Day 2148 – Day 2152
During the spring Lockdown of 2020, my friend and I entertained ourselves with fantasies of dating famous men. Her thing was that she dreamed of dancing with Channing Tatum. Most of the things we admire about people on whom we are crushing, are projections of our own positive qualities, that we have disowned.
I encouraged my friend to imagine fully what it would be like to dance with Channing Tatum and then to imagine herself as the woman that would be his dance partner. What would it take to become her? Would she need to get in better shape? Would she need to learn to salsa? Would she need a sexy wardrobe and to spend more time socializing to increase her social circle till that 6 degrees of separation could be worked to bring her into contact with Mr. Tatum?
I challenged her to set to work on being the woman who would dance with Channing Tatum.
For a few weeks, this motivated my friend. But I think it takes a stronger vision than a dance partner to undertake the difficult work of changing one’s whole life or direction in life. There needed to be a deeper longing for an inner goal. We never identified what it was in Channing that she was projecting and so trying to become that was impossible. After a few weeks of dancing around her kitchen, my friend started letting other male friends into her bubble and Channing Tatum was soon forgotten.
I mourned this journey to Channing as much, if not more than my friend, because we failed to get the motivation right.
A few weeks ago, I took a Visioning course, run by my friend Renee Jenais. I am having coaching sessions for career advice, so this time I decided I would work on visioning a really great relationship with an honourable man who challenges me to live up to my full potential and who has done his own work so that he has freed his mind, opened his heart, fully inhabited his physical being and is living a spiritual life. In our first Visioning exercise, this man looked a lot like Idrees Elba.
I found this interesting since I’ve never consciously been particularly attracted to him. However, it’s not him but what I project onto him that inspires me. Now before you jump on me, I am aware that having charisma and confidence, owing to a mind that is free, is something most black men can not automatically claim. It is certainly not something that comes easily to the black man in colonizer cultures. However, perhaps it is the fact that life is so hard on a black man that he bothers to consciously set out to do free his mind, in a way that many people of privilege will fail to do, all their lives. A lazy mind and an unexamined self is something I can no longer tolerate in either myself or a partner.
When we did our next visioning exercise to take us to ourselves in the future, I was looking forward to seeing Mr. Elba as a slightly greyer fox. What surprised me was that I saw myself, alone, and living the career and lifestyle that I’m working towards visioning and creating in my career coaching. I did not appear lonely and I did not appear to be lacking for anything. I appeared to be very happy and I appeared free.
I’m okay with that. I like the idea of placing my focus on becoming the woman that will be a match for a man like my fantasy Idrees Elba who carries all of my projections.
I’m really grateful for that visioning class and I’m grateful for the wisdom I showed in advising my friend to do all she needed to do to be the person who would dance with Channing Tatum. I’m grateful for Idrees Elba because whoever he is, as a person, he has become the repository of all the things I can’t yet own in myself. Last night, when I felt too lazy to get on camera and try to talk about Mindfulness and Meaning, I knew that just washing and blow-drying my hair, applying a little lipstick, and sitting down to hit the record button took me one step closer to the freedom I desire. It was a step closer to being the kind of woman that has lived up to her spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional potential.
Forget Channing Tatum. In the end, forget Idrees Elba, too. I am working to feel the freedom of embodying that woman and to dance with abandon, whether anyone else ever shows up to the party, or not.