Offerings, Gifts, and Invitations
There's a larger design
If I were to describe Turkey in a sentence, I’d say it’s a country where the logic matches the emotion.
It’s evening time, and I am catching an Uber home. My Uber driver is from Turkey. He lives between Bristol and a town in Turkey close to Cyprus. We speak about the experience of living between two places. He says:
Living between places, you can love so much about each one, and sometimes your heart can hold it. Other times, it feels split in two.
When you’re in one place, you miss the other. Sometimes, both places are present and then other times, you feel deep down there is something else that matters.
We live in such a beautiful world. Each day, we get to see all of these things unfold before us. It’s a miracle. And it is easy to forget, easy to get distracted. We forget to look inside of ourselves and that’s what helps us see the world and engage with it in a meaningful way.
I look out the window at the limestone houses and the people walking the streets. Earlier in the day, I hit a wall.
I have been in Bristol for nearly a month now. The rose-coloured glasses I had on when I first arrived are starting to get a bit smudged. I am questioning what I am doing. At a stage in life where I want to feel things converging, coming together to create a sense of coherence, I sometimes feel this phase as one of divergence. Instead of things cohering I feel so much movement. I am back and forth between two places. My world feels like it is getting bigger and I have more and more questions.
Then I started to doubt myself.
Later that evening, I went to the cinema, which is something I rarely do. I felt I needed a shift in my headspace to step out of my life and into someone else’s for a few hours. After the film, I caught an Uber home.
The Uber arrives. It’s another black Mercedes. I get in. The driver greets me.
Where are you from? He has a British accent - but there’s an extra note to it I can’t quite detect. It sounds more melodic. But, maybe that’s just him.
The United States, I said.
Portland, Oregon. Do you know it?
No, but I’ve heard about it before. I am also a foreigner.
Where are you from?
I’ve never been, but I really want to visit.
He is full of energy. I get the sense that he has a zest for life and is also connected to some source beneath the surface that I can feel but can’t quite see. There’s a levity and depth about him.
Sometimes, I drive to Turkey and stop through Switzerland, Italy… I am a gipsy at heart.
I love seeing different parts of our world.
I do, too. I said.
Sometimes I just feel a bit lonely.
Thirty seconds later, we arrived at my Airbnb.
He stops the car and turns around.
You’re never alone, dear. For the first time I see his face, its kind, and full of lines, like a well-used map.
Inside your soul is vast; there is a grand design behind all of this, and the designer is with you each step of the way. You’re never alone.
I pause. I am a bit caught off guard. An Uber driver, or stranger for that matter, has never said something like this to me. Thank you.
Take care, dear.
Thank you, have a good night.
I get out, close the car door, and walk toward the front steps of the flat where I am staying.
It’s dark out, but I feel a glow within me.
Maybe there’s a grand design behind all of this, even on the days when I feel a bit off-kilter.
What's an unusual encounter lately or experience you’ve had lately?
If there were an invitation within this experience what would it be?
What I’m Reading:
Psychotherapy of the Lived Space: A Phenomenological and Ecological Concept, by Thomas Fuchs
We each inhabit a lived space, a pre-reflective and implicit way of living with others. The lived space is the totality of the space in which we pre-reflectively live and experience. The space is centred on our body and characterized by proximity, distance, connection or separation, attainability or unattainability and symbolic boundaries that shape how we move through the world and engage with others. The lived space is also shaped by forces such as attraction, repulsion, elasticity and resistance. All of this may sound familiar to some of you, as it is similar to processwork’s notion of edges.
According to Fuch’s, phenomenology seeks to help the practitioner or therapist perceive and understand what it is like to be the client. In the article, he explores views of the unconscious, the interactive field of change within the psychotherapeutic relationship and more.
The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey
I have heard about this book for several years and am finally reading it. Gallwey speaks about the inner game and the outer game and how the two inform each other. He offers insight into where we can put our attention and how we can speak to ourselves to concentrate and perform better.
Strategic Questioning Manual, by Fran Peavey
‘Questioning is a basic tool for rebellion. It breaks open the stagnant hardened shells of the present, revealing ambiguity and opening up fresh options to be explored’ (p. 2)
In this manual, Fran Peavey illuminates the power of asking questions. She describes strategic questions as holding the ability to ‘uncover desires of the heart’ and surface new information rather than reiterate what is already known. Strategic questions foster dynamic listening, which can draw us toward organic possibilities for the future. Over the course of 30 pages, Peavey offers sample questions and insights into how and when one may bring strategic questioning.
Saturdays: November 25th, December 2nd and 9th, 9:00-11:00 am AEDT
One way to connect with the ‘larger design’ behind your life is through working with our life myth and biography. Each of us carries a unique constellation that shapes our perception and behaviour.
Join Rose Harvey and me for a 3-part series exploring your myth and biography. Together, we’ll consider how the patterns within your myth show up in your everyday life. We will explore how they influence your relationships and how they can guide your self-expression and work in the world.
In session one, we will look at your current situation, where you’re experiencing flow and areas you feel stuck. Together, we’ll examine different ways of responding to our situation and bring our attention to the invitations life offers us at a mythic level.
In session two, we’ll identify our mythic edge and explore ways of engaging with it to hone our awareness and clarify our expression.
Together, we’ll explore the insights our life myth can offer us for how we meet challenges and navigate our relationships.
In the final session, we’ll explore how you can move forward and take your next steps in the world, both personally and professionally, in ways that align with your myth.
FAQ: Who is this for? People familiar with their life myth who would like to learn how to draw upon it in their daily lives and work with others.
People who are new to life myth and would like to learn more about the concept and how to work with it in conceptual and experiential ways.
What if I miss a session? All sessions will be recorded.
What if I can’t attend in person? You will receive all recordings and have the option to book a session with Elsa and Rose to work on your life myth.
Learn more and register here
45 min sessions to make sense of a situation and explore ways of engaging with it.
Let’s look at a situation or area of your work/life you have questions about.
This could be a client you’re working with, a decision you’re trying to make, or an area where you feel stuck or unclear. Together we’ll notice the underlying patterns and themes. From there we’ll explore ways of engaging with that situation so you have increased clarity and options moving forward.
These sessions are an opportunity to reflect, step out of your usual perspective and explore future directions. Learn more and register here.