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2024 / May

The Whole of the Moon

You stretched for the stars

The Retune Blog - 31st May 2024

One of my favourite bands of all time is Pink Floyd and like many Floyd fans, I’m fascinated by the story of their original frontman Syd Barrett. Barrett is regarded by many as a genius, but one who reached too far too soon.

As the original songwriter for Pink Floyd he wrote with a psychedelic flare but his use of psychedelics took a toll. After a brief moment of glory with the band Barrett ended up living with mental illness for much of his life and faded away until his death. His friends would say that the spark in his eyes was lost. This week’s song choice could almost be a commentary on the life of Barrett, The Waterboys’ The Whole of the Moon:

You stretched for the stars and you know how it feels to reach too high, too far, too soon. You saw the whole of the moon.

This might seem a strange topic for a blog on living life well, but actually, the principles at play are something I often see apply to all of us.

In the song, and in life, on the one hand we can be stalled into inaction and fear. But on the other extreme we can be so active and experimental as to push beyond that with which we can cope.

One example would be in the workplace when someone is promoted too soon and before they can really cope. They have ambition and drive, but perhaps not the timing. I love how the song expresses this:

I was grounded, while you filled the skies. I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies.

One way of looking at this might be to embrace the idea of balance, but I don’t think this hits the point. It’s not about some sort of logical emotionless balance which might lack creativity and a vibrancy of life and fun, but instead about not stepping too far.

For me, this principle is at the heart of growth and change. Simply taking one step at a time. For sure, being brave with those steps, combatting your fears and trying new routes, but always just one step at a time. I think this is how you reach not so much a balanced approach to life, but an approach which embraces the spark in our eyes whilst not allowing it to flicker and fade too soon.

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Founder and Director of Metanoeo CIC and Metanoeo Coaching. Working with individuals, communities and business to co-create #wellbeing4all through life coaching, resources for living life well and training and supporting life coaches.

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