Sheena Oxer

Sheena Oxer

I believe that every person has the right to a peaceful and happy life and be set free

This helps me and could help you

I was asked recently how the understanding is helping me with this current situation (That being: we are in lockdown due to a coronavirus spreading worldwide).

This was my response…

I only have one place to look to for all my feelings.

I am not feeling isolated.

I have all the mental health I need right here.

I know that there is nothing I need to change to feel better.

I know that my sense of security doesn’t come from something out there,
like if I can get the things we need to eat, or from knowing what is
going to happen in the future, but from within me.

I know that whatever happens to me, my parents, or my children – I will be OK.

I see how resilient and creative I am and we all are.

I know that it is normal to feel all emotions and they have no meaning for me, other than to be felt and pass through.

I know that I am not in control of life, life is in control.

I see a lot of people chasing their mental health, doing exercise to
make themselves feel better, doing mindfulness or art. I do exercise
because I want to, but I don’t expect it to make me feel better, I feel
differently in different moments due to different thoughts coming to me.
I create things because I want to, and not because I think it is going
to keep me mentally healthy. I reach out to others because I like to,
not because without it I will feel isolated and lonely.

As soon
as we think we need to ‘do’ something to feel mentally healthy, we are
missing the fact that we are already healthy and that in itself causes
the problems. By understanding myself psychologically life changes for
me.

I am so so grateful to know this about myself, without it I
would be feeling lonely, isolated and depressed. I would feel that I
would need to change myself and what I am doing to feel better. I would
be feeling immense sadness for me, my children, my relationships with
friends. More than that, the sadness would be a problem for me and I
would be wanting to change it, to move away from it, to feel
differently. I would be feeling grief and that grief would be a problem,
something that I would need to process or change in order to feel
better. With this understanding all emotions are welcome, all are energy
passing through. None mean anything more than a feeling coming with a
thought… right now. I only have right now to live life…

I wonder if this answer makes sense to you, or touches you? Are you curious?

If you have any questions please call or email me to ask. I would be more than happy to answer them.

info@sheenaoxer.co.uk

+44(0) 7879628312

We are part of nature

I think it is time we were honest with each other. I mean really honest about how and what we feel.

There may be some people that breeze through life and feel great at every turn, always feel good about their decisions, their parenting and who they are as a person. On the other hand this may be a figment of my imagination. In any case, I am not one of these people. I feel everything- happiness, bliss, pleasure, peace, contentment, love, neutrality, frustration, anxiety, sadness, depression, confusion, anger, trauma, grief. I used to think that this meant that there was something wrong with me, as I should be happier. Now I realise that this is not true.

I have found a description of the way we experience life that has illuminated my innocent misunderstandings about my judgement of myself.

Within this movement of people, who see this description to be true for themselves, there is an honesty I have never encountered before. We say “All is well”, even if we are sad. We say “We don’t need fixing”, even if (in this moment) we feel depressed.

When we understand why we feel as we do:

We are not trying to push our emotions away.

We are not trying to choose the ‘good’ feelings.

We are not trying change the ‘bad’ feelings.

We are not judging how we are feeling.

Feelings come and go like the natural ebb and flow of life.

How refreshing to sit in front of a coach and say “I feel sad” and for them to say, in the most loving way possible, “I feel sad too sometimes, so what”?! Or “Me too” Wow! Really? I thought it was only me! Are we really able to say that to each other? Isn’t the coach supposed to be saying “Why do you feel sad?” and “How can I help you out of it?”.

There is something magical about knowing that other people feel sad. We realise that we are like every human being on the planet. We have our experience normalised. We all feel different feelings in different moments. We cannot hold on to a ‘good’ feeling, any more that we can get rid of the ‘bad’ ones. Feelings change. That is their nature.

I meet people during the day and no one really knows how I am feeling. What pain I may be in, be it emotional or physical. What peace I am in. We guess from the way people look how they are feeling. If I smile, people assume that I am having a ‘good day’ or feel good about life. If I say I have had a great day then they may be thinking that they should say that too.

I invite you to consider that a change in the way we see ourselves is possible. More and more people are depressed and suicidal, including sadly, children. More people are feeling traumatised by life. What if what we were feeling was completely normal, and completely OK. Could we really be OK with those feelings that had us running to the phone for support and comfort in the past? Could we really tell each other it is OK to feel whatever you are feeling?

Maybe we could see something different about life? We are part of nature and the way we experience life is part of that nature too, there is a pattern to all natural life. We see it all over the place, in fern leaves unfurling and spirals of snails shells, in viewing rivers from the air and blood vessels. There is pattern and logic.

There is a logic to how we are experiencing life. When we really see this logic to be true we are freer and freer of the things that used to be unbearable, or even annoying, for us. Nothing is wrong and there is nothing to fix. We are in this moment with whatever feeling we are having and all is well. Can you imagine that we could live in a world where that would be OK?

