What happens when you drop all thoughts on having an agenda, and just do this:
* Show up
* Respond to what shows up
These are two points that Michael Neill talk about, and I’ve only recently started to experiment with it. For real. And I can tell you, what I’ve experienced so far makes me want to try this even more, on more occasions. For one thing, coming to a meeting with another human being, without an agenda, without any thoughts on wanting this person as a coaching client, on me knowing what would be the best thing for this person in this instance, on wanting to help or fix this person, means that I am more present to the situation at hand. It means I am not already dead set on how to go about it, what will be the outcome, having fixed goals for what I want to happen, etc. And that really makes it easier to experience touching the silence. It makes the meeting much more real, somehow.
Now. It’s actually not so easy, I’ve discovered. Or, at least, it’s not something I am used to. Quite the opposite. I’m used to being prepared, knowing what to say, what to show, and often times, having a clear agenda as to the desired outcome. And somehow, when I am there, with a clear agenda, the magic is missing. Something’s missing. It falls short, not really living up to its potential. Not fully becoming all in the moment that it could be.
Two other things I’ve noticed about this:
First, I believe I would have a much harder time showing up without an agenda, if it was something I was not certain about, or knowledgeable about, perhaps is more the word for it. That is, if you asked me to go deliver a speech about the state of EUs financial policies and structures, I’d freak out. There is not way I would be able to do that in this manner of showing up. Because I have no clue whatsoever about the financial policies of the European Union. Go find someone else, who knows this stuff, please. But ask me to come talk about my dream of changing the school systems on a global scale by 2020, and I can just show up, and respond to what shows up. Without a doubt. I might not do it that way, but it’s an area where the possibility of it happening is much greater that the first example.
Second, this is not the way society is set up, somehow. When did you last show up, without an agenda? If you go to the doctor, you want the doctor to diagnose you. The doctor meets a patient, with the same agenda, to help the patient. Teachers meet their students with very clear agendas, on What learning should take place, and often times, How. You go to the bank, wanting a loan. Not just to see what shows up. You make a business appointment, wanting to sell your brilliant idea, or to get a hand shake on a joint venture. I could think of thousands of these instances, where showing up with an agenda, is what is – mostly – done.
And yet, the magic happens, for me, when I drop it. When I drop the agenda, drop what I WANT to happen (sometimes oh so desperately!), just show up, and respond to what shows up.
Does this make sense to you?