Strolling with a particular phrase (whether or not I select it or it chooses me) offers me a guiding advantage and helps me keep targeted on the methods I wish to present up on the earth. One phrase I at all times hold shut is an earthly, utilitarian conjunction that retains me out of the phantasm of limitations, helps me transcend the entice of duality and opts me out of polarity’s tug-of-war.
I like the little phrase “and.”
These three easy letters strung collectively are a superpower. Liberation from polarity, poor selections and victimhood is discovered within the phrase “and.” This little phrase eliminates helplessness, expands your thoughts and opens the guts. It connotes countless risk, which sparks creativity and fuels innovation. It’s the quickest doable repair to the stickiest of dilemmas, offering prompt reframes and quick aid from judgment and struggling.
“And” will be represented by a singular image—an ampersand, a plus signal. But like a single cell, it could actually develop into one thing giant, advanced and exquisite. This phrase is rather more than including one factor to a different. “And” doesn’t simply acknowledge two or extra totally different sides, it immediately elevates considering. It permits me to see past the tree into the forest, the mountains, the sky and the universe. “And” helps me transcend the ache inherent in duality; it offers permission to acknowledge paradox and plot twists. It reveals me the way in which to do arduous issues.
Wow. Who wouldn’t wish to hold this singular, supercharged phrase on the prepared?
Many issues will be true on the similar time
Understanding the a number of ways in which seemingly contradictory issues will be true directly is among the keys to contentment. Utilizing “and” is a technique to take away the self-imposed blinders of a narrowed view. When you can sit with this idea, actually meditate on it, you’ll discover fast entry to compassion and develop the next tolerance for the world’s messiness.
The thoughts, which advanced to emphasise survival, tends to default to an “both/or” perspective, which shuts down prospects and limits the fullness of life. But we select this angle time and again. Why? As a result of the ego loves security and certainty and chooses these qualities over accuracy—and positively over complexity.
The primitive “both/or” answer to cognitive dissonance is an impediment to connecting, that means and wholehearted dwelling—the very issues we crave. To dwell absolutely within the mess, we have to turn out to be expert at paradoxical considering and develop the power to carry house for a number of issues to be true on the similar time. We have to be taught to get snug with the uneasiness brought on by cognitive dissonance, which appeals to our survival intuition and places the ego on pink alert. With observe, we are able to thwart the ego’s objective to really feel higher by overriding the “both/or” considering behavior.
Attempting to drive this lovely, advanced world into the jail of a two-dimensional, diametric house will inevitably result in long-term struggling. Once we evolve to dwell with the discomfort cognitive dissonance can create, infinite prospects seem. That’s why I like “and.” It helps relieve the stress of cognitive dissonance and permits for a richer expertise.
Open hearts and minds
One other method we get boxed in is by insisting on simplicity in the case of emotion. “And” offers us permission to “really feel all our feels,” with a nod to the net of advanced and seemingly contradictory feelings we frequently expertise on the similar time. All are price honoring.
Within the final yr or so, I’ve been beginning conferences and conversations with of us by asking them to call two issues they’re feeling within the second. The expansiveness of the solutions I hear has been illuminating. I hear issues like, “I’m feeling anxious concerning the future and in addition enthusiastic about what’s doable.” This allowance for experiencing and embracing many feelings on the similar time makes house for creativity and alerts an openness to new concepts. When folks open their hearts, their minds typically develop as effectively.
Coronary heart opening
The flexibility to combine many feelings on the similar time opens you as much as a multidimensional life the place your complete actuality isn’t outlined by a single feeling. If you notice that feelings come quickly and finally ebb, you don’t should be afraid to really feel them within the second.
It’s a entice to suppose we are able to solely really feel one emotion at a time, and it could actually result in defective choices. If I miss my former husband, does that imply I made a mistake in leaving? If I’m feeling pleasure and aid within the wake of a painful divorce, does it imply that I didn’t love him? In fact not. I can miss him, love him AND acknowledge it was the best determination for me to go away. Emotions aren’t proper or improper. They’re simply… emotions. Catch them and launch them. It’s not solely okay to have many alternative emotions, it’s completely pure. It’s human. “And” helps you acknowledge that.
“And” fosters self-acceptance
The phrase “and” can also be helpful for depersonalizing suggestions. Simply because somebody has given you knowledge about the way you’re perceived on the earth doesn’t imply it has to outline who you might be. People are advanced, multifaceted beings—generally we’re sort, and generally we’re merciless. You will be nice at cash administration and in addition able to careless spending. You is usually a loving mum or dad and end up snapping on the children.
By remembering that suggestions doesn’t outline who you might be, it’s simpler to reduce on defensiveness. Possibly you may make house for the chance that the info you’ve been given is actual, residing amongst your virtues and your shadows. Referring to data on this method can enhance self-compassion and acceptance.
If you’re feeling on the ropes, attempt swapping “however” with “and.” Really feel the shift.
- I tousled,
howeverand I can attempt to make it up.
- I’m upset about your alternative,
howeverand I like you.
- I perceive your level,
howeverand I’ve a special perspective than you do.
- I’m doing my greatest,
howeverand I can attempt more durable.
“And” is a technique to create a fuller, extra genuine view of ourselves and others. It turns into much less essential to try to be extra sort—you turn out to be extra sort. Utilizing “and” can immediately open your coronary heart to compassion and enable you to see folks in a brand new mild. Subsequent time you end up irritated with somebody, or assigning them a label, attempt on the phrase “and.” It instantly widens your perspective.
Create security whereas calling others to greatness
The phrase “and” can assist folks speak about powerful subjects and in the end do arduous issues collectively. It’s one of many methods I’ve discovered to create security for others whereas calling them as much as greatness. “And” helps you keep in a relationship with somebody as you co-create a greater future. It makes room for the human situation of rising and evolving and sure, even regressing at occasions.
“And” is a technique to reassure and request one thing totally different. Its use retains compassion as a basis in conversations that decision out habits that is perhaps undesirable or in want of adjusting with out calling into query that somebody is human and loveable.
Increasing your considering
If a dilemma is considered in polarity or mutual exclusivity, innovation is killed, shortage is invoked and hope for ingenious options is misplaced. Which aspect are you on? Which camp are you in?
Who determined the world was divided into two camps? I consider in a single camp—the human camp. I wish to be on the aspect that takes into consideration everybody on the planet. The world is plentiful. The ego would really like you to suppose in any other case, and it reveals up huge and daring in difficult occasions that require drawback fixing.
Generally in conferences with my employees, I reply to a seemingly powerful alternative between two unpreferred choices with the query, “The place’s the ‘and’ right here?”
“And” additionally will be an antidote to one thing I name “bundling.” To preemptively construct a case for the established order, my ego bundles my help of an thought with the burden of getting to do all of the work to make it profitable.
“And” to the rescue. I mix “sure” plus “and,” which opens me to prospects with out feeling like I’ve to take all of them on. We are able to dream collectively expansively with out the fear that it is going to be my accountability to make your dream come true.
In at present’s world, my superpower phrase has by no means been extra vital. “And” is code for “I’m fairly certain I don’t know the whole lot.” I won’t be capable to have all of it, however I can embrace the whole lot as true and doable. Cognitive dissonance doesn’t should shrink the chances. It could usher in a higher tolerance for dwelling within the mess.
Figuring out and accepting that many issues are true on the similar time makes dwelling within the mess much more peaceable. When you permit “and” to roll up its sleeves and get to work, this candy little phrase will usher in an advanced and expansive perspective of the world.
This excerpt of Life’s Messy, Dwell Completely happy was reprinted with permission. Picture by @danielacuevascastillo/Twenty20