Drop the agenda
In any interaction, whether business or personal, most of us tend to have an agenda. Maybe it’s obvious, maybe it’s hidden. Unless you are enlightened, you’ll likely have a position and if you are anything like me, you might even believe that your perspective is the right one. Most of us show up to the table with our own opinions or beliefs, our own needs or desires that we want to get met. We show up with a full cup. It’s a rare individual who is able to consistently arrive in any given situation with a genuine curiosity to find out what is there that they don’t know yet. And the truth is, when you’re showing up with your cup already full, there is no room to add anything, right? No room for the cream. There is no room for growth, no room for movement. And when everyone shows up like this, it just leads to build up and stagnation because everyone is talking and no one is being heard. When you show up already full you are leaving no room for anything interesting to happen. No room for the miracle shift in perspective that opens everything up to a whole new level.
For instance, I recently had a falling out with a friend. I was expressing my truth powerfully and passionately in a group setting and something in that triggered her. And though she was having a strong response, she wasn’t reaching out to me about it. I was hearing about it through the grapevine and picking up her underlying tone in some group emails. So finally, I extended an invitation, “If you have something to say, call me. I’m available.” And she did. She contacted me to set up a time to talk. Well, I have to admit that I wasn’t excited about talking with her because I was fairly certain she was looking for someone to blame for her reaction and I was walking right into it.
Before our phone call, I sat down and started preparing my come back. I thought about all the ways she might attack me and I was planning my defense strategy. The more I wrote, the more and more worked up I got. When I felt complete I decided to turn on a podcast just to calm myself down before the call. And as fate always does, the episode I chose had a message direct from the universe for ME! What I heard was this “If you were the only one with the truth, then you would be the only one here.” That message hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought about how all of the words I had just written were filled with self-righteous judgement and then I took a moment to think about how my words would land on her. Would she be transformed in any positive way by what I had to say? Or would it just shut down the lines of communication altogether? I knew the answer. The Course in Miracles says “Defense is the first act of war.” This is so true. If no one is strikes back, there is no battle. Period.
So I put my notebook away and lit a candle. I emptied the cup I had just filled. I closed my eyes and emptied my mind. I asked for Divine order and Divine Intelligence to lead the way. Then I got out a blank sheet of paper and a pen and waited for the call. I had made the decision this was all happening for me and I was open to receiving and growing in whatever way would be presented in the moment.
As it happens, she called and she did have a lot to say. I listened with compassion and did not take any of it personally. I honored her feelings and thanked her for sharing. When it was my turn, I was able to share where I was coming from without defensiveness. I simply honored my feelings and viewpoint as equally important. The whole experience was empowering for both of us and we were able to move forward understanding the other’s perspective. It was a beautiful thing!
I invite you to try this out today. Maybe the opportunity is a conversation with a friend, a co-worker, a business meeting, an interaction with your kid, your kid’s teacher, your partner. Whatever the situation, I want to invite you to take a pause and empty your mind of any expectations, defenses, demands, accusations or agendas. Then offer the whole thing up to something bigger than yourself. God, the universe, Divine order, whatever you call what is bigger than you, let go and open yourself up to what is about to happen. Get curious. Be in the wonder. Just try it as an experiment. If it doesn’t do it for you, fine. I have a suspicion that if you sincerely approach your next challenging interaction with this kind of openness, you are going to be pleasantly surprised at what will come out of it. And remember, your truth lives inside of you, always available right when you need it. Just show up with a clean slate, ready to receive the gift of whatever is coming. There is a beautiful gift for you in this, let’s see if you can find it.