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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Life's Etch A Sketch moments

Just a quick post - I know I've yet to finish my saga about the Vipassana retreat, which I shall do - but I wanted to mention the death early last week of Andres Cassagnes who invented Etch A Sketch, which I heard on the radio. That toy had to have been one of the most advanced, innovative things of the mid 80s, looking like a TV with its grey screen and two buttons, one for up and down, one for left and right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etch_A_Sketch
With those buttons, you drew whatever shapes you could manage, most of which consisted of zigzaggy lines; trying to do anything curved was nigh on impossible, and you could forget about circles.
But I loved it. I had three coloured transparencies that would lay over the screen so as to 'play games' with the Etch A Sketch if the normal was of using it got too boring.
And then, when you'd finished creating a picture of a house, a boat, or whatever other scribble came to mind, you just picked the whole thing up and shook it vigorously until all the little iron filings, of which the lines were made, fell back to the bottom (or the side, or wherever they went) to quite literally 'wipe the slate clean'.

Etch-A-Sketch end of the world
The reason I found it odd hearing about Casssagnes's death on the radio last week was that only a few days before, I'd replaying in my mind an Eddie Izzard sketch - he's my all-time fave comedian - from his Glorious tour where he describes the famous bible story of Noah's Ark as God's 'Etch-a-Sketch end of the world' moment. He jokes about how God must have realised there were one or two design flaws in the human and animal kingdoms, and so sent a massive flood to wipe everything out and start again, hence the Etch A Sketch reference. Watch from 4mins 20second (though I'd of course recommend watching the whole thing: www.youtube.com)

The urge to shake things up
And why mention this? Well, because I often wonder what it would be like to have my own Etch-a-Sketch moment. To really shake things up big style, not just the odd tweak here and there, and start over again. I think I must be like Carrie from Sex and the City, who, when things seem to be running too smoothly in all areas of her life, feels the need to create drama somehow. On the surface, everything is pretty darn good in life: good job with good salary (for Colchester), nice place to live, good friends, supportive family, health, etc etc. But yet.... what is that bubbling up from within? The ambitions of youth batted aside as being too 'outrageous' and 'not sensible'. A longing, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (which I watched last night) to see foreign lands, experience new things, push the boundaries of my comfort zone. I know Dorothy, as with all the heroic adventurers in those types of tales, ultimately realises everything she wanted or needed was right under her nose all along (www.youtube.com) and knowing that kind of makes you wonder why bother go anywhere or do anything. But without those experiences, the traveller would not gain the wisdom or insight to move up to a new level of understanding.

2013: the year of new starts and/or completion
And so, is it time for an 'Etch A Sketch' moment? How about you? Do you feel 2013 is poised to be a year of changes? I also read the number 13 represents completion of sorts; I for one have noticed a few themes recurring already this year, and that cropped up at the end of 2012, in the forms of people, places and ideas resurfacing from 2008 or earlier. Are things coming around again to finally be completed in some way? Feels like it. And I just so happen to have begun reading Robin Sharma's The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which has a chapter on overcoming fear. Perhaps I picked up this book now for a reason.

The man who invented Etch-A-Sketch may have died, but his toy will live on, as will the notion of shaking things up to start all over again. Sometimes, it's just necessary...

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