“The hardest prison to escape is in your mind.” ~ Unknown.
This morning I received images in my inbox from my doctor. Results from the latest lab work I completed revealing a high level of damaging Lymes and likely other co-infection bacteria living in my body. If I allowed myself, this news could inspire me to sit in a dark corner for the rest of the day, but I know better. I’ve trained my mind now to meet every single moment as a possibility. No matter the circumstances.
I believe my trained openness to possibilities with my latest diagnosis is allowing for miracles. I experience deep insights from my illness. I’m opening up to new gifts as my body experiences a weakened state. My loving-kindness for others is expanding as I feel a first hand empathy for individuals with memory loss and other cognitive challenges with my own similar symptoms. In essence, I’ve decided, without knowing where the path is going to take me, that ironically Lymes may hold the best possibilities for my future. I could be wrong, the the possibilities that I might be right seem like a longer list right now.
It wasn’t always this way for me. Over time, I rewired my mind to look for possibilities and I dedicated my life to maintaining this mindset. This means daily practice. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard, but it always comes because I know without a doubt that an openness to the perception that more possibilities lie beyond my current perception absolutely exist.
Curious about the power of perception? Check out my story about how a small mosquito in the shower taught me to always take a closer look at life HERE
I have an interesting relationship with possibilities. For a long time I focused all of my attention on problems. This is both due to my social conditioning over the years and academic training. Professionally I was known as having a sharp eye for identifying problems, personally it made my personal life sprinkled with hard-shelled stories about myself and others that limited my creative thinking and consistently put me in a tight corner.
When we only focus on the problem, our perception of reality is both skewed and narrow. Think about the last time you put all of your attention on a problem. Did it feel tight? Constricting? Stress-inducing?
Here are some tell-tale signs that I’m narrowly focused on the problem:
- I’m convinced that history will continue to repeat itself.
- I only see an either/or scenario and both options often feel like I loose.
- My analysis circles back to the same conclusions over and over again.
- I feel a tightness in my gut.
- I feel both a deep compulsion to continue analyzing for solutions and to completely give up.
- I feel VERY stuck.
When we limit the range of possible outcomes, we make impossible what we desire most: A solution, a new way forward, satisfaction, fulfillment...joy.
When we believe receiving what we desire, achieving our goals, is not possible, they just aren't. Because both our being and our action in that scenario will create a stage where even if the possible outcome of what you desire comes knocking on your door, you may miss it!
When our minds focus on a limited range of possibilities it not only constrains us, but it drains us. It drains the life from our experience.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday I want you to throw open the doors of possibility with one of my favorite go-to practices. Here’s how:
Find a situation in your life that you currently have a story about. A solid story. A story where you are pretty sure of the possible outcome(s). See my list of tell-tale signs I'm narrowly focused on the problem above to help you find it.
Write down the story as a headline/single statement. A one liner. For example "Jane is definitely mad at me about our conversation last week and will not call me back."
Identify the outcome(s). In this last example, the possibility is that Jane will not call back.
Ask yourself what is impossible from this story as I've framed it? (Hint, this will help you identify new potential possibilities).
Break down the barriers. List five more possible outcomes. For example, "Jane will call me back. Jane will text me to see how I'm doing. I call Jane and she answers and apologizes for the misunderstanding. Jane shows up for a surprise visit to talk."
Break down more barriers and list five more possible outcomes.
Identify one new action step you can take to live in this new realm of possibilities. For example, maybe you decide to call Jane with the possibility that she picks up and you have a healing conversation.
Often just opening our awareness to a broader field of awareness can support a spacious shift inside. But to make this real in our minds and experience, we need to take new action to start shifting the beliefs in our mind. To bring new evidence to show us that there are far more possibilities than our mind can imagine.
So break down those barriers. Swing open your doors. And believe that there are infinite possibilities in life. None of us have the manual and script of how everything will go. So let's stop pretending that we do and enjoy the ride on the open road allowing every adventure of possibility to present itself. After all, it's always more fun to ride on the open road.
PS. Are you curious about how to start shifting your mind? Schedule a 30 minute quick advice session with me to start opening to possibilities by contacting me HERE.