I have the privilege to spend time with a friend and talk about the things we love to do, the things we look forward to doing, but most interestingly the things we gave up doing due to the judgments and ridicule of others. When we dare to speak about our passion the risk is that others in our life may seek to kill our dreams simply because they have lost sight of theirs. When we speak of what we yearn to do, what our heart beckons us to do, the spark of desire can often be a grim reminder to those who long since gave up their dreams and the pain of being reminded may be to great to bear. In order not to get swept away in remorse, they quickly extinguish our light before the reminder of their lost dreams becomes too acute. I can remember, though only recently, my father’s poor attitude towards my aspirations and dreams.
My father was an incredibly talented man whose knowledge was vast on almost any topic you could broach, but despite his incredible intellect, and despite the efforts he put in over the many years he could not reach the level of success he so desperately desired. When I would speak of various things I was working on, such a being a competitive bodybuilder, he would say “no women is attracted to an overly muscular man”, or when I was a columnist for the local paper, which I did for eight years, he simply stated “ I don’t need to be seen”. These little comments and others like these over time were his attempt to diminish my light so it did not cast shadows on his own failures. He did not even know he was doing it; it was just a reflex in self-preservation of his own ego state.
This doesn’t mean I don’t respect what he has accomplished, but it is a reminder of how far we may go (unconsciously) to diminish the light of others around us when we feel like we have snuffed out our own. His words, though I did not think they affected me, I believe made me think that perhaps I was fooling myself, thinking that I could amount to anything special, so I would not put forth the necessary effort to truly succeed.
My friend spoke their passion for writing poetry and journaling their thoughts, which they had done for years, that is until someone close to them found a box of their journals that had been stored and read through them, and then proceeded to ridicule them, saying how silly and ridiculous it was. After that exchange my friend burned all their journals and never wrote again, their light had been dimmed by the cruel, ego preserving actions of another.
The reason for the blog is simply this, we all live under the tyranny of judgments from others, harsh criticism from ourselves, limiting beliefs stemming from our ego-mind, yet underneath all of the supposed “lack” of talent, beauty and capacity is a genius beyond measure. There is a latent genius in all of us, but I believe we may be to afraid to expose for fear of rejection, ridicule and failure. Gay Hendricks, in his book “The Big Leap” speaks about leaving the “zone of excellence” and moving up to our “zone of genius”, and it is in this place time seem to stand still, it doesn’t feel like work and we could do it forever. Our ego may whisper that the risk of stepping into our “zone of genius” may lead to failure.
What if I really opened my “zone of genius” and found that my genius wasn’t good enough? Better to keep the genie in the bottle and not risk that our “genius” is not good enough! Gay mentions that the nattering voices will show up in all our heads regardless. Just notice the voices, feel the fear, let them know your aware, then get busy learning to live in your “zone of genius”. Gay suggested this mantra “I commit to living in my zone of genius, now and forever”, and to speak it out loud as a formal contract between you and the universe.
So what about you? What is your passion, your personal genius, your gift? What have you let go due to fear that it was not good enough? What do you love to do the most? For me it was, surprisingly enough (not) was reading, research and writing. I loved reading the thoughts of the great minds and thought leaders in our world and I love the science of the human body with all its amazing intricacies. Being able to read, comprehend and then relay what I have studied to others so that they may gain the benefit of what I have read, well, that is my personal genius as it is what I love to do.
I have been ridiculed from learned men, stating that I should not venture too far from shore in my quest for knowledge, but the desire I have to explore every corner of this universe and to share the amazing possibilities that it holds for all of us is singing so loudly I can no longer hear the voices of my detractors. I (S)tabilized myself with a powerful emotion, and that emotion is love, love for myself, love for my journey, and love for those whose lives may be changed by my personal genius. The (A)ctions I am taking are simple, I am seeking to spend time each morning and each night in silent meditation with the mantra “I commit to living in my zone of genius, now and forever”, which will strengthen my resolve to continue on my journey. The (M)ovement forward, well, I have always know what I “should” of been doing, now I am actually going to do it. That is what love would do.
What is your personal genius?
C. David Gilks Your Fellow Traveler
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