I once heard in a 12 Step meeting, “I’ve been around these rooms for 35 years. The bad news is that every five years I got a new set of problems. The good news is that they were always higher quality problems.” There’s a lot of truth in this. We learn and grow, and our baseline awareness of our wellbeing, our capacity, our potential increases. Overall, we are doing better. At the same time, life continues to happen. We continue to experience ups and downs. If we focus on the ups and downs, we can overlook the fact that, overall, we really have made progress.
Two steps forward, one step back may be a problematic strategy for running a marathon. But what if life is not a race, but a dance? And what if YOU get to choose which one it will be?
This is a heads up that the early bird discount (save $100) for The Art of Living ends tomorrow, April 19, 2016, at 5pm Pacific time.
The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work is the culmination of years of seeking, learning, and experimentation. It’s a way of coming home to yourself and engaging with your own deepest, wisest ways of knowing.
During this 12-week program you will rest in the deeper intelligence available to every human being, an intelligence that will guide you in the creation of what you want in life, whether you think it is possible at the outset or not.
Do not let money be a barrier
There’s a contact form on the web page in case you have any questions. I’ve kept the price of the program quite modest compared to other offers of this nature. If the cost happens nonetheless to be an obstacle, you can use the form to request an adjustment. If you want to do this work, I will work with you to make it possible.
What do you say? Shall we make some artful living together?
The flowering tree doesn’t have to make an effort to contribute its beauty to the world. What if your contribution is just as natural and inevitable?
The problem of weaponized insight
A participant in the Come Alive and Do the Thing! Mastermind has a brilliant term for the use of a supposedly wise observation to critique or diminish another person: weaponized insight.
Don’t you love it?
At first it was thrilling to me just to have a term for this phenomenon, but as I sat with it, I started to see some important implications.
A weaponized insight is a weapon, not an insight
The moment an insight becomes weaponized, it stops being an insight and becomes a weapon.
This goes a long way to explaining what’s going on when we use our own insights against ourselves.
Insights and weapons are inherently different
An insight produces a shift in awareness. It tends to expand awareness, deepen connection, and elevate consciousness.
A weapon has the opposite effect. It shrinks awareness as the person against whom it is being used goes into fight or flight.
It breaks the connection between the one who wields the weapon and the one against whom it is wielded.
And it tends to lower one’s level of consciousness to the realms of competition and survival.
When we use insight to assess, judge, and berate ourselves, it stops being insight
Weaponized insights aren’t always wielded by others. Some of the most pernicious are the ones we wield against ourselves.
How often have you argued with yourself about why you aren’t using your hard-won insights or following your wisdom in some area of your life?
I don’t know about you, but that has confused the hell out of me. How can I be so incredibly smart (just saying) and so incredibly stuck at the same time?
It’s because I’m confusing self flagellation with insight.
There is nothing insightful about any attack on your inherent okayness
Any so-called insight that calls into question your inherent okayness has been weaponized.
Since there is nothing wrong with you, any insight wrapped in the message that there is, is false.
Something that points at how you are (presumably) broken takes you in the wrong direction–but only entirely.
Put down the weapon first
I used to try to pry the insight apart from the weapon. My logic went something like this.
If I could only get the message of the insight, the weaponized message would not longer apply or hurt.
That didn’t work.
The weapon didn’t stop being a weapon until I simply put it down, even at the risk of dropping a seemingly good insight.
I began to see that wholeness is key
As I dropped my weaponized insights, I began to see the vital importance of beginning with the premise that every human being is created whole and deserving.
I saw how our relentless compulsions to judge, evaluate, and improve ourselves actually block access to deeper impulses toward goodness and creativity.
And I saw how authentic insight points us toward our underlying wholeness and connects us to those deeper impulses.
Here’s to freedom
Weaponized insights wound and diminish.
Authentic insight heals and expands. It can sting, but the sting is bracing and enlivening.
That distinction is liberating. Play with it. Take it for a test drive. And let me know what you discover.
Have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please share your thoughts and questions in the comments on my blog.
Images by Pixabay.com
Have you ever felt like you were going with the flow, but the flow wasn’t serving up the insight, support, or momentum you need? You doubt your choice and wonder if it might not make more sense, just this once, to push the river. What’s likely is that you aren’t going with the flow at all, but that you are standing in the river. This is something to see, not fix. (And the mystery continues…)
Click here to learn about my newest program, The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Save $100 when you sign up before April 21, 2016.