The Girl and The Tree

The child stood 9,573 feet above sea level and sighed.

She didn’t understand the lesson being taught to her, and her mind was having trouble comprehending exactly what it was she was meant to be doing.

“Not doing.

Just being.

Now do you understand?”

The girl looked bewildered.

“No.” she said.

“I don’t.

Can you please try again?”

The Goddess looked at the child and sighed.

“I don’t see how you can not understand?” she said. “Which part don’t you understand? Is it the beginning? Is it the middle or is it the end?” Where are you having difficulties child?”

The child sighed.

“All of it. I don’t understand the beginning, the middle or the end. Please explain it to me one more time, and I will try my hardest.

I promise.”

The Goddess looked at the child with warmth.

“Ok. But this is the last time…..maybe we could try something different this time? What if instead of me talking, I ask you questions instead. Would you like that?”

The child brightened.

“Yes please! I would like that very much.”

“Right. Let’s begin then.

Tell me child..what is the difference between mankind and the Gods?”

The child knew this immediately.

“Mortality. The Gods are immortal and mankind is mortal.

“Correct!” said the Goddess

“Now, tell me child, what is the difference between mankind and machine?”

The child knew this immediately too!

“It is thought and emotion” she replied. “Man can think and feel and a machine can not.”

“Also correct!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, tell me something.

If a machine could think…… what then would be the difference between man and machine?”

The child responded quickly. She was getting good at this question and answer thing.

“It’s emotion.” she said.

“If the difference between man and machine is thought and feeling, and then you take away thought (because the machine can think for itself) then the difference left over is feeling and feeling equals emotion, so therefore emotion is the answer.

“Very good!” beamed the Goddess.

“Now you understand the beginning. Do you think that is a fair thing to say?”

The child answered quickly.

“If what you just taught is the beginning, then yes, I agree I understand.”

“Excellent!” said the Goddess.

“Now let’s move onto the middle.”

“Tell me child?”

“Yes.”

“Why did you come here today?”

“Because it’s my birthday” said the child. “And each year I am allowed to come visit. You told me that yourself.”

“I told you that each year on your birthday is the only day I can intervene in your earthly life” said the Goddess. “If you interpret that as visiting, this is fine, but still my question remains.

Why did you come here today?”

The child had been waiting for this question as it was where they had both became entangled previously.

“I came because I have a question regarding my destiny.” replied the child.

“I’m confused. I don’t understand what I am meant to do.”

The Goddess looked at the child and could see the pain in her eyes. She had tried to explain this to the child earlier, but she couldn’t grasp what she was saying, and now she wondered how to explain it with wisdom, and yet still allow the child to comprehend the meaning.

“Tell me child” said the Goddess.

“How did you get here today?”

The child re-traced the steps in her mind and then spoke out loud.

“I left home…

“Yes?”

“And I turned left at the tree….walked though town and turned right to board the ship and cross the ocean…”

“Yes?”

“And then I got off the ship, and climbed the mountain….all the way to the top…and well….here I am.”

“Very good.” said the Goddess.

“Now child?”

“Yes Goddess?”

“Tell me something…”

“What is it?”

“When you passed the tree on your journey here…what was it doing?”

“The tree?” asked the child

“Yes. The tree.” replied the Goddess.

Oh no….. thought the child…..here we go again…

“I don’t understand the question Goddess. The tree wasn’t doing anything. It’s a tree. It’s just there. It just is.”

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess with a broad smile.

“Now lets move forward!”

“When you crossed the ocean, what was it doing when you crossed it?”

“I don’t understand this question either” the child said with a heightened sense of whine in her voice.

“The ocean is the same as the tree. It was doing the same thing the tree was doing. It was just doing what the ocean does….sometimes there were waves and sometimes it was calm. But ultimately, just like the tree was being a tree, the ocean was being the ocean.”

“Very good child!” replied the Goddess, silently commending herself on her teaching skills.

“Now, one last question regarding the middle” spoke the Goddess.

“What am I doing?”

The child sat and thought for a minute.

“You are teaching me” she replied.

“Am I?” asked the Goddess.

“Am I teaching you, or am I just being? Exactly like the ocean does what it does because it is what it is….or the same way the tree does what it does, because it is what it is….

Am I teaching you because that’s what I do, or because it is part of my being?”

Oh dear, thought the child. This is all very confusing.

“Well….” began the child….”You are a Goddess, so I would say that is your being…and that you have many different kinds of “doing” and teaching is one of them. Is that correct?”

“Yes!! Exclaimed the Goddess. “You are exactly correct!!”

