Don’t Panic, it’s all Organic.

Posted on: June 19th, 2012

By adminDanNorman

To fellow travellers, I tip my hat.

A while ago I made a decision.  I think, if truth be told, this blog is helping finish that decision, make it more concrete and free me up to get on with things.  Things which matter.  My schooling and my overall experience in the world of work never really sat well with me.  I was popular, for sure, yet always kept myself on the fringe of things, oscillating between gangs, clubs, never planting myself firmly in any of them.  Lessons at school only became interesting when I started to see links and patterns between them and too much rigidity in structure, timing and protocol left me needing longer and longer amounts of solitary time to recharge and reconnect with that “important place.”  Whilst I could apply myself to the given way of doing things I generally found a growing feeling of unease, trappedness and solitariness.  I’d receive much advice in many forms, very logical sounding, coherent, ordered advice that made absolute sense to me in my head, yet wouldn’t always digest in my gut, or heart as it were.  It took me about thirty more years to understand the kind of contact and help it is that I need.

This blog is about differences.  It’s also about the crushing realisation sometimes that our inherent differences are often our biggest misgivings, misunderstandings and source of pain.  Many times and many occasions we are driven to eradicate, edit, conform, control and repress much of what feels like a spontaneity or quirkiness because there’s simply no place for it, we and our nuances aren’t supported or cherished in environments that ask for specific traits in specific measures.  Whilst healthy boundaries and contact skills are inevitably needed and championed in most situations, there is often small opportunity and safety for us to let loose, truly relax and simply be.  I recall standing in my playground aged just eleven, standing still and wondering, virtually out loud, what the bloody hell had happened to my life.  One short year ago I was climbing trees, in shorts playing with my mates, relishing unbound play and freedom, to be transported to senior school with it’s academic ranking tables (which I nearly topped for a year), gowns and funny hats and messages such as “if you’re smiling you’re not learning.”  I remember standing still and with an enormous yearning thinking “what…about….me?”  This experience has formed the single most important inquiry for me in my life which is “what is it like to be in the world, what is that like for me, for you?”

The split between identifying fully with my “lot” and sacrificing what felt like my spirit to it, was too much at that age, I had neither the faculty or wherewithal to receive help (the kind I needed) and fell into a rebellion of not listening, not learning, not participating and not engaging.  I spent a full three years like a zombie, walking the hallways functioning not well enough to fit in and not badly enough to get kicked out.  I discovered weight training in this time and my armouring and consolidation as a rebel with a silent and not violent cause became my identity.  I know now, through some disciplines and testing that I’m introverted, think abstractly, learn globally, am largely visual and kinaesthetic in my learning style, INFP, champion options and strategies above most things and am drawn to mediating, avoiding conflict and resolution.  Peace and calm are my most deeply held ideals and I will, often to my detriment, pursue these things selfishly.  It is where I am safest.  Then, moving from safe harbours to allow more engagement with the world, weathering relationships, new challenges and deep, abiding acceptance of emerging self, daring to express the centre, daring to even approach it…

The difficulty comes when you develop and emerge with a sense that you have compensated in a way that could have been better, could have been other, didn’t travel  the route that was presented and you now can’t see the beauty in who and what you are, and how you have an offering, that whilst might not be God-like, and I’ve wanted to believe that trust me, is uniquely yours and one that you can shape and create a life around, as I believe we must do to both survive, thrive and not go generally nuts.  The path that I took and many of us took is uniquely ours and many people I coach, train, talk to and relate with, have immensely beautiful, painful and rich experiences to share.  We deal with shame, pain, guilt, defences, blind spots, numbness, darkness and isolation.  We rise to joy, empathy, connection, fulfilment, fight, flight and creation.  We break, we heal and we start over.  We live the same dualities and the same paradox seen through a multiverse of personal levels, lines, stages, types, suppositions, beliefs and accidents.

When I was eleven, I was deeply struck by the gap I felt, the discrepancy and the pain between what I had to do, what was being asked of me and who I thought I was, what support I needed, and now, looking back, how I could use what I had to meet the conditions I found myself in, rather than believe that my conditions of worth were solely based around achieving certain criteria.  How I can hold to the best of my ability and desire, both these birds in one hand.  I’ve slowly learned and slowly still learn how to recognise this intriguing relationship of self, other, being and doing and the mighty challenge of finding that which we need in ourselves, to express who and what we are, in changing life circumstances and conditions.  We read, we converse, we learn through trial and error, we hang our hat on many, many pegs as time goes by whilst we are here yet a thread runs through it all, the thread we refer to  as “I,” the experience of our view, our place our time and our journey.

When you think you need to lay some artificial process down on yourself or you find yourself in a situation that is truly testing you to your marrow, get help, lean on people who you know you can love, be loved by and trust, to rest in your difference, your story, your strengths, “gather your chi” and remember….


Don’t panic.  It’s all organic.



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