Transient v Eternal
Connecting a deeper truth
Last month we watched some of the world’s best cycling athletes whizz through Cheltenham as part of the Tour of Britain. After waiting about an hour in expectation, it took them about 5 seconds to fly past us and disappear out of sight.
Then a few days later we headed to Bristol and ended up in a bike-shop café where old bikes were suspended from the ceiling. Some had wicker baskets at the front, some were chunky hulks of metal, but the one that caught my eye was the Penny Farthing. It was on the ceiling above my head and it was great to see close up. What an icon from the Victorian era.
The bike was called the Penny Farthing because of the disparity in size between the front wheel (like a large old penny) and the back wheel like the smaller farthing. As we sat drinking our cappuccinos I reflected that back in Victorian Britain these bikes represented hi-tech advancements in cycling. In the days before the pneumatic tyre and the bike chain they were fashionable, desirable and fast. They were a huge leap forward from the Boneshaker, which had preceded them.
Now the Penny Farthing represents an old fashioned era, a time before planes, cars and computers. No cyclist would consider it as a mode of transport today. Yet it was cutting edge in its time. As I remembered the cyclists from the Tour of Britain I realised that whilst we see their bikes as super modern, sleek and valuable, one day these cycles will probably hang from the ceiling of a bike shop representing an old-fashioned era.
It’s pretty much the same with everything man-made you look at today … everything is the Penny Farthing of the future. What a reminder of the transient nature of life. We are here for a blink of an eye. It’s so good to be reminded of this. We’re often chasing the ‘latest’ smart phone, car, fashion or house. If it’s not a ‘thing’ then it’s an idea or concept – like the latest fad on dieting, raising children or training your dog. None of these ‘fads’ or material ‘things’ will nourish us deeply. We know this. They distract us for a while, but we soon lose attention.
We also get fixated on bad memories, on habitual thoughts or uncomfortable mood swings. When we do this we feel stuck and disatisfied. These things are made-up too – they don’t last – they come and go.
So what does satisfy us deep inside? To understand this we need to take eyes away from what is ‘out there’ and to look within. When we start seeing that there is a part of us that is constant, settled and grounded then we wake up to something more consistent and true. This is the space-within. It is the place from which all ideas, concepts and imaginings emerge.
This is the space of potential, creativity, love and compassion. When I coach people this is where I want my clients to focus their attention. This place will never be a Penny Farthing of the future. This is the space from which Penny Farthings and everything we have yet to invent, comes from.
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- Subtractive Psychology – what is it?
About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here.
Want to de-stress in just 28 days? Recharge on the Run is a FREE audio series (delivered to your inbox daily) that will help you discover your inner peace of mind. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training