“Now, for the last part of the middle, let’s see what you have learned…”

“Tell me child?”

“Yes Goddess….”

“What is the destiny of the tree which you passed on the way here?

Don’t tell me what it was doing…tell me instead what it was born to be…”

The child thought for a minute and then spoke.

“The tree’s destiny is to be a tree.” she said calmly.

“Excellent!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, tell me…..”

What is the destiny of the ocean?” What is it there for? What is it’s purpose?”

The child stumbled for a minute before volunteering the answer unknowingly…

“Is it to be the ocean?” she asked timidly before answering her own question.

“The ocean’s destiny, is to be the ocean.”

“Oh! I see! said the child.

And your destiny is to be a Goddess!! Not a teacher….or a warrior…even though they are the things you do….”

“The actual “being” though….Your being….or your destiny….that is to be a Goddess.”

“That’s correct!” said the Goddess.

“Now child, let us finish the part of the middle so we can move onto the end.

Are you ready?”

“Yes!” replied the child confident in her own abilities.

“Tell me child” said the Goddess.

“If the destiny of the tree is to be a tree…

And the destiny of the ocean to be an ocean….

The destiny of the Goddess is to be a Goddess…..

Then what of you child?

Can you now answer your own question of what your destiny is?”

The child realised immediately what the Goddess was saying.

“My destiny is to be human” she replied.

“There are things which I can do, but my destiny to be…..

That destiny is to be that of a human.”

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

And if you pair that information, from what you have learned in lesson one between the machine and mankind, then what are things as a human which Will make up your “being” human?”

The child thought back to the earlier conversation before speaking confidently.

“I will have thoughts and feelings” she replied.

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

“And when you have thoughts and feelings as part of “being” and you “do” something with them….then what happens?” she asked

The child thought.

“Then I create actions.” she replied.

“Excellent!” replied the Goddess.

“We are half way there.”

***

A Journey To The Otherside {With Guests}

“Oh you make me laugh!!

Really?

You think I want to be involved with something like that?

With someone like….

you?”

This is a refined establishment.

We have a reputation to uphold.

What are you even offering anyway?

A journey?

Of what huh?

Where are you going to take me?

Where do I end up?

Where does my company end up?

In some artistic piece of work?

Nobody does art these days.

I don’t need art.

I need clicks.

Likes.

Shares.

Metrics I can track…

And market to.

You want to create art for the sake of art?

There’s no money in that…..

oh…..no.

There’s no money in that.

At all.

“So it’s a deal then?”

{Laughter}

“3 months.

You can have 3 months.

And we’ll re-assess after that.”

The Girl Who Walked With Giants

Once upon a time, there was a girl from a poor family who became lost in the woods.

As night closed in– and frost bit her fingers– a giant in the shape of a woman with a large basket, spotted her.

“Child” she roared; in loud giant tongue

“Why do you shiver and stand still in the frost of the night.

Surely you will freeze if you do not move on?”

The girl cowered under vibration of the giant’s words and froze even more— not saying a word.

“Child!” roared the giant again.

“Can you not hear what I say?” You shall freeze to death if you do not get moving..why are you here? What are you seeking?”

The girl stood cowering even more– until finally, she decided to make a move.

She plucked a hair from her head <for courage> and dropped it onto the forest floor.

“I am lost.” Replied the girl.

“I am lost and do not know my way home.

Rather than go left or right or straight or back again, I am trying to decide what I should do.”

The giant listened to the words of the girl, and then paused thoughtfully– thinking of what she said.

“Child!” roared the giant.

“Would you like to take lodging with my family tonight? You may share a room with my daughter, and tomorrow when the sun rises and the warmth of the day sets over the land, we can help you find your way back to where you belong.”

The girl plucked another strand of hair and dropped it on the forest floor.

“That is kind.” said the girl to the giant.

“I would like that very much.”

And so the Giant picked up the girl and placed her in the basket

And it was said and done.

*

**

“I don’t trust her.

Never have.

Never will.”

The two girls sat side by side.

The giant sitting on the earth—and the human on the branch of a tree—both peering at the stars and speaking of the moon.

“Why do you call  <the moon> a <her>?” asked the human

“And why do you say you do not trust her?”

The giant looked the human in the tree and found it odd she did not know the stories from her kind.

“The moon is a woman…” spoke the Giant with authority.

“Everybody knows that.

Her name is La Luna.

As for why I don’t trust her?

The answer is simple.

Each time I look at her I see a different side from the time before.

Today she is full of love and creativity.

In a few weeks she will be dark.

Over the month, she waxes and wanes.

