One Apple A Day #902 – a mystery

Yesterday, while I was wasting some time scrolling through stuff on my phone, I’ve been capture by an interview with an Italian writer and comic book artist. His name is Gipi.

It’s a beautiful interview with many insights into his creative process and his life. Two things that, like with many artists, are deeply connected.

There is a part that really resonates with me. Gipi shares that what he loves the most about his work is that the outcome is beyond his control when he draws.

He said [translation is mine] that he “witnesses, at times, the manifestation of a mystery: that of seeing something happening that you had not foreseen, that you did not know, that it is not your ego that determines and that indeed can exist precisely because your ego has vanished for a while. In other words, I am only satisfied with something I have done when it seems to me that it is not my work.

I know that feeling. Sometimes I sit down before the keyboard with a clear idea of what I want to write, and then something magical happens. My thoughts take a direction I haven’t foreseen, and in the end, I’m left with something unexpected. Words that I didn’t know I have in me.

All I have to do is to trust that the magic will happen.

It’s not easy, though. When the pressure to deliver kicks in, the ego craves control, and the magic is gone.

But when it happens, it’s pure bliss.

The interview, in Italian, is on the HuffingtonPost Italia.

One Apple A Day #901 – clearing the field

These words, they do not come from me; they come through me.
Yesterday, my dear friend Vanessa reminded me I am not the source of my creative work. I am the conduit.

I can’t force it.

The only thing I can do is make myself available and clear the path, so the work can flow through.

And then to invoke the muse and hope that she will show up.

That’s why the beginning of every writing session is always such a critical moment.

I have to let go of everything that is going on in my life and in my mind. I have to clear the field of my thoughts, worries, tasks, tensions, guilt and everything else that is clouding my inner space.

Sometimes it takes me so long to get there that I’m left with only a few minutes to do the work. However, if I don’t take the time to enter that state, the writing process becomes a chore.

Sure, I’ve learned some tricks to get the work done, but it is rarely something inspired, and I’m always left exhausted at the end of the process.

This morning I had to sit in silence for twenty minutes before the worries for the things I have to do – and on which I’m late – dissolve. Only then, this post appeared.

One Apple A Day #900 – intention, action and impact

Between your intention and your actions and words, there is always a space filled with your beliefs, memories, stories and wounds.
Then, between your actions and words and their impact on someone else, there is always a space filled with their beliefs, memories, stories and wounds.

Both spaces can be smaller or broader depending on the context, but they are always there. They are a sort of defence system shielding us from the outside world.

Unfortunately, most of the time, we are not aware of what happens inside those spaces. How often have you been disappointed by how your actions have been received despite your best intentions?
Unfortunately, we only see other people actions, and from there, we judge their intentions. And our perception of their actions is filtered by our own biases.

The results are often misunderstandings when not conflicts and tensions.
Just by being aware of those spaces, we can increase the quality of our exchange with others. Then, by nurturing trust, we can let go of those shields and begin to really see each other.

One Apple A Day #899 – kindness and compassion

These are troubled times that push everyone to the edge. And from the edges, everything is absolute and binary.
Right or wrong, true or false.
I witness many conversations in which people are quick to condemn someone’s else behaviours, even if they know nothing about them or their situation.
We are all in this mess together, but each one is unique.
And so is our perspective of things.
Even if you do your best to step into someone else’s shoes, you’ll never have their feet. You’ll never experience things as they do.
Hold back your judgement for a moment.
And be kind and compassionate.

One Apple a Day #898 – Just talk

Lately, I came across a few situations that made me realize how much potential we waste because we don’t talk to each other.

People spend time and energy figuring out what their boss or colleagues want instead of asking. Groups where everyone is unhappy because nobody dares to share what they think and feel.

I remember this story from an insightful book title Nonflict by Amir Kfir and Stephen Hecht.

Two chefs are fighting over the last lemon in the kitchen. They’re shouting at each other and waving knives. The restaurant manager runs in, worried that the fight could escalate and someone gets hurt. 

He takes a knife, split the lemon in two and gives half to each of the chefs. However, neither of them is happy, so the manager asked why they need the lemon.

It turned out that one chef needed the lemon zest while the other only required the juice.

They could have avoided the fight just by talking to each other—what a waste of time and energy.

Talk, ask, share what’s in your mind and heart.

It is like a superpower.