The Only Thing That’s True

Here’s a short, perhaps a bit corny, but important post. Actually, I’m interested in what the following message means to you—and to your potential to live and perform at your best.

  • Any feeling, emotion, judgment, idea, concept, or theory that comes from your ability to think (given that it’s subject to change) is not true.
  • Love is the only thing that doesn’t come from your ability to think.
  • Love is the only thing that’s true.

Peace this holiday season.

Garret

Parenting can be a challenge during the holidays… a full house, so much to do…

  If you could use some Parenting Pixie dust, here’s a recent talk we gave at a conference in Minneapolis on the Four Big Parenting Traps and how you can avoid them. Hope this makes your holidays happier!  Click here … Continue reading

Overcoming our “to do” list

I was driving home from my yoga class last Saturday during the start of our first snowfall of the year. It approached slowly, like a white cat who didn’t want to be noticed.

It was a joy to be out in it, as everything began to slow down, and the roads were still safe enough to not feel scared as I drove the terrain. Life felt like a movie in slow motion. Traffic slowed, people walked with care, all in an effort to stay safe. I felt fully present; a feeling I wanted to savor. Fewer cars, people, no hustle, bustle.

As I drove home, ever more slowly, in the flow of traffic, I realized how good it felt and by comparison how speeded up I had become lately.

It’s so easy to get all caught up in the maelstrom of everyday life, trying to get things accomplished and tick off the never ending “to-do” list. Today’s early afternoon slow down was a much needed antidote to my typical busy-ness.

When I’m caught up in it, I’m  not even aware of the fact that I could slow down.  Realizing now — if I can slow down and get present, in a snowstorm, I can do it anytime. Slowing down brought the gift of higher quality thoughts, as it usually does. I love these reminders.
As I drove down the street, my immediate world seemed to take on a pleasant patina. Driving became fun and exciting, instead of just another chore to accomplish. The pure white landscape gave way to a mysterious white fog, as twilight approached. All seemed so quiet outside, that I felt compelled to turn the radio down low. There were plenty of errands to tend to, but I decided to go straight home to write. Quiet is a beautiful feeling; I wanted to envelope myself in it.

I’m wondering what you did during the storm, what you thought about, and if it affected you differently. Please leave a comment if you’d like to share with the rest of us. Might make a fun topic for our next Tuesday night group session!

Parenthood Way: The End of the Rope

Dear Friends, I’ll be writing a series of posts here I am calling “Parenthood Way,” for the next few months. These posts will be based exclusively in and on family life and parenting. My theme is that I, for one, am not perfect as a mom, wife, household manager, dog[…]

Lori Carpenos & Associates 2013-12-18 03:00:21

I was driving home from my yoga class last Saturday during the start of our first snowfall of the year. It approached slowly, like a white cat who didn’t want to be noticed.

It was a joy to be out in it, as everything began to slow down, and the roads were still safe enough to not feel scared as I drove the terrain. Life felt like a movie in slow motion. Traffic slowed, people walked with care, all in an effort to stay safe. I felt fully present; a feeling I wanted to savor. Fewer cars, people, no hustle, bustle.

As I drove home, ever more slowly, in the flow of traffic, I realized how good it felt and by comparison how speeded up I had become lately.

It’s so easy to get all caught up in the maelstrom of everyday life, trying to get things accomplished and tick off the never ending “to-do” list. Today’s early afternoon slow down was a much needed antidote to my typical busy-ness.

When I’m caught up in it, I’m  not even aware of the fact that I could slow down.  Realizing now — if I can slow down and get present, in a snowstorm, I can do it anytime. Slowing down brought the gift of higher quality thoughts, as it usually does. I love these reminders.

As I drove down the street, my immediate world seemed to take on a pleasant patina. Driving became fun and exciting, instead of just another chore to accomplish. The pure white landscape gave way to a mysterious white fog, as twilight approached. All seemed so quiet outside, that I felt compelled to turn the radio down low. There were plenty of errands to tend to, but I decided to go straight home to write. Quiet is a beautiful feeling; I wanted to envelop myself in it.

I’m wondering what you did during the storm, what you thought about, and if it affected you differently. Please leave a comment if you’d like to share with the rest of us. Might make a fun topic for our next Tuesday night group session!

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The post appeared first on Lori Carpenos & Associates.

How Consciousness Impacts Biology

People often cite their biological makeup as part of the reason for their physical hardships, mental weakness, or even the manifestation of disease. Have you heard that each of us is genetically disposed to develop certain afflictions? For some, it could be skin breakouts; for some, cancer; for some, depression; for some, ADD.

