Reality Is Negotiable

By Dr Pauline Arneberg

Reality is Negotiable: Lemons Make Lemonade


I walked into the empty room. “Strange,” I thought, “the books are not here, the flip charts are not here. Well, it’s early.” After half an hour, I suspected something was wrong. And it was. I’d driven four hours to do a training session and no one was coming. TROUBLE.

I could feed my irritation and many parts of me wanted to do this and lash out: . “How could something so stupid happen here?” I heard myself think. It occurred to me that maybe I could make lemonade out of this lemon. As the day wore on, and I realized I had a week of unanticipated time, an idea began to germinate. The client was very apologetic; I would be paid; but I wanted to use this as a way of taking thinking about change further, I wanted it to go deeper into the organization. I offered to use the time to do some coaching and targeted interventions. The work was very satisfying and led to several new programs. The lemonade was sweet.

Some friends were starting a new business; as with all such efforts, a certain amount of confusion, anxiety, and unknowing reigned. A stakeholder allegedly made a comment which could indicate lack of confidence and also made an offer that could be very attractive. What to focus on? Where to put energy, thought, and possibility thinking? Obviously, on exploring the offer.

So often when trying to accomplish something worthwhile, things can go awry. We have the choice to find a silver lining through how we CHOOSE to perceive the reality, and where we allow our focus and attention to go. If we assume the world to be a benevolent place, choosing where to focus becomes easier. We all have unhealed wounds that prevent us from doing this with grace and ease. Releasing unresourceful thinking patterns, and underlying negative beliefs about ourselves and the world leads us to the wisdom of “reality is negotiable.” If we can operate from simple honesty with ourselves, stay out of story making, we maintain the power to impact most situations positively, or at least, in the direction we want them to go.

The first step in doing this is PIVOTING, or the intentional internal turning from thinking about what we don’t want, what we fear, who we blame, etc to thinking about what we do want. This internal pivot is the start of productive reasoning. Simply focusing on what we want gives the brain time to switch to a learner mode. The Flame Centre has developed a PALETTE OF RELEASING TOOLS to help us make lemonade out of lemons, or to learn to live with the wisdom of “reality is negotiable.”

Right now, what do you want? Can you put your attention squarely on what you want?

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