Keep dreaming, keep daring, go out of the box
FROM THE HEART - Gina Lopez (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2017 - 4:00pm

I don’t like to be constrained. I like to be free. This extends to my house. I told my architect I wanted to live in a forest. And I wanted my house round. Just today, I saw samples of dome houses made of earth — with big, round windows. That totally appeals to me.  I have found that a key element to life is not to think in terms of boxes. This has an effect in two dimensions: 

1) The way we see life/people

2) The way forward

Let me take the first. If we see people, judge people — from the “group” they are from — it is a disservice to them and even to ourselves because it makes us rigid. Our thoughts affect our consciousness. Judgemental thoughts affect our soul. This type of thinking does not  allow love to flow through. It takes us out of alignment with the Divine. Disservice to the person. This is obvious. We fail to see the innate goodness, the unique specialness in people. We just see them as members of a group, ascribe to them characteristics that may even be unfair since every person is different.  Boxlike thinking makes our consciousness robotlike — computer- like — instead of spiritually intuitive which is the more fluid, expansive way to go. Thought waves that see the goodness in all give joy. Box-like thinking is dry and mechanical, and can more often than not turn negative. It is a negative lens in which to see the world. It’s the reason behind war and fighting. It sometimes results in hatred that lasts for generations.

For leaders especially, it is critical that they don’t see in terms of boxes. Because ultimately, no one can do anything alone. The success of development efforts — or any effort —largely lies in people working together. So one has to connect the dots. This is not going to happen  when in one’s perception  the “person belongs to a certain box” so there is no dot there to connect. I see this in politics — Republican vs. Democrat, and in our  scenario — Liberal vs. pro Duterte. There is goodness in all — Muslims/Christians. The list is endless. The key is to connect the dots.  This is why I believe in love. Love is the ultimate dot connector. It is essential that principles remain non- negotiable — otherwise, relationships won’t survive. 

• The way forward: If one looks at the people/institutions that have made a difference, there is a consistent element. They dared to go out of the box. They went forward.  There is a daring, can do attitude. I always tell my audiences, “You can do anything, be anything because God is with you.” He is not in a book, or in a building — He is a presence of love in your  heart  and if you can learn to rest on this — and make this an integral part of life — you really can do anything and be anything. Even the vision of who you are — and where you want to go — can be “out of the box,” meaning out of the norm. It means not being tied down by tradition, or commonplace thinking — having the courage and the creativity to venture forward, to see possibilities. Key is attitude. Once this is there, ideas start raining down. 

In this line, my experience is that silence can bring out-of-the-box scenarios. When the mind is quiet, ideas come from higher dimensions of ourselves — or from somwhere (I personally believe in Divine Guidance). Those out-of-the-box scenarios are the best because they yield a positive effect on the public good. 

At the risk of being repetitive, I am going to harp again on love. Love is such a positive flow. It is a force. My experience is that love can bring a wellspring of ideas. It allows one to connect to people. The effects sometimes are processes that are groundbreaking and exciting. Talking to people can many times ignite one idea after another. 

Intuition: I find this very key. My father and even my brother run on kutob — gut feel. It has done them well. If you take any successful person, this plays a key role in operations. For me, when one is stuck in the workings of the mind, it is a box. Feeling possibilities, feeling people — going to the level of intuition — oftentimes bring us out of the box. Going out of the box is about seeing possibiltiies in ourselves, in the situation. Looking for creative solutions. It’s all about vision. 

Letting go: Letting go is essential to going out of the box. As long as one is “stuck” in emotions, reactions, one won’t be able to venture into new realms of thoughts and possibiltiies. It’s like dead weight. The past is there to give wisdom and strength, and not to weigh one down. So, have the courage, wisdom, and strength to let go. Then fly unfettered. 

So, go out of the box for yourself, for the situation you are in — for where you, or the organization you are a part of, want to go. It will probably entail a certain measure of risk. The saying is no risk, no gain. The future belongs to the people who dare to dream. If there is a seeming failure — I will emphasize the word seeming — all “failures” are opportunities for growth. It’s how we take it. I will even say it is necessary to growth.

So, keep dreaming, keep daring, go out of the box — fly high. if your dreams are noble, my experience is that you are never, ever alone. You just aren’t. 

As the song goes: If I can see it, then I can be it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it. I believe I can fly. Fly on the wings of love.

* * *

I can be reached at hellogina@gworld.ph.

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