Have you ever run yourself mentally haggard trying to convince yourself to see a spiritual truth more deeply or clearly than you actually do?
It’s easy to do. After all, the fundamental principles behind the human experience are quite simple to articulate. According to Sydney Banks, Mind is the infinite formless intelligent energy behind all things. Consciousness is our ability to know reality and our ability to understand how our reality is created by thoughts. Thought is a source of all mental activities and source of all feeling, actions and reactions.
Our experience in any given moment is created by the interplay of these principles.
When I first came across Syd’s teachings, I was frankly underwhelmed. I didn’t disagree; I just didn’t see anything earthshaking. I had studied intensively with Byron Katie, and the notion that thought generated our experience seemed obvious.
Still, I kept returning to Syd’s work because of the profound changes I saw in people who had been influenced by him. And one day my own understanding shifted, deepened, expanded, and what had seemed obvious and verging on trivial started to blow my mind.
I’ve shared many of the insights that have emerged from that in previous blog posts and videos, but I want to take a little different look at things today.
You see, there’s a way in which we can become addicted to knowing. We can chase insights as if our wellbeing lies in having more of them.
When actually, our wellbeing is nonnegotiable. Invariable. Innate.
Our essential wholeness does not depend on our moment to moment experience of life. As I’ve written before, we don’t have to feel okay to be okay.
But damn! I don’t know about you, but sometimes all I really want is to feel okay. Which last week had me wrestling with this notion of essential wholeness. I was frustrated by feeling fragmented and, frankly, stupid. Where was my innate wellbeing? Where was wisdom?
How could I get there from where I was?
What good does it do me to have a theoretical understanding that I am okay when I feel cornered by the limits of my current thinking?
And then something funny happened.
It occurred to me to simply doubt.
To drop the gospel.
To quit trying to feel or believe or find wholeness and wisdom.
To drop my story that I should trust it.
And to drop into my honest in that moment experience of WTF? Where is it?
To ask in an open hearted and abandoned way, are we really whole? Does God or Mind or whatever you call it have our backs?
Where is wisdom? Is it really always on, only sometimes obscured?
I dropped into the questions, which had a whole different feel from struggling to believe in the answers.
And I can’t account for just how or why, but as the days passed, I started to get a glimmer.
A felt sense of something beneath the surface.
Not an intellectual understanding, but the barest shimmer or breath of a feeling that something is there.
Dim. As yet unknown. But palpable.
I don’t know what, if anything, that does for you, but it did a lot for me. Somehow out of my honest doubt I had touched bedrock.
I don’t know what the bedrock is. What it means. How to talk about it.
But I know down to my toenails that it is there.
Thank you, doubt.
Your turn: What’s your experience with what Byron Katie has called trying to live beyond your current level of evolution? What might doubt have to offer you?
Photo by HebiPics via pixabay.com
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Pareto principle, the idea that 80% of desired results comes from 20% of your efforts.
Imagine how different life could be if you knew reliably which 20% of what you’re up to is contributing to your success and well-being.
There’s actually a very, very simple way to tell: your state of mind. Simply stated, when you are in a low mood your thinking and choices and behavior will tend to be ineffective at best.
When you’re in a higher state of mind, you tend to see more clearly. You tend to be more compassionate toward yourself and others, which prevents misunderstanding and miscommunication.
In a higher state of mind, you have readier access to insight, and you are simply more creative. You make fewer mistakes, and when you do make mistakes, you tend to recognize them and not make a big deal of correcting them.
The inescapable conclusion would seem to be to pay attention to your state of mind and simply do less when you are in a low mood. In the same vein, it would make sense to step back and decline to engage in someone else’s low mood.
Low moods can be compelling when we believe that they are telling us about the world or other people. If you believe that your mood is giving you reliable information about the state of your life, you’re going to be inclined to act on your thoughts about how to deal with it.
But the reality is that our moods are only ever telling us about our thinking, not our lives. Our moods give us infallible information, not about our circumstances, but about our state of mind and clarity of thought.
If you want to reliably do more of what works in life, learn to recognize what your moods are telling you. Just say no to acting on a low mood–your own or anyone else’s.
