How to Talk to Kids about the Principles (without all the big words) – Erika Bugbee

Kids learn everything faster than we do, and learning about the way our thinking works seems to be no exception. Sometimes the biggest obstacle for parents in sharing the principles is that they think they have to use words like ‘principles’ and ‘consciousness.’ But just like us, kids live in their own thinking all day long too, and have plenty of moments when they’ve registered on the fact that it can be illusory and misleading, so they have their own first-hand experience and it doesn’t involve big academic terms. If we can have a conversation that’s human and down-to-earth, kids seem to appreciate someone connecting the dots. As a parent, I’ve found myself pointing to the invisible forces that are happening inside of us because there’s times when I know it will help my kids make sense of life when they’re having a hard time. I’ll give an example that happened a few days ago with my daughter.

Here’s the scenario: my 7-year-old got out of bed twice one night after I tucked her in – once to get a Band-aid for a hangnail, and once because she remembered she’d left her coat on the playground. She never gets out of bed. My son, on the other hand, gets out of bed chronically, using one of a thousand random, almost entirely fictional reasons. Having lost track of which kid I was dealing with, I just automatically got impatient with her.

She’s sensitive and fell apart, and I wanted to make things right. I knew if she could see that people are living “under the influence” of their own thinking, it would help her see that my impatience wasn’t personal. Here’s how it went: I said I was sorry for getting upset for no good reason, and that even though I grouched at her, my grouchiness had nothing to do with her at all. It had to do with me. We talked about how sometimes her cousin comes over and only wants to play with her brother, who’s older (and therefore “cooler”). The next time this cousin came over, before he even walked in, she got upset that he was going to leave her out. She went off by herself and felt left out without actually having seen him. Eventually she came around and things were fine – he was into playing with her, and she had just made the whole thing up in her head. And once she had made it up in her head that he wasn’t going to play with her, she felt sad. Her mind tricked her and told her something that wasn’t true, and she believed it. And that’s what I did. My mind tricked me and told me she had some bogus, made-up reason to get out of bed and I got mad before I even heard the reason. That’s what our heads do all day long – they make up stories and trick us and we don’t even know the stories aren’t real. And then pretty soon, out of nowhere things turn around in your head and you feel different, and it seems like you’re not actually being left out.

I was basically trying to show her two things:

  • The way you feel at any moment comes from the thinking you’re having and not from whatever situation you’re in
  • Your thinking changes all by itself and gives you a different set of feelings about the exact same situation

These are the principles in plain language. She was amused and comforted by the fact that I get tricked too, and didn’t feel bad anymore that I grouched at her. As our kids realize that their parents get tricked all the time, it becomes easier for us to talk to them about anything, big or small, and they’ll start to see how we all get lost. It’s a sharing moment, not an educational moment. It’s a “here’s what happened to you, and that very same thing just happened to me” conversation.

Regardless of what you’re trying to discuss with your kids, if you’re like most parents (myself included), you have about 30 seconds before you lose your audience. Their eyes will glaze over if we lecture or teach at them. But since we’re caught in the very same tricks they are, conversations about the principles have a much better chance of going somewhere because we’re talking to them from one novice to another, so we’re much more likely to intrigue them. And that’s the point of the principles – to shine a light on the fact that life as you know it is coming from these forces inside you and we’re all asleep to that fact at least half the time. The fact that they’re invisible is the biggest challenge, and my job as a parent is to share what little I’ve learned about this invisible factor using any moment in which I was thrown by my own thinking. Fortunately for my kids, that happens daily.

Finding Truth in the Weekend Paper – Mary Martin

This morning I was meandering through the newspaper in a semi-conscious weekend-morning state, waiting for my coffee to be ready. I was close to finishing the second section, wondering why I persist in this ritual every day when so many of the articles highlight everything that’s wrong, inadequate, hurtful, sad and scary in the world today. Then I came upon the Op-Ed page and a Colorado Voices piece by a man named John Walsh entitled “Sometimes, Colorado Purrs”. Hmmm - to read or not to read? I poured my coffee and sat back down where the paper was still open to this page, drawn to the byline that said Mr Walsh taught deaf and hard of hearing children in the public schools. I eased into the first paragraph, figuring I’d probably bail after a few sentences - but instead I kept being drawn into this little oasis of a piece of writing in which there was a captivating juxtaposition of beautiful imagery and petty human thoughts of annoyance. Walsh was complaining about other peoples’ pathetic driving habits in and a frustrating traffic obstruction one moment and then, in the next, about the actual obstruction -which happened to be a little kitten … “color of chimney ash” …. “prancing on the highway”... waving a paw at one car while others roared past. In the next moment he was back again to impatience and irritation (late for a staff meeting, more stupid drivers). But then he “sensed something grand in this grey kitten’s determination and style” and he impetuously hopped out of his car and scooped the kitten up into his arms where it curled up and quieted down. Suddenly something is more important than his obsession with work and aggravation with bad drivers, and his race through life comes to a momentary halt in which he appreciates “the blessings of a day in the (Colorado) foothills” and connects with a lost, scared, brave kitty. This, in spite of his lateness and the fact that there are already 2 feline members of his household and apparently some “outlandish costs” related to them. Next there’s a wife who “coos and kisses” the kitten, a bath with multiple shampoos and finally the waif-like creature emerges as a beautiful but emaciated blue-eyed, snow white kitten … who we learn at the conclusion is, yes, deaf. Mr. Walsh ends by reflecting that “there is a sweet, natural rhythm to life when a deaf kitten jaywalks and finds a loving home with a teacher of the deaf”.

