Unconditional Love…

Unconditional Love…

When I first got involved in Innate Health, I heard a lot about unconditional love being the answer, no matter what the problem might be. Back then, it sounded nice, but meaningless, to me. I was stepping into this new world from a life that was totally transactional, a life of “If…then”. If I got this contract, then I could give my employees a Christmas bonus; if my daughter got straight A’s, then we would take her to DisneyWorld; if I lost five pounds, then I could wear the red dress to the party… Everything was conditional, including love. Both my husband and I would say things to each other that started with, “If you really loved me, you would…”

Now, 30-some years later, it is so vividly true to me that unconditional love is the answer to everything that it brings tears to my eyes just to think about it. Unconditional love has nothing to do with human transactions. Unconditional love arises in the spirit. It is the pure, uninhibited joy of being alive and integral to the universe.

Conditionality is a human transaction, a product of thought that imposes ideas on how things should be. We make and believe in our own assumptions without any understanding that they are our fabrications. We do not embrace the unpredictable variability of life or of everyone and everything in it. Anything we find acceptable must conform to our opinions and expectations. We reject people and things that don’t fit our ideas or do not make sense within our world view.

Unconditionality is the inchoate vitality before formed thought. It presents no judgment about life or anything in it. We surrender to the flow of it. Without expectations or judgments, we are immersed in being. Unpredictability, variability do not look disorderly or strange as life unfolds moment-to-moment. It just is. We just are. Everything is rich, fascinating, and materializing in the moment.

Unconditionality is profound love of life, of the beautiful energy surging through the universe and through us, and of the wonder of being united with the essential formless force, and yet creating our own passage within it. Unconditional love is the fullness of heart that emerges from pure appreciation of all of it — the darkness and the light, the perfect and the imperfect, the same and the different, the known and the unknown. Unconditional love is deep, soothing peace. In the “isness” of the universe,  there is nothing and no one to fear. We are safe in each present moment in the emerging wisdom that is always available to us. Wisdom is the knowledge that binds the universe together through the creative dynamic of being.

Why is the state of unconditional love the answer, no matter the problem?

The simple fact is that a person who is living with a free and clear mind in that unconditional feeling of gratitude and reverence for life does not bring to mind thoughts of harming or being harmed. No selfish, greedy thoughts. No mean, hurtful thoughts. No disappointed, discouraged thoughts. No resentful, vengeful thoughts. No anxious, fearful thoughts. That state of mind, that state of being, brings with it access to the flow of wisdom and confidence, moment-to-moment, that we can count on to guide us through life’s ups and downs. Wisdom propels us forward. Entertaining negative or dysfunctional or destructive thinking feels wrong and unpleasant if it enters the mind.  Those who understand the nature of thought turn away from such ideas — just allow them to pass without action — and look to quiet their thinking and embrace wisdom once more.

Is it unrealistic or even wildly pollyanna to imagine that such a state could come to dominate the experience of humanity? That is an unanswered question. Until we turn our backs on the belief that the content of our personal thinking is more important than our understanding of the true spiritual being through which we are generating that thinking, we will not know the answer. Beliefs seem powerful. They look very real to us while they are on our minds, especially when we don’t know how they got there. As more and more people come to recognize themselves as the agents of life, rather than seeing circumstances as the agency of their life, the ease with which humanity can find personal peace of mind and act from wisdom increases. When wisdom informs more and more of human choices, we will live in a different world, grounded in peace and hope, filled with unconditional love.

Once unconditional love is illuminated as the quintessential power to live, then who would not want to call it home? Who would willingly turn away from natural peace and joy?

 

The Joy of Teaching and Learning

At heart, I love teaching more than anything else I’ve ever done. And, at heart, I know the joy of teaching, and the pain of it, too. Teachers today face student attitudes and system restrictions that inhibit their sense of freedom and ease in the classroom. Teachers today, at every level from pre-school to university, are leaving the profession, just to escape the pressures they feel that have nothing to do with what drew them into teaching and learning.

Across a long career that included a lot of other work, I have taught middle school, high school, junior college, undergraduate, graduate and adult education — the whole gamut of teaching experience. At every level, I totally loved watching students flourish and learn, and at every level, I experienced frustration, disappointment, restriction in the system. I know the pain and the joy first-hand.