That may seem like a radical proposition. If you are like me there will be days when it seems like the only option is to settle in for a House of Cards marathon.
But remember the Pareto principle. You can afford to stop doing a whole lot of things if they are not actually contributing to your wellbeing.
Photo by: Public Domain Pictures via pixabay.com
I’m writing this post a few hours after being the guest master coach for the Moore Master Coaching program. Coaching in front of an audience is the perfect setup for self-consciousness. Naturally, I think, thoughts arose about how to produce a result, whether or not we were making progress, and if I was making a good impression. Such concerns with performance are human nature.
While such concerns are natural, they also inhibit presence, authentic curiosity, and access to wisdom, which gets in the way of good coaching. (One might argue that it gets in the way of any coaching at all.) What’s more, trying to quell those concerns can set up an internal struggle that makes things worse. What’s the coach to do?
Whether or not we are coaches, everyday life presents us with similar challenges on a regular basis. Frequently we experience insecure thinking that, if we give it significance, inhibits access to the guidance we want and the well-being that is our birthright. The self-help literature is full of suggestions for managing insecure thinking, but the very idea that we need to manage it adds to our anxiety.
If insecure thinking blocks access to guidance and well-being, and if strategies and tactics for managing insecure thinking amplify it, what the heck are we to do?
The answer is simply and always that we are to trust the process. But what does that mean?
In today’s coaching call, what that meant for me was trusting in the innate creativity, resourcefulness, and wholeness of my client (whom, by the way, I had not met prior to the call) as well as the greater space of Intelligence in which the coaching conversation took place. I trusted that those things were present irrespective of the ebb and flow of my insecure thinking.
This is such an important distinction. It is not necessary that we get beyond our insecure thinking in order to access wisdom and well-being. All that is necessary is that we not take that insecure thinking personally. We can trust whether or not we feel trusting!
When we don’t take our insecure thinking personally it becomes background noise. The example I used in debriefing today’s coaching session was the sound of a television playing in the next room when you are trying to read. Whether or not the sound is a distraction depends far more on how much attention you give it than on the actual volume.
When we trust the process, we trust not only that there is a greater source of Intelligence at work in the world than our personal thinking, but also that this source is available to us in real time and in real circumstances independent of our moods. Yes, it helps to have a quiet mind. But that doesn’t mean that guidance only comes to a mind perfectly free of doubt and distraction.
In a very real way, the less we insist that we achieve some perfect state of receptivity and quiet in order to receive guidance, the more readily and frequently we will notice it as it arises.
What’s your understanding of trusting the process? Share it!
What’s going on when you can’t get traction with a project that’s important to you? It’s always either something in your environment or what’s going on between your ears. If it’s not the environment, odds are that you’re thinking about yourself instead of about thing to be done.
Is it time to stop spinning your wheels?
The Traction Mastermind is an elite coaching program that will get you unstuck and into action. In 16 weeks you’ll dissolve the barriers that hold you back once and for all so you can really be all that you are and do all that you are meant to do—and enjoy yourself in the process.
Woohoo! The first in a series of free Happiness Hangouts happens this Friday, August 8, at 9:00am Pacific Daylight Time and YOU are invited.
Why? Because it happens that happiness doesn’t just feel good; it’s startlingly practical.
As the name suggests, Happiness Hangouts are all about happiness and its startling bearing on life and biz. We’ll look at:
- Why happiness is a default, not a destination.
- The relationship between happiness and wisdom.
- How to use happiness as a navigational aid in life and business.
There will be some teaching and some coaching and some who-knows-what-else. Think insight meets pragmatism meets sassiness. (Hmmm. The term “wise sass” just occurred to me. I like that!)
How It Works
Happiness Hangouts will use Google’s Hangouts on Air technology to broadcast a live video feed of yours truly. You can watch the live feed on a page at my Web site or via Google+. If you have a Gmail account, I recommend the Google+ option, because you’ll be able to see and participate in the live chat.
In addition to watching, you can participate in the Hangout by teleconference. You’ll receive all the info about how to watch and/or call in when you sign up. You’ll get replay info as well.
Are you in?
Click the link below to sign up for the free Happiness Hangouts.
I hope you’ll be able to join me!