I’m so excited to share with you a new project that’s been brewing for a while:
Paul and Pablo are a father and son duo exploring life and how to flow through it with more ease and understanding.
The stories are written in French by the brilliant Isabelle Caratti and translated into English by yours truly.
Lexie Bebbington does a fabulous job of bringing Paul and Pablo to life on these recordings on Spotify.
A new story will be published every Friday
Enjoy and share!!
For those of you who prefers reading over listening to a recording, here’s the first story:
Uncomfortable emotions: When our brain overheats
When the going gets rough, what about uncomfortable emotions? Is there anything we can do so they won’t get in the way?
Let’s join Paul and Pablo as they look at how it’s possible to be at ease with feeling uneasy.
Schools have had to close due to the pandemic, and Paul, who loves to fly, decides to take Pablo for a ride in a small airplane. For Paul, there’s no feeling quite like rising up into the air, zooming out from the reality on the ground, and watching as mountains turn into molehills.
Pablo steps onto the plane and marvels at the dashboard full of buttons and tiny traffic lights boasting their reds, yellows, and greens.
Before turning on the engine, Paul runs through his preflight checklist. Pablo watches as green lights turn red and then green again. Paul turns on the engine and the plane comes to life. They taxi to the runway, gather speed, and rise into the sky. The dots of cars on the road make space for treetops and meadows. Human concerns fade away as nature takes over. The green lights on the dashboard echo the green on the ground, and for a moment, father and son drop into a space of reverence and awe.
A few minutes later one of the lights on the dashboard turns yellow. It stands out in a field of green and all Pablo wants to do, like his dad before takeoff, is to switch the yellow back into green. He starts feeling uncomfortable. Something has to be done! He glances at his dad and sees that Paul is not happy either, but he’s surprised when he realizes that Paul is actually turning the plane around and preparing for landing. Why is it not possible to turn the light green again like before takeoff?
As soon as they land Pablo asks Paul: “Why did we have to land? Before takeoff you simply turned the red back to green. Couldn’t you do that again?”
“You see, Pablo,” answers Paul, “it’s a temperature gauge. When it’s green, it means the engine is running well and not overheating. If it turns yellow, it’s time to land and let the engine cool down. If I had changed the color of the light to green, I would have tampered with a reliable safety mechanism. I would not have known that the engine was overheating, and we would have kept on flying until a more serious issue came up. It would not have been safe.”
“You know what, Dad? It’s like all the times you sent me to my room! No more flying, go to your room, Pablo, time out!”
“Yes, you’re right, Pablo,” continues Paul, “It’s the same with our emotions. When they enter the yellow or red zone, we feel upset, sad, helpless, angry even. We feel uncomfortable. When we feel this way, it’s a signal that our brain is overheating. It’s revved up from too much fear and upset thinking, from too many doom and gloom what-ifs. These yellow or red emotions invite us to land and turn off the engine. When we feel urgent or needy, it’s a sign it’s time to slow down and pause. When we look to artificially return the red to green, by thinking positive for example, we are misunderstanding the role of our emotions. We are ignoring the warning light whose function is to bring us feeling better.”
When we mess up with the warning light, we head straight into emotional overheating. Ignoring the red light of our emotions is like taking off with an overheated engine and expecting a safe flight. It doesn’t work that way