Open Mind in Practice
How to recognize that we need to open our mind a bit more?
Let see what isn’t working:
What is the area of our most frequent conflicts.
Is there a pattern along which we recreate our drama?
Where are we caught in a circle of a continuous mistake?
Is there an idea / person / group to which we react with such negativity and rejection, that it immediately makes us feel distant, separate, and undermines our sense of worth.
Are there situations when we hear about some idea and within a fraction of a second we have a strong, negative reaction? Reaction which is not even a result of processing our thoughts?
What helps to open our mind?
1. Witness something in a new way. For example be willing to listen to someone’s honest, personal story. I will refrain from giving specific examples, but if there is a person (or group of people) you distrust, dislike, reject in a sense – hearing their personal story will help you immediately to see human in them. Perhaps you will be able to relate. You will gain knowledge – which often equals: understanding. Understanding is a sign of open-mindedness.
2. Examine closely those moments when you have a strong automatic negative reaction to an idea. That will usually lead you to a strong belief you carry, that is not letting you see the opposite; possibly empowering option. This is how I learn about my limiting beliefs.
3. Choose well between a healthy dose of critical thinking and a critical attitude
4. Manage your attitude. It is up to us how we approach something new: with an immediate rejection, with laugh or curiosity?
5. Take a break from your intentional ignorance. We like to be proud of things we don’t care about which creates a good ground for insensitive comments or mindless jokes. (talk to me about sport to test me :))
6. Acknowledge that we all have different experiences. Each of us learn, to some degree, a different set of lessons in life. So you came to certain conclusions based on your life experiences, and when someone else tells you otherwise- you may discount them as inexperienced, wrong, or even worse – you know that. And still this is their truth. This is what they are experiencing, this is what they get from it.
The number of judgements we state – is the number of lessons we need to learn, in order to call ourselves “open minded.”
Some of our beliefs harm us, and harm people close to us, other beliefs contribute to our happiness, and make us do something good. Neither are an accident and all of them can change.
What are your thoughts? What experiences helped you to open your mind?