To explain how our perspectives are formed and hardened over time, I describe to my classes a Nobel prize winning experiment involving kittens.
A group of kittens is raised in an environment that has only horizontal stripes. When they are released into a more open space which has curves or vertical lines, they bump into things–because they literally can’t see anything they weren’t raised to see.
Recently in my class Values, Vision & Good Vibrations, we talked about the absolute necessity of staying focused on what we DO choose to experience in life–especially if we’re stuck in the muck.
The more we focus on muck, the more muck exists. Being stuck in the muck is like being a kitten raised in horizontal lines and never seeing its way out of it.
One of our dear friends in the class is enduring a long stretch of muck– and, regrettably, seems unable to focus on anything other than an unending seeming series of misfortunes involving money, health, relationships, family, you name it.
So, when our assignment for the next session was to choose some ACTION STEP that would be personally uplifting, she mentioned a local pottery studio where she has a membership–but didn’t know how she’d raise the money to buy the clay.
Immediately the others in the group reached into their purses and handed her a wad of $5 and $10 bills — more than enough to buy plenty of clay–a true cause for celebration, one might think.
Instead, she was so overwhelmed by the generous gesture that she proclaimed herself too guilty to keep the money. Tears streamed down her face and all of our hearts opened to her to help her lift herself up.
Needless to say, we insisted that she keep the money and show us the results of her creative endeavors at the final session–and I believe it will be something quite beautiful.
My point is this: Even when she got exactly what she had asked for, she wanted to reject it. The old “I am not worthy” excuse.
I’ve done it before, I confess.
Is this one of the self-thwarting mechanisms you use to shoot your-own-self in the foot?
(Sorry for the very long delay since my last real blog! Not feeling 100% but glad to be back!)
The House at Riverton is the story of a girl born around the turn of the 20th century. Told in flashbacks, the narrator is Grace, who is now 98. During the 1910’s, Grace worked as a lady’s maid for a rich local family in England.
Kate Morton sets up the tale as a love story gone horribly wrong (isn’t that often the case) with the now 98 year old Grace the sole surviving witness to an infamous death at the famous Riverton estate. A film is being made about the death and Grace is relieved to discover they don’t know the truth of what happened.
I won’t spoil the end for the reader. I am usually someone who can guess an ending before it happens. (D hates going to the movies with me for this very reason!) The ending of this book is somewhat surprising and the reader should get to enjoy it.
For the most part I did enjoy Ms. Morton’s writing and her ability to mix past and present seamlessly. However, the story is at times too cumber some and unrealistic. There is one large secret about Grace that the reader (if anything at all like me) figures out more than a hundred pages before Ms. Morton intends it to be revealed. The flips back and forth between past and present leave the reader wishing we were spending more time in the past.
Ms. Morton hints at Grace’s life after being a lady’s maid but doesn’t elaborate enough to really make the reference useful. The sheer number of characters that the reader has to keep track of is also overwhelming at times. When speaking with T (my coworker) about this book I recommended her book club draw up a chart/family tree to keep track of everyone!
All in all a good book but not exactly a light read. I’d recommend reading when you have time to devote to Ms. Morton’s stories. Learn also all about Montessori education.
A Book in Review Grade: B+