We have gathered together posts from other Three Principles blogs as well as our own ones. As time goes on we will be offering more services based on the Canadian West Coast and nearby islands. Look out for events and feel free to contact me to let me know about any events you think will be of interest to others in this area.
This week, I write to my students, clients, and colleagues. If that’s not you, read on anyway. A takeaway or two is waiting. G
I admit it. At times, I blame my upsets on those experts in the fields of self-help, mental coaching, and psychology who propagate this dual misunderstanding (the outside-in misunderstanding):
- Something external—the past, the future, someone else, oneself, money, a ten-foot putt—can cause a person to feel a certain way (e.g., fearful or insecure).
- Coping techniques, tools, or behavioral changes can help a person overcome #1.
Neither is true. Thus, my dilemma: Although their methods are woefully inefficient, as they virtually ignore the psychological immune system that all human beings possess, I don’t deem it valuable to alienate or write off these experts. Those who dedicate their lives to helping others are a-okay with me. Every person is a beacon of truth.
So, then, how can I—or better yet, how can those of us who strictly teach the inside-out understanding—help more conventional experts see past years of outside-in training and methodology so they can better serve others? Clearly, an “us versus them” mentality is not productive. And, frankly, it’s occurring more and more as of late.
Well, here’s how the answer looks to me. It’s basic, and I hope it’s useful to you: We must practice what we preach. It’s you and I who must wake up to the fact that our feelings are not connected to this sometimes serious-looking dilemma. These experts, and the direction they point, are not responsible for our upsets.
Indeed, when this principle is crystal clear in my own mind, wisdom takes over and, in deliberations with these experts, I neither alienate nor back down. I get my point across without ruffling feathers. I might pose a “what if it actually works this way” type of question, subtly (yet resolutely) pointing in the opposite direction. Or I might simply hold my fire, refusing to stoop down and retaliate, amid one of their attacks. Either way, these examples are a far cry from those moments when, in a desperate effort to change the minds of others (or my own feelings), I attempt to one-up them. Then, I serve no one and get nowhere. And it’s me, not them, who obstructs the dissemination of the inside-out understanding that’s essential to the world’s well-being.
No one—not me, not you—can overcome an injustice and take it personally, or blame our feelings on it, at the same time. In fact, it’s never the uninformed who stall evolution. It’s those who think they have a clue and, far too often, look down on the innocent ignorance of others. Truth be told, I was once the most outside-in person on the planet. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I was serving.
Remember: Every person alive is doing his or her best, what looks to be the right thing at that moment in time. Today, when I overlook this reminder—get outside-in about inside-out—I help move the needle of consciousness and love backward. When I wake up to it, I help move the needle forward. And, my friends, it works the same for you.
Man, did last week’s article (http://garretkramer.com/the-heart-of-choice/) create a stir—at least in my inbox. You guys either loved the direction I pointed or thought it was crazy. To be specific on the crazy, most disagreement revolved around the question of free will. One of you said: “You can’t tell me that human beings don’t have the free will to make choices for themselves, that’s just foolish!”
So, to clarify, here’s how it looks to me—and this realization has proven both liberating and valuable for those with whom I work: There is no actual separation between free will and God’s will. You don’t make some choices while God (the universal intelligence I mentioned last week) makes others. They merely appear separate because certain choices, such as the decision of whether or not to go to the gym, often involve some intellectual wrangling, while others, such as the decision to snag a ball out of thin air, occur instantaneously.
In other words, a universal intelligence doesn’t rest above you; it rests within you. And the deeper you grasp this spiritual principle, the less time you’ll spend intellectually grinding over choices and the more instinctive and energetic you’ll feel. In fact, experience tells me that those who think they’re separate from God, think they live under the personal obligation of choice, or think they’re in control (of anything) are among the most stressed out souls alive.
The bottom line is that free will has little to do with choice. It’s simply a concept derived from the truth that you, or your will, are free from the influence of others (the outside) and only guided by God (the inside). Besides, trying to make choices is both impossible and mind bending. That’s why, if you want to be at your best, serve others, or thrive, understanding that a spiritual guide rests within is always better than attempting to manually grab the wheel.
Note: Consider the direction this article points and, whether you agree or not, see what implications occur to you. As always, feel free to reach out with comments, insights, or questions. G
Simply peruse your favorite social-media sites and you’re likely to come across some version of the following statement:
Happiness, confidence, and a positive mindset are a choice!
In fact, in the area of self-development, the theory that human beings can choose their moods, or even their ice cream flavors, runs rampant. Trouble is: It’s simply not true. Sure, it often seems like you own the personal power of choice. But, in my mind, you’ve never made a deliberate decision in your life. Rather, there’s a universal intelligence at work behind the scenes, guiding and orchestrating—everything.
Here’s an illustration, using ice cream again, of this spiritual principle: If asked to make the choice between vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, I go for vanilla. Why? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t wake up one day and deliberately decide to prefer vanilla. I just do. So, while it seems as if I’m making a choice, the choice of vanilla ice cream has actually been made for me.
