Lose Your Right Mind [on Merely A Thought Monday]

in your right mind copy

I have made some incredibly bad decisions in my life that set off a chain of events that led to some extraordinary, life-illuminating experiences. Conversely, I have made some incredibly good, well-considered decisions that led me to total devastation. My life reads like one of Aesop’s Fables.

The “bad” decisions were “irrational” and “spontaneous” and some of my pals  questioned whether or not I was in my “right” mind.

The “good” decisions were “rational” and I was lauded for using common sense, for my clear-eyed, right-minded logic.

Intuition, following your gut, listening to your heart has very little to do with the rightness of mind.

Back in the previous century (20 years ago), educators were awash in the term “the mainstream.” Getting divergent students back into the mainstream was the stated goal of most alternative education programs. Doug, my hero of the alternative path, champion of finding the stream that worked for the student (as opposed to channeling all students back into a single stream), used to snarl, “I’d love to see this mainstream if someone would be kind enough to point it out to me.” (note: this is not a direct quote as I’ve cleaned up Doug’s language for my less sturdy readers).

In mythology it is called the left-hand path, this route that makes no sense to adherents of the mainstream. The left-hand path is intuitive and counter-intuitive, all at the same time. It seems nonsensical to sail toward the edge of the known world. Explorers, artists, innovators, mystics, must take this road less traveled. They must wander off the main and cut a new path. They must. Their fellows will wonder if they’ve taken leave of their senses. Left their right mind. The answer: no. They are following a deeper call, something speaking to their senses. They’ve left a mainstream that appears to them like total madness.

If logic is your compass it is, of course, best to stay on the road well-traveled. If safety and security is your goal, then a known path holds what you seek.

If knowing where you’re going sounds a lot like a death sentence, then leaving your right mind for a left-hand path is the only choice that makes sense.

Truth? I think the right-mind is bit of rhetoric that has little to do with the realities of being human. We find the rational side of things comfortable so it gets good marks. No one gets a cake-walk in this life. Everyone has a mountain to climb, a valley to get lost in, a spontaneous jump to make, a gut feeling, a heart to be listened to – and some of the worst impulsive decisions inevitably lead to the most profound growth experiences. It is only after the fact, when we need to make sense of our nonsensical leap, our follow-the-heart choice, that we call on the “right” mind to make the story coherent. Just ask Aesop.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about RIGHT MIND

 

 

footprints in sunlit snow website box copy

Find The Kindergartner [on Two Artists Tuesday]

dogdogbabycatbacktoback copy

On a famous day, we drove the entire width of the state of Wisconsin to pick up the puppy that would one day become known as DogDog. On our drive back across the entire width of the state of Wisconsin, Kerri had a moment of panic. What if BabyCat and the not-yet-named-puppy-dog didn’t get along? What if BabyCat felt rejected? Replaced? What if the dog ATE the cat? What if the cat ATE the dog? The horror story variations of dogs-and-cats-living-together ran amok in her mind.

The flip-side scenarios never occurred to her. What if they love each other? What if they play together? What if they are the best of pals, share bowls, look out for each other? Well, there’d be no problem. Nothing to fret about. No horror story to captivate the imagination.

What is it in an adult mind that defaults to the worst possible assumption? Why, when cutting paper with a razor, do I always think, “I hope I don’t cut my finger off.” It could happen. Once, when my dad was pulling the cord on the chainsaw, I heard him say to himself, “I better not cut my leg off.” Sage self-advice!

We imagine. We assume. We project. It is a potent and powerful force, this capacity to story ourselves through imaging. We learn to imagine the obstacles. We learn not to allow the possibilities.

How many times in my life have I asked students or clients to imagine themselves fulfilled? Too many to count but the actual number is equal to the number of times students or clients have responded, “I can’t.”

What? Yes. You can. Dream in the direction of possibility. Remember that once you were a kindergartner and a teacher asked if you were and artist. Your YES was wild and enthusiastic. Your capacity to dream hasn’t gone away. It’s gone underground.

Guts and gore, dogs fighting cats, fingers flying off; the horror-story-imagination is more immediate.  Sometimes it takes a bit of archeology to find the kindergartner.

Oh, and DogDog and BabyCat? Best of friends. We often find them in the afternoon sleeping back to back. Who could have imagined such a thing?!

 

read Kerri’s blog post about DOGDOG & BABYCAT NAPPING

 

dogdog babycat paws touchingwebsite box copy

Be The Storm [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

inspirationisa WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

“It is a sacred art that deals with revelation rather than observation.”~Jamake Highwater, The Language Of Vision

Tom used to say, “A writer writes and a painter paints.” Those are wise words grounded in the mechanics of art. Simply show up. Do the thing. Nuts and bolts. That’s the first step. Show up at the easel, on the dance floor, at the piano, at the writers desk and begin. Tom was a teacher and over his life heard an overabundance of excuses, reasons ‘why not.’ Said another way, he advised his students to stop thinking about it and do it. “Get out of your own way,” he’d counsel. That’s the second step. Horatio calls this step ‘trust-your-work.”

Show up. Do the thing. Get out of your own way. Trust your work.

And, what happens with trust? When the artist can get out of his/her own way, the sacred art, the art of revelation becomes possible. It’s a beautiful paradox. Show up and get out of the way. And, between those two actions, those crackling oppositions, a greater force, inspiration, gathers and releases like a storm.

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copy

FALL50%OFFSALE copySeptember 1 – 16

read Kerri’s blog post about INSPIRATION IS A GATHERING STORM

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

facebook logo copy 2

inspiration is a gathering storm ©️ 2016/18 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

Make Nonsense

from the Flub cartoon series. Do you catch the joke.

from the Flub cartoon series. Do you catch the joke?

Life just gets weirder and weirder. That’s part of what I love about it. Many years ago when I was full to the top with frustration, Doug told me that my real problem was that I wanted life to make sense – and it doesn’t. Truer words were never spoken! Stop trying to make sense of things and most of life’s frustrations dissipate. Any good innovator or creative type will tell you that what they do is completely unreasonable. Buddhists call this state on nonsense beginner’s mind.

Sense making is often referred to as Reason. Parents are occasionally overheard in grocery stores pleading with their screaming child, “Be reasonable!” Couples married for years make the same appeal when they are not getting what they want from their spouse.

In some circles, sense making is known as Rational Thought. Useful words and necessary when getting onto an airplane (without Rational Thought, you’d necessarily confront the senseless act of getting into an aluminum tube and hurtling through space at 37,000 feet)!

If you are lucky, the more you live, the more you realize that meaning is all made up. What is reasonable to you may be unreasonable to me. What makes sense to me might not make sense to you. What is true for you may be untrue for me. The idea that there is a single overriding truth is the source of much frustration in the world and has created horrors throughout recorded time. The notion of a single truth makes seekers of us all as if we might find truth sitting in a cafe sipping wine. The notion locates truth outside of us and renders personal truth subject to someone else’s definition.

All seekers inevitably come to this question: “What is truth?” Asking the question usually brings the external-truth pursuit to an end. I’ve learned that no matter how diligently I’ve sought truth or ‘the answer’ in the eyes of others, I am only capable of finding what I seek by looking inside myself. Like all seekers, I find truth within. I find truth when I listen within to the still-small-voice. All the trouble I’ve ever created for myself came when I stopped listening to that voice.

Quinn told me years ago that, “Nothing makes sense.” He smiled. He was a master of double meanings. Where he less given to fun he might have said that people are story makers and given to make sense out of nothing. It’s a magic trick. The problem, as Doug pointed out to me years later, comes when we think the sense exists before we arrive.

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Go here for hard copies.