On Sunday, I mentioned that Intentional Creativity® had become one of my filters and some of you asked me to say more about that. Here’s the short version…
A smart guy named Bill Harris taught me years ago about his model for human perception. It’s fascinating. (And a bit hard to write out!)
Let’s start with big arrow at the right side of the photo, above.
According to Bill, we humans have between 2 and 3 BILLION bits of information coming at us every second. And that was, technologically, several generations ago!
Most of us, on an average sort of day, can handle between 2 and 3 HUNDRED bits of information at a time. (Yep, that’s a big difference!)
So, how do we do it? How do we actually exist in the face of a barrage of stuff needing to be reacted to and sorted and filed all the time?
Well, Bill said, we use filters, aka gatekeepers! They’re the stack of blank lines left of the arrow.
These are a few of my favorites…
Here’s an easy example… Let’s say I started writing this in Hungarian, right here in the middle. Your language filter says, Oooooops, this does not compute! and you, wise one that you are, would filter me out and go back to whatever you were doing before. (Unless, of course, you read Hungarian which would impress the tar out of me!)
Please don’t go… the good stuff is on the way!
How does your filter decide what to let in and what to toss out?
Well, as scary as this may seem, what gets in is generally what fits our Map of Reality, which is the oval-ish space to the left of the filters.
Why do we care?
Well, when we’re under stress, our filters get less effective. For some of us, they block more things – potentially useful things – out.
For others, the filters just disappear and EVERYTHING gets in. Like, all 2 – 3 BILLION things to sort.
And, if you’ll pardon me for stating the obvious, this helps explain why the pandemic has been so incredibly hard for so many of us to process. It doesn’t fit our Map of Reality. Or didn’t.
Here’s the good – if potentially shocking – news. Our Map of Reality is ONLY A MAP! And, blessedly, it can be edited!
One of the easiest ways to start editing is to experiment with some new strategy filters.
This is what I was hinting at when I said that Intentional Creativity has become one of my filters, and it let through another big Ah-hah this week!
I’ve been painting along on Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom you may have met Sunday. I’m really loving the way she’s appearing on my canvas.
By Monday, I had reached the point for an early batch of prayer dots. CNN graciously provided me with a whole bunch of stuff to filter and pray about.
As time went on, I noticed that something about my painting felt unsettling.
Lots more dots later, I realized what it was.
I had begun the painting with some historic images to guide me as the events some folks would describe as Marian apparitions in Mexico are, well, a bit outside the Map of Reality I toted around for a lot of years now.
As the tradition portrays, I had painted her with a voluminous veil covering almost all of her hair.
She declined. Politely. Firmly.
The art work that’s coming through me at this moment in history is literally being shaped by my inner processing of the news from Afghanistan!
And, so, I implemented a strategy I learned from Shiloh Sophia McCloud, who’s at least as wise as Bill Harris, which says, simply:
Anything can be painted over!
Here’s a glimpse of where we are, now… my #WIP!
Just in case you’re interested in experimenting with some new strategies, as well, I have a suggestion!
Really! Paint. New strategies. Big fun. Sisterhood. Hope.
It’s like this… not only do our strategies need a bit of editing in this moment, the same is true for all those we love. And one of the best ways for us to teach that kind of healing is to learn new things and tell the stories!
ps… I am deeply honored to serve among the leaders for Forest of Grandmothers and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about stress, filters, this journey, and whether this might be a strategy you’d like to to explore.
ps… You don’t need to be an actual Grandmother to grow in the Forest! Elders, Advocates, Teachers, Aunties, Curious Artists-in-training… Welcome!