Gone fishing PDF Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Monday, 26 September 2016 17:48
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It’s the Bronnie’s 14th birthday and I’m going to throw you some lines about fishing. It starts with a young fisherman, down on his luck, who saw an old fisherman downstream, pulling in one fish after another.

Every time he caught a fish, he would measure it with a broken-off ruler. Should the fish be bigger than the ruler, he’d throw it back into the stream. The young guy went up to him and asked what he was doing.

The old fisherman replied, “That broken-off ruler is exactly the size of the frying pan I use to cook the fish.”

So, girlfriend, you may get an amazing idea, your big fish, but then pull out measuring devices, such as your bank balance or your education, and use them to decide whether the idea fits into your circumstances.

Can I afford it? Do I have the time? Do I know enough? Mary Morrissey says that these questions are your equivalence of a frying pan – the limitations you’ve created for yourself. You take that big, beautiful fish and toss it back into the stream and say: “Give me an idea that I can fit into the frying pan of the life I’ve been living.”

Most of us have a frying-pan-way of looking at ourselves and the world. It holds us back from creating a life we truly love, but we don’t know how to stop limiting ourselves.

Martha Beck says that the way to live your life fully is not what we’ve been taught in Western culture, which is always some flavour of ‘try harder’.

“It’s not your problems that have to shrink, it’s that your consciousness must expand,” she writes.

Martha says that there is a more intuitive way in which to make sound decisions from a place of expanded awareness and then confidently navigate any challenge you face in life. It’s like this: You have to do the opposite of what you’ve been taught: Suspend your rational intellect in favour of a more heart-based approach.

She says that real wisdom is so different from what’s been drilled into us by most authority figures that we tend to go functionally blind to it. There are three ways to recognise your inner wisdom: Firstly, it is sensory, not verbal.

The voice of social conditioning shows up as a stream of thoughts, while wisdom often appears as emotions or physical sensations in the body. “If you’re wondering whether a choice is wise or not, don’t search your mind for a rational argument. Instead, hold each option in your attention, then feel its effect on your body and emotions. When something’s wrong for you, you’ll feel constriction and tightness. The wise choice leads to feelings of liberation, even exhilaration.”

Secondly, wisdom is calm, not fearful. “If you’re waiting for wisdom to outscream paranoia, get comfortable. It’s gonna be a long wait,” Martha says. She suggests that you might want to regard the thought stream in your brain as nothing more than annoying background noise. It helps to take deep breaths. As you begin to relax, you’ll find yourself guided to do unexpected things, such as just resting. Imagine that!

Thirdly, wisdom is chosen, not forced. From infancy we’re trained by adults who can force us to cooperate. As part of the social contract, we’ve learned to repress who we are and this repression continued at school and in situations at work and also when we buy into trends and fashion.

As opposed to force, your inner wisdom knocks gently, then waits to be invited in. While fear gladly forces itself upon you, wisdom will do nothing of the kind. “We can’t be victims of wisdom: It must be chosen,” says Martha.

I sincerely hope that it’s wisdom we’ve been choosing over the past 14 years of the Bronnie’s existence. I can tell you that paranoia has screamed loudly, that social conditioning kept rearing its ugly head and that force has threatened. Repeatedly. Still, I’d like to think that we’ve never fallen hook, line and sinker for fashion and trends. The Bronnie is a different kettle of fish.

We plan to keep reeling in the big ones in the years to come and if they don’t fit into our frying pan, well, then we will just pickle them. Curried, pickled and preserved salutations to you, dearest girlfriend. Here’s to the next 14 years.

Keep watching this space. All is fish that comes to this net.

 

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