The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility - by Rosamund Stone Zander #

Date Read: 2019-01-05 #

Notes #

It’s all Invented #

Our senses bring us selective information about what is out there; second, the brain constructs its own simulation of the sensations; and only then do we have our first conscious experience of the situation

It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us

No matter how objective we try to be, it is still through the structure of the brain that we perceive the world

The frames our minds create define - and confine - what we perceive to be possible

The Practice #

What assumption am I making, that I’m not aware I’m making, that gives me what I see?

What might I now invent, that I haven’t yet invented, that would give me other choices?

Stepping into a Universe of Possibility #

World of Measurement, Survival Thinking, Fear World of Possibility

Giving an A #

What would it be like to be the person you wanted to be one year from now? Reconstruct our past, give past people an A.

Being a Contribution #

The Practice #

  1. Declare yourself to be a contribution
  2. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why

Leading from any Chair #

Rule Number 6 #

Don’t take yourself so seriously.

The calculating self (in the Measurement World) The central self

The Way Things Are #

Be present to the way things are, including our feelings about the way things are.

Being with the way things are - Listen to what you say “should be”

Being with the way things are - close the escapes, blames, denials.

Being with the way things are - Not being judgemental. What is right or wrong? Who is to say?

Being with the way things are - “things” that have no existense in time and space, e.g. “justice”, “zero”

Calculating self - “barriers”, “obstacles”, “walls”, “roadblocks”. Downward Spiral Talk.

Speaking in Possibility - what we say creates the reality

Giving Way to Passion #

  1. Notice where you are holding back and let go. Release the barriers of self that keep you separate and in control
  2. Participate wholly

Beyond the F**k it - Going beyond where before you might have stopped.

Lighting a Spark #

The Practice Enrollment is not about forcing, cajoling, someone into doing something your way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.

  1. Imagine that people are an invitation for enrollment
  2. Stand ready to participate, willing to be moved and inspired
  3. Offer that which lights you up
  4. Have no doubt that others are eager to catch the spark

Transform “no” into an invitation for enrollment

Enrollment is that life force at work, lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions.

Being the Board #

Rename yourself as the board on which the whole game is being played. Move the problematic aspect of any circumstance from the outside world inside the boundaries of yourself.

The Practice #

  1. If I cannot be present without resistance to the way things are and act effectively, if I feel myself to be wronged, I will tell myself that some assumption I have made is the source of my difficulty Owning the risks we take in a world by and large immune to our control.

  2. “How did this get on the board that I am?” “How is it that I have become a context for that to occur?” See what your calculating self or your history, that landed you where you are. Apologise, repair any relationships and stand in the universe of possibility

Projects change but relationships endure

Much of one’s life in the fault game is subject to other’s actions, will and whim. The perception of dependency arouses fear and leads to repeated breakdowns between us, which become the basis of the appearance of barriers and problems.

When you are the board, you own all risk and circumstance, you present no obstacles to others. You make all your relationships into effective partnerships. This practice is one of transformation and development with others, a completely different route than the one of managing relationships to avoid conflict.

Frameworks for Possibility #

  1. Make a new distinction in the realm of possibility: one that is a powerful substitute for what is generating the downward spiral
  2. Enter the territory such that it becomes the framework of life around you
  3. Keep distinguishing what is “on track” and “off track” of the framework of possibility

Mission (a calculative kind of goal) - to be the best, Number One, etc.

Vision #

  • articulates a possibility
  • fulfills a desire fundamental to humankind, a desire which any human being can resonate.
  • no reference to morality or ethics, cannot imply anyone is wrong or a right way of doing things
  • a picture for all time, no numbers, measures, specifics of time
  • free-standing (not about “improvement”)
  • possibility radiating outward

Under a Vision, goals are markers thrown out to define territory. If you miss the mark, - “How fascinating!” Playing is relevant to the manifestation of possibility, winning is not

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. - Nelson Mandela

Telling the WE Story #

  1. The story of the unseen threads that connect us all, the story of possibility
  2. Listen and look for the emerging entity
  3. “What do we want to have happen here?” “What’s best for US?” “What’s OUR next step?”

Coda #

Choose the practices that express yourself; they will keep you in the boat. They will shape your voice as a unique contribution to us all. You can turn your attention away from the onslaught of circumstances and listen for the music of your being; then launch yourself as a long line into the world.