318 | Where Are We Now?

My stapler is someone who really holds things together under pressure. I like to have him around in a crisis.

My toothbrush is likes travelling to weird places, but would do anything for me.

And my microphone is as loving as she is sarcastic.

Yeah I admit it…I like ascribing fully fledged personalities to inanimate objects. It’s a really good way to stay sane and not lose your mind.

I’m not the only one who does it.

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has been doing the same thing lately. But with an even more vague abstraction than a sentient stapler…


The year.

The previous period it took for the Earth to travel around the sun. And my question…how have we managed to personify and create an enemy out of something so indistinct?

Oh actually it’s really easy. But geez, I feel sorry for the poor old year. 2020 has been on the receiving end of some severe flack. About stuff he had no responsibility for!

And now Netflix is wishing he would die. Son Heung-min has been kicking him out of frame on football adverts. And people have been burning effigies of him, even as he does the walk of shame away from here.

Poor guy.

12 months ago he was just getting comfy. He’d climbed up into the Earth’s cockpit, and was prepared to drive us all around the sun. He didn’t even get paid for it.

He was like the caretaker who volunteered to gave up his weekend to drive the bus for the class field trip. It wasn’t his fault that one kid came in with a virus, another one brought in fireworks, and there were no responsible adults on the back of the bus who were able to diffuse the escalating situation.

So we threw 2020 out, and decided that replacing him with 2021 would solve all the problems. So 2021 is driving now. 6 days into the journey, and she’s realising when you have humans squabbling in the back, steering the Earth is actually quite difficult.

Have Another Year

Anyway, ‘Happy’ (or whatever we’re saying), New Year, Gentle Rebel friends! I wanted to do a check-in episode of the podcast, to say hi to The Podcast, and hello to you.

This is a chance to start the new year with a solid footing. In a good spirit. And with a sense of awareness about where we are, what we’re doing, and how we want to proceed. Not in a ‘add more’ kind of way, but in a permission to be real kind of way.

In the episode we will have a casual chat about the following ideas:

“Or Else, What!?”

We often live within bubbles of shame and under those clouds of self-abusive pressure to keep the plates spinning, and the balls from dropping. What if we were to remove the phrase, ‘or else’, from our self-talk? Maybe this year is a chance to release that pressure, let go of the threatening voice, and pick things up with a more inclusive type of energy.

Energy of Contraction vs Energy of Expansion

I love coming across people who have not been infected by the spirit of desperation, contraction, scarcity, limitation etc. People who are open, creative, giving, abundant, expansive, and generous.

They have space, time, and energy to see you as you are. They have compassion and the courage to let you to walk away…and when you feel that permission, you are drawn closer towards them.

Wholehearted Living and Gentle Rebellion

I’ve just started reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. We are covering it in The Haven book club over the next couple of months. And these words, courage, compassion, and connection are at the core of what she describes as wholehearted living.

“I see it in my classroom when a student raises her hand and says, “I’m completely lost. I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Do you know how incredibly brave it is to say “I don’t know” when you’re pretty sure everyone around you gets it?

Of course, in my twelve-plus years of teaching, I know that if one person can find the courage to say, “You’ve lost me,” there are probably at least ten more students who feel the exact same way. They may not take the risk, but they certainly benefit from that one person’s courage.”

That kind of courage is at the heart of gentle rebellion. It helps us speak up, speak against, and speaking into the way things are, when we don’t get it.

It is my hope that, whatever we encounter on our journey round the sun over the coming year, we won’t blame the driver. 2021 is just doing her bit. And may the road rise up to meet us with courage and compassion, as we journey through the next part of this strange adventure we’re on together.

May we truly see one another, and understand that we are not on a journey towards a destination. The journey IS the destination. A gentle rebel life is not something we are trying to arrive at, it’s already here. And unless we practice it, we will never find it. Except, it can’t be found…only experienced.

Here we go then…

Have another year!

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