Many times, the words I hear in my head were not consciously chosen. They just keep cycling through. Things my Mom said or my Dad told me. Sometimes they are not so good and I really need to excise them like a bloody tumor!
But words have power.
By designing the words that are in my human operating system, I can begin to change from within.
When I became a father, I consciously deleted all cursing from my vocabulary. It wasn’t easy, but I really wanted to be a good role model for my son. I used to curse like a sailor. And it wasn’t conscious. I just picked it up from the environment I was in. After a few months of catching myself, it became easier.
A new mantra
Everything that happens is neither good nor bad. It just is.
Next time you feel frustrated, impatient and angry, realize that it is based on a judgement.
You are perceiving that something is not happening the way you think it should be.
The word “should” is a clue. Whenever you hear it, run away. Strike it from your vocabulary. There are no shoulds. Stop shoulding on the world.
Start using that phrase as internal mantra. Your new self-speak. Hear it in your head. “No judgement.”
Just let the moment pass over you as if you were watching from afar. What used to cause you pain will have no effect anymore.
I’m working at being more open on my process. As I’ve realized that what I most enjoy reading about my favorite creators, whether they be authors or composers or painters or designers or filmmakers, I love to hear how they arrived at their solutions. So…gulp…I’m trying to be more open and vulnerable.
I have a mess of scenes and dialog and some characters for my novel in progress tentatively called Akamaea. It’s a middle grade fantasy novel where a young boy named Henry (12) and his sister Amy (8) get swept away in a freak tidal wave and end up on a lost island. The island is called Akamaea and is a magical place (of course).
Yes it sounds like a Robinson Crusoe story or maybe like the TV show Lost, but I do find myself resonating with those adventures on deserted isle stories. HG Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau and Lord of the Flies, why do all these interesting stories happen on islands?
In my researching this setting, I’ve been thinking about the whole genre of fantasy and the alternate universes. How did the characters get to their alternate universe? In The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the kids enter Narnia through a wardrobe. In the Wizard of Oz, the tornado lifted Dorothy away. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice falls down in a hole following a rabbit, who she saw in the real world! A modern twist on Lord of the Flies is the Mazerunner series by James Dashner where the island is a maze set somewhere and the boys enter this world without memory and via a mysterious elevator.
There’s always this door to the other world. The door in the Mazerunner is the elevator. Sometimes it’s a two-way door where you can easily go between the worlds. In Richard Bach’s One, a strange light flash during a small plane flight brings the protagonist, also named Richard Bach and his wife into a new world where they can touch down in alternate worlds. They can get back and forth between times by imagining the throttle of the plane in their hands. Lovely. In the film the Matrix, we have a direct descendent of Alice in Wonderland. Neo discovers that the real world isn’t real at all and he has to take a pill to get him to see reality.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” – Morpheus
Just the other night I saw a trailer for an upcoming movie called Tomorrowland which features an alternate reality entered by touching a talisman of sorts. Love it! I need to say that.
So why the need for alternate reality? Well, escapism of course. We need adventure. Wouldn’t you want to go visit a magical island with mysterious creatures? Life is a magical adventure has been my motto for 20 or so years. I’ll share more about what’s in my world of Akamaea tomorrow.