Checking out the power of “maybe”

I’ve had some really great conversations recently and I was wondering what made them great. What happened during those conversations? Could I consciously set out to have a great conversation? How would that work? Does it mean that I can have uplifting conversations when I choose? What an exciting possibility! As I ask myself these questions a flood of answers come up in my mind. Let me see if I can tease out some of these ideas.

It all started with my trying to understand what “Being open” means. I don’t find it so obvious or so easy to do because I often think I’m being open but after the fact, on reflection I realize I wasn’t really open. Now I’m making a concerted effort. I have a simple plan of action. I choose a particular situation. I put all my energies in being as centred as possible before going into the situation. I am particularly aware of my vital energy level because if it is low, I run the risk of becoming derailed if anything goes awry in the conversation.

While I am in the situation I keenly observe myself to see how my intention of being open plays out. Now here is the interesting part. I’m now becoming aware of certain patterns of thinking that hijack my intention. When I circumvent that conditioning then I experience a more open space.

Today I will only talk about one pattern. I’ve become aware that I start to go into contraction when I allow thoughts of “should, must, need” to take hold. It doesn’t seem to matter whether these thoughts apply to me or to other people, the effect is the same. So far what is working for me is to substitute or insert the word “maybe” in those thoughts.

What a great word “maybe ” is, because I find it starts to open the door for more. I notice that I’m less apt to head to unpalatable conclusions. It keeps me in the “not knowing” and there lies the spirit of adventure, of newness, of fun. So for the next little while I’m checking out the power of “maybe”.  I feel carried in a spirit of anticipation.

Have you ever thought about what makes a great conversation? How do you feel about the practice of being open? How do you know when you are open? And how do you know when you are not open?


4 Responses to Checking out the power of “maybe”

  1. Victoria Aarti says:

    Namaskar Madhavi and Marlene

    In thinking about great conversations and your question about consciously setting out to have a great conversation, “expectation” came to mind. But then this relates to your point about “being open” and what that really means. I am thinking about great conversations I have had and some ingredients that come to mind include “being open,” which for me includes being present, being curious and interested in the other and the space, being aware of what arises in me, and being able to hold off of jumping to conclusions or prematurely thinking of a response whilst the other is still expressing. All this is much easier as you say Madhavi, when my vitality is good and I am not under pressure. When under pressure, the contraction is very much in evidence, and I am very identified with how I feel it is going to play out, jumping to conclusions based on past experiences with the person/situation and being far from open. I had an experience recently when it started out like that but whilst I was in the contraction, I could see that the reality was not as I believed it would be; I then could see that I could switch to being more open, as the outcome was going to be what was most appropriate, regardless of whether or not it was the way and means I felt it “should” be. I then could sit back and watch or observe even, whilst appreciating what was rather than my presumptions. I could get more perspective from a larger space whilst trying to be present. The sticking factor was some judgement that I had not been open to start with and the guilt that came with that. But it is all a work in progress! I like the idea of “maybe” as this could perhaps help with the jumping to conclusions and thinking that “I know” how it is or going to be.

    Love and thanks

    • Chan Madhavi says:

      Aarti for me having expectations has a feeling of limitation and narrowness while having intentions opens up the space ….

  2. Marlene says:

    I like this idea of using “maybe” as it seems to me it keeps the door open to experience more. I also like the idea of using “possibly” for the same reason.

    How do I know when I am not open? When I judge, label or conclude. When I think I already know, or that I have heard it or experienced it before.

    How do I know when I am more open? When I consider that there may be another way of looking. When I consider that something may have changed in what appears familiar or feels familiar, be it a person or a situation. When I have the belief that there is always more to know and experience. When I have a sense of curiosity.

    Thanks for sharing the reminder for us to be aware of our vital energy, Madhavi, so that we don’t get derailed.

    • Chan Madhavi says:

      Hi Marlene

      Thanks for sharing your marvelous insights on when we we’re open and when we’re not. This one about being open really resonated with me “When I consider that something may have changed in what appears familiar or feels familiar, be it a person or a situation.”

      Hope you enjoy the continuing exploration of what it means to be open.


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