I saw the visitors queue trailing around Florence’s Galleria dell’Academia on a day visit back in 2012 and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get in.
This gallery houses Michelangelo’s David but this wasn’t the sculpture I wanted to see. I’d read about four unfinished statues by the great sculptor, thought to be prisoners or slaves. The images showed huge figures struggling to be free from the stone they were being hewn from. These sculptures spoke immediately to me as illustrations or metaphors for how we are wrestling to become the people we want to be, escaping from what our lives have become.
It took four years to return to Florence and to the gallery, but there they were, lining a long gallery which led towards David. I watched the other visitors entering the same space. Most ignored the unfinished statues and moving in a transfixed state towards the towering David. I made my way slowly down the gallery, gazing on the unfinished figures, taking an hour to arrive where everyone else stood, having their pictures taken with David behind them. (The doodle is made up of the shapes contained in these four carvings, with the figure emerging taken from the outline of one of the visitors that day).
In divergence, we have opened our minds to see ourselves differently and have noticed many things. Some of these are more meaningful to us than others. We now open our hearts to feel the energy in what is more important, becoming sensitive to what may be weak signals or whispers from our lives. Michelangelo sought the figure concealed within the stone, and we are seeking the person we have but one lifetime to become.
SOMETHING TO DO: If you have begun to keep the lists of things which energise and de-energise you, identify the three most significant things from each list, so, the most energising and the most de-energising.
Begin to form three statements from your three most energising things. Beginning with the words I feel strong when I am …, outline what is energising you. These may be the most energising expressions of your talent themes. You can test these things by reflecting through asking these questions:
How am I successful when I do this?
How am I being intuitive when doing this?
Do I grow when doing this?
Does it meet a need in me?
Repeat this for the most de-energising things, except this time form three statements beginning with the words I feel weak when I am … . These will be things that do not involve your talent themes but it is imperative that you notice them. Again, you may ask the questions about success, intuition, growth, and need, in reverse:
How am I unsuccessful when I do this?
How do I struggle to be intuitive when doing this?
Is there any growth in me?
Does it meet any need in me?
RESOURCES YOU MAY ENJOY:
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus
Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
Evelyn Glennie’s TEDtalk: How to truly listen