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Writings & Music from
Barry Sherman
(ILC Senior Coach & Trainer)

Excerpts from a book that is being co-authored with Chris Saade
The book focuses on the great importance of intentionally celebrating & championing one's own authentic nature
and the authentic nature of others.

        I have taken on a job that doesn’t fit who I am. I thought I could do it. I wanted to do it. I somehow believed that the affirmation of my manhood depended on me doing it. An emotion-induced nausea has set in. My appetite is fleeting. I’m very distracted. My wife tells me I seem distant and not present. A dark cloud of heaviness – perhaps depressiveness – hovers around me. I read the newspaper – a story of a horrific event – but my interest is not captured. A high level of anxiousness keeps me awake at night. All seems terribly lost. And then I muster the courage to speak a few simple sentences of truth: This job is not me. I can’t do it anymore. I need to make a change. I make a plan to make the change happen.

Almost immediately my stomach settles. I feel hungry again. The dark cloud dissipates. My connection to world events is restored. I sleep soundly. 

The lesson learned? To betray my nature is to play with fire. A fire that can burn my entire life to the ground. 
    When I live in ways that are not authentic – that go against what I know to be true and natural for me – I feel a sense of “homelessness.” Like a nomad. Wandering through life with no rootedness.  Whether for a minute, a day, or a week. . .when I surrender my authenticity, that heavy and dark sensation of homelessness fills me. And the world around me – in turn – seems to become a hostile and unwelcoming place. 


    Im an artist at heart. Painting and photography are my thing. When there’s a blank canvas in front of me or when I have a camera in my hand. . .Oh my God! I feel such an explosion of energy inside. It’s hard to explain. . . .Here’s the best analogy I’ve been able to come up with: It’s like the explosion that occurs when a huge flock of birds simultaneously takes flight from a huge tree they’ve been perched in. That’s the feeling a blank canvas and camera evokes in me!

        My problem? I’m not working as an artist. In fact, I’m not working at all. I’m recovering from a car accident that almost took my life. And here’s the even bigger tragedy: For the last ten years, I worked in a big company in a high-pressure sales position. I hated it. It was eating me up. Totally not me! But I kept telling myself that I needed the money. . .that it was a good career opportunity. . just another year or two. . .and then there’d be time for the canvas and camera. Ironically. . .no, I would say “prophetically”. . .my accident occurred one morning on my way to work. I was rushing to get to a meeting. . .rushing to a meeting that I absolutely hated the thought of being at. 
        As I approach full recovery, I’ve chosen to view this tragic event in my life as a metaphor. I was doing such violence against my authentic nature. My job was killing me on the inside. . . .my spirit was dying. . .but. . .I wasn’t getting the message. And then. . the accident. . . . . .it was my job. . . . .driving to the job I hate. . . . .  and in a hectic rush. . . .I’m almost killed. . . . dead. . .gone forever!

        This was a wake up call for me. I don’t know what guardian angel was watching over me. . . . .but I’ve been given a second chance. I’m not going back to my sales job. No more will I betray the truth of who I know myself to be. I’m an artist at heart. . . . and somehow. . . . .someway. . . .this is the life I must live. 

        It was yesterday that the explosion occurred again. It was a balmy fall day. I had my window open. And I glanced out just at the right moment. . . .just at the moment when a migrating flock of birds simultaneously took flight from a huge oak tree.

        In my bed, I sit now propped up on pillows with a small blank canvas leaning against my bent legs. And a camera stands at the ready on my bedside table. And my new life. . . . .The life that is authentically mine to live starts today. . . . .and there will be no turning back!          


Double click on the ">" to hear
"Starting at the End"

Starting At The End
  (Song Lyrics) 
    This is a song about "awakening the future in the present."

There’s an image living inside of me
Of who I think I’m going to be one day

Like a guiding star shinin’ deep within

That image pulls me forward like a magnet I can’t see

Yeah my future self is looking back at me

A caterpillar walkin’ there across the grass

Do you think she knows what life has got in store

Now her little cocoon is hangin’ from a limb

Could it be an image told that little worm that she could fly

Now there’s a butterfly who’s dancing in the sky


            I’m not living for the future

            But the future lives in me

            So I’m leaning toward that image

            Of who I’m yet to be

            The past is like the book page

            And the present is like the pen

            But it’s the future who’s the author

            Writing backwards starting at the end

See the little acorn falling from the tree

Do you think he knows what life has got in store

As he’s lying there all muddy on the cold dark ground

Could there be an image pulling him to heights he’s never seen

Now there’s a mighty oak tree dancing in the breeze
I'll Champion You, You Champion Me 
   (Song Lyrics)
    This is a song about "advocating the 'other'."

 I don't like most of what you say

I find your words repulsive, over there I wish you'd stay

My way of thinking to you seems most absurd

You find me so annoying, I get on your last nerve

Your way of living almost seems obscene

When I'm in your presence, I find it hard to breathe

My way of worship you find quite profane

When I tell you my beliefs, you think that I'm insane


But then she speaks to us

And reminds us who we are

She says without each other

We won't get very far (she says you've got to)


Advocate each other, do you know what I mean

You've got to champion your nemesis

And find that space in between, that sacred space in between


            Our precious world is on the edge

            How much more blood must we shed

            I'll champion you, you champion me

            Let's bless each other and find that space in between


I don't like most of what you say

So I listen more intently, because mine is not the only way

            (mine is not the only way)

My way of thinking to you seems most absurd

So you move in my direction, because you know that you don't own the last word

            (you know that you don't own the last word)


            Our precious world is on the edge

            How much more blood must we shed

            I'll champion you, you champion me

            Let's bless each other and find that space in between

Ultimate Destination
    (A poem about living with vision)

I come

Not from where I have been


From where I am going

Looking back

Into the mirror

Of where I entered this world

I see nothing

No reflection

That resembles me

Only reflections of wind’s footprints atop the yearning river


As I gaze

Into the looking glass

Of my soul’s evolution

I catch glimpses

Of the me I am being born into

Going home


Is not about

Some nostalgic and tribalistic return


A progression

Ever onward

To that place

Of sacred extinction

Where the flickering candle’s flame

Burns its last breathe of light

Only then

In that final

Puff of smoke

That snakes

And curls its way upward

Does the world

Witness and receive

My name

Check the certificates

Of birth and death

Notice the dates and times

Are exactly the same

Picasso knew this

Seeing his origination

At a very old age

In the self portrait

That revealed

The final image

He had been evolving toward

All of his life


I say to you

I come not from where I have been


From where I am going

I am born

Through ultimate destination
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