The following excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 2 (A One-way system: Inside-out) of my upcoming book, The Path of No Resistance: Why Overcoming is Simpler than You Think. I very much appreciate the questions and comments regarding the previous posted excerpts from the book. They’ve been quite helpful, so keep them coming!
A psychologist was interviewed on an early-morning news program about the problems facing children from acrimonious marriages. She vowed: “These kids tend to have sex at an earlier age, they tend to suffer depression, they tend to bully others, etc.”
Her point? Tough to tell.
But how about this instead? We need to stop encouraging each other to become passive victims of circumstance. If acrimonious marriages had the power to affect children negatively, all children of these circumstances would suffer, and children of these circumstances who do suffer, would suffer 24/7.
Experiencing life from the inside-out. What does that mean, exactly? Well, in Chapter 1 we talked about the fallacy of using outside circumstances, an outside-in paradigm, to explain why you feel a certain way. But we also examined the no-resistance path of gazing inward toward thought, an inside-out paradigm, as the explanation for your feelings and perceptions.
Which one I know to be true probably comes as no revelation. I often say that I’m more certain that inside-out is how we experience life than I am of my own name. If you don’t see it just yet, that’s okay. Perhaps this interpretation from Stillpower might work better for you:
Your experience does not create your state of mind; your state of mind creates your experience.
Now most people, once the above is indicated, do see it. Our states of mind, or moods, vary and our perceptions of life tag along for the ride. When your mood is high, for example, your old house is a time-honored classic. When your mood is low, it’s a godforsaken money pit. But most people also wonder: “So what? What am I supposed to do with the realization that my perceptions of the world are created from inside of me?”
The answer to that dilemma is the premise of this chapter.
Let’s start with the fact that you and I live in what many spiritual teachers call a world of form. The book you’re reading right now is part of that world of form. So are your spouse, partner, parents, children, friends, pet, house, car, and even your own physical body.
Let’s also start with the fact that I have a decent command of the “inside-outness” of the human experience (I suppose I better). Due to this “command,” I know that my perception of all things in my life is purely dependent on my own thinking and mindset, even though—since I live in a world of form—it seems that my wife, car, etc. have something to do with it.
Case in point: If I disagree with the behavior of one of my kids and get upset, I’m aware that my thinking is the cause of the upset, so I won’t look to fix my kids’ behavior in order to try to fix my own upset feelings. If I did, I’d be looking in the wrong place and, if I acted from that place, I’d surely make everyone, including myself, feel even worse. Not to say that I won’t have a chat with my kids about their behavior. I might. But not when my mind is racing and I’m taking things personally.
This is why understanding that we create our perceptions from in to out permits us to navigate smoothly, productively, and lovingly though the world of form in which we live. Seeing that it’s a one-way system will safeguard your relationships, career, and your ability to inspire, and not bully, others.
Do you know that many employers unconsciously force their belief systems on their employees thereby stifling their employees’ free will, instincts, and performance level? Reason being, many employers overlook the fact that their perception of their employees has nothing to do with their employees, and all to do with themselves.
It’s also common to misread the source of our attainments as coming from external circumstance and not from within, thus they’re often short-lived. Take the subject of weight loss. I’m sure you know someone who’s struggled with it, or you’ve experienced for yourself just how difficult it is to keep weight off for good. But how come? Millions of people go to weight-loss centers or follow weight-loss plans and start by losing a bunch of weight, so is it that difficult? The real question is why do only a handful of these people keep the pounds off long term?
The surprising truth is that weight loss is not initiated by external weight-loss strategies. It’s initiated by a realization from within the person losing the weight. Those who don’t know this (the majority of people) won’t have long-term success because they’ll keep relying on, or searching for, external techniques that had no bearing on their early success. Those who do know this—weight loss initiates, and sustains, from within—will keep looking in the direction of their own inner wisdom and insights: the path of no resistance that endures forever.
As I said, because we live in a world of form, “inside-out/outside-in” sometimes gets a little murky. So let’s dig deeper into this revolutionarily simple paradigm that has the clout to blow apart every circumstantial excuse you ever came up with. And put you, and not life around you, in the driver’s seat.