Wow. This was such a beautiful illustration of Mind, Thought and Consciousness in action. In just slightly more than 10 short paragraphs we glimpse how a man’s state of mind is choreographed through his thinking from moment-to-moment, and how his feelings shift from annoyance and frustration to gratitude and caring. We see him follow his good feelings with action, even though I suspect he was simultaneously wondering what the bleep he was doing and why. I got the sense that there was just some “knowing” that was deep and grounding underneath his action, and it didn’t occur to him to analyze the situation. Rather, he let those thoughts flow on by, allowing him to follow his wisdom instead of his intellect.

As I have experienced an ever growing appreciation of how the Three Principles explain how we create our moment to moment experience of life, it is easier and easier to trust the thought that appears out of the blue and just feels right even if I can’t explain it or don’t know or understand why. It is easier to trust an insight and go with the flow of life, into the unknown. Frequently, as happened a few days later with Mr. Walsh when he discovered that the teacher of the deaf had rescued a deaf kitten, we get to see and appreciate how we are part of something bigger than what we know.

The way he ended his story, with that one powerful sentence to express his understanding that there really is a flow to life, left me with the deeply calm and peaceful feeling that washes over me when I hear and recognize Truth. It reminded me, as Syd Banks said, that Truth is everywhere - when we have the eyes and ears to recognize it.

This morning I’m grateful for the Truth I saw on page 9, section B of the November 12, 2011 Denver Post.

To Build Your Clientele, Meet Yourself

Picture
A friend asked me how our new mangement consulting business will attract clients.

I sat back and thought, "How do I know that we are supposed to "attract" anyone at all?" 

For those like my friend who find business building and marketing exhausting, there is a spiritual school of thought that says, "It's OK. Stop trying and start attracting. You are a spiritual being and the law of attraction will have your clients find you." Well, yes, we all are more than just our bodies. Talk to anyone who has had a near death experience, like Anita Moorjani (video below).  But you can't unplug your personal plan and just plug in a new spiritual marketing plan.  I am not seeing this working for people.  And I'll get to what's missing in a moment.

Whether my techniques are old-school marketing and cold calling or new-school "attracting" it seems to me, the problem is: I am still working on the level of myself, Elese the human being using techniques to the best of her ability. It's as if we say, " I have tried marketing techniques, social media techniques, affiliate techniques, now I'll go for spiritual techniques."

We cannot substitute personal effort with spiritual effort.

In fact, I'm not sure there is any such thing as spiritual effort.  What do I mean by this?

I mean, I don't think we MAKE ourselves spiritual, and I don't think we have any role in making spirituality work on a personal level -- anymore than we make electricity work. 

To use "attracting" as your sales plan is just another technique, no different from traditional marketing, it doesn't work unless what is behind it is authentic. So if you are a coach, or a human services provider...

I believe you can't substitute any technique, spiritual or otherwise, for improving the base quality of your work. And the quality of your work is related to the depth of your own view of who you are and how you function.

Think of a magnet. A magnet does nothing to attract.  When the right metallic components are in range, the polarity takes care of itself. I think we love the idea that we make ourselves into great magnets through our work and then people just get attracted. No. You don't make your polarity. You ARE the polarity because of your nature.  Should you just stand there and radiate? Will they come?  Maybe. 

Or are you thinking that your job is to increase your polarity?  Well, it's not.  You job is to dance your dance.  You don't even need to go deeper in anything unless it is useful to you to not only be who you are but to have awareness of who you are. But, you are already who you are. You are already the base metal and so is everyone else.  Without your concept of who you are and your ideas about who you are, you would just simply be you.

So who am I and who do I think I am. Am I thinking of myself as someone who needs to attract clients?  Where are all the areas I tend to forget who I am and become afraid and insecure? What's underneath my insecure thinking?

When was the last time you really reflected on: Who Are You?

From who you think you are flows everything that you do to make yourself happy, everything you think you need or is missing, all your problems and all your concerns.  You are doing everything in your life right now based on your best guess about who you are.

