“And…”

The one little word that can change your life.

We’ve all met the magnanimous person who can, seemingly with no effort, wrap up a strong difference of opinion with warm understanding and complete acceptance. Personally, I’ve looked at these people, either thinking, “They’re phony!” or “They’re a coward!”. I’ve been convinced they were just “trying to be nice” despite what they were thinking or feeling inside or were simply conflict avoidant. As I came to find out, my opinion and musings reflected my internal state of being, not theirs.

A growth-oriented and emotionally intelligent individual has the ability (or  learned skillset) to allow for multiple things to be true at the same time and has respect for whatever the path was that led the other party to their conclusion. “Everyone’s beliefs, opinions, and biases are legitimate”. This generous spirit of magnanimity knows that, by supporting anyone with an opposing viewpoint, they uphold the more fundamental idea of personal agency, a critical component of a healthy individual and community. Furthermore, taking this stance brings an immediate sense of peace and well-being.

The expansive capacity of “and” is a result of deep, inner work. That works begins with small steps that add up to revolutionizing a life filled with friction, first with yourself and then with others.

 “And” is the word at the balancing point on the wide spectrum of beliefs, biases, and conditioned opinions. It is the magnet that brings opposites together and mitigates any possibility of separation. It is unifying. This principle applies to how you feel about yourself as well as others.

Let’s explore how this might play out in day-to-day scenarios. We’ll start by highlighting a very simple shift in perception. I love cats but he loves dogs! Now, let’s apply our simple shift to the same sentence. I love cats and he loves dogs!

You can immediately feel how the first sentence highlighted the difference through separation and judgement and how the second highlighted the difference with inclusion and acceptance. “But” carries with it an air of the other being illegitimate or opposing. “And” brings both parties cleanly  and wholly into the same peaceful, expansive place where all things are considered as equally legitimate. The difference hasn’t changed but YOU have!

In this next example, let’s explore how this might apply to our judgements about ourselves and result in personal, internal friction or pain. “I want to be the kind of person who is organized but I’m a procrastinator.” Immediately, you’ve shut down your creative pull and identified more with your block. If you say, “I want to be the kind of person who is organized and I’m a procrastinator”, you’ve created a subtle acknowledgement of your block without shutting down your creative pull. You’ve pulled your block out into the light without judgement, which puts you in direct control of your desired outcome.

We’ll dig into this concept more deeply in upcoming articles but I would love to see you put this simple principle to work in your life in the smallest of ways and watch the positive changes begin to take place.

Write us! We’d love to hear how this is working for you. If you have any questions along the way, please reach out!

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Jennifer Nordby
Jennifer Henshaw is an Intuitive Artist and Life Coach. She grew up in Northern British Columbia, the daughter of a fundamentalist pastor. Jennifer’s journey of finding her way out of fear-based religion into a healed life of truth and joy has filled her with a passion to bring her unique perspective to others. Focusing on a couple of unique frameworks, Jennifer will work with you to discover the shadows that are internally blocking you from your ability to enjoy a life filled with peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Jennifer Nordby
Jennifer Henshaw is an Intuitive Artist and Life Coach. She grew up in Northern British Columbia, the daughter of a fundamentalist pastor. Jennifer’s journey of finding her way out of fear-based religion into a healed life of truth and joy has filled her with a passion to bring her unique perspective to others. Focusing on a couple of unique frameworks, Jennifer will work with you to discover the shadows that are internally blocking you from your ability to enjoy a life filled with peace, joy, and fulfillment.