Truth, Myth, Perspective and Fluidity
30th December, 2017
Did you know?
Goldfish have a memory far more than 2 seconds and more like a few months.
Dinosaurs were not made extinct by an asteroid, they are all around you in the form of birds.
The Earth isn’t flat, the tooth fairy is a mythical character… Oh and your head is not the sole location of your brain.
Things aren’t always as we believe. How many moments in your life can you remember discovering that what you once thought to be true was in fact no longer the case?
You may initially only recall the blinding moments of shock – mind blowing times your belief patterns were shattered so significantly it required a major realignment in your way of knowing the world.
Dig a little deeper of course and we discover there are many times our sense of reality is shifted…
If we allow it to be! … and there’s the rub…
We need to be open-minded and open / hearted aware that our perspective is guaranteed to be at best incomplete.
How curious we are and how happy we are to be proven wrong can make the difference between discovery and delusion.
Let’s take knowledge as an example…
Studies show that 60% of information is forgotten within and hour of acquisition… and up to 90% within a year unless we embody it through revisiting and applying it.
Knowledge decays with time and is dependent upon how much attention we were paying in the first place.
Modalities such as NLP highlight this: We distort, delete and generalise to make sense of our experiences.
Our selective “rememberings” are dubious at best!
Thank goodness then for Google – there to provide the latest rendition of selected facts and one of the mechanisms we have for outsourcing much of our memory – we no longer need to learn things by rote, leaving space for creative pursuits.
Sadly we can’t always rely upon an external significant incident to jolt us out of our conditioned thinking. Mindset is something we can find ourselves inadvertently fixed in – even the term “Mind Set” suggests a fixed point of view… “State of Mind” on the other hand offers wriggle room and let’s face it, opinions about people, places and situations are best kept fluid.
It’s risky to remain rigid in our stance, some might describe steadfast views as strength, but with science and technology expanding and rewriting our awareness daily – liquidity of mind and the ability to unlearn could be more powerful than we ever knew.
I love the following quote from Gary Soucie that featured in The Smithsonian in 1973 (I came across this quote in an article written by Tony Plant for Patagonia called the Cleanest Line):
“The real conflict of the beach is not between sea and shore […] but between Man and Nature. On the beach, Nature has achieved a dynamic equilibrium that is alien to Man and his static sense of equilibrium. Once a line has been established, whether it be a shoreline or a property line, Man unreasonably expects it to stay put”
Soucie talks about something he calls “dynamic equilibrium” an awesome term relating to the transitional nature of all systems.
The littoral zone is space that reflects this well and there is no coincidence that during coastal coaching we might explore terms such as littoral wisdom and liquid ontology – each indicators of a preference for flux (or dynamic equilibrium as Soucie puts it).
We, like a coastline, are meant to evolve and adapt, experience a range of energetic states and enter times of growth and reflection. Variability is an inbuilt quality within the human psyche and learning to let go of fixed ideas creates opportunity for growth, insight and wisdom.
With the fast pace of information available to us, we can experience an imbalance between up time (this is referred to by Wallace J Nichols as Red Mind) vs reflection, mindfulness, simply taking time to be (Blue Mind).
Our knowledge becomes rigid… the way we know the world and ourselves leads to statements such as “oh that’s just me”. If we grasp the concept of neuroplasticity (our brains as growing and adaptive systems) we can acknowledge that our thoughts take physical form. This awareness can enable us to nurture progressive thoughts and prune back outdated and less healthy ideas…. as a result leading to wiser actions.
And so it comes to Goal Setting… It is after all the cusp of the year / start of a new lap around the sun. Some Goals will benefit from having deadlines and being “well formed” in terms of specific deliverables… When it comes to the more influential goals… such as “What sort of person would you like to be next year, day to day?”, you may like to check in with the core qualities of “compassion, creativity and courage”. These are moment to moment temperature gauges for whether we are living wisely. They allow for shifts and changes in territory and climate, centring and rebalancing us to create positive trajectories for life.
So I invite you to wake up each morning and ask yourself “How will I bring my most compassionate, creative and courageous self to the day?” Give it a go – See what difference it makes.
In truth, there is no truth, the myths we create are imaginings, perspective is simply a fleeting navigation point and fluidity is everything… Your life is live streaming right here and right now. I wish you an enlightening 2018 – Forget lots, remember selectively, unlearn readily and learn openly!
Sea you in the littoral zone!