And I know, too, the most important lesson I have ever learned: The pain and the joy are not coming AT me; they are coming THROUGH me, depending on my understanding of how I hold and use my own power to think about my situation. There is a distinct dividing line in my life: Before 1989, and after 1989. What happened in 1988-89? I realized how the human mind truly works to create our experience of life. Before then, I honestly (like most people) believed that I had nothing to do with what I thought or how I felt about things; I honestly believed that circumstances created my experience of life. I honestly believed that if I was in a negative, difficult situation, of course I would feel terrible, and would have to extricate myself from those circumstances to feel better.

After 1989, I knew, without a doubt, that I was the thinker creating my own thoughts and becoming conscious of what I had created as reality — and that I and I alone was responsible for how I responded to life situations. This gave me a sense of freedom and empowerment that has allowed me, for the rest of my life, to make the best of any and every circumstance I have encountered. What happened in that year? I stumbled into a group of people sharing the logic of a discovery that there are Universal Principles that determine the way we create and experience our own thinking, and that simply recognizing them behind life provides immunity from suffering from our own worst thoughts.

You can believe this or not. Everyone has complete freedom to think whatever they do, and take it more or less seriously. But in my experience, over all these years, once people look to see what feels true to them, the recognition that they are creating their own experience via the power of thought resonates deep within them, and they, too, find freedom and release.

In all the years I have looked to see this more deeply for myself, and share it more effectively with others, I have always had in the back of my mind that the ideal starting point for this to help the most people possible would be schools. In situations I know from all my wonderful colleagues who teach all over the world from this perspective, where young people have recognized that they are creating their own lives from the inside-out with their own power to think, they have bypassed the insecurity and emotional instability that plagues so many in our schools now. They know how to find their own peace of mind, regardless of what others are saying or doing. They self-correct. And, free from insecurity and self-doubt, they truly enjoy learning, and being a part of the school community.

As a teacher myself, I know that from the perspective of understanding how thinking works, I no longer experienced frustration or upset at the system; I found I could access my own insights as to how to work with or around issues and obstacles that had previously seemed insurmountable. I lost my judgments about people and institutions, and saw that everyone was doing the best they could, given how they were holding and using their thinking. I stopped taking things personally, and just felt gratitude and love for my students, my subject, my colleagues, and my opportunities to contribute. I truly enjoyed teaching, without the burden of distractions. Once I started seeing and speaking to the resilience and well-being in my students, my “problem” students disappeared. I found that almost all my students enjoyed learning as much as I enjoyed teaching, and only occasionally, when someone dipped into a state of insecurity, did I have to stop what I was doing to help a struggling student come back into the present moment and calm down.

It may sound pollyanna to some who read this, given the state of many schools today. There are places in the world in which it may sound ho-hum — something that seems routine. The state of education, globally, is highly variable. That variability, however, has more to do with the way people are, their level of peace of mind and respect, than with the resources allocated. There are classrooms in remote parts of the world where even pencil and paper are scarce resources, and books are old and tattered, and schoolrooms are sparse and uncomfortable — and yet the joy is palpable. The gratitude the students feel for learning is profound. The love the teachers feel is deep and non-contingent.

Once we understand our own role in the creation of our experiences of everything we’re doing; once we understand how everyone’s thinking works, and how much control each one of us always has over what we do with our own power to think, everything looks different.

We are excited and happy to offer these courses globally, in hopes that teachers, students and schools everywhere will become the petri dish in which world peace is nurtured and grown through peace of mind in the generations to come.

Here is a brief video introduction to what you can expect from these courses:

The post The Joy of Teaching and Learning appeared first on Three Principles Living.

The Joy of Teaching and Learning

At heart, I love teaching more than anything else I’ve ever done. And, at heart, I know the joy of teaching, and the pain of it, too. Teachers today face student attitudes and system restrictions that inhibit their sense of freedom and ease in the classroom. Teachers today, at every level from pre-school to university, are leaving the profession, just to escape the pressures they feel that have nothing to do with what drew them into teaching and learning.

Across a long career that included a lot of other work, I have taught middle school, high school, junior college, undergraduate, graduate and adult education — the whole gamut of teaching experience. At every level, I totally loved watching students flourish and learn, and at every level, I experienced frustration, disappointment, restriction in the system. I know the pain and the joy first-hand.

And I know, too, the most important lesson I have ever learned: The pain and the joy are not coming AT me; they are coming THROUGH me, depending on my understanding of how I hold and use my own power to think about my situation. There is a distinct dividing line in my life: Before 1989, and after 1989. What happened in 1988-89? I realized how the human mind truly works to create our experience of life. Before then, I honestly (like most people) believed that I had nothing to do with what I thought or how I felt about things; I honestly believed that circumstances created my experience of life. I honestly believed that if I was in a negative, difficult situation, of course I would feel terrible, and would have to extricate myself from those circumstances to feel better.

