Where do you want to place your focus?

Kissing Bridge by Bill Canfield
The night after presenting a seminar on the 3 Principles, I had a dream that began quite gruesomely but ended with a lovely feeling. What I realized in the end, is what makes it important to share.

In the dream, I was riding my bicycle alone, but other people were walking and biking alongside me. As we entered below a long bridge, a helicopter behind us, also entered below the bridge so we were forced to scatter to make room for it. I thought this must be part of an air show or a PR event.

It soon became evident that the helicopter had mistakenly entered under the bridge because the pilot had lost control and had no choice. Once it made it through the bridge, I could see that a man had become tethered to the helicopter and then it began to rise again with the tethered man dangling by one leg like a rag doll. The Helicopter then lowered itself and the man, as others rushed to the scene to release the man who had been twisting around and around as you can imagine, since he was suspended by a rope around his ankle. I remember seeing red which I suspected was blood. I then landed in an area where people were shooting at one another and I was shown where to take cover, in someone’s home until it was safe to leave.

Then I woke up and realized that I did not feel fear, or horror or anything, other than curiosity, while the dream was taking place. So I became curious about that. It was so gruesome why did I not get affected by it? I did remember having one feeling though; I recalled feeling fondness for the first responders and the human spirit behind that noble cause.

It then occurred to me that we all come from a formless, spiritual energy that was always here, it was here before us, and it will be here after us. As I see it now, we ARE that formless spiritual energy getting to have a temporary human experience here on planet earth. We can play here or fight here, worry or get angry; there are a variety of choices. The most important thing is that we have the free will to choose from a smorgasbord like no other, here on earth, in every second of our time here.

In that moment I SAW how ridiculous it is to spend any of my short time in fear or anger or disappointment or judgment. I don’t have to, no one forces me to; it’s just me choosing to use the divine power of Mind, Thought and Consciousness for my personal human journey here on earth the way I choose. It is my choice how I use these 3 Principles that give me my personal human experience.

I also realize that this moment will not last, but what a delicious taste! I know that by looking in a certain direction, I’ll have more luscious tastes. That direction is before the contamination of our personal thinking, in pure consciousness.

Taming The Hurricanes That Run Through Our Mind

PicturePhoto by Bill Canfield

We just experienced Hurricane Irene, first hand, in the New England. It was really something. Power outages, fallen limbs and trees, wrecked autos, downed wires and all the devastation that can cause.

Try not taking a shower for 5 days sometime – even 3 would be a stretch for most of us. Try not having refrigerator service or air conditioning in August. Try not having electric lights and not being able to flush your toilet. Now multiply that by 3 since most of these people had their children’s needs to tend to as well.

I found myself reflecting about the physical devastation that can happen in an instant. It occurred to me that it is the same force, the same energy that blows through us, continually, in our own individual minds. The energy that powers weather is the same energy powering the constant movement of our lungs, the same energy causing our heart to beat. This force of energy has been called, the breath of life, the life force; it is known as Ruach in the Hebrew language. In a flash (pun intended) I saw our emotional upsets as a microcosm of hurricanes.

Thoughts form, at times they pick up speed and swirl though our minds causing upset, even devastation at times. Eventually the whirlwind of thoughts calm down and we bounce back with great resiliency, perhaps even forgetting what caused the extreme dither. There might be people we rankled in our path, however. They may not be as resilient because now they are left with their own whirlwind of thought attempting to make sense out of what just happened.

