“Pied is the shadow of the world not me / Pied is the color that you hold in me / Here is the beauty which you placed in me” – three lines from the poem “For the Pied in Me” by Thomas Keydel
Pied is a state of mind or a condition we experience. It is also an adjective. One definition for “pied” is patchwork, anything decorated in brightly varied colors. So, having a pied state of mind means seeing things in bright, intense colors, a wildly mottled mix. And having a pied experience means being unsure, exactly, if you created the experience, or simply participated in it.
In this next series of posts, I want to explore four root images and the contradictions associated with each. And I wanted to start with this adjective “pied” as a way to begin putting color onto these images.
I should note that in my coaching work I do not “drag in” these kind of theoretical issues. Coaching is about the client and about the “trust and engagement” that client is struggling to bring into the world or wanting to celebrate because it already is manifest. I look at the pied nature of trust and engagement and explore that with my client so that it can be fully expressed.
You see, most of us routinely put trust before engagement. We decide that something is trustworthy and only then do we allow ourselves to become engaged. But it can work the other way around. We can engage first and then establish trust. When we do that, the void of trust is fill unconsciously. We stay curious and open and willing to discover what is trustworthy. To put trust before engagement gives us too much control. Pride (or hubris) plants its tent, putting blinders on us, forcing us to become closed, small and disengaged from what we might discover.
My use of the word “unconscious,” here, is more in line with “true-self” unconsciousness – whatever fulfills your highest sense of self – that is the genuine source of your unconscious. Everything else we fill up our thoughts with is — well, very often — that’s just “us” getting in the way.
Do you see how easily pride plants that tent, making assumptions which become part of the “us” who gets in our way. “Getting-in-the-way-of-ourselves” is what we do when we want convenience or simplicity or even outright denial. It also prevents us from appreciating the pied nature of our experience. Can we really build trust and engagement by putting engagement first? What stops us from doing that?
So, the four images I turn to next are “pied.” There is a kaleidoscope of color in each – bringing us joy. But all that joy is born from a state of confusion. We have but limited information from which to build a relation. One life can only have so much experience. Everything we look upon at first … is blank to us. Everything we put our hand upon at first … is numb to us. Only as we make choices about trust and engagement does the world begin to hold color and beauty. Only then do we have a relation; for not only do we know ourselves, we also know something else, something that we can engage with, that we trust. The world explodes with color and beauty … because we learn to trust.
To see the full poem, click here.