Showing Up Dumb

It’s endlessly fascinating to me to notice the filter of thought that floats over the screen of my awareness.

So much of that thick thought filter is

a) Basically the same as yesterday

b) Based on something that happened in the past, or

c) Stemming from beliefs I formed long ago that most likely aren’t relevant today.

One of the coolest things in the world is the ability to arrive at today without yesterday in tow.

Imagine waking up and seeing each day totally fresh. Nothing—or very little, anyway—carried over from yesterday.

You show up with a clear mind, open and fully receptive to what shows up. You don’t react to what shows up with a bunch of pre-formed judgments and opinions. Instead, you truly and naturally react (not pre-act) in the moment.

You are guided through life, rather than mentally deciding how life should look and then trying to make things match that ideal. (The latter is exhausting).

When you show up without much on your mind, you’re not applying expectations, assumptions, and subjective opinions to the people around you. You’re seeing them, maybe for the first time.                            

You can do this in any moment, whenever you’d like. Take a fresh look at your relationship, your work, your kids, yourself. Just look without yesterday’s filter and see what you discover.

One of my mentors calls it “showing up dumb”, which is a pretty perfect way to put it.  

We almost never listen to other people dumb. We listen smart, which means we aren’t listening at all.

While they are talking, we’re thinking. Evaluating what they are saying, comparing it to everything else stored in our brain, and thinking about what we’ll say next. All of that mental action prevents us from listening. That action fundamentally halts our ability to actually hear what they are saying.

When you show up dumb, without all that “What she’s saying is like X, unlike Y, good for me, bad for me…”, you get to really hear them. Again, maybe for the first time in your life.

Show up dumb. It’s a much wiser way to be.

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