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Black Elk

What Piece of Advice Would You Give Your 16 Year Old Self?

December 15th, 2015

I was delighted to be interviewed by Neil del Strother and Barry Durdant-Hollamby for their Mystery Bar Podcast which can be found on Merlin’s Diary Podcast. From mine and many other of their guests’ interviews, Neil and Barry have put together this inspiring video – it asks the question ‘what piece of advice would you give your sixteen year old self?’

Neil is an Author, Healer, Broadcaster and Journalist – his website can be found here. Barry is an Author, Record Producer and Life and Relationship Coach – his website can be found here.


3 Responses to “What Piece of Advice Would You Give Your 16 Year Old Self?”

  1. Nicely done. I liked that you acknowledged the reality of failure as something that happens even when one holds a deep attitude of trust toward life.

    My own answer to the question, composed before watching the video, was:

    You will fail. You will survive, only to fail again.
    This will happen many times.
    (But the compensation will be that you will grow strong,
    and you will receive blessings and acts of grace
    that you haven’t yet dreamed of.)

    When I was 16, I had the support, encouragement, and love of several well-meaning adults (parents, teachers) who were fond of saying that I could do anything in life, that any success could be mine if I made up my mind I wanted it and if I worked at it. This turned out to be a terrible preparation for adulthood, actually. I have since discovered that choosing certain things can mean permanently giving up others, that I am not naturally good at everything, that I am not able to get good at certain things even with hard work, and sometimes even when I am good, there may be other people whose own goals are powerfully opposed to mine.

    Because I did not learn very well at a young age how to cope with limitations, I spent a lot of my 20s feeling unnecessarily distressed. I’m a little better in my 40s. I pick myself off the ground more quickly now and say, “Ah, well, time to try something different then.” In my case, a more genuine form of trust is coming to me with age, perhaps, rather than in my youth.

    • Thank heavens you’ve said this Tracy. The idea ‘You can have and be anything you want’ which is a hopelessly simplistic ‘pop psychology’ idea that reached its summit in ‘The Secret’ film, completely fails to honour the value of limitations – and it’s interesting to hear how this affected you. Thank you!

  2. I would say fight, but fight for, not against. A fighter you are, but do find a cause and a reason.

    Take advice from those who are like you, not from your parents who are, first of all, concerned with keeping you safe, not from just anyone around you, because everyone knows exactly as much as they know. Seek out those who really are your brothers and sisters, you will know who they are, you aren’t half as stupid as you pretend to be (just so you have an excuse to be lazy). Stop waiting to be led, and lead.

    Now, at sixteen, remember what you wanted to be when you were six, and believed it was impossible. It isn’t.

    Remember: Nothing is wrong. Everything is right.
    We’ll talk again when you’ve stopped being afraid of what this means.

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