Posted by: Jamie Hahn | June 15, 2010

5 Things I’ve Learned from Bending Spoons

Have you ever bent a spoon with your mind? I have. It’s an amazing experience. One that’s even better in a group. I’ve learned several valuable lessons from spoon bending. Lessons that I’ll share once I get the obligatory disclaimers out of the way…

Spoon bending. The mention of those two words likely conjures images of half-rate magicians, people in velvety robes claiming to see the future, or maybe your odd aunt who only leaves her house at night. A quick Google search reveals all the ways “science” and we “normal” people have discredited this ridiculous parlor trick. Your research could stop there. But, how about just for a minute, we keep an open mind? A beginner’s mind, full of possibilities and curiosity. One that doesn’t need hard science to prove or disprove anything because it’s the experience that matters, in the end. One that understands, at its core, that there’s no way we can “know” everything.

I’ve attended two spoon bending parties with about 20 people at each. The spoons were provided by a neutral party (stainless steel and purchased from the dollar store). Nothing up my sleeve. At both gatherings, I bent spoons with very little manual manipulation and in ways that I don’t think would be possible without the focused mental intention of a group. I also saw spoons loll over in someone’s hands without the person ever touching them. Scout’s honor.

For those of you that are skeptical, let me be clear. I’m not trying to convince you that spoon bending is a real “phenomenon.” I’ll leave it to you to decide that. I did want to share, though, some of the things I’ve learned from my spoon bending experiences:

1) Clear your mind and focus your intention. Such a simple concept, but how many of us do this on a regular basis. I’m generally so busy hopping between 35 different demands on my time, that I rarely spend a period of time focusing. Focused intention is gold. Whether you believe our minds have strength beyond our own heads, can you deny the power of your own focused intention on the outcomes of your life?

2) Ask nicely and be grateful. Some people say that you have to command the spoon to “BEND!” Not me. I’d rather ask nicely. Over and over, I’ve found that the most screwed up cluster-f@*$%’s in my life were solved by taking a deep breath and asking nicely. What a concept. It works. Doesn’t work for everyone, but it seems to work for me. A little gratitude (a la Oprah) never hurt either.

3) Believe. This one has always been a chicken or the egg issue for me. Did I succeed because I believed or do I believe because I succeeded. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Spoon bending reminded me how important believing is. It’s the feather that the mouse gave to Dumbo so he could fly. It gives us just enough courage to do the things that are just out of our reach and the faith and determination to persevere.

4) Strength in numbers. The energy of the group is so much stronger than one individual. This is true for so many things. The harnessed collective power of a group can achieve things never thought possible. It was Ghandi’s and Martin Luther King’s philosophy. Businesses and organizations that use social media to gather groups understand this.  President Obama understood this. Heck, even Justin Bieber understands — maybe better than all of us.

5) Anything is possible. This is my favorite one and something I try to remember each day. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s possible and what’s not. I truly believe this. And if I need a reminder, I just take a look at that spoon. It has secrets I can’t begin to understand, but for now, I’ll take from it what I can with gratitude, joy, and the belief that anything truly is possible.

My spoon from a recent spoon bending party

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