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Thank you for reading my blog. If you would like any more information about what I facilitate then please do get in touch for a chat. Also I have written a book that is simple enough for children, and it contains an adult explanation, it could help you to see life differently. The book can be bought here.

info@sheenaoxer.co.uk

+44(0)7879628312

I work mostly online so you don’t need to  be in Devon to speak to me. It truly is as transformational a conversation as in person.

 

A Gift

I was asked by someone, who also facilitates the Three Principles as a Paradigm, to recommend a book that teaches children about this understanding of the way we logically, psychologically experience life. She asked me because I have children of my own. I did buy a book a few years ago, only to find that my 8 year old, as she was at the time, was able to point out that it had misunderstandings in it. In fact, when I asked my daughter what they were she rushed off and brought the book back and showed me a page in which thought was being judged as good and bad. I was blown away. I didn’t know that she saw what I saw about how we work and I was delighted that she could see that you can’t split thoughts into good and bad ones.

So, finding that I couldn’t recommend the book I had, I had a go at writing a book myself from the logic of how we experience life as I see it, as best as I can. It was based on a situation that actually happened with my daughter. I was inspired to write a normal life story from within the logic of how we experience life and from outside of that understanding. It is a very simple story and one that I hope will be as much of a gift to others as this knowledge has been to me.

It has been the school holidays and over the holidays I had planned to let others know that this book is now available. However, my time has inevitably been taken up with my children. It feels good to know that this is OK too and that I don’t have to feel bad about not reaching my goals for myself. How often do we give ourselves a hard time for not doing the things we think we ‘should’ have done? It is such a relief to have that idea fall away as being important.

This book is my gift to you: it contains an understanding of how we experience life. Knowing how I experience life has made a huge impact on the quality of my life, reducing the ruminations and taking so much off my mind. I hope that this book will do the same thing for you, or set you on a path of curiosity of how you think you are experiencing your life.

Click here to order your copy from Amazon

It is written with children in mind but really it is for anyone who finds themselves searching, or overwhelmed with how they are feeling. It may well give you the peace of mind you have been searching for. Not just because of the words that are written, but because you may well have an insight when you read it.

Below are some comments from people who kindly reviewed this book before it was published.

If you would like to talk to me about the book or about the understanding and the difference it can make to you then please do get in contact with me. You can reply to this email or call me on +44(0)7879628312.

If you have any groups in mind that you think would like some relief from life then please do get in touch. I am happy to come and talk to any group.

Comments from others:

As a retired primary school headteacher and school improvement advisor (and as grandad to three children) I have seen first hand some of the struggles children face when they live in an innocent misunderstanding of where their feelings really come from. This simple tale, in two parts, will be so helpful in illuminating this. Children will easily identify with the story and by having the comparison of outcomes the simple but far reaching implication of knowing where our feelings come from is simply made. A great present for any child!
— Peter Anderson – Cert. Edn, Adv. Dip Edn (Cambs)

I work with business leaders many of whom happen to be parents. They often ask me to recommend books for their kids. I can’t wait to recommend this one! The simplicity of Sheena’s message and her illustrations really hit home. I expect the book to be read again and again planting a valuable life lesson in kids of all ages.
— Sandy Krot – Director of Learning at Insight Principles and co-author of Invisible Power: Insight Principles at Work

I love it. I work with business clients who have a tendency to overcomplicate and intellectualize the simplicity of the Principles. While this book will certainly serve as a wonderful introduction for their children, it may also help them have insights for themselves. There’s a beautiful innocence and hope in seeing our thoughts as neutral bubbles that will disappear. That’s a message for everyone.
— Cheryl Bond – (she is happy for us to edit) – Essential Resilience, Executive Coaching and Business Consulting.

I have taught this understanding to many hundreds of adults, and
when they see how much it reduces their psychological suffering and adds to their quality of life, they almost always say: ‘why aren’t children learning about this?’ Sheena Oxer’s story is a lovely and enjoyable way to help children catch on to the magic secret behind their experience, and likely save themselves a lot of the unnecessary anxiety and stress that so many people experience in life.
— Annika Hurwitt, Ph.D

As an author, teacher and therapist I often get requests from my students and clients for something to share with their young children. “If I only knew this when I was growing up!” is a refrain I hear often. Well, here it is in this early childhood gem on the Three Principles. It will be wonderful to now have something to share with parents. Just yesterday a young mom of four kids asked if there was anything she could give her children. I am so grateful I now can send this to her and all future requests.
— Joseph Bailey, Licensed Psychologist, Author, and Counselor

