Springingtiger's Blog


Feeling Great or No.

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I was in the process of writing a greatness blog when I fell ill with a very nasty virus, a sort of “Man Flu Plus”. An expression came to mind, “I don’t feel great” and this led me to wonder, what happens to our greatness when we don’t feel great?

The first thing I see is that greatness is not predicated upon feeling. As anyone who works with Darren Eden will be aware greatness arises from following what you love and not being stopped by “threshold guardians” or, if you prefer, circumstances. I could go further and say that greatness lies not only in not being stopped, but in bending the circumstances, the guardians, into service of what you love, I think this is consistent with Joseph Campbell’s articulation of the hero’s journey.

I used not to be stopped by flu, I worked through it, travelling around the country, running courses, chairing meetings, attending conferences until I was struck down by Chronic Fatigue and Immunodysfunction Syndrome. I spent six months virtually bedridden, a year as an invalid. In time I learned to manage my life so that I was no longer stopped by CFIDS. Of course, as we learn in Your Call To Greatness, as well as being focused on what we love we must take appropriate action; sometimes this means being realistic, pursuing what we love while ignoring the voice of our intuition is, ultimately, counterproductive and contrary to the process. This is why it is not only important to develop our intuition but also to trust it when it holds us back from what we enjoy.

For me, now, the obvious action is to rest. So far, despite my forced inaction, I have not rested because my focus has been on my frustration at not being able to do the things I wanted, there is nothing restful in frustration. However what I love is experiencing life in its fullness, my frustration means that my focus had shifted from what I love to the obstacles in the way. In the field of personal development we talk a lot about transcending our limitations, breaking through our barriers, not being stopped by limiting decisions and other things that can make us feel actively guilty when we are not obviously progressing our goals; some times this urge to achieve is positively harmful, as Werner Erhard says, “It is as bad to be half-assed, whichever cheek you’ve got left!” Resting is not being forced to do nothing, resting is choosing to do nothing as a deliberate course of action, when, and only as long as, it is appropriate.

As I lay in my bed beating myself up over the schedule I was unable to follow, I heard, in my head,  the voice of Werner Erhard saying, “What you resist, persists!” Now I’ve been resisting having flu; I’ve thrown everything at it, self-hypnosis, energy healing, I’ve demanded it reveal its lesson to me so I could get on with my life, all resistance! So “just for today”, as we say in Reiki, I am being kind to myself. I am not resisting, I am accepting, temporarily, the limits imposed by the current conditions. I am treating my body and mind with gentleness and compassion.

There is a process I once learned in Landmark, I think on the Team Management and Leadership Program, but possibly on a Communication Course, where of everything I do I ask, “What am I building?” It is what in NLP we call “chunking up”. Each time we ask the question it reveals a greater purpose served by that action, ultimately what should be revealed is our true purpose, the thing we love upon which we focus; the corollary is that, if it reveals as the outcome something other than what we love, we should reconsider our action. Add to this the test of ecology used in NLP, the questions of the Cartesian coordinates, “What will happen if I do this?”, “What will happen if I do not do this?”, “What will not happen if I do this?” and, “What will not happen if I do not do this?” and we have a powerful decision checking process. I have a tendency to act first and think later. I realise that as I lie back and let my flu take its course, unforced it presents its lessons to me; isn’t life great?

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