I’ve been working over the last couple of weeks on assignments needed to complete a training course. Two of them were actually handicrafts tasks somehow and I don’t consider myself very good at that but I aimed to do a good job. So I thought about it a bit, having clear that I wanted to be creative, colourful & personal. I also said to myself: ‘I am going to look through boxes & drawers and I am going to do it by using the materials that I find available here at home.’ Initially I thought that this was not going to be enough, that I would be short of something, that this other type of paper or crayons would work better than what I had. However, I stuck to my initial feeling, choosing to focus in what I had instead of looking at what I was short of.
Within the jewels I dug out was that color paper I used to use (years ago now, and I am sorry to say that) to write long letters to my family and friends while being away form home. I also recovered those flowers that I cut from magazines, I don’t know with which purpose. The nail varnish with glittered pink stars that was already to dense to be used. And the 20 color range of thick felt-tip pen. And the watercolors. And that photo album that someone got me once and that was not being used…
So I placed everything on the table, on the carpet, on the sofa, on my desk… In order to serve my purpose, my workshop was all over the living room, and there I was holding a pair of scissors in one hand and the glue in the other. I started to draw sketches, cutting & pasting, taking pictures to record the steps forward so I could also share it all with Nick, as he was not at home and was enquiring for reports every evening.
I was very please with the final result, feeling proud of myself. I still had that familiar feeling that I’ve could done better with a little bit more of time. But that trap is irrelevant, of course. The important thing is my accomplishment, utilising what I had at my disposal & according to my original purpose.
Then I was driving, on my way to meet my fellow students, thinking about all this, and I visualised the analogy: ‘This is like when I explain to people what is coaching; a way to make people realise that all the answers lie within, that they have an amazing potential and that working through coaching means precisely bringing up to life that potential, digging out those inner resources that were left in storage to develop them, becoming like that the best version of themselves.’
It truly works like that. My English can become richer if I read more or if I interact verbally with native speakers; my risotto can get nicer every time I cook it; that twisted yoga posture can be more accessible to me the more I practice it. Whatever I want to achieve is right there at my reach. It is just a matter of time, investing enthusiasm, dedication and will. Obviously I could become a cooking star if I could join a prestigious catering Parisian school; or an advanced yogi if I was isolated under hours of supervision in an Indian ashram; or I could speak 5 languages if my parents were born in different countries or if they decided to send me to a Swiss boarding school. However, I do have more than enough. I already own a treasure chest, and we all do: my own resources are there, my abilities, my drive, my determination. Why focusing in what I am short of when I have so much available?
Thanks to my dear travelling friends I’ve discovered this amazing street percussionist, who becomes the perfect example to illustrate this post. I wonder if Stewart Copeland (the best drummer of contemporary pop according to some people) would be able to get so much out of that bunch of tins & plastic bottles.
‘Put everything you are in the smallest thing you do’, Pessoa said. There is no need to look out there. Everything lies inside.
“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.”
'Stream of life' by Rabindranath Tagore