This simple book has the potential to eradicate the complexities, issues and problems that naturally occur when we don’t know where our experience is coming from. It offers a profoundly practical understanding that I feel is the future of the education system and indeed human evolution. What a wonderfully helpful resource for children – our future.
— Rudi Kennard, International Speaker, Innateevolution.com

Countless books have been written about underpinning of the imagination to the world we inhabit. Being and Time of Heidegger has 590 pages and Being and Nothingness of Sartre has 638 pages (to name but two). But nothing has been written so childishly simply in our choice of worldview as Understanding Thoughts and Feelings. In this book we are relieved to find that we all knew about a happier way of being already and so do not have to read through the history of philosophy (phew!) We do not have to think and see our thoughts as something outside ourselves talking about a world outside that. We can live with all of our being the nothingness and time of the moment. I recommend Understanding Thoughts and Feelings, A Walk to Grandpa’s by Sheena Oxer (16 pages including illustrations) as a guide for all ages and backgrounds!
— Philip Franses – Senior Lecturer Schumacher College, Director Global Synapses

What are your thoughts telling you about yourself?

On a Sunday morning I take my children swimming, and this month’s blog is all about swimming lessons as they are a beautiful illustration of what I would like to share.

Watching a swimming lesson the same time each week, week in and week out has been fascinating. And I think it is worth sharing what happens to me, so that you can see that you are working psychologically in the same way.

I sit at the site of the pool, or should I say crouch, as the benches are quite small. I wait for the lessons to start, and send my beautiful children off to their lesson feeling calm and content with myself and the world. During the course of the lesson I notice something, something that would have caused me some suffering in the past. I notice that I am feeling bad. Why? Well, I would have thought in the past, that I needed to change this bad feeling, and find out why I am feeling bad. To try to work it out and get to the bottom of it.

Now that I understand where that feeling is coming from, I don’t need to ‘do’ anything with that feeling. My feelings are simply a barometer for what I am thinking in the moment. Even if it is a subconscious, unseen thought. I don’t need to do anything with that bad feeling. It isn’t telling me anything about myself, it isn’t telling me anything about my past, it isn’t even telling me about something I need to do. It is a thought in the moment passing through.

I see this so clearly in swimming lessons. One moment… I am watching my children, feeling so proud of their listening skills, then I see that I am willing their elbows to move in a different way, then I notice that I want to check my email on my phone, or something will occur to me to tell my husband who sits beside me, and then I am feeling bad. Then I am wondering what we are doing next, then I make a mental list of what I need to get from the shops. Then I am feeling bad, and then I am looking at the clock, and then I am wondering if the life guard I am looking at is doing their job properly. Then I am thinking about a conversation I had last night, and then I notice I am feeling bad. Then I notice the children are doing their last jumps into the water…

… and they are out!

I am not very aware of the other feelings that come with these other things I have listed here, but that bad feeling… well, that catches me. Jerks me into the moment, makes me pay attention to it.

It is constant – the fact that we think. Not WHAT we are thinking about.

Before I knew about the interconnectedness of thought and feeling I would have got very caught up with the bad feeling and had my ‘morning ruined’ by trying to understand two things:

– Why I couldn’t be in the moment more, and

– Why I was feeling bad.

When I say my morning would be ruined. It would have gone something like this… I wouldn’t have been able to really enjoy myself as I would have been:

wondering why I felt bad,
feeling bad about feeling bad,
feeling guilty about feeling bad,
feeling that I shouldn’t feel bad,
judging myself for feeling bad,
wanting myself to feel different, and

willing myself to feel better.

… So many additional thoughts about feeling bad.

And these would tumble about in my experience when I innocently thought that I had to get to the bottom of it all in some way.

What do you think your thoughts are telling you about yourself? I thought that they were telling me that I was an anxious person, I even thought that I had a core of sadness running through me. I thought that they were telling me what kind of person I was, whether I was doing well today or whether I was doing badly. Now I realise that they are a – constantly changing – constant in my life. That I could not experience anything without them, sight, sounds, textures and feelings all come to us via thought.

If we all realised this about ourselves then life would be considerably different on this amazing planet we share. We think that life is about what we can achieve, how much money we can earn, what car we can have, how big a house we can afford. But life isn’t about that. It is about this moment right now. Nothing more, nothing less. People get concerned about that, fearful, that ‘If I truly see that there is only this moment, I will do nothing’ Well it isn’t really possible to do nothing for long and then we are moved into doing the next thing and the next thing and then all of a sudden we are moving in a completely different direction to the one we had anticipated, dreamed or imagined for ourselves.

Nothing of what I have said here is theory to me. Prior to finding this understanding of life I knew this in theory but very little of it in practise. There is something very life changing about insightfully seeing the interconnection of thought and feeling which changes our experience of life.