Knowing something about how thought works to create our human experiences, thanks to Sydney Banks’s discovery of 3 Principles that so adequately explain what powers the human experience, I’ve seen the value in finding out how to be more aware of impending hurricanes of the mind. We can feel it gathering momentum if we quiet down long enough to pay attention. That is the alert signal for us, like a foghorn in the distance warning the community of some impending danger. Batten down the hatches, usher your children to the safety of a basement or a friend’s safe haven. We stand to learn from nature, as she provides physical lessons we can apply to our inner, personal world. We can batten down the hatch of our mouthpiece, knowing that in an upset, swirling state of mind, we will only create more upset by thinking it a second time. If we ignore the signal and speak what is on the top of our mind we’ll unnecessarily leave behind damage in our wake. We can provide safety for our loved ones by telling them gently that we are out of sorts, bad mood looming and we need to take some space until the bad mood passes. People understand this because we all experience bad moods from time to time. By looking more closely at the nature of thought, vis a vis, Mr. Banks’s  discovery, we see that common sense resides at our core, and we can depend upon it, even in our most difficult moments if we quiet our thinking long enough to pay attention to common sense. It’s very still and quiet however, and it’s way down deep inside of us (so to speak) so it takes a very quiet mind to access it. That is where we recognize the people around us are our friends, they are not our enemies; there is a peaceful state of mind that resides within us if we take the time to access it.
Interestingly, the ancient Hebrew word ruach generally means wind, breath, mind, spirit, “the spirit, whose essence is divine.” In a living creature, ruach means breath.

For more information on the Three Principles behind life:



“It is your Mind that creates this world” The Buddha

Every morning when we wake up a beautiful thing occurs: we start to think. As we pass from the sleeping, dreaming state where thinking also occurs (just in a more abstract and disjointed way), to the waking state, our thinking becomes somewhat more conscious – although not altogether! Because there are some thoughts we are more conscious of, and others that just run as a programme within our head, a bit like a track that is on repeat.

Some of those repeated tracks are very useful, such as being able to use the motor skills such as walking without having to consciously think: “left foot, right foot, that’s it keep going” or when we are eating the spoon glides smoothly towards our waiting mouth so that we can enjoy breakfast and not put the spoon in our ear or keep dropping it down our clothes (most of the time). Yet there are other thoughts that we may not be so conscious of that create feelings of anxiety or upset or even depression.

So why is this process of thought a beautiful thing? It is a beautiful thing because it is a constant throughout our lives; it is beautiful because every day we have the opportunity to tune our thinking in to all the love, peace and harmony that we wish to experience in our lives. We may ‘think’ that this is not possible due to the external circumstances of our lives i.e., that things are not going so well for us right now so it would not be feasible to focus on this beauty. Yet we are the thinker, we are the one having the thoughts, it is the power of our minds that creates these thoughts and ultimately our experience of life.

We are all aware that we can’t simply ignore our problems and expect them to just go away, but we can begin to recognise that while we allow our thinking to relax back into the beauty and joy of life, we are far more likely to come up with creative solutions to the less comfortable circumstances of our lives.

Our thinking is like a body of water constantly on the move, like a river flowing toward the sea. We may not be able to stop the flow, but we can carve out a new direction for it to irrigate the thoughts we would prefer to experience. To temporarily flood and nourish the fields of our minds with the healthful and beneficial crops of stillness, love and joy.

The beauty of realising that this is how the mind works, that it is our Mind that creates this world, our world, the one that we experience, is that it puts us back in control of what we experience. We are no longer the victim of our circumstances, but moreover we are the creator of our reality – now it is time to take the reins of our horse and steer it towards the life we wish to live, a life of joy, a life of peace and beauty, a life where we decide how it is we are going to feel, whatever the circumstances of our lives appears to dictate, we begin to live with the profound knowledge that we are the thinker.

About Relationships

Before we get started, I’d like to draw your attention to something. It’s best to empty your mind of anything you previously thought in order to get the most from this post*, and from all of my other posts, in fact.
Now, let’s talk about relationships. They sure can be tricky. A case of he said, she said, and who’s on third. Did anyone mention misunderstanding? Just try browsing through Webster someday, for a mind numbing experience. There are so many meanings for the same word. Then add voice inflection, facial expression, and assumed intention to the mix, and well, you can certainly get all mixed up. Are you wondering, what does all this have to do with relationships?

