Thursday, February 24, 2011

What are you missing?

I'm listening to some new songs from a favorite artist of mine on rhapsody, while driving to MA last week.  The starting chords of the tune playing immediately registered as something I wouldn't like.  I had heard this album just a few times before, and never got beyond the first 15 seconds of this particular song.  As I reached over to skip the song, I caught myself:  How come I was so quick to shut down my curiosity after less than 15 seconds of listening?

I decided to grit my teeth, and listen to the next minute or so of the song, before deciding to pack it on.  My mind drifted for a bit, as I watched the wonderful countryside go by.  Then, maybe less than a minute later, I heard myself saying 'That's not bad'.  By the end of the song, I have to admit that I quite liked it.

That opened up a whole world of new awareness to me. If I slow my music listening experience down, a few chords prompt me to make a split decision to stop being present to the music and to change the song completely. I was intrigued by my decision not to be present at the first thought that this isn't something I like.

I realize I don't only do this with music.  One of the kids could start a familiar whine... I cut them off.  I hear a familiar crash, I already have a plan in action, my husband crinkles his brow as I speak, my judgement is in place.  It's an efficiency thing.  Why waste time re-assessing everything all the time?

Sometimes gaining new awarenesses isn't efficient.  Sometimes it takes stopping, allowing, even when your efficient brain is saying 'C'mon!  You know what this is!'  Your efficient brain is lying anyway.  It forgot about Johari and his window and the gigantic universe of stuff you don't know.  Maybe you don't know what this is.  Maybe you are missing something.  Something in you.  Something in your partner.  Something in the world.

So, here's to stopping today, and checking out what you may be missing.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Faith,

    I think what you've described is the beginning of learning: abandoning preconceptions for the sake of pure experience. I found myself nodding in agreement as I read your post and then it occurred to me that one might even take it a step further. Rather than simply abandoning the anticipation of not liking or disagreeing with something, one could proactively embrace the new concept or experience "expecting" it to be good.

    Perhaps that wouldn't be good science, but it would probably open the doors to greater learning.



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