The month of April is awesome. Watching the emergence of all that was dormant reminds me of possibilities. New life and abundant growth is all around us. April, from the Latin verb aperire meaning to open or uncover, brings with it a freshness and glory that can invigorate the soul! So, what might it look like to be more open to or uncover our own possibilities? For sure it would take being present (mindful, in the moment). Being fully present can help us "stay out of our own way" and, in a sense, allows for the opportunity to watch all that emerges- especially our stories, beliefs, and "truths". These are what oftentimes get in the way of our being fully open and limiting us to new possibilities. Oh man, do I know this!
Danielle DiPirro, author and host of positivelypresent.com (where you can subscribe to daily doses of positivity), emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind. In brief, her top 7 benefits of maintaining an open mind lend to our ability to:
- Let go of control. Opening our mind frees us from having to be in complete control of our thoughts. We allow ourselves to experience new ideas, thoughts and challenge current beliefs. Full confession- This one still kinda scares me! I'm getting better and better at it though. :0)
- Experience change. Opening our mind to new ideas allows for the opportunity to change what we think and how we view the world. (Not that we'll necessarily change our beliefs- this may actually reinforce them.) Thinking with an open mind allows opportunities to create more positive change and better results.
- Be vulnerable. This can be one of the scariest (and amazing) things about seeing the world through an open mind- we make ourselves vulnerable. Agreeing to have an open-mind is also admitting we don't know everything. Here's that letting go of control thing again! ;0}
- Make mistakes. Making mistakes may not seem like it would be much of a benefit, but it is. In being open to making mistakes we gain the opportunity to “fail up”. Failing upward takes viewing and talking about our failures openly and proudly as learning experiences. In this way, we tend to take more risks, in order to succeed... despite failures.
- Strengthen ourselves. Being open-minded creates a platform to build on, stacking one idea on top of another. Experience adds up (especially adversity), strengthening us and what we find ideal and fulfilling.
- Gain confidence. When we live with an open mind, we're not confined by our own beliefs or the beliefs of others. This can also enhance our relationship to self.
- Be honest. Being open-minded means being honest enough to admit we aren't all-knowing. This understanding creates authenticity that permeates the character of those who live with an open mind.
Speaking of "failing upward"- here's a fun TED talk by Jia Jiang. His experience as a 6 year old "reject" led him to discover a game geared toward overcoming the fear of rejection. His experience pretty much covers all of Danielle DiPirro's 7 benefits.
You can get the game at rejectiontherapy.com or why not make up your own version. Be playful!
We can be shaped by our responses and reactions, which stem from our thoughts, stories and beliefs. I think it's important to realize we are not our thoughts. We are not what happens to us. Our thoughts are our interpretations. What happens (to us or for us) is our experience. Perception can indeed become reality. Knowing this allows for endless possibilities. We have the ability to shift our thoughts, etc. until our experience and our situation align with what we're out to create.
Lastly, in the spirit of being mindful (aka "open and uncovering"), I'll leave you with an invitation- in the words of Frank Outlaw. Thanks to GP's collaborative ally Lori, I've added the word can... it's more open. :0)
"Watch your thoughts; they can become words. Watch your words; they can become actions. Watch your actions, they can become habits. Watch your habits, they can become character. Watch your character; it can become your destiny."