Same goes for mindsets. The reason you can’t choose a good mood all of the time is: You’re never able to choose a good mood. It just looks like you can—when the spiritual energy that chooses (controls and guides) your mood becomes unstuck and starts to flow, that is.
One more thing about the illusion of deliberate choice: Because trying to make choices (as with any illusion or mistruth) is clutter provoking and psychologically taxing, not trying to will remove an enormous burden from your shoulders. It will fortify intuition, ease, enthusiasm, and love. However, if you’re still convinced that decisions are up to you; if you’re still convinced that revelations are indeed manmade; if you’re still convinced that free will means your personal will—no worries. At the right place and time, you’re destined to stop blowing the sails and let the wind do its thing.
After all, am I choosing to move my hands on the keyboard now as I type? Am I choosing the words from my mind to the screen? Are you deliberately choosing to read them? I suppose it might look that way from the outside, but when you get right down to the heart of choice, the answer has to be no.
A five day retreat in Spain.
8th – 12th June 2017
Only one thing stands in the way of living a mentally and spiritually healthy life filled with peace, love and wisdom: the personal ego and the fear it breeds. It is behind all our problems, difficulties and issues and is usually the most difficult thing we bump up against in our lives. No matter how much we understand the Three Principles it seems to rear its head again and again, and we keep getting tricked. The purpose of this retreat is to explore how to get it out of our way, and to see what happens to us when we are able to transcend it.
However, because consciousness makes the ego and fear look and feel so real, it is not so easy to extract ourselves from the “reality” of it or to see our way through it. This takes deeper exploration. The answer does not lie in trying to change our thinking, or in “figuring out”, or in getting to the root of where it comes from, or in stating the mantra, “There is no ‘I’”; the answer lies in truly transcending it. But what does transcending the personal really mean? And how can we help it happen, when it does look and feel so real? This is the direction our exploration will take in our first retreat.
For some of us it will be enough to see it more deeply for ourselves. For practitioners who attend we will also explore how transcending the personal impacts the effectiveness of our work with others.
Who is it for?
Anybody who already has some understanding of the Three Principles and would like to gain the benefits listed below.
What are the Benefits of Attending this retreat?
- gain a deeper understanding of what “the personal” really means and how it and the fear it breeds is the only thing standing in our way of living in a state of peace and love
- more deeply explore the varying aspects of the personal and how subtly and insidiously it works within us all, even when we understand the Principles
- gain a deeper understanding of what “transcending” really means, what we are transcending to
- become better able to deeply listen to what our personal blocks are saying to us and to
- become better able to help ourselves and others see through the personal blocks standing in our and others’ way, deeply listen to wisdom and see how to transcend them via the spiritual
Booking Now Open via Eventbrite.
Note there is also also an event for those who want to help others Transcend the Personal – suitable for coaches.
Both retreats will be facilitated by Gabriela Maldonado-Montano & Dr Jack Pransky
The post Transcending the Personal – a 5 day retreat in Spain appeared first on Center for Inside-Out Understanding.
There I was, on stage at the PGA show last week with several other mental-performance coaches and authors, and one of them (a well-known psychologist) tells the audience that my contention that the human experience is created from inside to out is preposterous. Not only that, he claims that “the research” undoubtedly proves that circumstances and experiences do have the power to affect the feelings, states of mind, and lives of human beings.
Talk about a dilemma: Just as he made the statement above, a terribly insecure and frustrated feeling washed over me (frankly, I wanted to smack the guy). Hmm, was my feeling connected to circumstance (his statement), as he suggested? The data seemed to indicate that it was. Maybe he was right, after all.
Not so fast. I kept my bearings, and before you know it, I felt composed, assured, and relaxed. In spite of his attack, and the initial appearance that my upset resulted from it, I now experienced a deep inner peace. Rather than counterpunch, I waited for the microphone to come back around, and when it did, I shared what had effortlessly popped into my head: “An experience can’t create your state of mind because an experience is a projection of your state of mind.” And as I looked upon the audience, I sensed a collective aha moment set in.
Remember: Because it’s normal for it to look like circumstances or experiences cause our feelings, if measured, this outside-in trick of the mind actually appears provable (to me, the world of psychology has innocently made this mistake for years). But two things happening at the same time doesn’t prove causation. That’s why, when it comes to the human experience, knowing that it can only be generated from within, allows us to rise above bad feelings, not smack back, and, instead, point toward truth and connect with others from the heart.
