Tales of the Unexpected #2

Since my last post, I’ve been to my weekly musical theatre lesson, trained in the pool, completed another powerlifting session and been out sprint training. Since my last post, I’ve also added some new questions to my original list and the answers are eye-opening (and heart-and-mind-opening too 🙂 )

My new list of questions is:

  1. How old do you feel right now?
  2. What makes you say that?
  3. Who or what are you being when you’re doing this?
  4. Where are you really when you’re doing this?

When I’m adventuring, I ask these questions and I wait for an answer to pop into my head, which usually comes in the form of an image (in NLP we call this an IR or an internal representation).

Question 3 is what you might call an ‘identity enquiry’. The more expansive your identity (compare ‘I’m just a mum’, a restricted identity, with ‘I can grow human beings in my own body’, an expansive identity), the more ‘freedom to move’ in life you might experience. So, let’s say your body is physically capable of lifting a certain weight, but at an identity level you see yourself as ‘just a wee scrawny thing’, your identity is likely to trump your capability. This means you may fail at the lift, even though you  have the ability to do it. In short, an expansive identity stacks the deck in your favour! (You can find more info on the significance of identity and the NLP Logical Levels model here and here.)

Question 4 might give me more clues about the motivation behind each of my adventures. The answers to this question might also let me know if I’m ‘trapped’ somewhere in my personal history.

So, what do I know now that I didn’t know a few days ago? *Spoiler Alert* MY MIND IS BLOWN! Here’s what came up for me:

Musical Theatre / Performing
1. I’m 16 years old (the year ‘the Call to Adventure‘ was probably at its loudest).
2. I can see myself in my school uniform, wearing a mulberry-coloured jumper. I wore that in my final year of secondary school.
3. I’m the universe. (Now that’s what I call expansive!) In fact, I’m the multiverse. I’m everything at once. I’m old. I’m young. I’m at the beginning, the middle and the end of all possibilities – all at the same time. I’m swirling galaxies all about me … riding supernovae …. #SuperCool #OutOfThisWorld No wonder I feel so alive when I’m singing or storytelling or performing!
4. I’m really in a tiny church on the outskirts of Coventry. It’s a hot afternoon. I’m performing a recorder solo (that was ‘my instrument’) – treble. I’m playing Bononcini followed by Telemann. It’s all in a minor key. I love minor keys. My body is in the church, but I’ve played myself out of my body and into deep space! The memory is vivid now. I was reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while rehearsals were going on. It was my last school concert. In fact, it was the very last time I played solo recorder in concert. It was the very last time I let ‘The Call’ tempt me. #ShouldHaveFollowedIt. I can’t find what I was playing, but it would have been something like this:

1. I’m not me, but who I am being is in their late teens / early 20s.
2. (See the next answer. #CuriouserAndCuriouser)
3. I’m being my father or the part of me that is my father.
4. I’m really doing rather well in a muddy  cross-country race. I’m running like the wind. (My dad narrowly missed securing a GB vest. He went on to become a very talented long-distance runner and was also very difficult to keep up with on the football pitch. Now in his 70s, he’s still really physically active and in rude health). I think it’s a perfect memory to be ‘trapped’ in for my sprinting adventure – even if it isn’t exactly my own!

1. I’m a teenager.
2. I can see my Adidas trainers! They’re white with green stripes. #SuperTrendy
3. I’m being a total failure, even though I’m trying really hard. I’m tiny and everyone else is big. I’m weak and everyone else is strong and powerful.
4. I’m really on the school sports field. It’s sports day. I’ve volunteered to do the events that no one else will because I want to help out Streather, my house. (We’re not a sporty house at all. Raison is the sporty house and Bennel is the clever house. We’re the ‘misfit’ house.) I fail on the first attempt at the high jump (I collapse UNDER the bar), come last in the long jump, and nearly drop the shot on my foot. I feel humiliated and I decide that the sports field is not for me. #TrueStory (This is really good information. I’m finding the powerlifting the hardest and I’ve no doubt the younger me could do with a bit of help breaking out of this memory!)

1. I’m 12 or 13.
2. I have the haircut I had then – a Purdey cut.
3. An Olympic hopeful. (Yep! You read that right).
4. I’m really poolside with David Wilkie (Olympic breaststroker). ‘ had my picture taken with him at the Pingles in Nuneaton. He toured schools in the late 70s and early 80s, inspiring children to take up swimming as a sport. (So I’m not trapped in that humiliating butterfly experience I’ve mentioned before; I’m actually at the beginning of a BIG dream. Just happens that the dream got ‘cut down’ before I really got going. The energy is still there though. And I’m going to use it! In fact, it’s probably what I feel when I’m doing my recovery sessions in the pool right now: it’s a feeling of alignment, of purpose and of drive – even though I’m just swimming for recovery!)

(And just out of interest) Writing
1. I’m as old as time itself.
2. I’m watching the universe get made. (I get to see the best things!)
3. I’m the Song of all Things. (I feel very emotional writing those words – and I have used those words in one of my new stories). Good to have such an expansive writing identity! I LOVE it 🙂
4. I’m really at the very beginning of time, watching the moon get hung in the sky. (Really. I was actually there.) I’m seeing the beginning of every story that will ever get told.

So it looks like I’m mostly stacking the deck in my favour, although I have a little work to do for my powerlifting adventure!I’m also beginning to see some of the ‘why’ behind this year’s adventures. I’m going to let the insights settle – and see what comes up next. And you? What answers come up for you when you ask these questions about your daily work, your passions, your interests – and even the things you don’t really enjoy? 

I’m just going outside and may be some time.

JT 🙂