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Messages on Growth

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How to heal ourselves and the planet we live on


Introduction to the Three Stances of Greeting The World

There are three fundamental stances of greeting the world. They are energetic in nature.

  1. in-Learning

  2. in-Wanting

  3. in-Knowing

So tell me how to your greet the world each day? Are you in-knowing, in-wanting or in-learning? How you greet the world shapes your experience of the world and you experience of the field of possibilities. The more you are in-learning the more you experience possibility.in-Learning is a highly active state of openness, connection and exploration.

You are continually shaping the experiences of your relationships and the world around you by the stance you take. The three stances shape the energy you share, the invitations you make to others, the choices you see, the actions you take. This is not limited to your individual relationships. Entire communities and organizations take on the same stances.

The difference between in-Knowing, in-Wanting or in-Learning is recognized by the qualities of energy that are present as you hold one of these particular stances.

  1. 1.When you are in-Learning, the quality of openness is always present. There is room to breathe, to share, to grow. New ideas are given attention and pondered. Ideas held in disagreement are not discarded. They too are pondered.

  2. 2.When you are in-Knowing you are literally filled up. There is no room. New ideas are evaluated, rejected, accepted or distorted to fit within your bubble of beliefs.

  3. 3.If you hold the stance of in-Wanting, everything is filtered against your desires. Will this help me or hinder me in reaching my desires?

In your relationships you are constantly sensing what qualities of energy are present as people approach. This information is used to interpret intentions, motivations, and attitudes from another person.and to form your responses. For most people today, this occurs unconsciously often and they form deep grooves along which energy is shared. These grooves lead to automatic and repeated patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.  Whenever this happens, there is limited possibility or room for creativity, new possibility, growth or healing.


Anyone can be in-Learning in an instant. in-Learning is an energetic state. So it can move as fast as the speed of light. It is energy, so it moves really fast. Energy can always be transformed from one energetic state to another. Shifts, movements, transformation of energy happen all the time. This is something you are already aware of. People often say to one another – “the momentum of the game is shifting”; or “they are losing momentum” or “ the tide is turning.” The same movement happens with your state of being, in this case how you greet the world. One moment, you are in-Learning and the next moment you are in-Knowing or in-Wanting.

  1. in-Learning  is a natural state of being. It does not need to be taught. All that is needed is for you to remember. This state is so natural that it is only an “intention” away.

Too many people want to set goals. So it would be easy to say make it your goal to be in-Learning, all day, every day. Goals are not intentions. I would say to you simply - have an intention to be in-Learning and then just be in-Learning. So what if you fall out of in-Learning? If you have the intention to be in-Learning, then you will fall back again the other way and be in-Learning. The more you are in-Learning, the more you want to be in-Learning. Really, it is that simple. It is simple because being in-Learning is a natural state. You always have that going for you, that natural tendency to be in a state of learning. Plus, you once spent your entire days in-Learning when you were very young.

in-Learning is the fundamental stance which supports a person to grow and develop as a human being. Learning is akin to breathing. It is both natural and important to your health. You do not need to be taught to breathe or to learn. The easiest way to learn about this stance is to notice infants and young children. They fully embody a single, natural stance – they are in-Learning constantly.

Recognizing in-Learning

There are five movements of being in-Learning:

  1. 1.Listening

  2. 2.Inviting Others to Speak

  3. 3.Curiosity

  4. 4.Finding Learning Partners

  5. 5.Being Awake 

1. Listening

Listening s being in direct connection with everything around you.  Listening is energy. Listening is the foundation of all possibilities. It is an invitation to another living being to speak. Those who communicate with animals do not speak, they listen. It is the same for anyone who communicates to the elements. It is the same between people if you wish to communicate with someone then listen. Listening is energy.

The deepest communication is spoken without words. Consider these examples: 1) There are no words to describe what I am feeling, she said to him and she could sense that he understood what she was experiencing. 2) One picture is worth a thousand words. 3) They looked deeply into each other’s eyes and instantly, they both realized…

If your options seem limited and you feel stuck, begin by listening.  As you increase the quality of your listening the quality of your relationships will dramatically improve. Listening in all its forms is an on-going practice of limitless possibilities.

2. Inviting Others to Speak

Listening invites a deep connection, which is always there just below the surface, to emerge. If you actively invite someone to speak from the heart or to share her story or to share his truth – and they accept the invitation – you are in-Learning together. Invitations can be open, closed or shaped.  When you are in-Learning your invitation is open. This can take the form of “Tell me your story…I am interested in who you are…Take as long as you need”.

