Receptive communication sounds like an oxymoron, yet the two words are actually synonymous in the world of relationship coaching. As a practicing marriage and family therapist since 1985, I have listened to hundreds...okay, 1985; I guess - thousands, of couples tell me that their problem is communication.
I would say; "no, your problem is listening." I'm not a mind reader, but I know that very few people know how to listen in a manner that connects, and at a depth that is possible.
One of my greatest joys in life is sharing, what I've had the great honor of learning, about deep listening. It's the most beautiful gift anyone can give to another. And, as you might imagine, the rewards for the listener, are immense. To listen so that you can fully understand what your partner is feeling, whether you agree with it or not, is the single most connecting function a human being has access to. Yes, it’s even greater than sex!
Ask yourself; who has listened deeply to you in your past? Who has listened to you with nothing on their mind, with no agenda, no need to change how you think and feel, no need to help you get over it? Just listen with an empty mind to get affected by the speaker...it's incredibly beautiful; yet, oh so rare.
I think we’ve all had the experience of wanting to communicate something we’re feeling deeply with someone we feel close to. It’s really an incredible compliment to have chosen this one person to express our deep feelings to, just wanting to feel a connection, just wanting to feel comforted but the listener tries to fix our problem… not what we wanted and in fact, it only makes us feel worse, even though our listener just wanted to help us. Most of us have been on the receiving end of the fixer, as well as having tried to fix a situation for the person sharing their problem with us.
Clients have told me they feel weak if they listen to their partner too deeply. Isn't that interesting? When my clients and I become curious about that, we find the underlying thinking that's involved...i.e. "if I just listen I feel subordinate, passive, even controlled." Isn't it interesting what lurks in the human psyche -- to no fault of our own. We're all innocent to our own thinking - we didn't ask for it to be in our mind, yet there it is, from somewhere out of the blue.
Remaining Receptive -The Importance of Not Reacting while Listening
When a person is open to seeing the thinking that gets in their way of fully listening they can toss it aside, once they see it serves no purpose; it's not productive to hang on to those old habits of thinking. So go ahead, toss away thoughts of control and power and whose smarter than who. We're all equal at our core, we're all from the same source of infinite wisdom, creativity and intelligence.
Here's another challenge - try remaining receptive to someone speaking to you when you and/or they are upset. The only way anyone can pull that off is if they are able to bounce out of their upset immediately and quiet their mind. I know we're built to be resilient but we are still human with a "reptilian brain," as anthropological psychologists love to call it; so the likelihood of someone immediately bouncing out of upset is pretty remote for most of us. However, I have noticed that people with an understanding of how the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness find that capacity more often. Though, we are all able to evaluate where we are in the present moment by the feeling we’re getting. Any feeling of upset is an indication that whatever is on our mind at that moment is not good for us or for those around us. An upsetting feeling alerts us to the fact that we have to quiet our mind enough to return to common sense.
It is always wisest to calm yourself down first and foremost no matter how long it takes to get calm - never, ever try to communicate when anyone is upset - rule number one. Another thing to know is that when you think you’ve got it under control, you really don’t if you’re still feeling aggravated. Remember the cartoons of the angel and devil on each shoulder - that 'ole devil will whisper in your ear, "Hey, you're not upset, you're just fine and dandy."
What about this -- ?
Can you be receptive to wisdom when you are upset?
How often have your negative thoughts masqueraded as Wisdom? There's that devil again whispering in your ear: "Hello, this is wisdom speaking – go ahead tell your boss off – she deserves it!" So easy to be tricked by our thinking.
If it was really Wisdom it would come from your heart, not your "reptilian brain." You may wonder, "how can you tell the difference?" One can always tell the difference by the feeling - the feeling never lies. I can hear my teacher, Syd Banks, say: "Look for a feeling; look for a beautiful feeling."
Here’s a graph that explains what occurs when we rise and fall in levels of consciousness. When we are upset, we hear insults when the speaker did not intend to insult us. The reverse is true as well; if we speak when we are upset, we risk insulting someone we would never think of insulting when we were in a better frame of mind – sometimes referred to as being in our “right mind.” At the other end of the spectrum, in higher levels of consciousness, we recognize that the person speaking to us in a bad tone is in a bad state of mind, we see their innocence, so we don’t take it personally. At the top, we on the top of our game and we can listen with love. It’s as though we take the speaker in, with full clarity, no agenda, no judgment.
When a person (friend, spouse, significant other, relative, employee, or boss) is making a point they feel passionate about (no matter what the point is) if the listener is in a state of mind that is receptive it will help the speaker get their point out and move on.
Being in a receptive mode does not mean agreeing with the person's point. This is very important to understand. Just be neutral; don't care about the point, care about the person. The fact that he or she is having strong feelings about something means they want to be heard. They don't want an answer and they certainly do not want to listen to someone trying to change their mind. You their mind. You'd be amazed how often that occurs. ridiculous but if you were in my position listening to countless couples try to do this you'd realize how common it is for people to actually attempt to change the mind of a person who is passionate about their view in that very moment. When you look at it from the perspective of PROCESS of thinking (how we think) rather than the CONTENT of thoughts (what we’re thinking) you realize how illogical it is to try to change someone’s mind while they are giving you what their mind is firmly planted in, yet it happens between people all the time! How topsy turvy is that? All it takes is receptive communication (open, deep listening) to set it all right. It is always possible to listen, out of love for the speaker, even when they are out of sorts. Listening in a receptive mode will offer the best communication and the best relatedness.
Valentine’s Day can be fraught with unmet expectations, disappointments, pressures, and dissatisfied egos. On the other hand, it can be enjoyed as a day set aside to honor and rejoice in the magnificent human capacity to feel love.
Regardless of the current state of your relationship, and even if you are not currently in a relationship, you can have the best Valentine’s Day ever! Seriously, it’s not only possible, it is probable, when you understand how the three principles work within everyone, to bring them their unique, moment to moment, experience of life.
In over thirty years of providing couples therapy, I have found, without a doubt, that my couples who spend some time on websites that describe these principles (I will provide links at the end of this blog) improve their relationships faster when they supplement their couples counseling with reading and webinar viewing.
In this blog, I will give you my rationale and some examples of what it was like for people (including myself) before and after understanding these principles.
I think most of us have experienced a dismal and disappointing Valentine ’s Day in the past. I found some interesting facts from a google search: I discovered that there are mountains called “lover’s leap” in many states throughout America. We’ve all heard of people who have killed themselves over the loss of love throughout history and around the world. The principles explain how unnecessary that is.
I learned that more valentines’ cards are exchanged than any other holiday with the exception of Christmas. More than birthday cards? That gives pause for thought, but not important to go there for the purposes of this blog. Another interesting fact I found is that 80% of those cards are given by women. More pause for thought, in which we could assume a variety of reasons. What is important about these facts however, are the feelings and emotions that go on behind the exchange (or lack thereof) of cards and gifts, because that is what people experience, their emotions and feelings, as governed by what they think. You can’t escape those suckers, try as you might. You can’t even hang onto good feelings; they seem to pass quicker than the bad. Actually, these principles explain why that is, too.
You see, in 1973, a man named Sydney Banks uncovered the principles of Mind, Thought and
Consciousness. They are invisible powers that bring us every feeling and emotion we ever have in our entire lifetime. They are considered principles because a principle is always true and always works the same no matter where you are on planet earth. Much like the principle of gravity, whether you know how gravity works or not, it still works – all the time!
With the discovery of these principles came the realization that every experience, a human being can ever have, always comes from within that person, where the confluence of Mind, Thought and Consciousness takes place. This realization brings quite a lot, of what we’ve heretofore believed, into question. It also frees a person to experience more love with fewer blocks.
In my years of relationship counseling, I have observed that couples, who recognize this one fact, improve their relationships immensely. Yet almost all of these couples came to their first session wanting me to change their partner. Almost everyone believed if their partner changed; did something more, or less, or treated them better -- they would have a better relationship.
However, given the fact that it all happens from within each person it really doesn’t matter what your partner says or does! That is their business! In fact, their words and deeds will only have an effect on you if you think about it. They are the ones who will experience their own words and deeds because it’s their thinking that is creating it.
Most of the couples I see tend to think a lot about what they don’t like. They dwell on it, harbor
resentments, and hang onto past problems as though they provide something valuable.
We can only feel what we think. Just try to feel bad when you’re in the midst of a pleasant daydream, or the reverse – try to feel good when you’re dwelling on something upsetting. It’s an impossible task; you might as well try to pull yourself up by your bootstraps; an equally impossible task.
Our experience is always in our own mind -- that's where experience resides -- not in some outside, external, world out there. Your partner is for you, how you view him or her, in every moment; and that changes. We all have the ability to care more about the moments he or she is looking good to us and fade out the moments when they're not looking so good. That's the name of the game, from my vantage point.
From the moment I was first exposed to these principles in 1985, I knew there was something different to them but it took me awhile to begin to see how enormously helpful it is to understand them as much as I could. Over the course of a few books and some seminars (webinars were not available then), I felt increasingly more at peace. I realized over time, that I alone, possess the power to feel good or bad, depending upon my thinking. There was no one to blame, not even myself. I knew I couldn’t help what came to mind but I began to see how to navigate through negative thoughts so they didn’t have a hold over me any longer. We have far more choice than previously recognized.
