Lean into Possibility
Rumi said, “You were born with wings.”
To fly you have to jump. To jump means you have to risk. But without risk and leaning into possibility, without being off-balance at times, you are nothing but rooted to the ground, your wings unused.
Stories are our lives in language. Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast. I’m Lori Lee, and I’m excited for our future together of telling stories, evaluating our own stories, and lifting ourselves and others to greater places because of our control over our stories. This podcast is about empowerment and giving you, the listener, ideas to work with in making your stories work for you. Power serves you best when you know how to use it.
Our comfort zones are very comfortable places to be. They don’t require vulnerability, because vulnerability by nature is generally uncomfortable. They don’t require risk, because real risk, the risk that pushes you past your limits is also not comfortable. Our comfort zones don’t require discomfort and so we love them – they are the happy place, but they are also the places that don’t require growth, adventure, and possibility. The only stories you are going to be telling from your comfort zone are ones you’ve already told a dozen times before.
Now, possibility is the flower born from the seed of risk, getting out of your comfort zone, and leaning into the unknown. Possibility is where dreams and answers lie in wait, where the unknown waits for you to pull back the veil. Possibility is the mystery that awaits you. That’s where we are going today!! What is possible for you!?
When we get dedicated – really serious about our lean, in fact so serious that we actually lean so far that we jump off the cliff and start using our wings, the universe creates a wind that blows up from the canyons below us and supports our faith.
German poet Goethe said, “Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
And, Christ said, “Be it unto you according to your faith.” In other words, when you believe enough you can fly, or in his case, walk on water. This podcast episode is really about bravery. Bravery and belief in possibility and things yet unknown. It’s about how we get to create our bigger, better life story by making sure that the stories currently raging in our minds are not holding our feet firmly to the ground while our wings ache with lost opportunity. Some of those stories look like, “Well, I have a good life. I’m fine with the way things are.” “I can’t go after THAT dream, it’s too bold – who am I to deserve that?” “My voice doesn’t matter, who cares about my story?”
For those of you who don’t follow extreme sports – sports like skiing, sky diving, surfing, motocross, etc. there is a phenomenon in human performance taking place over the past 20 years or so that is unprecedented. In the book, The Rise of Superman Steven Kotler tackles the question of how it is possible that suddenly, in the matter of one generation human feats of possibility have surpassed, often quadrupled in a matter of a very few years, what was ever considered possible for the human body to do. It is a book about the impossible and how it is happening. Using some examples from the book I’ll show you what we’re talking about. Twenty-five years ago the 360, a complete rotation on skies off a jump, was THE trick skiers were throwing. It was the cool thing in the Warren Mill ski movies. I can attest to this truth – I was there. I practiced them season after season. They were the trick that announced you were in the top posse on the hill. Now, just two decades later, kids – like 6-year-old kids– are landing 360s and they are considered an entry trick. In 2011, only two decades later, “Bobby Brown threw the world’s first Triple Cork 1440 – which is four spins and three flips, and all off-axis.” That is almost unfathomable forward progress in possibility just from a matter of degree comparison. World records are broken almost as fast as they are created now, which from an evolutionary standpoint is unexplainable. The rate at which physical prowess evolved in what was possible was never something that could be measured within a generation.
Another example Kotler uses, and he shares many, is how not long ago Evel Knievel decided to try the harrowing attempt of jumping a motorcycle over a line of buses. It was such a huge and unheard-of undertaking that people across the world tuned in to watch him risk life and limb. “These days, on any given weekend, in arenas all over the world, you can watch dozens of riders jumping similar distances – only back-flipping as they go.”
Kayakers are another example. In 1997 Tao Berman blew minds when he dropped a straight drop waterfall of 83 feet in Vera Cruz, Mexico. In the following decade the record was pushed to 98 feet, then 127 feet, then kayakers entered the water at greater speeds and just over a decade later Tyler Bradt plunged 189 feet off Washington State’s Palouse Falls having more than doubled the incredible record that pushed the boundaries of what we all thought was even possible for the human body to live through. And this evolution within these extreme sports is happening at an unprecedented rate of advancement. Many more examples are shared and a much more thorough groundwork is laid in the book, but here’s the spoiler – as this extreme speed of human physical and psychological progression is being studied it has been discovered that this type of peak performance is possible because of “flow.” Flow is basically a state of meditation, mental focus, it is believing in and entering the “zone,” and it is allowing humans to redefine the impossible into possible. To do what often appears to be defying gravity and often death.
