Friday the 13th
I started today curious about the Friday the 13th superstition, thinking I may write about it today. As I read all the different articles, I realized that it goes back way farther and way deeper than you may care to hear about. Besides making my head hurt a little, reading it all made me think of the first chapter in Rosamund & Benjamin Zander’s book “The Art of Possibility”. The title of the chapter is “It’s All Invented!” It talks about how we are all assigning meaning and perceiving life through filters based on our unique experiences. That the stories we’re telling ourselves about who we are, what something means (say for example, Friday the 13th is an unlucky day) is essentially “made up”. Some of them we created ourselves based on something that happened to us or that we saw and assigned meaning to. Some of them were handed down to us by others. Often we don’t even realize we’re carrying the story around, we’ve never questioned whether it is REALLY true, does it serve us and if so, how?
When I first read this book many years ago it was both upsetting and exciting. The idea that I am automatically passing everything through these filters I’ve acquired over a lifetime and never questioned, that they can create such blind spots, is a bit upsetting. On the other hand, how wonderful that we can “invent” a way of seeing things that better serves us. Maybe a “story” served us at a certain time in our lives, but now we know better on some level yet continue to hang on to it. If we take a minute to ask “Is this really true?”, we see the story we’re telling in our head for the fiction it truly is.
The idea in practice is the next time you catch yourself getting upset or feel stuck ask yourself “What would I have to believe to feel this way?” The answer you tell yourself is your “story”. Once you have it and are good and worked up about it, ask “Is this really true?” ALL of it? Be honest! Then ask “If it’s all made up, what can I invent that I haven’t invented yet, that would give me other choices here?”
I’ll leave you with the opening of the “It’s All Invented” chapter of “The Art of Possibility”:
“A Shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,
SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES
The other writes back triumphantly,
GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP THEY HAVE NO SHOES”
In honor of yesterday’s post & the “rest” part of our interval training, I’m going to go do something that I love - going skiing this weekend and won’t be back until Tuesday. What will you do this weekend that you love to do, that brings you happiness? Wish you a wonderful weekend, see you Tuesday!
Oh, and if you do want to read all about Friday the 13th this link was one of the best I found, enjoy.