Valentine’s Day can be fraught with unmet expectations, disappointments, pressures, and dissatisfied egos. On the other hand, it can be enjoyed as a day set aside to honor and rejoice in the magnificent human capacity to feel love, in all its flavors and forms.
You see, we have the capacity to focus on the effects of our thinking, or focus on the invisible power behind it all. This power brings us the ability to create the deepest emotional pain or the sweetest feelings on earth. I’ve gone back and forth between both worlds, at times caught up in negative judgments and then waking up to the fact that I’m doing it to myself. Then I’m in awe of the fact that I’m capable of creating such strong feeling states and that I have the free will to choose the thoughts I want to follow. I, for one, would choose awe over judgment any time I remember I have that choice.
Every one of us has the power to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen since we live in our thinking, not in events.
Please join me on: http://threeprinciplessupermind.com/Events/lori-carpenos-04.884/
this Wed. the 10th at 2:00 PM EST when I will speak about Valentine’s Day and the three Principles. It will be taped if you are unable to make the webinar in real time.
One of the nicest things about having a blog is that it provides a recorded history, similar to journal writing. I can see that I’ve not written here for almost six months!
At the time of my last blog I wrote about looking for an illustrator for my young adult book, “It’s an Inside-Out World.” The project has since evolved to help school age children find greater mental health and wellbeing in schools and in their daily lives.
Over the course of six months, I learned a great deal. Not only technical aspects of self publishing on Amazon and Kindle, but also what it takes to complete a big project and to collect the right team of people to see it through.
I feel incredibly blessed to have found the right team along the way, with very little effort on my part — a great deal of time, focus, concentration and energy perhaps, but it was mostly an enjoyable project that felt like I was simply putting one foot in front of the other, rather than working hard to accomplish a goal.
In fact, it was never a goal of mine to write a book, much less an illustrated book for youths! The story line literally fell in my lap and then I had no choice but to follow through, or so it seemed.
I think of myself as the scribe and the project manager, rather than the author. The author was the sum total of all the people and parts that made it come together in the end. I woke up one morning with the story in my head; it didn’t feel as though I had dreamed it, but there it was begging to be told. What else could I have done but sit right down at my computer and put fingers to keyboard to write what was already in my head?
Enter all the angels who seemingly swooped down to let me know that as miraculous as the unsolicited delivery of a story may seem, it still needed to be honed. I have Jack Pransky to thank for that, as well as Judy Sedgeman who woke me up to the fact that youths no longer use a phone other than to text, face time, or for social media….more revamping. A young woman who was sixteen at the time, now seventeen, helped me revise words to sound the way teens talk these days. I joined an authors’ forum where I found a wonderful team of illustrators in India, and my formatter, Caroline Frechette, in Canada. Caroline knows more about writing and publishing in the young adult world than anyone I could imagine. She has written books for this age range, won awards and she is also a librarian, along with being quite brilliant. Jyll Kashmann, my trusty editor, who finds typos in the NYT, rounded out the team. A team of angels.
I had a few humbling experiences. One night (actually, it was in the wee hours of the morning) I had a go-round with my on-line illustrator in India. Our thread was about measurements and dpi and resolution, as I recall. I was incredibly impressed with her patience and kindness even when I was clueless about many things. The whole project seemed magical. It came out of nowhere and has a life of it’s own which lead to helping young people find peace and satisfaction in their lives and in schools.
I’m honored to have wound up here. To top it off, I was recently invited to participate in a global call of educators involved in bringing the inside-out perspective to schools and none of them knew I that I had written this book. That goes beyond synchronicity. I’m not even sure how I got invited.
I know that anyone can write a book or complete any project they feel passionate about. How fortunate we are to experience life as creative beings and to know that when we hit a rough spot we can catch our breath, regroup, and begin again.
The book seems to be for the Young Adult age range, maybe eleven to seventeen, to help them understand how to access their innate health and well being during troubling times. I’ve received feedback from adults who have read a pre-published copy, that “it will be an appealing read for adults as well.”
Now for a little commercial to help spread this understanding among youngsters and those who work with them…I hope you will consider pre-ordering a digital copy that you can view on any device, even your smartphone just by downloading the Kindle app. You will be notified when it becomes available but the price increases once the pre-orders are filled. Here is the link for you: “It’s an Inside-Out World!” If you’ve been struggling with a project of your own, I hope this blog has inspired you to take a breath, regroup, and start again!
I feel so fortunate to have run across people who were teaching the Principles, way back in 1985 and to have met Sydney Banks while he was still alive. There is no question that Mr. Banks uncovered what would become a paradigm shift in the fields of psychology and psychiatry.
“Someday someone will find principles for psychology and when they do, it will change the field to a philosophy and a science and in turn it will help millions of people.”
William James (sometimes called the father of psychology)
To think that we’re at the forefront of an amazing realization for humanity; to witness history in the making is incredible. One day it will be common knowledge and people will quite naturally live life from their spiritual essence as opposed to their personal ego; we’ll surely have a different world then.
Can you imagine the vast majority of humanity living from an understanding of their spiritual heritage, looking out at the world from deep within, from their true nature? If more people knew they were experiencing their own thinking, their own creation – they would know which thoughts and experiences to take seriously and which to just let pass along on their way.
That is true mental health.
Of the three Principles, Thought is the creative Principle — it’s the principle that creates anything and everything. Consciousness is the principle that recognizes the creation and brings it to our awareness, and Mind is the power behind the whole show.
The Principles offer a deep, comprehensive understanding about how we operate. We can understand and explain the role of thought in moods, emotions and insecurity; what underlies differences between people, and why everyone thinks their perspective is the right one — to name but a few things an understanding of the Principles brings us.
Sharing the Principles with people is like giving them a baseline to understand how they experience life. When people have a baseline understanding of how they and their partner operate — it shifts everything. It shifts a person’s relationship to situations and circumstances to one of empowerment rather than victimization. To be able to look within and contemplate how we function as humans and to have even a rudimentary understanding of the Principles — helps people.
It’s a great privilege to witness an individual come up against their typical thinking and then come to the realization that a thought is not a fact; that thinking doesn’t make it so. As a therapist, I get to witness people transform their lives and their relationships just by understanding this one fact of life.
Recently, a young man came to my office for his second appointment, looking very dejected. He said, “My wife asked me for a divorce.” He came to the next session with his wife. She said,“I never said I wanted a divorce. I said, If I’m not giving you what you want, then maybe you should find someone who can.” She went on to say, “I really love this man; I want him to be happy and to have what he wants.”
People often “hear” through their personal thinking, which filters out what is actually being said . What is heard is not always what the speaker meant. The Principles show us the value of listening more deeply and beyond the mere words; to listen for the speaker’s meaning and the feeling that is being expressed. Generally, we are not taught to do that. As we grow up we learn to listen only to the words and then analyze what is being said according to our personal perspective. Children are actually more adept at hearing the true emotions behind the words, because the words have less meaning to them.
I could hear the wife’s frustration; thinking that she was incapable of satisfying him in the way he wanted her to and that just being herself was not enough for him. Listen beyond a person’s words, to what is really being felt emotionally. The Principles explain how personal thinking delivers separate realities; thus, it is important to ask questions rather than assume you know. The Principles explain what misunderstandings really are and why they happen.
When people first hear about the Principles they often ask, “What do the three Principles have to do with well-being?” My answer is, “Everything!”
Since Mind, Thought and Consciousness work together to create our experience, when we experience well-being, it’s coming from the Principles in action, and when we experience difficulty, that’s coming from the Principles in action within us, as well — it’s so simple.
People in the general public who either haven’t heard of the Principles, or haven’t seen them deeply enough, do not know that they have access to well-being, thinking it’s a fluke, that it is only felt when something good happens to them, which places them at the mercy of whatever happens in life that is out of their control.
While writing this blog, it occurred to me how interesting it is that people know what the word well-being means — which tells me that a person would have had to experience it to know that! Therefore, that makes it possible. Even if someone thinks they hadn’t experienced it in fifty years, they’d know what you were talking about. Everyone has moments of well-being even if just fleeting moments…the feeling of well-being comes through in the spaces between unsettling thoughts. It comes through even when difficult circumstances prevail, because there are always calm moments between thinking about the difficulty.
Well-being is a feeling to which we all can relate — when we use that word people agree that it is a feeling and know when they are in a state of well-being or panic or concern or worry — everyone has the capacity to differentiate — what allows people to do that?
The Principles allow people to know. Consciousness informs us of what we think, in combination they give us an experience we remember, via the Principles, and thus the experience is not only recognizable, but can be replicated, as well.
Elsie Spittle put it so well, in the description of her talk for our conference: “Let the Feeling Do the Work; innate wisdom expresses itself via a deep feeling of well-being. The feeling is a reflection of our true nature.”
