It started with a game

Louise Storey“Isn’t it funny you don’t realise what you have until you don’t have it anymore? Usually we mean this to be something we’ve lost that we treasure. In this case losing something has been the best thing that has happened to me and my family. Let me explain…”

As a teenager I remember feeling self conscious, lonely and depressed once or twice to the point of wanting to end my life. I didn’t even know what depression was then, the label came a few years later and I self diagnosed myself. I didn’t talk to anyone about my feelings, I just sat in my room, thinking and thinking and imagining how life was so different for me than everyone else. I learned to put on a good front / mask.

Anyway swipe through to a few years later, I didn’t do bad at all in my life I have a wonderful loving, caring, understanding husband of 12 years, I have 2 beautiful children and loving parents. I also had a well paid job that I loved and was good at.

However, I still had self doubt, I cared a lot what others thought and I lived my life and made decisions based on outside influences such as friends, family, adverts, society etc etc…I thought this was just the way life was….there was however, something constant in my life though, episodes of depression, sometimes they’d camp out for one or two days and other times they really move in and stayed for longer and dragged me down deeper. I coped though, tablets sometimes, acupuncture, reading all about it, drinking, diet changes etc etc

I got through some pretty traumatic times and was quite grateful for getting through 3 IVF rounds, split from my husband for 6 months, 24 week premature baby and then the diagnosis of my eldest child on the autism spectrum, without ending up in a straight jacket.

I went back to a full-time full on IT travelling job when my children were still young and hired childcare. I loved the freedom that my job was giving me and I spent 1 year putting my all into getting up and running after being 6 years out of corporate life.

What I wasn’t focussing on though was the beauty of my children growing up in front of me. I thought that having more money and being a corporate working Mum was who I needed to be to have what everyone was saying “my identity”.
What I wasn’t focussing on was the wonderful husband (and parents) who were so patient with the stresses and strains of managing both our travel plans, jobs around the house at the weekend, the commitments of parenting (grandparenting) plus the biggest thing of all a constantly stressed out out wife / daughter.

So supposedly I “had it all”. So why then did I feel so unhappy most of the time? ….

I remember very clearly the day before I was going to go on holiday I was in a meeting in work and all the insecurities that I had about being back at work and who I was started to descend on me. I was shaking, I had thoughts about how rubbish I was at my job, I couldn’t do it, I was a fraud etc. I could hardly function in the meeting. I made a decision that made me feel better in that moment, I was going to hand my notice in when I got back from my holiday.

I read Jamie Smart’s Clarity book on holiday.

Something got my attention, but I really have no recollection what. I don;t think the words “three principles” or “Syd banks” even popped out as relevant to me at the time.

I played a bit with some of the ideas while I was still on holiday, giving people my full attention when they spoke to me for example…sounds simple doesn’t it? It was fun and I enjoyed trying out this new game.

So I went back to work and I thought I had nothing to loose as I was going to hand my notice in anyway, I tried out some things from the book, listening mainly with nothing on my mind… although back then I don’t think I really knew what that mean’t.

Almost instantly in a few days, I hadn’t got the insecure thoughts I’d had before the holiday, I just couldn’t imagine them anymore, I became curious about some other areas in the book, tried them out and saw more changes at work. Still a game.

Fast forward to the end of that year, I had gone from an average performer to a top performer at work and winning two awards – one of which was for innovation. I had never won an award in my life!

This really was interesting…so I read more books about something Jamie mentions in his book Three Principles and a welder from Scotland called Syd Banks…well living life started right there…

Its been nearly 20 months since I first read that book and I have been through such an amazing journey of learning and it still continues.

During a 6 month period I started to question why I was working in a full-time full on job. I would wake and have different thoughts everyday. One day I’d wake and I knew I loved my job, it was good money and I had got where I was with hard work, so I shouldn’t leave, then on the other days I’d wake with a pure longing to be with my children, and then as time went on I just knew it was the right time and place to be at home with my children and I’d just have to look for work around the childrens’ school hours. One fear I had at the time was would I have regrets if I left? I was frightened of regretful feelings, would I be able to cope being at home? Now I see what those fears were.

Finally I knew I could trust my wisdom fully and I realised I had to leave, so I handed my notice in. My company offered me all kinds of working hours and workarounds to keep a valuable employee, things I never would have ever dreamt of asking for in the first place. I stayed for another 6 months working around the needs of the children and still doing my job with less stress and doing more productive work than ever……and then one day I just knew it didn’t make sense anymore.

