Good morning everyone. I’m not sure about yours, but my morning intention was strong. That’s mostly because I’m writing this the night before, and so I’m currently setting an intention that I’ll recycle in the morning. (Edit: and it worked!)
Before reading further, for the purposes of this exercise I am recommending that you watch the first minute and a half of this video, even if you’re not a blues music fan (you can even turn off the sound). Just watch the guitar player play.
That is Stevie Ray Vaughn, and he is considered one of the greatest guitar players to have ever lived. So what does he know about playing the guitar that less skilled people don’t know?
The next question is, how are we like him regarding the things we know –even if those things are less pleasing to others? What unique reality do we move around in? What unique vision has our awareness given us?
We could both be parents, or we might do the same job, or play the same sport. But despite that, our lives and work, and our degree of awareness at any given moment, all lead us each to have unique realizations about the world.
Maybe you started off thinking a ‘good employee’ was the one that just did the list of duties fastest? But then you realized that the boss wanted the highest money-making tasks to go first, even if that risked your quality on the other tasks.
Later you realized that doing all of those things meant nothing if you offended the boss’s assistant, who was also the boss’s spiteful secret lover. So today, as an experienced manager, you can watch a new employee walk into trouble that you know how to avoid. That’s not minor. That’s a form of wisdom that protects our much-needed salary.
Maybe we discovered all sorts of wisdom raising the first child that we were able to use with the second. But what are those things? Actually break down the differences between you now, and you as a brand new parent.
Also, remember, these meditations are designed to benefit us. So we cheat ourselves with broad assessments like, ‘I was more relaxed with the second kid.‘ The important part is, why and how were we more relaxed? Quantify the wisdom.
We have to know what they are before we can be grateful for the beneficial things we know that others do not. Which explains the video above. Because if you play guitar a lot, your wisdom likely led you to enjoy a very different reality than a non guitar player could.
In short, we’re all seeing what we think ‘guitar playing’ is. But now go back and look at the same first 1:30 of the same video and notice how many times SRV quickly adjusts either his volume or tone knobs, or the pickup switch on his guitar.
In that first minute and a half I’m pretty sure he makes between 20 and 22 adjustments while playing. That’s an average of one every four seconds. Yet people who don’t play guitar rarely see even one of them.
When others look at your reality, they do the same thing to you. They leave most of what you can do out. The problem is, you generally do too. Which is why this meditation exists.
If we put a new person in your life, and they had learned all you had learned, but they had none of the wisdom gleaned from the unique way you watch life, then they would far less successful at being you. In short, however bad you think you are, you’re better at being you than anyone else could hope to be.
We are not other people. They learned to become them, with all of their up and downsides. And we learned to be us, with ours. All ways of being share both advantages and disadvantages. Our job is not to find the life that has no struggles, it’s to actually recognize, enjoy and value the unique growth we experience by facing ours.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.