On Being More Cell and Less Balloon.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was a biochemist. Lately, I’ve found myself a little wistful about that, but that’s another story. Were I to go back now, I’d have a hell of a lot of catching up to do. Since my days in the lab with Jack, Hugo, Hermann et al at the Max Planck Institüt in Frankfurt, understanding of the mechanism of transport across the cell membrane has moved on.
But as far as I know, the basic functions of the cell membrane remain the same; there are the passive functions; to let things come in to the cell, and, equally important, to let things go, and the active functions; to select and carry inward across the membrane what is needed, and to energetically eject what is not.
The cell doesn’t give its contents away without taking in something in exchange. If it did, like a punctured tyre, it would soon collapse. And it doesn’t absorb more and more content without letting something go. If it did, like a balloon, it would soon burst.
The cell membrane is selective about what it takes in and lets go (although it is sometimes fooled into taking in things that are not good for it, it learns from that and builds immunity). And it knows that some compounds and particles require help to cross the membrane, and some drift effortlessly and passively across.
I hope, when this weird pause ends, that I will remember that I don’t need to exhaust myself by giving everything I have, and collapse in a deflated heap at the end of the day, the week, my life. That doesn’t serve anyone.
I hope that I will remember not to be pressured into “delivering content” in my work but choose to let others be more cell. I will facilitate selective and consensual exchange of wisdom between others. I will help them to notice and value what they already know, and make their talents, skills and accumulated wisdom available to themselves and the group in which they find themselves.
I have no doubt that some people will still expect me to have a handout, a set of slides, a book of my own accumulated wisdom, and I hope to be brave enough to disappoint them.
I hope that I will be smarter and more considered about the responsibilities, information and people that I let into my life, and that I let go of those that are just taking up space within my membrane, or even worse, stifling the more valuable content.
I hope to be more cell, and help others to do the same.
To let the easy things in and out like a deep breath.
To find catalysts and vectors to help me move the harder things in and out; to absorb the brilliance of those in whose company I am lucky enough to find myself, and to notice when I am full and need to let something else go.
I look forward to getting back to my roots and observing the transport of knowledge across this elder cell membrane.
Kay Scorah is a gifted facilitator and MEA guest faculty member. She’s based in London and, while she doesn’t love labels, any of these could apply: artist, poet, thinker, dancer, spiritual teacher, and successful businesswoman. She will be teaching at MEA next July.