Someone with a critical eye will offer you some unsolicited advice today, and you should not be afraid to hear them out. Their reputation for painful honesty should be no excuse -- your feelings don't matter when real knowledge is out there to be learned. Do not sacrifice an education just for the sake of your ego. If you do, you are not giving yourself enough credit. You are in a solid learning phase, and your mind is ready to take in new information in an objective way.
The above is the horoscope that showed up the other day in my inbox.
And the below one came from Rob Brezsny, for the same time period.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): There's at least a 50 percent chance that the coming days will be over-the-top, out-of-the-blue, and off-the-record. I'm half-expecting florid, luscious, and kaleidoscopic events, possibly even rococo, swashbuckling, and splendiferous adventures. Are you ready for all this? Of course not. That's the point life will be trying to make: nudging you to learn more about the fine art of spontaneity as you improvise your way through unpredictable lessons that will lead you toward the resources you'll need to succeed.
The first one promises that I will have to feel bad about myself, learn some harsh truths about myself, from another person who is going to offer unsolicited advice to me... I want to go to sleep and wake up after the week is over. Wouldn't you?
Rob Brezsny also talks about learning, but I want to cancel all my appointments and just run with what he is suggesting, because it is exciting. The learning I'll have will lead me towards success... and that is a future I can run towards.
What is the difference between the two horoscopes? The difference is the context they set, the context of this week, the context of this learning.
What is a context? Context is a future. It is the direction something is heading. If it is something desirable, you are willing to put up with a lot more inconveniences, then if no matter how much trouble you go through, you will end up where you started, or worse.
"What gives your being (your mood, your attitude, your emotional state) in the present is the future you live into"
This is a quote from Landmark, and it is proven true, time and again. When you set the context, at the beginning of the conversation, the conversation will go predictably along the same line as the context dictates. If you don't set the context, or wait till the end, the conversation will always be disappointing, and an argument more often than not.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because, although I am a stickler for context, I screw up often, and don't provide one enough. When you don't provide the context, guess what, people will end up with their own default personal context, and that is never pretty.
A default context, for most of us, is that we are going to be proven wrong, worthless, undeserving, and a fraud. I am not kidding you, after thousands of coaching sessions, this is mighty clear to me.
Let's look at me and my own failings: When don't I, typically, provide a context? And why don't I?
Oh yeah, glad you ask. There is a pattern.
When I don't think it will make a difference, because the other person "proved themselves" belligerent, obstinate, non-understanding.
Can you hear the judgment in my words? You heard it correctly. That is one of the soul-corrections I need to deal with every day. Being judgmental, but more importantly: fixing the other person's negative state with my judgment. Relating to people as if they were stationary, unchanging, fixed objects.
People keep surprising me that in spite my "best efforts to keep them the same" they can and will change.
This doesn't change the fact that my first inclination (evil inclination!) is to judge them, judge everything... Nasty, nasty, nasty.
OK, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing.. . lol. But it has a lot to do with context, and context being decisive.
The people that can change, in spite of me, are people that live in an empowering context, no thanks to me.
The people that can't change, live in a disempowering context, and I didn't do anything to change it.
So what would be my soul correction? Good question.
Before I open my mouth (and after I judged, lol) I need to turn around on a dime and INVENT an empowering context for them, for us, for our interaction.
When I can do that, life will move, life will be dynamic, and the results will go through the roof. No one can resist context. No one. It is the space inside which life occurs!
And that, my friend, is empowering to me. For that I am willing to change. For that it is worth putting in the effort.
Let's become masters of context: Life and people's success depends on it. Not mentioning our peace and happiness.