Thursday, March 11, 2010

Does Changing Your Mind Matter?

There is a great Zen story about a man who goes to a Zen Master and tells him, "I have two animals within me that are vying for my attention. One is an angry, vicious tiger who is unsettled and mean spirited; the other animal is a kind lamb who is loving and would harm no person or thing. Which one will win?" The wise Zen Master replied, "The one you feed."

The most amazing thing about our voice is that we get to choose which voice we feed. I have learned that the most important questions to ask myself is "should I change my mind about this?" I am not a fan of wishy-washy thinking; nor do I feel the chameleon approach is a wise approach. To be true to ourselves, to be empowered by our voice, we must be grounded in our beliefs. However, I have discovered there is a tremendous difference between the beliefs I have that are fundamental to my integrity and the beliefs I have that have been formed from my life experience. One of them often takes the form of an angry tiger; the other voice is more of the lamb variety.

Changing your mind matters if it makes a difference to the world around you. I have come to trust the axiom that I get what I believe. If I believe men are unreasonable, my husband becomes suddenly unreasonable...or at least seemingly so in my eyes. If I believe that something will turn out badly or wrong, often times it does, at least by my perspective. Some of my greatest gifts have come when I have changed my mind. It changes the roaring voice in my head that labels an experience "bad" and the whisper that comes up is one that guides me to compassion, wisdom, and kindness. Not a wishy-washing kindness but a strength that comes from my soul. So go ahead, change your mind, even if it is only concerning the ice cream you order!!

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