I’m publishing this at the 30th Anniversary of the Perfect Storm and the loss of the Glouster Massachusettes’ Andrea Gail fishing crew.
Have you seen the movie based on the book about the Andrea Gail?
SPOILER ALERT: Andrea Gail was a fishing vessel that (long story short) was caught in a weird hurricane event in the northern Atlantic 30 years ago. It was called the “Perfect Storm” because of the devastation and weirdness of weather events converging, an event that had never before been recorded.
The storm took the boat and the six-person crew. They weren’t found.
Yes, that sounds super sad and is one downer of a way to start this message. But that backdrop is important for the point I’d like to make to you, the creative and human reader on the other side of this screen.
Storm One: Crimes You’re Not Guilty Of
I’ve had two things converge this weekend and they created a Perfect Storm for me and took down my own personal Andrea Gail – an emotional boat I didn’t belong on in the first place.
There’s a group of awesome people I’m guiding through a book that helps to find the reasons you can’t go farther or bigger in life in love, wealth, and creativity. I just taught the first two chapters this week and one passage from the book has been weighing super heavy on my psyche and my heart:
“…I began to wake up and realize that most of the guilt I felt was for crimes I hadn’t committed. Of course, there are plenty of things I’ve done on my own that I feel guilty about. I imagine you can think of a few of those, too. However, I’ve found that if we removed the guilt of the crimes our parents and siblings convicted us of before we walked into kindergarten, we are liberated from the main issues that trigger the Upper Limit Problem.”Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap
Let me explain “crimes”.
These are not actual crimes by law. They are crimes simply because you exist and impact others with your existence. This is when your existence makes you guilty of things that negatively impact outcomes in situations or relationships that someone else wanted to go differently.
In a more raw narrative: because you are here, this thing didn’t go the way someone else wanted and if you weren’t here, things would be different and better for them.
Hit pause on that idea for a moment because that’s storm one in the Perfect Storm.
Storm Two: Internal Narrative.
The other thing happening this weekend is a webinar I attend regularly over the last number of years where we work on internal narrative. Yes, if you know me I teach this, too. But as a coach and teacher, I must have the experience of doing this work as a student, so I study and work with my own coach.
This webinar is all content I know very well. But yesterday I was both reading the passage I shared just above, read an article on the Andrea Gail, AND was digging down into old internal narrative on this webinar.
And I saw the narratives I held about the crimes I’ve been convicted of by people close to me, and how much I believed that they were right. In my head, it was more like I simply accepted what they said and assumed that as a big part of my identity.
The identity you believe about yourself via the narrative (internal storytelling) you have in your head about you, dictates how you make decisions, how you feel about life, how you relate to other humans, and whether you feel like this world is a good place or not.
The Perfect Storm: Convergence
As happens with our fabulously human brains, sleep allows for thought digestion and lets our psyches do some work that we can’t always do in a conscious state. And after doing this kind of work that we do on these webinars, we tend to sleep extra, sleep deeply, and sleep well. That’s from brain work. It’s freaking cool. But that’s what happened.
I realized the guilt of crimes I didn’t commit was the Andrea Gail.
And the teaching I’m doing is one of two storms.
This webinar on internal narrative is the second storm.
Those two storms came together last night and this morning and took down my Andrea Gail, a boat I didn’t belong on in the first place.
I’ve spent all my life telling myself stories (stories are just internal chatter in your head) based on my worth through the filter of believing I’m guilty of these crimes. My identity as a human and as part of a group of people has been formed around that guilt. My decisions, my emotions, my reactions, my relationships are all built on that wonky and fucking awful foundation of that guilt. And because of how those internal narratives twist and turn and infect everything inside, it’s impacted my art and my business and my ability to think creatively.
The real-life Andrea Gail was not bad. It was filled with good people doing good work.
And I see my Andrea Gail as a vessel holding a group of good people who have no idea what that boat is doing or what impact being on it will have for another person.
I want to ask you what things you might be unable to achieve or even believe that you deserve in life because of an Andrea Gail. What crimes have you been guilty of to others that you may actually hold as your identity?
This work has been something I’ve been dedicated to for over 5 years now and STILL I have breakthroughs routinely and they get deeper and deeper and come out of nowhere. It’s because I surround myself with psychology science and experts and others who also want to unlock better lives. There’s no way for this to not happen, I KNOW this and yet I’m ever amazed when it happens.
When you’re in the throes of life, or when you’re at your absolute lowest, checking in with what’s happening inside of your own narrative can shift everything. It can shift how you feel emotionally. It can shift how you perceive fear (that’s a totally intriguing topic about how fear twists our perception of risk). It can shift how you relate to others even if their behavior is toxic. It can shift outcomes of dire situations. It can set your dreams free and unlock unseen limits.
It can shift your heart and your life.
If you’d like to cement this idea in a different way in your head to have a cognitive talisman to bring you to this awareness when you need it, watch the movie “The Perfect Storm”. I’m certain there are scenes, especially toward the end, that will stick your head and harken you back to this idea of “What’s my Andrea Gail? What’s converging on me right now? Is a boat I don’t belong on going down? And what crimes I HAVEN’T committed have I assumed the guilt of?” If you’re visual like me, all it takes is a mental image to bring the quick awareness I need without thinking extensively.
I want bigger things in love.
I want bigger things in wealth.
And I’ll always want bigger things in creativity (and therefore my business).
So I do this work, and I encourage you to maybe do it, too.
Set your creativity and possibility in life free and don’t be afraid when that Perfect Storm arrives.