Why liberation?

Why liberation?

Liberation: The act of setting someone free from imprisonment; release, freedom from limits on thought or behaviour.

Liberation, a word very close to our hearts. So much so, that we thought it was the best name for our very first collection of six-word stories.

Six plus two is a design studio created to express and share thoughts and perspectives on identity, society, and belonging to empower change and create alignment and clarity in life.

Alignment, what's that got to do with anything you might be wondering?  Perhaps a bit heavy, but bear with us.  In the Six plus two world, an aligned life for us, is where thoughts, words and actions, mirror, reflect and work with each other. If our thoughts, words and actions are not in alignment, something's off and that usually means we're off, either in ourselves or in how we're interacting with others.  

When we're aligned as individuals, communities and countries, there's no mismatch with what's said and what's meant.  There's no need, or wish to cherry coat messages, driven from a need to be polite or to toe the line in order to stay safe, to save other's feelings or to meet other people's expectations. 

Being and staying aligned with ourselves first and foremost, requires overcoming the constraints of expectation and often long held perspectives that makes others and even ourselves feel comfortable and at times accepted in life.  It's finding and sticking to what matters to you the most which is revealing, tiring and difficult.

Finding and living an aligned life is having the strength to wake up and smell the coffee, when it will be hard.  It's about sticking to your guns and beliefs even when you're not 100% sure and most importantly, it's about being vulnerable for the sake of your integrity and sometimes sanity, that needs us to show up unfiltered, undiluted.

It's these times that we have to step out in a state of rawness and the discomfort of being unfiltered. We're not talking about being unfiltered and offensive, but unfiltered in the sense of not carrying the background noise of situations, circumstance and conditioning. Instead reaching for clarity, where all roads lead to honesty and truth, returning to and standing steady in your individual truth, regardless of what others or the world says.  It's not easy, but it's necessary.  It’s the hard work, the falling down seven times, getting back up the eight time that this collection of stories recognises and acknowledges.  This is work that’s also very personal to us at Six plus two.

Our resident wordsmith a.k.a. W who writes and designs each six-word story, has always loved words and is an avid reader whose work is influenced by people, psychology, society and more recently art. 

Before they knew what had happened, midlife had crept up and made an appearance.  They had followed a professional road that they thought would bring fulfilment, purpose and freedom of sorts.  Well, things didn't quite work out that way. There were flashes of all three throughout the years but experiencing them all at the same time was elusive and trying to achieve them whilst being out of alignment was exhausting.

Fast forward over twenty years and as part of a personal project W, came across six-word stories and wrote one for themself.  They loved the process and ended up writing several more, inspired by friends and family in a short period of time. 

The six-word story dam had been broken.  The stories flowed and flowed. It was an enlightening, exciting, cathartic and reflective process. Clarity, honesty and at times unexpected truths emerged from each story.

After writing the first stories, W felt that something was missing in terms of depth, expression, emotion and vibrancy of the stories and journeys that they had captured.  They played around with how this could be solved and realised that unusually shaped frames provided a powerful layer to emphasise and build on the story and the journey. 

Still not satisfied, W still felt that each story was still lacking something.  What was missing was colour and imagery.  Each story instinctively, almost intuitively, had a colour and an image that brought the story to life even more and made it more dynamic.  The images in each story have been carefully chosen. Not to be an obvious choice for each story, but to communicate the complexity of the journey which was usually far from easy and not always obvious. 

Each image encourages readers to think more deeply about the contents and emotion behind the story, creating an honest, warts-and-all account for both themself and the person who has been part of the journey. This choice has been made to provide a greater connection beyond the words and image, even through what has been left unsaid in each story.  

That left unsaid in some stories has at times been purposefully left that way.  It may be emotions, places, memories, and even specific items. Why? There's something to be said for sharing without revealing all, especially in today's world of social media, where nothing appears to be off limits. 

A powerful story can be shared without reliving or uncovering the trauma or the most private aspects.  It can still be cathartic, helpful and inspiring for others, providing connection to the owner of the story, whilst also helping the reader to connect to their own.

As people, we're good at immersing ourselves in other people's stories, for the sake of education, development and even avoidance, denial and distraction.  As Six plus two, we recognise and acknowledge these facts and strive for every six-word story to be enlightening, educational and even aspirational, because every story is personal as it's somebody's story.  

You may like them, you may not, but a story, factual or fairy tale, experienced first-hand or shared, provides a doorway to liberation in whatever form the reader needs at that moment in time.

This is why we have called the first collection of stories, Liberation.  By creating this work and each story, W has liberated the personal stories of those known and observed, bringing them to light so that they can be shared, claimed, celebrated and to enable new stories to be created.

The creation and curation of the stories within the collection has also been a personal journey liberation for W themself, their hopes, dreams, suppressed passions finally freed through each story.   

The stories shared as part of this collection are only a fraction of those written.  They're the best, the most powerful and those that the team believes are most inspirational and hopefully helpful.

The creation of Six plus two has been a liberation of an idea, a new perspective and new way of life.  For the team it is also the act of freedom through discovery, experimentation and truth which has been our own journey in bringing this idea to life. Each story is your story, each story is also our story. It's an involved and considered process to distil a journey, an experience into just six words.  We believe there is power in the process and even more in the finished product, the story, so why write chapters, when six words will do? 

In a world that moves at lightning speed, each story creates space for a moment to pause, reflect, celebrate and share life's most meaningful moments.  We hope that you will take a moment and love them as much as we do.

We'd love to know your thoughts about the stories in the collection.  So, feel free to drop us a line at hello@sixplustwo.com.



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