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Have any of you ever gone to a party and found that you felt differently throughout the night?
I went somewhere the other night and I stayed for about 2 hours. Within that 2 hour period, I noticed that at certain points I felt happy and I was enjoying myself.
At other points I stated feeling insecure, the thoughts in my head where saying, “What am I even doing here, does anyone even want me here?”
At another point I felt bored, the thoughts in my head sounded like, “This is so boring; when can I leave?” And at other points I felt confident and happy to be there. The thoughts in my head where saying, “This is so fun, I am so happy to be seeing my friends.”
Let me ask you something: how is it possible for me to feel all those emotions at the same party?
If the party were causing my emotions, I would have only been able to feel one of those things. If there was a “truth” about the party, I would have felt only one of those emotions.
The fact that I was able to feel many different emotions regarding the same circumstance tells me that it can’t be the circumstance; it has to be something else. I am going to suggest that it is my thinking about the party that caused my emotions, not the party itself.
No one will ever feel only one emotion regarding any circumstance. Why? Because our thoughts change moment to moment, which means our experience will change moment to moment. When we know that, we are no longer stuck.
I can only feel my thinking; the only thing that holds a thought in place is my belief in that thought. The second I believe that thought to be true, it will look and feel real to me, even if it’s not.
When I am at that party and start feeling insecure, the only thing I have to know is I am only feeling that because I am thinking it. The second we remember it’s just a thought, and it may not actually be true, is the second we will let that thought go.
Our only job is to try and notice our thinking in the moment. If we don’t like the feeling, just wait, naturally the thought will flow out on its own.
I challenge all of you reading this to start noticing your thoughts. Notice how you feel depending on what thoughts are in your head. Give me some feedback.
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I was having a conversation with someone yesterday, and every time we started talking about a certain subject, I noticed we both couldn’t get through to the other.
She wasn’t understanding what I was saying, and I wasn’t understanding what she was saying. It was strange because neither of us was saying anything very complicated.
At a certain point it occurred to me that maybe the problem was we had different definitions of certain words.
For example She kept telling me “Your not listening to me” And I kept saying I was listening. At a certain point I asked her to define listening.
She said listening means “you hear what I am telling you to do and you do it, or if you where listening to me you would understand what I was saying and agree with me”.
I then said to her that is not my definition of listening, my definition is, “Hearing what you have to say and then making my own decision if that is right for me.
I realized she was right according to her definition of listening, I was not listening, but according to my definition I was.
I can’t tell you how many arguments I have avoided just because I realized if everything is subject to thought, that would mean even words are subject to thought.
Which means 2 people can be talking English, but based on their individual definition of words, can really be talking 2 different languages.
If you are ever in conversation with someone and notice you can’t seem to get your point across to the other, start asking the person his definition of certain words, you may find progress being made.
Before we discuss what the 3 principles are, I would like to talk about what principles are in general. A principle is an underlying fact of how nature works.
The principle of gravity says that what goes up must come down. Does anything change if I don’t believe in the principle of gravity? Gravity doesn’t care. I know this because no matter how many times I throw an apple in the air, it falls back to earth. A principle has nothing to do with what we believe. Whether or not we believe in the principle, or are even aware of it, it still exists.
How does it help us to know about principles?
Let’s go back to the example of gravity. Even though Newton had discovered this principle, we realized that human beings could not fly.
But we also knew that certain species of animals could fly. It wasn’t until we understood the principles of aerodynamics that we were able to work within those principles and make them work for us to counter the effect of gravity.
Then we were able to build airplanes and spaceships. Before we knew enough about gravity and which principles to use to counter its effects, we also tried to build airplanes, but we were never successful. We never knew what we did right or wrong when we could not keep an airplane in the air.
Principles gave us a starting framework from which to build, and the correct starting framework is the key to building anything.
If I try to build a building with the incorrect foundation, the building will collapse. Everything we create must start with the correct understanding of the principles at work.
One of the things that I recently discovered was that principles do not only operate outside of ourselves in nature. It should not surprise us to know that human beings were also created with psychological principles.
To the extent that we understand these principles, we can build our happiness and have a meaningful life.
What are these psychological principles?
