out of my shell and into another

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It’s been a solid seven months of intense introspective work living out the chapters, that my friends have so beautifully written. Focusing on my environment and new surroundings last month was a great first step in pulling me out of my head and back into the physical world. I spent a heck of a lot of time hanging out with rocks, sea shells, ocean waves and hermit crabs last month (which in my opinion is NOT a bad thing) but I am thankful for the “interpersonal relationship” change of theme this month and Max’s suggestion of focusing on being with others and engaging with people in this eighth chapter. This truly is my comfort zone and I welcome the opportunity to dive back in to play with both the people as well as the fish swimming around this beautiful island.

In the few years that I have known Max, I have found that our relationship has helped to ground me wherever I am. He surfaces my own knowledge and skills and then pushes me to learn something new by exploring and observing my environment from different perspectives. He is an incredible wanderer, thinker and connoisseur of the world and the stories it has to offer. Just listening to him share his experiences sometimes feels like he is reflecting back to me my own past adventures, struggles or encounters.

This month he has asked me to explore what it feels like to “be the people” that I am engaging with. This is a whole other level of learning new perspectives. Could I, like a hermit crab changing its home, crawl out of my shell for a moment and move into another? And if I did, what would it feel like? What would it be like?

Be the person that I am engaging with. Woah…. How the heck am I going to actually do this? Will I attempt to take on others feelings? Will I do what they are doing? See what they are seeing? Think what they are thinking? Do I need to learn magic? Do I need to brush up on my psychology reading? Take an acting class maybe? I am definitely going to need a set of tools. Max said this was going to be simple and here I go making it complicated.

I was lost in my own head again dizzying myself with question, when out of the corner of my eye,  I spotted a small mysterious note tucked under a book on my bed.

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The message invited me to a private meeting held in a secret place in our gardens. It was signed “from your leader, trainer and friend”. Once again my island adventure partner and housemate Grace was at my side – pulling me out of my head and back into the present jungle that awaited each morning in the back yard.

As I may have noted before, Grace is nearly ten very intuitive, extremely bright and astute in her observation skills. She has taught me so much already in our 4 weeks living here. I was excited to find out what I could potentially learn today and dashed out the door with my camera, pencil, and notebook in hand.

I arrived making sure no one had followed. Secret meeting places need to stay secret ya know. I arrived and found her waiting for me with a small black book in hand and a mischievous look in her eye. “Whats on the agenda?” I asked. “Spy training” she replied.

I was immediately intrigued, crawled in between the sticks and branches sat down and started taking notes. Secret spy training? Of course! This was exactly what would provide me the needed skills to accomplish Max’s mission.

2/4/14

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.

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