That said, have you wondered why at times (assuming a relatively healthy lifestyle) these tendencies become reality, while at other times they don’t? Could there be another factor, an unknown force, that activates these genetic inclinations? I’m no physician, but I believe the answer is yes.

That force, to me, is a person’s level of consciousness (i.e., clarity). The more noise a person tends to carry around upstairs, the greater the odds for a physical or psychological flare up.

To illustrate, let’s look at the first affliction from our aforementioned list: skin breakouts. Years ago, I worked with a family of five: a mom, dad, two boys, and a girl named Lisa. Every time family troubles erupted, mainly with her father, Lisa would break out in hives under her neck. Funny thing, though, this never happened at other times of stress. Even today, as an adult, Lisa can navigate many potentially stressful things at once. But if her father raises his voice, here come the hives.

Is Lisa biologically prone to hives? No question. Yet clearly the accumulation of habitual thinking she’s built up on this subject, and the low level of consciousness it creates, is what initiates her attacks. If stressful situations were responsible, she’d break out in hives every time her nerves kicked in. And if her father was responsible, her brothers would break out, too.

Now, assuming that what I just said has merit, let’s talk about what you can do to mitigate your habitual thinking/low levels of consciousness, and their biological effects.

First, the answer is not to try and cope with your genetic weaknesses. When she was a teenager, Lisa tried to counteract her hives by taking Benadryl when in her father’s presence. And initially, it seemed to work. But defending herself against a circumstance that had nothing to do with her condition, eventually made matters worse.

Second, understand what exacerbates your biological tendencies. Again, for Lisa, it was not her father. It was the stale thinking that she preserved in her head that did this.

Last, know that everyone is spiritually (if not genetically) wired to overcome their jammed-up heads— if fault is not placed on something or someone else.

In other words, attribute your stress (or any bad feeling) to the normal ups and downs of your thinking, and clarity plus health are a fairly good bet. Blame your stress on the ups and downs of life outside, and, I’m sorry to say, your genetic weaknesses become vulnerable.

A Bag Full of Misconceptions

As you may know, often, I ask clients, audiences, or readers to consider that many of the things they think are true, simply are not. Here are a few examples:

  • People who lose weight or overcome addiction almost always attribute their initial success to weight-loss strategies or ten-step programs.
  • Most coaches believe that a pregame speech has the ability to motivate a team.
  • Therapists think that delving into a patient’s past can clear up current sorrow.
  • Most of us believe that physical pain comes from an injury or getting old.
  • It’s common to use punishment in order to avoid (or fix) errant behavior.
  • Sports psychologists claim that mental techniques can bring out an athlete’s true potential.
  • We think that external demands can cause internal stress.
  • Some of us believe that if you’re angry, you should stop, analyze the situation, and then act.
  • Almost everyone believes that what happens in life creates their outlook on life.
  • Many people think that certain activities—yoga, a hike, meditating, or taking a hot bath—can stimulate relaxation.

Do you notice the common thread throughout these examples? They’re all based on the most dangerous fallacy known to mankind: Human beings are capable of feeling anything other than the amount of thinking in their heads at any given moment (i.e., the misconception that we feel our circumstances). And as a result of this misconception, we come up with an endless list of excuses and remedies for our internal feelings.

The truth is that the only thing responsible for a good feeling, an increased level of passion, or living up to one’s god-given potential is a clear head. That’s why when you take a hot bath and your head clears, you relax. And when you take a hot bath and your head doesn’t clear, you don’t. You can’t find clarity (and a good feeling) by taking a hot bath; clarity is designed to find you.

So, then, what should you do when you feel angry, insecure, disquiet, unmotivated, confused, or even stuck? Consider simply this: The more you look outside to explain how you feel on the inside—given that the outside has nothing to do with it—the more you’ll get in the way of your mind’s natural propensity to clear.

And, by the way, that’s the opposite of a misconception, it’s a principle. Answers can only be found there.

