Joy Tip Wednesday: Looking for Appreciation

This week I've been thinking a lot about energies and mainframes.  Primarily scarcity versus abundance and problem solving versus appreciative inquiry.  About how often I think find myself asking the wrong questions and not the right ones.  

Recently I found myself in what seemed like a dead end.  I had been swirling around and around trying to find solutions to a situation.  If you know me, if I want something, I'm determined to find a solution to get what I want.  Most often when I find myself stuck in swirling mode, I realize I'm asking the wrong questions.  I learned this from my conflict resolution professional experience and training.  So often when analyzing a conflict, everyone focuses on what's wrong.  Everyone focuses no the problem.  And when we do, we close ourselves off in some way to a more expansive, creative view point.  We find ourselves running down the same rabbit holes that we believe are different, but are just simply word play and phonetics versus actual new lines of inquiry.  It's because we are starting from the same starting point over and over again and expecting a different result.  Cue...what's the definition of insanity?  Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  

The number of times I've had to remind myself of this definition is countless.  Sometimes it's monthly.  Sometimes it's weekly.   Sometimes it's daily.   Sometimes during a tough time it's on the hour.  Unhelpful habits are challenging to shift.  

Here's the deal, every time I find myself stuck looking at the same brick wall, I usually have one common denominator in common.  I've started my journey from a place called scarcity.  I believed there wasn't enough.  I believed there was constriction.  I believed there was contraction.  I believed there was an energetic clamping on a situation.  I believed there was a problem.  And that problem needs to be solved.  

What's possible for a creative process when we start from a point of constriction?  A constrained creative thinking process!  Will it be open like we are hoping?  Will it produce new insights?  Likely not.  When I see this, I know that I have to restart my journey from a new point called abundance.

When I'm staring at the brick wall, it's time to leave the town of scarcity and start in the open field called abundance.  It's time to tear down the walls of impossibility and see what's actually possible.  It's time to see what's working versus what is not.  It's time to see what I can do versus what I cannot.  And with this new frame, walking this new path, I can reopen my mind to see a situation from a fuller frame.

So here's our practice this week:

  1. Pick something you're feeling stuck on.  A situation that you cannot seem to find any other paths to walk.  A situation where you've concluded the same thing ten million times, but you know is not the only conclusion.
  2. Choose to explore it through abundance.  Ask yourself the following questions:  What is going right?  What is working that can be built on?  What can I be grateful for?  What can I acknowledge?
  3. Open up a a new path of action.    Focus on what you CAN do rather than what you cannot.  Focus on what is working well that you can built on versus what needs to be fixed.  
  4. Commit to taking one action step in your new path.
  5. Notice if there are any shifts in your situation after your first step in your new course of action.

My experience is that the mind, not our circumstances create a prison.  When we see this, we find that there are always other paths to walk, other steps we can take, and areas of light that can be highlighted.