A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying:
SITUATION HOPELESS STOP NO ONE WEARS SHOES
The other writes back triumphantly:
GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY STOP
THEY HAVE NO SHOES
This simple story used by Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander in The Art of Possibility is their invitation to possibility. They suggest that in the world we inhabit – “it’s all invented”. How often have you shared an experience with someone (a meeting, a movie, a meal, …) and, in discussing it afterwards, you find little that the two of you can agree on? Perhaps you both heard the same key points in the meeting but understood them differently. Maybe one of you fell asleep from boredom in the theater while the other was riveted to the screen. And that meal? Well, each of us interprets delectability based on our taste buds so the exact same food will produce different sensations in each of us. In the same way, ears hear different frequencies and eyes may be 20/20, 20/100 or color blind.
We take in information according to our sensors. Beyond that, we actually don’t know what we’ve taken in until the sensors have passed the information on to our brain, and our brain has interpreted these new data and categorized them in the library of our memory banks.
Pause and take that in for a moment.
The world you inhabit and the world I inhabit are not the same world! From our sensory organs to the computer in our heads and its storehouse of previous experiences (along with the storehouse in our emotional memory bank), each of us creates the world around us:
It’s All Invented!
What could that mean to us? Consider:
- We could get curious about another’s reactions before making assumptions and passing judgment
- We could get curious about our own responses and wonder “What’s that about?”
- We could realize how much power lies in this truth – and use the power to invent other interpretations, scenarios, outcomes
- We could choose to believe in expansive possibility once we realize that the key to this universe is in our minds!
What limiting invention have you created?
What glorious opportunity is waiting for your recognition?
What is possible?
You are facing an obstacle, a situation. Your mind has jumped into the whirlwind of confusion and perhaps all the way to stuck and unmoving. Worst of all, you’ve got fear and it has taken over. Consider this tool. It might not even be new to you. But in case you haven’t tried it in awhile, here goes! Ask yourself:
What’s the worst that can possibly happen?
If it happens, then what?
After that, what?
Now, give yourself the gift of this alternative:
Continue reading Then what …
What do you hear in the word “expectation”? When you expect something from another or from life, what do you notice in your being? What happens when those expectations are dashed?
Now, switch gears for a minute. Replace “expectation” with “expectancy, abundant expectancy“. What is the energy now?
Here’s where I go with these two:
Expectations that I have for myself or another person or for the situation feel limiting. I notice tension as I wait to see if what I want, what I expect, will happen. There is smallness here as laser focus sees only “this” and “these options”. I am trapped in my version of how life should unfold. I have put a box around you and how I want you to be. Often, sadly, I expect the worst.
Continue reading Release Expectation – Embrace Expectancy!
From the book, The Yamas & Niyamas, by Deborah Adele, we read:
“Yogiraj Achala tells the story about taking his young son to the Mississippi River. The son, looking into the river, asked his dad if the river was polluted. Yogiraj responded that no, the river is only carrying the pollution, the river itself is pure. Our minds are like the river carrying things in it. If we identify with what the mind is carrying – thoughts, stories, beliefs – then we will think we are those things.”
Tomorrow is July 4th, the day Americans celebrate freedom. Take a moment. Breathe in deeply. Let it go. Continue to breathe long, slow, full breaths. As you do, take the spectator seat near your mind. Notice:
Continue reading Mind Pollution
Listening, really present, deep listening is a gift that many of us never really receive. Think about it: when was the last time that you shared with another person or group and did not experience interruptions, fixing, opinions or “I know what you should do!”?
If you’ve had the gift of being listened to deeply, what was that like? What do you notice when you are able to share who you are and what is important to you in the moment and simply be heard?
How about your listening skills? Continue reading Listening power …