People operate in half-truths. Being polite often means not communicating how we really feel. We swallow the truth to keep our jobs, our friends and to maintain the peace in the family. It's likely better that way, but when it comes to figuring out next career and life moves, half-truths will keep you stuck.
At my Kripalu weekend seminar over the Easter holiday, there were several instances of half-truths (maybe even quarter-truths) getting in the way of progress in gaining clarity, direction and momentum in life.
People told me very sophisticated, planned lies for what they might do next and how they'd do it. How did I know they were not telling the truth? They might fidget or mumble, avoid eye contact or just sound dispassionate and analytical about what they were saying. Just as I would feel myself slipping into a coma, I'd whip out my magic wand.
You read that right. However, in this case, I reached over to a vase of flowers and pulled out a miniature sunflower whose head fit nicely in the palm of my hand.
"Now", I said, in my best Glinda the Good Witch imitation.
"If I waved my magic wand and you could have it your way now, what would you be doing?"
The answers were astounding.
One particular gentleman was laying out his plan very methodically when I interrupted him with my wand routine. He had an immediate response that lit up his face and made his eyes dance the cha-cha. He switched off his plan to sell insurance to get his children through the college years and told me about his dream to work in travel and see amazing places while extending that adventure to others.
That's a big gap and how on earth would he make that happen?! Pipe dream, you say? I understand how you may think that. And if you do, it also tells me you hold a truth you don't tell, but we'll save that for later. Now, let me tell you how this rolled out.
I got an email 36 hours after this admission was made that while on the drive home from the weekend, something came together rather quickly. As the dear man was telling his girlfriend what transpired, he remembered a trip he took to South Africa when he used to play rugby. He recalled the camaraderie among the international players and the traveling they did to explore the land, wildlife and culture. He instantly saw the connection to the recent launch of a rugby league he started in his area, which involved his own kids. He realized he could start organizing international trips for his league (like the one he took) as a business venture moving forward. He also wanted to let me know that the insurance direction was not a complete departure because insuring those trips is quite lucrative as well!
This is exactly what I expect when the truth has been let out of the bag: a sudden connection, remembering, ah-ha, "accidental" meeting or other coming-together that closes the huge gap between the "telling" and real time. It doesn't seem so implausible anymore. The answers come. I know this to be true.
Now, back to anyone who might have a half-truth in their plans -- I understand they sound reasonable and safe. I understand there are bills to be paid. I also know that you will not be happy, satisfied or fulfilled. Tell the whole truth and act on it. One small move (phone call, research, planning time, feasibility interviews, etc.) a day will start the momentum. Even if you have to do the half-truth plan to pay the bills, do not keep the truth buried. Bring it out and watch your life change.
Just before publication, the gentleman in this piece wrote to me to let me know that his story, now two weeks later, has expanded to include another set of "synchronistic" events.
He reached out to the company that had arranged the tour he was on years ago and he explained his idea about such tours for youth rugby clubs. It just so happens the proprietor had just heard from someone in the UK who wanted to get his UK youth rugby team playing in the U.S. on a tour. Thanks to our protagonist, he has a U.S. team to meet up with this summer and perhaps a reciprocal tour for the Americans in the UK.
There's more to share, but for now, suffice it to say that there is so much momentum stemming from one truth-telling to make your head spin. And spin yours will when you, too, take responsibility for your truth. Keep me posted!
Originally posted April 16, 2013 on the Now What? Blog
For more by Laura Berman Fortgang, click here.
For more on wisdom, click here.