The Secret of Playing Full Out – Part One

Why did you originally choose to attend Klemmer workshops?  Were you looking for something more in your life, perhaps in the form of relationships, achieving goals, blasting past personal barriers that were hindering you?  In our last newsletter we talked about Curtis, who had achieved a lot of his goals, yet still felt unfulfilled.  Maybe you can relate to him, having also tried to remedy that feeling by reaching for higher and higher goals and ending in the cycle of More, Better, Different.  Or maybe your goals have eluded you.  Your chosen direction has proven to be more difficult than you imagined and now you’ve pulled back and are not playing full out.  Maybe you’ve given up altogether.

When we try to fill ourselves up with something external to ourselves we eventually face these outcomes.  How do we live then, instead, from our beingness?

We begin by realizing why we operate from our mind and ego, rather than our beingness.  Our ego is shaped starting at a young age when we experience pain.  Pain causes us to shrink back and alters how we feel about ourselves.  In a sense we then have “holes” in our wholeness.  To help picture this, there is an analogy of a block of cheese.  Each of us starts out as a whole block, but every time we experience a painful event, we pull back and that becomes a hole in the block of cheese.  As we age and experience more painful events we eventually end up looking like a block of Swiss cheese.  In an effort to feel better about ourselves, we fill up those holes with external things such as the love from another person, having a purpose, sex, work, money… the list is endless and depends on the individual.  Then, if you could dissolve the real cheese, what you’d have left are the fillers, or what we call ego.

Eventually these external fillers become our image, the identity we cling to.  And because we find at least temporary relief from our fillers, we can be very protective about them.  We avoid anything that threatens our identity.  We attack things that don’t agree with it.  When we lose one of our fillers, we have to fill up the hole again.  For instance, if we are jilted by someone we’ve received love from, we might blame them for not filling our needs, and again seek to fill that hole with someone else – or we might bail out emotionally altogether.  The same is true for the goals we achieve.  When gratification from reaching a goal wears off, we have to fill in that hole again.  That is how we end up going back for something More, Better or Different.  On the other hand, if we don’t achieve a goal, we pull back in order to protect our image or we shift gears into something else.  Either way, our willingness to play full out is hindered.

As we become aware of our fillers, we can stop protecting them.  Letting go of having to keep holes filled and guard a false identity all the time opens up our creativity.  It frees us to take risks and ultimately to play full out from a different level:  our beingness.  This is the place of knowing we are whole, unique individuals who are intrinsically valuable.

But this is just the beginning.  There are other aspects to playing full out that we’ll discuss further when we pick up this subject again in an upcoming newsletter.

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