The crucial point is that trauma robs us of what Van der Kolk terms “self-leadership” — the sense of having agency over ourselves and being in charge of our own experience. The path to recovery is therefore paved with the active rebuilding of that sense. He writes: The challenge of recovery is to reestablish ownership of your body and your mind — of your self. This means feeling free to know what you know and to feel what you feel without becoming overwhelmed, enraged, ashamed, or collapsed. For most people this involves (1) finding a way to become calm and focused, (2) learning to maintain that calm in response to images, thoughts, sounds, or physical sensations that remind you of the past, (3) finding a way to be fully alive in the present and engaged with the people around you, (4) not having to keep secrets from yourself, including secrets about the ways that you have managed to survive.
Writing was the only work I did that was for myself and by myself. In the process, one exercises sovereignty in a special way. All sensibilities are engaged, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes sequentially. While I'm writing, all of my experience is vital and useful and possibly important. It may not appear in the work, but it is valuable.
What is being normalized here is the disparity between our online and offline selves. As we flaunt and exploit our online personas for the gratification of the actual voyeur within us, the divide widens. We watch ourselves being watched, to borrow Berger’s idiom, and thereby hand over power to those who survey us—not to an individual or demarcated group, but simply to the abstract notion of the audience. The power differential is eventually felt personally, sometimes painfully, because the audience is never clearly identified.
"How do you get so empty? he wondered. Who takes it out of you?"
∆ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“The relations between one soul and another, expressed through such uncertain and variable things as shared words and proffered gestures, are deceptively complex. The very act of meeting each other is a non-meeting. Two people say ‘I love you’ or mutually think it and feel it, and each has in mind a different idea, a different life, perhaps even a different colour or fragrance, in the abstract sum of impressions that constitute the soul’s activity.”
∆ Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
Small is good, small is all. (The large is a reflection of the small.)
Change is constant. (Be like water.)
There is always enough time for the right work.
There is a conversation in the room that only these people at this moment can have. Find it.
Never a failure, always a lesson.
Trust the People. (If you trust the people, they become trustworthy.)
Move at the speed of trust. Focus on critical connections more than critical mass—build the resilience by building the relationships.
Less prep, more presence.
What you pay attention to grows.
Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called ‘yutori,’ and it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around.