What can the story of Michelangelo’s Statute of David teach us about ourselves. When we are aware we can then choose marble or angel.
[00:50] F-Off Marble! I’m Free!
[04:00] Freedom Sculpture by Zenos Frudakis
[05:26] The biggest reason we remain stuck in our marble
[08:10] Pause and ask yourself what is the marble in yourlife?
“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved, until I set him free.” Michelangelo
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth, our freedom.” Victor Frankl
Our thoughts are electric; our emotions are magnetic.
We are thinking feeling beings.
When you notice what you feel, you can then pause and become aware.
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As we are about to talk on awareness, I want to make you aware that to get the most value out of this episode, please listen to the Intro Episode first! And now – Awareness!
Shocking. Really shocking. Years ago, I am sitting at one of the most sacred places for me, my temple, contemplating on the direction of the book I am currently writing, when all of a sudden, I hear, “Eff off marble. I am free!” Through a hesitant cloud of immediate self-judgement for desecrating a sacred place, I timidly ask the Spirit, “What? What did you say?” In a gentler way, with clear love and support, and with a full interpretation comes the phrase again, “Eff off marble. I am free.”
Rewind. Several generations back. Back to the story you might have heard. The famous Italian sculptor Donatello in the mid 1450s rejects a slab of marble due to its faulty structure and veins, which in marble language means lack of stability and durability. Bad, bad marble! Fifty years later, sometime around 1501-1504, from the same “faulty” slab of marble, another Italian sculptor and artist, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Sioni, simply known to us as the great Michelangelo, carves a sculpture of David. Having withstood the test of time, David still stands this day in beautiful Florence. Arguably, the most influential sculpture of all times. When asked by his contemporaries how he could possibly carve a masterpiece from a faulty marble, Michelangelo simply answered, “I saw the angel in the marble, and I carved until I set him free.”
We are that angel. I am that angel. You are that angel. You and I are covered with layers and layers of marble: marble of rejection, of anger, of addiction, of shame, of humiliation, of guilt, of lack, of depression, of stress, of anxiety, of apathy, of disease, of misunderstanding, of betrayal. You name it – just layers and layers of marble. All of it in different ways representing different suffocating BS -Belief Systems so to say, that we either developed ourselves or have inherited from our biological or sociological environment, yes, from mom and dad and all around. Our life is full of that BS. Of that marble. More on that later. For now, oh how very freeing it is for our spirit to shout out, to reach out, to break out and to announce its freedom, “Eff off marble! I am free!” Come on, say it with me, “Eff off marble! I am FREE!”
Now back on track. We are again at the previous temple setting. At first, I am observing all of the above thoughts unfold in my mind. Then, as two of my friends and I are leaving the temple in Philadelphia and I am passionately sharing the vision with them, we take a different route thanks to the power of Wayz app and what I have come to believe was divine intervention. Even as the “I am free” phrase leaves my lips, we drive right by the Freedom Sculpture by Zenos Frudakis, which I see for the first time. We all fall silent in the car, where the only language remaining is the intense pulsating of love, the silent validation of serendipity, the chills on the skin, the validation from the same Spirit, the famous goosebumps you have experienced before that tell you, oh yeah, this one is for real, this one is surreal. The sculpture depicts several stages of a figure breaking out of the bronze block, until it is fully out and in the middle of the street, free from any confinement, free.
Viktor Frankl wrote, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” This is the space of awareness.
This is where it all starts truly. You cannot break yourself free from a prison, if you are not aware you are in one! While so very simple and obvious, this lack of awareness is the biggest reason we remain stuck in our daily suffocating marble of poor relationships, bad health, draining jobs, and the darkest and deepest marble of them all – a hollowing feeling of loneliness. Why loneliness? Because the darkest, the scariest, and the most inaccessible prison of all is a prison of our own mind. We are both the prisoner and the guard, the captive and the warden. It is the thick marble of this prison’s walls that we have to break through first, prior to breaking through any other external obstacles in our life.