I offer one to one sessions online and in person. If you are thinking about booking a session with me and would like to see if we are a good fit for each other, I offer a free half an hour chat.

Please do get in touch if this speaks to you.

I also co-run Exeter Three Principles Meetup every month in Nancy Potter house, Topsham Devon.

This is a monthly blog and if you would like to be added to my mailing list please do get in contact with your email address: info@sheenaoxer.co.uk

How should I feel?

“Life is a contact sport” Sydney Banks

We feel differently about the same situation at different times. Knowing why this is, is the key to our freedom, yet we don’t see what is in front of us as we are innocently misunderstanding our psychology.

Our society tells us that we experience life via things external to us. We believe, for example, that our children can make us feel angry, that our past can make us feel depressed and that the sunset can make us feel relaxed. It is the message that I got as a child and it is the message that, at times, I am innocently passing on to my children. But it doesn’t stack up if you look at it logically.

I ‘suffered from depression’ for many years and was told that this was caused by something in my past. I spent a lot of time, money and effort trying to find out what that was, so that I could come to terms with it and move on with my life. I tried many different modalities, too many to name them all. With some I would talk about my past and all the ‘bad’ things that happened to me and the result was that I talked myself into a big black hole from which life looked very bleak. At no point did anyone explain my psychology to me or tell me that I was working beautifully. Yet we are, in any given moment, working fine. There is nothing wrong.

Other modalities told me what to do, for example mindfulness meditation where I needed to meditate, to train and quieten my mind and I needed to do this every day. I found that sometimes it worked for a bit but I was very much judging my experiences and it was an effort. The message I got was that I needed to DO something to feel better. With this way of understanding how we experience life, we don’t have to DO anything. It is a knowing that comes from within that lets us know that we are OK. This comes to us via insight.

I would like to point out that I see nothing at all wrong with any modality per se but this is my experience of them. If they work for you then absolutely wonderful. We are all on our own pathway through life and it is not my job to tell you that your pathway is wrong, but I feel passionate about letting people know how they are experience it at all.

Then I found the Three Principles Paradigm which explained how I work psychologically, how I am able to experience life. I went from searching for something outside of myself, something to try to fix or change me, to seeing the perfection of life. I could see ‘my depression’ for what it was. I didn’t need to change my experience of life in any way, I didn’t need to DO anything. This sounds like a big leap but it was effortless in the extreme and all it required of me was a curiousity about where I thought my experience was coming from.

So going back to our examples:

Our children can make us angry. If we look at this logically then we see very clearly that this cannot be true. I feel very differently about my children’s behaviour on different days, or in different moments. Also I can feel angry with my child and my husband does not so it cannot be coming from the child. It is my thinking about the child.

Our past can make us feel depressed. Well, how is it that our past can make us feel? we aren’t living the same thing over and over again, we are thinking about it and that comes with a feeling. In my case I didn’t ever get to why I was depressed but understanding that a depressed thought comes to me with a depressed feeling is enough. It frees me from wondering what it is all about, it frees me from trying to find out why. I simply know that it is a thought. I don’t need to change the thought, thoughts change on their own very quickly.

The sunset can make me feel relaxed. Not everyone feels relaxed when they look at a sunset, yes a lot of people do, but not everyone. As soon as there is an exception, we know that it cannot be true. For example a commuter coming home on the train may see a sunset and be so stressed about the day she has had that she doesn’t feel relaxed. She is thinking about her work, not about the sunset.

And back to my original question. How should I feel?

We have this idea that life should be a certain way. That some feelings are bad and we don’t want them and other feelings are good and we do want them. When we split our feelings into good and bad we spend a lot of effort trying to keep away from the ones we don’t want. But with this understanding more and more people are seeing that in any given moment I should feel exactly as I am. Sometimes I have feelings of sadness or depression or anxiety and I know where it is coming from. I don’t need to do anything with it, the feelings don’t define me in any way, they are simply telling me what I am thinking right now.

Syd Banks said ‘Life is a contact sport’. To my mind he was saying that we experience it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That we shouldn’t try to shield ourselves from feelings but see where they are coming from, and not expect it to be a smooth ride. We do and will hit bumps in the road and will experience all the emotions.

This was such a relief to me and it is a relief to clients who see it for themselves. I invite you to get curious about where your experience of life is coming from. Do you think it is coming from your past, present circumstances, or people around you? Or do you think it is coming from thought in the moment.

If this has sparked something in you and you would like a free half an hour chat with me do get in contact with me, I would love to talk to you.

I offer one-to-ones and intensives online and In person.

www.sheenaoxer.co.uk

I also co-run Exeter Three Principles Meetup every month in Nancy Potter house, Topsham Devon.

This is a monthly Blog and if you would like it to conveniently plop into your inbox next month please do get in contact with your email address: info@sheenaoxer.co.uk