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. ♥
Timothy Gallwey, author of The Inner Game of Tennis, has said that life is a perfectly designed workshop. The part I didn’t realize when I heard that, and which I see know, is that each of us is also perfectly designed for our lives. There is no test we need to pass. Nothing to prove.
I’m still experiencing a bit of brain fog post-surgery*, so I made this a very short video. I invite you to watch it to catch the feeling, and then to play with what shows up for you. Do let me know what you see!
*On April 11th I had surgery to complete breast reconstruction following my mastectomy in 2015. If you are curious about it, you are welcome to visit my CaringBridge journal. Everything’s going swimmingly. 🙂
Each of us has an inner guidance system, a sort of GPS. Most of us know this on some level, yet we second guess ourselves. What if we misinterpret the information our GPS is giving us? What if we make the wrong turn? It turns out that those questions really don’t matter. Your inner GPS is capable of recalibrating and recalculating no matter what move you make. You can rely on that and worry less about getting it “right.”
Where does wellbeing come from? Join me in a thought experiment to uncover for yourself the source of your wellbeing. Find out where it comes from, how to access it, and just how little it has to do with what you may have believed about it in the past. To play, simply wonder and reflect on times when you have experienced wellbeing in your life. Don’t try to analyse, codify, or evaluate what comes up. Keep an open mind and see what you see.
Come to a Free Wholeness Hangout on Wellbeing
Join me and my mentor, Linda Pransky, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, for an exploration of wellbeing: what it is, where it comes from, and how understanding these things changes everything. If you can’t join us live, or if you are seeing this after the fact, click on through and catch the replay.
Insight often leaves us with a good feeling, so it’s understandable that we may conflate feeling good with being wise or insightful. But our underlying wellbeing and access to wisdom don’t go away when we are in low moods or experiencing emotional pain. They may (or may not be) obscured, but they are certainly not absent.
It seems to me that nothing can be truly wasted in the universe. That all of life is interconnected and of immense, if sometimes unknown, value. Perhaps when we experience dark nights of the soul our hearts are being educated in ways that language cannot capture. Just as the beauty of flowers is nourished in the darkness below ground, the beauty of our hearts may be nourished by sadness and other challenges.
This is not a call to figure out what your heart is being taught during tough times. Far from it! If analysis and figuring things out were adequate to the task, there would be no call for this silent, deep education. Rather, simply know that nothing, including your pain, is ever wasted. Trust that your heart and soul are unfolding just as perfectly as the crocus or the flowering tree. Give yourself over to your experience and know that it is not the measure of your value or your possibilities.
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.