photo: Swami Stream on flickr

What if there was a way to quickly access the inner workings of your psyche? What if there was a way to easily and accurately take a snapshot of your unconscious?

There is.

Hello, folks! Dr. Z here, and I’m back to share my latest development in psycho-spiritual research!

It’s called the HA, and it’s a quick and painless way to peer into your own mind.

That’s right: No surgical anesthetic, no fancy tools. Just listening to Dr. Z and doing everything she says!!

Here’s how it works:

HA stands for Hidden Agenda.

(I know, you probably thought a HA was a spontaneous outburst of mirth, but you were wrong. The HA is spontaneous, and it’s an outburst of sorts, but no snorting or guffawing are involved. At least, not usually.)

photo: Hanny R on flickr

We all have a Hidden Agenda – a HA – whether we know it or not. The HA is our outlook on life, the way we see the world.

It’s simple, it’s strong, and it comes in three basic forms: Yes, No, and Maybe.

Before I go into detail about these 3 forms of the HA, let me tell you how I came upon my latest fascinating discovery.

It started with a verbal tic.

A few months ago, I noticed a pattern in my conversations with others. I noticed that, in my responses to other people, I began my replies with the word “No.” (More precisely, I would use the phrase, “No, but. . .”)

Even when I would eventually agree with the person I was talking to, I would still begin my phrases with that oh-so-telling word:

photo: Horia Varlan on flickr

It got me thinking. Why the “No”? What was my verbal tic about?

I realized that I had a Hidden Agenda, a HA, and that my HA was to push away new ideas. Even if I eventually absorbed or implemented these ideas – or people, or situations – my first response was to distance myself from them.

This is not to say that the word “No” is a bad thing.

There are times when it’s good to take a step back and assess a new situation. There are times when we need to set a boundary, and the word “No” is a vital part of that.

That’s not what the “No” HA is about. The “No” HA is a basic “No” to life. It’s an attitude, a set point.

In my case, I came to realize that my “No” was an automatic reaction to almost everything in my life.

I was no longer Dr. Z.

I was Dr. No.

Like the villain in the James Bond movie. Next thing I knew, I’d be wearing a freaky glove and puffing on a overly-dramatic cigarette.

It wasn’t pretty.

Once I realized that I had become an unconscious “No” machine, I started to watch the words that came out of my mouth.

I started to experiment with beginning my phrases with “Yes” instead of “No.” It felt good, though scary at first. I felt an opening, a softening towards the world around me.

This process led me to become aware of the HA and its three forms: Yes, No, and Maybe.

What do these look like? I’ll tell you!

The 3 forms of HA:

1. The “No” HA

photo: Greg Westfall on flickr

The “No” HA, as I described above, results in avoidance and resistance. When we’re operating from a “No” HA, we immediately discount new experiences. Although we may eventually incorporate aspects of the new experience, our initial response is one of negation.

A “No” HA leaves us closed and contracted. We’re less likely to change, less likely to allow ourselves to be touched by others and the world around us. The “No” HA is a growth inhibitor.

2. The “Maybe” HA

photo: Rory Connell on flickr

The “Maybe” HA is just like it sounds. When we’re operating from a “Maybe” HA, we’re not pushing away new experiences, but we’re not saying “Yes” either.

We may have a hard time making decisions. We may have difficulties committing to anyone or anything. The “Maybe” HA leaves us with a permanent seat on the fence.

(And who wants to sit on the fence all day? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Or maybe you want to think about it all day. On the fence.)

3. The “Yes” HA

photo: Koshy Koshy on flickr

A “Yes” HA is a glorious thing. When we have a “Yes” HA, we are open and available to the world. The “Yes” HA allows us to be intimately in tune with our surroundings.

When we say “Yes” to the world, we are aware of the good in everything. We can more readily find the positive in each and every situation. A “Yes” HA sets up a continual cycle of positivity, as we look for and find good and more good in every area of our lives.

photo: Tommy Wong on flickr

So here’s the question: What’s your HA?

If you don’t have a clear sense of what it might be, pay attention to the language you use. Notice your verbal tics. Notice the way you start and end sentences. What does your language tell you about your worldview?

You may become aware that you have different HAs in different areas of your life. You may have a “Yes” HA at home and a “No” HA on the job. The starting place is to simply notice, without judgment.

Then, once you’ve done this, you can start to judge yourself.

photo: haans gruber on flickr


(That was a test. I wanted to see if you were paying attention!)

Once you’ve uncovered your HA, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it. Maybe you have a “No” HA and you like it. It makes you feel safe and protected. Or perhaps you have a “Maybe” HA, and you like the sense of free-flowing ambiguity it gives you.

It’s a free country! You can operate from whatever HA you want!

But here’s the question: How’s it working for you? Whatever your HA, how is it affecting your life?

In my case, I realized that I was unconsciously leaning on “No.” And my “No” was leaving me more closed and contracted than I wanted to be.

So I’m adjusting my HA. I’m leaning into “Yes.” I’m watching my language and leading with the affirmative.

After all, the Divine says Yes. The Divine is always saying Yes. Yes to creative expansion. Yes to unity. Yes to harmonious oneness.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m taking my cues from the Divine!

photo: edward stojakovic on flickr

What’s your HA? How’s it working for you?


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