A Few Words on the Concept of ‘Allowing.’

A couple years ago, my husband came across me reading Michael Newton’s book, Destiny of Souls and asked me incredulously, “Do you really believe that stuff?” I paused, a little taken aback, since I hadn’t even thought about it. I was reading the book, it was interesting, but did I believe it? In the moment I couldn’t really answer him, but I also couldn’t explain why I couldn’t answer him.

The answer wasn’t ‘yes, I believe it,’ but it wasn’t ‘no’ either. I grappled with how to explain. The moment passed awkwardly, but this question bounced around in the back of my head for quite some months before eventually colliding with another concept that had been germinating over a number of years; the concept of allowing.

Periodically there are concepts that bounce around in the ‘connection space.’ What does that mean? 🙂  Well, basically, a concept will come and it will seem like our ‘own’ (in this case, allowing seemed like ‘my own.’), but then the concept will start to pop up everywhere. I started hearing the word “allow” in the language of various figures in the spiritual space and realized it was one of those concepts that was coming into general consciousness for all of us together.

Allow Me

When the idea of allowing originally occurred to me, personally, however, it first manifested in noticing that we can sometimes fall into patterns of behavior with each other. I experience this with my birth family. In general, my attitude and behavior towards others is fairly consistent between work, home, and social engagements. But I noticed that, when I visit the family I grew up in, especially when we were all together, I unconsciously reverted to outmoded attitudes and behaviors.

I found myself getting riled up about things that would never faze me at work and, somehow, we’d all end up having the same old exchanges; if not the same-in-subject then the same-in-type. Although we had all grown and changed in the years since we lived under the same roof, we treated each other the same.

We often want people to change, and in some cases maybe they do, but our actions towards them, the limiting beliefs we have already set towards them, do not always allow space for them to behave differently with us than they always have.

The co-worker that we think never has anything useful to say walks down the aisle and already our defenses are up – What does he want? Can’t he see I’m doing something important? Why does he always waste my time with inconsequential things? What we do not see is how our own feelings impact the way we communicate with them.

The look on our face, the impatience in our tone, the other person may pick up these subtle emotional (or energetic) nuances and it may consequently affect their behavior towards us. Our co-worker may be thinking, she never listens to me! She doesn’t even try to understand what I’m saying. I can tell just by looking at her face that she wishes she were somewhere else. Why do I even bother?

Thus we may find ourselves going round in circles, each silently blaming the other for the way the exchange is going.   We think they never change and they think we never do. If we treated every exchange as the opportunity for something new to happen, one day it actually might.

Sit Back and Relax

Allowing is a very passive activity. We tend to think more highly of taking “ACTION” than being passive, but sometimes we can miss important things by being too active in our thinking. In our rush to action, we may be too quick to either accept something or reject it. In contrast, to allow is to put an idea in a suspended space where it can still be of use without having to commit to it.

One good symbolic aid to the concept of ‘allowing’ is to think of a house. If you invite a guest into your home then they can come in, but they can only stay as long as you allow and then they are required to leave. Having a guest over does not mean they are going to live with you forever.

We can act like houses when it comes to information. If it isn’t something we understand or if it doesn’t fit into our belief system, we may not even allow it to visit – or bump around in our conscious or unconscious mind (although the unconscious mind will often make its own decisions about these things).

If we do not allow things to come into our space, then we cannot use them to make connections later, we cannot use them to create new things or build a new understanding. A wonderful example of this shows up in Lewis Hyde’s book, Trickster Makes This World related to discovery of Pluto’s moon.

“In 1978, at the US Naval Observatory, James Christy was working on describing Pluto’s orbit. One of his photographs showed an elongated image of the planet; he was about to discard it when he came upon another photo in the archives labeled: ‘Pluto image. Elongated. Plate no good. Reject.” Christy made a collection of such plates and in this way discovered that the elongation was not an accident. Pluto had a moon.” (page 99)

The previous scientists who discovered the orbit irregularities that pointed to Pluto’s moon simply did not allow themselves to consider the discrepancies they found to be meaningful. They discarded something that would have led them to a new discovery simply because they could not allow for their own findings to be true in the face of what they had previously been taught.

Impossible or I’m possible?

It was this tension that I was struggling with when my husband asked me if I believed the reports of Michael Newton’s subjects. The tension between defaulting to what is ‘commonly accepted to be true’ and opening myself up to something wildly different and new-to-me.[1]

I believed that Newton’s subjects were reporting honestly – at least, I didn’t think anyone was trying to ‘pull the wool’ over the readers’ eyes. Did I believe they were reporting actual experiences of life between lives? I wouldn’t say that I believe it, but I could allow for it to be true.

I could allow the possibility and thus I could take all those reports in and let them bump around in my consciousness and connect up with other ideas to build new and interesting pictures and since my reading of those books that has certainly happened. Ideas and concepts from those books have sparked several of my best blog posts.

Creativity and innovation flow from the space of allowing. The more ‘locked down’ our concept of reality is, the less we can dream a different world into being. About ‘80%’ of what I write about is in this “allowing” space for me. The things I truly believe are minimal, but there are all these ideas floating around that I allow for and can therefore write seriously about.

I wasn’t always this ‘open-minded,’ however. A decade ago I found myself on the other side of the coin. 🙂 At the time, the director of our small credit department at a mid-size company said, “Wouldn’t it be great if, when we got a phone call from an incoming customer if the computer would automatically bring up the customer’s account so all that information was there when we needed it?”

Voice over IP was only coming on to the scene at the time, certainly I wasn’t familiar with it, and I thought, “This crazy old guy – he has no idea that telephones and computers operate so differently that that would never be possible.” And yet, that technology was probably possible even then and it’s certainly here, now.

When I started to see examples of what he was talking about come into use, I realized that it had been me who was dreaming to small. I had rejected the idea outright, instead of allowing it to come into my consciousness and build. In this particular case it’s doubtful that anything tangible would have happened differently if I had acted differently, but it represented a pattern of behavior I would not have recognized in myself otherwise.

The next time you hear a new idea that sounds outrageous and impossible, see if you can avoid rejecting it outright. Try putting it in a suspended place where it’s perfectly okay for it to remain ‘possible’ until there is definitive evidence proving that it is not. You don’t have to believe it, but avoid rejecting it outright. (This holds true even for ideas we don’t like! 🙂 ) Over time you will find that these ideas will take on a life of their own and lead you to more interesting ideas and experiences!

[1] I mention allowing as one of those concepts that comes through connection and starts to inform general consciousness. “Tension” – as in balancing the ‘tension’ between holding two opposing ideas to be true or possible – seems to me to be the next germinating idea that is going to become relevant within the next 5-10 years…

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