3. Curiosity

Cultivate your curiosity. Let this live inside you and become your constant companion. Establish curiosity, as a response to the alarm system going off inside you. Say to yourself, “I wonder what set off the alarm?” Don’t underestimate the power of curiosity. Of all the movements, it is the most familiar, even if forgotten. It is the most familiar because it is part of human nature.  Be with children. They are constantly curious.

4. Finding Learning Partners

There is tremendous healing and growth in being in-Learning with others. Here you can recapture the space you had as little children. When you are in-Learning with another, growth and healing will occur for yourselves and those around you. Being in-Learning requires intention.

5. Be Awake

Being in-Learning also means staying awake.  For example, you are thinking all the time. You are thinking your thoughts but not listening to your thoughts. You are not awake to your thoughts and feelings. This is neither good/bad, right/wrong, it just is. For example, in any given moment you may not be awake that many of your thoughts carry negative energy – judgments, wishing harm, lying, blaming some of her feelings, mirror this anger, getting back at (form of revenge). In other words you are feeling your feelings, not listening to your feelings.

Listen to yourself for you have much to learn. If you are asleep to your feelings and thoughts (not listening) then you are at risk for harming yourself and maybe those around you. The most frequent harms are the ones we do to ourselves.


Of the three stances this is the most difficult to discuss. The energy of wanting is everywhere. The energy of wanting is the fuel of your communities. Let me say this again the energy of wanting is the fuel of your communities. Everything revolves around this. You are counted upon to being in-Wanting. Understand the dance it creates.

  1. People are constantly competing for your attention. They never take a break. They are constantly waving their arms saying, “ Pick me! Pick me!”  They want you to want their products, their services. So intense is the competition that they have created myths that tell you that you will be happy if you want what they offer.

They tell you over and over and over again that other people will be attracted to you, like you more, if you want what they offer. They tell you that in order to be accepted, you have to want what they offer.

Wanting and knowing are not bad stances. They lead places that are not consistent with growth or healing. If, in these stances, you are NOT AWAKE then the risk of DOING HARM to yourself or others dramatically increases.

Recognizing in-Wanting

There are three movements of being in-Wanting:

  1. 1.Naming Yourself Through Ownerships

  2. 2.Seeking Comfort through Buying

  3. 3.Seeking Attention through Love

1. Naming Yourself Through Ownerships

The first movement of in-Wanting is naming yourself through ownership. The acquisition of wealth, property or objects defines worth and importance - the more wealth, the more importance. The loss of wealth means losing both your influence and image within a community.  In many communities, commercials on television are a child’s first experience with the energy of in-Wanting. The focus becomes what I want, am I getting what I want? As children move into school they are caught in huge energetic dilemmas. The roar of being in-Wanting calls to everyone and is linked to inclusion or exclusion. For many children the ownership of certain objects allows them to belong to a community. 

2. Seeking Comfort through Buying

The second movement of in-Wanting is trying to create change through buying or seeking comfort through buying. Those that sell ask you to believe that if you buy their product you will feel better, be better and be seen as better, or be more successful. There are many deep wounds driven by and created by this dynamic.

3. Seeking Attention Through Love

The third movement of being in-Wanting is seeking attention through love. When you think about being in a relationship with someone, what images come to mind? The most common association would be falling in love. Falling in love can mean many things. In every case, it is a powerful energy exchanged between people, which builds a certain quality of connection. The nature of the energy and connection changes based on the stance that someone holds. Looking for a partner (with whom to learn and grow) is very different than looking for someone to fulfill your needs, or take care of you financially. The first choice is in-Learning. The latter choices are in-Wanting.

Relationships end when people are no longer “in love”– often this is code for “you no longer meet my needs or wants.”  Being in love often flows from in-Wanting. The energy of wanting is expressed in a desire for “something we believe we want or need” – for example, an ideal image of a husband, boyfriend, wife or girlfriend, who behaves in particular ways.  Being in love can also be an expression of being in-Learning.   If you wish to change the world teach your children to first seek partners to learn with, trusting that love will follow.


In the world of knowing, you must continually demonstrate that you are right, through both speech and deed. In the world of knowing it is believed that the more you know and the more you can correct others’ “knowing,” that this is the pathway to being seen as important. In the world of knowing, speech is the most valued action.

As you move deeper into the world of knowing and the light of learning dims, the central movement becomes control. You seek to control. Speech, spoken words are energy. They can do much harm or good depending on the intentions of the speaker.

