The self


‘Committing to embrace the world just as it is’ (Chodron, 2012)

‘narratives of the self are not personal impulses made social, but social impulses realised on the site of the personal’ (Gergen, 1994)


Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, 1939


My start point questions and curiosities

Gergen’s description reminds me of the trapped humans in The Matrix – and its rabbit holes.

Pema Chodron’s description suggests to me an awesome human potential. Perhaps related to those rabbit holes.

Is it possible to embrace that social processes are being realised on the site of myself? In doing so is there a chance to move beyond it?

Is there a possibility of a felt sense of these social processes being realised on the self, perhaps through reflective practice?

Might (what we call) compassion play a role in supporting us to embrace the apparently inherent bleakness that Gergen’s statement suggests – without falling into further distractions and platitudes to escape? Or is that just another social process being realised on the site of myself?

The poem below is based on a discussion from a meditation session weaving in the themes above

Angry Conkers

We unleashed strings of words


and thought we watched as they pinballed

through air thick enough to carry sunshine

across the window, across our skins,

like love.


How conkery is a conker, before I learn its names?

What speaks when I shout

I am angry!

I am angry!

I am angry!


Could I ever be still enough to sense a space

beyond the words,

Or trace the pinging after sound to know its trails?


Could I weigh each word,

Then speak it lightly enough, to watch

what else enters?

If any of this has sparked anything in you, I’d love to hear from you as part of this open discussion. You could put any thoughts below, message me…or grab someone near you  and have chat (and I’d STILL love to hear from you after).

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