I’ve been reading Eva Pierrakos’ The Pathwork of Self-Transformation off and on for about a month; hopefully I’ll finish it in the next week.
Today, reading about her thoughts on potential and negative motivations. Summary as I understand it: the potential for everything, all things, already exists. It is up to us to realize or manifest the potential. But we can only realize or manifest that which we can conceive of.
(Side note: this is why Fulfillment coaching is so important; it provides the client with the tools to conceive of new and different possibilities, and once those possibilities are conceived of, only then can the client move in that direction).
She points out that rather than acting in a way that brings us toward realizing spectacular potentials, we act in a limiting way because we are driven by negative motivations: the negative potentials which we can conceive of.
For example, I tell LomL that I’m nervous to ask the landlord to let me out of my lease. LomL walks me through what am I afraid of, what negative outcome am I imagining?
It’s true; I stop to think of it and realize I’m nervous because I am imagining the negative potentials that I can conceive of: the landlord will say no, the landlord will be angry, the landlord will give me a bad reference next time I try to lease an apartment, my credit rating gets hurt, etc.
LomL points out the positive potentials that–up until this point–have been out of my conception of what’s possible. The landlord could say yes. The landlord could have been hoping to have someone leave the lease early because he has another tenant lined up. The landlord might not care. The landlord won’t think this is a big deal. The landlord will cut me some slack because he didn’t have to find me when the apartment first became available (I took it over from a friend) and because I’ve always paid my rent promptly.
Brings me to a curious question–what are the negative motivations under which I am habitually operating?
Pierrakos, pg. 132-133:
“… you will find primarily that you conceive of negative possibilities which you naturally fear, wish to avoid, and defend yourself against… the avoidance of a feared possibility implies negative motivations.”
What are my negative motivations, and what possibilities can I not conceive of?
- LomL won’t love me anymore.
- I won’t be able to make enough money.
- People won’t like me / people will be angry at me / people will yell at me.
- I won’t ever be enough: not spiritual enough or wise enough or a good enough coach or a good enough therapist or loving enough or mindful enough.
- My life will descend into chaos.
- My father will be displeased with how I maintain my house / do my dishes / raise my children.
Possibilities that I haven’t conceived of (what if these became my positive motivations?):
- LomL will love me more and more and more.
- I could be wealthy. I will always have enough.
- The people who matter most to me, the people who will teach me and who I will learn from, will cherish me. People take delight in me.
- I already am enough.
- Chaos could be fun. Chaos could be the most creative energy I have ever encountered. Chaos as necessary and vital.
- I will be pleased with how I maintain my house / do my dishes / raise my children. My children will be pleased. My partner will be pleased.