16. Thinking in Possibility: filling the void with your lighthouseOct 27, 2022
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It can be hard to know what you want,
when you don't believe that you get to create what you want.
That you have permission.
When so often, what you wanted (to do, be, say, not say) has been “wrong”;
And when over-adapting has been hard enough, so anything bigger, better, brighter, beyond, carries the fear that it will require more burnout, more over-adapting;
When saying YES to yourself and TRUSTING those instincts has led to rejection.
But here's the thing;
When you don’t identify what you want to create in this life, intimately, clearly, desirously…
then you end up re-creating either:
- your past
- what other people want for you
- what already is.
To know what you want to create, means to start thinking beyond the probability of What Is.
To no longer delegate your thinking to your past, statistics, other people, current circumstances...
To know what you want to create, means to think in Possibility.
To fill that void of what could be, with intentional decisions.
And to trust it.
Because your fully expressed self is seeded in that void BEYOND probability.
That void is dark matter potency; is potential universe; is potential YOU.
When you recognise the potent power of that void to invoke the unexpressed parts of you, you can use it to KNOW (sense listen, feel, connect to) what you want to create.
And as Rumi said: what you are seeking is seeking you.
You wouldn’t want it, if it wasn’t possible.
Those desires are in you for a reason.
Thinking in that possibility is the first step to REALising things beyond your current circumstances,
and realising the fullness of who you are inside - on the outside.
In this week’s podcast episode, I share a story to illustrate this point, and invite you to THINK in possibility.
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Hey, siblings. So last week's episode was about taking up full ownership of being the director, the playwright and the main character in the play, that is your life on the stage of your life, right? Today's what happens, when you step out on that stage, you make that decision to change things up, to take responsibility, take ownership, and then you find out that you don't know what you want. So that's what I want to talk about today. So what happens when you don't know what you want, or when you do know, but it's kind of vague, and you've got no idea where to start. And if you try to explain it or describe it, you wouldn't be able to do it in a very tangible way. Okay. And the reason it's important to know what you want, is because the deep desires seeded in you, if you've connected with them, with knowing what you want, right? They those will pull you through all of that hard, messy work, all of that courageous sorting out of your stage in your play in your life. So knowing what you want, and being connected with a desire for that thing that you want to create, becomes like a guiding source of decision making clarity. Okay. And this topic has come about because recently, I did a free training on visibility, and how to be more visible for the creative work that you want to do in the world, why we aren't getting more visible, and how to get into the mindset of being willing and being able to put yourself out in the world. Right. And leading up to that I was posting to you in the discord those of you that are in there, you know this, I was posting different questions, different prompts inviting you to reflect to respond on why visibility is so hard, right? What's the problem? What makes it difficult? What where's the resistance? And people? You siblings in the discord knew intimately? And exactly what the problem was? Right? You could articulate it really well, those of you that posted. And when you did post, there was a lot of resonance from others in the group. And a lot of familiarity and a lot of yes, this Yes, same. Right. We know what the problem is, we know what's hard. And I'll do another podcast on visibility if you missed all of this, but my point is that the problem the problems that we have, the circumstances that we're trying to solve, we know a lot about right, were intimate with it. And when I posted, what do you want to create, like, what would visibility give you? Why do you want it? It was almost silence. It was like
nothing, or what was posted was kind of vague, right? It's a little bit vague. And people didn't have much to say or we're afraid to really share what they do want. Okay. And this isn't bad. This isn't that something's gone wrong. This is just that we're human, that we don't spend a lot of time actively pouring our energy and attention into things that we run into the big dream into something that we deeply desire to create, right into a future that we want that we would love to experience. Why because that is beyond what we've already experienced. It's beyond what we know. Right? It's it's unknown. It's an unknown It's, and it's not that we don't know what we want. It's just that it's over there beyond what our brain is familiar with and comfortable with what we're familiar and comfortable with what we know, is our past. We know what options have been readily represented to us, right? We know what other people think is possible for us. We know what our current life is, we know what we've done before. We know what is statistically likely for us, right? We know how much we may were able to make things happen that we wanted in the past, which may or may not have been a lot, right? We know how it felt to want something and not get it. We know how much we had a goal, but didn't have the tools to follow through. Right? So we know a lot of what is and what has been, and what people think is possible. Right? So what is quote unquote, realistic, what's already been realised. And your brain likes to stay there in