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. ♥
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.
The ability to simply not know is key to having new thought. I first learned of not knowing from Charlie Badenhop of Seishindo. From him I learned of the importance of engaging with not knowing with an open mind, heart, and body. To not know in this way invites wonder–a very different thing from the style of not-knowing typified by confusion.
When we experience not knowing as confusion, the aperture through which we perceive possibilities shrinks. When we simply don’t know in a state of wonder, it is as if we are expanding the aperture through which we perceive both external and internal, material and metaphysical reality. We have new thoughts. We see new connections.
The problem of weaponized insight
A participant in the Come Alive and Do the Thing! Mastermind has a brilliant term for the use of a supposedly wise observation to critique or diminish another person: weaponized insight.
Don’t you love it?
At first it was thrilling to me just to have a term for this phenomenon, but as I sat with it, I started to see some important implications.
A weaponized insight is a weapon, not an insight
The moment an insight becomes weaponized, it stops being an insight and becomes a weapon.
This goes a long way to explaining what’s going on when we use our own insights against ourselves.
Insights and weapons are inherently different
An insight produces a shift in awareness. It tends to expand awareness, deepen connection, and elevate consciousness.
A weapon has the opposite effect. It shrinks awareness as the person against whom it is being used goes into fight or flight.
It breaks the connection between the one who wields the weapon and the one against whom it is wielded.
And it tends to lower one’s level of consciousness to the realms of competition and survival.
When we use insight to assess, judge, and berate ourselves, it stops being insight
Weaponized insights aren’t always wielded by others. Some of the most pernicious are the ones we wield against ourselves.
How often have you argued with yourself about why you aren’t using your hard-won insights or following your wisdom in some area of your life?
I don’t know about you, but that has confused the hell out of me. How can I be so incredibly smart (just saying) and so incredibly stuck at the same time?
It’s because I’m confusing self flagellation with insight.
There is nothing insightful about any attack on your inherent okayness
Any so-called insight that calls into question your inherent okayness has been weaponized.
Since there is nothing wrong with you, any insight wrapped in the message that there is, is false.
Something that points at how you are (presumably) broken takes you in the wrong direction–but only entirely.
Put down the weapon first
I used to try to pry the insight apart from the weapon. My logic went something like this.
If I could only get the message of the insight, the weaponized message would not longer apply or hurt.
That didn’t work.
The weapon didn’t stop being a weapon until I simply put it down, even at the risk of dropping a seemingly good insight.
I began to see that wholeness is key
As I dropped my weaponized insights, I began to see the vital importance of beginning with the premise that every human being is created whole and deserving.
I saw how our relentless compulsions to judge, evaluate, and improve ourselves actually block access to deeper impulses toward goodness and creativity.
And I saw how authentic insight points us toward our underlying wholeness and connects us to those deeper impulses.
Here’s to freedom
Weaponized insights wound and diminish.
Authentic insight heals and expands. It can sting, but the sting is bracing and enlivening.
That distinction is liberating. Play with it. Take it for a test drive. And let me know what you discover.
Have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please share your thoughts and questions in the comments on my blog.
Images by Pixabay.com
If not now, when? How shall we live wisely and well? Free Wholeness Hangout replay
This is the promised link to watch the Wholeness Hangout with Bill Cumming. Because of our conflicting schedules, this hangout was recorded. I promise I will have Bill back another time when you can join us live.
I love all my Wholeness Hangout guests, and I admit that of all of them Bill Cumming has been my favorite. Just being in this man’s field is transformative, provided you let his energy and love in. I hope you will give yourself that gift.
Our conversation about what it means to live wisely and well is a resounding wake up call to show up in and for your life.
And it is a wake up call with a twist.
The twist is this. Bill calls to YOU (the person reading these words) to know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated.
He is committed from the soles of his feet to the top of his head to:
- Having a world that works for everyone.
- Allowing all 7 billion of us to know that we are loved without condition.
- Allowing all people to experience that there is always a choice.
- Supporting individuals in knowing that their value and worth in the world is a given.
It’s his life’s work, and he speaks to it with great authority.
Click here to watch and/or to download the audio. You can also download Bill’s ebook, Self Care for the Soul.
Soul Speak: An invitation to wake up and light up the world
While we are on the topic of transformation, if you haven’t already heard about it, I invite you to check out Soul Speak this season in honor of Wayne Dyer.
When Sheldon Pizzinat invited me to participate in Soul Speak, I hesitated. Does the world really need another telesummit, even one with a spiritual theme?
I said yes because something in Sheldon’s vibe just felt right to me. I sensed that he would be having conversations with the potential to enliven and awaken listeners. Conversations that would add light and meaning to the world.
The intent of the series is to promote awakening so you can more fully embody your talents and gifts and light up the world, something Dr. Dyer did with grace.