Consider the fact that relationships actually take place inside our own heads. Life is comprised of thoughts about our life. We’re inside our own heads every moment of every day, so how could it be any other way? Remember the scene in Woody Allen’s movie, Annie Hall, where he and Diane Keaton are on a date, walking side by side in silence? The narrative is what is going on separately in each of their minds.

Whenever anyone is face to face with us, on the phone with us, emailing us, or even chatting live, an exchange of thought takes place. Even when we are silent while in an others presence, there are thoughts being thought in each person’s mind. When you’re with someone, and something other than that person is on your mind, you might inadvertently anger the person because your mind is devoid of thought about this person who wants to be thought of, by you. As though you could help not having them on your mind when they’re not on your mind. Most of us have had the experience of upsetting someone because we didn’t take that individual into consideration in an expected way. What about the fact that the person got upset at us? Might that seem inconsiderate?

If we could have thought ahead and known that we would have been better off had we considered the otherof course we would have. It’s rather like pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. We think what we think when we think it. We can program Outlook Express to remind us of appointments, dates and birthdays, but there is no way to perfectly program ourselves.

Consider this: we don’t really experience the other person; we experience our thoughts of the other. You may want to read that again. In other words, they experience themselves in THEIR bodies and in THEIR minds. We have an experience of them in OUR bodies and in OUR minds. Therefore, if you were to say: “I know you better than you think.” That statement would be inaccurate. What you “know” of the other person is your experience of them in your own mind.

Now, what would it be like if we could take a deep breath, bring ourselves back into the moment and dive down deep into our innate health where we get filled with compassion and we remember that we’re all built the same? Yes, our egos get in our way from time to time and we sometimes get caught up in a bunch of preconceived notions and lose sight of the big picture. But the truth is, we all have the capacity to return to our innate health, where our state of mind is high and life is again joyful. When you realize that’s true because you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s easy to wait for the other person to find it again too; Given half a chance, it will happen. Silence with a strong dose of warmth and a pinch of compassion truly can be golden.
*These posts are written in a way that enables you to receive insights into your own life. With that said, there is a way to read them that is quieter and reflective, allowing us to absorb them in a new way. Most of us skim articles for facts and look for sound bites to take with us. These posts however, are meant to be read slowly, in order to bring the insights out from inside of you. Once that happens, the useful things you found while reading, will never be lost; because they were and are yours. It might take a few more moments to read and reflect, but you’ll get much more out of in the long run.

* How to prepare yourself for insights:~ Clear your mind of preconceived notions.

~ Really clear your mind.

~ Pretend you’re from a different planet and you have no idea how things work on planet Earth.

~ Get curious.

~ Drop into a nice state of mind, devoid of negative thoughts.

~ Read as though you are gently considering what is being said.

~ Let go of judgments, comparisons, differences.

~ Let your personal thoughts come and go without placing any attention on them.

~ Read with a totally open mind.

~ Enjoy your ah ha moments.

~ Even if you don’t have an ah ha while reading, be open to it happening in the shower, during a drive in the country,  or on a walk. We never know when they’ll hit us.

​~ Relax and enjoy the moment.

How Can 3 Principles Turn Dale Carnegie Around?

I was waiting for employees to enter the conference room of a company where I was consulting, when I noticed a tiny booklet with a Gold cover. (I get distracted by shiny objects)
Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book – interesting! I think I have the book at home, amongst other books I never quite find time to read. And now, here is a condensed version. I realized as I skimmed through it that Carnegie’s “to do” list is actually a natural outcome for anyone who REALLY knows that their experience always comes from their own thinking. I would say some of the things on Carnegie’s list differently however; i.e. instead of “expect ingratitude,” I would say: don’t expect gratitude for your good deeds, but you can feel gratitude for your own experience of having done a good deed; something like that.

