jusummerhayes

What is (was) my thing?

Photo by Allie on Unsplash
Photo by Allie on Unsplash

Good morning.

How are you today?

It's the weekend — I think; I keep losing track of time. I'm here again, coffee poured and listening to the dawn chorus from my little cubby-hole, which I call my office. 

This is my time of day. I love the quiet, and the wide-open space that it affords me. It's not for everyone (getting up at stupid-O'clock) but it's a habit that I'm loathed to break or even question.

I should say, from the off, that Livejournal (LJ) isn't really the place to be bigging up you or your business — at least that's what I think. It's more a place to talk about stuff you like, shit that's happening across your life, work and family, music — lots of music — and a whole bunch of other eclectic stuff. To be honest, I was in two minds whether to open up the hood of my main site and post there but I've grown used to writing my blogs to LJ and want to keep my main site for longer essays and my published work. 

You could say, absent all this online thrashing, that my thing, ipso facto, is being an in-house lawyer. Simple. But even before Covid19 ripped the world apart, meaning I've a bit more time on my hands, I was still showing up online — mostly here, Twitter and that sinkhole called LinkedIn, which isn't strictly work! I wasn't though doing much to advance my original cause, which I'd spent the best part of eight years crafting and trying to scale. 

If you check out my main site, the strapline is 'awaken, to true Self'. It didn't always say that — something about 'Genius' if I recall — and I've been content to leave that up because, to be brutally honest, I don't, right now, have the energy or motivation to go through the process necessary to make sure I'm on message and I've got the pitch just right. Of course, when I was in the self-employed space offering a broad range of services — e.g. consulting, speaking and training — this was an absolute must even though, and I'd be the first to admit it, I never crossed the rubicon between what I was offering and what people wanted to buy. That's another way of saying my website was more for vanity than a sales magnet.

Of late, though, and notwithstanding my apparent unwillingness to up my sales game and go on another deep-dive exploration of my thing, a few things pertinent to my writing, and creative output have begun to circle. Not in a brooding sense but more as a gentle reminder that perhaps the arc of my work stretches beyond a daily blog and the desire (which I still harbour) to be troubled out loud with a group of people who can bear to listen to my troubled self extol the virtues of coming alive to true Self. (The capitalisation is deliberate.)

Oops, I should have said. Even though the online presence has become a bit flaccid, I'm still besotted with the idea — you could say maniacal — that each and everyone one of us is possessed of a genius spirit and that if only we'd drop the pretence (I hope that word doesn't offend you) or trying to be something other true Self, we'd all be (inter alia) a lot happier, and most of all free to offer our gifts, our holy gifts, to the world. 

Now I realise that's a big, big claim and for a lawyer you'd expect me to back up my boastful stance with a bushel of evidence. Well, it ain't documented that's for sure, but having spent nearly 40 years at the coalface we call 'work', in a plethora of manifestations, even rising to the not-so-lofty position of Chief Executive Officer, I think the evidential base, qua the crushing of everyone's spirit, is pretty overwhelming. 

To say we were born with a false mask is probably stretching my point but it doesn't take long before we adorn ourselves with lots of them and we 'play the game' — (see the book The Master Game by Robert S. de Ropp where he says: "Seek, above all, for a game worth playing. Such is the advice of the oracle to modern man. Having found the game, play it with intensity — play as if your life and sanity depended on it. (They do depend on it.)")

The trick of course, without resorting to some anodyne, 7-Step Programme or worse still a Cheerleader Mode of advocacy, is to invite, by a gentle process of self-enquiry, my cohort of geniuses to invite one of a few questions to challenge their assumptions about who or what they think they are. The question that unhinged me — if I can put it like that — was "Who am I?". But actually, the key thing is to wake up, to wake up and see that absent (largely) the conditioning which, in most cases accounts for that wretched voice in your head that concocts all manner of reason for you never cracking the Code, there is nothing stopping you — nothing — from being alive all body, mind and soul and bringing all your gifts to the world.

What am I really trying to say? 

I'm saying that once we drop the becoming, there emerges a blank sheet of paper and we adopt beginner's mind to whatever it is that lies deepest in our heart. To be clear, this isn't some existential, one-off process. This is the work; namely, to question with an open heart what's actually happening in the moment, particularly or more especially when we're stuck or we find that the story of me is so overwhelming that we can't move forward with our lives.

I accept that this is hardly pitch-worthy. It doesn't and probably was never intended to fit in a neat, tidy box marked 'personal transformation' or 'happiness' or 'well-being' or whatever other slick labels people seem obsessed to thrash to death until they lose all meaning. My message, should you press me, is this: you are unique, for better or worse, and have an inalienable gift to offer the world. If I can help, in whatever way, to help you reveal that to the world then that's my thing

Heard enough? Probably.

The thing is, words are very hard to describe the ineffable. If I use language like true Self, spirit, genius, love, presence or awareness then to the logical part of your brain, you'll probably not make the connection to how that translates to ordinary, everyday life. All I can is that the moment we get out of our heads and we're in touch with (don't laugh) a higher realm, then it appears that you're able to access an energy source which will enable you to bring forth all your creative powers in a manifest way. 

On this point, I like what Thomas Merton has to say:

 “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love.”

And on that note, I'll wrap this up but I would say that, such that I know, it's still my intention, alongside the legal work, to continue to write and talk about true Self, to speak publicly and, all things being well, to publish more of my work covering such topics (which are very much in the mix) as silence, contemplation — in a modern context — and creativity. I used to think but now feel less inclined that my role (god that sounds stuffy) was to change the face of work forever but I no longer have that level of ambition. Instead, if I can help one person to come alive to their true creative spirit then that will be more than enough for me.

Onwards as they.

Blessings, 

Ju

If you're able to support my work, I've now put up a page where you can make a one-off donation or consider becoming a patron on Patreon.

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