When I first became involved in my own “movement” toward spiritual and mental freedom, toward innate well-being, I learned with some elation that the external “things,” or circumstances upon which (or in which) I had placed my well-being were actually not capable of providing well-being! So, for me, in my[…]
There’s a film that we’ve just published fairly recently, this Summer, called “Kyra’s Story.” It’s on the Three Principles Movies website. And when you see Kyra, she looks an absolutely delightful child, and she absolutely is. But her mum phoned me to say… and this was at the last school that I was working at, and her mum phoned me to say, “Look I think she’s turning into a psychopath here and can I get some child and adult mental health involvement.”
And I said, “Well, that takes ages. Why don’t you come in and talk to me for a bit, and let me just talk to you about this understanding.”
So mum was quite interested and then Kyra came in and started talking to me and she was a very insightful little girl. I mean this was a little girl that was using foul language to other children; she was hitting out at other children; we were getting lots of complaints on a daily basis from other children and their parents.
And yet there’s a little girl sitting there, 9 years old, saying to me, “Well look, I know I’m being horrible to people but I go home and I think, “Oh I’m going to be different.” And then I come in the next morning and everybody treats me the same and I get really angry.”
So we started talking about our thoughts and our feelings and this little girl just perked up and you saw her just come alive. And we used a little snow globe which I had in the office, and she sort of shook that up and I’m saying to her, “You know what, that’s a bit like our thinking really, that when we get all agitated and we get cross, it’s like you’re shaking that snow globe and it’s really, really absolutely thick with the snow in it. And yet you stand the snow globe down, and you just sit back for a little while, and it all settles, and you get some clarity.”
And she loved that and hooked onto that and so that whole sense of, if she could let things calm down a little, then she would get greater clarity about what to do and how to be. And it changed things for her absolutely dramatically, and she became then a very popular child in the school. And yet she actually was the bully. I mean there’s several people said that in the film but her mum felt quite uncomfortable, this was in one of the first cuts of it, and so mum asked us to remove it. And we said, you know, we’d remove anything she didn’t feel comfortable with and that we wanted to use this as a story that might be helpful to others. So that bit got taken out but that was what she was being called. And yet that changed things for her and she’s become a really helpful child; she’s helping others; now she’s sharing the understanding with other children. And I think, just going back to the last bit that Ami said about starting small – even as small as that, that can start to make a huge difference within that school community.
Like last week, here’s an update on one of my most popular articles. I hope you find it helpful.
“What can I do to raise my state of mind?” is a question I’m often asked. Well, as I’ve said before, the answer is nothing specific. But perhaps, when you feel down, these ten reminders will help you get back on the road to the clarity and consciousness you’re looking for.
1. Stillpower is better than willpower.
From a clear state of mind, life feels unobstructed and productive. From clutter, we feel the urge to will ourselves through self-created obstacles. Keep in mind, if you try to fight through clutter (willpower), you give wayward thoughts and feelings the attention and belief they need to grow. When you don’t (stillpower), these thoughts and feelings wither away on their own.
2. You must stay in the game.
The human mind is designed to self-correct to clarity. But only if you stay in the game. When you take meditative timeouts in order to deal with wayward feelings, you’re addressing—and fortifying—problems that don’t really exist. From low states of mind, no one sees life clearly; so taking time to correct problems when you feel this way is always a waste of energy.
3. Someone else’s self-help strategy will not help you.
If you take an expert’s tips and techniques, and mix them with your own inner wisdom, what you get is a bound-up psychological perspective. The answer to any dilemma rests within you—don’t become a follower. Start to appreciate the direct link between your thinking and feelings (and that there’s no link between your circumstances and feelings), and the urge to look outside for answers will become less and less.
4. The potential always exists to see life differently.
No matter how bad things may appear (as new thinking arrives) your “issues” will soon make sense. It’s a given that, left alone, your feelings and perceptions will ultimately improve.
5. You can excel from a low state of mind.
This reminder is almost always misunderstood. It is not necessary to be in the perfect state of mind, or “the zone,” to excel. In fact, chasing the zone will lead you further from it. Regardless of your mind-set in the moment, get out there and play—leave your level of clarity up to nature.
6. It’s THAT you think, not WHAT you think.
We’re always thinking. When we struggle, we notice our thoughts. When we excel, we don’t. The next time you’re thinking negatively and are tempted to force positive thoughts into your head, reflect on this: Peace of mind occurs absent of trying or even doing. If you’re willfully fixing your thoughts, you’re going about things backwards.
7. Your circumstances cannot cause strife.
“Problematic” circumstances are not the cause of strife; they are a symptom of it. From a low state of mind, everyone perceives their circumstances as challenging. From a high state of mind, the identical circumstances are a breeze. It won’t feel like it when you’re struggling, but the conditions of your life are always neutral.
8. There’s no need to cope.
Your innate resilience is always at work. Just like your body is designed to heal on its own when sick, your psychological immune system is wonderfully capable of healing a disquiet mind. Stop coping with temporary perceptions that are bound to change. If you take your foot off the gas for just a minute, your power to self-correct will flourish.
9. Remember that lows are normal and random, too.
Feeling down is not a problem. Believing that feeling down is a problem—now that’s where we run into trouble. Sure, the self-help world overwhelms us with what we’re supposed to do to counteract our errant thoughts and feelings, it screams at us to take action. But the opposite is true: Psychological lows are normal and there’s nothing we need to do about them.
