Big Enough to Take It All In

Margaret Wheatley

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Awakin FeatureTo want to see clearly is a true act of fearlessness. To open our heart and mind, to be open to what life is offering us in this moment, requires tremendous courage and steadfastness.

In the openness, we will encounter the information we pushed away, the messages we wouldn't hear, the ideas we rejected, the people we made invisible.

Our openness also invites in penetrating emotions—grief, sorrow, love, compassion.

We do not create the space of clear seeing with our usual methods. No questioning, no analysis, no distinctions—just bearing witness to what's present. The less we sort, judge, categorize or distinguish, the more we see and feel.

Without our usual filters and boundaries, we stop feeling repulsed or threatened or thrilled. We discover that we're much larger than our usual boundedness. In fact, we're big enough to take it all in.

And wonderfully true, the more open we become, the less fear is present. Fear does a very good job of keeping us from being present filling us with thoughts about what might happen in the future, or what seemed to have happened in the past.

But in this present moment, fear is nowhere to be found. Clear seeing has no fear. We are in this very moment released from fear's mesmerizing grip.

To be free from fear, we merely need to be in the present moment. Then we can see clearly.

Margaret Wheatley is an American writer and management consultant who studies organizational behavior. This piece is excerpted from her book Perseverance.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that we are big enough to take it all in? Can you share a personal story of a time you bore witness with complete openness? What helps you fearlessly commit to wanting to see clearly?

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7 Previous Reflections:

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    On Jul 21, 2017 Stanley Sponseller wrote:

    Brilliant. "I see that the mind itself is the frame, the pattern; it lives in the habitual pattern which it has created for itself. Therefore, the mind itself is fear. Whatever the mind  ..." J. Krisnamurti

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    On Jun 9, 2017 Amy wrote:

     Made by God, I am an open book to Him.  (He is my Father.)  No matter the obstacles around me ... I am thankful there are NONE keeping Him from me.  I stand on His shoulders and become big enough to "take this moment in".  (Fearful by nature, I am less in Him!)


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    On Jun 7, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:
     Big enough to take it all in to me means, we have the ability and capacity to do this is we remain out of fear, in the present and trust/believe that we can handle it. When we are fully present in the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, it frees our mind, heart and soul to simply be. This past weekend I participated in a 3 day Compassionate Listening Training with 12 others. We all did our best to be fully present with and for each other. As we listened either in silence or in reflection and present with eye contact and not concerned with what to say in response and with no need to "fix" anything, a magic happened where every single one of us opened more deeply both in what we chose to say to each other and in how we were able to listen deeply. It was beautiful and heart/mind expanding. Realizations of the deep value of simply being present as a gift to one another. <3 Oooh, to commit to see clearly: gosh, I guess the power in se... [View Full Comment]

     Big enough to take it all in to me means, we have the ability and capacity to do this is we remain out of fear, in the present and trust/believe that we can handle it. When we are fully present in the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, it frees our mind, heart and soul to simply be. This past weekend I participated in a 3 day Compassionate Listening Training with 12 others. We all did our best to be fully present with and for each other. As we listened either in silence or in reflection and present with eye contact and not concerned with what to say in response and with no need to "fix" anything, a magic happened where every single one of us opened more deeply both in what we chose to say to each other and in how we were able to listen deeply. It was beautiful and heart/mind expanding. Realizations of the deep value of simply being present as a gift to one another. <3 Oooh, to commit to see clearly: gosh, I guess the power in seeing how that opens the heart.mind even further and it diminishes worry/fear as thoughts rather than swirling seem to center and settle. Thank you so much for this reading, a perfect reminder. <3

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    On Jun 6, 2017 adam wrote:

     ... we all will die, there is always war and violence somewhere, poverty will go on, corruption is in line with the increasing number of humans and religion is not a solution for any problem ... 


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    On Jun 3, 2017 david doane wrote:

     For me, to want to see clearly is not scary -- to do it, to actually open my eyes and see clearly is sometimes scary.  We are big enough to be open to what life offers, and if we think we're not it's time  we learn that we are.  Our preconceived attitudes, predictions, expectations, and prejudices hinder us from seeing what is.  Being open to what is and dealing with it is satisfying and growthful, and doing it reveals that and helps me to commit to doing it more.  Being open to what is and dealing with what is is to be dealing with the truth, and truth may at times be scary and difficult to accept, but it is the truth that sets us free. 


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    On Jun 2, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    From evolutionary point of view, the brain is wired to fight, flee or freeze for protecting ourselves. In this context, fear is an instinctive response for our survival and security. The fear mentioned in this writing is psychological created by human conditioning. The conditioned mind reacts to a perceived stimulus and makes us resist, oppose, run away, hide or deny. Such dysfunctional patterns of perceiving, thinking and behaving block our potential to see things as they are externally and internally. Sadly, these patterns become habitual and block our growth and development personally and interpersonally. " To want to see clearly is a true act of fearlessness." This statement says it all. When my eyes open to  see my own suffering as it is, the gate to working on my suffering opens. I need to see my blindness with an open mind and heart,  courageously and compassionately. Such mindfulness seeing is not an analytical intellectual process. Mindfulness is observing without j... [View Full Comment]

    From evolutionary point of view, the brain is wired to fight, flee or freeze for protecting ourselves. In this context, fear is an instinctive response for our survival and security. The fear mentioned in this writing is psychological created by human conditioning. The conditioned mind reacts to a perceived stimulus and makes us resist, oppose, run away, hide or deny. Such dysfunctional patterns of perceiving, thinking and behaving block our potential to see things as they are externally and internally. Sadly, these patterns become habitual and block our growth and development
    personally and interpersonally.

    " To want to see clearly is a true act of fearlessness." This statement says it all. When my eyes open to  see my own suffering as it is, the gate to working on my suffering opens. I need to see my blindness with an open mind and heart,  courageously and compassionately. Such mindfulness seeing is not an analytical intellectual process. Mindfulness is observing without judgment what I am experiencing in the here and now consciousness, in the present moment. The mind gets free from holding onto the past and being hijacked by the future, from regrets, anger, shame, humiliation and guilt or from fear, worry, apprehension and anxiety.  The present moment has no clouds or shadows blocking the light of knowing which removes the darkness.

    Mindfulness has been my way of working on myself. Mindfulness meditation has helped me to discover and meet my true self. It has opened the door of my life for receiving blessings coming from everywhere. I am very grateful for receiving such blessings.

    May we cultivate fearlessness and mindfulness to live a blissful and joyful life!

    Namaste!

    Jagdish P Dave











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