Created by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. & Gay Hendricks, Ph.D.
Willingness to learn from each moment — as opposed to defending ourselves by stonewalling, explaining, justifying, withdrawing, blaming — is much more important than factors like IQ, family background, race or degrees. The great advantage of openness-to-learning is that you’re in charge of it at all times: it’s always within your control to shift out of defensiveness into genuine curiosity. Another great advantage: it can’t be faked. You can feel instantly whether you’re genuinely wondering — or clinging to a defence. This scale was designed to help you make more graceful shifts out of defensiveness.
High Openness-to-Discovery +10 Implementing (planning actions, requesting support for follow-up). +9 Feeling and showing genuine enthusiasm about the possibilities. +8 Taking full responsibility for the issue and the results that were created. +7 Thinking out loud, making new associations about an issue. +6 Requesting information and examples about an issue. +5 Listening generously (able to paraphrase other person’s statements without interjecting your point of view) +4 Expressing appreciation for the messenger and the message, regardless of delivery +3 Openly wondering about the issue. +2 Expressing genuine curiosity about the issue. +1 Demonstrating open posture and body language. ……………………………………………………………. Key transition moves: Choosing WONDERING over DEFENDING & Committing to LEARN ……………………………………………………………. Low Openness-to-Discovery – 1 Showing polite interest outwardly while inwardly clinging to your point of view or rehearsing your rebuttal – 2 Explaining how the person has misperceived the situation. – 3 Interpreting what the person is saying as an attack. – 4 Justifying why you’re the way you are, or why you acted the way you did. – 5 Going silent, getting edgy or snappy. – 6 Finding fault with the way the message is delivered. – 7 Righteous indignation: demanding evidence in a hostile manner. – 8 Blaming something or someone else. – 9 Attacking or threatening the messenger, verbally or otherwise. – 10 Creating an uproar or leaving abruptly.
I have been thinking a lot about the importance of self-awareness and what it means to me lately.
Positivity experts claim that happiness is a state of mind where one focuses on the nice things in life and hold only uplifting and positive thoughts in one’s mind.
I agree. It is so important to see the beautify in our lives and to strive to generate positive and uplifting experiences. It is also true that where we focus is where we are going. Keeping a positive attitude when faced with life’s challenges is a blessing.
However, life’s challenges and learnings are always at hand.
I believe that our karmic patterns show up as childhood experiences in order for us to learn those lessons and let them go later in life. Every ‘learnt’ lesson brings us closer to the Core of who we are, the Divine within.
Ignoring our lessons, mostly because of lack of self-awareness, means that we keep on recreating painful/uncomfortable situations and emotions in our lives. As soon as we start being more present we become more aware of what is going on in our lives. As a result, we start to have choices.
Becoming aware does not mean analysing. It means embracing.
When I trace my ‘uncomfortable’ feelings and thoughts back to their origin, I start seeing what I am dealing with. Most of my post in this category discusses different ‘issues’ that I have become aware of.
When I become aware of what’s bothering me or in my case why I am angry, I suddenly have a choice. I stop being reactive and start being proactive. First, I sit down with myself and assure myself that it is all OK and that I love myself no matter what. My own loving to myself opens doors to places inside of me that hurt. I am allowed to now see what happened that as I child or a young adult I could not face. And now, it is time to let go. When Light shines on my darkest parts, they dissipate automatically. It usually takes some time but there is not much else I need to do, apart from loving myself through it.
Positive and uplifting thoughts and ideas are great and very helpful. But the Mind cannot love, only the Soul can.
The art-filled programs I run support participants to become more aware of their lessons to learn in life and become more align with the Loving that inherently resides inside of us all.
Sir Ken talks about how the education system fails to notice and nurture talent, particularly if that talent is in the arts. He reminds us in his joyous way that life is truly about finding and living our inherent talents. Life is a miracle as you create it through your choices. Life progresses through our creativity being employed in the right direction. We create the world around us by imagining and manifesting. ( Oh, I so miss him!)
I am sorry that this post got little longer than I had intended but I hope it is worth you time! 🙂
Well, my focus is on overcoming and releasing what blocks my inner flow of the Divine.
The Divine, Its Love, becomes available to us when we become available to IT. Until parts of ourselves is engaged in reactions that originate in painful memories of the past, we are not available to the Divine flow. The painful (stressful) memories and attached emotions stand as blockages in our energy system. Our focus is being pulled off from our centre and off from the Divine as it is automatically – unconsciously – pulled into these blockages.
It is easy to focus on Loving when we are sitting in meditation. It is more challenging to experience God’s (use your own word) ever present Loving energy when someone is being nasty to us or we are being told off or being cut off on the motorway. Such events trigger old memories and related emotions. As we revisit them again and again, unfortunately, we recreate them by investing energy into them. We are not meant to indulge in these but become aware of them.
Life throws experiences at us so we can notice where out trapped memories and energies are.
I am aware that part of me is still trapped in emotions that were the results of responses to painful or stressful experiences in the past. In order to be free, I embrace these experiences and release the emotions trapped in the memory.