Our true, spiritual nature exists before thought. We come into the world with no thought until we’re spanked to get oxygen to flow through our lungs, then we cry and then we rest peacefully; we’re all born with resiliency. That is how everyone enters the world of form from formless energy.
The prevalent thinking in the world right now however, is that one must find the thing or the person that will provide well-being, when in fact it is already a part of us and we are the ones who allow ourselves to have it or not — it’s always there for the taking. Isn’t that incredible? It’s always with us, but we just cover it up with our thinking. Well-being is our neutral but we’ll slam ourselves into reverse, into second, and third gears, without a care about what we’re doing to our internal mechanism. This may sound like a whacky metaphor, but really it’s a good description of how it feels to me when I’m not aware of the fact that my thinking is off on a tangent. Well-being is our birthright — regardless of what we can’t control — regardless of circumstances and situations.
Here is an example of what I mean: I’m enjoying myself, writing this blog and without realizing it at first, I start to scrunch up my bare toes. It feels strange to me, and then I recall that I broke a toe while playing ball barefoot on the lawn with my nieces. From there I begin to slip into memories of my broken wrist a few years ago and a thumb accident on a bike ride. Then slipping further down, I start to think about how I’m getting older — but at that moment I realize — oh my, I don’t have to go there! I don’t want to do that to myself — why beat myself up? Then boing – I’m back to a feeling of well-being again. We can wake up and become aware even in the middle of such a slippery slope.
We have a built in guidance system — our feelings, and all we need do is understand how that works. Our feelings (thoughts) let us know when we’re off course and about to slam into some thought rocks.
I am so very grateful to be involved with a spiritual understanding (Innate Health and the three Principles) that helps me, personally and professionally, in ways I could never have known. I wish the same for you, too. To deepen your understanding please visit: www.3PGC.org as often as you can and read Elsie’s book, “Our True Identity.”
After about fifty “working titles” my co-author, Chris Heath and I came up with a winner: “The Secret of Love”…. “Understand the Mystery, Unleash the Magic.” The instant all those words were spoken, I knew it was the perfect title; it really says what this book is about. Here’s an Intro to “The Secret of Love” It was filmed by Rudi and Jenny of Three Principles Movies; another resource I highly recommend.
I was also involved with our annual Conference – which took place from Oct 23 – 26 in St. Paul, Minnessota. It was incredible. You will be able to view all the Plenarys and every breakout session once they are loaded on the 3PGC site –. I had the pleasure of presenting a break-out on being a 3 principles practitioner with an ER Nurse and a Psychologist who was a Banker and a client of a Principles based Psychologist who then decided to switch careers and return to school for his Doctorate with the intention of sharing the Principles with his clients. I also had the pleasure of co-facilitating with Dr. Joe Bailey, at the end of the conference for a group of fifty people sharing the insights they had during the conference. There was so much “Aloha” spirit at this conference that it felt more like a Retreat than a Psychological conference. Everyone is welcome; maybe you will join me for next year’s conference?
The conference inspired the blog I’m going to write next. It will be about how the 3 Principles provide a paradigm shift away from looking at what is wrong with people; diagnosing people in order to “fix” them….. toward a health based Psychology that points people in the direction of their innate health and well-being. I hope to have that story in your mailbox very soon. Thank you for your patience! Back to editing:
“The Secret of Love.”
Be Well and Happy Fall
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”
I’ve harkened back to this old John Lennon lyric many times throughout my life, when things didn’t go according to my plan. It’s brought me comfort to remember this happens to all humans, though I can’t say that I liked it very much. I think that’s true for most people – they may give in to, or even accept the concept but not exactly embrace what comes their way.
I saw a deeper meaning to the lyric as my understanding of the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness unfolded through the years. I began to see that I have greater choice than to merely accept the way things occur. I began to see that it has to do with what I do with my own thinking around whatever happens. I could think perturbed thoughts, or I could think shucks I have to accept this, or I could think neutral, with no thought of judgment at all. I realized it’s up to me to steer my thought rudder around toward clear open waters rather than bash my ship against the rock wall that suddenly appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, on my well planned course.
“Thought is like the rudder of a ship. It guides you through life and if you learn to use that rudder properly, you can guide your way through life far better than you ever imagined. You can go from one reality to another. You can find your happiness…”
Sydney Banks, The Missing Link
When I didn’t go to judgment, I’d become curious, quite naturally. I wondered where the new path would lead me or what there was to learn from this new, unplanned event.
Finding Resilience and Potential in Life:
Understanding how Mind, Thought, and Consciousness work together to provide a very real experience of life was what allowed me to back off of my own thinking, to see that what I think and therefore how I respond, was optional. After all, I’ve witnessed others see the same thing differently and I’ve even experienced myself see the same thing differently at different times, so I realized it’s possible to just open my mind up to see the unexpected event or circumstance in a brighter light. Frankly, the results have been nothing short of miraculous.
Life happens and we do what we do with it according to what we make of it. Do you see what I mean?
Here’s an example from my own life: I expected to be finished with my book by now – actually, quite some time ago. Truth be known – I began it over five years ago! What I found is that it has a life of its own. I changed so much along the way, and I’m really glad it worked out that way because I know that I’ll have a much better book to offer, in the end.
If you have a story that illustrates finding resilience and potential in life, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
Here’s to life unfolding in the way that it does and to each of us finding the bright spot within, that allows us to recognize the mystery behind it!
…if only people knew the truth about supremely happy people.
By Lori Carpenos and Jack Pransky
Very happy people all have one thing in common, though most of them don’t even know what it is. The truth about supremely happy people is that they spend more time living in positive, upbeat thinking than the rest of the population. They don’t do it on purpose; it’s natural to them. If you took a closer look you’d see that they don’t focus on what they don’t like in life. They are more enamored with, more intrigued by, and more interested in the joyful aspects of life. If two poles existed with positivity at one end and negativity at the other, they would naturally gravitate toward the positive. Because they enjoy it so much they tend to have more benevolent thinking. They don’t even know they’re doing it because they don’t think they’re doing anything. And they’re not; they’re just being. They would say, “Well, what other way is there to be?”
How do we know this about them? Because we know this about us! It’s not that we’re happy all the time, but when we’re not we don’t take it too seriously. We know it will pass and, lo and behold, the happiness eventually returns.
Unlike many of the people we spoke of above, seeing through the eyes of happiness and positivity did not come naturally to us. Jack’s ex-wife used to call him “Doctor Doom” because he was always looking at what could go wrong. Lori was depressed for years and spent years talking about it to a therapist!
But we learned the truth about supremely happy people.
We learned about “The Three Principles,” and by “principles” we mean “universal truths” or facts about how our entire experience of life is created—not what happens to us in life, but what we make of what happens to us, or our internal experience of whatever happens to us. In other words, what we have come to understand about these three psychological/spiritual principles at the core of all human experience is what brought us to the state in which happy people naturally live. Anyone can attain a happier, more joyous experience of life with a deep enough understanding of these principles.
We do not have enough space here to go into detail about what the three universal principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought are, but to cut to the chase, at their essence and most simply, what these principles mean is that whatever happens in the outside world can never make us happy or unhappy. What makes us happy or unhappy or any other feeling or emotion comes from our own thinking appearing and feeling real to us. Happy people are happy because they see themselves and the world through happy eyeballs (their own thinking), plain and simple. Unhappy people are unhappy because they see the very same things through the eyes of anger or upset or disappointment or frustration or worry or bother or depression or any other emotion. In other words, happy people create their own happiness simply because of what they see with their own creative power of thought made to look and feel real by their consciousness. Therefore, happiness is their own creation.
And here is an even more amazing thing that we learned from understanding the three principles: If we didn’t take our unhappy thoughts seriously they wouldn’t impact us and we would automatically be happy! We don’t have to go out of our way to think up positive or happy thoughts (that’s too hard!), because joy and happiness is already naturally built into the human spirit, and the only way human beings cannot experience it is if they create the illusion with their own thinking that life is otherwise. Such thinking puts a veil over the internal happiness that exists, and which would be there for everyone to see if they weren’t thinking otherwise. Now, there is nothing one can do to stop those thoughts and the resulting feelings from popping into our heads, but when other than joyful, loving, peaceful or wise thoughts do pop in, we don’t have to take them to heart, we don’t have to believe them, trust them or follow them. We simply allow them to pass through like clouds across the sun.
We could not have an experience of anything without the ability to think! That’s a fact. We could not have an experience of anything if we had no consciousness of our thoughts; it would be like reading a book in a foreign language that we didn’t understand a word of. That’s a fact. And without the energy behind life (the principle of Mind), the creative source of everything, we would not be able to think or be conscious. That’s a fact. All we have to understand is how these facts work together to create any possible experience, any feeling, we can ever have.
Think about it: We could not possibly be in a bad mood without low quality thoughts, and vice versa. We could not possibly be in a good mood without high quality thoughts and vice versa. Most of our thinking is not voluntary; thoughts just occur, constantly, for all of us every moment of our lives. We get into habits of thinking, however, which can result in labels, such as pessimist, optimist, worrywart, Debbie Downer, Nervous Nelly, etc. Our individual thoughts create outcomes—sort of a built-in system of consequences–all brought about by us!