Don’t feel like you have to read Dale Carnegie’s list below, but I wrote it here in case you’d like to see it. Maybe, at this point, you have enough understanding of the 3 Principles to see what I mean about these “characteristics” being automatic when you truly SEE that experience is your own thoughts, and also why the 3 Principles are referred to as an inside-out phenomenon.

From Dale Carnegie:

Cultivate a Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness:

1) Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage health and hope

2) Never try to get even with your enemies

3) Expect ingratitude

4) Count your blessings – not your troubles

5) Do not imitate others

6) Try to profit from your losses

7) Create happiness for others

How to Win Friends and Influence People:

1) Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

2) Give honest, sincere appreciation

3) Arouse in the other person an eager want

4) Become genuinely interested in other people

5) Smile

6) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important
sound in any language

7) Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves

8) Talk in terms of the other person’s interests

9) Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

10) the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it

11) Show respect for the other person’s opinion Never say, “you’re wrong.”

12) If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically

13) Begin in a friendly way

14) Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately

15) Let the other person do a great deal of the talking

16) Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view

18) Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires

19) Appeal to the nobler motives

20) Dramatize your ideas

21) Throw down a challenge

22) Begin with a praise and honest appreciation

23) Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly

24) Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person

25) Ask questions instead of giving direct orders

26) Let the other person save face

27) Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.

28) Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

29) Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

30) Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

​It was the ability to create (ideas, inspiration) through the gift of thought that allowed Dale Carnegie to come up with his “to do” list. Life is so much easier and more enjoyable when these things are the natural outcome for anyone who takes the time to understand the Three Principles. When you do that, there are no lists to follow or remember or read over and over to make it sink in because it’s already inside of you, ready to come out.

What Makes The Best Things in Life Free?

Jyll Kashmann Photo
I didn’t get what I wanted in life. I didn’t get an ivy league education, (the intelligence to support that even if I had been able to afford it,) a life-long husband, children, wealth, a gorgeous face and killer body, or a house (with or without picket fence). What I did get was so far beyond my wildest dreams that I never could have conjured it up. I got a ticket to maximum mental and emotional health, and it has absolutely nothing to do with what I have or can obtain in the physical world: (husband, children, education, house, etc.)
What I have instead is a spiritual understanding that offers me an experience of life that is pretty consistently wonderful. I learned that I create my experience by virtue of the thoughts I hold as truth vs. a product of creative energy at work within me. Through the past 26 years, I’ve seen that nothing I can think up is truth, the only truth is that I am a spiritual being in human form, a part of Universal energy that is infinitely creative.
​What a miracle that I get to experience this. What a joy. What a blessing to be part of this creative life force that brings formless energy into physical form.

Finding Contentment

When it comes down to it, our inner landscape is where life is lived. It’s really not about the externals, it’s about how we’re feeling every moment of every day. We’ve all thought this intellectually – many people have accrued fortunes, mansions, yachts and jets; some are happy, content and satisfied; but most are actually not!
The whole idea of money and wealth does not seem natural to me. Truly, money does not grow on trees. We’ve all heard: “What if money were no object?” What would you do then? What if we just followed our bliss, literally? What if we just did things we loved doing? I know what you’re thinking: The house would be overrun by an army of dust bunnies and bill collectors would knock on our doors because no one actually likes paying bills. Frankly, you’d still most likely get what you need, and you might even get what you want!
Using my own life as a laboratory, I’ve noticed that I have moments of being in sheer love with it. When that feeling comes through, I’m in love with every child I see. I notice sunlight filter through green leaves and purple flower petals. I notice light flickering like ballerinas across a stage; I notice dogs as never before; it’s my own state of mind that brings me these gifts.
I’m so grateful that I met someone who taught me how to be in the space of gratitude. I’ve noticed that gratitude begets more things for which to be grateful. It becomes an avalanche, but a magnificent one where no one gets hurt and everyone thrives. This is true for every single person on earth, and it’s totally free!