After 1989, I knew, without a doubt, that I was the thinker creating my own thoughts and becoming conscious of what I had created as reality — and that I and I alone was responsible for how I responded to life situations. This gave me a sense of freedom and empowerment that has allowed me, for the rest of my life, to make the best of any and every circumstance I have encountered. What happened in that year? I stumbled into a group of people sharing the logic of a discovery that there are Universal Principles that determine the way we create and experience our own thinking, and that simply recognizing them behind life provides immunity from suffering from our own worst thoughts.

You can believe this or not. Everyone has complete freedom to think whatever they do, and take it more or less seriously. But in my experience, over all these years, once people look to see what feels true to them, the recognition that they are creating their own experience via the power of thought resonates deep within them, and they, too, find freedom and release.

In all the years I have looked to see this more deeply for myself, and share it more effectively with others, I have always had in the back of my mind that the ideal starting point for this to help the most people possible would be schools. In situations I know from all my wonderful colleagues who teach all over the world from this perspective, where young people have recognized that they are creating their own lives from the inside-out with their own power to think, they have bypassed the insecurity and emotional instability that plagues so many in our schools now. They know how to find their own peace of mind, regardless of what others are saying or doing. They self-correct. And, free from insecurity and self-doubt, they truly enjoy learning, and being a part of the school community.

As a teacher myself, I know that from the perspective of understanding how thinking works, I no longer experienced frustration or upset at the system; I found I could access my own insights as to how to work with or around issues and obstacles that had previously seemed insurmountable. I lost my judgments about people and institutions, and saw that everyone was doing the best they could, given how they were holding and using their thinking. I stopped taking things personally, and just felt gratitude and love for my students, my subject, my colleagues, and my opportunities to contribute. I truly enjoyed teaching, without the burden of distractions. Once I started seeing and speaking to the resilience and well-being in my students, my “problem” students disappeared. I found that almost all my students enjoyed learning as much as I enjoyed teaching, and only occasionally, when someone dipped into a state of insecurity, did I have to stop what I was doing to help a struggling student come back into the present moment and calm down.

It may sound pollyanna to some who read this, given the state of many schools today. There are places in the world in which it may sound ho-hum — something that seems routine. The state of education, globally, is highly variable. That variability, however, has more to do with the way people are, their level of peace of mind and respect, than with the resources allocated. There are classrooms in remote parts of the world where even pencil and paper are scarce resources, and books are old and tattered, and schoolrooms are sparse and uncomfortable — and yet the joy is palpable. The gratitude the students feel for learning is profound. The love the teachers feel is deep and non-contingent.

Once we understand our own role in the creation of our experiences of everything we’re doing; once we understand how everyone’s thinking works, and how much control each one of us always has over what we do with our own power to think, everything looks different.

We are excited and happy to offer these courses globally, in hopes that teachers, students and schools everywhere will become the petri dish in which world peace is nurtured and grown through peace of mind in the generations to come.

Here is a brief video introduction to what you can expect from these courses:

The post The Joy of Teaching and Learning appeared first on Three Principles Living.

The Joy of Teaching and Learning

At heart, I love teaching more than anything else I’ve ever done. And, at heart, I know the joy of teaching, and the pain of it, too. Teachers today face student attitudes and system restrictions that inhibit their sense of freedom and ease in the classroom. Teachers today, at every level from pre-school to university, are leaving the profession, just to escape the pressures they feel that have nothing to do with what drew them into teaching and learning.

Across a long career that included a lot of other work, I have taught middle school, high school, junior college, undergraduate, graduate and adult education — the whole gamut of teaching experience. At every level, I totally loved watching students flourish and learn, and at every level, I experienced frustration, disappointment, restriction in the system. I know the pain and the joy first-hand.

And I know, too, the most important lesson I have ever learned: The pain and the joy are not coming AT me; they are coming THROUGH me, depending on my understanding of how I hold and use my own power to think about my situation. There is a distinct dividing line in my life: Before 1989, and after 1989. What happened in 1988-89? I realized how the human mind truly works to create our experience of life. Before then, I honestly (like most people) believed that I had nothing to do with what I thought or how I felt about things; I honestly believed that circumstances created my experience of life. I honestly believed that if I was in a negative, difficult situation, of course I would feel terrible, and would have to extricate myself from those circumstances to feel better.