I have just had the most magical beautiful Summer with my family. No regrets about leaving work, very happy and content in all areas of my life.

Having spent time on Jamies’ year long practitioner course, deepening my understanding of the 3 principles, has truly had a transformative effect on my life and the people around me.

I knew from the beginning that “I was living in the feeling of my thinking of thought taking form in the moment” all the way through I knew this to some degree, but I kept getting caught up and sometimes even questioning whether it might be different in this situation.

Now I absolutely know that it works that way 100% of the time with no exceptions, yes there are times when I still get get caught out, but for me the more I trusted and “tested” situations out and saw that it was always that way, the implications on life have been enormous.

So going back to my opening line… what don’t I have anymore thats made me realise what I had?
I had a misunderstanding about how our reality gets created.

Taking away this misunderstanding allows me to constantly see the pain and unnecessary feelings that I once had and that people around me have.

Equally it enables me to see the beauty of the world around me, like family, nature and friendships, all my senses are alive to the world and allowing me to experience a richer world. The implications of this is slowing down, being present with loved ones.

We all love “How to’s”….but there really is no shelving problems, there is no shoving things under the carpet, there is no thought changing method, all there is to do is to understand how our thoughts create our feelings and reality in the moment.

Emotions, memories, beliefs… all thoughts in the moment. The only thing that can happen when you see this misunderstanding is the feeling and thoughts dissolve away or you have the choice to take no notice. It just doesn’t make sense any more.

Sometimes I forget the game and thats when I get hood winked into thinking that something other than my thinking is causing me stress, fear, pain, I have too much investment on an end result, that I don’t trust the inbuilt guidance system we have. That guidance system is what got me through teenage years, IVF, Premature baby stages, I am here safely DESPITE my misunderstanidng.

The misunderstanding

As a teenager I had no idea that all the thoughts I created about my self image, self loathing, what other people were saying about me, the lonely feelings were all created by me, not other people not teachers not my parents, not my body, my clumsy sociable ways. All thoughts created by me…never questioned, and yes a good downing of alcohol cured it all for a while.

“I had it all” – what did that mean? Who’s beliefs were they? Media / friends / society? If so why did I did still feel pain? Again never questioned any of this, why would I?

The traumas – how did I manage to show up everyday when I thought my little baby was going to die at the hospital? Even at that time I knew something was carrying me through.

I even thought it was Jamie’s book that gave me the good feelings and thoughts, I was caught again. Some people might read Jamie’s book and not see it. Some do and it takes longer, some immediately… without trying out “having nothing on my mind” I might never have seen it, through the judgement and beliefs I had about myself and the world.

Work, I truly and honestly thought that going to work would make me feel happy and give me my identity back.

I felt happy when I was working …..BUT it wasn’t the job that was making me happy. Remember at the beginning I wasn’t happy? I was insecure. Then my state of mind and thinking about the job changed as I understood more…more clarity mean’t I had the ability to enjoy the job, but the job was still the same, the people were still the same. For me I was playing the game well, but then I realised I was playing the wrong game.

I thought that giving up my job and being with the children would make me happy. That situation had nothing to do with it. I was able to trust my wisdom that it was the right thing to do at this moment in time. Following wisdom meant the decision came with no regrets or guilt.

Why am I telling you this?

So why am I sharing this information?

From someone who was not looking for herself, thought she had it all in life and thats as good as it got and had to live with painful feelings and thoughts, who doesn’t come from a formal coaching, mentoring or teaching background. I know from living through all my experiences in life with the misunderstanding, I can now see what caused me so much unnecessary pain.

I now know my job in life is to share this with others, to ease their suffering and pain.
…..

I am no longer an alcoholic

Sally Wyse shares her story of transformation. She had an addiction to alcohol for years and lost her job, friends and family because of it. Through insight on hearing about the Three Principles, she has turned that around and is no longer an alcoholic. Listen to Sally as she shares candidly.

 

Beyond Resilience

MahimaMy first glimpse of the potential and possibility of the Three Principles understanding was during the Nepal earthquakes in 2015. In the midst of a volatile, uncertain time I found an inner source of resilience, resourcefulness and ease.

I’d only begun my explorations a few months before that by watching videos from the Three Principles Conference in London. When I found myself shaken and afraid, I realized this was going to be a defining moment- I was going to find out whether people are the victims of circumstance or whether we really do have freedom in any situation like these teachers were saying.

What I found was that my internal life of feelings and experience was independent of the external happenings in my life.

