The incredible, innocent goofiness of waiting for the other shoe to drop

When my clients begin to see the principles behind how their experience is created moment to moment, they start experiencing more wellbeing. Sometimes they are startled by the degree to which their state of mind improves, and they worry about holding onto it. As one client said this morning, “I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Here’s the deal.

There’s no shoe.

There’s only the experience you are having right now in this moment.

Sure, you could have any number of experiences in the future, and you may have experiences you (think) you don’t like. But so what? Does it really make sense to give more weight and significance to a possible unpleasant feeling in the future than you give to your good feeling right now?

It’s a bit like backing away from a gorgeous table of gourmet delicacies because you can’t be sure what’s on the menu tomorrow.

I say it a bit differently in the video, and I’d love to hear how it lands with you. Please share in the comments. ♥

How to rock the game of life

This video is a bit longer than usual. It’s all about the freedom we have to make up whatever game we choose to play in life from what matters to what we create to how we keep score. We can’t control the outcomes, but we have infinite choice over the inputs. When we shift our focus from outcomes to inputs, we see that rocking the game of life is more like making art than it is about winning races. Along the way I touch on choosing to work on a gift basis and marrying The Charming Prince. I enjoyed sharing this ride with you, and I hope it leaves you with a good feeling for how much freedom, possibility, and joy are available to you. ♥

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?

Update, May 31, 2018

This Spring I’ve felt unusually challenged by stress and low moods. Since much of my work is about finding freedom from both of those, there have been times when feeling stressed out, anxious, or blue has caused me to question my expertise and the value I provide. While I was often at peace with simply not feeling the way I might prefer to feel, I sometimes wondered what I was missing such that I would be having such a dark time.

It’s easy to fall for the illusion that how we are feeling is telling us about how we are being and doing. As I wrote the first time I shared this video, “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.”

I went on to observe: “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.”

If you are having a difficult time for whatever reason, I hope these reflections remind you that beauty is often created in the dark.

Approximate transcript of the video

It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest and crocuses have been bursting through the ground for a few weeks. Some of the flowering trees have begun to blossom, and I’m reminded of the beauty that is created in the dark.

This morning I was reflecting with a client on how freeing and healing it is to realize that our well-being is not defined by our experience.  There is an essence that’s independent of the fluctuations of our moment to moment and day to day experience, and that that essence is always whole, always resilient, always creative. At one point it occurred to me that sometimes when we realize this we may get hung up on the good feeling that realization gives us or seems to give us. It may seem like feeling good and being happy is the payoff for insight.

It’s certainly often been my experience that insight has left me with a really good feeling. But then it occurred to me as well to that nothing is wasted in the universe. When I remembered that, I saw that feeling good is not actually the point. As lovely as it may be to feel the joy of realization, sometimes we experience what John of the Cross called dark nights of the soul. While I don’t pretend to understand what the heck is going on in those dark nights, it truly seems to me that something beautiful might be being created in the dark just as the beauty of the crocus or the tulip or the daffodil is created in the dark underground.

So, while I would wish for everyone watching this to experience oodles of good feeling, a multiplicity of insights, and a lovely elevated state of mind, it also feels really important to equally wonderful things are happening even when you feel low and in the dark. In fact, I think it must be that, on some level, your heart is being educated in those dark times, and that you don’t need to figure out what the lesson is any more than the tulip has to figure out how to bloom.

I would wish for you to know when your low times that you are always okay, and that you don’t have to feel okay for that to be true. And that your not feeling good is not an indictment of anything about you. That beauty is often created in the dark.

Let me know how that lands. Take care.



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.

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. 

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