juin 19, 2014

The wrong end of the telescope


« Who am I to say that?” That’s what you wonder when you’re about to try something bold, create something new, do something you never did before.


Who am I to write that / speak on stage / direct / lead a group / offer my services, my art / ask for more money / contact that person, take the lead / help / thrill these people?

It feels so small, weak, feeble — like when I was eleven and was terrified of getting beat up by the tall Talbot. Or had a crush on a girl who only had eyes for some fool from the next village over, who parked his jacked-up Duster next to the school and drank beer with the door open.

But there it is: when I ask myself this type of question, it’s a sign I’m not looking in the right direction. That I’m looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

The mistake is looking at myself through a set of lenses that make me look small. The mistake is focusing my attention on “me”.

But when I look through the other end — the right end, the one the telescope’s designer intended for viewing — I see something else entirely.

I see the other.

Even from far away, I see her up close. Her skin, her blinking eyelid. Her breathing. I can almost see the surface of her skin rising with her heartbeat.

I see the confusion in her eyes. Her need to be seen and appreciated. Her loneliness, her fear of suffering. Her zest, the desire she doesn’t quite know how to deploy. Her desire to participate. Her fear of being judged inadequate.

Her beauty. Her intrinsic nobility.


What I am, what I think I am or am not, none of that really matters a bit when I’m looking through the right end. The idea of pretending anything doesn’t even come up.

It’s not me that it’s all about.

The question becomes: what can I bring, here, now? What would best serve?

What would I do if I dared?

To your boldness,


p.s. Starting now I’m going to change the letter’s frequency, at least for a while… Instead of publishing every week, I’ll limit myself to two letters per month, on the first and third week of the month. I want to focus in a bolder way on building my coaching practice (thanks to Jay, my awesome mentor coach, for challenging me this morning).

But I’m not forgetting you… And if I have something special to share or announce in-between letters, I’ll let you know!

photos: Andres Thor, Vandan Desai

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