My life is a yo-yo between two characters. Let me introduce you to them!
I-can’t-do-it girl is a bit like Mr Grumpy from the Mr Men books. She lives under duvets, eats ice cream and does very little else. When she is invited by life to be a commitment (a phrase she doesn’t really like) she freaks out. She doesn’t have the time, or the resources. Even if she found the time somehow, whatever she does will be rubbish.
When she was asked to write about participating in PIE it was a struggle to say yes. She finds it uncomfortable to write about herself in the third person. She dreads completing pieces of work because that’s when everyone will realise she is pathetic. She is pathetic. No one will love her. So she may as well just lie here and eat ice cream. So comforting. Much better.
Superwoman is the opposite of I-can’t-do-it girl in practically every way. She loves being asked to do things, to be things, to stand up and be counted. She eats squeaky clean, vibrant, colourful food, and it makes her feel great. Against all odds, she fits in cooking alongside her many responsibilities, commitments, jobs, hobbies. She loves being busy.
When she was asked to write about participating in PIE, she thought it would be brilliant. It was an honour to be asked and she was surely the one to deliver. She could write a two-page piece, no problem. She already had ideas; perhaps the title could be “Bean Sauce: An Ontological Play”. Because PIE was originally called Being Source, or affectionately Bean Sauce, and that would be witty. And the article will be more than great: eloquent, insightful, honest. Everyone would love it and love her and she would become the world renowned Superwoman of Transformation!
Hearing the Call
I used to think if only I-can’t-do-it Girl and Superwoman could meet, then I would be ok. And so I heard the call to participate in PIE.
I can’t do it girl slumped into PIE, begrudgingly. She thought of so many reasons to not go, she whined on the way, she scowled at the programme. She’d rather stay in bed. And yet she dearly wanted to be good again. So PIE seemed like maybe it was the way out, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Superwoman came to PIE because her life is great except for when hopelessness creeps up on her. If only she could squeeze that out of her once and for all, then she could be free and get on with her life. She is motivated to do whatever it takes, anything that transformation can throw at her, she will take it in her stride and use it to get stronger. To infinity and beyond!
Power, Intent and Evolution
I-can’t-do-it girl struggles with the programme. Everything hurts, the days are too long, the meals are too wholesome. She tries her hardest to convince her roommate to drive her to find ice cream. It almost works.
Superwoman tries to persevere a little more. She is tired after such a busy week, and grateful for the rest. She is so ready to be healed, so motivated to sort her life out.
Power, Intent and Evolution is neither a dose of hope or a process of fixing life. It is a tapestry, weaving dialogue and tensegrity together, freeing up grounded energy in the service of life itself. Over the programme, these characters alive in me diminish in their presence and volume in my body and mind. I see these characters as parts of the same story. As a story which isn’t me, however strongly I can hold onto them.
At some point the characters don’t survive. My skin is no longer the boundary of me. I am my body, the group, this room, the landscape. I am the sounds that I hear, the conversations I share, the movements I make, the food I eat. I am space, I am nothing. And it is good. Not good in a bouncy positive way, but the goodness of seeing the resonating truth of I am. I am filled with gratitude and humbleness, for everyone who offered themselves freely to make this possible.
Back in my life, and I-can’t-do-it girl thinks this I am nothing stuff sounds like bullshit. A good bowl of ice cream will sort this whole thing out. Superwoman tries to be that nothingness so hard. Yet it seems the more she tries, the further away it gets.
I breathe, welcome them back. I-can’t-do-it girl still fears she has fucked up in writing this. Superwoman hopes the article will bring her world domination. I am still, watching them both rise and fall in me, rise and fall. Neither of them is me, although I have generated them both. That is the power of this programme. To live with the characters and to live in service of life, in service of something other than the hopes and fears that tangle us.
As for the article, it seems like by making space to see who I was in the writing of it, it has written itself. Meanwhile I am testing out the possibility that the writing of this article may mean nothing about me. So, in spite of myself, I send it in.