Monday, November 29, 2010

Ice Skating on Positivity

Sydney's gone.

I have closed my school, put my dreams to bed and turned instead to face the mounting challenges of Japan. (Another blog for that.) Me, the eternal optimist, experiences defeat. There is no rosy face to it - I lost. My learning is in the admission - don't try to cheer me up.

I had been ice skating on positivity, but there lurked death-freezing danger as reality created cracks across my veil of thin ice. Can you see me, joyously skating across the lake of my hallucinations? There I am, laughing and shouting then suddenly: GONE. Where is he? Oh, I think he fell into a hole…

It was my wake up call. I still imagined I was 26, but without a million dollars to back me up. BodyChance in Sydney needed money, resources and most of all - teachers. Who was going to staff my studio? In my own article of DIRECTION, I pointed out that a school can not thrive in the absence of a thriving practise. Actually, it was that article for DIRECTION that first triggered my doubt: I was not able to implement what I had in Japan - the very source of our success. I was trying to create a school without first building a public business of teaching.

Those who know me well understand that more than a school in Sydney has fallen apart. My words read lighter than the heart that conveys them.

Yet I am still like those self-righting toys with the sand base at the bottom - I have rocks at my base in the form of belief, who hold me to my task in life and I turn again to building an extraordinary business around the discoveries of F. Matthias Alexander. Albeit just Japan. Good lord - isn't that big enough?!

So there is a rosy face I guess: the learning of defeat. Now I know: if I want to start a studio in another country, I need a lot of available time, a lot of money, many skilled BodyChance teachers, a lot of support and a well thought out plan of constructive action. This time, I had none of the above. It looks so obvious now - why couldn't I see it then?

Madness - but that is what happens when you ice-skate on positivity alone.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nuggets of Knowledge

If you're a turkey on November 24th in the USA, just before the inevitable is about to happen, life is a wonderful thing. You are fed, cared for by your owner, who may occasionally have a longing look, so that generally - based on past experiences - why wouldn't the next day be the same as the last?

Such is the danger of habit, for this poor turkey (unawares) is about to be devoured…

My thoughts were provoked by a headline in the New Yorker this morning "Gobbled" with a trio of active turkeys pictured in the glorious morning light of a country setting… A quote from Susan Orlean's piece:

"Unlike megafarm turkeys, which have been engineered to have breasts so disproportionately huge that the birds can’t stand up when they’re full-grown, Royal Palms are athletic and lively and curious."

Read more here:

In the Turkey World, something close to genocide has just occurred, and with a jocularity and banality which, to this vegetarian and Buddhist, is almost unfathomable. Almost - but I have it in me too. I am not so arrogant to think I am immune to the way we all desensitise ourselves to horror.

Would I upset your sensibilities if I described it as systematic, organised industrial murder? Probably, so I won't do that. We are not accustomed to thinking this way when it comes to animals.

Loving a cockroach is one of the many challenges I have undertaken, and do continue to endure, in my current life. Only when it is our beloved chewawa, or cat or other pet that we have taken for companionship, are we are allowed to indulge in anthropomorphism. But not if we plan to eat the creature.

(Susan isn't going to eat hers.)


So why the morbid meditation on the fate of the turkey?

Because, based on the past, we can not know the future. However, we mostly live as though the future will be a continuation of the past. Like the turkey, if every day was like this, then we can't imagine that November 25th will be any different from November 24th.

Recently I have discovered the failings of the inductive process. Nassim N. Taleb's book "Black Swan" has a lot to say on this subject. But mine is not an intellectual discovery, mine is a raw emotional ride I have been on these past few weeks. (Does it ever stop?)

Life has become unimaginably different these past weeks - edifices built upon deep conviction and emotion evaporating before my protruding eyes. Right now I am musing on the nature of the changes that I am both author and witness too. I can not be concrete, but will let slip nuggets of knowledge as those that will be affected by my changing, will themselves be informed by it.

The biggest news, hidden here for those who actually read my rantings, is that I have closed BodyChance in Sydney. Everyone knows, so that can be public. I'll share more about the Sydney decision, but not now. My other news is already made public, but only for those that can see what they usually fail to notice.