Coming towards the end of the year, I have felt the pull of dual desires in life. And through some introspection, I realized that this is something I have faced for most of my life, and indeed I am sure that we all have. It all started with thought that came to me in the quiet of the morning a few weeks ago. Some time ago I met a guy. It was a surprising experience. It was as if someone looked at the list I had with all of the qualities I would want in someone – be it a friend or a partner – and TORE IT UP! Everything about him was wrong – and I was drawn to him. And more importantly – he was drawn to me. It was the most unexpected, dangerous and exhilarating experiences I’d had in a long time. It blew all of my preconceived notions, and expectations out of the water, and awakened desires that I wasn’t even aware of. It was one of the most important experiences that I have had in a long time. Spoiler alert – our interactions have slowed from a blazing furnace to a warm and cozy friendship, with nothing more on the horizon. While some of my friends expressed disappointment (they keep wanting me to meet the man of my dreams so that I can stop harassing them) in that quiet morning I realized that everything had gone exactly as it was supposed to. I began to see that what had drawn us together was an awakening of a desire to be different. It had been there all along, and as I had continued to ignore it, it kicked into high gear.
It proceeded to tear my heart in half, so that I could see what was there. And it made me realise that I had been torn all along. My desire for art, music and beauty vs my love for reason, science and order. My choice between passion and duty. Between being strong and being vulnerable. Between self-care and service to others. Between preparing for the future and living in the moment. Between spontaneity and schedule. Between adventure and routine. Between working in my strength, or being stretched outside my comfort zone. Between being good and being free. This man I met spoke to my sense of adventure, of music and love and laughter, of being frivolous. It was a complete contrast to the paths (and the persons) that I had previously chosen – order, reason, planning. One of the concepts that I have struggled with over the past few years was that of balance, and that instead of going to either of the extremes, that I should reside somewhere in the middle. I will confess to me that the word balance always sounded like compromise – a concept which I was never at home with. Whenever I have observed 2 persons compromising, it appears that either one or the other gets their way (even if this is done intermittently) or that they both wind up trying to be ok with something that neither of them wanted. In the back of my mind, I always believed that I could not have it both ways, and so I had gone with the safer, seemingly more secure route, even when my heart was calling me to the complete opposite. And it was destroying me.
Another important friendship I developed recently was with someone else unlikely, and who on the surface I didn’t appear to have much in common with. On digging a little deeper, I found a rich, satisfying and truly amazing interaction and friendship with a wonderful person, who was a lot like me in many ways, but vastly different in others. One day I said to her – I couldn’t have it both ways, and she said – why not? It got me thinking – what if I could have it both ways? What if instead of seeking middle ground (which meant having neither) I sought a life which blended my two halves instead of trying to split the differences. Was that even possible? How would that look? What would it mean on a daily basis? How would I spend my time? And of course the all important question – how could I get started at once?
One of the first things I decided to do was what I call crazy brainstorming. It is loosely based on a concept called the 6 thinking hats. There are 6 hats you (or team members) can wear which represent – data, creativity, positive and negative thinking etc. You can only wear one hat at a time, and you are not allowed to judge any decisions made when you are wearing that hat. One of the hats (the green hat for creativity) is where you do creative brainstorming – and no idea is too crazy. You can then take those ideas and assess them with the other hats – is there any data to support this idea? What are the pros, cons and obstacles. This allows me to consider options that I might not otherwise have thought about, which may seem outrageous at first glance, but might be exactly what I was looking for.
But before any of this, the most important first step for me – to open my mind. To believe that I can have blend over balance. Once I believe it is possible, then I can search for the solutions that allow me to have it.
In addition, a part of my planning for next year has involved coming up with words or sentences to describe my intentions for the year. I will reveal my theme in my next post. In the meantime, for the next few days – I will be wearing the green hat. What plans would you make if you were wearing the green hat? Remember – no idea is too crazy…
One more post to go in 2017! Until then I wish you big love from a small Island
My photo today is taken at Animal Flower Cave in the Northernmost parish in Barbados. It is one of my favourite places, and to me standing by that signpost I feel as if I can go anywhere in the world!