The Art of Possibility

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it” Johann von Goethe

I have been inspired by this quote for years. It suggests excitement, courage and the thrill of the unknown. Above all, it has been about truth. I cannot think of a single instance where timidity served me well. It might have kept me “safe”, but it did not help me explore new horizons or meet challenges. When I have let fear determine my actions I never felt fully alive. I wasn’t making waves, in fact I was barely making ripples.

When you think of the word possibility what happens to your spirits and level of excitement? Does a light suddenly appear in a previously dark tunnel? Do new ideas start to flood your mind? Do obstacles diminish in their ability to stop you initiating projects. Possibility is such a wonderful game changer. Choice is immediately back on the table.

In their excellent and inspiring book “The “Art of Possibility” Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander outline twelve practices for embracing and succeeding in the world of possibility.

“…..the practices presented in this book are not about making incremental changes that lead to new ways of doing things based on old beliefs, and they are not about self-improvement. They are geared instead toward causing a total shift of posture, perceptions, beliefs, and thought processes. They are about transforming your entire world.”

“In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.”

What is the context for the world that you have set for yourself? Where have you set boundaries that reduce your ability to embrace change and create a framework for living that truly resonates with you? Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the life force”. In our daily lives we often breathe with shallow breaths that barely expand our chests-it is a tight , restricted breathing. No athlete could be successful in their endeavors with this kind of breathing. In yoga, students are taught deep abdominal breathing as a way of opening, expanding and relaxing the body and mind. Embracing possibility is like taking a deep yogic breath- a door that leads to opportunity and  growth! As the incomparable Dr. Seuss once said  “Oh the Places You’ll Go“!

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