A Beginner’s Mind Makes Everything Possible

Johnny Sanchez invincible
Photo: Johnny Sanchez

 

Ever notice when you first do something, you’re really good at it? Whether it’s playing a game or trying a new skill, that first time often is our best.

It happens so often we call it “beginner’s luck.”

But it’s not really “luck” at all. It’s innocence.

Such a mind state is so powerful, it can even upset the seasoned players’ balance. The beginner has no stories/beliefs standing between her and virtuoso performance. No contrary thoughts, no fears, no expectations.

She’s innocent.

She doesn’t know any better. And that’s a good thing.

In a short time, however, her performance settles into the mean. She becomes a common mortal. Which is what she expects, of course. As do those around her.

(This is not a Christian writing, but we’re going to pluck a few stories from The Bible. You’ve been forewarned. 🙂 )

There’s a reason Jesus suggestedÂą that in order for people to experience virtuoso performance in all they do and to have all they desire (e.g. enter the kingdom of heaven) they have to adopt a beginner’s mind (be like a child).

A mind dominated by positive expectations, to the exclusion of all else creates realities consistent with that: positive outcomes, to the exclusion of all else. A mind in a state of bliss is even better: it is open to all potentials consistent with All That Is, which leans or has a predisposition for “value fulfillment”.

You are All That Is. So cultivating a beginner’s mind brings you in concert with your essence, thus enabling you to achieve that which your stories may say is impossible.

Of course, cultivating a beginner’s mind is harder than “a camel passing through a needle” as Jesus² would say, because a “rich man’s” mind ( i.e. a worldly person, steeped in modern society’s stories of what’s possible, and more specifically what’s not) tends towards pessimism, frustration, “can’t be done”, cynicism, negativity and a whole host of other disempowering stories.

But even a common mortal faced with significant urgency can accomplish “the impossible”. A common mortal also can break through “truth” born of dominantly held societal beliefs and become, even if only for an instant, invincible.

All it takes is for one common mortal to unwaveringly believe and the entire world will bend to her bidding. Then she becomes a Buddha. Then anything is possible. For she has become a child.

The master knows after the 10,000th time, she is still a beginner.

Do you?

 

ÂąThe actual verse: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (https://biblehub.com/matthew/18-3.htm)
²Again, the actual verse: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (https://biblehub.com/mark/10-25.htm)

Taking fulfillment beyond the yoga mat

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There’s something about yoga that keeps many Portlanders coming back for more.

Maybe it’s concentrated focus borne of asana mastery. Or maybe it’s realizing skills, confidence and strength built from years of practice. Or, perhaps it’s love for a particular instructor.

What keeps you coming back?

While yoga can be fulfilling, many Stumptowners lose what they’ve gained once they’ve left the yoga mat.

Common mortal hood waits just outside the studio, with daily stresses, anxieties, relationship drama, work “to dos”, personal insecurities….sheesh…enduring fulfillment can be as fleeting as a chocolate high.

Yoga was meant as a spiritual practice leading to higher consciousness states. How is it it rarely comes that? And when it does, it leaves us as soon as we return to daily life?

Is permanent, ongoing happiness attainable in modern society?

The answer is: yes.

And it’s available to everyone.

It doesn’t require any physical mastery, yoga or otherwise. It just depends on discovering what you’re made of, where you come from, and then living from that.

From there, seemingly miraculously, everything starts to work in life. Negativity disappears as does anxiety and fear.

Long-held and forgotten dreams and desires begin to be fulfilled too.

Happiness becomes the theme of the day, every day. Before you know it, life becomes what it is supposed to be: amazing.

Positively Focused clients, like Stefano, used to think happiness was a fleeting emotion, with no rhyme or reason why happiness came, or went. One moment it’s here, the next gone.

In fact, many Portlanders just like Stefano, never really experience even fleeting happiness.

Many deal with anxiety, depression, seasonal affective “disorder” and runaway substance consumption habits as they try to manufacture a facsimile of real happiness, contentment or distraction at the very least.

And can you blame them?

We have to deal with Portland winters after all. Hello?

What are emotions for anyway? And why are the good ones so fleeting?

At Positively Focused, we know happiness not an end state. It is just the beginning.

Human life holds the potential to deliver not only happiness, but a joy that has no ceiling. That increasing joy can be a continual moment-by-moment experience.

And, that joy can create a life experience where desire after desire is fulfilled. No desire is too small, or too big.

“You wanna die today?”

The other day we were enjoying this state, walking along the Max Station at Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were greeting those around us with our smile and our eyes. We were in joy, understanding that all that is is working in our favor. The next moment, we caught the eye of a young man.

“What you looking at faggot! You wanna die today?” He yelled at us.

“Do you?” we immediately replied.

“Yes!” he said, as he averted his eyes and hurried off.

A shocking exchange of to say the least!

Clearly, this young man, by the look of his dress and the anger in his voice, was struggling. We couldn’t tell whether his struggle was emotional, financial, relationship-related, substance-related or a combination of these.

What was clear: he craves fulfillment and happiness. We all do.

Yet that was not his life experience. Our reflecting his grief back to him, in the same intensity, but through the opposite emotion left him exposed. Not to us. To himself.

His attempt to destroy us with his words revealed him to himself. Faced with our in-the-moment happiness, our young man had no other choice but to speak truth: his life experience is so unfulfilling, he wanted to die.

This brief, intense encounter, showed us, as life always does when you’re positively focused, evidence of what’s possible for everyone: life mastery. A freedom and personal invincibility so profound you become impervious…even to violence.

Happiness and invincibility: everyone has access to such states. It is how life is supposed to be. Yoga is great. It’s as “Portland” as Blue Star Doughnuts.

Like doughnuts, though, it can’t compare to a life filled with lasting happiness, invincibility and a joy that becomes more and more day after day.

How to become invincibly happy

The key to lasting, invincible happiness is simply learning what you’ve forgotten, then practicing daily habits that restore your memory. You are surrounded by everything you need to cultivate these habits. The internet offers tons of information about them.

Like yoga, a daily practice is required. Picking out peacock from a list of asana pictures is one thing. Knowing how to do peacock is another. Actually doing it is yet another.

In the same way, cultivating daily habits leading to invincible happiness comes from daily practice. You may intellectually know the daily habits (you do). Maybe you even know how to do them. But results come from doing them. Regularly. Consistently.

The good news is, unlike learning peacock, lasting happiness doesn’t require learning something new. It only requires remembering what you forgot.

The bad news is it’s hard to know something you forgot. That’s why we offer assistance.

Back to the habits.

One of these habits, for example, is expressing appreciation. Super simple, right? That simplicity masks a bewilderingly powerful habit. Habitually acknowledging all the great things that make up your life, by itself, can do wonders.

Ever heard the phrase “the best place to hide something is in the open”?

Life is like that. We are surrounded with an unlimited number of things worthy of appreciation. Especially in Portland. Can you name a few? We think so.

And in the naming of just a few of those things, with the right mind set, you automatically get a glimpse of what being consistently happy can do for you. Whether you’re on, or off the yoga mat.

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