There are three: MIND, THOUGHT and CONSCIOUSNESS.
Keep in mind that these principles are just metaphors. We are always looking to see behind the metaphor.
We are looking to understand what is before thought, what is before experience. Or in different words, what is the source of thought, or what is the source of our experience?
I had always thought it was my circumstances. What I see now is that that is not true.
Mind is the formless energy behind creation. Mind holds all of what exists in a potential state.
When we create something, for example a table or chair, we are taking formless energy and expressing it through a form.
Some people refer to Mind as G-d. After all, what is it that makes the heart beat and the blood flow? It is this energy. (Others understand the principle of Mind to be divine in essence, but not the whole of what G-d might be, G-d ultimately being beyond any description.)
The principle of Thought is the formless energy that takes form through thoughts.
Thought is a divine tool that has the potential to allow us to see life as we wish. Where does Thought come from? Thought (and Consciousness as well) comes from the first principle of Mind.
Thoughts can come through our higher self and be helpful or true. Or they can come through the ego or the body and be habitual, limiting or unhelpful thoughts.
Thoughts we have carried with us our whole lives, thoughts from our parents or our culture, can be misleading and constricting. Thoughts, freeing or limiting, helpful, or unhelpful, are always the seed of our experience in any circumstance.
Let me give an example.
One person grew up in a family where, if it was raining, they never went out unless it was an emergency. Another person grew up in a house where they could go out if it was raining.
These two different people grew up with very different thoughts about a rainy day. Which one is right?
Each one thinks she is right, but the truth is that neither person is right or wrong. Our thoughts about the rain (and as we will see, our attachment to these thoughts) are the only things that would cause us to go out in the rain or stay in.
The rain itself is neutral; it’s just doing what it was created to do. But one person thinks of it – and thus experiences it – as wet and cold and maybe dangerous. The other person doesn’t think of it like this; she just experiences it as rain, not something that she needs to stop her life for, and may in fact enjoy.
The important thing for us to understand is that both people can allow the way they think of rain – or the way they think of anything – to change, and thus change their experience.
Let’s use another example.
Your child comes home in a really bad mood and the first thing she does is say something nasty to you.
You could think, ‘No child of mine should ever come home and speak that way to me’, and feel really angry and end up yelling at her.
Or you could feel compassion for her and quietly ask her what’s bothering her.
Finally, you might feel simply curious about what might have happened in school today that has upset her.
The point is that if circumstances dictate how we feel in any given situation then we should not have been able to describe three different reactions to the same situation.
What determines these three different reactions is the thinking about the circumstance and, as we shall see, our attachment to that thinking.
In the first example, it is your thought that she has no right to speak that way that generates a feeling of anger.
In the second example, it was your thought and your attachment to the thought that something must be bothering her which generates compassion.
In the third situation you thought, ‘I wonder what happened in school’, and so you felt curious. All three emotions and reactions were different because the thinking was different in each case.
It is through the principle of Consciousness that what we think becomes experience.
But how does this happen? We cannot feel or experience or even perceive any circumstance unless we have a thought about it and unless we attach ourselves to that thought through our consciousness.
The way we attach ourselves to a thought is by believing the thought.
Consciousness begins to take form and express itself first through awareness. Often, we are not even aware that we have had a thought that is defining our experience through our consciousness.
The beginning of choosing our experience is the awareness that we have attached ourselves to the thought behind it.
Movies are good metaphors. When a person sees a movie they might laugh or cry or be bored. But nothing real is happening except different lights being projected onto a screen.
We have attached ourselves to certain thinking and therefore we cry at a sad movie and laugh at a funny one.
To use an extreme example, if a person is in a coma (G-d forbid), one of the ways a doctor can tell if the person is still alive is if they have brain waves.
This fact suggests that even a person in a coma has thoughts. However, if they are not conscious they can’t experience their thoughts because they cannot attach themselves to their thoughts without consciousness.
Think about a refrigerator: the refrigerator needs the plug, outlet and compressor in order to work.
If I take the plug away, it doesn’t work. If I have the plug but take the outlet away, it won’t work. And if I leave the outlet and take the compressor away, it also doesn’t work. All three components are equally important to having a working refrigerator.
