As we move through life, we pick up assumptions. Some of them serve us well: If a flying insect has yellow and black stripes, it could give a painful bite. Other assumptions limit the way we see the world. For example, if your parents told you that travel is a frivolous waste of time and money, you may think your friends are irresponsible when they take exotic vacations.
Most of us go through life picking up assumptions without even realizing it. We've been conditioned by our parents, teachers, bosses, friends, society and experiences to believe the world works in a particular way. Once those beliefs are there, they can be hard to un-believe.
If you want to "scrub off your assumptions" to see the world in a new way, try this: Uncouple a label you give someone from the assumptions you make about them. Even more powerful: Uncouple a label you give yourself from the assumptions you make about yourself.
"I was a C student; therefore I will never be a success in life," is a limiting story. What would happen if you uncoupled "C student" from "never being a success?" Try changing the story you tell yourself. "I was a C student. I just couldn't get excited about anything we were learning in school. Now that I've found something I'm passionate about, nothing's going to stop me."
Being able to identify the assumptions you make is the first step in seeing the world in a new way. When hidden associations are at play, simply seeing someone who looks different from you can lead to an instant judgement about that person. But when we can uncouple what we see (or hear) from an assumption, we can start to get curious. And curiosity can change the way we see any given situation or person (including ourselves).
As we move into the launch of UNITY, I invite you to consider how the assumptions you make about yourself and others limit the way you see the world. Try letting go of an assumption you have and see if curiosity replaces judgement. Examining our assumptions and considering new possibilities almost always broadens our view of ourselves and the world.
UNITY Launch is Thursday, June 2nd!
We are thrilled to launch UNITY at Del Ray Business Association's First Thursday this week. UNITY is an outdoor interactive public art project. The structure consists of 32 posts arranged in a large circle, each with identifiers such as, “I’m a parent; I speak English as a second language; I identify as LGBTQ,” etc. Participants will tie colorful yarn to posts that reflect their identities. Ultimately their yarn will intertwine with others’ to create a web of interconnectedness. We hope you will join us on June 2nd or anytime during our hours of operation through June 12th.
Schedule of Events on June 2
5:00 pm: We create positive energy in the UNITY field with a free yoga session led by Mind the Mat's Debora Jackson.
6:00 pm: We welcome non-profits, civic associations and the public to make the first UNITY ties.
8:15 pm: We close opening day with a UNITY meditation led by Gina Rollo White, Mindful Junkie.
The experience continues Friday - Sunday of this week and Thursday - Sunday next week. See unityproject.net for more details and to volunteer.
What assumptions do you make about yourself and others that limit the way you see the world?