I like the term “Beginner’s Mind.” I’m not sure when I first heard that phrase, but it’s been a very helpful concept, professionally and personally.
When I just googled it, I found Wikipedia’s entry on Shoshin, which includes this:
Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind“. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
“Beginner’s mind embodies the highest emotional qualities such as enthusiasm, creativity, zeal, and optimism … With beginner’s mind, there is boundlessness, limitlessness, an infinite wealth.”
Man, I don’t know if I need to write anything more today. Just reading that Wikipedia definition helps me feel ready to face the day.
I’ll just riff briefly, before I get ready to leave for the day.
I love the thought, “I can learn from everything.” I find that a really helpful phrase. That reminds me of my personal “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass” antidote for when I am feeling hopeless and powerless. That helpful phrase is, “I will come out the other side of this, with some gifts I can use.” (By the way, I STILL forget to tell myself that when I’m very down.) (I’m working on it!)
Here’s one recent example of a gift I got from Beginner’s Mind, when I was in the role of “Expert” (therapist):
I’m not wild about that word “antidote,” which I’ve been using for strategies for challenging cognitive distortions (unhelpful thoughts). Somebody in a group, yesterday, used the word “remedy” instead.
I like that better.
I hope you find this post helpful, dear reader, and even a personal remedy.