La Luna is fickle…

I do not know which side I will see each night I come here.

Where is the consistency?

How do I know what to expect?

Or where I stand?

No.

La Luna she is fickle.

And I do not trust her one bit.

*

**

“You’re a little bitch.”

<Slap over the head>

“I’m not listening to what you’ve got to say.

I’m the adult and you’re the child.

No.

I’m not listening.

Shut up.

Shut up you stupid girl!

SHUT UP!

SHUT UP!!!

SHUT UP!

<whack.> <whack.> <whack.>

The child looked at the woman with hatred seething from her pain.

“I HATE YOU” she spat. “I HATE YOU AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!”

The woman laughed

and the girl got up

and ran.

*

**

The girl in the tree looked over at the Giant sitting on the earth.

“You see things differently to me.” She said.

“I know you see La Luna as fickle and that she changes with her cycles, but to me she always stay the same.

I see La Luna as ONE.

She is whole.

And she is full.

And she is complete.

Yet unlike the sun, she has been given a different role to play in this world.

Yes. It’s true.

The sun is constant.

But La Luna is constant too.

Her role is to hold the wholeness within her at all times, but not always show it—if she did, then how would other people see a different perspective or a different side?

Do you see?

La Luna does not take sides.

She is ONE> She understands that all sides of the moon are still one part of the moon.

She does not love the waxing moon any less than the waning moon.

She does not love the full moon any less than the new moon.

La Luna’s Love is constant.

Like the sun there is a never a time that she is not there, it is just that those underneath her light can not always see things under full illumination.

What do you think Giant?

Can you see my point of view?

The moon is simply showing the different sides of what makes up one whole.

*

**

The woman sat discussing the child over the phone to her friend.

“I don’t know what to do with her” she shrieked.

“Someone’s been filling her head with bullshit.

She argues all the time.

She backchats.

And has a foul attitude.

She wont do what shes told.

And thinks she knows best.

What would she know?

She’s a child.

I don’t know who she’s hanging around with but it’s not good for her.

No.

It’s no good at all.

That child needs discipline.

That’s what she needs.

She’s unruly and disrespectful.

Not listening to what I say…thinking she knows best…judging me!

Can you imagine that?

A child thinking she knows whats wrong or right in the world?

Who does she think she is?

Really?

Don’t worry.

I told her.

It’s my way or the highway child.

You do what I say or you get nothing.

We’ll see how far she gets then ‘eh.

She won’t make it a day on her own.

Yes.

Let her go I say.

It’ll teach her a good lesson.

Then she’ll come back and realise she doesn’t know as much as she thinks she knows.

And that the world isn’t all full of sunshine and rainbows.

And that discipline, respect and obedience to ones elders are important.

Yes, you’re right.

I won’t be putting up with that nonsense anymore.

This is my house.

And my rules.

*

**

The giant sitting next to the girl in the tree was curious.

“Where do you live?” she asked.

“And how did you get lost in the woods?”

The girl in the branches thought hard, wondering how best to tell the giant where she came from.

“I live in a town..” she said…”with a family of people……”

“who are similar to the story you shared with me of La Luna.

Where I come from, people don’t see different sides to the same problem.

They see one side only.

Maybe some see the full moon.

Or others the new moon.

Maybe some are convinced that waxing or waning is the only true moon.

But nobody sees the whole picture.

Especially my family.

They present one side of the moon only…

Maybe it is the bright side

Or maybe it is the dark side…

But whatever is presented is one sided.

And that their way is the only way to live.

Or the only path one can walk to reach enlightenment.

Or success.

I got lost in the woods because I ran away.

I wanted to see the truth for myself.

I wanted to see if the world was like La Luna.

Whether or not it was full and rounded, and if so was I only being shown one side.

I wanted to know whether or not my opportunities for my life <like la luna> were always there and yet sometimes hidden from sight or obscured from view from the opinion of the person who was presenting it to me.”

The Giant sitting on the earth looked at the girl and then back at the moon.

“Did you find the answer you were looking for?” she asked and the girl smiled and nodded.

“Yes.” She said.

“Yes I did.”

“And????” asked the giant.

“What is the answer?”

The girl weighed the weight of her words carefully and then answered with honesty.

“The answer….” She said.

“Is that it’s more complicated than one would think.

And I also think that…..I don’t want to go back…..

Not yet.

I don’t fit in there.

I want to be part of a community where I am free to see all sides of the moon and then make up my own mind.

I want to be like La Luna.

I want to see things. And feel things. And show things.

To people who may not get to see them or feel them or witness them.

