Category Archives: small (and doable) is beautiful

it’s not out there, it’s in here

Think about the life you want – the career, the lifestyle, the connections, the recognition, the accomplishments. Chances are there’s a superstar aspect to it: you want to be the most (something something) artist, or to revolutionize the field of (something), or to bring about a paradigm shift regarding (something), or wake people up to the obviousness of (something). Whatever it is, if it really happens the way it has the potential to happen, it will change everything — at least everything within a particular set of people or activity.

That’s the trickiness of being visionary. You can look at current circumstances and see future configurations that other people can’t see. What seems and feels obvious to you is veiled behind clouds of (something) to them. And it kills you, because if people could just see what you see and understand what you understand, they’d realize that things–people, LIFE–could be way better after a certain amount of adjustment.

You may have tried to announce your vision to the world in various ways. Maybe there was enthusiasm but then it died out. Maybe only a few people heard you. Chances are you’re sort of depressed because the response you’ve gotten so far feels so meager compared to the magnitude of what you have to offer if you could just figure out how to help people understand.

…and so it goes…

…what can be done?

having pondered this, I think the answer lies in redesigning our spatial-cognitive models. By this, I mean the inner picture we have of what the accomplishment of our grand master plan is supposed to look like. So often we think in terms of large scale, public change, and this is largely out of altrusim: we genuinely want to make the world a better place for as many people as possible. So the video we play in our minds of what the future change looks like is set “out there,” in collective public space–we imagine how people, communities, societies would be different if we could do what we are meant to do.

But I think there’s a secret: not much really happens on large, collective public scales, that’s only a media mirage. The media picks up things happening on small, local scales and balloons them into massive phenomena. The actual thing / event stays local. It’s the reproduction ad infinitum of it thanks to the media that makes it seem huge.

This mirage is tainting our sense of purpose, because we start to think that nothing is worth doing if it can’t be done massively. But that’s just not true.

So the reconfiguration of our spatial-cognitive model means inverting the scale, and finding and “in here” setting in which our activity can take place. Where is the the protected jewel cave of an environment in which to carry out your divine mission? While it might sound elusive, I happen to believe that there are jewel caves everywhere waiting to be discovered: THE perfect place for you to try out whatever it is that you are here to do.

How to find it:

1. Sit for a moment and call the feeling of your purpose and its related activity into your body.

2. Assess the scale of your vision: if it feels anything bigger than a single event in a specific location, bring it in closer until it’s the size of a room (say 20′ x 20′ – can be indoors or outdoors).

3. Within these parameters, imagine the ideal space for what’s happening: if you could manifest your own ideal movie set for this vision, what would it look like?

4. When you’ve called all that up, make some notes: write a description or draw a sketch.

5. Figure out where you can find this space in real-life in your nearby world.

6. Go there.

7. Act out your activity. Bring friends if you can. Be silly but thorough. Then go get tea or drinks and enjoy the rest of your day.

8. Plan the real thing.

9. Do the real thing.

[…]

WHY THE SPATIAL PART IS IMPORTANT: it has to do with our brains & nervous systems:

The way the body understands activity is situated, meaning that we can’t really believe anything is possible until we can actually visualize a complete experience of us doing whatever it is. And that experience isn’t just the idea of something, but is the doing of it–the feelings, movements, vocalizations, and sensory impressions of the activity have to be embodied in order for something to move out of the realm of conceptual and into the realm of the imminent. When we can concretely spatialize whatever it is we want to do, then it goes from being a general category of thing or event to a specific manifestation of a thing or event. And that has power. We can sit there and say, “There are so many painting classes in the Bay Area. Who’s going to come to mine if I offer one?” This is category thinking. But when you say, “I’m going to offer a painting class in this beautiful space on this particular day at this time and it’s going to cost this much” then all of a sudden it becomes real.

If you have the perfect environment, in which the activity of your purpose can unfold in the way it was naturally intended, then chances are things will go well. The jewel cave is “in here” — smaller than you think, intimate, not as visible as you probably think you’re supposed to be on the first go-round. But once you find it, everything else has an uncanny way of falling into place.

peace,

cb