10. Even when it’s dark the sun is still shining.
In ancient times, people became extremely distraught when nighttime fell. They had no proof that the sun would rise again. So they looked for all sorts of strategies and tricks (i.e., witchcraft) to help them manage their fear of darkness. Then one day an insightful astronomer, Copernicus, came along and proved that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe—it was a sure thing that the sun would appear every morning. Fear was immediately replaced with faith.
It happens to all of us. Our thinking sometimes darkens our day. But our innate ability to ascend to clarity and consciousness is always present. Provided we don’t interfere with the system, the sun will be shining in no time.
Thanks for reading.
Day 34, Sunday, May 24, 2015
Last but not least, after we got picked up and then dropped Jen off to have dinner with some friends, on my urging Jacquie drove us to the Leith section of Edinburgh, where our tour guide, Judy Banks showed us where Syd [Banks] grew up on Duke Street, which starts at the end of Leith Walk. She was fuzzy on the exact tenement building in the row, but the poor conditions he grew up in became clear.
Day 33, Saturday, May 23, 2015
It is ultimately a matter of war and peace whether people across the world come to understand the role of their own and others’ thinking and fluctuating states of mind.
One person at a time, when someone comes to understand how thought works and what is creating their experience of reality, they become increasingly secure. When a person feels secure, not living at the mercy of external factors, life does not look threatening. Secure people remain calm and exercise judgment, and look for insight and wisdom, rather than reacting or over-reacting without perspective. They recognize the power of beliefs within the context of knowing that each person becomes committed in their own way to their own beliefs, and nothing but their own insights will change their minds. They see with increasing clarity that people are all the same deep down: all people are constantly creating thoughts and then experiencing those thoughts as “reality”. Reality changes as our thoughts change. Knowing that, we lose our attachment to particular thoughts and gain awe for the very ability to keep thinking, to see beyond what we’ve thought so far. Respect for the shared human power to change keeps hope alive and allows us to see possibilities. It allows us peace within ourselves.
On the other hand, those who have no idea where thoughts come from and why reality looks different to different people are always prone to feel insecure, and cling to their thinking to ward off worsening insecurity. It is an either/or. Either we see the fluidity and creativity of thinking and understand that thoughts come and go and reality “shifts” as our thinking/feeling shifts — or we don’t see the fluidity of thinking and believe that thoughts have a life of their own and we have to hang onto our habitual thinking or fall prey to outside forces. Insecurity pushes people farther and farther away from tolerating differences and encourages the creation of elaborate systems of thought to make their own closely-held points of view feel/seem superior. It introduces the need to defend one’s position at all costs.
Two things are important to realize. Things that make absolute sense to us and seem quite obvious when we are insecure do not make any sense to us whatsoever when we are feeling secure. And the reverse is also true; things that seem quite appropriate and clear to us when we’re secure don’t make any sense at all when we are insecure. So as our states of mind change, the things we say, do and pursue are very different. A child who is angry and frustrated will stomp on and break a brand-new toy. In a quiet state, the child would pick up the toy and play with it.
What does this have to do with war and peace? War doesn’t come out of the blue. War starts to make more and more sense to people who are frightened and insecure and have no room in their thinking for “others”. People who are calm and secure experience peace in their hearts and minds, and thus seek and nurture peace.
Nations are assemblies of people who share a prevailing state of mind and perspective about the world. When people generally feel hopeful and optimistic, they make choices that reflect their level of security. They are inclusive and generous-spirited, and look for solutions that will do the least harm. When people start feeling frightened and pessimistic, they make choices that reflect their need to protect themselves and ward off enemies. They are exclusive and small-minded, and look for solutions that will keep them safe no matter if others experience harm. Out of a world dominated by leaders who live in fear and insecurity come many wars. The more brutal the fights, the more frightened people become, so they become trapped in a downward spiral of pain and despair. Nothing but war and more war makes sense to them — in that state of mind. In a moment of security, it would make no sense to them at all.
It is innocent because no one would choose killing and destruction if it appeared to them they actually had a choice. The key is understanding the illusion of that downward spiral, that insecurity breeds further insecurity until the moment we understand that all of it is built from our own thoughts. Stepping back, allowing the fear to pass and getting a fresh look can change everything.
Every human being on earth wants to have a happy life, but every human being on earth does not — yet — realize that that happiness is internally generated. No one has to suffer so that I will not suffer. When we realize that all people are creating their own thinking within the context of their own variable states of mind, we truly understand what creates human experience and behavior. We know not to pay attention to the thinking that comes to mind when we’re in an insecure, upset state of mind. And we know we can count on our thinking when our thoughts change and we feel calm and secure again. We navigate by the feeling of security. With the knowledge of how life is created from the inside out, we know that an instant of quiet into which one new thought comes can change everything. With that clarity about life, we know that peace is never more than a thought away, and we simply allow the thoughts that take us in the other direction to pass through our minds, just as we would watch a train cross the tracks, knowing that no matter how long it is, every train has a caboose!
“Thought, like the rudder of a ship, steers us to the safety of open waters or to the doom of rocky shores.” Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p. 56.
Day 31, Thursday, May 21, 2015
Day 32, Friday, May 22, 2015
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