“An Icon of Forgiveness”

There are three kinds of people in this world. 3) Those who cause harm to others; 2) Those who do no harm; 1) Those who give of themselves to help others. Nelson Mandela was at the pinnacle of category # 1. Jailed for 27 years of his life for fighting for what he believed was right for his country and the world, so his people would no longer be oppressed, and he comes out with love in his heart! Not that he didn’t feel anger–he did–but it wasn’t as important to him as love and peace and forgiveness. Those more pure, more wise thoughts overrode his anger.  He came out forgiving. He either must have seen innocence in his oppressors or he realized the futility of anger and hate in solving anything. Let him be a lesson to all of us. I am sad but so grateful to have had him bless this world. Imagine what would happen if the thoughts of those in category 3 even changed to those of group 2. What are we willing to give to make the world a better place for all? All we have to do is see with more peace, love, wisdom and forgiveness.

The post “An Icon of Forgiveness” appeared first on Center for Inside-Out Understanding.

In Honor

I know that many of you have read these words before. But in honor of the late Nelson Mandela, here again is the Epilogue from Stillpower:

Noticing when your thoughts are flowing—as opposed to getting stuck—will be the first sign that the central message of this book is beginning to take hold. It will be very subtle, especially at first, but ultimately it’s only your own thoughts that possess the power to bring you down or raise you up. Not your coach, teammates, amount of playing time, or even the past—only your own thoughts and resulting moods have that power.

When our minds race, we tend to take outside events at face value—forget they’re neutral—and that’s when we stumble. Always keep the following perspective in mind: Human beings intuitively understand how to move through their own errant thoughts, but they will always fail if fault is placed on external events or people.

As you’re now aware, the trick is to simply take stock in yourself. Are my thoughts clear? Are my feelings secure? Am I open to life’s “big picture?” There is an extremely moving and true-to-life scene in the movie Invictus that vividly demonstrates this understanding. In the movie, the year is 1995 and South Africa President Nelson Mandela—a man who deeply embodies the principles detailed in this book—orders the national rugby team to stage a series of youth rugby clinics all across his embattled country. At first, the team protests vehemently. The tour will take them away from their necessary training routine for the upcoming World Cup, which South Africa is hosting.

The players are certain, in the moment, that they must narrow their focus in order to find success. They’re angry and disheartened; their collective level of consciousness is fading fast. However, the team captain, Francois Pienaar, knows better. In the midst of the storm, he looks within his own heart. He decides that the team will oblige the still-controversial president. Just weeks before the competition, the players reluctantly embark on their tour.

The first stop is a shantytown of rundown buildings and athletic fields, and as the team bus arrives, the players become even more enraged. One player mutters under his breath, “We’ve broken training camp for this.” But slowly, as they make their way among the children, a transformation takes place. The eager youngsters swarm the sole nonwhite player on the team—a common bond is formed. The other players are touched; they realize what their presence potentially means to these fellow South Africans. Their hearts, minds, and vision expand. They play with the children and teach them rudimentary rugby skills. Time seems to stop; the team’s purpose becomes clear.

The entire nation grows to love its rugby players and a sense of pride infuses the team. President Mandela’s dream, his insight, takes shape—there’s always reason to hope. Miraculously, the host team pulls off the upset; South Africa wins the World Cup. The joy is immeasurable—beyond the description of words.

I ask you now: Where was this magnificent success born? Did it come from focus, from selfishness, from the compulsion to train? No. It sprung from the highest level of human psychological functioning—the feelings of cooperation, resilience, and compassion. It came from stillpower. It came from love.

Thought so…

Thought is not reality - Sydney BanksIt’s funny how our realities can be so fixed and yet change in a heartbeat.

For instance, there’s a story about a man on the subway in New York. This man was annoyed because there were three unruly boys running up and down, shouting and laughing loudly.

But what really annoyed the commuter was that the boy’s father was just sitting there. He seemed unaware of the annoyance created by the boys.

The longer this situation continued, the more annoyed the commuter became until finally he couldn’t hold his tongue any longer.

He got up and went over to the father.

“Can’t you control your sons? Can’t you see that their laughter and horseplay are annoying everyone?”

The father looked up.

“Yes… sorry. I didn’t want to stop them having a good time because when we get home I am going to have to tell them their mother just died. I wanted to listen to their laughter…”

Change here for…

Change is only a thought away.

One moment your reality is all about those unruly boys and their negligent dad. Those thoughts are brought to life and experienced as feelings of annoyance.

The next moment your reality does a flip and your thoughts are painting a different reality. As a result your feelings change too. Concern and sympathy replace annoyance.

Thought is not reality

You may think that the commuter’s judgmental thinking turned out to be false – the reality was the father and the boys deserved sympathy not judgement.

But consider this: do we ever know the whole truth?

So as Sydney Banks said:

“Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.” – The Missing Link

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