During those weeks after the earthquake I found my internal state could fluctuate between optimism and fear even if nothing changed on the outside- it was still Day 7 after the earthquake, aftershocks were still coming, the future was still uncertain and the enormous task of relief and rebuilding remained the same; yet my feelings about the earthquake, my life and the future could vary wildly from moment to moment.

That showed me the freedom we each have internally to experience life differently.

Since then, it seems to me the richness of that insight into the nature of how we human beings create our experience has continued to deepen and unfold. My sense of ease and light-heartedness has increased as has my optimism about life.

Grateful for the gifts and practical value this has brought into my life and work, I’ve begun to take this understanding into businesses, non-profits, communities and schools.

Convinced that people have untapped potential to resolve every challenge they face, I’ve started to reach out to a broader community of change makers across Asia and have begun the conversation of how we can better understand and resolve some of the biggest challenges in the region.

For anybody curious, interested or passionate about how this understanding can affect change in individuals, organizations and communities, you can reach me at

Mahima Shrestha

mahima@mopcommunications.com

My story – what has coming across The Three Principles meant to me?

Mick TomlinsonWhen I try and remember how life was before I came across The Principles, I think my fundamental belief was: “Life is difficult, but how we think about it can make a difference – and we have to work at that in order to counteract the hardships out there.”

I studied (and taught) Tai Chi so that I could interact with life with as much ease and grace as possible – trying to remain centred amidst inevitable stresses. I studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism because its teachers seemed to have all the answers to life’s mysteries. These studies helped to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of challenges, but in addition, I wanted something which would help me interact with life in a more practical, day-to-day way. I thought I had found what I was looking for in NLP, where I developed new cognitive strategies, uncovered and transformed core limiting beliefs, and particularly loved working at ‘identity-level’ change – change which transformed how I fundamentally perceived myself and how I operated in the world.

All of these studies/practices were of huge benefit. But there was always the underlying notion that I needed to work harder… in order to develop myself more and to get better at dealing with life. “I should practice more than I do…” or “I need to go on another training that will give me more skills/understanding.”

In 2001, after several years of struggling with a ‘lack of life purpose’ and feeling seriously depressed about how stressful life was, I developed a sclerosis on the spinal chord – a health issue that has symptoms of mild Multiple Sclerosis. From when I was age three, I had watched my mother live with, and finally die from, MS. So, when I received the diagnosis with the word “sclerosis” in it, there was some charge attached to it – as you might imagine.

My ‘self-development’ had taught me to watch out for the kind of thinking which believed I might be following in my mother’s footsteps, and to watch out for making meaning out of the diagnosis. Generally, I ‘managed my state of mind’ pretty well. I also practiced a type of healing qigong – another tool that helped me manage my physical and mental state. But, much of the time I felt very stuck – and couldn’t see a way forward… “life’s difficulties” were getting the better of me. I was doing doggy-paddle out in the ocean and Life’s waves were getting bigger!

In 2012, I came across The Three Principles via Michael Neil’s “Coaching from the Inside Out” online course. I thought I would be learning new techniques for learning to be a better coach, or perhaps some new self-development tips that I could apply to help me deal with life with new strategies I hadn’t yet come across. I wasn’t expecting to have my life-view turned inside out, or my whole reality brought into question! Some days after listening to the audio recordings, I saw the enormous truth that we can only ever have a psychological experience of the world. The world itself does not gives us experience – rather, I saw that my experience was being created from Thought, moment to moment. And by its nature, Thought can change.

In the moments after that first insight, all those periods of my life where I had felt truly stuck, at the mercy of outside circumstances, came rushing to mind and I saw how I had, in reality, been a victim of my own thinking – the ‘outside’ couldn’t have made me feel that way… it was not possible. In fact, I had never actually known what was really “out there”, because I could only ever experience it via the power of my own thinking. To know that all of my life’s challenges up to that point were not as they had appeared… was pretty humbling! At the same time, I was astounded that I had never been shown this understanding before. I had such a sense of the potential available to us in every moment – in an instant the future was suddenly available again.

In that first year came many new insights – some big, some small – into how Thought created my moods, my perspective, and my sense of self. I often felt truly happy for no reason, and saw that happiness wasn’t something that needed to be gained or worked towards – rather it was the default state when there was less on my mind. I saw the benefits of doing less thinking or analysis as it applied to my physical health as well. I was greatly impacted by a video with Marilyn Wendler (http://www.threeprinciplesmovies.com/painmarilyn/ http://www.threeprinciplesmovies.com/pain-marilyn/ ) who had caught on to the separation between physical sensation and wellbeing, and I too started seeing how my physical downturns (or worsening of symptoms) didn’t have to automatically mean anything – I didn’t have to feel down and depressed whenever my body was exhausted. My body always recovered quicker by itself if I didn’t start thinking the worst or fearing for the future.

