Saturday, November 14, 2009

Living with Incongruence Part I

I came upon this topic first by imagining a photo shoot that would result in the photo above. This image struck me first thing one morning, even before tea, petting the pups, or kissing Dana. Perhaps it was a lingering stream in my consciousness from a dream that came before. I rushed to my journal, started the kettle, and began to write about the incongruence, or sense of disharmony created, by including such mix-matched images in one moment of time. Business suit with tractor? Drinking from an elegant champagne flute too? I couldn't help but muse over the "Green Acres" sense of things. As I pondered why such an outrageous idea formed in my head, I began to wonder:

How does our inner incongruence demonstrate our quirks and creativity, our way of showing up in the world?

What does it tell us about what we like to create in our lives?

How does it help us to connect more fully with our own authenticity and with others we care about?

The suit with tractor symbolizes how I've always been able to live in multiple worlds, dress up, dress down, and get dirty. I can be articulate, profound, and professional, or my mind can become so wild I barely make sense. Although I'm not the most mechanical person in the world, I can operate small or large equipment on a good day. I can dig into the earth, paint a wall red, or clean pond scum, even on a cold day. I connect with the earth in multiple, magical ways. The crystal champagne flute, an heirloom from Auntie Gitta, symbolizes my love of life, my longing to express gratitude for all the joy in my life, and my honoring of family. Gitta always reminded us, "enjoy, enjoy." What a powerful, wise woman. And there's something else. Though I value family and tradition, I also like to consider options outside the lines defined by my culture, even if it means I don't fit in sometimes.

What I find in these musings is an unveiling of some of my values. By being conscious of my values, I empower myself to align my choices accordingly so that I feel less conflict and tension in my life. Similarly, I find myself journeying towards more and more fulfillment as I align my choices with my values.

If you were to pose in a way that makes transparent your incongruence, how would that look?

What do you learn about yourself and your values from this place?

In what way would you like to align your values and choices?

In addition to feeling my rich calling toward my values, this whimsical photo and my thoughts around it help me to remember to play when I become too serious, or my drive to work and produce results dominates my life, or I over-commit out of habit, or I lose track of the present moment and forget to be joy-filled. So I offer the above as my playful, creative, whimsical learning around incongruence. And, there's something more to explore here, around creating congruence by aligning our thoughts with our actions, which will come in my next post, "Living with Incongruence, Part II."

How can you bring more playfulness into your life?

What of your incongruence would you like to share with others?


  1. always so thought provoking and fun! That is your authentic self. Thank you for challenging me to reflect on this concept. Thank you too for walking alongside me and encouraging my playful self to emerge. Hugs! Di

  2. Hi Di,

    Isn't it fun how certain core values define our authentic selves, yet our honest expressions of those values may change over time? There's always something to think about as we grow more deeply into our experience of life...

    Thank you for posting here. I love, love, love your contributions!

    Much love, Denise

  3. I call this lifestyle juxtaposition and is one of my favorite aspects of Burning Man art.

    Such contrast is always at hand. It's up to us to find, recognize and enjoy it.

    Thanks for the interesting thoughts.

    See you on the 11th.

    aka Yum!
    aka Bonobo
    aka Zen Heretic
    aka Sudden Disruption
    and Burning Man Regional Contact
    Explore the Sudden-Centric Cyberverse...

    "Explore and Express"

  4. As always, DD, it is a pleasure to read your thoughts and see your personality shine through! You are a marvelous writer with a real talent for making people think, even when they don't want to! Keep it up, girl, you rock!

  5. Oh, Rod, I love the word "juxtaposition," and it fits so perfectly here. I would love that aspect of Burning Man art. And, Debi-doo, you're my biggest fan. Somehow I think you should be on the payroll!