4. I’ve stepped into Narnia

July 30, 2015
Barbara Cook

The next day, February 5 (having decided to publish my book)

“The only trouble was, it felt like I’d stepped into Narnia.”Lion witch and wardrobe small

Narnia—that world from the story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. When the children step through the back of the wardrobe they find themselves in a completely different land. Like them, I know nothing about this world.

Nothing is familiar. Everything is uncertain. There’s nothing to hold onto.


(This is an advertising poster from a Geelong production of this musical, coming soon on August 13 – 15  2015)

I don’t do this sharing of my deepest self; this sharing of my fantasy story. It is, after all, a bit weird, possibly crazy even. I had always thought that the story was only a way for me to understand my own life patterns, nothing to do with anyone else.

I keep things to myself. I internalize, because I know I see things very differently to my family. There is so much inside of me that I’ve kept to myself. I’m the odd one out, so it’s best to not let on that I’m this degree of weird. They definitely would not understand how I see the world. It’s as if I’m having to metaphorically leave my family of origin behind somehow, to leave behind my need for their approval, totally cutting the umbilical cord once and for all.

I then ask myself a question: “Why am I waiting for anyone else to give me approval to be true to myself?” If I wait for someone else to ‘come round’ before I feel safe to fully express myself, it ain’t never gonna happen. And how many people coming round will be enough? One? Ten? A mob of one hundred? Waiting for someone else’s permission? I’ll be waiting a very long time – like, forever!   It seems that I have to claim it for myself. It seems that I have to have the courage to come out of my shell – the same courage it takes anyone else to be who they really are.

The trouble is ….. this Narnia is a wobbly and insecure place. There’s nothing familiar to hold onto. It’s just me out here all on my own. It’s cold …. and lonely.

There’s a sense of melancholy …. emptiness …. like wind whistling ghostily through empty streets. What’s the most melancholy image you can imagine? Well it feels like that.

But for all of that, I know I have to do this now – “Just Do It”.

The next day , February 6

My thought process has changed to “OK, I’m just doing it.” Here I am signing the publishing agreement – all very matter-of-fact and unremarkable – it’s direct action, there’s no nervousness, it’s all very normal and clear. There’s no attachment to the outcome. I must say, that’s a nice change. There are lots of old thinking patterns that seem to have just disappeared somehow:

I’m not trying to be ‘famous’ with this book.

I’m not thinking of myself as special in any way.

I’m not needing a particular outcome.

I have no idea where it will lead, if anywhere. I’m not able to plan the destination – yoiks! I can’t Google a road map!

I’m not ‘throwing my awareness away’ like I might have done in the past – flinging it ‘out there’ to rescue or help others instead of consolidating it in myself. I know it’s been consolidated enough – twenty years is enough gestation time I’m sure. (Well I can’t rush these things, you know.)

Instead of the former arrogance of thinking I can help anyone, I’m simply sharing how it is for me. I’m simply “telling my whole story with my whole heart.” – Brene Brown.

By the way, I recently received some more helpful little nudges, which I chose to see as an affirmation that I’m on the right path: In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard, not once, but twice, the reading about not hiding your light under a bushel, but holding it up to share. I also heard in another setting, “Here’s the guiding theme we’ve chosen for 2015 – ‘Be the Voice’.” OK. Thanks. Thanks a lot. I get it.


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