There is no one to fix.
I attended a powerful online gathering with Nick Askew yesterday evening (check out his fantastic work). He shared those words while opening the space, and I had to write them down. They sounded and still sound so pure, powerful, and liberating to me.
The gathering went on. There were many faces on my screen. Each one with a story. Some were shared, others just imagined.
And while I was observing this big portrait of humanity, a few other words came out of my pen.
There is no one to fix, yet we are all broken.
A paradox, yet it felt, and it feels so true.
How is it possible?
Then I remembered a poem by Rumi.
“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”
We are all pieces of the same shattered mirror. Each fragment is a mirror in itself, but not the whole. Complete and incomplete, broken and perfect at the same time.
We don’t need to be fixed. Yet, we all are aware, at some level, that we are fragments of the same broken mirror, and we long to feel whole again.
When I’m in meetings, I often jot and scribble. Sometimes I do it to fix something that has been shared, sometimes to capture a thought that I want to share. And sometimes there’s apparent reason or connection with what it’s happening in the meeting.
I don’t know where the words come from, the pen moves and then a drawing or some words are there, ink on paper.
Yesterday, during a meeting I wrote in red a sentence.
“Pain is individual, healing is collective.”
This morning, when I got to my desk, those words were there, staring at me among many other nonsensical scribbles.
“Pain is individual, healing is collective.”
Reading it, it feels so true to me, even if I can’t remember why I wrote them. Anytime I’m in pain, being it a physical or emotional one, I usually close up. I become self-centred. My own struggle is the only thing I can see. I feel as if nobody can understand the pain I’m going through.
The healing process is rather an opening one.
It begins with sharing my pain with someone I love, so they can help me. Often in my experience, the act of opening up to someone is enough to reduce the pain and heal.
A few months ago, while I was surfing the web, looking for real stories about mentoring, I found this lengthy article titled, “The Most Famous Reverse Mentoring Story in History” by Peter Gregoire.
It’s a great piece of writing, absolutely worth 10 minutes of your precious attention.
In short, it’s the story of how a teenager named Betsy, driven by her innocent irreverence and her candid curiosity, helped Napoleone transform his exile into an opportunity.
I love this story from the day I read it. Not only is a compelling example of the power of reverse mentoring. It also shows the potential that we can unlock if we connect with human beings behind and beyond the roles or positions they may have in society.
These days, this story resonates even more.
Aren’t we all experiencing a sort of exile? Our houses turned into many tiny islands of St. Helena. Separated, at least physically, from the rest of the world.
So I was thinking, who can be my Betsy in this exile? What are the open, innocent and challenging questions she would ask? What would throw me off balance but also rejuvenated and re-energize my mind and spirit?
Maybe my inner child asking things such as “Are you having fun? Why are you doing that?”
This is going to be an interesting conversation.
The name in English is dandelion, from the French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”. Where I grew up, we call it soffione, from the Italian word “soffio” meaning blow.
Because that was the game when we were kids. To blow it so all those white things would fly in the air, and we would be left in awe. Imagining how far they would go, what they will see in their journey.
As a kid, I thought the dandelion was a weak plant. I mean, a flower that can be disrupted by the blow of a child, can’t be a strong one. For sure not like one of those reliable and grounded trees in the woods.
Later on, I learned that those “white things” are seeds, or better they carry the seed. And they are perfectly designed to travel long distance using the wind, so the seeds can spread on a broader area.
In nature, there are trees with strong roots, and there are fragile flowers that can travel anywhere. And they both thrive when they follow their nature and are in their environment.
I believe that a vital ingredient of a joyful life is to be in tune with our own nature. To really be aware of who we are, what are our inclinations, what do we love, what makes us feel energized, and in which environment we thrive.
Like a dandelion blown in the air by a child.
What makes you thrive?
I’m getting used to the silence in the morning.
Even here, in a small town, the noise used to begin quite early in the day.
It wasn’t only traffic. There was a kind of buzz in the background, the sound created by hundreds of families waking up for their duties, work or school.
Now it’s all silence. Not only in the morning.
It’s quiet and silent all day.
Now I can hear the birds singing all day, the dogs barking in the distance, the wind howling through the trees.
It is as if nature whispers, so only when we stay quiet, we can hear her voice.
Yet, I think we need that noise.
The sound of humanity.
So. we moved that noise inside.
Inside our homes, for sure, but mostly inside our screens.
Between video calls, webinars, social media, streaming, news and everything else, our screens are now incredibly crowded.
I wonder why.
Maybe because in silence, we can hear our thoughts, our hopes, but also our fears.