Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff from Week 3 of David Robinson's Four-week course Seek The Bear: A Story Map For Transforming Your Life.
You are the storyteller of your life. You narrate and interpret every experience, every moment, every day of your life. Your memories are not passive, your imaginings betray a specific point of view. What you believe is possible, what you see as a limitation is unique to you: it’s your story and you’re telling it through your thoughts and how they drive the actions of your life. Truths are often simply stated and this one is ancient: Change your story, change your world.
You can learn to tell a different story. Artist, master coach and storyteller David Robinson has helped thousands of people become conscious of their story, locate it within a greater story map and begin consciously creating the life they intend.
As a life-long visual and theatre artist, David Robinson extends his artistry into the world of consulting and coaching. He understands his work as a collaboration with people in all walks of life who desire to be truly powerful. He has mastered competencies that are now being recognized by forward-thinking organizations and leaders as invaluable to their personal and organizational health and sustainability: creative, intuitive, imaginative, symphonic, and mythic. He is a student of systems theory, communications and organizational behavior and received his M.A. in Whole Systems Design with an emphasis in Cultural Mythology and Transformational Art. He is currently on faculty at The Center for Transformational Presence. He maintains a vigorous coaching practice, is hard at work on his next performance project, and can be found most days hold-up in his studio.
Big Idea #1: Happiness Ensues
"Happiness ensues." - Viktor Frankl
We’ve all been thoroughly reinforced in two misguided beliefs: First is the belief that somewhere out there is an answer; that the answer is separate from you and someone else has it. Second, that there is a place of arrival, a product called happiness. Happiness follows; it is a consequence not a destination.
The intentional creation of awareness and happiness is a process that involves listening to the language you use in the narration of your life. Once you can hear the story you are telling yourself you become more capable of hearing how you “cast” your life story and the metaphors you use to define your self/life. Next we ask, “What are your investments?” Are you trying to “fix” yourself? What are you attempting to control that is uncontrollable?
Important points to remember:
1. You have to go where you’ve been warned never to go (to seek the bear).
2. The obstacles and trials are your teachers. They are simple to navigate if you treat them as teachers instead of enemies.
a. Going slow will get you there sooner. Going fast will often stop you.
3. Keep your eyes on your intention.
4. Life is found in the process, not the outcome.
Big Idea #2: Direction of Intention.
In this big idea, we will highlight three of the most important points from above:
Go where you’ve been warned never to go. Having made a vow, the young wife leaves her house; she leaves the place that was her safety, stability and refuge and walks toward the most dangerous thing she knows. In metaphoric terms, she stops running, turns around and walks toward her fears. She has a purpose that is more important than her fear: to acquire the medicine necessary to heal her husband. Serving her purpose changes her relationship with her life, her trials and obstacles.
The obstacles are our teachers. In general we try to beat our obstacles or triumph over them. The young wife studies her obstacles. She yields to them. She doesn’t push or resist them (as she did while still at home), she relates to them.
Keep your eye on your intention: Loving your obstacle does not mean to be passive or weak; it means to be clear about your purpose. It means to keep sight of your purpose even as you meet the obstacles.
Big Idea #3 The Process
The greater lessons in life are learned through the process and are rarely revealed in the outcome or achievement. That is why story is such a potent teacher and effective road map. The obstacle is what moves the story forward. Without the obstacle, the story has no capacity to progress and the same is true in our lives. As Robert Olen Butler wrote, “Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle.” Our lives are yearnings meeting obstacles and the quality of our lives is determined by how we define the meeting. People need obstacles to understand purpose and to make meaning. When we don’t have obstacles we create them – and call them hobbies. We are just like a newly transformed butterfly that needs to struggle out of the cocoon – the struggle provides a necessary stage of development and removing the struggle will kill the butterfly.
Other Cool Stuff:
Questions for Reflection:
- How are you like the young wife?
- Do you know your purpose (yearning)?
- Are you running from something or walking toward something? Either way, name it - what you are running from or moving toward.
- How are you relating to your obstacles? Are you fighting with them?
- How can you yield to your obstacle? How can you learn from it?
- Are you trying to remove the struggle from your life? OR Are you trying to create what you want? How can they serve to move you forward?
- Do you create your obstacles? How?
Where are you placing your focus?
Action Step - Break Your Pattern:
Clean out your closet. If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. Look at the things in your life, the stuff you hold onto, put it in a box and donate it. Clear your bookshelves. Empty your garage. What are you holding on to? Identify it. Let it go. See what happens and what you discover. Who are you when you clean out your metaphoric closet?
Check out David's Company Truly Powerful.
We hope you enjoyed week 3, see you next week!
-The en*theos Team