Ep 131: Beginner’s Mind

I have a new skill I’d like to teach you today that will help with building and maintaining healthy relationships.

It’s called the Beginner’s Mind.

Basically, it is a way to help you shift the way you look at situations and people as if you had never seen them before.

When you try looking at things in this way, as if you’re seeing them or the situation for the very first time, you may see details you ignored, or discover a different way to look at it, applying a different meaning to something, when you had blinders on which we can call, “I already know that” blinders.

Have you ever done that?

Someone tries to explain something to you and when you start with the thought “I already know that” you turn off your brain and stop listening.

I know I have.

I glaze over things I’ve read before, start thinking of a reply, or stop listening all together.

What do we miss when we do that?

When you approach people and situations with the “I already know that” blinders on, you block your perceptions, spend a lot of time feeling angry or bored, and it stops you from listening.

Could there be a better way to DISconnect than by putting on blinders???

Solutions to communication problems, relationship difficulties and failing friendships will never come if you think you already know all the reasons for the problems you’re facing.

I love this quote from Dr. Marcia Reynolds, “If you already know the answer to a problem you are facing, if you already know what someone is trying to say before they say it, if you already know the source of someone’s problematic behavior before they have a chance to explain, and if you already know what is going to happen next in any situation, you leave no room for anything new to emerge.”

Shunryu Suzuki, the author or Zen Mind, Beginners Mind said, “In the Beginners Mind there are many possibilities.  In the expert, there are few.”

We can all use a set of fresh eyes and an open mind to see beyond your own limits.

The next time you find yourself in a discussion that seems to be going nowhere fast, try to come from a place where you really don’t know the answer. 

Quit trying to figure out what the person you are talking to is going to say next.

Quit trying to come up with opinions about their ideas before they even say it.

Quit choosing to only be with people who think like you do and…

Be open to different points of view in any situation you find yourself in.

What new things could be opened up to you in you didn’t already know?

What if you tried having a Beginner’s Mind?

When you try to catch your automatic responses in the moment, releasing them and coming with a blank slate of expectations, takes a lot of humility. 

It takes practice.

Start simple.

The next time you drive to the grocery store, try doing it with a Beginner’s Mind.

Look for things you’ve never seen before.

Drive a different route.

Listen to a different station on the radio or better yet, don’t listen to anything and just observe what you see.

Start with the belief that you will learn something you didn’t know before…even if you’ve been driving to the same grocery store for 30 years.

The next time you talk to your spouse after a long day at work, don’t expect to hear anything.

Try to come at it with a Beginner’s Mind.

Ask questions you’ve never asked before.

Listen like you have never heard what he does every day.

What have you missed by expecting to hear the same things?

What have you glossed over because you think you know what he’s going to say.

When you experience people, places and things in this new way, you have two choices:

1-clear your mind and see with fresh eyes or

2- look through a filter of memories, old judgements, and opinions.

Which do you choose?

Stay stuck in the past or open yourself up to surprise?

The more we practice using a Beginner’s Mind, the better your relationships will be.

Of course, we all have deep connections that require knowing a lot about past events and emotions, but if we rely only on those past memories, we are missing so much more.

Take a minute and think, what relationship do I have that could use a fresh start?  Where would I like to find out more and live with more surprise?

Now, go do something about it.

Identify one person and one situation where you can practice using Beginner’s Mind.

It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you’re willing to learn.

I’m so glad you joined me here today.

If you haven’t taken the 4 Tips to Improve Any Relationship Workshop yet, I’d like to remind you to do that today!  It’s easy to get and it’s FREE.  Go to https://hunkeedori.com/4Tips and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.  I have shared easy ways to change your relationship with yourself so you look at all other relationships differently.  You’ll get worksheets to help you practice these tips but more than that, you will feel better.  Your life will be filled with more peace than you might expect and that is what removes the feeling of being OVERBURDENED more than anything else.  Give it a try!

Thanks for joining me here today and remember:

I see you.

I understand how hard you’re trying and I’d like to help however I can.

I’ll see you back here again next week.

Ep 131: Beginner’s Mind