Far more important than any single, particular choice is the underlying – and far too often, invisible – process for choosing that determines the way we move through the world. At this time in our human experience, the frequency and range of choices with which we are faced is offering up the opportunity for us to begin to notice that underlying process and to mindfully determine if it serves not only us but the unfolding future of our children and grandchildren.
The first step to bringing intentional impact back into the range of possibility is for us to define and take ownership of that underlying process and redefine it, as we see fit. To support that line of enquiry, I offer you a series of inner journeys designed to provoke the hidden to emerge into your awareness. These are not intended to shape any particular outcome but to assist you in identifying what long-forgotten layers of habituation may be determining your course of action, other than mindful choice.
What you will find in these provocations is that brevity from me makes way for you to take a deeper dive… to wander around the line of enquiry and allow it to percolate over time. You might be surprised by what emerges from some place much deeper and outside the grip of your intellect. Each line of enquiry is an invitation to you to pause… take a few deep breaths… and just allow the questions to rumble around. You don’t have to work at it… or struggle with it… just let it do the work for you. Originally, my thought was to post one line of enquiry per week that you might allow time and the great space that it brings to make way for the enquiry to take the lead. I decided to just do it… and trust that you would shape your own process for discovering yet a deeper one that determines the quality of your life.
My recommendation to you is to take a full week and allow yourself a full day for any one line of enquiry rather than seek to simply sit down and answer all the questions, at once. During the week, preferably twice a day, re-read one of the lines of enquiry and let it sit at the back of your mind. Jotting down your thoughts in a journal (digital or otherwise) might help you capture the insights that arise when you least expect.
The intellect wants a ‘one and done’ approach to something that just might prove more agitating than expected. The single line of enquiry and invitations to revisit multiple times is a way of moving beyond the barriers of the quick-fix-and-closure expectation at which we have become so adept. For something so pivotal… so precious to our unique expression of Being… as our willingness and ability to choose, the need to avoid the pitfall of urgency-for-closure as a strategy to silence a deeper truth is essential to an awakening of a different kind.
Here are the lines of enquiry. Engage – or not – as you see fit.
* How do you calibrate for ’truth’?
How do you determine if what you are reading/hearing/watching has the ‘feeling’ of truth? Is your experience of ’truth’ determined by data that fills the intellect or by a vibration that fills your own body? How adept are you at knowing when you are being lied to… and what are the clues that let you know that? How often does your body reveal ’truth’ to you only to be overridden and subdued by your intellect? What is your tolerance for ‘untruth’ as determined by your need to avoid conflict, appease authority or hide your own imperfection? When your ’truth’ is proven to be untrue, how easily can you change your mind? How do you measure the distinction between truth and untruth; where did you learn that; and when was the last time you revisited its viability in the creation of your own meaningful life? Are you willing to trust your internal cue over and above external directive?
* What do you consider a ‘fact’?
How do you differentiate between ‘fact’ as truth and ‘fact’ as opinion? How likely are you to do what is required to determine, for yourself, if a fact is supported by evidence or the weight of an approving and acceptable collective? How easily do you accept as ‘fact’ that which is offered by someone whose approval you seek or as an alternative to investing time and effort to determine for yourself what is supportable? How do you make a distinction between ‘fact’ and dogma? In your reality, what are the consequences to you for questioning a ‘fact’ as presented by another whose perspective shapes the quality of your life? To what degree does it matter to you… have sway in your convictions… if it is actually a fact when presented by one you hold in high esteem?
* How much time do you invest in educating yourself through multiple input channels?
How do you select your information conduits for educating and informing yourself? How many sources do you access when considering information essential to a meaningful choice? How easily do you surrender your own internal ’sense’ of something to an external pressure to conform? How repetitive and thin is your stream of information that leads you to a conclusion? How well do you tolerate the internal dissonance of not knowing and the pressure to bring rapid closure to uncertainty? How comfortable are you with the possibility that were you to allow your reality to be challenged, it may prove to be unstable?
* How do you relate to authority?
How prevalent is the parent-child model in your life? How well do you tolerate dissension or conflict with those you consider in positions of authority to you? Are you comfortable questioning those you consider to be experts in their field? Does the ‘knowing’ of another over-ride your own? How easily do you surrender an internal line of enquiry to the declarations of those deemed to know more/better than you? As an adult, do you find yourself feeling like a child when questioning the certainty of another you consider an expert or one in charge? When in the presence of one in authority (by virtue of position or education), how easily do you fall silent and surrender your own curiosity? When you do make a choice, who else might come to mind as a reminder of having done so, in that way?
* Do you prefer to lead or to follow?
What do you consider the risks or benefits associated with leading or following? How easily do you slide into the shadows rather than take a stand for what you hold as true for you? How often do you find yourself feigning agreement when, in your truth, you are committed to a different path? As you consider how you would define the character traits of a leader and of a follower, which are meaningful to you, about yourself? What do you hold as the undesirable consequences of leading or following? When you look around at those with whom you surround yourself, how do you hold yourself relative to how you would define them as leaders or followers? How comfortable are you being alone? How willing and able are you to tolerate being mocked? Shamed? Ridiculed? Dismissed? Isolated? What character trait of a leader do you fear the most? What character trait of a follower do you dread the most?