The Pillars of Creation – Knowing, Doing, Being
How do you create limitless being… limitless abundance and limitless success ? Albert Einstein believed you could not solve a problem using same thought processes that created it. Society today would have us believe that success is a function of how good you are. Our lives are geared toward collecting the right skill set, yet how often do you hear people bemoaning a lost promotion, wondering how he got it with his inferior skill set. Companies seem to be filled with people who excel at what they do but never seem to rise up the corporate ladder.
So if is not only your skills that bring you success, what is it ? Could the difference between you and the corporate mover be who you are both being or to put it a more popular way, your attitudes ?
In 2004 I became the world’s deepest woman with a dive to 221 meters. I had created an impossible dream yet I could not transfer that success from diving to the rest of my life. Which is when I started to take a serious look at how I got my record. After all if I could do it once, I should be able to do it again..and again.
So, what did I learn becoming the deepest woman in the world ? That to shift limits you need to align all three parts of your being – your body, your mind and your soul. Or put another way, you need to ‘Know’ (mind), you need to ‘Do’ (body) and most importantly you need to ‘Be’ (soul)!
The first two are familiar to us all – getting and practicing new skills. Diving was a passion of mine so I focused on my skills and really getting to KNOW how to dive. I wanted to be a good diver so I practiced that knowledge. That combination of knowing and doing got me to the point where I knew I could break the record, but for the life of me I could not get deeper. Something was in my way.
Now you may be thinking that because I broke a world record I am somehow fundamentally different to you. The truth of the matter is that when I started my journey I was probably less suited to be a world record than many people I knew. I was confused, lost, miserable, defensive and paralysed by fear. Hardly attributes you would attribute to a world record holder. I did have two things on my side though, I knew how to dive and could do any dive thrown at me. Yet I was still stuck.
The turning point came on New Year’s Eve, 2000. I was looking back at yet another year of not going anywhere. I was tired and miserable and had had enough! I needed to either give up on my dream or do something different, so I decided then and there that 2001 would not be a repeat of the last 4 years. I made a commitment to do whatever it took to get one meter deeper, no matter how petrified I was. In one simple step, with one simple New Year’s resolution, I fundamentally changed my life. I started to learn the Art of Being!
Until then I did not even realise that I could choose who I wanted to be. I was envious of people who seemed to be born with the ability to ‘be’ successful and resigned myself to the fact that I was not borne that way, so I could never be that.
I am what I am and that is unchanging and limited , or so I thought. The idea that I could choose to behave differently and so experience different results was one I came to in desperation. I started to act as if I was already a world record holder so I could go out and do the dive that would actually get me the record. In essence what I was doing was living two habits of being, Courage and Trust. . I chose to trust the whisper that was telling me I could do this and ignore the torrent of voices who declared I could not. I chose to practice courage by doing what I wanted rather than giving in to fear. I did not have to get it 100% right, I just had to practice and not give up.
Hardly aware of who I was being, I was practicing choosing who I wanted to be and the results blew my mind. In the space of 4 months I had done the dive I had been avoiding and with that found a corporate sponsor and had a world record attempt planned for November.
These days when people talk to me about how stuck they are I ask them if they know who they want to be ? Do you ? Are you even aware of who you are being ? I am not talking about labels or job descriptions here, but rather core habits, call them behaviors or even reactions. An example perhaps ? When something goes wrong who are you ? Are you judgmental ? Do you punish ? Are you kind ? Do you accept that mistakes happen and focus on how to fix it ?
Which set of reactions is going to get you the results you want ? Now, what if you could choose your reactions ? What would open up for you if you could create new habits of being ?
Keep it simple!
Think about a situation that keeps coming up for you. Now think about who you would like to be in that moment. If you were an actor what words would you be using, what emotions, what thoughts ? Ignore the thoughts that tell you that is not possible for you to be that or that it is too hard. Get it clear in your head, so clear you can write down step for step who you are being. Now summarise that into one or two key words. Some of my favourites are “Acceptance”, “Patience”, “Forgiving, “Non Judgemental”, “Tolerance”, “Kind”, “Calm” and “Gracious” . They replace habits like “Fear”, “Anger”, “Defensive”, Intolerant, “Punishing”, “Controlling”, “Insecure”
My key words are Acceptance and Kindness. Every day I practice treating myself with kindness. I give myself permission to get it wrong. I give myself permission to exist. Every day I practice accepting where I am, who I am. Nothing is wrong. Every day I practice giving love and kindness to everyone I meet.
Some days I do better than others and that is OK because every day I am practicing who I want to be. I no longer measure success only on attaining material things, so every day I am successful because I gave myself permission to BE!
What if it really were that simple ? What if by focusing on all three parts of your being, your mind, your body and your soul you can create a life you want to live ? Who do you want to be ?