the known in what I want to call probability, okay. So when you're thinking about what you do want what you want to create, then what you don't want to do is thinking probability, right? So when we're thinking in probability where our brain likes to stay, where we're really familiar, where we're really comfortable, where we're very well acquainted with the problems, where we know how to articulate what's happening, when we think in that probability, what happens then is you create meaning from that about what your future is going to be. And then you act according to that. And then you end up recreating the past, you recreate your current life, you recreate what others people think, what other people think is possible for you, you recreate statistics, right, you recreate what is realistic, what is in probability. So our thinking determines so much of how we experience and feel about ourselves in our lives. And the meaning that we give to to those experiences. And so, if your current life, if your past if that thinking and probability hasn't fully acknowledged who you really are, what you really want, what the experiences that your body offers up to you are, what your true sensations are, right? How you actually experience your life, how you make sense of it in a way that comes naturally. If all of that hasn't been acknowledged. Then when you're thinking and probability, those also remain unexpressed in your thinking, right? Those unexpressed parts, the potential of who you could be, when you have the support, when you have the acknowledgement, when you are affirmed when you get to do it your way, right? All of that potential, and the possibility that your future offers when you aren't thinking that way. We need to allow that to be expressed in order in order for us to truly know what we want to create, okay. So when we're being realistic, when we're thinking probability than we were, then we're not listening to that we're not hearing those parts of ourselves. So who we're here to be, in our fully fullest expressed version, right? Doesn't get a look in it doesn't get to speak into that future. So knowing what you want to create means giving space to that potential to that possibility.
Even though it's beyond it's outside of what you know, okay, it's outside and beyond of probability. So it means spending time and energy and attention for possibility, even when our thinking is that it's not realistic. Okay, we have to go there. So, I want to go on a tangent now and tell a bit of a story. Some of you have heard this before, if you have only to just really listen through the lens of knowing what you want. So when I was in my want to say, when was it maybe 2010 onwards, I started to work as an artist working galleries giving workshops. Back then there was a lot of public funding for the big galleries to have this kind of educational provision, right, there was the, this idea that art is for everyone. And so a lot of the galleries would roll out these programmes that would bring people into the gallery. And then they'd engage artists to lead workshops. And a lot of the workshops that I was doing, were with school groups. And this was a steep learning curve, but it was also an opportunity for me to really figure out and play and try things. Essentially, it was like you're an artist, here's your group do your thing, and not much else. And so there was a lot of freedom, right, there was a lot of choices that I got to make about how I did those workshops. And what I want went into that thinking was, I want to create a space that is different. And that is affirming for all of the ways of thinking that are outside of mainstream education. Now, I couldn't have articulated that at the time, I at the time didn't have the lens of being autistic as an option for considering how I saw myself, I didn't know there wasn't neuro diversity, there wasn't this idea of neuro diversity, really, there wasn't anything in my own thinking that put me within that lens. Okay. So what I did have was a hunch that there were other ways of being that there were other ways of thinking and expressing and other languages. And that's what I wanted to give space to, right. So in these workshops, so through doing them over and over again, and at the same time making my own art, what it came to was a methodology for how to invite other ways of being, and creativity and imagination into that workshop very quickly. And so what I want to do on this podcast is, is share that methodology, but also share a story around it. Really, this is all about thinking and possibility. So what I used to do is I would take take this group, the group that I got, and I would take them on a workshop that I called, I eventually called the lighthouse. And this was one that I ended up then just it just was my weapon that this was the thing I did. And so yeah, so I take a group to a pair of locked doors in one of the galleries I worked in, that were the same colour as the walls, they were doors that you weren't really supposed to look at, right? It was like, don't look at these doors, these this is staff or storage or something like that they were locked, it was not somewhere for the public to go or look at. Right. So the things that people don't look at the invisible, I wanted us to go and look at that. And I take them to these locked doors, and I'd say in a very hushed voice that would make them come bit closer and say, These are the doors to the lighthouse. And the way in is through closing your eyes. Right? So I'd I'd invite them to close their eyes and then enter the lighthouse in their imagination. And I'd give them a moment and then I'd say and then I'd ask them a bunch of questions. What is it like inside? How does it feel? Is it hot? Is it cold? Is it warm? Is it inviting? Is it cosy? Is it spacious? Is that light? Is it dark? Is there loads of stuff with the spouse? Are you alone?