The Principles are no different. Without Mind, there is nothing to give us life and energy at all.
If I take Thought away, then I am basically a zombie because I have no way to interpret my circumstances.
And if I take Consciousness away, then I am oblivious because I have no way to experience my thoughts.
These three principals are active all the time. Through them, each person individually experiences and interprets his or her world.
Remember, these principles are active whether we realize it or not. The advantage of realizing them is that life gets a whole lot easier to manage and much more meaningful.
This morning is starting out as one of “those” days. The school bus didn’t show up, among other things. Thank gd I know all my feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and anger are just thoughts I am focusing on in this moment, and not the reality.
Even so my mood is low and there are angry frustrated thoughts flowing thorough my head and body.
Even though I know that it is just thought it is still something I would rather not feel.
Unfortunately or fortunately it is not up to me when these thoughts leave. All I can do is try and get some inner quiet and wait for the thought storm to pass.
Because I know it is just thought, the one thing I am not doing is taking my thoughts seriously and blowing them up and out of proportion.
In the past I would have believed each and every thought, and would have been angrier and angrier with the people and circumstances my thoughts are centering around.
What’s different now is I can have all these crazy thoughts, but it just doesn’t make sense to me to be angry at the people and circumstances my thoughts are centering around.
In the past I would have either privately fumed at the people I was “blaming” for my feelings of overwhelm, or I would have confronted them with it, from that angry state, and had an argument, neither of which woud have been very helpful.
For now I am just waiing for the thought storm to pass. When my inner wisdom and common sense resurface, then I will see if there is any action to take or not.
We all have thoughts, keep your eye on you feeling state and from their decide if it is appropriate to take yourself seriously or not.
Before we look at fear and anxiety ,I would like to talk about the formless energy behind life. If we look at the natural world, we see very clearly that some intelligence is behind it.
A small apple seed is planted in the ground and a big apple tree emerges. The oceans never pass their sand borders. The sun rises and sets every day.
If we asked the smartest scientist in the world to duplicate any of these things, he could not. He may be able to tell us how all these things happen, but he could never make them happen.
This same intelligence is behind the human body as well. As far as I can tell, I do not make my own heart beat or my kidneys function, or my legs move for that matter. All these things seem to happen without any help from me.
Scientists tell us that everything ultimately needs a power source, which some call “the life force.” We know that if this energy stops powering our heart, our heart would stop and we would die.
Every second of everyday this energy enables our heart to pump and gives us life. It also gives life to the natural world as well. We can even say that it is only this formless energy that gives life to creation as a whole.
Creation in fact is this formless energy in form. This energy shapes itself into forms we call nature and humanity.
Thoughts are also this energy in form. Nature and the human body each only refer to this energy for their repair and healing. What happens if I cut my finger? I f leave it alone, it will normally heal itself. But if I pick at it, it will not heal; in fact, it could get worse; it could get infected.
Wouldn’t it make sense that the same applies to the mind. Our thoughts are flowing all the time. Sometimes they get “cut up,” and don’t come with a good feeling.
If I cut my finger, it also hurts, but because I know it will heal, it doesn’t scare me.
One of the reasons people get so upset when they have painful thinking is because they aren’t sure if those thoughts will go away. But as with the body, if we leave our thoughts alone, our minds will naturally think clearly again.
New and better thoughts will naturally flow to us. As with the cut on your finger: if you leave the cut alone it will heal, but if you pick at it, it will get worse.
Our minds work the same way. Focusing on an unhelpful thought is the same as picking at the cut. For example, you start feeling down. Your thinking about that circumstance is what will either keep that low feeling in place or let it go.
If we focus on the fact that we feel down, our thoughts could look like this:
“Oh no. what’s wrong with me; I hate this feeling.” Or your thoughts could be, “There’s that feeling again, no big deal.”
The first is the same as picking at the cut, and the second is the same as leaving the cut and letting it heal on its own. The less attention we pay to the bad feeling the faster it will go away.
For this energy to be able to do all this, it must be intelligent, more intelligent than any human being.
As I said, as human beings we may be able to explain how nature or the body works, but we cannot make them work.