I want to know the fullness of La Luna within myself and then present it at a different time and a different place in a different way, so that people from my town can see different sides they may not be aware of.

The giant nodded her head.

“Thank you for sharing with me your point of view on the story of La Luna” she said.

“I hadn’t thought of it like that before.

I think you will be very good at your new job.

Maybe I can tell you some more of my stories and you can show me a different side I hadn’t thought of….

Would you like that?” asked the giant.

The girl in the tree nodded.

“I would like that very much” she replied.

*

**

Core Value 1- L O V E – The Fighters Journey

“Tell me something.

What makes a woman want to get the shit beaten out of her, and then come back and do it all again huh?”

The man in the fedora hat was speaking to the man they called Black Irish

Who

Was looking at the girl with the bloodied nose in the gym.

“She wants something.” The man called Black Irish said.

“Isn’t that why anyone allows the shit to be beaten out of them?”

The man with the fedora hat thought about it.

“I dunno” he said. “I don’t beat the shit out of people for a living, so I wouldn’t know.”

The girl in the corner shoved tissue up her nose to stop the bleeding, and was packing her pure white gym bag.

With a loud

___  ZIP__

it’s contents were secured and she threw the bag over her shoulder– yelling goodbye to Black Irish and the man in the fedora hat, before leaving for the night.

“She’s a strange one…yeah?” asked the man in the fedora hat, and the man called Black Irish shook his head.

“No I wouldn’t say that.” He replied. “Why do you say that?”

The man in the fedora hat thought of the girl.

She was at the gym more than him these days… and it was unnerving watching his friend beat the shit out of her—even if he knew she’d signed up for it.

“I dunno” said the man in the fedora hat. “Same as I said before….

I just don’t understand what makes a woman sign up to get the shit beaten out of her…yeah?

She’s a pretty girl…yeah?

What’s she got to prove?

I’m guessing she can have any guy she wants.

She would be popular…I cant see her sitting in the cafeteria or lunchroom at work on her own.

I can’t see her getting bullied.

She’s got charisma…she’s got style…

I dunno….

Tell me Irish….it’s really bugging me…I dunno why….But why does a girl like that come train with you?

Why isn’t she doing ballet?

Or tennis?

Or fuck, if she really wants to know how to fight…why isn’t she taking boxing classes at the local gym..where she can learn technique but not get her pretty face smashed up?

Huh?

Has she told you?”

The man called Black Irish looked at his friend with surprise.

“Has she told me what?” he asked.

“Has she told you what she wants?” asked the man in the fedora hat, wondering if his friend had really been listening to him at all.

“No.” said the man they called Black Irish.

“but she doesn’t have to.

I’ve trained hundreds of ‘em over the years now yeah….?

And I’m telling you…they’re all the same.

Nobody willingly puts themselves in the ring to have the shit beaten out of them unless it’s for one of three reasons.

Either 1.

They like it

Or

  1. They want something

Or

  1. They’re scared.

The man in the fedora hat thought about it and then laughed.

“Do you think she likes getting the shit beaten out of her?” he asked and the man called Black Irish shook his head.

“No” he said.

“Not that one…”

“Some do…but not her…

….no…..

she hates it….

you can see it in her face….it drives her crazy—she hasn’t learned to control it yet and lashes out like a wild animal each time she gets hurt….

Not that one.

No.

That one….” He drawled….

“That one’s here because she wants something.”

The man in the fedora hat thought about the woman with the white gym bag and bloodied nose.

“What is it Irish?” asked the man with the fedora hat.

“What’s an old man like you going to teach a pretty girl like that?

The man called Black Irish looked at his friend and laughed.

“What am I gonna teach her?” he asked.

“I’m gonna teach her to fight.

….

That’s what.”

 

 

36 Square Strategy Block

When designing creative projects I use a variety of worksheets for strategy and journey mapping.

To kick off the portfolio and show this in action– let’s use a #36 square here as a storyboard template.

A simple way to start mapping a project is to delegate 1 x piece of related content into every box (so 36 pieces of content in this instance)

A more advanced way to do this is put 100 x pieces of related content into every box (so 3600 pieces of content)

It’s whatever you feel comfortable with.

My go-to boxes for journey mapping are:

The 4 square

16 square

36 square

and 100 square

If you are building your own workbook, you can find the listing for the #36 square here

For now, our job is simple.

Create 36 pieces of interrelated content– 1 to put in each box.

It can be anything. A quote, a blog post, a video….anything.

The only restriction you have is that each of the 36 pieces needs to have a common thread woven into them. At this stage they may not be mapped in order… dont worry, this can come later. For now, just try get 36 pieces of interrealated content.