Are there people there windows? What's going on? How does it feel? What's your Lighthouse like? And without fail, everyone could tell me what their lighthouse was like, and they were all wildly different. And some were really interesting, some made people laugh. But essentially just allowing that possibility and outlining this absence space created what I would call a projecting space, right? So their imagination, it was a void, it created a void. And so whenever you create a void, your brain doesn't like it, it projects into it, right? It projects imagines stuff, to fill that void. So this became my methodology for making art myself for come up with ideas, but also for invoking the imagination in other people was just to outline an absence to point to or refer to or generate some kind of void some kind of inaccessible thing that we know that we could refer to right. So other examples would be 'my neighbour'. Okay, so if I say my neighbour, your brain will, will want to try and fill that up, right, we'll try to try and fill in the gaps. Who is that neighbour? Like can you might start to imagine another example is the future, the future is this void. We have no idea, right? We have no idea what the future involves. But we like to project into it using our imagination, right? We project stuff. Another example is, if you think about when the media or political propaganda invents an enemy overseas, right? So something bad, right, someone bad, some bad agenda. And so invoking fear, and then projecting all of your imagination into worst case scenarios. We can also think about web three, web three is another example of Well currently is just like cyberspace was of a space that we don't actually know what the technology could create, we don't actually know what's possible. And so you have a lot of different fractions of society of projecting their ideas of what that means of what it's going to be of what web three will bring to bear. Right. So all of those are, voids are unknown absence, or unknown, unknown unknowns are outlined absences, right. And I also think of marginalised bodies in this way, right, as a kind of outsider, absent bodies that have had things projected onto them, right. So the autistic body is an example of that, it's like, I don't understand this thing, I'm going to project meaning onto it. So and then that meaning projected onto it, effectively makes it stay invisible. And when we reclaim it, when we reclaim that, that imaginative space, as a space of possibility of dark matter, potency, of imagination, and we get to reimagine it, right, we get to re redefine it, we get to project what we would want it to mean. So, so that's what I would do. And so they would end up very quickly in a matter of minutes with a very clear experience of what of the inside of their lighthouse. And the most made possible because they knew didn't have to be realistic. Right? We're not sticking to what is known what is possible, if I'd got them all to sit down and draw a lighthouse, they would have all drawn very similar things, right. So what this meant was that they all had a very unique experience of the interior of their lighthouse that was coming with it was an enabling some part of them to be expressed. And then what we would do is, I would say, move around, right? And get them to physically move around a little bit, how does it feel to move around it. And now we would open our eyes and go looking and hunting and searching for remnants clues, hints of their lighthouses, in the artworks on display. So people would find out this colour, this colour, this colour, or this shape, or this object or this texture. And they would collect them along the way, right, take pictures or whatever it was, or drawing or whatever materials that we were using. And then eventually, we would
recreate them using acetate or using some clear materials and paper, and then project those lighthouses onto the wall, and then they got to stand inside them. So the reason I'm saying that is because yeah, if we all if I'd started by saying draw a lighthouse, they will draw what they think is correct, and what a realistic idea of a lighthouse should be right? When we allow for not having to be constrained by being realistic. When we create a void, then something else gets to exist, something that is yet to be expressed. So And just to finish the story, one of the things that then happen in one of those workshops, where I was trying to create these spaces where other languages other ways of being in a body could exist. What happened in one of those workshops was that a group of autistic teenagers from especially school that no longer exists I came, and were participants in one of my workshops. And they were around the age of 13, 14. And it was in that workshop that I saw myself in them that it first dawned on me, or maybe, maybe I'm autistic too, right. So. And the reason that that was happening was because this group was being fully supported by their teacher and by the, the adults that they were with, to learn in the ways that they need to learn to express in the ways that they needed to, to do things in the way that they needed to do to do it. So one student was non-speaking or prefer not to speak. I don't know which and every now and then they would suddenly be on the floor, scribbling in their notebook, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack writing, writing, writing. And much to my surprise, the whole group would just stop and pause and wait. And then when they'd finish writing, they'd stand up and someone would read out their their writing, right, and then