I like to experience instead of believe

Sep 23

I don’t often consult astrology, but when I do… the result is unsettling.

Let me backtrack.

I’m in my pyjamas on my friend M’s couch, absorbed in the act of transporting my morning coffee into my sleepy face.

She’s dressed in colourful robes, raving and ranting as she paces about the room.

There’s bright light shining through the old tall windows, illuminating the eclectic assortment of antique furniture, artworks manifectured out of pieces of dead birds, and books.

So many books.

My feigned interest for the topic of her rave, as she goes on about Human Design, becomes more real with every sip.

With only my birth date and time, the help of this very thick book and an app on her phone, she’ll tell me my challenges in life and how I should go about navigating them.

Of course I am open minded and curious, so I supply the data.

Here’s what I remember from my typology:

  • I am going to have to get my intuition, heart and mind all aligned and on the same page if I want to make any good decision, and that’s not easy because they are so separate for me. Lots of inner negotiating and listening are needed if I want to be 100% on board and committed to any direction.

  • More jarringly, I am going to spend my life hitting my head against concrete walls, making painful mistake after painful mistake, stacking failure on top of failure, until I have reached my thirties. At which point I will finally wisen up.

I am 27 at the time.

That’s 3 more years of painful head-concrete action.

It’s not what I wanted to hear, but I knew it was right: somehow I have spent my life doing things that others have advised me not to do, falling into traps that I was warned very well about, and licking very preventable wounds.

I have let myself be provoked into physical confrontations in the street, being strongly outnumbered and completely inexperienced, knowing full well that my chances of winning were close to zero, since I couldn’t even throw a tennis ball like a normal person. A dangerous and desperate attempt to prove something wrong. My body still carries the scars.

I have started and quit college degrees that were insanely difficult, too much pressure for someone who has not learnt to manage their ADHD well. But I wanted to prove that I could do it.

I have started businesses with unreliable people, even though I knew about their addiction. I wanted to give them a chance because I cared for them. Even though the generally accepted advice is not to go into business with friends, I wanted to prove the rule wrong.

I have gone full-force into personal-development endeavours, be it workout schedules, commitments to create a video and post it every day, or twice-a-day meditation habits that turned out too hard to stick to. Despite all the people telling me to start easy and build it up slowly.

I have tried drugs that everyone said were very addictive, started hanging out with a group of people who took them every weekend, until I found out for myself that they are very addictive and I better stop.

It’s all banging my head against the concrete wall that people were already pointing out to me.

But in another perspective, I have not accepted any limitations put upon me.

Every time I heard someone say that something is “not possible”, I have challenged their belief and used myself as the guinea pig.

I have found out a whole lot of things that I can do, aspects of myself that I would not have discovered and developed had I not had this experimental attitude. Had I not had this bias against limitation, against group think, this tendency to disbelieve anything that starts with “you can’t”.

I found out I can do public speaking. I found out I love improv comedy and have a knack for it. I found out about tantra. I found out I’m good at coaching and love it. I found out I can lead groups of people through exercises that help them get valuable insights.

I’m a fan of embodying science, being a scientist in my daily life, and throwing out commonly believed limitation every day to get a chance at a new discovery, even in the face of pain and humiliation from walking into well-established traps.

This tendency to disbelieve anything that starts with “you can’t”, and to be willing to put that to the test in one’s own life, is what makes someone a scientist in my book.

Written by Erik Jongbloed