I offer this blog in the hope that it will reach people who feel stuck and that life is difficult. I want to connect to people who are searching for a different way to look at life or who feel that they need to change something about themselves to feel better. This is how I felt about life and what I found was that I didn’t need to change myself at all, all I ‘needed’ to do was understand myself in a different way and the changes happened to me via insight.
I was looking at my mothers magazine a few months ago and saw an article ‘10 steps to Peace of Mind’. My reaction was a strange and a new experience. I haven’t really seen self help articles recently, I haven’t been reading books or magazines, as the search for help outside of myself is stopping. In the past I wanted to do something about my lack of peace and I would pour over such articles taking notes and wondering if I would be able to get to the peace of mind the writer was referring to.
10 steps sounds like we can really get on with doing something about it. But what if we didn’t need to do anything? What if peace of mind is available to us in any given moment just by insightfully knowing one thing about ourselves? Would you be interested in find out more about that?
In fact what I have insightfully seen is that there is only one step to peace of mind. This one step is to know where my experience is coming from. I can only experience life via thought in the moment. Thought always comes with a feeling and a feeling always comes with a thought and that is, in essence, all I need to know for peace of mind, regardless of the emotion that is coming up. Well that doesn’t sound life changing! But it is.
I had been innocently taught that a feeling comes from the past, or it comes from my child, or what someone did to me. But in fact this is not the case. Logically if we look at this – it doesn’t make sense. If my husband could make me feel something then surely he would make me love him. He cannot make me love him, and in the same way he cannot make me angry. The only thing that can make me feel is a thought. A thought that I am having about my husband. Another example is that if my child can make me angry, then how is it that I get angry with my child at a time when my husband does not, and vice versa. It is my thinking about my child that makes me angry and my husband’s thinking about our child that makes him angry. When we look at our experience with this logic in mind, a lot of what I said or thought about doesn’t make sense any more.
My feelings cannot come from the past, they come from my thinking about the past. This incredibly simple missing link changed everything for me and I went from feeling bound by my past to feeling freer and freer from it. People who I have facilitated with this understanding of life express such a relief knowing this about themselves in the same way as I feel relief.
When we get interested in this and start learning through insight we can get stuck, feeling like it is us making ourselves feel things that we don’t want to feel. But we can and do move past this when we see this understanding more deeply, that it really isn’t talking about ‘what we are thinking about;’, it is talking about ‘the fact that we think’. That ‘thinking’ is the only way I can experience life. If I didn’t think then I would be dead. I used to want to stop my thinking as I was judging it and sometimes it came with feelings that I considered intolerable. But now I see thinking and feeling in this moment is the only way I can experience life, and actually I don’t need to be concerned about feelings so much as all they are telling me is what I am thinking about right now. Nothing else.
This isn’t very sexy, it isn’t very glamorous. One of the educators of this said – if it was a box on the table, it would be the dullest box among other boxes made with gold and jewels. But inside this box is a depth we have never experienced before. The jewel of who we really are and how we can experience life at all. We see the miracle of life and fall into gratitude for it.
If this sounds interesting to you and you would like to know more I offer one-to-ones and intensives.
I also co-run Exeter Three Principles Meetup every month in Nancy Potter house, Topsham Devon.
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