Outcomes change however, for people who know enough about the three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought and how they operate within every human being. A deep understanding of these principles naturally results in greater resilience, common sense, happier lives (no matter what is going on in the outside world), greater passion for life and a more generous spirit, as well as a greater appreciation for ordinary life experiences. There’s nothing to cultivate or make happen. These are the outcomes from a simple understanding.
This is not as much of a mystery as it sounds on the surface. Psychologist Abraham Maslow found that everyone in their best or peak moments displayed the same characteristics as ”self-actualized” people. In other words, even generally miserable people have happy moments, and in those happy moments they are thinking the way the happiest people think generally. This means we all have it in us to be happy because in moments we are! We all know how to be that way because it happens to us, sometimes even in spite of ourselves. All we have to do is realize what our minds look like and function like in those moments, allow it to happen more often and disbelieve our thinking when we’re not thinking that way.
We don’t want you to believe us. Simply look inside yourself and see if it’s true for you.
If you want to learn more about it and understand it better you can watch interviews of
people from all walks of life talk about these three principles at www.3PGC.org or www.threeprinciplesmovies.com or read books such as Somebody Should Have Told Us!
by Dr. Jack Pransky. There is no doubt that understanding these Principles leads to greater happiness—at least it has been no doubt for us and for the thousands of others who have
caught on to the way life really works.
If you live anywhere near Hartford, CT, USA please consider coming to a Retreat on Feb. 28 and March 1, led by two renowned 3 Principles teachers, Drs. Pettit and Sedgeman.
It truly is all perspective!
Some of you already know about my hearing loss. I often joke that all my years of listening to clients must have burned them out. At times I marvel at the intricacy and delicacy of the human cochlear that no man-made device can ever hope to replicate. Perspective changes all on it’s own.
There are times when I feel incredibly blessed to have had perfect hearing at one point in my life; something I took for granted. There are moments when I feel blessed to still be able to hear something, anything — in my one working ear, albeit quite compromised. I give thanks for modern technology and the scientists who invented the hearing aide; thankfully I’m not living in the beginning of the 20th century or I’d have to carry a large horn with me! To think I sometimes have the nerve to complain about the teeny weeny batteries that need changing so frequently. I was once caught with none in sight and realized I hadn’t ordered more in time before I ran out. Then, another moment of gratitude that there’s such a thing as a hearing aide with a tiny battery. Pleasure and displeasure always come to us from our own thinking.
A series of events brought me to the conclusion that my next step was to investigate a cochlear implant. Fast forward (though it seemed like just a few short weeks) I had the surgery two days before Christmas. It was explained that sound will be totally different than what I hear with my natural hearing. Voices will sound like robots or cartoon characters until I get accustomed to it over the course of three to twelve months of three to six mapping sessions in the audiologist’s office and weekly speech therapy for six to twelve months. The human cochlear is too extraordinary to replicate exactly.
There was always a chance that I would not be a candidate, until my hearing test proved that my hearing ear was “terrible enough,” according to my surgeon. I asked if that was a new diagnosis…“terrible enough?” I passed with flying colors: When terrible is a good thing. He was surprised. I guess I hadn’t realized how much lip reading I do automatically. When I relayed this story to a friend of mine she confessed that she had thought I had been checking out her lip wrinkles! We had a good laugh!
The surgeon threads a tiny electrode filament through the labyrinth of the cochlear in the inner ear, where tiny hair cells once stood tall and straight. To think that tiny hair cells can be so consequential to us. It’s an incredible miracle. Hard to imagine that we lose things we never imagined losing yet in it’s loss we can awaken to another gift — the gift of gratitude and the realization that although nothing stays the same, we are built to adapt.
The other night I had the pleasure of attending our local symphony orchestra to hear Handel’s Messiah. I marveled at the sound of instruments I could hear with my natural hearing and then with my hearing aide — different, but still beautiful. This was perhaps, one of my richer audio moments — because it was imbued with the knowledge that it is a miracle to be able to hear at all. Pleasure and displeasure always come to us from our own thinking! I made a mental note to listen to music more often! Miracles won’t amount to anything if we don’t recognize and utilize them. There are so many miracles to become aware of, often so close we don’t even notice them.
I was driving home from my yoga class last Saturday during the start of our first snowfall of the year. It approached slowly, like a white cat who didn’t want to be noticed.
It was a joy to be out in it, as everything began to slow down, and the roads were still safe enough to not feel scared as I drove the terrain. Life felt like a movie in slow motion. Traffic slowed, people walked with care, all in an effort to stay safe. I felt fully present; a feeling I wanted to savor. Fewer cars, people, no hustle, bustle.
As I drove home, ever more slowly, in the flow of traffic, I realized how good it felt and by comparison how speeded up I had become lately.
It’s so easy to get all caught up in the maelstrom of everyday life, trying to get things accomplished and tick off the never ending “to-do” list. Today’s early afternoon slow down was a much needed antidote to my typical busy-ness.
When I’m caught up in it, I’m not even aware of the fact that I could slow down. Realizing now — if I can slow down and get present, in a snowstorm, I can do it anytime. Slowing down brought the gift of higher quality thoughts, as it usually does. I love these reminders.
As I drove down the street, my immediate world seemed to take on a pleasant patina. Driving became fun and exciting, instead of just another chore to accomplish. The pure white landscape gave way to a mysterious white fog, as twilight approached. All seemed so quiet outside, that I felt compelled to turn the radio down low. There were plenty of errands to tend to, but I decided to go straight home to write. Quiet is a beautiful feeling; I wanted to envelope myself in it.
I’m wondering what you did during the storm, what you thought about, and if it affected you differently. Please leave a comment if you’d like to share with the rest of us. Might make a fun topic for our next Tuesday night group session!
Live in the Life Force rather than Life Circumstances
Ever wake up thinking something like: “Life is so difficult” — or have a day where one too many things have gone wrong, or felt as though the last straw has finally broken your strong back? I think every one of us can say we’ve had those moments, or days, or even a bad month, perhaps year; I know I certainly have. Yet at some point we arrive back at our happier, more content selves. Have you ever wondered what causes that? Resiliency. All of humanity seems to be able to bounce back from whatever misfortune has befallen them, if not right away, then — eventually.
This is what allows us to be resilient:
There are scientific, universal laws that are known as principles, which explain resiliency and the human condition. Knowing about these principles (our operating system) and understanding them at a deep enough level will allow you to, as the title states, make your life better instantly! We know this is possible because we’ve experienced it ourselves and we’ve witnessed it in our clients and students.
You see, these principles, or facts of life, though invisible, are always present within every human being from birth to death, during every moment of life.
When people understand these principles they automatically stop taking their thinking so seriously because these principles explain that we are making it all up, as we go along, all the time. We are not living in a reality, we live in a personal reality, whether we realize it or not.
How can we take anything we make up as gospel truth when we realize we’ve created it? Remember the first time you saw a frightening movie like, “Jaws,” and realized the shark was a mechanical device made to look real? It then became impossible to feel scared by it. Or when you uncovered the workings of a magic trick — once you understood how it worked, you couldn’t get wowed by the trick any longer. However, the very fact that this is what occurs in the human psyche is in itself magical. Some have called it a mystical experience when they wake-up to their ability to create a reality with their own thinking.
In the moments we realize we are part of nature, part of the life force behind everything, we see our circumstances as neutral, and then they don’t have a bad affect on us.
The truth is, we don’t actually “make” our life better, because that implies doing something. It’s actually about NOT doing something that makes our life better…. when we decline to entertain negative thoughts that occur to us, pay them as little attention as possible, they will drift away; on their own. If you ever forgot to study for a test in school you would have experienced how easy it is for things to drift away when we don’t tend to them. That is the true nature of thought for each of us.
Guess what occurs when you allow your negative thoughts to drift along in the natural flow of thinking? More positive thoughts will enter your mind – naturally, without “doing” anything! In fact, wise solutions to problems, typically occur during calm moments. The solution then appears obvious and we wonder why we hadn’t seen it when were upset, mulling over and dwelling on the problem? Please don’t take my word for it — see for yourself — simply notice what naturally occurs for you when you allow yourself to be in the flow of thoughts without taking any one of them seriously. Our minds calm down, our state of mind lifts, and our life appears so much better — instantly. In the moment our mind clears our life looks much better and the experience of life is much better in those moments.
The following is an excerpt taken from an interview with Dr. Dicken and Coizie Bettinger for a book on relationships and the 3 Principles that I’m writing with Chris Heath.
Dicken was a practicing psychologist in Vermont when he learned of the Principles. He and his family moved to LaConner, WA to work with a group of therapists whose mission was to share the Principles with others.
At the time we started learning the Principles, we began to understand that our thinking creates our moods. This was immediately helpful in our family because the kids were around ten and fourteen when we became aware of this. It was something they could relate to and understand. We came up with this sort of rule for the family that we wouldn’t talk about problems or issues or hard things when any of us was in a low mood. Our children loved to catch us in low moods and then not want to talk about whatever it was, which was very effective because our parenting improved as a result. We didn’t deal with problems in low moods. We would just wait it out until we felt better and that was good for Dicken and me.