I was raised in a Christian Science family and I was told from the earliest of ages, "you are not your body."  I never believed this, even after spending the first 18 years of my life dedicated to this metaphysical study.  So I do not expect that anyone, not you, not me, should take anyone's word for who you are.  Belief should not come into it. You cannot sit solidly on a belief. But inquiry can get us beyond who we think we are.

We are too quick to accept everything we think as a true and accurate picture of life and of ourselves.  We speak far too easily about ideas like "Law of Attraction," "ego" and "spiritual self" and have not taken enough time to investigate these beyond the level of concepts and pop culture.

Everything we do as humans is an attempt to remedy a life that is the direct result of accepting whatever crazy things we think and living them as true.

Most people I know (including me!) suffer at some point from some form of dwarfed or warped self-image. Most people simply try to apply this idea of "attraction" using their self-image. This image is made up of what we think of ourselves, but what is underneath it is actually what is most attractive about us.
 
At some point, if you are a coach and you are growing your business of service to others, the investigation into who is "Me" is a necessary investigation that has taken my clients and will take you through to the next level.

Forget attracting. Get to know yourself.

To Build Your Clientele, Meet Yourself

Picture
A friend asked me how our new mangement consulting business will attract clients.

I sat back and thought, "How do I know that we are supposed to "attract" anyone at all?" 

For those like my friend who find business building and marketing exhausting, there is a spiritual school of thought that says, "It's OK. Stop trying and start attracting. You are a spiritual being and the law of attraction will have your clients find you." Well, yes, we all are more than just our bodies. Talk to anyone who has had a near death experience, like Anita Moorjani (video below).  But you can't unplug your personal plan and just plug in a new spiritual marketing plan.  I am not seeing this working for people.  And I'll get to what's missing in a moment.

Whether my techniques are old-school marketing and cold calling or new-school "attracting" it seems to me, the problem is: I am still working on the level of myself, Elese the human being using techniques to the best of her ability. It's as if we say, " I have tried marketing techniques, social media techniques, affiliate techniques, now I'll go for spiritual techniques."

We cannot substitute personal effort with spiritual effort.

In fact, I'm not sure there is any such thing as spiritual effort.  What do I mean by this?

I mean, I don't think we MAKE ourselves spiritual, and I don't think we have any role in making spirituality work on a personal level -- anymore than we make electricity work. 

To use "attracting" as your sales plan is just another technique, no different from traditional marketing, it doesn't work unless what is behind it is authentic. So if you are a coach, or a human services provider...

I believe you can't substitute any technique, spiritual or otherwise, for improving the base quality of your work. And the quality of your work is related to the depth of your own view of who you are and how you function.

Think of a magnet. A magnet does nothing to attract.  When the right metallic components are in range, the polarity takes care of itself. I think we love the idea that we make ourselves into great magnets through our work and then people just get attracted. No. You don't make your polarity. You ARE the polarity because of your nature.  Should you just stand there and radiate? Will they come?  Maybe. 

Or are you thinking that your job is to increase your polarity?  Well, it's not.  You job is to dance your dance.  You don't even need to go deeper in anything unless it is useful to you to not only be who you are but to have awareness of who you are. But, you are already who you are. You are already the base metal and so is everyone else.  Without your concept of who you are and your ideas about who you are, you would just simply be you.

So who am I and who do I think I am. Am I thinking of myself as someone who needs to attract clients?  Where are all the areas I tend to forget who I am and become afraid and insecure? What's underneath my insecure thinking?

When was the last time you really reflected on: Who Are You?

From who you think you are flows everything that you do to make yourself happy, everything you think you need or is missing, all your problems and all your concerns.  You are doing everything in your life right now based on your best guess about who you are.

I was raised in a Christian Science family and I was told from the earliest of ages, "you are not your body."  I never believed this, even after spending the first 18 years of my life dedicated to this metaphysical study.  So I do not expect that anyone, not you, not me, should take anyone's word for who you are.  Belief should not come into it. You cannot sit solidly on a belief. But inquiry can get us beyond who we think we are.

We are too quick to accept everything we think as a true and accurate picture of life and of ourselves.  We speak far too easily about ideas like "Law of Attraction," "ego" and "spiritual self" and have not taken enough time to investigate these beyond the level of concepts and pop culture.

Everything we do as humans is an attempt to remedy a life that is the direct result of accepting whatever crazy things we think and living them as true.

Most people I know (including me!) suffer at some point from some form of dwarfed or warped self-image. Most people simply try to apply this idea of "attraction" using their self-image. This image is made up of what we think of ourselves, but what is underneath it is actually what is most attractive about us.
 
At some point, if you are a coach and you are growing your business of service to others, the investigation into who is "Me" is a necessary investigation that has taken my clients and will take you through to the next level.

Forget attracting. Get to know yourself.