Now, in my day to day life, seeing the truth that my physical circumstance does not dictate my feeling (my mood, or my spirits), has been the foundation for a new contentment and ease in life. I didn’t have to go looking for it, or work harder to deserve it – it was there built-in to the mechanism of how the mind and body work together. And I am so grateful for being shown this mechanism by the teachers of this understanding – especially of course Syd Banks for being able to articulate what he saw.

As someone who has spent a lot of time being conscious (mindful) of physical sensation, I now see that the mind comes before the body – even though it doesn’t look that way. For quite a long time, I’d had quite a fear of flying, and on the last time I flew to Greece, there was a lot of ‘very scary turbulence’. I was very mindful of each and every sensation in my body being created by the movement of the plane, and didn’t like what I felt! Then, a phrase came to mind that I had heard Keith Blevens say: “We cannot be made to feel anything we don’t think.” Hearing a phrase like that in such moments, calls my understanding into question – part of me responded with “Yeah, right – the plane is definitely making me feel frightened!” But at the same time, I knew enough to trust that Keith wasn’t just saying that as a ‘good idea’, so I kept exploring the links between the fear, the turbulence and the sensations… trying to see the truth of the mechanism. And there it was…

…The plane was not causing the fear; the sensations were not causing the fear. It wasn’t possible for fear to be created from the outside – because fear itself is thought! It’s thought giving meaning to sensation, not the other way round. That was a beautiful moment. Once again I was shown the awesome power of Thought. And at the same time, I felt powerful… something I had been afraid of for so long, no longer could have the power I had given it.

In just over three years, I have seen so much by way of this understanding; and the beauty is that there is so much more – there’s no end to what can be seen. If I was to revisit my previous ‘world view’, it would now go something like: “Life is Life. Our thinking, moment to moment, creates our experience of it – and we don’t have to work at changing that, because it’s possible to see that all hardships aren’t actually out there in the first place.”

I think I’m not good enough, but really I am not listening with Molly Gordon

molly_embrace_500wSomething I noticed a couple of weeks ago was it looked to me like clients (and I could see it in myself too) would sometimes be looking for answers to questions that actually weren’t the questions Life was asking in the moment.

We get an idea in the moment and ask the question, “am I good enough to do this work?”, when the real question is: “what’s this moment calling for?  What’s showing up right in front of me? What does this kid need?  What is my heart telling me?”

We are all good enough. I think every human being is good enough to get the message in the moment, whatever that message is. I was joking with a client who was looking for the message about her business and I said well maybe the message is get a pedicure! Or bake the cookies, or teach algebra, or grade the papers, or write the emails. Sometimes, it looks like we get wrapped up in the questions and miss out on the answers that are sitting right in front of us. We are all good enough to get exactly the guidance we need in the moment it’s just that sometimes I look for something different, I think I need a different type of guidance, you know, I want it to be bigger guidance, or deeper guidance or whatever, and then I think I’m not good enough, but really I am not listening.

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One of the things that occurred to me as I was listening to Ami speak is the distinction between worthiness and competence.

Worthiness is not negotiable, it is a given and worthiness doesn’t actually attach to that personality that “I”ness, that personal self. Competence, whether it’s creating a wedding cake or teaching math or breaking up a fight, do I have the skills?  I don’t know.

What came to me when listening to you (Ami) is that in any moment we can show up and do what we can with what we’ve got.  If we are not wrapped up in worrying about whether we are good enough, at least for me if I’m not wrapped up in that conversation,  I tend to be better at gauging where I am, what is in front of me and what I have to work with.  But when I am with a client or anywhere in my life and I am worrying about how I am showing up or how I am doing then I start 2nd guessing myself and I disconnect from the person right in front of me or the situation.  I can’t do my best whatever that means if I am disconnected.

I keep hearing George Pransky in the back of my mind saying “that’s above my pay grade!” *It occurs to me that sometimes I start trying to work and think above my pay grade. In other words, we get into a territory, or my mind takes me to a territory outside of what I actually know and what I know how to do. And then I leave the territory of where I am good enough (the competence) and don’t feel good enough and it’s because I am trying to be beyond my pay grade. And every time I settle back down and just deal with where I am and what I’ve got and also have some trust that the other person has resources that are unknown to me, then things tend to fall into place.

