On “Outsourcing” Well-Being

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[…]

Excerpt from Telesummit 2014 Kyra’s Story by Peter Anderson

Peter-AndersonThere’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.

Peter Anderson

www.andersonwellbeing.com

Ten Things to Consider When Your State of Mind is Low and You Want to Feel Better—An Update

Like last week, here’s an update on one of my most popular articles. I hope you find it helpful.

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“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.

Garret

EuroTrip Day 34: Visiting Syd Banks’ Edinburgh

Day 34, Sunday, May 24, 2015

 
Today was video interview day, in preparation for the Scottish Parliament event. Jacquie Forde interviewed Dean, Jen, Judy and me.
I felt pretty good about mine, talking about a subject I’m very comfortable with: prevention and the promotion of well-being from the inside-out. I focused on what I will focus on at the Parliament, that we have been missing the two most essential variables that lead to change in people’s lives:
1) No matter how wonderful the evidence-based programs we put in place, if people’s thinking doesn’t change, they will not, and in fact cannot, change; and
2) when people are guided by their wisdom they will not, and cannot, engage in the problems we’re trying to prevent.
The Three Principles focuses directly on these two most critical and neglected points of change, which outside-in prevention and public health completely neglects.
Jacquie and Judy dropped Jen and me off at the famous Rosslyn Chapel, which is a very old (c.1500), fascinating, mysterious and beautiful place. It’s the place Dan Brown made famous in his book,The Da Vinci Code, as the last clue led there, and the end of the movie with Tom Hanks was filmed there. Intricate rock carvings of weird faces and angels and pagan figures, no two alike, adorn the Chapel and are hidden in its nooks and crannies. Very interesting.
Then Jen and I each walked down the hill to the Rosslyn Castle, now mostly in ruins but a very magical place. You walk straight into the ruins of this castle, but then look over the wall and you suddenly realize you are very high up. How did that happen? Then I took a path and walked down below. Magical.
Duke Street Edinburgh

Acknowledgement: John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh: November 14, 2011

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.

Then we saw the Lochend Road Primary School where he went to school. Then we drove to Kings Street in Portabello section, near a North Sea beach, where Syd moved as a mid-late teenager or young adult.
There wasn’t time for me to do what I wanted to do: get out and say a prayer of thanks—absolutely tremendous gratitude. I did have the thought that Syd was just another poor, adopted kid walking the streets, and no one could possibly have predicted what happened to him. No one can ever predict any child’s future, and this is why all children should be cherished and nurtured, no matter what they present to the outside world.

 

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EuroTrip Day 33: Westies and washing

Day 33, Saturday, May 23, 2015

 
A nice, mellow catch-up day. I was supposed to have a day-long training, but it didn’t materialize. Except for the money part it’s probably just as well. I did my laundry; ironed my one good shirt to get ready for the Scottish Parliament.
Jen, Jerry and I took a little hike or big walk up a fairly steep hill overlooking Edinburgh and around a little pond with a bunch of baby swans, which I had done with Jerry last year, and this time it was just as nice.
WestieSaw my first Westie (West Highland Terrier) actually in Scotland. They all look like Amy’s very cute dog, Charlie, whom I lived with for the last 6 or so years, and whom I will miss.
Later that day Dean and Merryn arrived and we had a really nice talk and dinner all together.

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War and Peace

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.

 We can look at behavioral options people experience along a scale from high levels of insecurity to high levels of security.

We can look at behavioral options people experience along a scale from high levels of insecurity to high levels of security and the thinking that makes sense in each state 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.

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EuroTrip Day 31: Healing in the Lake District

Day 31, Thursday, May 21, 2015

 
Ahh, Part III of my healing. Part I was being at the conference itself. Part II was healing with Sylvie. And Part III was a massage from Ulla.
I had met her when she had come down to Birmingham for my University Masterclass, and she volunteered to massage my neck and shoulders. It was only for a few moments, but just from that I could tell her massage would be something special.
So I took the train to Oxenholm and thought I was going to grab a taxi to where she is in Kendal, but there was her smiling face waiting at the station to pick me up. She had to move clients around to get me in.
It was only the best massage of my life—at least the upper part was; I fell asleep for some of the rest of it, I was so tired. I don’t like it when I fall asleep during a massage because I think I’m missing something, even though it works its magic anyway.
Nonetheless it felt wonderfully healing to get my body taken care of like that, and it needed it badly after lugging my heavy backpack and suitcase around to 4 different sites in Europe.
After the massage my body felt great, so she took me into the Lakes District. Wow! Is it beautiful there! We passed by Windemere, where Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit, and the magnificent Windermere Lake, then passed through Ambleside, with all its buildings built with slate—really impressive.
Then we had a picnic dinner and took a great hike through the blooming bluebells at Rydal Water and up to the caves. These were large man-made slate caves, completely unlike the caves in Spain. Pretty amazing, and the hike itself was great.
Then we went back where I met Ulla’s husband, Martin, who was a really good guy, and they have a beautiful relationship. Ulla had her own powerful spiritual experience before encountering the Three Principles, so then when she met the understanding she saw how it all fit together. She plans on opening a school for troubled children, and believe me they will be extremely well taken care of.