we would carry on, or them, or the students were right up close up front, at the front of the group with me asking loads of questions, asking for more context. Why is this? Why is this here? What's that decision? Why are you saying that? What does this word mean? And so in, using that, void of the workshop that I had been offered, like, here's your, here's your hour and a half, do what you want. And in using that as a space to explore the unexpressed parts of me, I then it the things that I was trying to create then became possible, right, I started to see them and then full circle moment, they came right up front, visible, realised materially realised as other people that I could then see myself in because they were being fully expressed because they were expressing the things that I was trying to find a language for. So I'm saying all of that, because Oh, and sidenote, those locked doors are now the entrance to the to the big tower. So this so this gallery is Tate Modern, I don't know if you know it, if you don't know it, it's like, it used to be an old sugar like colonial sugar processing factory by Tate and Lyle, it's now called Tate Modern. And it's got this huge tower. And at the time, the tower was inaccessible, like you couldn't go in. Now you can go in and you can go to the top when you can look out. So those locked doors then got built out and became the entrance into the tower, which I think is another interesting full circle moment. Anyway, so what I'm trying to offer is that when you allow for that possibility to be expressed, that is when you start to hear and you start to allow and you start to invite what you deeply truly actually want to create, that hasn't yet had space within the thinking. That is based on on probability when you lift off and allow that when you lift off being realistic, and don't impose being realistic, even if it's just for a little bit. You also take the discomfort out of thinking, impossibility, right? So there's no wrong answers.
There's no There's no need to think about how you don't need to know how yet. You also take off caring what other people think just for a moment, right? So when you're allowing yourself to dream beyond what's so called realistic, and you're just thinking possibility you're thinking about my future isn't unknown, that I get to create, what could it be and allowing yourself to dream? Then it becomes about what's not impossible, what's in me that is wanting to come out and be expressed and be realised? What is asking me to steward it into fruition? What sides of myself have I not yet met? What is it that I could make happen if I went all in on that possibility? So the same is true of your future. The same is true of the best friend you haven't met yet. The same is true of the business that you started or the artwork that you created or the life that you crafted, right. You have no idea When you allow for yourself to have no idea when you allow for that void, then you can also allow for parts of you to sing into that, and project into that. The unexpressed parts of your experience of yourself and of your potential. So my invitation to you is to go and explore your known unknown, that is your future. So who is that? Who is you? Who are you in the future? What are you doing? Who might you want to be? If you could choose anything, right? If you could literally go and buy off the shelf? Or press a button? Right, what and you could design it, what would you choose? So allowing for that conversation, allowing for those squashed and suppressed desires? To have a voice is a really important component of knowing what you want? We find out when we do this, that we do know what we want, right? When when we say okay, don't have to be realistic. If I could choose anything, what would it be? Then we find out that we know exactly what we want. We we just think it's unrealistic. Or we can't see how. So we smother it, we push it down, we defer it, we it's just that we don't yet have the full belief. We are habituated to thinking in probability. And when you lift that off for a minute, and you allow yourself to dream impossibility, yeah, you're not going to have the full belief yet. But it's important to go there anyway. So next week, we'll get into committing to possibility when you don't yet have belief. The My invitation to you is to allow yourself to be in that space of possibility without imposing what's realistic without imposing probability on it yet, so that you can connect with what you do desire, what you do really want to make happen, what you want to create, and start to have a relationship with it. If I could have anything that I wanted, if I could create anything I wanted, what would it be, start to allow that to materialise in you, as a set of hunches as a vague sense of Oh, yeah, there's something there. There's something that it's pulling into it, there's something there that is calling to me, and then start to keep an eye out for those clues for those remnants for those hints, and collect them. This resonates, I don't know why. But I like it. I'm collecting it. This image I've come across, this resonates. I'm collecting this thing that someone's doing in the world that resonates or something along that along those lines and collecting it, right. So start to collect the things that resonate with that, that thing that you're desiring that possibility that you've allowed to have a voice. And in the next episode, we will explore committing to that possibility even when you don't yet believe. Okay, and I'll talk to you then. Bye.
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