Getting the keys for my school, The Homework Club, has become a milestone to base my own development. It’s 11 years ago now. If I’d known then what I know now I’m not sure I would have been brimming with enthusiasm that day. It was Chinese New Year too.
As I write this after another session online to the far side of the globe I’m reminded that my biggest purpose is to translate understanding of each other. That it’s almost become my speciality to reward empathy and sensitivity in the world. These skills like me seem currently out of fashion. And I can’t help feeling we will need them more than ever going forward.
I’ve spent not quite two years in a complete frenzy of writing – trying desperately not only to download all I have learnt in 11 years but to find a way to take myself out of the work. 7 books later I think I finally understand me. And now have a tribe of followers who can finally see me too. You have to ditch all those conditioned ideals and expectations to really get me. No wonder so few have until now. I never felt that rare but I guess I’ve joked for years I’m the alien. My biggest lesson has been you can only read me from your own reference point.
One aspect which creates misunderstanding in people about me but which makes me highly accessible to others is my lack of formality. I’ve never needed to hide behind my academic qualifications or speak in high academic prose. One reason I left academia was because of its lack of accessibility which I was a victim of because of my own profound dyslexia. All parents I meet feel intimidated by education. However, this doesn’t mean I have a simple way of seeing the world. And if I’ve created it for others it’s formed by endless research and methodology. I’ve spent my life focusing on how others need to receive communication. How each personality hears slightly differently.
Like me, my books would have been fashionable in the 19th century if philosophy and psychology could have been made accessible. I was delighted to realise recently they do fit at least one box being Novellas in length. Which I love the translation of as being ‘new’ very strong narrative voice. This is exactly what they are but also deeply personal and so open to all. Everyone forgets at some time they are reading a real me and projects. They’ve all grown closer by the end. But every reader tells me they provoke profound thought. Regardless of if they are a farmer, an academic working towards their own doctorate or a parent who dropped out of school at 15. I was fascinated to learn that regardless of their education level many read the books the same way – all taking notes. One person even said they reminded them of proverbs.
I’ve achieved what I set out to do when I started my own school 11 years ago this month after my own doctorate in Physical Oceanography. Independent thought and critical thinking possible for everyone regardless of education status.
To create simple you have to be a true master of understanding. I went to an art exhibition recently where I watched the development of The Irish painter J.B.Yeats’ style. You have to be able to paint to strip back the layers to show the simpler abstract. It was the same for Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci. In fact, he wrote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
In a world where we have become so used to a mere commentary on life it hard to sell the idea of how philosophy creates a diversity of thinking or links rather than just a presented finished idea. We have got used to instant in every way. We don’t study to form ourselves we do it merely to tick the box. I would argue a good educator shows and helps people experience rather than tell. This is why I have created journeys for the reader. It’s exactly the same way I work with everyone.
Up until now, the only way to truly know me and understand me has been to work with me – now it’s possible to do this by reading me too.
In writing a series of books I obviously went on a journey myself which gave me two profound lessons. The first, in order to truly have my equals in my life I have to honour who I am. I have spent much of my life hiding this reality as I was afraid of the attention it brought, I can’t live in this way any longer. Hiding such a part of my soul for convention. Never wanting too much attention. I have to live in my full presence and be prepared to show this difference to the world. Secondly, I’ve always known that everyone who works with me has the potential to be my equal. To form part of my soul tribe. For this reason, I’ve never seen myself as a teacher. It always implies a gap and I believe in true equality. It’s the place that has been possible for all my readers to reach. The journey I have gone on in writing my books with my first readers. There are volumes in what it has made possible for others.
I just want to reach the place where I can keep writing. Keep creating change without having to explain me. To finally trash that reference point we all have to judge others from. The place where I can be seen for who I am – the same place my readers have reached with me.
Naoisé February 2020