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EuroTrip Day 32: Edinburgh meeting and all that jazz

Day 32, Friday, May 22, 2015

 
On to Edinburgh by train. Then the adventure really began. I had neglected to let Jacquie Forde know when I was arriving, but had realized that and emailed her just before I left. Unfortunately, I left before I got a response. So when I arrived in Edinburgh I figured there was a 50-50 chance she would be there. She wasn’t.
I didn’t know whether she just wasn’t there or whether I was supposed to meet her someplace and she was looking for me. I wandered the station and outside for a while looking to no avail. This was not a real problem, I figured, because I could just call her since had her number in my little black book from last year’s European Tour when I stayed with her. Except when I looked in that book she wasn’t in it—the only one I stayed with last year who wasn’t! Then I remembered it was an impromptu arrangement last year that landed me at her house—so although I had everything else at my fingertips, I didn’t have this. No Jacquie, no phone number, no address, no way of getting in touch with her.
I consider myself a very resourceful person, so I was not really fazed. I could just use my smartphone to send her an email. Well, my smart phone has a very stupid operator, making it a stupidphone. My email didn’t work, and I didn’t know why. So I figured I’d call Christian McNeill in Glasgow, figuring she might have Jacquie’s number. I couldn’t get phone service. I started kicking myself for being so stupid not to have had everything arranged before I left.
Okay, my last chance was to find an internet café, so I could get on line with my laptop and email her. I asked someone in a train station store if they knew where there was an internet café close by. They looked one up on their smart phone and said it was a few blocks away. On my way out I bumped into an information booth for tourists. I went in and asked if it was possible to use their phone book to look up an address. They said people can opt out of having their number in the phone book, but he looked it up for me and found a J. Forde at a certain address and phone number. Okay! I figured if worse came to worse I could take a taxi to that address and hope it was her and her husband Jerry’s. Both Js. Before I did that, though, I figured I’d get to that internet café. But as I was walking I saw a cell phone company across the street. I asked them for help with my phone, but they said they were associated with Verizon and couldn’t help me because I was associated with AT&T.
I walked many blocks to the café and either I passed it or it was no longer there. Instead I saw a computer repair company, so I walked in and asked for help. They couldn’t help me because it was an Apple company, but they pointed me down a block to another company. The guy in there was so nice! He got me phone service and internet service, and told me I could use their service in the store (Some small consolation is that he didn’t have an easy time figuring it out either.)
I called Jacquie and got an answering machine. I finally got on line and saw a message from her that she was busy today and would pick me up at 6:25 when she was also picking up Jen Lucas, and have fun in Edinburgh until she arrived (4 hours later). Whew! Relief!
So I wandered—my backpack was getting really heavy by this time—over to the National Scottish Museum and looked at some of the exhibits, then went over to the public library because I needed to get my pack off, go to the bathroom, and sit down. I don’t know about you, sometimes, Jack.
It was pure luck that I bumped into Jacquie and Judy Banks as I roamed around the train station looking for Jen. Again I was wondering what I would do if I didn’t find them. But now it was Jen that was missing.
After about a half-hour, just before they were about to leave, I said, “Just let me run and check up at that exit up there (there were many exits), just to be sure she isn’t there.” I ran up and there she was, waiting and hoping someone would show up!
That evening Jacquie picked up the greatest fish and chips (second only to the one I had with Amy in Wales), and Jen, Judy, Jacquie, and Jack (wow, all Js) went out to hear a jazz band Jerry was playing bass in. I really liked them, but when I complimented Jerry and other band members on it, they all kind of pooh-poohed it as if they didn’t think it was good at all. Funny. Sorry, guys, you were good! I thought the clarinet player was the best. Soft jazz must be the most laid back kind of music to perform that there is. They even had an 84 year-old playing the tenor banjo, forcing me to see that there’s hope for me yet. I got to bed WAY too late!

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