David Allen, GTD Guru (Getting Things Done) has a saying I love. “When we fall off the wagon at least we have a wagon to get back on.”
We all fall off the consciousness wagon. We’re above the line and next thing you know we’re not. We’ve drifted below the line. We’ve become reactive and fear is running the show. Once we wake up and realize (self-awareness is always the first key to conscious leadership) we’re below the line an option is to shift. My experience is that practiced shifters have their favorite go-to shift moves: breath, move, play in the drama triangle, question their story, appreciate, speak unarguably.
One of my favorites is the triple welcoming. I learned this from Hale Dwoskin of The Sedona Method. I’ve used it thousands of times to create a quick (less than 10 seconds) shift.
Here are the questions that create the shift:
1. What’s actually here now? When you ask this question you’ll discover that the answer is that the only things that are ever here now are sensations (taste, smell, sight, sound, touch), thoughts and, underneath it all, a sense of a personal me, the one who is having the sensations and the thoughts. The key words in the question are actually and now. What I’ve discovered is that none of my suffering and reactivity is caused by what’s actually here now. If I get ruthless about noticing my current sensations and my current thoughts, and acknowledge that they are occurring I come completely into the now moment.
2. Can I accept what is here now? Notice/Accept. Notice/Accept. Notice/Accept. This is a pretty simple (but not necessarily easy) recipe for consciousness. Noticing not followed by acceptance is often the cause of suffering. Acceptance is letting things be as they are for just this moment. Can I let my sensations and thoughts be as they are right now? Can I accept them as best I can? Even this is a gentle question. If what is here now is pain in my lower back, the question is, “Can I accept, or even just allow, the pain to be here for just this moment?” If what’s here now is the thought, “We’re going to lose that customer,” can I simply accept that the thought is here now? One second of acceptance of what is changes everything. (If you want some support on learning to accept listen to this meditation on the 4 A’s)
3. Can I accept any wanting that comes up with what is here now? When I notice sensations and thoughts I also notice that wanting arises with them. If my sensation is pain in my lower back my wanting might be for the pain to go away. If that’s what I want, can I accept that wanting? Can I just acknowledge and allow myself to want the pain to go away? If my thought is, “We’re going to lose that customer,” the wanting that comes up is to keep the customer or call the customer or blame the sales person who is losing the customer. Can I simply accept all of this? What happens for most people is that they RESIST their current experience. They want it to be different than it is. This, and this alone, is the cause of suffering. This practice is to allow one second of acceptance of our current experience.
4. Can I accept wanting to make all this so personal? Remember, only three things are ever here now: sensations, thoughts, and a sense of a personal me to whom it’s all happening. This is so obvious and yet seems so subtle. Another way of saying this is that the natural human condition/consciousness is to experience myself as the center of the world. Think about it. At any moment you are seeing the world through your eyes, hearing the world through your ears, listening to your thoughts, experiencing your wants. You are the center of your world and the world. In a very real, unarguable way we are all completely self-centered. No exceptions. So, the question being asked is not “Can you get rid of making it all so personal?” That’s a silly and unrealistic question and quest. Rather the question is, “Can you just welcome that the back pain or the thought, “we’re going to lose the client,” seems so personal?” Just welcome that we’re making everything personal, about us and who we are.
There you go, less than 10 seconds and you’re back on the wagon.