In Wayne Dyer’s book Wishes Fulfilled, interestingly he discusses a very similar topic in a completely different way. Dr. Dyer is famous for his spiritual leadership of teaching others the power of the mind to create the life, health, abundance…whatever they want. He says, “There’s a level of awareness available to you that you are probably unfamiliar with. It extends upward and transcends the ordinary level of consciousness that you’re most accustomed to. At his higher plane of existence, which you and every human being who has ever lived can access at will, the fulfillment of wishes is not only probably—it is guaranteed.” Dr. Dyer is talking about the power of the mind to create and remove boundaries for ourselves. He is stating, from his personal experience and many he has worked with, how we have the power within our own minds and hearts to create, through faith and action, all the wishes of our hearts – our peak performance.
Neville Goddard, one of the pioneering fathers of the Laws of Imaging said, “Health, wealth, beauty, and genius are not created; they are only manifested by the arrangement of your mind—that is, by your concept of yourself, and your concept of yourself is all that you accept and consent to as true.” In other words – what you believe. Who you believe yourself to be. What you believe you can do. What you believe you are worthy and capable of. It’s about belief.
So, what is your dream? For one minute I want you to suspend all the disbelief you’ve built up, get rid of the stories about why it’s not possible, or why you aren’t moving forward, and just imagine that nothing is in your way. What would you do? What would you want to be? What is your dream career or way of living? What would your dream relationship be like? What does real fulfillment look like to you? If money was not an option what would you be, or say, or do?
Say it out loud!
Now, what if you just went for it? What if you moved into 100% possibility? You may not know where it will lead, or where the path is even taking you, but what if you took the first step? What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen? Take a moment and think about the answers.
This is where, like we discussed in episode seven, the heroes get in the arena and face the fears, the fear of failure, the fear of wasted time and money, the fear of looking stupid. I get all of these fears. I understand the fears, but we aren’t focusing on those. We are focusing on what’s possible when you stop looking at the fear and you start looking at the prize. There is a saying in mountain biking – look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. Interpreted it basically means, don’t look at the rock you don’t want to hit, and when you round a bend and there’s a drop off, don’t look down the drop off, look at the line around the rock, look at the trail that rides past the drop-off. See the path ahead, not the things that could stop you! When you start living in 100% possibility you get to start living big! And that is 100% possible, unless you tell yourself it isn’t.
Whether you tell yourself a thing is possible or impossible, you are right. Your mind is very powerful. Back to Christ’s saying again – “Be it unto you according to your faith.” I really believe he was giving us a key to universal law. A key to the power inside us. I want to tell you that if you will step into action, if you will step into belief, if you will allow your inner voice and the things you intuitively know about what you are here to do, to take control and push past all the stories that stand in the way, you get to use your powers, to manifest into being, the things you want most.
Here’s where some story technique comes in. If you want something different than what you’ve been getting, you first must change your belief about what is possible for you. If you change what you believe, you will change what you do. So what do you believe about your potential, about your dreams, about your life?
There is no doubt that most of us are not the ultimate athletes that are currently challenging the concepts of possibility. We are not all spiritual powerhouses dedicated to the life of developing spiritual powers that take us beyond the realms that most ever access, but these folks show us what is possible. Show us the power of our own minds. They blaze the trail, create a model, and say, “look what you can do, if only you believe.”
While we are all at different levels on the path of understanding and using the powers of our own minds, and most may not be a Dr. Dyer, a Neville Goddard, or one of the extreme athletes mentioned earlier, we are people with dreams and lives to live. Those dreams matter because I believe the things we are drawn to, the things we dream of being and doing are the voices of our destiny and potential calling us. If we ignore them, we ignore our own longing to become. And what if you are the next great (fill in the blank). You probably are. But we are also people who fight diseases, who struggle to feel acceptable, who fight against shame, who get to work and put food on the table, who take care of aging parents and young toddlers. We are people who have brilliant lives to create and tragic trials to overcome, and understanding the power of our own minds, and using it, like a muscle, over and over until we are stronger and more capable, is our evolutionary and even spiritual heritage. But first we need to know we have this power, and then we need to believe in it.
Last night I sat across from a woman who has spent the last year battling cancer. This is not an uncommon story. Anymore it is more uncommon not to know someone taking up this battle. But I share her story because it’s one of those that doesn’t make sense to the doctors. A year ago she was diagnosed with a ten percent chance of living. She refused to die. Prayers went up for her across the country as her tribe banded together. There was a battle afoot and it was fierce. She submitted to the severe treatments, mutilating surgeries, and in her mind she simply refused to die. Her doctor told her that he would do all he could, but that her attitude would make a tremendous difference. Last night she sat across from me, in remission, doctors in the top cancer centers now studying her case, and while she attributes God answering the many prayers sent in her behalf, she also is very clear that her mindset- the way she never let the disease be a part of her in her mind, the ferocity with which she fought…these are also part of her outcome.
