Want to learn something new? Interesting? Useful? Nah, you already know everything!

everything you store makes you fullI have been running an experiment on the title of this post. So far it is an utter fiasco… No one wants to read it… even though it’s, maybe, the key to the kindom for you.

My mail box had a bunch of coaching requests and the Monday Morning memo.

All the coaching requests were in sync: all the coaching stuff was about letting go… about making room for the new… the new you claim to want…

…and in a roundabout way, the Monday Morning memo as well. The memo is here with my adjustments to fit my own wording…

Roy Williams wrote this today in his Monday Morning memo. Crossing out is by me…

Negotiable or Non-negotiable?

What do you value?
Are there things for which you would be willing to suffer humiliation, rejection, and financial loss? These are your deep core values, your non-negotiables. It’s important that you know what they are.

A person without non-negotiables is a person without passion a Self.

But it’s also important to know your negotiables.

A person without negotiables is hard-headed, self-important, obstinate. But such people can be tolerated if they apply their non-negotiables only to themselves.

A person who believes their non-negotiables should apply to everyone else is an oppressor. Give them a weapon and they are a terrorist.

When Oscar Wilde was in prison, he wrote,

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

I’ve always liked Oscar Wilde.

Allow me to list my assertions:

  • Suffering is the price of passion Self.
  • You cannot claim you are passionate about something if you would not be willing to endure hardship for it.
  • Not every belief is worth suffering for.
  • The opinions and beliefs for which you would not suffer are your “negotiable” opinions and beliefs.
  • It is reasonable, and even good, to be willing to suffer for your beliefs.
  • It is not reasonable, nor is it good, to expect others to suffer for your beliefs.


The memo today is unusually pithy with a few deep insights: namely a few frames through which to look at your life

  • 1. distinguishing negotiable and non-negotiable, or essential and non-essential.
  • 2. how do you decide if something essential or non-essential is to see if you are willing to suffer for it
  • 3. seeing if you have a standard you’d like to force on others…
  • 4. this is my insight, but it’s from the same place: ideas, concepts, world view can be substituted to “values” in that article, and see if they are worth of your suffering.

In my work with clients and students, I “suffer” a lot.

The truth is I rarely suffer: suffering is optional, it is a mindset. But I experience a lot of pain. Pain when hearing how little of what I teach goes through, and pain when I learn, experiment, and try to teach things in a different way.

One of the purposes of my Sunday Rant conversations is to test out what can be heard by my friend, and what can’t.

When I say “heard” I don’t mean that he doesn’t hear everything… I mean by “heard” is that it has a chance, if nurtured, to become part of what he lives by.
clearing the attic of your brain

I have stiff competition. The “attic” of the human brain can only hold so much, so for most of what I say to be heard and flourish, some other stored stuff would need to go.

In 10 years I managed to plant one thing that lived a few days, maybe even a week, the rest: never sprouted.

He is an everyman… a stand in for you. Uneducated (did poorly in school), TLB 1, and has strong convictions about everything. Politics, religion, family, money, spirituality. Everything.

And the world obliges with “information” that confirms what he lives by.

He is also special: has a certain hunger for what I have to say. I feel it. I also hear myself speaking… so I have an experience of not speaking into the void. I love our calls, and can work out most of what I need to work out in the calls. I can clear the decks, I can reframe stuff that bother me, I can practice, test, and tune into the hidden dimension of life.

He is my friend. With all the meaning of friendship. Love, acceptance, caring.

Given how I work, and given how “knowledge” is an emerging phenomenon I have serious doubt about tales that talk about enlightenment, or burning bush downloaded whole knowledge base stories.

Knowledge reveals itself only through persistent nudging, and persistent clearing away of the already known, whether it is true or not.

And moreover, knowledge “downloaded” is Tree of Knowledge.

Only knowledge gained through living, testing, inquiring, awareness, is Tree of Life. The rest is something you fill your brain’s attic with.

Your brain has an attic, and you have a “stuff”attic too. You store stuff there that prevents you from living a full life.

Stuff… houses, relationships, old clothes you don’t wear, old stuff that look useful… maybe.

I have a lot of stuff.

I have a real hard time to throw out anything. Or move.

It is all about losing. It is all about dying.

The interesting thing is that I have done it before. I left Hungary with one suitcase. I left Israel with one suitcase.

So I can do it. It was hard to build a new life, and I did both times. But it was worth it. I didn’t see what the new direction would be in either times. And I don’t see now…

The biggest benefit was that I could change direction. I could change what was important to me. The values I am willing to suffer for.

But when you live in a cluttered attic, whether the attic is people, your smart phone beeping all the time, your house being full of stuff, you working for a house that is too big for you, you working for your “legacy”, for your offspring, for the hope that one day you will be seen… you don’t really live.

The art is to let go. Allow stuff to drop.

Sometimes you need to grow your TLB to do that.

I have a high TLB, but not high enough to get rid of the stuff.

So I am working on growing it.

I do Duolingo, 1 I walk the steps daily that lead up the hill I live on. Both actions I do daily are painful. So far I have a lot more “West” to go. My TLB is still too low to move for what I can’t see. 2

It seems that I have no problem letting go of stuff in my brain attic, I have an issue in the physical world. You may be the opposite: and most people are.

But without knowing what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable, for you, you’ll be stuck for eternity.

I am going to test if asking: is this negotiable, and get rid of stuff that is.

Wow… I am scared. It’s a good sign.

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  1. Every time I do something I hate I raise my TLB score, even if I grumble. Not only that, I have a newfound appreciation for myself.

    I hate the Duolingo course. The authors of the course don’t know English very well, so their limitations, of course, limit what they accept as accurate translation.

    So I am made wrong 10 times, at least, in every session. I grumble, and feel the resentment for the authors.

    I feel as I am getting stronger at getting negative feedback, as I am correcting my answers according to what they want, and am, overall, OK.

    I thought I signed up to learn a language, but now, after the 62nd day, I see that what I am really getting is more important than the language, which I don’t even need: I am getting stronger, and tougher.

  2. What is your TLB? Can you change? Can you grow? It all depends on your TLB. Not your intelligence, not on other people, not on circumstances. No. On your TLB, which is a measure of how much pain you are willing to take on.

    Let me measure it for you…

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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