How aware are you at this very moment of the prison term of your own mind? Are you an involuntary captive? Staying awake late at night, tossing and turning, unable to turn off this buzzing machine of your mind? Are you a guard that keeps your deepest fears deep inside, while pushing through on the outside, faking it till you make it and exhausting yourself in the process? Are you halfway through your prison break, aware of the limiting patterns and tediously releasing them? Or are you free, absolutely free to notice the thoughts of hope, of peace, and of encouragement at all times?
You see optimism and positivity are not the same thing. Optimism is seeking and finding the most optimal, the best possible solution for any situation, without denying its seriousness. Positivity can be a denial tool when we are unaware of our own hidden prison patterns. So, we stay very very positive, while remaining a captive, a positive prisoner of our limiting beliefs and behaviors. Indeed, this is better than the destroying voice of nagging negativity, which we often fall victim to or squash deep inside, hiding the ugly truth about ourselves. It is only through courageous awareness and persistent optimism that can we truly free our mind and our life. Pause for a minute and honestly ask and answer yourself – where is that marble in your life? And, more importantly, where is that marble in your mind? Are your ready to eff it off! Let’s do it!
Come on, say with me: “Eff off marble! I am FREE!” And on we go.
How do you become aware? With all of my client and audience work, I go back to the simple principle: notice what you notice, because what you notice is what you create in your life. You see we notice things all the time. And it is what and how we notice, what and how we pay attention to that determines how our world unfolds either for us or against us, but always through us. It is the voice that we listen to that dictates our lives.
Let’s break it down. You have wanted a new car for a very long time now. But it was either your kid’s school, your mother’s medical bills, or being laid off work for three weeks that simply makes it seem impossible for you to get one. And wouldn’t you know it, your friend calls you with great excitement telling you that she just got a new car – the exact one that you have been dreaming of. Ok, you are trying to be happy for her. Really trying. But this sucks. Majorly! It is this moment of awareness that you pause and ask yourself, what am I noticing and how am I noticing it. What am I noticing – the unfairness of me not getting a car or her joy of having one? And how am I noticing – with a heavy feeling for me or the excited one for her? For most of us, the feelings are complex and mixed. Validating them is very important, because if we hide our negative feelings, we can never break free from them. And more so, if we drown in them, we can never create what we want. And what we feel and what we notice is what we create more of in our life! More shit or more shine. Shit or shine. Marble or angel. Yep.
This is why. Every time we have a thought, it registers an electrical impulse in our mind. Many repetitive impulses create a current, a path through our mind. Just like if you would be going through the forest. If nobody has gone before you, it is very hard to find a path. There are branches and brush in the way. If there have been a few people, you will see an easier clearing, with the branches cleared and the grass tumbled down a bit, making it easier to walk. If this has become a well-trodden path, the grass is now all worn out and you see a great dirt trail, comfortable to walk on. With every person passing by, the path is easier to walk. It is faster. And it is calling and inviting every new person to take it, because it is obviously the easiest way through. Our brain is very much the same. With every passing thought, the path is formed through our brain. The more the thought occurs to us, the faster, deeper, stronger, and easier the path becomes, inviting all our thoughts to take it as the easiest way to think. If you keep thinking, “I just can’t do this,” and you keep thinking it over and over again, that path with time becomes a highway, quickly defaulting most of your thoughts to believing that it is impossible for you to do something or anything.
As our thoughts are electric, any electric current has a magnetic field around it. This magnetic field is our emotions. Our thoughts are electric. Our emotions are magnetic. We are thinking-feeling beings or electro-magnetic beings. It is this electro-magnetic field that sets the energy setting in our body – either stagnant, obstructed blocks of that marble caused by heavy thoughts and emotions, or a light hopeful flow, caused by light thoughts and emotions. It is harder to pinpoint the thoughts we recycle in our minds, but our emotions make themselves more present to us. We know when we feel anxious or calm, insecure or confident, fearful or brave, depressed or full of passion for life. We know. As we notice what we feel, we can then pause to notice what we think that creates those feelings. We become aware. Becoming aware we can then choose which reality to align ourselves with. Which voice to listen to. Marble or angel. Shit or shine.
But that would be our next episode on Alignment. See you then!