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136 – Open the Door to Possibilities

by Jill

I talk about the book by Allison Carmen “The Gift of Maybe” with a unique perspective on embracing uncertainty. I explore the potential of “maybe” as you imagine yourself standing in front of a series of doors, each representing a different choice.

With Allison’s guidance, you’ll discover the incredible emotions and endless possibilities that come with each door. Let go of past decisions that may hold you back while still drawing on the wisdom gained from those experiences.

I talk about practicing mindfulness and embracing the power of “maybe” in your daily life. Are you ready to unlock a whole new world of possibilities?



(upbeat music)

Have you ever wondered if we can take the gift of maybe and make radical changes with our lives? That’s what we’ll talk about today. (upbeat music)

Be bold before you get stuck, not being bold. Hilary Duff, boy, she’s wise. Today, we’re gonna continue our conversation, the gift of maybe, finding hope and possibility in Uncertain Times by Alison Karman.

We talked last time about how maybe is just a little warm spot in our heart that allows us to think that this could possibly be good, whatever it is that’s coming our way. Instead of knowing it’s gonna be bad, we give that little tiny hope, that little tiny spot that maybe this is gonna be okay.

She talked too about linear thinking. And linear thinking, again, means there’s a good path and a bad path. And even in my own uncertainty right at this moment, I’m sitting there thinking, is there a good path to take and a bad path to take? What if I make the wrong decision? When I even got wrapped up in this before I started reading this book, I didn’t fathom to think that maybe they were both the right decisions. Maybe they’re both fantastic decisions. Started backing me away from my stomach not feeling great all these negative thoughts.

She even says that if we can get away from this linear thinking, we’ll stop saying, “Oh, why is it always me? Why does this happen to me? How come things never work out? Or I thought this was my one big chance and now it’ll never happen.” We make these very definitive negative statements. And instead, we give up that ability to say, “This could be good.”

She hopes that we can use some visualization. She calls it the door visualization. Close her eyes and we’re going to imagine that you have a door and every door there’s a choice that you’re currently in the midst of trying to figure out what it is you’re going to do and stand in front of each of those doors. She says for a little bit just a minute or two and see how those choices make you feel and try to grab a couple of emotions for each of those doors. You know, I’d probably even write them down if you want to. And then open the door and see what kind of freedom she says or what kind of emotions you’re having when you open that door and do that for each of the choices.

I worked with that I’m somewhat thinking of a choice right now and I went through that exercise and it worked for me. I suddenly felt that one of my opportunities was warm and the other possibility was chaotic. And I thought, wow, you know, I wouldn’t have guessed that because in my mind, one of the choices was the safe choice, the choice of staying, you know, pretty much life as is. And the other choice was the one that actually gave me the calm, the warm feelings about it.

It’s what I always get about these funny exercises that people tell you to do in books. It’s, “Oh, you know, imagine you’re a pear,” you know, and I’m like, “I’m not imagining I’m a pear. Forget it.” But this particular exercise really drove out what I’m feeling deep down inside. And she said that, you know, once we’re standing in the door, she can mentally stay there as long as you feel comfortable doing it. And she said that we can start doing this exercise for more and more time. She said that we can even do it 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night and keep doing this and eventually the choice will become clear.

The next part of it is we have to start letting go of the past, that the past could be holding us back. But she says here’s the smart part, quote, “but hold on to the wisdom.” Now this gets into my friend’s question. She says that we made all these choices in the past. We’ve decided things. Decided where we’re going to live and what we’re going to do for our jobs and whatever choices we have in our lives. We’ve made choices. So if we go into this idea of the gift of maybe, are we possibly then saying we chose wrong? That we made bad decisions in the past? Did I pick the wrong house to live in because I want to go buy a different house? We rate these things that this was right and that’s wrong and maybe it has to be that way forever. But she said that what’s happening instead is that when we focus on our past and our past decisions, we can’t let them be anchors around us, holding us into that place because it’s preventing us from having that maybe in our heart. It’s making it so that we’re not choosing any path that could possibly different than the one we already picked and we’re removing all possibilities in our life. We won’t see what could be. And so then our lives in a way get stuck because we’ve decided and that’s just the end of it.

Now I get that. I moved into this house. I mentioned that I grew up in a military base and one thing about military bases or the military life is you move around a lot. And I talked about how I got forcibly moved against my will. I didn’t want to move. And when I moved into this house, I decided I am never moving again. I’m going to live in this house forever because I hate moving more than anything else. And now I’m thinking, boy, I would love to move and live in a different place and live in a different community and in a different climate or something like that. And then you think, but I already decided I am never moving. It’s the wrong thing holding me back. And even my friend who doesn’t like risks so much has some thoughts of her own about how she could change her life for the good by making a choice that is scary for her but would really open up opportunities that she doesn’t have right now. And if we allow that maybe and decide that our past decisions are giving us wisdom and giving us experience. And maybe when I bought this house and I said, I’m never leaving again, the house gave me stability and gave me that opportunity and that time to get some anchors under me, you know, to grow some roots. I felt so unstable, so much of my childhood, that being in this house allowed me to get stabilized. And that is a true gift. being in this house gave me the opportunity to just feel something of my own. But that doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever. That doesn’t have to mean that this is the decision I always make. And not only that, now that I’ve lived in a house, I know what houses I like. I have a good idea that if

This is how it goes. We start looking at the adventure the opportunities she says it could be even something like ordering a new lunch or Doing a new fun thing with your friend, you know, maybe if you always go over here you could go over there sometime.

I Had the interesting situation that I primarily work with a customer who’s on the West Coast and I get up every morning and I eat something and I get dressed and I log into work. But my customers don’t log in to work until around 10 o’clock my time.

But I log into work and I get some things done and I look at this and I look at that and you know It’s really weird because I actually don’t have to go to work probably For my customer until 10 and so it suddenly struck me today By looking at the possibilities.

I Contacted my friend and I said hey, what if we started having morning adventures? Where we go out and start going for a walk in the morning looking for birds in the morning Maybe I’ll take my bike out and instead of biking after work I’ll bite before work when I have all this time before my customer even wakes up And I don’t know why it has taken me I have been working with California customers Probably for about the last four years and now I’m thinking about the possibilities Boy, wouldn’t have been nice if I thought of all this four years ago, but you know what I’m thinking about it now

This just opens up a whole new door that I never thought of taking advantage of So I think that her thoughts on this have just really Opened up new worlds for me even on not just this big decision I’m making but maybe it can change how each of my days go and I think that’s exciting

So the two you can track your activities you can start bringing things in a journal. I have an ideas list going I call it my rainy day ideal list and I have one for summer and winter So if I’m feeling bored or I can’t think of what to do I have a whole bunch of projects fun things some house things, too.

Then what she’s talking about is then once you do them you can write them down Figure out like what did I learn about that? Was it good? Was it bad? And she said that it would be good for us to think about how this maybe mindset This looking at the possibilities in our life Changed it. Did it make it better? Did it give you that chance? or do we have some more work in helping us see the opportunities around us?

So my challenge to you is to do the door challenge. I think it made such an impact on me I’d like to see how it works for you take a situation where you have some decisions to make and Then imagine them in your brain and open the door What are you feeling? look in the door a little bit more and and fully embrace all the thoughts and all the emotions you’re having.

All right, everyone, thanks so much. I appreciate you listening to the podcast. Please remember that you can contact me and tell me what were behind your doors by emailing me at ji**@sm***********.com. I’m on Twitter too. You can find every way to contact me at my website, smallstepspod.com. And remember that our walking through the doors possibility all begins with one step, the one other step, and maybe then we run.

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