Pair #82 Avoid getting scalded by life?
My Dad told me this story about him when he was a boy. 

He was getting the usual lecture you get as a kid that's meant to keep you from burning yourself on the stove.  You know, the "Don't touch! That's hot" admonition.

So later he was sitting next to fireplace and his mom, my grandmother, (who was a bit fierce I thought) is giving him very serious instructions to NOT go near the fire.  Because, that's hot.

No sooner did she finish her last words, my father stuck his hand right into the flames.

"Why did you do that?" my grandmother asked.

"Because I wanted to see what 'hot' felt like," he said.
We think that the more we understand or know, the easier life will become.  But what we mean by 'easy' is that no more bad stuff will happen.

We soon find that no matter how much you know, how enlightened you are or how spiritual your life, bad shit still happens to you and all around you.

In fact, one of the questions I get most when I'm coaching people is "I know so much, how come this is still happening?"

But the point of living is not to never experience hot. 

In fact, as my Dad said, you really have to have your own experiences of hot, cold and everything in between - because no one, no matter how knowledgeable, can ever give you the experience of your life.

You can only get that by living it.

Here's is my favorite explanation for how this works:

Becoming more balanced and aware does not mean that bad things never happen, it's that when they do, you know you will be OK.

If you liked this you might like my other posts on Thinking or Learning

© 2010 Elese Coit
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Pair #81 Is the internal forecast  mostly cloudy?
Before I got out of bed this morning I could hear the wind and rain.  As I sat with my tea, with the rain blowing sideways and the sky looking distinctly unfriendly...I realized...

it hadn't occurred to me to be upset.

In that moment I saw that I was perfectly content and I had no concern whatsoever that this storm would 'never finish' or that 'the sun will never come out again'. 

It just didn't cross my mind.  (or if it had, I had dismissed it)

When I talk about the nature of our internal weather, our emotions and our thinking, people often tell me we have habitual thoughts that hold us back and that it's really hard to change.

My answer is, well, the last time you thought about killing someone, did you actually do it? 

The fact is, we think. We are thinking our way through life.   And the fact is we are also ignoring some of our thinking all the time.

We are living in an internal weather system of thought.   

Isn't it interesting that we worry that thought storms will never pass?
Pair #80 My gift to you
The best gift you can give others is to have your own life work.

The best gift you can give to others is to realize they are not you.

The best gift you can give to others is to keep your advice to yourself.

The best gift you can give to others is all of yourself.

The best gift you can give to others is ...

What do you think?
Pair #79 Pick up a pen and listen
I wrote a letter to God

I did.  I sat down and wrote 'Dear God,' and then I kept going.

Funnily enough, it was incredibly soothing.  I was writing and as I did, just working out on paper some of my concerns and worries. As I did, things started to change, answers started to come to me and some insights flowed out on to the page.

It's interesting how writing longhand can take you just enough outside yourself.

It does a couple of other amazing things too. 

It slows you down. And when you slow down you start to get much clearer about the nature of the problem.

I could clearly hear all the thoughts that are running around up there in my head agitated and afraid - and how seriously I was taking them. 

Once something is down on paper in your lap, there is just no ignoring the ridiculousness of some of what we think: "so-and-so needs to do this"  or "this damn well better change" or "God, you are going to have to take over on this one!" 

A teeny tyrant that wants to run the world is talking, talking, talking... and has so much to say... not much of it helpful.

How the heck are we supposed to have good ideas, be creative, or do any kind of planning or problem solving with that mess going on?

If you keep up the flow long enough and ignore the desire to stop and wallow, or actually take the words seriously, something funny can happen.

Calm descends and things settle down. 

And then some wise or bright solution may drop in.  
or a light comes on.

And that's wonderful.

Now I'm not saying God descends with an answer.  In fact I have every reason from my own life to believe it does not work that way. 

But wisdom does come.  It comes from inside, or from wherever it feels like it comes from - the field, the present, the moment, the calmness, your brain. It doesn't matter. The fact is that it comes.

And it creeps up on you and blooms wherever you have enough space for it.  Like a blade of grass through concrete.

I realize it wouldn't matter who I address the letter to, it would have the same effect.

And funnily enough, I can see now that writing 'Dear God' is just another way of writing to myself.
Pair 78 # Here's to not knowing
One of the things I've learned about myself and also about my business over the years is: "Lots can happen."

Lots can happen. Make that a motto.

I don't have to look far in my life to see the truth in this.

Sometimes things shift in the very moment I'm thinking "this will never happen."
And the only times I've really regretted are the times I wasted worrying something
would never happen that I didn't have control of over anyway.  Then there all the things I missed because I was looking the other way.

what if we...
  • Don't assume today is a predictor of anything at all
  • Don't assume today's No or today's numbers mean anything about tomorrow
  • Assume we don't know
  • Assume what we see cannot possibly be ALL there is

In order to live in a world where we don't assume, it doesn't mean
taking in zero information. But it does mean evaluating information

Like refusing to make everything mean something about me!

I want to strip away all the meaning that we make about how things WILL turn out, all our predictive and unfounded scenarios (all attitudes that shut down our creativity) and focus on what I do not know. 

Out of what I do not know, comes all possibility

Please pull out your project plans now and  look them over and ask yourself: where have I Ieft room for what I do not yet know? 

Where have I shut myself down because I am assuming I know everything and what everything means?

Where have I made mistakes because I am assuming that the limits of my thinking are equal to the limits of the my possibilities?