Let me read it to you…
i have an idea
i have an idea…
Everything begins with an idea.
I have an idea…
I have lots of ideas. Many of them come and go with no consequences at all. Some of them are good ideas and I just don’t have time for them. Some of them are slap-your-knee-fantastic ideas and I have no clue how to manifest them. And some of them are the dumbest worst ideas ever and I know it.
Just recently I had what I think is a good idea. I made time for it. I listened to all the voices on my mental committee arguing about it, telling me how it couldn’t work. Yet something was drawing me forward – my curiosity maybe.
I can’t remember when it started. On Tuesdays, I post a prompt in my Facebook group, The Fire Circle. Not an ordinary prompt – more like a conversation starter, a leading question or line that always starts with the words, “Tell me…”
I think the first one went something like…
“Tell me, how’s it going? Write the honest answer.”
Simple. Direct. Strangely compelling.
I mean, so often we hear those words – how’s it going – and we respond with a stock reply like, “fine.” But are we REALLY fine? And do other people REALLY want to hear how we’re doing? Probably not.
So it’s liberating to be asked this question in a way that holds space for the honest answer. We can do this for ourselves in our journals, but it takes effort to open the door to the truth sometimes. That’s why prompts are so compelling – they’re a nudge off the side of the pool and into the deep end.
It got me wondering.
What if we need that nudge in our relationships too?
I sometimes feel like we’re all just standing on the edge of the pool in our swimsuits talking about the weather. No one in the water with a noodle or raft. No one calling out “Marco!”
Our conversations kind of circle the drain because we don’t think other people want to REALLY know us. And maybe we are afraid to be REALLY seen because life’s not all neat and filtered like it looks on Facebook. And it’s tragic because as much as we crave genuine, deep relationships, we tend to hold back our power to offer that kind of depth to others.
Sometimes I’m not sure I’m competent to really listen to someone’s truth. What do I do when they say they are struggling or sad or in trouble? I’m not sure I trust myself to handle it well (cue my inner fixer-upper, advice columnist or awkward Annie).
I’ve forgotten that compassionate listening is all it takes. Attention, acknowledgment, kindness.
How do I forget this?
So my idea, inspired by the “Tell me” posts, is to create something that can offer the nudge we seem to need, some inspiration to stop circling the drain in our conversations (with ourselves and others) and drop into something more meaningful, more memorable, maybe even something healing.
I had to learn about five new skills to make TellMe Insight Cards™. I had to run into at least six impossible situations that would have made most people turn around and go home. I had to scrap two versions and start over.
But today, I have a first iteration that is ready to go to press! The idea is becoming a thing!
And I would love for you to take a look at it and let me know your thoughts. TellMe Insight Card decks ARE open for Pre Order right now, but what I really want is this…
Tell me your ideas.
How do you see these cards being useful? What unique or common problems do they solve? What kinds of people will be most interested in them? Who do you know would enjoy them?
Click the ‘shuffle’ button to draw random cards and take a few minutes to ponder how the prompt might be that ‘nudge’ I was writing about. Try them out with a friend, as a kind of game. Use a card prompt to start a conversation with a stranger and see what happens.
Then report back, send me some of your impressions and ideas! I welcome your help and support with this labor of love.
And if you want to pre-order some decks, please use the code VIP10 at checkout to get special pricing for being a subscriber and good friend to me. I really do appreciate you so much.
If you’re looking for a writing prompt, try out “I have an idea…” Just set a timer for five or ten minutes and let this line take you where it wants to go. Say ‘yes’ to whatever comes (good, bad or ugly) and keep the pen moving to uncover some details and insights that are just below the surface.
That’s right, jump into the deep end and discover what’s down there. Don’t hesitate to share your writing with me (or another person). It’s always a gift when you trust me to see the real you.
PS Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and Happy Winter Solstice to all in the northern hemisphere. Thank you so much for being by my side this year and I’m looking forward to being your guide into the next.
This was an Inbox Love letter sent to subscribers on December 24, 2018. If you’d like to receive monthly letters, please subscribe here.
Copyright Cynthia Berg 2018