Journey through history

August 14, 2015

And the adventure continues. I just arrived “home,” if one can call it that. I haven’t been any place I could call home in four months. That’s a very long time. And now I have a new home to put together. I don’t even have a bed.

Since I got back from Europe into the US my life has been kind of a blur. I connected with my son and daughter and granddaughter, which was very nice. I picked up my last remaining stuff from Amy’s house and saw her very briefly, which was a bit awkward for me. My car got repaired while I was gone, except my brakes still shudder, but I got it inspected and I headed south. I knew I was going to tackle the 1500+ drive miles in small chunks.

My first stop: Nantasket Beach. This was the first house I was brought to when I was born. It sets two houses away from the ocean. When my mother died she left it to us three kids, and last year my sister bought out my brother and me. Now my sister, Joanne invited us down there to be with her, so we had a very nice family reunion. Then everybody left and I stayed on for a few days by myself. It was really good for me to cool down for a while.

The best thing that happened during this time was I started writing again, and when that happens I don’t want anything to interfere. That’s when I know I’ve got the writing bug again; I don’t want to be doing anything else—the exception being lying reading on the beach (I read, Breakfast with Buddha, which I found exceptionally enjoyable, very well written and a scattering of deep wisdom; I highly recommend it) and taking 4-6 mile run-walks every morning. There is no better beach to walk on than Nantasket beach at low tide. This was a rejuvenating time for me, and I needed it.

I did a few coaching sessions over Skype, and a woman named Paula arranged a radio show with me and came up to meet me—she lived on the base of the Cape, so it was not a long drive for her. When she got out of the car I was kind of taken aback by how attractive she was. But the radio show didn’t work out because we got stood up by the woman in Colorado who ran it. But I did enjoy Paula a lot, except she kind of freaked me out a little because she “sees” entities, and she told me how some of them were up to no good. Then when she left she told me to lock my doors. In the middle of the night I woke up hearing weird noises, and I got chills up and down my spine. Freaked me out! But I may have been making it all up.

After a wonderful time being on the beach in the greatest weather the whole time I was there, I went to visit my old friend, Susan who had become a Five Element Acupuncturist, and when she was learning her trade she practiced on me. I hadn’t seen Susan in about 10 years because she had moved to Connecticut from Vermont, and we picked up right where we left off. We have come in and out of each other’s lives for possibly 30 years. You just can’t beat the connection of old friends. I traded her a massage for a Zero Balancing (ZB) treatment, which is so relaxing!

And then it was on to Charlottesville, Virginia and Divine Play for my one and only scheduled training in the United States, called LISTEN, and it turned out to be a great success. It never ceases to amaze me how much more deeply we all could listen than we do now, no matter how deeply we listen now, which is what many of the participants who attended the three days discovered. Most people’s listening deepened and deepened throughout the three days. It culminated in a radio show with participants being a live audience and contributing to Jeanne Catherine’s program. This was the first session I had done in the States for quite a while, and one of the things that became obvious to me again is how much people are the same, and how you put almost any group together from anywhere in the world to examine the three principles together, and they invariably go deeper together and become a wonderful group.

On my way to Charlottesville I drove by a lot of Civil War battlefields and almost stopped, but then I saw a sign to James Madison’s estate. I had recently read a book about James Madison, who was the major craftsman of the U.S. Constitution. So I decided on the spot to turn up to his house. What a spread! The Virginia gentry sure knew how to live (unfortunately they kept slaves to help them do it, and although both Madison and Jefferson felt guilty for having slaves and treated them well, they were slave owners nonetheless, and could not have kept up their places without them). The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I took a little hike through some old growth forest, the way it was when the settlers first arrived in Virginia before the Revolutionary war. It was a great experience.

So, the next day, once I got to Charlottesville, I was inspired to visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. Besides being a great man, Jefferson was amazingly creative, and Monticello displays his creativity. The mountain on which Monticello was built is absolutely beautiful. It’s well worth seeing. So I immersed myself in early American history for two days. After being in Europe so often lately and loving it there, it was very grounding to give myself a dose of America.

In Charlottesville I stayed in a bed-and-breakfast, in a pretty tiny room that was sometimes too hot and sometimes too cold, but it was generally a nice place, and every day I walked the mile or two to the training. I didn’t hang out with the trainees very much as I had done in Europe, though they were really nice people. Mostly when I wasn’t doing the training I just wanted to chill out and write some.