We just flat out refused to talk about things while in low moods. It was a big discovery that it’s normal for the quality of our thinking to go up and down (which is what moods are) instead of believing that what we think when we are in a low mood means something significant or it means something that has to be talked about in the relationship. And so when we began to see low mood thinking as normal and that you didn’t really have to pay attention to that thinking and it would pass pretty quickly, boy did that make things easier in all of our relationships. We didn’t feel compelled to have to talk about things when we were upset. And we didn’t think it was necessary to do that in order to have a better relationship. We didn’t take each other’s low moods so personally so it became more and more just a natural fit and a normal cycle and nothing to really be concerned about. Feelings no longer were statements about the relationship. They just became indicators of the quality of thought that was coming through. That was huge. It made a big difference. It seemed to take the pressure off. I think before that we took each other’s low mood thinking personally and thought we had to figure it out. If Dicken got into a low mood and he seemed pretty serious, I would sometimes think that meant something about me; that he was mad at me or unhappy with me. So I thought that we needed to discuss it. And unfortunately we would. (Laughter)
To this day it is just such a relief not to feel like there are issues and problems and things that we need to talk about. We just know that in a better mood, when better thinking starts coming through it either won’t be a problem or it will look different or there will be a solution that comes to mind. It is just so easy. We definitely started to have much more trust in our own wisdom and in leaving things alone until our heads cleared. Then we were in a space that was very easy to see our way through any difficulties or problems or challenges. It relieved the pressure of having to work so hard to figure out what didn’t seem right. We both gained much deeper trust in our own capacity for common sense and wise thinking and that we could trust our thinking when we were in good feelings but not at all when we were in bad feelings. This was so helpful. It paid off to just wait until the wise thinking showed up rather than work so hard when it wasn’t available.
There was one really good example of that which I will never forget. It was when we were making the decision to leave Vermont to move out here to La Conner, WA. When we first started thinking about moving our son had two more years of high school, so we thought he could come out here to finish high school. But we weren’t ready to move until he had only one more year left and of course he was adamant that he wasn’t going to go. So we started to have conversations about it and immediately one or two or all three of us would just start having upset thinking, and we would get scared, or I would cry. It seemed like we didn’t know what to do or what could possibly be the solution. So when we started trying to figure out how we were going to work this out we all agreed that we would only talk about it when we were all in pretty good states of mind. And if any of us got upset while we were talking, we would stop. And we knew that at some point we would come to agreement. We trusted that would happen. But it wouldn’t happen if we were upset and having a hard time talking about it, so we started and stopped the conversation several different times over the next weeks. And then one time, one of us got a different idea. A totally new thought that none of us had even considered, a whole new option for what we could do. This new thought was so different, which was for Dicken to go out to Wasington by himself and I would stay back with Ben until he finished his last year of high school. It made so much sense to all of us immediately. It was a big relief and it felt so right that we just trusted it. Immediately we began to put our energy into thinking about what we could do to make it the absolute best year that our family ever had. We all began to become creative and to brainstorm and come up with new ideas for how to do that and it ended up creating a remarkable growth-filled year for all of us. I don’t think we would have gotten there if we had used our old way of thinking that would have forced a decision that would have been really difficult for somebody. Most likely we would have forced our son to come out here.
I don’t know what it would have been, we had different options but that is just one example of how, by learning the Principles we began to trust in our own wisdom. We learned that the answers would be there when we were in a good state of thinking as opposed to when we were anxiety-ridden. Our understanding of the Principles allowed us to trust our wisdom.
After my very first training in the Principles, I made this remarkable discovery that at any moment when I just stopped working on getting somewhere in order to develop or to achieve my well-being, the most incredible experience happened. I naturally began to feel and think better which is what I was looking for in the first place, and I didn’t have to work at it. I already had it, just naturally built in. This notion that I already had perfect well-being inside and I didn’t have to develop it, was a huge change for me. So as I worked less on myself and had less thinking on my mind I began to become more lighthearted and more present and more available and my kids noticed it and it sure made things so much easier for Coizie and me. We got closer and closer without even trying. So I learned that intimacy was not a function of working. You can’t work your way to intimacy. It was a given that when my personal thinking would quiet down I would feel warmth and a connection and closeness to whoever was around me. I couldn’t believe it was that easy. I couldn’t believe that if I got out of my own way I would feel close and connected to people around me.
Coizie and I started having so much fun. We would allow our thinking to quiet down and then we would feel warm and connected and so close. We would just enjoy sharing quiet time together. We started seeing how easy it was to connect on a much deeper level. We couldn’t believe that we discovered something so simple that could immediately help us be warmer and more loving as parents, as well as warm, loving and intimate in our marriage. What a beautiful thing to discover and then be able to share with clients and see them have the same results very quickly. To see this happen over and over again was just unbelievable to me. It was like a dream come true.
I changed from being preoccupied and resorting to my old pattern of withdrawing. I would withdraw into myself and I would turn to my books and techniques to escape inner tension. I still experience inner tension sometimes, but it doesn’t mean anything anymore and it wakes me up to the fact of thought and I fall out of that thinking easily and quickly. I now realize that pure consciousness is an underlying space inside that is always there. I experience this space as welcoming and warm and loving and wise. It is my home base. For me to know that this home base is always right there inside, not just in me, but in everybody; in my family, my friends, my clients and even in strangers, has been powerful. For me to see and know with certainly that beauty is in everybody, allows me to know that even when my kids or wife are having a difficult time and struggling, inside they are already perfectly ok. This is so helpful.
To be really patient with the fact that we all get caught up at times in our own thinking is good to realize. The thoughts seem real to us and we get stuck. Realizing that allows us to look past it. This really helped us when our kids were teenagers and now with grandchildren, it does as well. We’re sharing with them about thinking and feeling; where our feelings really come from.
It just takes one person to begin to live it in a family, a relationship, or even an organization. Dicken was the first to learn about the Principles, but it was contagious in our family. You could see it spreading from one person to another to another and then we would each reinforce the other, just by the way we were living from this understanding. You know, right now our son’s girlfriend is learning this from Dicken and that is just so neat to think that she is deepening her love for our son. And to see her becoming more satisfied and at ease with herself is just so great!
Please have a look at Dicken’s website for more information:
If Only People Knew!
I’ve missed blogging to you on a regular basis, but I truly did not realize how much time it would take to write an eBook.
My co-author, Chris Heath, and I have received an unexpected amount of support for what I had originally envisioned would be just a small project. The good news is that we’re getting wonderful stories from 3 Principle teachers, around the globe, whose relationships grew in ways they never would have imagined before they learned about the Principles that are at the heart of all human experiences. Hearing or reading about others’ stories is a great way to gain insights that will assist your own relationships.
It occurred to me today, that I can still keep in touch with you this way — and let you know how the book is coming along, without having to wait until I have time to return to regular blog writing. Know that you will receive the eBook, free, for having signed up here, it’s just going to take longer than I expected, to complete.
These are a few notes that came to me the other day — which may or may not be included in the book, but I thought I’d leave you with now…
At times, a person has said to me --
“Yes, I live in the moment. I believe in that too.” That person might then ask a question such as, “What about when an issue needs to be dealt with and resolved?” To which I might reply: “Interesting, how does that seem like living in the moment to you?”
The truth is — there is nothing to deal with when you’re in the moment — you’re just there taking care of whatever life presents and it always works out better if you can “deal” with whatever is being presented in a clear mind with pure wisdom in that moment.
When it comes to relationships, learning from the past is a misnomer. If we’re “learning from the past” then we may not be as aware of the nuances that are happening in the now, to where we have evolved. We’d just be stuck in our memory and our conditioned thinking missing out on insights, from a deeper wisdom, that will lead to a better experience in the now.
Wisdom, uncontaminated by personal or conditioned thinking, tells us how to take care of things in the moment. Sometimes our wisdom may say it’s best to just stay quiet and listen. Sometimes our wisdom might tell us, h/she needs reassurance or some sort of comfort but may be too upset to accept that right now, in which case you might just say, “I’d very much like to comfort you right now but I’m not sure that’s what you are wanting….”
Your compassion will come through and that is very powerful. Your partner may not stop railing, but it will calm things down a notch and you can just hang back and listen quietly, for there’s always something to be learned from what the other is expressing.
I’d love to hear your comments and whether or not this is the sort of thing you’d like to see in our book on relationships.
I’d also love to hear your response to the following working titles, and if you have a favorite or if you come up with something else that would illustrate the same idea, please let me know.
The Simplicity of Creating a Healthy Relationship,
If Only People Knew!
Simple Truths Behind Healthy Relationships
Simple Truths Behind Rewarding Relationships…
Simple Facts That Create Healthy Relationships
And last, but definitely not least — please consider joining us at the annual conference in MN. in September 5-8! www.3principlesconference.eventbrite.com
It’s Valentine’s Day 2013, I’m reminded of a small silver charm in the shape of a heart with an arrow that spun around stopping near the words: no, maybe, yes. I was about 13 maybe. I’m now 59, the same age my mother was when she passed away. That gift touched me, I don’t recall getting any other Valentine’s gift from my parents; I wish I could ask her why that year?
