If you did this ONE thing, your life would shift 360 degrees.
That's right. Just this one practice alone can transform your relationships, clarify your vision and activate your essence: Question Your Assumptions.
Often this can be a ‘mote in the eye' experience. You don't even realize you're assuming, because you're under an assumption. [Feel the smile as you land the awareness of that.] Yeah, paradoxical and astounding every time it happens.
It's either the ton of bricks hitting you square between the eyes or that sudden spark of light that goes on in the darkened inner corridors. The sudden realization hits you: you've been operating under an assumption . . . Still!
The best response to these moments is to laugh, or say, “Yes, I see you now!” Another door in the mansion of magnificence has opened to you and you can choose from what's true, instead of react from faulty vision. Ah, the sweetness of response vs reaction.
How do you know if you're operating under an assumption? Some of the telltale signs are: you're not in flow, you're feeling resistance, you have a need to control, you're in judgment. So, if clarity hasn't clobbered you yet, try this 3-step process:
1. Curiously question your assumption. No need for courage or will. Just lightly explore. Imagine you're on an adventure and you want to take in as much as you can. You question everyone you meet because you want to make sure you make the most of your trip. The quality of your questions, dictates the quality of your answers. Question away! Play with the questions.
2. Notice everything. The very act of noticing shifts reality. Take a look at the big picture and then drill down to the details. Notice the thoughts and feelings. Notice the inner dialogue. Just keep noticing and noticing and noticing. There's no discussion, no conversation, just noticing as if you were at the IMax Theatre, watching a feature presentation in 3D.
3. Articulate your awareness.You can do this through writing and then reading your writing. you can also go the other way and record yourself and then listen. Allow the puzzle pieces to fall into place. Don't force, just flow. Feel your awareness like a mist, like a movement, like your breath, like a breeze. It touches clarity and reshapes, reforms, evolves into more and more awareness.
If your assumption regards another, wait until you've gone through this process before you attempt communication. You must be able to listen AND express in communication. Often when assumptions have been made there is no true listening because there is an underlying agenda wanting to be fed. And, you cannot clearly communicate when you are not able to articulate cleanly.
This practice alone can completely transform your life.
PS. This video by Paul Nicklen describes his most amazing experience as a National Geographic photographer – coming face-to-face with one of Antarctica's most vicious predators. It gives a great spin on assumptions.