What is life asking of me? What is this situation asking of me?

I have found in my teaching that the single most exhilarating, thrilling, and motivating idea that people have ever really seriously contemplated is the idea of the power of choice — the idea that the best way to predict their future is to create it.

It is basically the idea of personal freedom, of learning to ask Viktor Frankl’s question: What is life asking of me? What is this situation asking of me? It’s more freedom to rather than freedom from. It’s definitely an inside-out rather than an outside-in approach. I have found that when people get caught up in this awareness, this kind of mindfulness, and if they genuinely ask such questions and consult their conscience, almost always the purposes and values they come up with are transcendent — that is, they deal with meaning that is larger than their own life, one that truly adds value and contributes to other people’s lives — the kinds of things that Viktor Frankl did in the death camps of Nazi Germany. They break cycles; they establish new cycles, new positive energies. They become what I like to call “transition figures” — people who break with past cultural mindless patterns of behavior and attitude.

The range of what we see and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice.
And because we fail to notice
That we fail to notice,
There is little we can do
To change Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

– R. D. Laing

– ‘Prisoners of Our Thoughts’ by Alex Pattakos Ph.D.

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