The Power of Potential
“Listen...Are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” - Mary Oliver
Meditation teaches us to be with whatever “is”. It teaches us to separate our true selves and our true voices from the false selves and voices that try to interfere with our actions. Through meditation we learn to change our conditioned, predictable reactions to unique responses that apply to each moment and situation as they come.
But as much as meditation and sitting in stillness teach us to accept what is, it also teaches us the potential of what could be.
It does this by showing us where we’re bound, where we’re hesitating, and where we’re settling. It wakes us up to these “conditioned responses” and reminds us that we always have a choice. At any moment, you can change how you react. Each morning, you are reborn – without a past, without mistakes, and without failures. It provides a clean slate.
A story: Once upon a time, a man and his partner noticed their fish tank was becoming dirty. To clean it, they first dumped all of their brightly colored fish from the small tank into their large bathtub which had been filled to the top with water. They watched in awe, and maybe sadness, as the fish stayed swimming in the same shape as their small tank, even though they had the entire tub to now explore.
Not until you really believe that the space surrounding you– your potential – is much more vast than what you’re living, you won’t risk experiencing it.
Meditation.org states that creating growth is 70% awareness of the change we want to make, 10% willingness to take the steps, 15% increasing our potential with a positive internal dialogue, 2% action and 3% analyzing results. That's right - over half of the effort is just in awareness of our desired growth.
"You are deeper than your life shows, and you know it. You are more loving than your relationships allow, more brilliant than your career suggests. In your secret depth of being, you are infinite, creative, boundless and utterly unable to express your full glory into the world..." - Unknown
And how does meditation help us to tap into the well of potential? "In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness." (Mahatma Gandhi). By illuminating the path. By showing us that the tub is larger than we think. By reminding us, one small glimpse at a time, that our energy is not confined to these physical bodies, but to the vast energetic spiderweb of the universe.
Believe that you have the power to change your thoughts. Trust that you have an untapped, truly limitless potential within you. Trust that no failure and no fear can prevent you from tapping into this potential and manifesting it.
Know that the voice in you that whispers “You can’t” is not reason; it’s a figment of your imagination. All that “reason” tells us is that in science, no event ever happens exactly the same way twice. “Always” and“never” don’t exist in nature. No failure can be predicted. No mistakes could have been avoided. There is no reason not to try.
The only self that exists is the one that is still, that is quiet, that is always watching and waiting for you to set the world on fire with your potential. Release the frantic, fearful self and learn to connect with your silent witness-self, and watch your universe expand. As Lao Tzu said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
And a last thought:
These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
We have refused
Again and again
- David Whyte