Michelangelo is quoted to have said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue, and one need only chisel away at the excess material to reveal the work of art within. He never knew what he was going to sculpt before he began, as he believed whatever it was already existed and just needed to be set free. In other words, we are already whole and complete – and have that beautiful statue, soul, being, energy – inside each of us, ready to come out and play.
The idea here is that we donâ€™t have to try to create anything, be anything, or fix anything.
One of the books on my yoga teacher training pre-work reading list,Â The Art of Possibility, discusses this idea and explains that taking it on eliminates the need to compare and measure up to. Instead, it focuses on how to chip away at the stone to reveal each person’s own mastery, self-expression, and true brilliance.
They call this process: â€œgiving an A”. It is a way of approaching people that has the potential to transform both you and them. It is a shift in mindset that allows you to speak freely about your thoughts and feelings, while at the same time support others to be all they dream of being. â€œThe practice of giving an A transports your relationships from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility.â€
The authors were professors at an esteemed music conservatory, and felt that so many of the students were all too consumed by the measurement of their performance they were less willing to take risks and really experience the music. And so, they simply decided to give every student an A at the beginning of the semester. The only condition was that each had to write a letter to the teacher dated a year later, as if they had already completed the course, explaining why they had received this grade and what had happened to them as a result.
Some of these letters were amazing. I’ll let you read the book if you’re interested, but consider how this notion may be applied to all areas of life. Instead of being upset with the server for getting your order wrong, give him or her an ‘A’. Give your partner an A, even if they leave the dishes out. And that driver ahead of you in the fast lane, whom you think perhaps could move over one lane, give them an A, too.
Come from a place of trusting that each person is doing the best that they can. And trust that you, too, are doing the best thatÂ youÂ can. Instead of placing judgment on where you are in your experience versus where you think you â€˜shouldâ€™ be, or looking at what you may or may not be feeling as compared to what you think you â€˜shouldâ€™ be feeling, consider that you have already earned an â€˜Aâ€™ on your experience. Only you have the mastery within to be, do, or feel whatever is right for you.
It is not about fulfilling an expectation, but rather living into a possibility.
So give yourself an â€˜Aâ€™ right now in whatever you are doing, whatever you are dealing with. And give those around you A’s, too. Why not, right?!? Who knows how your relationship with yourself, as well as with those in your life, may transform into a whole new way of being.
Have a FAB week, everyone!