Receptivity

by Trinity S. Thomas on September 14, 2010

The important thing is this:  to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.  — Charles Du Bos

Quantum Physics compels us to realize that we are essentially receptive. Receptive to our own myriad layers of perception, to our environment, to the presence of our friends, families, communities, enterprises, hopes and dreams. And history and expectations and fears.

Our lives are a summary, an average, a reflection of all that we have been and are receptive to. Over time, they can form filters which affect what we believe is possible and who we believe we are. Through the Visioning processes we teach, I have seen that because we have free will, and can make new choices, we can actually choose what we are willing to be receptive to. We can choose whether our history defines us, whether our fears limit us, whether expectations from a variety of sources propel us. We can choose.

I have found that what really works is to experience these quantum physics principles rather than just think about them. What if you decided to take just one hour of one day and be receptive to sunlight and shadow? To notice sunlight and how it illuminates; to notice shadow and how it is affected by the position of people and objects related to sunlight? Notice how shades of color change depending on whether they are in sunlight or shadow. Sometimes you can’t even see the texture until it is illuminated. And allow yourself to ponder the metaphors and ah hah’s that come from that receptivity. Just ponder, not conclude anything or assign meaning or create any tidy cognitive files to put the information in. Live in the wonder in between the noticing and the knowing, between sunlight and shadow. Can you sense how light that feels? Pun intended! Perhaps you notice you relax in the role of light-hearted spectator. Oops I did it again! During this hour you  have no calls to answer, errands to accomplish, deadlines to meet, meals to prepare, job to perform, no scheduling conflicts, no bottom line to worry over. Just noticing the play of light and shadow.

This exercise can be done with any focus, any theme. It’s a wonderful way to re-train your observer self, your mind, your vision, and to learn that you can choose what to be receptive to and notice how that begins to gently change how you feel, see, and believe. You could elect to take one whole day and be extraordinarily receptive to flowers. Flowers in the medians, beside the freeway, in pots on windowsills, in flowerbeds and if you’re really fortunate, fields of flowers, on Hawaiian shirts and other clothes walking by, on billboards, in magazines, on dishes, on notebooks and pens, on logos, on paintings in the office, on rugs, on coffee cups, in the clouds…. And notice at the end of the day how it felt to be receptive to flowers. How it affected your mood, your essential happiness, your perspectives, what you want to fill your tomorrow with. Perhaps you realize that this noticing of flowers  just distracted you from other less attractive images and feelings. Perhaps a day of noticing flowers affects what seems possible, just because you now know you can actually create a day full of flowers everywhere. They would have been there anyway. Because you were receptive, you noticed them. Because you noticed them, they affected you. This may just be True with a capital T about everything. How does that feel?

It is so easy to become overly receptive to negativity, to fear, to hurry, to self-judgment. Our society seems to foster all these things automatically as a default program. From a biological perspective, it’s easy to understand that the things we believe impact our survival in some way get priority. Our culture insists on efficiency and convenience and profitability and consistently warns of the need to fit in, pass for normal, make sense, and be safe. There’s always an opportunity to notice sadness, loss, risk, perceived threats, and pain, and these come easily and are promoted ceaselessly. We become receptive to these unspoken elements and miss so many opportunities to choose what to be receptive to, what to believe in, and what to fill our container of self with.

Perhaps we have forgotten that sunlight and flowers, just to continue with our examples, also impact our survival. Studies of long term cancer survivors indicate specifically that exposure to both those elements dramatically increases the likelihood of survival and recovery. Perhaps we have forgotten that taking some time to fill our vision with positive images and our hours with positive experiences is as potentially powerful a survival strategy as being on high alert for negative ones. It may be a good moment in our story to consider what that could mean about who we are and what is possible. Perhaps we will choose to remember to choose.

We could be full of sunlight and flowers. We could create a world with those as the base notes. We could…

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