Where does wellbeing come from?

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.

Who knows what beauty is being created in the dark?

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.

 

 

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.

 

Force doesn’t help us change or improve

Whether it’s replacing the memory in your computer, swapping out vacuum cleaner attachments, or improving your state of mind, forcing things never works. The key to finding grace, resilience, endurance, or whatever we really need in a given situation is to be with what is happening, not to fight against it.

Wendi Saggese and I ended up exploring this in some depth during the March Wholeness Hangout. You can watch the replay (or download the audio) here. 

The Secret to Finding Your Own Answers

We’ve often been told to look within for answers, but sometimes the way we look obscures what we are looking for. When we clutter our minds with expectations, pressure, worry, and preconceptions about the answers we think we need, we lose contact with the wisdom that will always deliver exactly what we truly need. The key is to settle down enough to perceive and follow the guidance that is there.

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