Pointing to the moon Print
News - Final Word
Saturday, 18 June 2016 16:19
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“Don’t think; feel. It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory.”

Actually Bruce Lee said that! No, girlfriend, I’m not a closet fan. It’s an old Zen saying. Dajian Hui-Neng, a Zen monastic, put it like this: “Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger.”

In modern parlance, Christy Whitman, author of ‘The Art of Having It All’, describes the think-versus-feel matter as follows: “The act of deliberately attracting a desired experience or circumstance is not an intellectual process that unfolds according to a carefully constructed plan. It is an energetic process that responds to an emotion”.

She says it’s not holding the image of the things we want in our minds that causes an outcome. It is living in the feeling of them. It is only when we feel grateful for, excited by and worthy of whatever it is we want, that we get it.

That is why you have to give more attention to the way you will feel when you reach your goal. Say you want a new home, a circle of close friends or to lose weight, first ask yourself why you want it. Christy says that this will always lead you to the feeling that underlies your desire. Always ask: “How will I feel once I’ve achieved this?”

Say the feeling that underlies your desire is to feel loved, sexy, safe or free, then identify three things you can do right now to nurture that feeling within you. Nurturing the feeling that you have already achieved what you wanted to is a great step on the way to making it become a reality faster.

Christy says that everything in your life, whether you’re happy with it or not, is there in response to the strength of your desire, the nature of your expectations, and the beliefs you hold about what is and is not possible. This creates an internal set-point, your Allowing Meter, which influences how much of what you are asking for you are actually in a position to receive.

Although you may not be consciously aware of it, you have distinct set points that determine how much freedom, vitality, abundance, happiness, pleasure and ease you are comfortable allowing into your life.

In fact, Christy says that you have a different set point for each area in your life – your relationships, finances, career or vitality. Many of us, women especially, have an unconscious belief that we cannot have it all. We are not surprised when our relationships suffer when we have a successful career because some part of us believes that we cannot have both; that we have to choose.

Let’s take finances as an example – say you set yourself a goal of increasing your income to a certain target. Things start going well and you soon reach your target, but find it impossible to uphold. The moment you reach a new income level, you start feeling uncomfortable, scared of losing it or scared of maintaining it at the cost of your close relationships. Your Allowing Meter is not set to that level.

So, your income starts falling until it reaches a level you’re comfortable with. And because you’re comfortable, because it falls within the settings of your Allowing Meter, you can start performing again with ease and your income will start increasing.

This seesaw can continue your entire life if you don’t realise that you have to reset your Allowing Meter. How to do this? Christy says you have to allow yourself to identify both the material changes you want to make (“I want to make more money”) as well as the immaterial (“I want to feel free”).

To discover the inner feelings driving your desire for external things, you need to ask: Why do I want it?

Achieving a material outcome should not be your primary intention. In Martha Beck-speak it is sort of like inheriting a magic wand and using it only to stir soup.

So, don’t think. Feel. Gaze beyond the finger. We’re going for the moon here, girlfriend.