It pleases me that I had this fond memory, yet I feel sorry that I didn’t know then what I’ve come to know now. I would have had more tender moments with my mother then; because I would not have judged her so negatively. I would have known how detrimental that is to a relationship. I would have felt compassion instead. I would have known why she said the things she said so her words wouldn’t hurt me. I would have known why she did the things she did so her actions wouldn’t hurt me. I would have known that her words and behaviors came from how she thought about life and things, and I wouldn’t have taken it all so personally.
If my mother had known about the 3 Principles she would have recognized that her own thinking was causing her anguish and then she would not have lashed out at me. She would have known to quiet her mind down before speaking to me. Had she understood the nature of thought and reality explained by the 3 Principles, she would have been more compassionate and understanding with me because she would have known that my words and behaviors were the result of my insecurities. People change from the inside-out as their understanding increases; I’ve witnessed it in myself and in my clients and colleagues. Behaviors and communication improves naturally and automatically as people gain this understanding.
I wonder what it would be like to grow up in a family where there was no judgment, and no negativity. The miracle is that future generations can learn how to do that! The explanation is in understanding how 3 simple Principles work within everyone. There are now books for all ages that explain these Principles. There’s even a book out now for young children, calledWhat’s a Thought. There are free webinars and podcasts, available to everyone, explaining the nature of thought, why everything we think looks so real and how to avoid acting on unhealthy thoughts that will cause a bigger problem. As you read, watch or listen to these resources you’ll begin to see it for yourself. We call that an insight — seeing from within. Permanent positive change occurs through insight. By taking the time to explore further, you will give yourself the greatest gift of your life. You’ll see that love is always the answer and you’ll automatically find yourself in a state of love rather than judgement, just by virtue of finding out how the 3 Principles play out in life. As your understanding deepens so will your experience of love and you’ll notice the people around you will respond differently to you.
Thoughts of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut come to mind every time I see a young child. The event happened on a Friday, and I cried every time I saw a child throughout the weekend. I felt sluggish, duped, hopeless, extraordinarily sad, angry, unmotivated, and at times as though I just did not want to do a thing. I could care less. Mail started to pile up, because I was choosing to do what I wanted to do, I did not want to reward a world capable of this by doing anything it seemed to demand of me. A world capable of creating such monstrous events— no thank you!
I realized that my own thoughts were delivering my experience of anger and hopelessness; knowing that helped a great deal.
There has been no natural disaster, no war, no other slaughter that has affected me like this one. Maybe partially because it happened so close to my home, but mostly because I know it had to do with the human thought process so I know it could have been prevented if more people understood how it works.
There is talk of the need for security guards in every school now; for armed principals, for bullet proof glass doors and windows, for lock-downs and closer restrictions on who can purchase guns and of course getting assault weapons out of the hands of ordinary citizens whose minds can crack at any moment. All external fixes for an internal occurrence. No one is talking about the thinking that goes on behind the scenes of any action; good, bad, or horrific. No action can take place without a motivating thought. Whatever thoughts are on a person’s mind creates the state of mind in which they live in. States of mind are created by the quality of thinking within the individual.
I can not fathom the state of mind the shooter would have to be in to bring about such a horrific outcome. It would have been awful enough if he had chosen a nursing home with people at the end of their life, but to target a first grade class; it’s unthinkable. If Alfred Hitchcock or Steven Spielberg had even come up with that idea for a movie, they would have squelched it because it would be too awful for their audiences. Too horrible even for a movie, but yet it can happen in real life.
Of course there is renewed consideration of gun control laws; but even beyond that we must work at getting everyone to know, at an early age, that horrible thoughts will come to their mind from time to time, and they alone will choose whether to act on them or not. Horrible thoughts don’t kill or harm, but actions do. Every person has the ability to choose wisely, but first they have to know it is possible for them to choose wisely.
Anne Curry, of NBC news, used her ability to create something very touching in response to the loss of innocent young lives:
It was through the same ability to think, that Adam Lanza created an atrocity. We have the freewill to choose how we use our ability to think and it’s built into every one of us to choose wisely as long as we know that is the case.
We have the resources and the people, available, to teach others about their thinking — that they have the power to choose wisely in every moment of life. They have the power to discern. It’s so simple and obvious when you hear it. We have the ability to recognize the feeling that tells us when we are off course. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that. There has never been a better explanation that is so simple to see and understand, than the three principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness. If only the shooter had known, this horrific outcome could have been avoided.
If the adults who knew Adam had listened to what he was really saying, they would have recognized the signs, and not have passed off his statements as “prepubescent ideas.” Talk about “blowing things up,” does not come from a high state of mind. It would have been so simple to spot if the adults had been taught to listen to the person speaking, and for the feeling beyond their words, and not just their own ideas and assumptions.
We enjoy the benefits of living in a free-will society, and of course we should, but no one learns the responsibility that goes along with the gift of freedom. We live in a culture filled with anger, hatred and violence but we don’t have to accept it as fact or as anything we want to spend our precious time on. Yet how many really know they have this choice? How many know that we can choose to feel bad and keep our minds going in the most unpleasant direction, or we can switch gears and turn in the other direction? We’re blessed with flexible minds. How many know that?
To think that this mass murder of children, at the beginning of their lives, could have been avoided, had they known how the three principles work within everyone. It’s so simple and easy to share and show others. Maybe now people will start paying attention to what comes first, what comes before the ability to have or use guns, before the creation of bullet-proof windows and the idea to hire security guards. It is the ability to create all of that, as well as symphonies, slaughters, and everything else under the sun. When will the world look in the direction toward which it all begins – the power to create within our own individual minds where we can pick and choose what creations which to pay attention.
Someday, another potentially disturbing event will be prevented because the potential perpetrator will have come to understand the relationship between his ability to think and his feelings and know not to take his negative thoughts and feelings seriously and thus, not to act on them. S/he’ll know to let it go or talk to someone about the horrible thoughts that s/he is having trouble letting go. The mother of a child who is suffering from his/her thinking would know how powerful thought is and would know that best way to protect her child is to do whatever it takes to monitor his/her thoughts and utilize whatever assistance she can obtain. She would know the danger in trying to handle it alone.
The best prevention is spreading the understanding that is available for everyone, about how their own thinking creates their life experiences, in every moment.
This is an excellent blog from my friend and colleague, Jack Pransky, Ph.D. on the School Shooting:
Please RSVP – if you would like to be part of a support group to talk about how this has affected you. I’m offering this opportunity at no cost because I know it can be very helpful to talk it out and to foster each other’s mental health and resilience.
The world seems to be changing at warp speed, to me; does it to you, too? I wonder when I turned into my mother.
Hunkered down at home on a Monday due to storm cancellations, I thought it a good time to take care of the personal business that I put off as long as possible — checking credit card statements, emails, movie reviews, and frequent flier mile questions. Things that have no urgency or deadline attached yet have the power to drive a person crazy when tackled in between two things that do have a deadline or urgency, real or imagined.
Is it really the thing that has that power?
Or is it our ability to think, that has the power? In fact, our ability to think has to be powered by the same life force that powers our heart and lungs. Our ability to think is accompanied by the free will to think anything! I learned this from Sydney Banks, who, in 1973, discovered that we all operate from three Principles: Divine Mind, Thought and Consciousness, which taken together give us an experience of our lives every second we are alive. Divine Mind refers to the power behind everything including the human ability to think. Consciousness refers to the fact that we are always conscious of what we think, it makes what we think appear as though it is the one reality. Thought refers to the ability to think anything. From this knowledge came my awareness that I could think about (reflect on) whatever I choose and I don’t have to believe any of it since I’m the one making it up.
I exercised this ability and decided to settle in and enjoy the process of taking care of the mundane things we all have to keep on top of in life.
I made my way down the list, letting out a sigh of relief with each check mark as though I had just won an Olympian award for most organized or best checker offer. Accomplishment can be such a thrill. I’m happy to have made up that game with myself, it elevates the mundane to a higher power. Why not? It feels better to do things that way and makes the mundane more pleasant.
It seems to me that we’ve been given the ability to be selfish (which is nothing more than thinking selfish thoughts and believing them, or not) — why not put that ability to good use? I used to think it was selfish to look for ways to take care of myself. I would have put finding a calm state of mind in that category thinking that the only person it would benefit would be me and then I’d get less done. Or so I thought.
First, It’s better for everyone involved when we look at things from the vantage point of a calm mind. Did it have to take a storm to see that? Not only does it not take time to be calm, it’s also good for everyone with whom I come into contact!
Let’s have a closer look…
Since when does being calm take time?
That sounds so funny to me now — I realized that it’s something I thought that I was unaware of thinking. It’s because of the Principles at play within us, that made it look real to me. I actually believed that I needed time to calm my mind — now that’s quite an idea to entertain. I reflected on the consequences of believing in such drivel.
When having to deal with customer support, I would get a thought about how annoying that’s going to be so I’d put it off, like I would if I were a kid having to clean her room or brush her teeth. Why do I think it has to be a bad experience?
