Living On The Edge

A couple of weeks ago whilst taking to a friend, I realised that if there’s no edge in the conversation I often get bored.

It can be an edgy concept that we’re jamming on, or a topic that makes us as excited as though it were something edgy (seeing Kasabian the other week for example :)), but my favourite is leaning in to a personal edge, or even better, an edge in the relationship with the person you’re speaking with.

The place where you get a little flutter of butterflies in your stomach, the desire to take a step back or to contract, a sudden wall of mental resistance to look at what’s just come up.

That place is the juiciest, rawest, most vulnerable, naked place we can go.

And on the other side of it is pure aliveness.

This place never fails to deliver. If it’s a personal edge, bringing it fully into consciousness with another (present + self-aware) person invariably brings new insights. When it’s an interrelational edge and there’s a mutual agreement to be wary of projection and finger-pointing, you can really dig your hands into the guts of your relationship and pull out and examine any unspoken edges that are there.

And there are always unspoken edges. And because we keep growing and evolving, new edges keep arising, so there’s always a new edge to explore.

Rewiring The System

I also realised that I’m crap at finding that edge.

My entire system is wired to smooth out conflict, to mediate edginess, to make sure everyone feels good and safe and comfy.

But Fuck That.

I want to live on my edge. I want to lean into edginess every single day. Because if I don’t, I’m growing slower than I could. I’m living slower that I want. I’m spending time in the grey area of the comfort zone where nothing much happens.

And if you’re not careful, you can get stuck in that grey area.

It’s alluring, it’s comfy, it’s “good enough”. There aren’t too many shocks or nasty surprises, icky stuff can be glossed over because you’re probably surrounded by other people who don’t want to explore their edges either, and after a while you even start to forget what it’s like to live on the edge.

I know. I spent a couple of years there.

Despite being militantly anti-sleep-walking from the age of 13, I fell into that void of mediocrity for a while in my mid-20’s, largely due to the fact that I chose to be in a relationship with someone who would rather shoot himself in the foot than explore his edges.

And although now I’m much better at finding and exploring them for myself, I’m still not that great at bringing edginess into my relationships.

But be warned friends.

This is going to change :)

Leading From Your Edge

As I was feeling into the theme of living on your edge, I started wondering if this could carry over into your work; if it’s magic or madness to lead from your edge (and by that I mean the current edge of your own development).

As soon as I had that idea my whole system went Fuck yeah!

That is where the juice is at, that’s where most of your energy is at – why would you not lead from that place?!

And then I remembered the “wisdom” of becoming an expert in a specific area and selling your expertise. Sounds to me like this is leading from your comfort zone…

Which just seems wrong to me.

Very curious about other people’s ideas/experience on this so please get in touch with any insights!

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8 thoughts on “Living On The Edge

  1. I relate so much to that! I need to feel almost touch that I am growing and learning and experiencing new things, to feel uncomfortable and stay on my toes. I am not sure if this need of constant “edge” in my life, this “novelocity” (novelty and velocity) is good or even sustainable… like we were going to “burn” faster but, then again, maybe that’s not a bad thing.

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    1. Maria…..yes yes yes! It feels dangerous but it gives so much energy…..and I guess that therefore it’s probably sustainable…and if not, let’s just live it 100% now and have no regrets :)
      Happy you’re on the same ride :)

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  2. Steph,

    That soft middle ground swallows you after a while…which looks a lot sillier / more tragic than careening about on the periphery. Still, the middle is good for naps and feeling settled with people…the key is not to linger.

    RR

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  3. Stephanie,

    I hope I will meet you some day soon – Your thoughtful meanderings very much resonate with and inside of me.
    Authenticity is one of THE topics of my life.
    Such a challenge to find again and again some layer of inauthenticity, more or less thick. But some people just permit to be authentic – don’t know how they do it and they probably don’t know either – these interactions are like a huge breath of oxigene, revigorating, joyfully dancing on the edge….

    Annette

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    1. Annette,
      thank you so much for your beautiful description :)
      Authenticity as a process and a path…that resonates a lot. And I’ve met people who, simply through their very strong presence, facilitate deeper levels of authenticity in me. What a gift!
      I see you’re in Brussels – so maybe we really will meet sometime then!

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