Do you remember what it was like to be a young child when everything was new? Being awestruck by all that you saw, heard and felt? Did you pick things up and examine them closely, put them in your mouth? Play—no holds barred? Sing at the top of your lungs just to hear what your voice sounded like?
As the years unfold, most people become more and more comfortable with certainty—and forget to have the fresh perspective of a child. In fact, the older we are, the more afraid we are likely to be of uncertainty and even become stuck when something unforeseen happens. Paralysis occurs when we are fans of control.
But when spiritual evolution sends a calling card, if we acknowledge the invitation and accept, what we’re asking of ourselves is to let go. At that point, we find ourselves at a threshold, an urging at our back to move through it. Perhaps little may be seen in that beyond place, maybe nothing. Yet embracing the unknown is how we learn and grow.
Metaprograms and Change
From NLP, metaprograms define how we individually sort information and guide our thought process. Metaprograms predict our behaviors. Note that metaprograms often differ depending on context—relationship, work, etc.—and are a complex mix but easily determined through language patterns. All metaprograms are useful in some context and can be shifted if the orientation is causing an issue.
I’m going to zero in on a couple of metaprograms that I find have a lot to do with how we deal with change—and good to know if we’re contemplating transition. Below is a very brief summary that discusses the outer limits of a range. Most people have some mixture of both.
Toward/Away from: People with a “toward” orientation have their eyes locked on a goal—and go for it. They have blinders on and anticipate the pleasure of having what they want. Those with an “away from” orientation are focused on what they don’t want and avoiding pain. When asked what they want…they often have no idea.
Options/Procedures: People with an “options” mind set are excited by alternatives and possibilities. They love to explore and may do so endlessly. Those with a “procedures” orientation tend to think in black and white terms and love doing things step-by-step to completion. If the procedure is interrupted, they usually grind to a halt.
The Trapeze of Spiritual Travel
It’s natural for all of us to settle into a lifestyle over time and incur aspects of life that become familiar, whether they truly serve us or not. When we choose to “Enter the Forest” beyond the threshold, it involves uncertainty—stepping outside the environment that we’re used to—where we know what to expect, at least most of the time, of ourselves and others. It’s predictable. Those who will have the most emotional difficulty when faced with upheaval will be folks with paired, outer limit “away from” and “procedures” metaprograms. On the other side, those with paired, radical “toward” and “options” metaprograms may love the journey but have a challenge coming to a place of right fit and new-found foundation.
Danaan Parry’s parable “The Trapeze” really speaks to the balance between control and letting go in order to catch the next swing of the trapeze.
“The Trapeze” video on You Tube.
There’s also the need to invoke early childhood qualities we may have forgotten: curiosity, appreciation, courage and finally, discernment to determine what truly tastes and feels good. That way we discover what further nurtures us.
The process can be a truly mystical one if we allow it. We will be delivered to the other side, indeed, transformed on the way. And in the midst of letting go we can play with uncertainty—as an ally. We can trust in an age-old process, one learned well by high wire artists and children.
This is a form of spiritual travel.
Drawn from Navigating Your Lifepath, the six-month mentoring program.