storied landscapes


I don't have to upset myself. Worlds rolling at my feet. 

A story: We were driving, spinning thoughts, silent ranting gone aflame, arguing. A politico-cultural issue way bigger than us. You got to choose sides. Right or wrong. 

No right or wrong. Only an opportunity to find our common humanity, peel off a few layers, healing (which we almost missed). “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there,” writes Rumi.  

But we forgot the field. 

A stubbornness settled in. Separation. Right or wrong. Tell me I am right. Tell me I understand this thing beyond ideas that is about roots, belonging, love - being seen, seeing. Way deeper than any story.  

The road wound down. A sign on its shoulder: “Critical Habitat Ending.” 

Around us native plants, endangered, seeking roots, belonging, being seen. We looked at each other. We laughed. Critical habitat ending.

The reality underneath story is to ask: What’s real in this moment? Ground under my feet. To say, I am built for this. In the brevity of space, “the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” (Franz Kafka)

But also to accept: Thoughts happen. Thoughts spin into ideas, beliefs, words, conversations, emotions, love affairs, arguments. We take it all as real. Of course. We rely on the stories we adhere to. We can't help it. 

We are built for reality. Stories are part of millennia of such building. 

And something else: We are built for insight. Radical and sudden shifts in perspective. A bold flash in the empty space between story. A sign in the field catching us breathless. Magic. 

Flash of insight. I do not have to upset myself. Humor for all that has happened and cannot unhappen. Critical habitat ending. End of story. 

we forgot the filed | unsplash | bryan-minear

we forgot the filed | unsplash | bryan-minear

And for the research around emotions, choices, stories - the responsibility that is ours:

This Ted Talk by Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University.

And that thing about critical habitat ending: Metaphors are powerful tools. They can change the way we think of a concept on an unconscious level. What’s more, we can craft them to better manage emotions. Stop and listen, they are in fact everywhere, rolling at our feet.


How will you welcome your world rolling at your feet today? It’s real. Send me your story or ask a question. Forward this blog to someone. I promise I will respond. 


Thanks as always for reading. Together we grow our impact for good 10x.  With gratitude, sophia