The Spirit Of Therapy Blog
The term Potential is defined as: capable of being or becoming; an ability that may or may not be developed.
Potential is an interesting and loaded word. In one sense, it is the space of opportunity. The opportunity for anything to happen, for anything to manifest. It is the precursor of something unknown and not yet formed. Like the churning of the clouds before a storm.
In Hinduism, the story of Samudra Manthan, (the churning of the ocean of milk), relates the act of the gods and demons churning the cosmos to attain the gift of immortality. The churning itself awakened a series of unforeseen events that had to be dealt with in the moment including poison that threatened to destroy everything. Commentary on this story often says that the churning of the cosmos is a symbol of the churning of our minds, our own consciousness.
The human consciousness is pregnant with so many things: thoughts, desires, perceptions, ideas, and beliefs all churning together, creating the potential for any number of outcomes or movements. Seen in this light, the churning of only one human mind is so immense, so cosmic. The potential for each of us is so vast. And the most amazing thing about this great potential is that it only exists in the moment. Just one moment.
Potential is also a space of opposites. Gods and demons colliding and moving together. Potential has no particular outcome. There is just as much space for something to be born as there is for something to die. To move or to remain still. The churning is both under and out of our control. This is not unlike Hope which can be defined as; to place trust or rely. Hope is used frequently throughout the Bible when referring to the human relationship with God. To hope is to relate directly with the Divine.
What escapes most of us is that potentiality and hope are not to be found in the future. You cannot have potential or hope if something has already happened. The power of this place is in the moment you are in. It is the power of the moment that forms what will happen next and not the other way around. Humans are often “living” in the future, wasting energy by projecting pictures of what has not even happened. Meanwhile, potential is brewing in the present time, even if we are too busy to notice.
Where is your hope? Is it in the future where it cannot move, or are you paying attention to the churning of the moment? This week think about what might shift for you if you could be completely present in this story of yours without attachment to the outcome. How would things be different for you if you created your life one moment at a time instead of trying to force it into the story you think you should have?
The Spirit of Therapy
Where psychotherapy interacts with our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and relational wellbeing.