I cannot change the past but I can come to terms with it and let go of the emotions trapped in the memory. In order to become neutral and free I need to release these otherwise I will forever react and relive the emotions when I am reminded of that past event. On top of it all, because the energy is strapped in the memory of the event – trauma – and in the emotion related to this event, I automatically recreate similar events.
How often is your attention and therefore your energy in the past?
Not often, actually. I am not a dweller.
However, I believe in ‘reconciliation’ and ‘healing’; my preferred word is LETTING GO.
When I notice a reoccurring reaction and emotion, I trace it back to its origin which is always in the past. I look at what happened (probably) and what choices I made mentally and emotionally at the time.
I do my best to embrace that moment: whatever happened, how I reacted, how I felt, the choices I made; I also accept the other parties’ choices in the event. I look at that part of me whom I started to judge or shun in response to the event: the source of my negative emotions.
By doing that I start a healing process in me that lasts as long as it does. I do not keep on revising what happened after I got clear on where the thorn is.
This is my process of releasing the charge of an emotion that kept on surfacing each time something happened that reminds me of that initial event and triggers those old emotions.
With all this, I embrace myself as I am in the present moment: with my past, my emotions, my reactions; the whole lot.
The artwork I create supports me to embrace all that is present in me at any given moment in time. It helps me let go so I can be free of it. As the charge goes, the triggers disappear.
In response to ‘where we place our attention is where we place our energy’, I can say that, one does not need to focus into the past to find oneself in the same emotions all the time. Emotions are habitual. That ‘habituality’ originates in the past. One can ignore the source and try and override the emotional triggers by focusing on ‘positive’ things or in the present moment which I think is rather challenging. In my observation, the mind is a wanderer! 🙂 I don’t think anyone can stay in the present all the time constantly focusing and generating positive and loving thoughts.
Instead, I believe that, one can ‘heal’ oneself from the triggers and the sources of negative emotions that is in the past by embracing it all. As a result, I find, that one eventually stops creating reactions and negative emotion all together.
There can be many different approaches to healing and changing. This is mine.
I feel that my anger is completely justified. Those teachers were the scum under the feet of the dirt of the earth. I am absolutely unforgiving. I cannot find that bone inside of me that can make their act OK in any way. Teachers, who humiliate and sacrifice children on the altar of uniformity are the worst of the worst. They are the anthesis of their profession that swears on building people. These un-human-beings were so scared of originality and what it may entail that they did everything in their power to diminish it.
This is how I became angry … very, very angry. I felt helpless and lonely in the face of tyranny and the only was I could fight it was to become an obnoxious and rebellious fury. The system – particularity the education system – was established in a way that it weeded out the odd ones and buried them under a pile of shame, humiliation and low-self-esteem. Not surprisingly, that Hungary used to have one of the highest suicide rate per capita in the world.
Time flies. All this happened in the 70’s and early 80’s when I was a teenager. Probably the saddest part of this story is not what happened the but the fact that I am still angry. Like Dr Dispenza says, being addicted to an emotion that was a response to a situation in the past, that we are still engaging in today, is heart-breaking. We sacrifice our happiness for an emotion whose raison d’etre is long gone.
I notice that every time I feel helpless in communicating my need for being understood and embraced as I am or when I feel misinterpreted, I become very angry and edgy. I see that the learning for me is *to find the way to feel the true emotions underneath my anger, such as my fear or my sadness; *to communicate what is really going on inside of me the most self-loving way; *stay absolutely true to myself without being afraid because the The Wall has fallen :).
ART helps me uncover myself. I am not very good at talking or writing about my feelings in the moment. Though I feel them profoundly when they appear in words I often don’t recognize them. My ART helps me stay in touch with the underlaying honest emotions of the moment, my sincere needs and my true identity.
Everyone has a ‘disposition’ to life and that disposition becomes his/her approach to life. As we identify with that disposition, we become it and can be identified by it.
As a child I was artsy and curious. The system I grew up in did not appreciate ‘different’ very much. So, I often suffered being ridiculed and shamed for my peculiar ways. As a response to my helplessness to stop people misinterpreting me and taking me the wrong way, I became angry … very, very angry! That ANGER has been running my life for decades. I identify with it. Most of my friends call me an ‘anger-ball’ because I get upset and angry very easily.
My mum’s emotional addiction is DEPRESSION. I don’t know what her story is exactly but I can easily see that her sadness over the way her life turned out to be became depression. She recycles her disappointment over her unmet expectations daily. She is stuck in an emotion that makes her life miserable.
My aunt appears to be a very bitter and unforgiving person. She is highly critical and patronizing. Asa child, she had to grow up very fast because her mum was not around. She had to take care of her younger sibling and her father. She became the bitterness of her lost childhood.
Negative emotions when we hold onto them long enough become our identity and our addiction. We keep on replaying the memory and the emotion related to it and so we become it. Whatever happened to us in the past, we can take the learning from it and become emotionally free from it. It is our choice to allow or not an emotion to tint our responses to our life experiences.
A wonderful song to affirm the good inside of us. The Good that is ever present wishing to express ‘Itself’ in the world though our words and actions. The Good that lives in our Hearts, in our Spirit. What can be more fulfilling than being and instrument of Love in the world? It can be a smallest act of kindness or a life-changing service. It does not matter as long as it comes from the Heart.