fog of the past and create my future from a clearing. So forgive my indulgence. I’m taking charge of my greatness. I’m doing something about it. I’m bothering.
I’ve wanted to write for almost as long as I can remember. And yet my academic mediocrity has weighed heavily on my hand. I can’t seem to pick up a pen let alone publish something on a regular basis. Modern technology has allowed me to dabble in this realm, but I’m just a hack out there relying on spell-check.
What’s really true is that I have something to say. I have heart, passion, experience, wisdom and ideas. It’s time I share.
I’m claiming this platform as a space to tell my story. I believe our words create our world and I’m for a better world. I am for truth, trust and a whole lot of love. I am for forgiveness, practice, and delightful mistakes.
My hope is that this message may free you up to move forward on something you may be stuck in. Go see if you’ve been holding onto the meaning you put to a memory from your past. See if you’ve been holding it in front of you to protect you from your own greatness. Drop it and see if you can stand the light.
As an entrepreneur of two businesses I am giddy with the lightness of expressing myself without feeling like I need to be “on brand”. It’s relaxing to know that I’m not promoting, teaching or selling. And yet, I deeply value your time and I hope I can provide some insight, inspiration, at the very least let you know you are not alone.
I’ll admit that I’m hooked on the show “The Voice” and I hear a young man sing these lyrics tonight and they moved me deeply.
“The greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far to stand in the light and be seen as we are.” — Jordan Smith
Now, time to celebrate. I am willing to stand in the light of the published world and be seen.