Thursday, March 26, 2009

A flip of the coin.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
This morning, I had to be on-air with a radio station at a home of a family who were entered to win a contest. If they guessed the coin toss right, they won $3,000. If they lost, we cleared all the food out of their kitchen cupboards and donated it to the shelter where I work.

The woman guessed tails. The announcer flipped the coin and heads appeared on the toss.

The little five year old daughter stood in the kitchen and cried, "Are they going to take my Froot Loops?"

I reassured her, "No. We don't want anything that's open."

The morning started with a problem -- how to honour the spirit of the contest, yet not leave this family with the challenge of re-stocking their cupboards.
In the end, it was a win/win for everyone. While the family didn't win $3,000 they did receive a substantial amount of gift certificates to a grocery store, as did the shelter. We judiciously culled dry goods from her cupboards and added a few items to the hamper she'd already put together as a donation. She ended up with a clean fridge and freezer and re-organized kitchen cupboards -- not bad for a situation where she could have ended up with empty shelves and pockets.

Last night, I had to meet with our musicians group here at the shelter to talk about some of the personality conflicts that are causing stress. Personality, ego, hurt feelings, conflict have interrupted the harmony of what can be when the focus is on 'what' we're doing versus, 'how' we're doing it.

As we went around the table with each musician telling each of the other five individuals at the table, "What I appreciate about you.." I was struck by the power of intention to create more of what we want in our lives when we quit focussing on how little we have in our lives.

For the musicians, their focus has been on all that is wrong amongst them. By shifting the question to "What's working", "What's right", or "What I appreciate", the perceived problems diminished beneath the harmony created in voices rising up to talk about possibilities and change and gratitude.

Problems are opportunities to move forward, to get going, to get up and step out of where I'm at. To look for ideas beyond my limited beliefs of what's wrong as I work on what can I do to create space for all that is right, all that can be.

Last night, six individuals let go of a problem and grasped the notion of creating possibility.

This morning, a family lost a coin flip and we flipped the loss into a win for everyone.

If you've got a problem you're facing, don't use the same thinking that drove you into the corner with the idea it will get you out of where you're at.

Open your mind, open your heart and drive your thinking about the problem to the other side of possibility. Let your dreams open you up to doing it different, being different. Let gratitude expand in your heart so that you can appreciate the problem as the opportunity to create new thoughts, new ideas, new happenings in your life.

The question is: Are you closing down possibility with limited beliefs about what is possible in your life? Or, are you opening up to new opportunity by limiting your belief in what you can't do and opening up to all you can achieve when you turn a problem on it's head and look at it from the flip side?


i am storm. said...

thank you for always inspiring me to try and make myself a better, happier person.

i appreciate you.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Hi Storm,

I appreciate you too!

Thank you :)