I arrived in Jacksonville, Florida early last December heart-broken, beaten-down and confused. I then proceeded to spend the next 3 & ½ months there, in some of the most lonely, depressed, desperate and intensely self-hating mind-storms of my life. But, I think that I needed that.
The other perspective is – I went to Jacksonville from New Orleans with the explicit clear understanding & intention that I needed to take some serious time for self-reflection, integration, and personal clarity for my future. And as painfully agonizing as the process was for me at times, that was what I got.
Some of the products of this process, you have already seen here in this blog – my rantings & ravings about last year, as well as my dreams & ambitions for a new kind of group. Other things came to me as particular phrases.
There’s this quote that I found by Carl Rogers, “Learning goes on best, lasts bests, and tends to lead itself on more, when it grows from a real focus of interest in the learner.” That really hit me. This explains every boring fucked-up robot, as well as every amazing lively genius. What it means, for me, is – at any given moment, each person has a focus and an interest. They may not be aware of what they are focusing on, nor may their interest be a conscious one at the moment. But these all can be found. The very notion of finding this excites me, and captivates me with the potential.
Then there’s the phrase & understanding that I call “concision and the consolidation of meaning”. That is, taking all the wordy, obtuse, heady shit, all the running-off-at-the-mouth, and consolidating it, making it compact & concise. This may result in far less talking - but the talking that *does* happen is far more potent & meaningful. I notice that I tend to talk a bunch when I am nervous, or when I am not that clear on what I want. Keeping this principle in mind could perhaps counter-act that. I also notice that there is a discernable felt-difference between not speaking out of shyness vs. not speaking out of wanting to consolidate attention & meaning.
Which brings up another point – the “felt-difference” thing. That’s important. I know that I’ve been ranting about this shit for years now, preaching the wonders of “Focusing” and what-not, but I really get it now! In other words, I see how whenever I go towards things “looking” a certain way, I get lost, hurt, and confused. But when I go towards things “feeling a certain way”, that that is a reliable guide, that things usually work out for the best then. If things feel freeing, connecting, true to me, then that feels good and it tends to work out well also. If I go into anything feeling apprehensive, shitty, uncertain, sad, scared or self-hating – then it won’t work out. I’ve seen this all happen over and over a million times now. I need to talk more with my own inner guide.
Dove-tailing into another point here – when I am wanting to know exactly what to do next, where to go, how, who, when, etc!! “I already know what I want, I’m just not in touch with it at the moment.” This phrase I find to be a real blow to my ego, in an odd kind of way. As well as stimuli for pausing & shutting up. My mind goes around & around & around, and through telling myself this phrase, things get quiet. Oh.