After 1989, I knew, without a doubt, that I was the thinker creating my own thoughts and becoming conscious of what I had created as reality — and that I and I alone was responsible for how I responded to life situations. This gave me a sense of freedom and empowerment that has allowed me, for the rest of my life, to make the best of any and every circumstance I have encountered. What happened in that year? I stumbled into a group of people sharing the logic of a discovery that there are Universal Principles that determine the way we create and experience our own thinking, and that simply recognizing them behind life provides immunity from suffering from our own worst thoughts.

You can believe this or not. Everyone has complete freedom to think whatever they do, and take it more or less seriously. But in my experience, over all these years, once people look to see what feels true to them, the recognition that they are creating their own experience via the power of thought resonates deep within them, and they, too, find freedom and release.

In all the years I have looked to see this more deeply for myself, and share it more effectively with others, I have always had in the back of my mind that the ideal starting point for this to help the most people possible would be schools. In situations I know from all my wonderful colleagues who teach all over the world from this perspective, where young people have recognized that they are creating their own lives from the inside-out with their own power to think, they have bypassed the insecurity and emotional instability that plagues so many in our schools now. They know how to find their own peace of mind, regardless of what others are saying or doing. They self-correct. And, free from insecurity and self-doubt, they truly enjoy learning, and being a part of the school community.

As a teacher myself, I know that from the perspective of understanding how thinking works, I no longer experienced frustration or upset at the system; I found I could access my own insights as to how to work with or around issues and obstacles that had previously seemed insurmountable. I lost my judgments about people and institutions, and saw that everyone was doing the best they could, given how they were holding and using their thinking. I stopped taking things personally, and just felt gratitude and love for my students, my subject, my colleagues, and my opportunities to contribute. I truly enjoyed teaching, without the burden of distractions. Once I started seeing and speaking to the resilience and well-being in my students, my “problem” students disappeared. I found that almost all my students enjoyed learning as much as I enjoyed teaching, and only occasionally, when someone dipped into a state of insecurity, did I have to stop what I was doing to help a struggling student come back into the present moment and calm down.

It may sound pollyanna to some who read this, given the state of many schools today. There are places in the world in which it may sound ho-hum — something that seems routine. The state of education, globally, is highly variable. That variability, however, has more to do with the way people are, their level of peace of mind and respect, than with the resources allocated. There are classrooms in remote parts of the world where even pencil and paper are scarce resources, and books are old and tattered, and schoolrooms are sparse and uncomfortable — and yet the joy is palpable. The gratitude the students feel for learning is profound. The love the teachers feel is deep and non-contingent.

Once we understand our own role in the creation of our experiences of everything we’re doing; once we understand how everyone’s thinking works, and how much control each one of us always has over what we do with our own power to think, everything looks different.

We are excited and happy to offer these courses globally, in hopes that teachers, students and schools everywhere will become the petri dish in which world peace is nurtured and grown through peace of mind in the generations to come.

Here is a brief video introduction to what you can expect from these courses:

The post The Joy of Teaching and Learning appeared first on Three Principles Living.

Reviving the Joy of Teaching

Judith Sedgeman                            anni

The courses offered are:

  1. Redefining Mental Health. Instructor: Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD.
  1. Understanding Innate Resilience. Instructor: Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD.
  1. School Problem-Solving from the Inside-Out. Instructor: Judith A. Sedgeman, EdD.
  1. Innate Resilience in the Workplace. Instructor: Anni Poole.

The course instructors are qualified educators, both with years of teaching experience, and working in and with educational Institutions.

  • A series of four web-based courses offered globally by West Virginia

University, and developed with Center for Sustainable Change.

  • International Learning Units (ILU’s) indicating mastery of the material will be granted by West Virginia University to participants after a final quiz.
  • Center for Sustainable Change is dedicated to transforming the lives of children, youth and adults in distress. Its mission is to educate those who engage with young people about the transformative power of understanding the Principles of Innate Resilience, thereby generating sustainable change by empowering leaders in their own communities.
  • West Virginia University is a land-grant institution with the mission to deliver high-quality education, excel in discovery and innovation, model a culture of diversity and inclusion, promote health and vitality, and build pathways for the exchange of knowledge and opportunity between the state, the nation and the world.
  • Fee for the courses will be US $199 for each course taken individually, or

US $550 to register for and take all four sequentially (recommended).

Registration will start in April, 2016 and the first round of courses will open In May. Participants will register online with West Virginia University and payments are made to WVU.

For more details please contact Lynanne Lawhead:  lynanne@centerforsustainablechange.org

Joy to the World!

