The mind is a tricky space. In one thought it can think small, in the next, go big. It can keep you looking at the past or dreaming of the future. It can hold you trapped in fear or open you up in courage. It can forgive or forget. It can build you up or tear you down. It can make room for adventure or keep you locked in the narrow confines of your comfort zone.
The mind is a tricky space.
Standing in the Choices circle on a Wednesday afternoon when trainees walk into the room for the first time, I am always in awe of the beauty of the human spirit. People walk in, look around the room, take a seat as far from the front as they can. They hide behind that big guy in the cowboy hat. That woman with the pouffy hair. They sit hunched over, their bodies curved into themselves, their arms crossed against their chests. They sit with their feet on their seat bottoms, their knees tucked up against their chests. They hold their minds tightly closed to anyone getting in to their space, convinced that they’re not worth it or that they don’t deserve or shouldn’t have all that they ever dreamed of.
Some believe there is no more to get out of life. Some believe more isn’t possible. Some know they want more. They get that there is more, but so often they are terrified ‘more’ will never be what they get — except for the more of what they’ve always had. And why would they want more of that? It’s the more of what they’ve always had that is hurting them.
And then, slowly, awkwardly, painfully, gracefully, joyfully, quickly — the speed is individual to each, they start to get it. They start to feel, to see, to believe, different is possible.
They start to experience an opening, an awakening, a sense of possibility slipping into the empty spaces where fear once held reign, that better IS possible. It could be as early as Wednesday afternoon. During the night. Thursday morning. Sometime that day, or the next, the next or the next. It’s always different for every one. That moment when they start to feel the breath of an idea taking hold that, I’m not alone, or lonely. I’m not crazy, or stupid. I’m not hard-hearted, or sad. I’m not horrible, or awkward. I’m not lost or displaced. I don’t belong, or am out of step with the world.
And in that opening they begin to realize, they are not alone and they are human, living their condition to the best that they’ve been taught. They start to see the thing that is holding them back, the thing that has been keeping them trapped in the past, in fear, in shame, in impossibility is their mind and its tricky thinking.
It is a beautiful thing. To see minds open up to possibility. To feel fear slipping away. To hear hearts begin to beat in harmony with hope pounding a rhythm of all they’ve ever dreamed of calling them to step free of what was holding them back.
It is a beautiful thing to watch a smile grow upon the face of a woman who once believed abuse was all she deserved. Or to hear a man who once believed only anger would keep him safe begin to laugh with joy. Or to see a couple who had turned their backs on each other, embrace one another in Love.
It is a beautiful thing.
I have just spent five days immersed in the wonder and awe and beauty of the human spirit coming alive in the Choices room. And I am in Love.
In love with my fellow team mates who stood in the circle on Wednesday afternoon and held fast to the three rules we were given. Love the people when they walk in the room. Love the people when they walk in the room. Love the people when they walk in the room.
Even when some of them don’t make it easy. Even when they don’t believe they are loveable or deserving or worthy of being loved.
Love the people when they walk in the room and hold fast to love through every moment of every day, through every process and every word and every action.
Hold fast to Love.
And I am in Love with each and every trainee who stepped into that circle not knowing what or if there was anything there for them, but who, because someone they knew had asked, or told, or suggested they go, was willing to risk the unknown to see if there was anything there for them — and then discovered everything was already there, right inside themselves — they just needed the right questions, and the space and time to explore their own answers. And who, in looking inwards discovered they really did deserve it, were worthy of it, could have it and all they ever dreamed of.
What an amazing week. What an incredible gift — to stand in the circle at the end of Sunday, and feel connected to the hearts of everyone around me. To feel free and joyful and absolutely convinced — better is possible. More is an open door. The future an uncharted map where I have the ability, capacity and the right to make my own dreams come true.
I stood in that circle yesterday and I knew — there is no place in the world where I feel more safe, more complete, more open, vulnerable and Loved than in that circle.
It wasn’t magic. It wasn’t some trick or sleight of hand that made it happen. It wasn’t some magic potion or subliminal message beamed across the airwaves contorting reality into an altered state.
It was Love.
And Love doesn’t live in my head. It isn’t my mind convincing me to let go of reality.
It was my heart whispering its truth, its hopes, its dreams.
My mind may be a tricky space, but always, my heart knows better. Because always, my heart knows best.