I read that if you take the water left from canned chickpeas and whip it, it turns into a product almost identical to whipped egg whites. This chickpea water makes a great egg white substitute in meringues, angel food cakes, etc. It’s truly amazing. Something we used to pour down the drain can be transformed into something so useful. Vegan chefs no longer need to struggle to find substitutes for egg whites.
This new egg white substitute made me think about how much we don’t know and about possibility and potential. Wayne Dyer often spoke of how an acorn carries all the potential of a giant oak tree. I wonder how many “acorns” there are out there that we don’t even know about.
On the subject of potential, Teal Swan said something that struck me as highly important. She said that if you have a hard time accepting a new thought or belief, (whether it be truly believing you are a worthy human being or that you can pursuit your dream career) we can choose to see the possibility of that thought. We can approach any belief that we are struggling with from the perspective of possibility. Rather than try to take a leap of faith or try to force a belief, we can open ourselves to the possibility of that belief. Then we can look around for evidence of that belief in our reality.
This is the teaching of the second step of Al-anon.
“2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
This step does not ask that we accept that there is a Power greater than our external reality or greater than our egoic self. It asks that we come to believe that there may be such a Power. In other words, we open ourselves up to the possibility of a Higher Power or Higher Self. Then as we work this step we look for evidence in our life that there may be a Power greater than us.
When I think about applying this to my journey of self examination. I realize that I need to consider the possibility that the many negative beliefs I hold may not be true. That there is a possibility that I can choose to replace those thoughts with positive and empowering beliefs. These new positive thoughts have the potential to create a new internal reality, a new way of seeing myself. I can consider the possibility that I am an acorn. I can see the possibility that a phoenix can rise from the ashes. Then I need to examine my reality and look for evidence of a different version of myself. If there is a possibility that my ideal version of myself may actually already exist then I can make the choice to connect with that version of me and live the life my Higher Self wants to live.
This is a powerful step in Al-anon because when we are in a place of utter despair sometimes potential is enough of a branch to bring us to a place of awakening; return us to sanity. Potential can be the first step on the road to enlightenment and self love.
When we are thinking thoughts that result in a negative emotion, that negative emotion holds within it the potential for us to shift our thoughts to a positive place. The negative emotions exists to draw our attention to the thought that created it. If we can examine that thought and shine the light of awareness of it (as Eckhart Tolle said) we have the opportunity to prove its invalidity and create a new positive thought in its place.
Therefore, the negative emotion, if we allow it to, can be our teacher. Every experience we attract into our lives that creates a negative emotion is an opportunity for growth and expansion towards self love and happiness. In Al-anon I heard this called ‘another fucking growth opportunity.’ Because we must feel the discomfort and suffering of the negative emotion or circumstance in order to receive the opportunity to transform the root belief that created it. I learned from Teal Swan that we cannot have the experience of the positive emotion unless we have known its opposite negative emotion. Within the negative lies the potential for positive.
Teal Swan teaches that when I feel a negative emotion or I experience a negative circumstance, I can take that opportunity to ask myself what the originating thought or belief was that created this emotion. Then I identify the opposing belief I really want to have and I look for evidence of its existence in my reality.
For example, I get pulled over because my tail light is out. I feel angry, frustrated and ashamed. I can let that negative experience become more evidence for the validity of my victim mindset. Or I can ask myself why that negative response came up. I then discover the related root belief is that I feel I don’t deserve to have a happy life. What I really want to believe is that life is wonderful. So, I remember times when my life felt wonderful, like when I didn’t put much effort in at work but got a big promotion or the time my friend paid for me to get a massage. So I take the negative experience and turn in into an opportunity to create and strengthen a new positive belief.
My mother, the Therapist, reminds me that this is close to the cognitive therapy approach.There are so many paths to the same destination of self love and unconditional happiness. It is wonderful that we all can find the tool or program that resonances with each of us in order to actively work towards that goal of bliss. So, clearly cognitive therapy would be another wonderful tool to explore.
We all have the potential in us to rise from the ashes of our personal hell to be the Phoenix, our Higher Self, and meet our full potential. For possibility, I am eternally grateful.