Sensing the Unknown: fun in Wonderland


Yesterday I woke up thinking about Wonderland (my as yet unbuilt adventure playground for grown ups) and decided a business plan would be a good thing to create for it. The Jubilee Library’s business plan books were all on loan so I went to Waterstone’s.

Money money money! It seems to be The Most Important Thing in making a business plan according to the books I looked at in the business section. Not to me: Wonderland is about letting go of grown up worries and playing with childlike abandon.

Sitting on the window seat in Waterstone’s, I glanced again at the books on the shelves, wondering if there was a section on setting up social enterprises. My hand automatically reached out when I saw “introduction by Peter Senge” on the spine of Theory U by C. Otto Scharmer; Peter Senge co-wrote a book called Presence which I loved so I knew the book would be more in line with what I wanted.

It is. It’s about letting go of what you know, without judging it, settling into the unknown – that nothingness of possibilities – and sensing what wants to emerge through you, then immediately taking the actions that appear suddenly obvious.

It’s what I love about the coaching process – when I let go of needing to fix, when I surrender to what wants to happen and accompany the client, using my intuition to guide me it feels so magical, so amazing, and it is very powerful; the client gets so much more from a coaching session where I have done very little and listened deeply.

Last night I laid down, closed my eyes and let myself gently down the side of the U. When I do this I notice things from my past and I see how they have informed my current behaviours. Then I slip into emptiness; immediately I slip back out of it because my ego feels lost, helpless. This seesawing continues until I relax completely into the emptiness. I don’t remember exactly what happens next but after a while I get an image of what to do – last night it was to cut an old scouring pad into pieces and sew them to a canvas. Resisting it for a while, I continued to lay on my bed and the urge to act on the image grew stronger and stronger so I gave in.

After sewing the scouring pad pieces to the canvas I got another image: throw paint over the canvas. It was specific about which paint to use: lilac wall paint which I’d used to paint my bedroom a few years ago. I ignored it.

The urge wouldn’t leave me alone so I did it this afternoon. It was such fun! I forgot how much fun it is to paint with a stick and old paint, slapping it here, trickling it there. I’d been a worried grown up before playing with the paint; the moment I grabbed a floor cushion to get comfy while splatting paint on a canvas with a stick I left my grown up worries behind. 🙂


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