Written in 1955
It’s early in the morning and my “beautiful mind” calls me to the computer to write. It’s not necessarily when I wanted to write, but the creative muse is calling and I answer the “call”. The movie “A Beautiful Mind continues to ‘work’ me a week after I’ve seen it and I wanted to highly recommend it to you.
Not one person I have spoken to has received the same message from this film. That, to me, is a great indicator of the “teaching tool” that it is. For it is when everyone receives what he or she needs that you know you have been in the presence of a true teacher.
I don’t want to give the movie away so will be brief in my sharing of it. I will say that it is the true story of John Nash, who won the Nobel Prize for his theory on Equilibrium. Equilibrium is of course a state of even balance. Nash’s theory has been used in board-rooms, corporations, countries and no doubt in your own life in mediation and bringing groups into win/win for years. What a divine paradox that a man labelled “schizophrenic” would discover or really recover the theory of balance. I find it awesome that this film has come out at this time, as there is so much need for “balance” on the planet.
One of my great mentors taught me many years ago about the high price one pays for their addiction to extremes. Extreme, according to Mr. Webster is “outermost, most remote, last, violent (e.g. pain), marked by excess, and even goes so far as to say “the end,” I think we all can agree that we are living in “extreme times”. We must all take responsibility for the creation of “extremists” (one ready to use extreme measure) on the planet as we have the extreme within each and every one of us. A friend told me recently that she had read how the Taliban had been raised, and that a lot of them were orphans and were raised by men without any women present. Many of the men raising them were orphans themselves. There was an article in one of the large newspapers in September about “what makes a terrorist” and it said, “terrorists despise the ordinary”. I found this fascinating, as “the ordinary” is what has been “learning me”, these past few months.
Ordinary, according to Mr. Webster, is what is “usual; of common rank; plain and undistinguished”. We have somehow come into a time when the ordinary and usual is not exciting enough and we crave the extraordinary and unusual. Home making has become unfashionable and kids everywhere are raising themselves, and each other, I might add. This is not to say that I am for or against working families. I am merely presenting what I see. I do see that in our addiction to the “extreme” and in wanting to “have it all” we have dismissed the ordinary as unimportant. One movie reviewer even called “A Beautiful Mind” tedious!! Asleep to the sweet, slow unfolding of a story, this poor soul missed the beautiful and ordinary message of a movie without guns (almost) and sex.
I too was addicted to the extraordinary, and into being and proving my uniqueness and attempting to “make my mark in the world”. Anorexia is going to the extreme for sure and in reflecting on my journey through it I see the many choices I made along the way which lead to my ultimate extreme and near “end”. Now, in looking back I see the gradual unfolding of my addiction. There is a divine paradox to everything and with anorexia the “authorities” will tell you that one of its reasons for manifesting is that the person does not wish to be seen. I will tell you that the “extreme” opposite is at work here and the person has a high longing to see and be seen.
To “see” according to Mr. Webster is “to perceive with understanding”. And of course “understanding” means “to know thoroughly” and I might add “without judgement..” Michele Cassou, author of Life, Paint and Passion says “we must look on each painting with eyes of the Mystery, rather than eyes of judgement”. I say let’s substitute the word “everyone” for the word “painting” and by God I think we’re on to something!!! Could “balance” be seeing everyone and everything with eyes of the Mystery??? If our curiosity and perception were opened to the ordinary, in the same way that we pay attention and stay awake for the so-called extraordinary, would a healthy balance spread over the planet?? In taking time to “know thyself” we come to “know” others. Labels are thrown out and we come to SEE the uniqueness of each and every being on the planet. As I have come to rest in the still quiet and ordinary moments I have come to see my own unique gifts and talents, and that has awakened my passion to assist others to SEE (and act) on theirs too.
Serendipity’s Backyard is the “ordinary place” I came to find my extraordinary self. When I quit climbing the “corporate ladder” and sat on what felt like the bottom rung for several years, (losing money, walking to work at an ordinary bookstore in a sleepy ordinary town,) I came to see how extraordinary it really is to slow down. I also came to appreciate living in such a beautiful, unique and extraordinary village. I am forever grateful to this town, its people, its nature, its four-legged, finned and winged ones. May we preserve and protect its simplicity and ordinariness as we move forward in the spirit of “progress”.
Blessings and may your beautiful mind call you to see the beauty in all things as the magical time of spring unfolds.