May 12, 2012
Turns out one of my most important life lessons has been something I could only learn in hindsight. I’m finding that if I wake up every morning and set my intention to stay open to everything, and I mean everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly–each day seems to be richer than the one before. (Come on, kindergarteners aren’t necessarily open to much, they won’t share their ice cream, or their mother, or eat spinach. Those skills come later, if ever.)
I think we’re pretty hard-wired to resist anything that creates discomfort. So I’m not suggesting it’s easy. In my case it’s an intention, not a done deal.
Staying open to whatever shows up requires mindfulness. It requires trust in my inherent and learned skills and abilities, and especially my ability to use discretion about when to say no. In the last six months I’ve said yes to more things I was afraid of, or sure I couldn’t do, than I’ve said in the previous six years.
I’ve also said some no’s. But in every case I at least considered being open. I wasn’t always able to do it. In some cases that served me. Sometimes no is the right answer even when I’m being open. In the other cases, I’m working on it.
The result is that pretty much every morning I’m pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, and wondering how I didn’t see the benefits of setting this intention earlier. And then I remember, everything I need to know I didn’t learn in kindergarten. Some of it I needed to get in hindsight.
Is there anything you might say yes to today if you met it with just a little more openness and a little more trust in your inherent ability to handle it?