I wish Joy to the world, not only during this holiday season, but always.

Joy is the deeply beautiful feeling that connects us to all of life, beyond our differences and before our fears. It is innate to all people, and readily accessible, but, like a rainbow peeking through storm clouds, easily obscured or overlooked. It is born of quietude, a mind at peace, immersed in the present. We fall into joy naturally. The feeling wells up from within our spirit as we simply allow our minds to come to rest. Regardless of turbulence around us, joy elicits calm, certainty, wisdom, understanding and unconditional love. It lifts us away from anxiety and towards transcendent responses to all of life’s challenges. The power of joy is far greater than the pressure of distress.

For a few years now, I have offered programs at the Women’s Resource Center in Bradenton, Florida, that have the word “Joy” in their titles, most recently, “Get Your Joy Back!” On the first night, I ask participants what drew them to the program. Most often, the responses are something like, “I had forgotten all about joy. It seems like something for little children that we don’t have as adults. But I saw the title and I realized I really would love to have joy back in my life. I just didn’t think it was possible.”

Why not? Once we awaken to the way the human mind works, anything is possible. The very same power that brings us worry, upset, stress, despair can also generate joy when we recognize it and see how we use it to create our reality. We leave joy behind when we get into the habit of thinking too much about everything, trying to rely solely on our intellect to arrive at answers. In my mind, the reason little children are so filled with joy is that their whole world is about discovery, about a constant flow of insights, one Aha! moment after another. Every new experience is a delight, a learning, a chance to see and know something fresh. Children don’t overthink. They don’t know, and that’s OK with them; they wonder and they realize. They live in the moment; untroubled by the past and unafraid of the future. They’re sad, they’re happy, they’re silly, they’re serious. they’re angry, they’re loving — they just move through whatever they’re feeling and let it go when new feelings arise, without any judgment or effort to hold onto one or drop another. They are humble; they don’t have a lot of ideas about what they should be or should be able to do. They jump into life and live it to the fullest!

The only reason growing up brings an end to that is that we learn to take our thinking seriously and we lose that graceful ease of moving from one thought to another, moment to moment. Instead of thought serving our curiosity and bringing us ever more insights about life, thought takes on weight and volume and we learn to bear it like a burden and try to take charge of it.

It’s pointless to try to figure out how and why that happens. But it makes sense to understand that we all have within us the power to stop it from happening, no matter how long it’s been going on.  We never lose the capacity for joy; we’re born with it and it is as much a part of us as the beating of our hearts. We never lose the ability to dance with life, moving effortlessly through the darkness and the light.

We rediscover our intrinsic joy when we see for ourselves the remarkable gifts we were given to lead our lives, the gifts of Mind, Consciousness and Thought. We don’t have to “do” anything to use them to create a joyful life. All we need is to recognize when we are overriding the natural flow of thoughts and turn away, leaving our thinking alone to right itself. Those gifts are spiritual, not actual. They are creation. They bring us into creation. We are parts of the infinitude of creation, just as molecules of water are part of the ocean, and there could be no ocean without them, nor could they be without the ocean. Mind is universal energy, life itself. Thought is the power we have to use that energy to create our personal ideas, to navigate our own way. Consciousness is the power we have to be aware of what we are thinking, to see and feel life in action. These forces are, like gravity, eternally true and always at work, whether we know it or not. When we do know it, we know better than to interfere by using our power to think against ourselves. Knowing that we are creating reality, knowing that we are the thinkers of our own thoughts, we can see that our moment-to-moment thinking creates moment-to-moment changes in our feelings about life. When we cling to thinking that brings bad feelings in an effort to overcome it, or fix it, or change it, we just hold those feelings in place. When we see it is the nature of thought to flow and change, we can use bad feelings as reminders that we are thinking too hard, filling our heads with extraneous thoughts, interrupting the spiritual flow of the present moment. We can take bad feelings as a signal to slow down, turn to quiet.

Joy is the wise and lovely state we enter as soon as we find faith and gratitude that, although we were given the power to think our way into anything, we can use that power to clear our heads and start fresh. Now. No thought has power over us; we’re making all of them up for ourselves. We can discard any thought in an instant, as readily as we created it.

So, look to joy. A river of answers to all our perceived problems flows through that precious state of being.

 

P.S. If you are interested in a deeper exploration of Joy, please consider joining me and my wonderful colleagues Bill Pettit and Christine Heath for a four-day retreat in June, 2015:

The post Joy to the World! appeared first on Three Principles Living.