So with another very successful training behind me, I scooted off to Wilmington, North Carolina, for a stopover with another displaced Vermont friend, Christie Binzen, who was also featured in the new 3P history book, Paradigm Shift, as she built inside-out prevention into the formal curriculum of Woodbury College in Montpelier, Vermont as director of the Woodbury College Prevention and Community Development Program, the first college degree prevention program in the country. Besides all that, she is also a really good friend whom I haven’t gotten to see very much since she moved to North Carolina. I had stopped to see her and stay over when I drove my belongings down in the truck to Florida. It’s a little bit out of the way to go to see her but worth it, not only to have a stopover point at a crucial time in the trip, but also to bask in the glow of good friendship.

The only way I am able to find time to continue to write this blog while writing my book is via the DragonSpeak program, which allows me to talk it right into my laptop as I’m driving along. I correct mistakes later when I stop—but this way it doesn’t take me any extra time. I won’t have the same luxury once I arrive in my new home in Florida, because I’ll either be buying furniture or writing on my book.

I got to my condo, dumped my stuff, slept on a folded over memory foam mattress topper, didn’t get a chance to put very much away before hooking up with a meet-up group that took me to a Boston Red Sox game in Miami against the Florida Marlins. I also met my son at the game. Beautiful stadium. And it was an enjoyable game, although the Red Sox got routed—boy is their pitching the absolute worst this year!

So that was a lot of fun but when the guys I was with dropped me off at my condo, I discovered, much to my great chagrin, that I had taken the wrong key out of my house. So I was locked out! I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I tried every door and window in the place to no avail. I ended up sleeping in my car that night. Woke up stiff. It was really early, still dark, so I figured I would drive down to the beach to catch the sunrise. I took a nice walk along the beach, which was very peaceful. Then when I got back I couldn’t find anyone who could help me get in. I wasn’t about to spend another night not in my place, so I slit a screen window and managed to crawl in; I figured it was cheaper to repair a screen then to call a locksmith. In fact, the only reason I was able to get in the window was because earlier the day before I had somehow knocked the sliding window out of its grooves and I couldn’t get it back in. That turned out to be the best move! Good thing!

Now that I’m here I probably won’t be writing this blog again for a while. I don’t go back to Europe until the end of September. Hopefully no hurricanes will come before I leave.

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European Tour III: Day 26 – Not listening

Day 26, Thursday, July 16, 2015

This morning I had to catch up on a number of very backed-up emails, and to finally get around to re-editing the next important journal article Tom Kelley, Eric Lambert and I wrote, after its critique by the peer reviewers. This one is for the journal, Spirituality in Mental Health, and compares our findings of 88% of those with Three Principles understanding reporting “flourishing mental health” to Keyes’s findings of only 18% in the general population. But these articles have been so much work and have taken up so much time! I’m not writing another one until we have the data for a control group study, which we need badly to finally be taken seriously by the psychological establishment. I also keep getting wonderful comments and appreciation from those who have now read the Paradigm Shift 3P history book.

Then I took a walk around a fairly nice park here in Bucharest. My legs are really hurting from that steep mountain hike and I need a leg massage bad! Then back to the park to have lunch with Oana. Then a much-needed nap—didn’t sleep very well on this very soft hotel bed last night.

And then it was time for my first session in Romania—on relationships. Unlike in Moscow, very few people showed up. Unlike Greece, I didn’t feel like talking about what happened with my relationship with Amy—amazingly, I haven’t even been thinking about it that much anymore (that will very likely change when I get back to Vermont, then Florida).

But with this small group I demonstrated what not to do in a seminar. I had it in my mind to talk about myths we have that keep relationships less healthy than they could be. I had come up with six of them and wrote them down on a flipchart beforehand. But it was not really appropriate for me to run down these myths for this very small group. My mistake was going through with my original plan and not deep listening to the group. I thought we recovered about halfway through the two hours and did end up with a pretty good feeling, but there was a lesson in that.

And we’re scheduled to have an even tinier group—only three paying customers, plus three organizers—for a day and a half over the weekend. Okay, have to put my thinking aside for that one!

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Excerpt from Telesummit 2014 by Jenny Kennard

jennyQuestion: “If wisdom is our default setting and built into us, why do most people seem so unaware and disconnected from it? Wouldn’t it come more easily?”

Answer:  It’s funny. I look back even before knowing the Principles and it was interesting to me to see some of the times in my life when I really struggled, that wisdom was still there – my common sense, my gut instinct was still there, but I didn’t know to listen to it. And I think coming across the Principles when I did, wasn’t like suddenly I had wisdom – I saw wisdom had been there and I’d not listened.

