Some of my greatest gifts have been words — laconic in nature. They arrive at just the right moment. The first time I met my sweetie for tea (which turned out to be a coconut smoothie for me and red wine for him), I shared one of my favorite quotes: “A miracle is a shift in perception.” I heard it from Marianne WIlliamson who referenced the original source, A Course in Miracles, and he says that was the moment he knew I was different from the other women he had been dating. Different, period.
“A miracle is a shift in perception.”
How is a shift in perception a miracle? Any event can be seen from a hundred thousand different ways depending on the person doing the seeing. Zen practitioners call the ability to see something familiar in new ways “beginner’s mind” or “shoshin.” With this understanding that no event is locked in stone, we can invite a new perspective if the one we have is not serving us. I say, “invite,” because when we are locked into a perspective, choosing a new one is not always that simple. At times like these, I invite perception to find me. I ask, listen and receive. Pretty much always, when I ask for this gift, it’s granted. A Course in Miracles talks about the shift from fear to love. If you’re down with that, awesome — ask for that. If it feels too woo-woo for you, just ask for whatever you’re feeling at the moment. My asking often goes like this: This sucks. I hate this. Help. (God, Universe, Charlie Brown, whomever you like to talk to) I am open to a new perspective.
It has often been the case in my life that these subtle and powerful gifts come in the form of words, short and sweet.
The gift I offer today is like a shift in perception. It’s two simple words: Yes, and. The yes can be silent, and sometimes I write it on my body to remind me of my intention to live in the spirit of yes. Yes, thank you. Hell yes. Yes, and.
Yes, and allows for radical compassionate acceptance.
Yes, and holds the space for all parts of myself.
Yes, and does not cancel anything out.
Go ahead. Try it. Try “yes, and” instead of “but.”
But = resistance. But is ego. But closes the doors and cancels out everything that came before it. Cheri Huber, a Zen student, teacher and writer, talks about this in her books.
I love you, but I hate when you (fill in the blank).
I want a new job, but….
I’d write a book, but I don’t know how to get started.
But is a dead end. Yes, and is a gift.
I love you and it makes no sense to me the way you fill the dishwasher.
I want a new job and it’s scary to think about starting something new.
I’ll write that book and it might feel hard sometimes.
Yes, and opens doors – opens the world to you.
Enjoy. Experiment. Play. Share your results in the comments. You can’t do it wrong.
With love and appreciation,