“Can’t” or “cannot” refers to the inability or lack of permission/allowance to do something or accomplish a goal or fulfill a plan or request. Interestingly, “can” means the mentality, permission, ability, etc. to allow or cause something to happen. The word “not” is used to bring negativity or limitations to a word or group of words that precede or follow other words in a sentence. For instance, “I cannot quiet the repetitive thinking going on in my mind,” or, “You will do it or not.”
“Not” can also be thought of as a word to put a negative flip on another word’s meaning, as in the word “cannot.” Can: positive. Not: negative. The student of meditation brings their awareness of the limiting and negative connotations of the word-pairing, can and not. You hear it often; perhaps you have your own list of “cans” and “cannots.”
“I can eat this; I can’t eat that. I can understand this, but not that. I can accomplish this, yet cannot accomplish that.”
Upon observation, we can see how the two words conflict. The student of meditation is aware when the use and application of “can’t” limits their progress.
The teacher explained, “The mind believes many of the things you tell it. Say to yourself, ‘I like this’ or ‘I like that’ and you will convince yourself it is true. Often times without experiencing such likes, to be sure. On the other hand, tell yourself you can’t do this or you can’t do that and your mind will believe it. That thinking will often stifle your progress and often cause you to stay in the same state you were in prior to your affirmation.”
The student pondered the lesson. Aware of the multitude of moments, the words “I can’t” came from their mouth and thinking. Self-awareness, waking up, conscious presence, includes the acknowledgment of our own words holding us back from the progress we make.
A meditation, try it out here and there when you catch the moment, or not. When you hear yourself saying “I can’t” or “cannot” or hear it from others, focus your attention on the moment and change the words to “I could,” “maybe,” “it’s possible,” etc. then bring your attention to the difference in how you digest the thoughts of the moment. For instance, “I can’t practice meditation, my mind won’t let me” to “I could try some meditation and see what happens.” Aware when you tell yourself something you can’t do compared to how you feel and respond when you open yourself up to the possibility of a different outcome.
It’s a new day. Your day… ••