This intelligence must be merciful as well because most of us wake up in the morning with everything working pretty well. There has never been a morning when the sun didn’t rise. The weather is usually pretty stable, and even when a storm is coming we usually have enough time to prepare.
So if this energy (or some would say G-d) goes out of its way to create a beautiful, functional world, does it not make sense for the world to be enjoyable? After all, what do human beings want most of all? Isn’t it happiness and peace of mind?
But we look around and see so much suffering and so many unhappy people. What has gone wrong?
It seems to me that people look for their happiness and peace of mind from things outside themselves.
We look for it in objects or we think that other people could give it to us. But when we look at the rest of creation, we see that well being and correct functioning relies on this basic energy.
It makes sense that our psychological health would also depend on this energy. After all, it would not make sense and it would not be very merciful, if the one thing I want in life, peace of mind and happiness, were dependent on other people or objects.
Because what if the other person decides not to do what we want them to, or what if I can’t get a certain object. Does that mean I am doomed to unhappiness?
If that were true, we would all be victims of other people’s moods, and of circumstances. What if that isn’t how it is supposed to be, what if just like in nature or for the physical body my peace of mind is also dependent on this fundamental energy?
What if happiness comes from an understanding that it’s the thoughts I am attached to that will decide my feelings in the moment and not the other person’s behavior? When we realize this, we get control of our lives back because we don’t need anything or any person to make us happy.
I have all the power I need to make myself happy. It really is an inside out world, not an outside in world. That means my feeling start from within me and project outward, they do not start from outside me and project inward.
Much of our thinking comes from trying to figure out how to get something or how to get another person to stop or start doing something.
Every advertisement for any product is trying to get you to believe that their product will bring you the happiness you are looking for, but we all know that after we have the item for a while that feeling goes away, because our feelings do not really come from the object. We are being sold a feeling we already own.
We were born with this sense of wellbeing; it is our birthright. We are given everything we need.
Children know this, which is why they can throw a tantrum in one moment and laugh the next, and why they don’t hold grudges. They just let their thoughts flow and live in the moment.
Our peace of mind is within us. Our thoughts form the link between our spiritual source and our physical lives. The thoughts we choose to focus on will create our experience of reality in the moment.
That means we can use our gift of thought against ourselves by believing thoughts that will make our experience of the world feel painful.
On the other hand we can take responsibility for our own experience and realize that if I am unhappy, I am attached to unhappy thoughts and those thoughts have nothing to do with anyone else.
If I want peace of mind, it really is quite simple. I only have to understand that I am always feeling my thinking, as the thoughts change so will my experience. I will fell a myriad of emotions throughout the day. Peace of mind comes when we realize it’s ok to have happy and sad moments.
What is behind all fears and anxieties? Simply, thoughts I believe in and thus live out of.
Further, the more of those unhelpful thoughts we believe, the more of those thoughts we will get. It is the same as picking at the cut on our finger if I just realize they are just thoughts and stop picking at them, they will eventually go away.
Most of us think that we need to know what to do in this situation or how to handle this problem.
The most common thing I hear from my inner self and others is “just tell me what to do and I will do it” Or “just tell me what the right thing is”.
It used to look to me like, there was a universal solution for every problem, and I just need to find it.
Problem A should have this solution. Do this and this problem will get solved. Problem B: Do this and that problem will get solved.
My kid is misbehaving, do this and magically your kid will behave. Not enough money: work harder or get an extra degree or… and you will make more money. Marriage problems: whatever people say to help that.
I don’t know about all of you out there, but none of these “universal solutions” seem to help. Or maybe they help but it isn’t long lasting, and it is not sustainable.
I want to tell you there is no universal solution out there, but there are INTERNAL SOLUTIONS, within ourselves .When we learn how to identify our helpful voice, the voice that comes with helpful ideas.
When we learn to trust that voice, even when it goes against everything the so called “experts” say. You will see so many of your problems get solved, faster and more permanently.
We are all born with an innate ability to solve and manage any problem or situation in our life. We have access to every solution we ever need.
Our problem is, that we think other people know better than us how to run our lives. That is not true. You may say to me “that person has such a good life she, is so put together”
You know why she is like that because she listens to herself, she follows her own inner wisdom and common sense.