P.S. Here’s one of several similar notes I’ve received from the audience since the PGA show. It reveals the power of this article’s message. GK
Good morning Garret,
I must say, first off, I appreciate you taking the time to speak at the open forum last night, sharing the universal truth of the inside-out paradigm with the coaching community. Facing much condemnation for what you shared, I thought you expressed and handled yourself quite well—something that someone who didn’t understand that his feelings are not caused by the actions of others would not have been able to do. In fact, it was so interesting that each speaker on the panel presented a few examples of what you were saying, and of the mind’s psychological immune system, without putting 2 + 2 together. They, unfortunately, attributed a fresh perspective or good feeling to a change of environment or mental strategy. I am currently in debate in my sports psychology class over external strategies such as positive affirmations, imagery, and so forth. But like you say, others will not realize what is actually working until they look within themselves. Seeing both the danger in falling for the outside-in illusion and that human beings can only work inside-out has completely transformed my life. From my golf game to my relationships, to my work ethic and helping me get past a few terrible addictions. I thank you for all the work you continue to do and look forward to seeing more future insights you may provide. And more insights from within myself as well!
Every day, no exception, a reader, client, social-media friend, or critic will ask me some version of the following question:
How do you know, for sure, that the causes of our feelings are not found outside (in circumstance), and the cures for our feelings are not found outside (in coping strategies, tools, or techniques)?
Here’s my answer, and it’s not meant in a boastful way as my critics often contend: I just know. What follows is merely an attempt to put words to this knowing. So I’ll do my best, but make no promises; here goes:
Many years ago, immediately after I myself stopped looking outside for causes and cures (stopped listening to the experts I had turned to for help) and then rose above a painful period in my life, I made it my mission to find out why experts would offer the opposite of the advice contained in the question above. In other words, why would trained counselors, who were clearly trying to help, have me rummage through the personal events of my past? And why would they provide a surplus of coping strategies—pretty much take shots in the dark—when clearly this outside-in approach doesn’t cause relief or happiness? If psychology was indeed the working science that those in the field claimed it to be, wouldn’t there exist nonpersonal principles that explain the experience of all human beings? Wouldn’t there be universal laws that, no matter one’s biology, intellect, or personal history, would provide definitive answers for everyone?
What I encountered on this mission was amazing, clarifying, and oh so obvious (once I saw it): Unbeknownst to these experts, at the core of every religion, psychological doctrine, spiritual framework, sermon, moving story, song, or poem was this inspirational truth: Inner ups and downs, contradictions of the soul, are normal and thus cannot be strategically fixed. And although this changeable nature of our feelings appears to be connected to the events of our lives, it’s not. Specifically, I kept stumbling upon these seven simple words:
Look Within for the Answers You Seek.
And interestingly enough, I then started stumbling upon this sagacious message everywhere. The Beatles said: “There will be an answer, let it be.” And I finally got the point! My golf coach reminded me: “Play with inner purpose, never for a score or the adulation of others.” And there it was! Even my grandmother loved to preach: “Now, Garret, don’t blame your internal ups and downs on external ups and downs. They’re not connected that way.” And there it was again!
No, I didn’t wake up one day and deliberately decide to look at the human experience in such black-and-white terms. I take zero percent credit for the fact that this insight calmly found me.
It’s just that in a split second, my life turned on a dime. I realized that while the approaches of the millions of helpers in the history of mankind have been vastly different, undeniably, there was this common thread or principle hidden (sometimes deeply) within all of them: Human beings work inside to out, not outside to in. Meaning, the causes of, and cures for, how we feel inside cannot be found outside in the illusionary world of form.
As one of these helpers, Sydney Banks, once said:
Trying to find answers by looking outside to this divine illusion we call life is a never-ending quest.
Like I said, I just know. My hope is for you to recognize that what you feel and experience is solely connected to what takes place on the inside. And, deep down, you know, too.
In my many years as coach or consultant, I’ve come across just about every psychological, motivational, or educational system on the market. Intellectual ones, zen ones; some born from research, some from life experience; some from trained experts, some from random dudes on social media. All of them well-meaning, most carefully considered, and some really good.
Here’s the thing, though, absent of a specific tidbit of universal knowledge—the foundation—even the shrewdest of systems will lack effectiveness. And sadly, in schools, books, lectures, and workshops all over the world, this foundation is missing.
What is this foundation?
That no matter how much it looks otherwise, the feelings of human beings are not the result of environment, the past, the actions of others, or anything on the outside. What human beings feel comes from thought. Today, the world is trapped in the misunderstanding, or illusion, that things on the outside do cause feelings. And this misunderstanding is drastically stunting our growth.
To illustrate, there are thousands of educational “foundations” across the globe. They provide funding for schools, supplies, teachers, coaches, even nourishment. However, most actually fail at a foundational level. That is, in order to bring out their best, young people must first grasp what they’re not being taught: that their best rests within them, only. Shiny new schools are valuable. But they don’t cause resilience. Or excellence. Or love. In fact, inadvertently, these kids are being pointed outside for answers. This requires a ton of intellectual analysis and effort—jamming the mind, obstructing realization, and, as I said, stunting growth.
The bottom line is that with any structure or process, a just foundation must be the starting point. That’s why, when it comes to psychology, motivation, or education, the foundation must be the thought-feeling connection—and the potent reminder that a circumstance-feeling connection doesn’t truly exist. Without this universal knowledge (and in spite of the best efforts of many), living up to potential will continue for human beings as a complete shot in the dark.