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  • Writer's pictureBlueprint Process Tammi Brannan

Dust off the Ash, with Mark Bertrang

Tiles from Pompeii that have been cleaned after being covered with ash.
Tiles from Pompeii that have been cleaned after being covered with ash.

Part of the process of self-discovery work is that you have to unlearn a lot of what's been fed to you. Most of us operate within a conformist society without significant self-knowledge. We believe some traits are inherently negative, while others are positive. This means we can label ourselves lazy, disorganized, hot-headed, sensitive... the list goes on.

However, these labels only exist BECAUSE of our conformist culture. When someone dares to be themselves (perhaps without the correct tools), we have judgments placed on us. Rather than seeing our differences as strengths, we hide them away. And because we hide our super powers away, we don't fully learn how to benefit from them.

My friend, Mark Bertrang, uses an interesting analogy to describe this. On his trip to Pompeii, he was fortunate to tour places that had been excavated from the ash and had not been seen for thousands of years. (After all, Pompeii was buried in ash after a volcanic eruption.) Yet underneath the ash was incredible beauty, just waiting to be seen. In this case, stunning tiles and art and architecture.

We're a bit like those tiles. Sometimes the true beauty of our gifts gets buried in ash. And we don't always wipe away the ash when it happens. Sometimes we're content to let those gifts sit under layers of it. Other times, we don't even know that we have gifts covered in ash because it's been so long.

When we begin the slow and careful process of excavation or self-discovery, we begin to heal. We find opportunities in ourselves that we didn't before. And THAT is powerful.

You can hear more thoughts on this from Mark in the video below.



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