One universal problem; one universal hope

The Three Principles account for two things that every human being has in common with every other human being:

  • The infinite potential for new thought in every moment.
  • The only thing any of us is ever up against is our own thinking.

As we see this more deeply, we naturally experience more patience, compassion, and understanding for ourselves and others.

Don’t take my word for it. Notice where new thought has arisen in your experience in apparently unlikely circumstances. What if that potential for new thought is something you could depend on? How would that change the way you approached your most difficult problems?

 

It’s not life that’s going so fast, it’s your thinking

It’s easy to think that life speeds up and slows down–that sometimes it’s just nuts “out there” and sometimes it’s not. But life doesn’t go fast or slow; life simply unfolds moment to moment. What speeds up and slows down is our thinking. There’s nothing to fix here, just something to see, and when you see it, you tend not to find your speeded up thinking so compelling.

How the 3 Principles help: It’s probably not what you think

It’s common for those new to the Three Principles to get caught up in how precisely the Principles help. The implicit assumption is that “help” means “deliver a different experience.” But as we come to understand how Mind, Consciousness, and Thought produce our moment to moment experience of life, we are freed from preoccupation with the content of that experience. In this video I illustrate this with a story about breaking my wrist and invite you to consider where in your own life you see that your experience is coming from your thinking, not your circumstances.

I invite you to comment here. I’d love to know where you see this and where it looks to you like there are exceptions.

Would you like take a deeper look at these principles? Check out The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Starts July 5.

Trying to change your state of mind is like remodeling the basement and expecting a penthouse

Trying to change your state of mind is like remodeling the basement and expecting a penthouse

When we are in a low state of mind, it’s tempting to try to change things. But if we try to work on the “self” that we perceive when we are low, we are essentially remodeling the basement in hopes of getting a penthouse. What we are experiencing is always and only a projection of thought, and if we leave it alone, thought will invariably change all by itself. But please, don’t take my word for it. Play with this. Wonder about it. And let me know what shows up for you. ♥

Wonder: the key that unlocks state of mind

State of mind is the key to accessing contentment, resilience, creativity–all the things we seek by manipulating our circumstances. It looks like we will feel less frantic when we manage our time better, but the reality is that we manage our time better when we are less frantic. It looks like we will feel more peaceful and contented when we master our clutter, but the reality is that when we are peaceful and contented, we deal with clutter organically in whatever way suits the moment.

What, then, is the key to being in the state of mind from which peace and contentment naturally arise? As you may have discovered, trying to change your state of mind by effort or analysis doesn’t work. It may seem to work occasionally, but that’s an accidental coincidence of a natural shift in state of mind with the strategy du jour. There is a correlation, but no causation.

What causes state of mind to shift is insight. Some might call it grace. And while insight and grace can’t be achieved through effort, there is a way to court them: cultivate wonder.

Wonder has many flavors ranging from wide-eyed curiosity to honest doubt. What they all have in common is an open mind and the willingness to see something new. The degree to which your mind is open and the amount of willingness you have may be vast or tiny; it makes no difference. As long as you wonder honestly and with some degree of open-mindedness and willingness to see something new, you are hanging out where insight happens.

Neither this nor anything else I say is something to take on faith. It’s something to wonder about, to resonate against your own experience. I would love to know both what makes sense to you and what simply doesn’t match your experience. Please use the comments to share your perspective or feel free to email me.

What if worry were optional?

What if worry were optional?

What if the remedy for worrying isn’t to reduce the number of things we have to worry about but to see that everything we worry about is ephemeral*? As we come to really see this, we see that even worry is nothing to worry about. ♥

None of this is intended to disparage or trivialize your worries. They feel real until they don’t. And I invite you, when you can, to keep playing with the possibility that when we worry, we are responding to our own thoughts and not to the circumstances we think are a problem. It’s not something to take on faith or get intellectually; it’s an insight that arises from observation and wonder.

PS: I’m playing with new camera settings. Love or hate the zoom? Please let me know!

*A friend suggested it might be helpful to share the definition of ephemeral, so here goes. This is from Uncle Google.

e·phem·er·al
adjective
adjective: ephemeral
  1. 1.
    lasting for a very short time.
    “fashions are ephemeral”
    antonyms: permanent
    • (chiefly of plants) having a very short life cycle.
noun
noun: ephemeral; plural noun: ephemerals
  1. 1.
    an ephemeral plant.

 

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