All the things I put off until I THINK I’ll have time for them!
I realized that I made that up. It doesn’t have to be that way! By putting things off, the pile would only get higher and then I’d have a bunch of anxious thoughts about what needed to get done that I wasn’t doing. I would never consider if my state of mind was calm and if not, just go to a calm mind, and pick up the phone. In a calm mind, it was easy to make the choice to enjoy my time with customer service. Why not?
This insight came to me as I hung up the phone with an AT&T technician in Kentucky, named Samantha.We had a lovely time joking about how we all need a college degree in “Satellite Internet/TV remotely controlled interchange/exchange,” and a minor in cyber phonics — we laughed; the whole thing was a pleasant exchange.
New technology can connect phone lines to TV and probably other mobile devices as well. I enjoyed moving through all the internet windows, with Samantha’s guidance, to find the page that showed me my incoming calls because the number I thought I heard on my voice mail was not a working number.
Since you can’t leave breadcrumbs on the internet, I had no idea how I would ever be able to retrace those steps without an AT&T technician on the other end of a phone line. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it took Samantha to learn all that.
I complimented her on her skills to which she told me a story about an ER Surgeon who was similarly amazed that he could do what he does by day and be completely stumped at night by a TV and a remote controller.
I commented that we all need one another and as our society becomes ever more complicated, we need one another even more. There is no individual human brain that can do it all. Even Einstein would probably need some technical assistance in today’s world.
Complicated societies require the expertise of many people. New jobs will have to be created for all the new details of modern day life. That remark seemed like a no-brain er to Samantha and me, yet a roomful of politicians may not draw the same conclusion. I wish I had asked her how long it took to learn her job and what her salary was and what her age was, but that would not be socially acceptable — or would it? In future generations perhaps it will. I chose to stick with my conditioned viewpoint that those questions would not be socially acceptable and I didn’t want Samantha to think I was prying.
She also led me through a series of steps that began at the Start button, cascaded to Control Panel and then to Internet Networking — behind that door lays the answer to the question: How many bars do you have? I know I’m being a bit glib right now since most people are quite familiar with this and in fact if I keep going you’ll know my age — or at least within 5 years of my age. I know a little but not nearly enough to keep up with the pace of technology today.
A friend warned me a couple of years ago, saying, “you’d better keep up with technology or you’ll be a dinosaur like the older CEO’s who refuse to learn as though they are better than that, and are meanwhile being replaced by their younger, tech savvy, employees.” The world has changed at warp speed; we can fight it, grin and bare it, or embrace it — the choice is ours to make. We have the free will to think anything we want.
We joked about how we can be on hold for 1/2 an hour and once someone actually picks up we’re then led through a maze, trying to figure out how to word the question, never mind figure out what the answer means.
Samantha told a story about an 80-year-old woman she tried to guide through a series of steps and the degree of patience it required because the woman could barely get beyond turning the thing to the ON position. Heavens, where will the world be when I turn 80? I had better keep up, or at the very least stay friendly with the Samantha’s of the world — they rule!
I wrote down Sam’s info so I could give her a good review for her calm effort with me.
A love affair really does begin with a love affair with you.
In fact, I didn’t see “me” at all. I didn’t see what I would typically see. I didn’t see my physical reflection, I didn’t see the person who wasn’t very clear in yesterday’s meeting or the one who got embarrassed making eye contact with the handsome stranger in Whole Foods. I saw beyond all of that, I saw right through to my essence and I fell deeply in love.
In love with the ability to experience being a human in this magical mystical place, we call planet earth, suspended in a Universe of cosmic energy. It blew my mind. It only lasted for a moment, I think I could have stayed with it longer but that was all I needed — a brief glimpse to remember who I really am.
We are not our story, we are the essence behind the story:
It’s the same for every human on earth. I couldn’t help but think that if everyone could have that brief moment where the truth was revealed – not the story we make up about our lives, but the essence behind all life. We would remember what a miracle it is to be able to experience Creation, as well as our individual thoughts emanating from the power to create a personal experience through our ability to think and be conscious of what we think.
How can you not fall in love with the mystical universal experience, we all share? That Universal experience is who we really are – we are the ability to experience Creation. We also experience the ability to create in our personal worlds, and experience our personal creations as well.
What does this have to do with our daily lives?
It becomes so easy to notice when we start to go down the tube of upset. It becomes automatic to catch ourselves the instant we feel “off” our mark. By this I mean, that when you spend time in the flow of life and out of your head about what you think life is, or what it should bring you, or what you deserve, you will feel calm and secure. It’s an automatic thing. It becomes the norm, your default setting and you’ll notice when you’re not there and you’ll want to get back “there” to that good feeling so much that you’ll take a straight line back, not a jagged one through emotions and upsets. Just right toward better feeling states. The cleanest, fastest way is to let go of non-productive thoughts that cause you to feel bad. Thinking about it won’t change it, thinking about it will only take us away from a nicer feeling state where we all function better.
Turning a glimpse of pure consciousness into a way of life:
I can’t imagine how these glimpses that help me in my personal world would happen for me had I not known that it is Mind, Thought and Consciousness that brings me my personal experience every moment of my life as a human being. Mind, Thought and Consciousness are the 3 principles that were uncovered in 1972 via a spiritual epiphany that a man named Sydney Banks, experienced.
To me, it was the Holy Grail that everyone wants but most of us have been looking for it in the wrong direction. Humanity has been looking in the world of form for the answers that are already within, invisible and immeasurably valuable to humankind.
These Principles, once understood by enough people, will definitely bring peace on earth. We each have the opportunity to understand them for our own peace within and to understand how we get a personal view of this mystical thing we call Creation.
In the last thirty years of my life, my understanding of these simple, yet extraordinarily profound principles has deepened.
What Sydney Banks saw in a moment in time, takes most of us a lifetime to SEE. Perhaps because to fully understand the depth and breadth of what was revealed to Mr. Banks, we have to find it through insight, not through our analytic minds, and we’re so accustomed to depending upon our analytic mind for answers. It’s not something that can be taught or learned, it can only be uncovered from the depth of our own soul — where we already know and knew before we covered up our spiritual essence with personal, conditioned thinking.
We can all sense a formless energy behind the physical world we know:
We exist in what seem to be two worlds — the formless world of spirit and the physical world formed by our use of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We can use these gifts in a healthy, helpful, productive manner or we can use them in a destructive, unhealthy manner. Most of us don’t realize that we also have the gift of free-will to choose which thoughts we make our own and go forward with and which we let pass us by with nary a second glimpse, knowing full well how destructive it would be to follow them. Thought is the bridge between the world of form and formlessness for humanity so that we can know Creation.
Mr. Banks saw that the world of form and formlessness are the same. He did his absolute best to show anyone who would listen. I listened with as quiet a mind as I could. I have had glimpses of the oneness of the world of form and of formlessness, and it is a beautiful, serene, magnificent experience.
Each year that I look in the direction of the formless energy from which we derive. I SEE it more and more. I cannot begin to tell you how much easier, simpler and more lovely it makes life on planet earth — you’d have to SEE it for yourself.
What is invisible, yet incredibly powerful? What is at work all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not? What is the “mechanism” always available to us that dictates our every action? What is an amazing gift that every human receives at birth? What is completely free for the taking in every moment of life?
No, it’s not Superman!
OK, I admit it, not much of a brain teaser since the answer is right in the title — I just figured I’d use my free will to have some fun with you, which mixed with your free will, creates an outcome: You might be turned off by what you perceive to be silly and X out of this blog or you might get a light-hearted feeling and decide to hang in with me for a bit.
So one person’s free will affects another person’s free will and the synergy of the two (or more) creates a certain outcome. Comparing it to physics, one magnetic field affects another magnetic field determining whether the negative and the positive go forward together or the two negatives repel one another and go their separate ways.
Free Will is an incredible gift that we have at our disposal, 24-7; yet, who stops to consider it for one second? Not many, which is exactly why I want to draw your attention to it; so you can take better advantage of it.
It seems to me that the way in which we use our gift of free will determines the direction our life takes. In that regard, our decisions result in certain consequences, which ultimately create an outcome down the road apiece… just like the illustration of the magnetic pull of magnets, we affect ourselves and one another, but we humans have choices available to us; magnets and other unthinking entities do not.
We have the freedom to choose, the freedom to accept something or let something go. We can choose to be free from the bondage of our own minds, by virtue of where we put our attention. Just as a photographer can choose to focus on the foreground or background, diffusing any portion of the scene, we are all capable of doing the same with our own view of things, in the moment. We’re capable of taking our focus off what doesn’t serve us or anyone else., but how often do we exercise this capacity? If your radio station was full of static, you wouldn’t keep listening to it, or would you?
Through the gift of thought, we have the freedom to:
We alone choose
What’s really great is that we don’t have to change or DO anything at all, except — not trap what we’re thinking about — simply let it move through us naturally; like the wind moves through tree leaves or waves move through the ocean. We wouldn’t want to trap a tornado in place – yet we sometimes do just that with our own minds. Does that make sense? It’s one thing if you’re studying information for a test, it’s another thing if you’re bothering the bejeezus out of yourself for no good reason.
