The highlight of my speaking gig this week on board the cruise ship Aurora was getting to meet and spend time with the author Maria Nemeth. I realised half way through our first conversation that I had read her book The Energy Of Money a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact as we talked I downloaded her other book Mastering Life's Energies on the Kindle app and am reading it now.
Maria is one of those wonderfully intense Californian women who take themselves and you very seriously because they have spent a long time thinking very hard about the sort of stuff most of us gloss over or take for granted. She is also a very close listener and it is disconcerting to have someone listen to you as hard as she does. It is so unusual.
During the course of our first conversation I came out with my usual one liner about not feeling Scottish any more. She responded by saying "Of course you are Scottish. What is wrong with being Scottish? Why are you resisting that part of you? What are you hiding from?" I did my best to make light of it during the rest of our conversation - we bantered about my "inner Scot" who I imagined as a grumpy wee troll with red hair and a tartan tam o' shanter - but she had really got to me. Not so much about the Scottish bit but the way I can define myself by my resistance to things and why this is so. Whether it is religion or IT, those who read this blog will have seen me shape myself by the strength of my reaction to these two groups, and some of you will no doubt have winced to watch me do so.
Given that I was on the boat to talk to The IT Directors' Forum and to write my book I went back to my cabin in an existential funk struggling to think clearly about what I was trying to say, to whom, and why. This was a good thing. Thanks Maria!