Follow the flow of what you “know” and it will lead to the same place each time. It is a myth that the best way to communicate is to speak. The best way to control is to speak. Speaking is overrated. Speaking while in-Knowing and in-Wanting often means:

  1. Listen to me…Do what I want…Satisfy me…Comfort me

  2. Learning and knowing are not activities you do for a minute or two and then another as you go through your day. They are “states of being” that shape and color all that you do and see. They are not opposites. This is important.

They are contrasting, in that qualitatively they are very different. Often people ask, “So, is one better than the other?” Well, one supports growth and healing, the other does not support growth and healing and can at times do harm. I can tell you each leads different places.

Recognizing in-Knowing 

There are three movements of being in-Wanting:

  1. 1.Judging - Determing Who or What is Less-Than

  2. 2.Knowing What is Best for Another

  3. 3.Being FIlled-Up

1. Judging - Determining Who or What is Less-Than

The first of these is judging - determining who or what is less-than. This can occur by one person to another, or one person may judge an entire community of people less-than or better-than, or when one community judges another community the same way. In this movement of judging, people assume that their judgments and evaluations are facts. When judgments and evaluations turn into beliefs and absolute certainties everyone loses. The world is deeply wounded when entire communities are judged less than. You name this as racism or another form of “ism”. Many across the world in both extreme and subtle manner name women to be “less-than” men.  This movement repeats itself with young children calling them away from in-Learning. Children form into different groups and exclude other children because they are different or judged to be less than. This is not a natural form. Who teaches this to your children?

2. Knowing What is Best for Another

The second movement of in-Knowing is to know what is best for another human being. When someone is in-Knowing, they hold strong opinions about what is “right for others.” The only way to understand what is best for another is to be in-Learning.

3. Seeking Attention Through Love

The third movement of in-Knowing is being filled-up. Consider these examples:

  1. Maryanne has cancer. Her sister Tanya wants her to see a homeopath and to try alternative treatments. Maryanne feels very resistant to her suggestions.

  2. On the news tonight a reporter was raising issues about his favorite candidate for Senator. Jack couldn’t believe a word of it or take it in at all. It made him very angry. He believes deeply that if the candidate was a man these same issues would not be raised at all.

If you are filled up, ask the question “am I open to influence and if so under what conditions and by whom?” It is important to pose this same question to people around you. No one wants to say – “oh I am closed off, not open to influence, I am done learning.” Feedback from your friends, family, coworkers can help you understand the degree of openness and the degree to which you are filled up.

When you shift from being in-Learning to in-Knowing, the natural ability to grow and develop, how we see and experience the world, is hampered. Why do some people learn from their mistakes and not others?  Some are in-Learning and others are in-Knowing. As infants, babies and children we you are whole in one natural stance -  in-Learning.  This is the stance that becomes elusive as you transition from childhood to adolescence and can completely escape you as an adult. 

Practices of Being in-Learning

There are some practices which help keep you in-Learning: breathing; listening to yourself; and listening to others. So here is one of my few tips – if you are ever stuck, confused, in trouble – breathe and listen. It makes all the difference in the world.

Openness is an essential quality of being in-Learning. It is a quality that is always present when someone, or a relationship, or a community of people are in-Learning. Breathing and listening invite the quality of openness to appear.

This should be enough to smooth out the grooves in your relationships and keep you in–Learning :

  1. 1.Intend to be in-Learning

  2. 2.Breathe

  3. 3.Listen deeply to Others

  4. 4.Listen deeply to Yourself

There are many practices of breathing and there are many forms of listening.

For breathing, I suggest you start by simply noticing your breath five (5) times a day – at rising, at the start of your day, at lunch time, dinner time, and at bedtime. In these moments notice your breath and practice 10 breaths of openness. Breathe in as deep as you can, expanding your chest. Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not make yourself out of breath. Just be in charge of your breathing.

For listening to others, I suggest you pick one conversation each day in which you will practice listening. Realize that full listening involves little or no thinking, curiosity, no rehearsing, no disagreeing, just focusing on understanding and helping the person to tell their story.

For listening to yourself, I suggest for an important conversation or decision, you make time before and ask yourself – What are my current thoughts? Are any of my thoughts negative or judgmental? What are my feelings? What is my intention? If you notice negative thoughts invite them to leave or try to replace them with thoughts that are positive. Make your intention clean, clear and warm.

How do you greet the world? This is the fundamental question to hold if you wish to explore your relationship with the world.  Greet the world means all the world - family, friends, people at work, people at play, those in authority, people from your community, people from other communities, witnesses who tell us the hard stories about what is happening around world, and those who tell us about the planet itself.