The Idealist-Realist Dialectic

I’ve already hinted at “the idealist” and “the realist” being at odds in the way they perceive the world through Lin Yutang’s pseudo-scientific formula:

Reality + Dreams = A heart-ache (usually called Idealism)
Reality + Humour = Realism (also called Conservatism)

I hear you say “Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?George Bernard Shaw 

Continue reading

Scheherazade

Scheherazade

I wish I were, the daughter’s vizier,

sly Scheherazade,

Who wished she’d never had

her nakedness to hide

from king Shahriyar,

with one thousand

and one veils.

 

For, as the Persian story intim-

ates: ardent King once bitten,

three thousand shy, slaughters

bride, after bride, after bride,

after bride, until the kingdom,

Shahriyar’s bleak landscape,

of noble virgins runs dry.

 

Queen! Must always deceit and

intimacy pair to make

hearts in the end unite?

 

Ours, was love at first sight,

but oriental intimacy un-

veiled a two stories house

encumbered with,

at the bottom,

your Mum and Dad’s apart-

ment, your boyhood room

atop, tear our alcove apart.

 

Only bedtime stories,

veiled parables, intim-

ideation will the ancestral intim-

idation, one veil at a time,

strip off, un-

till our souls coalesce.

 

 

For Rim A.

Happy Heuristics

“Art” de Yasmina Reza: De l’autre côté du tableau blanc

J’adore le  théâtre, d’ailleurs j’en refais en amateur (en hébreu) depuis un an, dans un petit centre communautaire de ma ville. J’ai aussi retrouvé le goût et la patience de voir des pièces même si, parfois, qu’à travers la lucarne Youtube. Continue reading

Jeb Corliss: A Lesson in Flying?

Disclaimer: may be disturbing for some viewers

Is Jeb Corliss suicidal? From the fate of his professional adventurers mates who were less lucky than he, I am inclined to say “yes”, I admit. Continue reading

The Golden Mean for Passionate Souls?

First Fig
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Triumph of Moderation Continue reading

Icarus: the Obligation to Feel Good

Bruegel_IcarusWhy Icarus?

O no, she’s at it again with her Icarus! Yes, I’m at it again, but this time to make a little re-view of “why Icarus?“. Continue reading

Blogging and Gamification

‘Something Fishy’ :Wordpress Theme of my Life

I like the theme I chose for my blog . It is really spot-on. I don’t know if it was my inanity with technology (accident) or providence but the first one I chose and thankfully quickly discarded, I remember, was quite ascetic. It’s as if something in me knew what was good for me and nudged me to the “something fishy” theme, as if to tell me, you think yourself so serious, not so. I only realized that this was exactly the liberating theme for me, when Nancy Shapiro at http://commonthreadcoaching.wordpress.com/expressed to me its potential in the following terms: “Michal! I love the theme you use…it is playful, light, and also an apt metaphor for coaching itself…fishing into the deep for what truly matters for each person.” My “daemon” and Nancy knew better. Continue reading

Blogging as a Venue for Self-Discovery

Only 3 months in the Blogosphere and I can already appreciate and benefit from the power of blogging. I started a blog because it seemed to me the most authentic way to promote my work: prospective clients could get to know me before engaging in a coaching process or coaching program and decide if working and playing with me will be of value for them. “Authentic”, here, is more a function of resonance than getting full knowledge of the facts, at this stage. Continue reading

Learner-Centered Mentoring as an Antidote to the Guru Trap

As a coach/mentor and lifelong learner, I feel the need to keep current on what’s out there in the world of self-help and coaching, both for personal renewal and community building. So it happened that I attended another lecture last week, in my region. It is not important to know all the particulars of this event, except that it was all women entrepreneurs or would-be ones. The lecture was geared at promoting a new course on self-development with success/ happiness as one of the main tenets.  It promised to be very rich, as the women attending, introducing themselves, shared their expectations for the present lecture. However as the lecture proceeded, it would have been the usual cant for me, about the pursuit of happiness and success*, if a 30 something year old woman wouldn’t have been there. Let’s call her E., of course not her real name.

* two (coaching) themes strongly related and interchangeable maybe due to the Latin etymology of ‘success’. For example, in Italian:

succedere happen, occur, succeed, follow, befall, follow one another

http://translate.google.com/#en/it/happen

Happiness Drawing Exercise

This post is dedicated to E. and all the special women like her, I did not seize the opportunity to encourage on their rightful path. But, through this post, the opportunity is not lost: a consolation.

We were some 30 women, +/-, attending this lecture on personal growth and empowerment. E. arrived some 20 minutes late, at her young entrepreneur friend’s invite who was in the know of her plight. E. came all the way from a faraway town to listen to this lecture and eventually sign up for the course it promoted. She seemed very expectant of this class. For our first practical exercise, we were asked to draw with color crayons how each of us viewed our journey in the direction of happiness, how we imagined we’d get there; with the lecturer emphasizing that there were no correct answers: “it’s not an exam”. So far so good. However, when it was time to get feedback from the lecturer on our “masterpieces”, we were all made wrong. No flowers, no spirals, no joyful faces or splashes of colors, no meandering paths, no labyrinths, please. The right answer, dixit the lecturer, was the drawing bellow (without the guy, at the blackboard, with the weird look).

Is the shortest route to happiness the straight one?

shortest route_happiness.jpeg

We were supposed to have a eureka (happy heuristics) moment from this picture: but of course! It’s the straight line that we should have drawn. ‘Why none of you has drawn a straight line?’, rhetorically asked the happiness expert.  E. dared to share her present process, by asking if happiness wasn’t somewhat one result of asking herself what to do with her life and learn what she was meant to become.  E., who made herself vulnerable by sharing her own experience through asking a question, was met with a straight, categorical ‘no’ to her legitimate question, by the happiness high priestess, followed by a sneaky “don’t even think about it”.  The ‘expert’ had to have the last word: we all pursue happiness and we have to learn the rules to get there. Now, E., this young woman who seemed quite confused about her life, the non-expert, was echoing some aspect of one famous quote by Victor Frankl and the know-it-all coach would not acknowledge that !:

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

Beyond the labyrinth  Continue reading

Icarus versus Goldilocks

Simplicity versus dumbing down

Goldilocks_IcarusEveryone in the Western world knows the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, with the 3 memorable porridge bowls: not too hot, not too cold but at the just right temperature. These last few years, in the world of self-development and business/marketing, you may have encountered her tale as a metaphor for making the just right choice, finding the just right solution, client, career, level of productivity, preferences, even life-purpose and whatnot. Continue reading