She seeks advice, weighs everyone’s opinion, then decides for herself the best way to handle the situation.
There are no rules, so today the situation can call for this solution and tomorrow, the same situation can call for a different solution. We have to live in the moment. We have to be present in our lives.
For Example: You have boss who is constantly short tempered to you. Everyone has different opinions on how to handle it. Some say just ignore it, some say you need to say something to him, some say quit.
The first thing you need to think about, is, does his bring short tempered to you really bother you or is everyone telling you it should bother you. Be truthful with yourself make sure YOU have a problem.
Let’s say you decide that you do want to try and stop the boss from yelling at you. Again many people give their opinions, solicited and unsolicited.
It is ok to take their advice under consideration, but ultimately the decision is yours, because ultimately the consequences of that decision (good or bad) are yours.
Everyone has a lot to say when their life won’t be affected.
Next: you make a decision, you are going to say something to your boss.
Here is where living in the moment comes in. You get into his office and telling him something just doesn’t feel right. (We have all been in a situation where at the last minute we change our minds, if someone says what happened? Why did you go against the plan? The answer is, it just didn’t feel right.)
You have permission to follow your intuition even when it goes against your previous decision.
Now it doesn’t end there. 10 or 20 or 60 minutes later it may occur to you, “now is the time to go talk” Living in the moment means being aware of your thoughts and feelings moment to moment and being present enough to act on them if need be.
Our lives should not consist of extremes. I never confront, or I always confront. I am never confident, I am always confident.
Why? Because in real life we need balance, there are times when confrontation is called for and times when it’s not.
There are times when humility is called for and times when it’s not. There are times when discipline is called for and times when it’s not.
Only we can know for ourselves what reaction or solution is called for in our lives, No other person has access to your inner wisdom and common sense. which means they can’t solve your problems for you, and you can’t solve their problems for them.
Proper balance means, knowing when certain reactions are called for and when they’re not. If someone tells me I never tell my kid what to do, they have a problem, because there may be a time when your kid needs direction, and you won’t be present enough to know. Why because you have a rule which says never tell your kid what to do.
We need to live our lives present and in proper balance. Listening to ourselves, and only then making decisions on how to best handle the situation.
Today I hired a cleaning lady to help me clean my house. every time I asked her to do something she said ok, then proceeded to continue to do what she was doing and ignore me. After this happened a couple of times I started to feel my body get annoyed. I thought it is perfectly understandable for me to be feeling annoyed because, this person is annoying me by not listening.
After a few minutes It occurred to me that I teach and believe that it is not the circumstance (employee not listening) that causes an emotion, it is your thinking around the circumstance that causes the emotion. Yet here I was thinking the circumstance effected me. In that moment it occurred to me to let my annoyed thinking go and allow new thought to form. Almost instantly my mood changed, for the better. But the best part of this whole experience was that I noticed the difference in the ideas in my head, when I was annoyed, and the ideas in my head when I wasn’t annoyed. When I was annoyed the ideas on how to get the lady to listen where really bad ones, for example, I thought if I raise my voice to her in a nasty way that may get her to listen, another idea, was to just let her do it her way and if things don’t get finished, they don’t get finished.
When I noticed my body was feeling stressed and anxious, that alerted me to the fact that I was in unhelpful thinking. I immediately was able to let those ideas go. when my mood rose the quality of my thoughts and ideas rose with it. I now had ideas , which said simply, “tell her again”. Tell her until she hears you. that’s what I did.Eventually things started getting done the way I thought they should.
Any person that is having any kind of interpersonal relationships issues, weather it be marriage, employee/ employer, friendships, siblings. the first step in changing any of these for the better, is to have understanding of how we as human beings work. The more you understand, it is not the circumstance, the more you will be able to not get distracted by your emotions. You will no longer let your emotions rule you. You will rule them. It will no longer seem like a good idea to yell at someone, or to allow some one to yell at you. You will start to become aware of what your emotions are really there to tell you. Which is simply do I want to listen and act out of the ideas in my head right now, or do I want to ignore them and wait for more helpful ones to form. From the moment you are gifted with the awareness of your emotional state, that is the moment you have the free will to choose.