Knowing that I am not complete without you

Having carried an inspiring passage from Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act around for a while, I fully anticipated it would frame my work this week…

Art is choosing to do something skillfully,
caring about the details,
bringing all of yourself
to make the finest work you can.
It is beyond ego, vanity, self-glorification,
and need for approval.

+ Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, Penguin Random House, 2023

Yet I felt a hesitation. Not because the words weren’t excellent, but because they weren’t quite centre stage. Something was missing.

And then I realised what it was. It was singular, all about us and our work as individuals.

Whereas increasingly, I know that we neither exist nor create on our own.

The whole of life, not to mention the universe, is relational. Yet we’ve been schooled in individualism and are emaciated as a result.

“I am not complete without you.”

This is a beautiful phrase I learned and experienced with my dear friend, Dr Roger Moss. Roger was an eminent psychiatrist who pioneered integrated community health teams in the South-West of England long before it was fashionable.

His appreciation of the significance of relationships influenced every aspect of his life. And I was grateful to have known him.

Who contributes to your wholeness, and who do you enable to be more fully themselves?

Today, we need this more than ever, especially as the dominant narrative asserts that we should strive for success that is ours alone.

Let’s choose relational wholeness instead.

Pause. See differently. Re-story 🌿

This week

Exploring some of the dimensions of relationships.

A few good words

Do the language and the words we use influence how we think? I suspect we have become more open to recognising the impact of words for a while, including through the writings of people like Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass. Her insights into the effects of English being a noun-based language and its consequence for objectifying the non-human world were a revelation to me.  

Lera Boroditsky is a cognitive scientist and linguist. Her TED talk How language shapes the way we think is excellent and will give you plenty of food for thought…