Now, let’s be clear. No one is saying that breaking the barriers of what “seems” possible is a cake walk. Kotler, in The Rise of Superman, shares the story of Danny Way, the first skateboarder to jump the Great Wall of China. I don’t have time to lay out the whole scene, but the MegaRamp was steeper and crazier than anything someone would consider skating down. When he did the trial run shoddy ramp construction sent him into the mountain. His ankle was shattered. He was rushed to the hospital with the ankle fracture and his torn ACL, but he left before they could diagnose him because he didn’t want to know the extent of the injuries. Barely able to walk, the next day he climbs ten flight of stairs to get to the top of the ramp. More than 125 million Chinese people are watching him, but this is not just a skater shooting down something like a ski ramp on a skateboard, planning to launch further than anyone on a skateboard has ever done, but it’s a feat that will require absolute precision of his ankle and knee. If they give, by even a fraction of an inch, he’s going to fly off the side and die. Kotler points out that most people can’t even stand on a broken ankle, but when all was said and done Danny not only stood on it, without give, but also withstood four Gs of pressure going into that quarter-pipe on the landing. One G is the force of gravity. Formula one drivers pull two Gs when cornering. Astronauts on take-off suffer three Gs. Most people black out at 5 Gs. What Danny Way did was so extraordinary it defies explanation. Danny Way is very clear when he says, “You want to know how I did something like jump the Great Wall on a fractured ankle,” he says. “I can’t really answer that. All I can tell you is what I already told you: When I’m pushing the edge, skating beyond my abilities, it’s always a mediation in the zone.”
To stay comfortable is to stay the same – your thinking stays the same, your actions stay the same. Living your best life and creating possibility means facing some fear and discomfort… jumping out of the comfort zone. If what you have to do makes you uncomfortable, you’re on the right path. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” She didn’t say that because she thought it would be funny to have a country full of scared people, she said it because she knew that fear holds us back from so much living. Because she knew that the great men and women of the earth are facing fear everyday – it’s how they make the big things happen. When I started making this podcast I was afraid of looking stupid. I was afraid of wasting my time. I was afraid of failure. But if I hadn’t pushed past everyone of those fears, over and over, I’d still be a woman, at home, comfortable with all my extra time watching TV, living with a buried idea that felt too big, and having no idea what I was missing. Every podcast I write I’m putting my work out on the table. I’m telling stories that are often very personal and vulnerable to me. But without the vulnerable stories you wouldn’t really connect with the content. So, I keep it real, and vulnerable, and I keep leaning into possibility.
We had a training meeting in my office the other day, and the speaker shared a great insight I hadn’t heard before. He said when there is something that you don’t yet know how to do, or you aren’t good at, add the word “yet” to the end of the sentence because that one word opens the door to possibility.
So it looks like this: I don’t know how to set up an email campaign “yet.” Or, I don’t know how to ride a bucking bronco “yet.” Or, I can’t juggle jello cubes “yet.” You see how it opens the future to a time when you will, if you want to. I love it! Next time you find yourself making statements about what you can’t do, add that “yet.”
More and more we are coming, as a people, to understand that there is a great deal we don’t understand about the human mind. That we are powerful beyond what we understand. But we have tremendous models showing us that we have power to create, to overcome, to be, and that these dreams, milestones, achievements, possibilities for business ventures, for relationships, for personal performance, for creation of all types begins in the mind, begins with the stories we believe about ourselves, our power, our possibility, our worthiness. This is the key, now insert it in the lock and release the stories that limit your life. Then get ready to work and blow the world away with your power to make the difference you want to make in the time you are here. Go big because you can. Because you have the power to dream, declare and deliver, if only you believe.
Have fun out there creating great life stories and telling the ones that make you strong! Your challenge for the week is to take a minute and journal about the questions I proffered earlier in the podcast: If you went for it, if you took action and started living and moving toward your big dream, what is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen? Take a moment and think about or journal about those questions. Remember, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.
Go to www.loveyourstorypodcast.com and sign up for our weekly inspiration email, and pass this podcast onto one friend. Thanks and I’ll see you next week on the next episode of Love Your Story podcast.