Last week I had an interesting discussion with my 19-year-old daughter.
It went something like this: She shared some challenges she is facing in her life; I, being mom, shared some simple solutions. She responded to each solution with a list of reasons why each would not work. Even though she had not tried any of them, she had already come to the conclusion that not a single one had any possibility of working.
How interesting. It was like looking in the mirror and seeing me at 19. However, the question that surfaced was, Am I still this way at 50 something?
With all the personal transformation that has occurred in my life over the last several years, one would hope I was beyond such things. The truth of the matter was that I was not quite so evolved.
What is it about awareness that causes you to start seeing things you never even thought about before? Like when you get a new car. You don’t ever recollect seeing that car around at all and suddenly they are everywhere. Well, that is about how this worked too. Suddenly I could see so many ways that conclusions came, sometimes even before I asked the question or presented the idea. How did I come up with these conclusions? What were they based on? The only honest answer was habit and conditioning.
The subject of conditioning is a whole different can of worms and will have to wait until later. Suffice it to say that the result of conclusions, wherever they come from, cuts off all other possibilities instantly. Seriously, try experimenting with different situations. The minute the words “I can’t,” “it won’t work,” “it has never worked” or simply “no” come out of your mouth, all thought processes that are looking for possible answers stop, the energy collapses and, suddenly, there are no other solutions. It causes a very heavy, deflating and paralyzing feeling within and the feeling of helplessness and dread are almost overwhelming.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like feeling that way. The problem solver in me could only ask, “How could we do this differently?”
Ironically enough, the answer to that question came in a workshop given by Rikka Zimmerman, a young woman of many talents who spends much of her time helping people with personal transformation. She was addressing the very issue of conclusions and asked, “What if rather than jumping to conclusions when facing challenges, we ask an open ended question like, ‘What else is possible?’ and we wait for an answer?”
What a great idea! That question creates a whole new energy. Of course, I had to experiment with this process. The issue I had been dealing with was this: my hours at work were reduced, and my first response was, “well I have to get another job” with an immediate conclusion of, “there are no jobs” and “the ones that are available don’t pay enough and I won’t make it.”
I had a moment of panic, maybe several moments, before I caught myself in this pattern of behavior. There I was again, coming to conclusions without looking at any possibilities. I was dragging my feet with great uncertainty. What should I do? Work at a job I can’t stand, wait it out or try to find something else?
Something deep within kept telling me not to jump into job I would not be happy with. Then my head would get involved with the fear tactic of, “Well you better do something quick, even if you are miserable.”
When I heard Rikka ask that question, I immediately knew what I needed to do. I asked myself, “What else is possible?” and then I just waited. Once ideas started coming, they popped into my head like a popcorn machine on Red Bull. Creativity started flowing and the more ideas that came, the more energy I had, the more energy I had, the more possibilities I saw. All of a sudden, there were more possibilities than I ever imagined.
Use your talents, take things you have already done and expand them, figure out what you love to do and do it. Stop operating from a place of fear and stand in your own power. Wow! I could hardly contain myself. My biggest dilemma has become narrowing down all the possibilities and choosing what I want to actually implement.
Using this process, I find that answers do not always come immediately. Sometimes it only takes minutes, sometimes hours or days, but they do always come. I just keep asking the same question, “What else is possible?” If I don’t really resonate with the first idea, I ask again, “Well, what else is possible?” In asking that question, what stirs inside me is a sense of knowing. A knowing that there really are more possibilities. I don’t have to be stuck in my old conclusions. My dreamer has dared to begin dreaming again and a sense of excitement about life has emerged in this intriguing game of wonder, just waiting to see what fantastic idea or opportunity shows up. This simple question has not only created a sense of intrigue but it reminds me that we are infinite, limitless beings and the only thing powerful enough to stop us from doing anything is us. Possibilities are as limitless as the stars in the sky or the sands in the sea and discovering them can be as simple as daring to ask, “What else is possible?”
Be The Change Pagosa is just one of the possibilities that is beginning to unfold before my eyes. Margaret Meade, the famous anthropologist, put it best: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.
We are just those citizens who envision a Pagosa that is self-sustaining, self-sufficient and abundant for all.
Be The Change Pagosa meets the fourth Wednesday of the month. For more information, contact us at email@example.com or call Andrea at 903-6047. We encourage community involvement, both physically and spiritually; new ideas and concepts to create an abundant Pagosa for all.
Join the movement with a “Be The Change Pagosa” bumper sticker, available at Design-A-Sign or by contacting Andrea at 903-6047. Proceeds benefit local non-profits. This month’s recipient is the Youth Center.