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This weekend at the end of a chaotic week of change in our starkly divided nation, I posted a pattern for my Yin Yang sweater on Ravelry.com . The garment is machine knit in Black & White in a plating stitch, which always sends one thread to the front and the other to the back of the fabric, creating a 3 Dimensional relief effect in the stitch. Just like the Yin Yang symbol from Chinese culture (Happy Chinese New Year, BTW!) it expresses both the duality and oneness of our world. There is always a little white in the black and black in the white. In our search for security, we want to place one color/view in front of the other, but in truth we live in a world of grays. To discern this requires us to look more deeply into our experiences of the world, to see the dance and interconnection of opposites and how that impacts our views.
In the creating process, it is important to have a clear vision of what we want to create. Yet, equally important is not to distort current reality with our filters. A prime example of this is found in the actions of the current United States President, who is a powerful manifestor of a vision, regardless of what people think of his creations. He was raised in the church of Norman Vincent Peale, the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking”, a text often used to promote the power of our mind to create what we want. However, what is missing in his willful creative process (as in Vincent Peale’s approach) is looking objectively at reality. In this past week, especially, he has shown the power of his filters to reject any information that does not concur with his world view. This ultimately creates chaos and destruction rather than stable results (note the number of enemies and bankruptcies in his wake). Without a clear understanding of reality unclouded by ego and its filters, the creative process becomes a battle of wills and manipulation, rather than a generative process of growth that is beneficial to all. It is still possible for him to create, in theory, but structurally his creation will be met with equally opposing forces rather than cooperation. The same is true of any resistance to it, if it defines itself strictly by being counter to what the current administration is creating. The dual polarities will be forever locked in empowering the other through opposition.
What is needed to shift this paradigm is open and objective inquiry into reality along with a vision that is inclusive. Indeed we all filter our reality based on our preconceived notions of what we expect to see. Finding truth can be extremely threatening to our sense of well-being. But to be great creators, we need to celebrate, as one of my teachers once called it, “dis-confirming data”, precisely because it takes us into new territory and gives us needed information so we can build a vision that produces the outcomes we truly desire, not counterproductive and unexpected chaotic results in our haste to have our own way. Finding objective sources may be difficult in a time of “fake news” and social media bubbles, but they can be found if we actively pursue them outside our comfort zones. First and foremost, investigate the evidence you receive directly from the world with your sense perceptions.
Ways we can distort reality include: (from Robert Fritz’s Path of Least Resistance)
- We substitute a concept of reality for accurate observation (ex. Questioning the inauguration crowd numbers and “illegal” voting).
- We interpret reality to fit our beliefs or world view.
- We have an ideal of how things “should” be.
- We don’t like the unknown, so we make it up.
- We hide reality from ourselves to avoid feeling bad.
- We hide reality from ourselves because of what it seems to say about ourselves.
- We have a compensating strategy to address the tension of creating with either conflict manipulation, will power manipulation or staying in an area of tolerable conflict
We may only describe:
- what we do not like about reality or what we do like
- make it worse than it really is or better
- minimize how good or bad it is
- impose a “should be” on it
- analyze how it got to be this way rather than simply describe it
- describe what you think you need to do vs. seeing what you have
All these strategies shut out the truth and make it impossible to work with reality in effective ways to create what we truly want. The more we can appreciate our filters and see them clearly the better we will be at crafting what is meaningful for us. This means being able to see the shades of grey and recognize how these subtleties are what make life a seamless whole. To effectively create the results you long for, objective truth is essential and remembering to always question your assumptions will bring you closer to finding it.
May this Fire Rooster year be one of positive creative energy for us all. And if you would like help in bringing your vision into reality or identifying your pattern of filtering reality, contact me for a free initial 1/2 hour consultation to learn more about my coaching practice.