I’d got so caught up in a world… you know we’re surrounded by advertising and television programs and we go to school and there’s all of this conditioning kind of happening, which is telling us that we need something in the world to be a particular way for us to feel ok. So we’re almost living in a world where it’s pointing us in the wrong direction constantly. And I feel like this is a gentle reminder of looking within ourselves.

As Elsie was saying with the children, they drew out the wisdom from the children. They hadn’t taught them the Principles but the wisdom was there. What do these children want? What dreams did they have? And they just got them in communication and then they lit up. It wasn’t told to them, you know you need to try and unite different cultures and faiths from around the world. That was their vision. You know these are young children and I think, even though our common sense and our wisdom can be very covered up and very hidden, it seems that one thought later we can realize it. And when we know that it’s within us, we kind of look to it.

I didn’t know I was a wise person and I didn’t know that… I remember one of the things said on the course, which we had a video of Sydney Banks playing and he said, “there is no one more wise that you.” Everyone has access to that same wisdom. And I didn’t know that before. I thought there was someone out there who was wiser than me that could fix me. I didn’t know that there was something in me that could move me forward and change me.

And I love that this is going to get out to youth because when you tell them that they have common sense, they have wisdom, they have insight available to them, they know to look for it. And I guess I feel that’s maybe what’s been missing, that we’ve been so busy putting information into children and telling them how to be and what to do, that we’ve forgotten that they already have ideas and they kind of know how to move forward.

So it’s that real balance I guess with education, of teaching them about the world, and about English and maths, but also drawing out from them that already present wisdom. Because I know that for me, I felt that I didn’t really know anything and I needed people to tell me. I didn’t know it was available so I didn’t know where to look.

So I don’t know if that kind of answers it but in my opinion, it’s that we are bombarded with information telling us that we need something else to be ok. And what I heard in that first course was that I have everything I need within me, to then go out into the world and do things, but there was nothing that I needed externally to be ok. And that was very, very new to me

Jenny Kennard

www.innatewellbeing.co.uk

www.threeprinciplesmovies.com

About deep listening

OanaMy son Vlad is six and a half. He enjoys playing outside with the kids. There are about five kids near the block, besides him, who are playing outside every afternoon after school. Kids are usually supervised by their parents. I leave Vlad by himself because I think he is old enough to get some confidence in his own strength and to start looking after himself.

One day I hear the kids outside playing and tell Vlad “Hey sweetie, kids are outside, do you wish to go and play with them?” The usual reaction would be him running at the window, looking and then rushing to put clothes on (without even asking for help as when we go to some less desired places) and living in a hurry with a lot of enthusiasm.

What answer do I get now? “I don’t wish to go outside, mom!”

You can imagine my surprise. I ask why, hardly listening to him, and he tells me “Kids won’t play with me.” Not listening careful enough I just answered something like “How did you get this idea? I’m sure they will play with you.” And ended the topic, Vlad went to play on the Ipad and I continued what I was doing without giving it a second thought.

The next day the same, he doesn’t want to go outside. Babysitter tells me the same. After a few weeks of ignoring the issue, one day, when I’m coming back from work he is with the nanny outside. Children were playing like 50 meters away and he was playing in our little front yard with the cats.  I want to go in and ask him if he stays outside. He says again no. I ask him why and he tells me angry “I told you before, kids won’t play with me!” I am on the edge of getting angry and shouting at him that that’s just stupid, when I get another thought: “I might try to figure all out, what is going on with him.” So I’m asking: “Do you want me to go to Maia and ask if she will play with you?” And he says “Yes!” So living my judgment’s behind, regarding how can I go as an adult to ask a kid if she’s playing with mine, I’m going to Maia and ask. “Hi Maia! Vlad tells me that you are not playing with him, is that right? She answers “I do, I will, ask Danut.” So I’m thinking something is fishy here… and I ask Danut: “Danut, will you play with Vlad?” and he says yes but Maia should tell you…good. So I am turning again my attention to Maia and ask her, “Did something happened, Maia?” and she starts shyly to tell a story about Vlad punching Danut younger brother…”But he didn’t want to, It was an accident!” and she also tells me “Go ask his father! „Good, I’m telling to myself, it seems I’m getting to an end. Asking the dad it turns out he told Vlad in an angry voice: “If you can’t play nicely with the kids, don’t show up here anymore!” My first thought when I heard that was “How can he talk like that with children? And then he explains me some more “I didn’t hit him or anything…”  I could kill him for that!” I didn’t’ acted on it though… I nicely asked him that if he has some problems with Vlad in the future to approach me.