The next time you find yourself in an unwanted state of mind, you might remember your free will and exercise it wisely.
What exactly does it mean to escape reality? I’ve heard those words bandied about with some frequency. People go to movies, shop, drink, and get high to “escape reality.”
No one who uses a fix to escape can possibly know that the reality they so desperately seek to avoid was self-created. We create our own reality in every moment throughout our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. If we can think, then we’re creating a reality within our own minds. There is not one reality; there are as many personal realities as there are people on the planet.
Even when we’re looking out at a landscape, one could argue—-well that’s not in my mind, that’s out there; everyone can see it. Yes, it may be out there but if two people were standing on either side of you they would each see something different, or differently. One might not even notice the scene because s/he was so absorbed in some other thought.
One crisp fall day, I remember commenting to someone about the beauty of multi-colored foliage. Her response was, “Oh I hate fall, it reminds me of death, all these leaves will soon die.” Now that’s two very different realities, side by side, taking in the same scene, “out there.”
Whatever we notice “out there” will always be imbued with our thoughts about it. What we see can appear as though we’re wearing rose-colored glasses, or gray tinted ones. What most people do not know is that the mind will clear, whether the thoughts are rosy or gray, and things will look different again, and again. We never know how things will look in the next moment.
A shift in our thinking is natural. We call them moods. High quality thoughts put you in a high quality mood. Low quality thoughts put you in a low mood. It’s really that simple. I’m not suggesting that you conjure up some positive thoughts – consciousness does not bring forced thoughts to life the way it brings our “out of the blue” thoughts to life.
Armed with the knowledge that thought and consciousness bring us a particular state of mind, our ignorance is removed. Armed with this knowledge we can navigate our lives with more grace and ease. We may still be bumped around a bit, but we won’t get smashed as we would if life came hurling at us.
Imagine being in the middle of a mental storm, simultaneously knowing that it’s a temporary condition and that we can simply observe it without acting on it. Somehow, these emotional storms pass a lot more quickly when we recognize them for what they are; momentary personal takes on reality. None of us has the absolute truth about any view of reality.
A friend of mine experienced excruciating pain a few weeks ago during an attack of a virus. He thought he had food poisoning. Later, after the pain had subsided, he admitted that if there had been a window up high, he might have jumped out of it to avoid that horrific pain. A few days later he wondered how many people had actually gone ahead and taken their lives during moments of physical or emotional pain, whereas if they had just waited it out, they would have felt better and been grateful not to have taken the contemplated leap.
What a difference a thought can make.
People who have gained a deep enough understanding (it only takes exploring the many ways available now) have seen how to access beautiful feelings beneath their thinking. This is available to everyone. It requires letting our negative thoughts pass through, unattended. That’s the best way to escape “reality.” It’s natural and totally harmless. Then nice feelings rise to the surface; where people are at their best. Higher-level characteristics automatically spring forth. People then find they are more creative, more patient, more compassionate, and more generous, not because they decided to be but because these are the characteristics fostered in pleasant states of mind. It’s a natural outcome. No technique, practice, or drive is required.
Think of this as a public service announcement and spread it to others. It’s knowledge we can all stand to know. For those who would like more information regarding the workings of thought and consciousness, click here.
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An interesting thing to contemplate, especially this time of year with holiday parties and all sorts of merry-making to take us away from our typical (hopefully healthy) routines. Maintaining healthy self-discipline can be a burden in the best conditions. So I thought it valuable to reflect and have a deeper look at what self-discipline really involves. Reflection often leads to insight and insight leads to sustainable change from within.
As I reflected, the realization came that discipline is everywhere in my life, from brushing my teeth to leaving my office in time to get to my Yoga class. Since we know every experience in life comes to us via Thought and Consciousness, we also know that our experience of discipline comes via Thought and Consciousness.
Knowing where discipline originates sure helps:
Discipline is a choice:
Discipline requires us to choose one thought over another thought. Can you recall the cartoons where a miniature devil sits on one shoulder whispering in the recipient’s ear while a little angel sits on the other side whispering opposing thoughts in the other ear? It occurs to me that armed with enough understanding about how Thought and Consciousness work together to bring us experience, we can see that not all our thoughts are created equal; some are good for us and some are terrible for us. Yet we can so easily succumb to the thoughts that lead us astray. You know, that devil-may-care attitude to which we can fall prey. Intellectually we may know that something is bad for us but those devilish thoughts can catch us off guard and then send us sliding down a slippery slope.
Our psychological operating system:
Knowing how thought works is truly invaluable to us – it reveals our “operating system.” It tells us that every experience we have comes to us as apparent reality, as if it is an absolute black or white truth, when really it is simply the result of a set of thoughts. So if we think, “shucks, going one day without brushing my teeth will not make them fall out of my mouth,” that thought could convince us to skip a brushing. Then finding ourselves unexpectedly running into a friend who engages us in conversation, another thought might materialize: “Yikes, I didn’t brush today, I wonder if my breath gives me away?” The thoughts we take seriously and follow will always bring a particular outcome, whether in the short run or the long run.
What can happen when we don’t know how it works?
Before I knew how thought and consciousness work, I often tripped myself up with my own thinking. Now that I know that my reality is a self-created illusion – a personal interpretation of what’s happening, I have far more control over my choices, which makes life easier and gentler.
Imagine being at a holiday party where your devil starts to convince you that “you can have one more rum punch; after all it is a holiday.” Do you think you would succumb to the temptation if you realized it was that little devil up to his tricks again? It seems to me that it’s not the original thought that is the real culprit; it’s the next thought that evaluates the first one. Is this good for us or bad for us?
Natural high vs. unhealthy temptation:
Self-discipline in life can give us a natural high. We can succumb to unhealthy temptation hoping to feel high from something outside ourselves such as drugs or alcohol or any addiction with negative side affects, when in fact, there is no greater high than exercising our right to take care of ourselves. It feels so empowering. Seeing the results of our efforts, knowing that the experience was due to us, rather than some random event feels wonderful. After all, we are the ones in charge of ourselves in every moment of our lives. Knowing that our thinking will lead us astray if we go along with it is invaluable to help us choose wisely.
Knowledge is the key to self-discipline — the knowledge of what is creating our experience in the moment …
What if I happen to fall out of love after marrying, will it be possible to fall back in love? This is a common question I get from couples who see me for premarital counseling.
They’ve heard numerous tales of woe from friends and family. The old adage… “until death do us part,” has lost it’s glory, if not it’s meaning.
Couples fear the feeling of inevitable pain and suffering if they get too close to one another and something goes awry. No one wants a broken heart.
My answer is always the same – or at least some rendition of same: Yes, you will most likely fall out of love at some point, and back in love and out and back in again, perhaps several times. Why is that? Because love is mood related, and anyone who thinks thoughts, will experience moods. Bad moods are the result of low quality thoughts and high moods are the result of high quality thoughts. Get it? Moods and thoughts are thoroughly connected.
Falling in and out of love is an illusion created by the way in which we use Mind, Thought and Consciousness. These Three Principles are at work within each of us 24/7. They are working behind the scenes. Think of the process as being much like that of a theatrical production, in which there are those who are not seen, but they are crucial to producing the scenes of the play.
Thoughts deliver up our reality in every moment we are alive. We think whatever we think and consciousness brings our thoughts to life, though we may not even know what we’re thinking. Who stops to think about this? Not many; we just go about our business and experience it. It’s like what happens when we are immersed in a movie on the big screen just as if we are in it, “live~~in living color”. Then we remember, oh; this is just a movie.
The same is true in relationships. We can feel very close to a partner but will never actually be inside the others thought process. So, no matter how close, no one ever truly has the exact same thought experience. We each still have our own separate realities. In fact, even within our own heads, our reality shifts and transforms with each new thought. It may happen faster than our awareness of it.
What does this have to do with falling in and out of love? Everything; because our experience of love also comes from thought and consciousness, making loving as well as hateful thoughts appear to be 100 percent real. One day your partner may appear to be a monster because he forgot to take out the garbage after you reminded him three times. You might think that he forgot on purpose just to make you mad. When people are stressed, tired, bothered, feeling pressured, or on deadline at the office, emotional function may be temporarily impaired. This is a fact that affects every human being.
Given this explanation, does the idea of falling out of love still seem so frightening? Hopefully not.
In summary, here’s what I know from my understanding of how Mind, Thought and Consciousness creates experience: You will probably feel like you’ve fallen out of love at some point. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the relationship. Because love is thought/mood related… You always have the potential to fall back in love. You don’t have to take anything you think too seriously. You have free will to choose the thoughts you want to entertain further. Thoughts come and go on their own.
When the heart is open and personal thinking does not take precedence, wonderful and unexpected things tend to happen. Judgements and expectations are not truth, they are thoughts. In other words, people fall in love when they’re not looking! It sneaks up and seems to come from out of the blue, but now we know; it comes (like any nice feeling) when we’ve gotten out of our own way!
I’d love to hear from you about what you think about the process of falling in and out of love and what you’d like to learn more about.