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Complementary Corner

Why not?

Renee Lehman

(3/2016) In last month’s article, it was stated that in the Year of the Monkey (Chinese New Year began February 8, 2016) anything could happen. This coming year promises to be a year of adventure. It is a time to dare to be different, or do things in a different way. Summon your own power and move forward!

Dare to be different? Do things differently? This may strike a chord of fear within you. ‘What if?’ questions may abound. These two words can cause us to become paralyzed. I believe that ‘What if?’ actually means: "What if something really bad happens?" "What if I really mess up?" "What if I look dumb?" "What if I lost everything?" "What if it doesn’t work out?" Every one of these questions leads to the thought that the outcome of doing things differently would lead to something bad, and that you would not be able to handle the consequences!

So, if you are going to ask ‘What if?’ questions, why not ask them in a way that could reveal possibilities for a positive outcome? For example, "What if something great happens?" "What if the outcome is awesome?" You are the one ‘making up’ your future! Why be afraid of change, or of stepping out of your comfort zone? why not make it include positive outcomes? Even if you do fail, you’ve given yourself an opportunity to learn how to do things differently. Don’t get too attached to outcomes, because you never know how life will turn out. Just read the following parable of the Taoist Farmer:

A farmer who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day, for no reason, his horse ran away. Everyone tried to console him, but he said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but he said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a disaster?" Their household was richer by a fine horse, which his son loved to ride. One day his son fell from the horse and broke his hip. Everyone tried to console him, but the farmer said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

A year later, military officials came to draft young men into the army to fight in a war, and every able-bodied man was drafted. Only because the son was lame did son not get drafted. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed. 

Does this story resonate with you? The airwaves seem to be filled with so much bad news. This story reminds us that it’s best not to get too upset, or too attached to what happens to us. How many times have you, in hindsight, seen something that appeared to be negative turn out to be a positive opportunity? How many of us have had something not turn out the way we planned, only to have something much better happen? As the character Mitch Planko said in the movie, The Change-Up: "Life doesn’t always turn out exactly how you planned it. Sometimes, just sometimes, it turns out better."

In this Year of the Monkey, I challenge you to set a goal for yourself that involves you daring to be different. What area(s) of your life would you like to improve? It could deal with health, finances, personal relationships, business relationships, spirituality, education, etc.

Write down the area that you would like to improve, and the steps that you can take to improve it. Write down how you could act differently to achieve this goal. Believe that you have the ability to be different. You have to believe in your own ability to change and be different. You have to believe that you can create positive change. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once stated, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

If you are experiencing trouble changing your self-limiting beliefs, try the following exercise:

  • Write down the most limiting belief that you have about the area that you want to change (health, finances, etc.).
  • Write down the most limiting belief that you have about success, and yourself in general.
  • Now take these limiting beliefs and turn them into beliefs that empower you. For example, if you wrote for #1: "I’ve never had good relationships," write down as the empowering belief: "Strong relationships naturally occur because I stay in the moment when I’m with others."
  • Write down these beliefs that empower you (for the area that you want to change and about success, and about yourself in general).
  • Finally, realize that you are not your successes and failures. This will help to create fewer emotional ups and downs. Learn from your experiences and take actions to continuously improve.

    So, when things happen this year, rather than judging the outcome immediately, why not say, "Good news, bad news, who can say?" "I’m learning to do things differently!"

    Why Not Quotes

    • "For true success ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?" - James Allen
    • "Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not?" - Pablo Picasso
    • "Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" - Frank Scully
    • "Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire." - Dale Carnegie

    Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist and physical therapist with over 25 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg, PA. She can be reached at 717-752-5728.

    Read other articles by Renee Lehman