I’m calling Vlad and he comes shyly. I’m telling him that nobody is angry at him, he is allowed to play with the kids and all that in front of the dad which approves. So my little beloved boy immediately goes to them and start engaging in their games.

I was so sad that Vlad had to go through all this without my support and that I was blind and deaf enough for a few weeks to see and hear what was going on. I wonder how painful it was for him all that time to see the children playing outside and thinking that he is not welcomed or accepted. I went to him, apologized for not seeing it sooner and asked him to tell me if any adult approaches him in the future on any topic. I explained him that I give him the freedom to be by himself outside but this comes with the risk of me not being there to support him if needed. I asked him again to tell me what is going on so I can do that, stand by him and be there for him. “Kids should deal with kids and adults with adults!”…”Yes, when some adult talks to me I will come and tell you or Geta or Corina, whoever is with me!”…

 

Oana Vaideanu

http://www.oanavaideanu.com/en

About deep listening

OanaMy son Vlad is six and a half. He enjoys playing outside with the kids. There are about five kids near the block, besides him, who are playing outside every afternoon after school. Kids are usually supervised by their parents. I leave Vlad by himself because I think he is old enough to get some confidence in his own strength and to start looking after himself.

One day I hear the kids outside playing and tell Vlad “Hey sweetie, kids are outside, do you wish to go and play with them?” The usual reaction would be him running at the window, looking and then rushing to put clothes on (without even asking for help as when we go to some less desired places) and living in a hurry with a lot of enthusiasm.

What answer do I get now? “I don’t wish to go outside, mom!”

You can imagine my surprise. I ask why, hardly listening to him, and he tells me “Kids won’t play with me.” Not listening careful enough I just answered something like “How did you get this idea? I’m sure they will play with you.” And ended the topic, Vlad went to play on the Ipad and I continued what I was doing without giving it a second thought.

The next day the same, he doesn’t want to go outside. Babysitter tells me the same. After a few weeks of ignoring the issue, one day, when I’m coming back from work he is with the nanny outside. Children were playing like 50 meters away and he was playing in our little front yard with the cats.  I want to go in and ask him if he stays outside. He says again no. I ask him why and he tells me angry “I told you before, kids won’t play with me!” I am on the edge of getting angry and shouting at him that that’s just stupid, when I get another thought: “I might try to figure all out, what is going on with him.” So I’m asking: “Do you want me to go to Maia and ask if she will play with you?” And he says “Yes!” So living my judgment’s behind, regarding how can I go as an adult to ask a kid if she’s playing with mine, I’m going to Maia and ask. “Hi Maia! Vlad tells me that you are not playing with him, is that right? She answers “I do, I will, ask Danut.” So I’m thinking something is fishy here… and I ask Danut: “Danut, will you play with Vlad?” and he says yes but Maia should tell you…good. So I am turning again my attention to Maia and ask her, “Did something happened, Maia?” and she starts shyly to tell a story about Vlad punching Danut younger brother…”But he didn’t want to, It was an accident!” and she also tells me “Go ask his father! „Good, I’m telling to myself, it seems I’m getting to an end. Asking the dad it turns out he told Vlad in an angry voice: “If you can’t play nicely with the kids, don’t show up here anymore!” My first thought when I heard that was “How can he talk like that with children? And then he explains me some more “I didn’t hit him or anything…”  I could kill him for that!” I didn’t’ acted on it though… I nicely asked him that if he has some problems with Vlad in the future to approach me.

I’m calling Vlad and he comes shyly. I’m telling him that nobody is angry at him, he is allowed to play with the kids and all that in front of the dad which approves. So my little beloved boy immediately goes to them and start engaging in their games.

I was so sad that Vlad had to go through all this without my support and that I was blind and deaf enough for a few weeks to see and hear what was going on. I wonder how painful it was for him all that time to see the children playing outside and thinking that he is not welcomed or accepted. I went to him, apologized for not seeing it sooner and asked him to tell me if any adult approaches him in the future on any topic. I explained him that I give him the freedom to be by himself outside but this comes with the risk of me not being there to support him if needed. I asked him again to tell me what is going on so I can do that, stand by him and be there for him. “Kids should deal with kids and adults with adults!”…”Yes, when some adult talks to me I will come and tell you or Geta or Corina, whoever is with me!”…

 

Oana Vaideanu

http://www.oanavaideanu.com/en