Most of these musings have been philosophical or spiritual in nature.
They’ve either been about the nature of the human experience, or about who we are beyond the personality – beyond the ego and our personal thinking.
This musing is more practical – about how we seem to effortlessly become more effective in life when we understand how the mind works.
Many of my clients come to me for coaching with a laundry list of stuff they want to sort out.
When I share the principles behind Thriving with them, some aren’t all that interested at first. They struggle to see the relevance because they have all this ‘stuff’ they need to deal with.
It’s like they have all these clouds in their sky, and I’m encouraging them to look at the sky, which is the relevant bit. It’s looking at the sky that makes all the clouds dissolve. Because we are the sky.
I remember when my coach, Michael Neill, said to me:
“Look, we’ve got three options. Option 1 we can continue talking about your laundry list. Option 2 we can talk about your thinking about your stuff. Or Option 3 we can park all that and just talk about what it is to be human and the nature of our experience…”
I plumped for Option 3, and I’m so glad I did.
I found myself in a space where I was OK. The laundry list was still there – but now I was connected back up to the mains – connected to that space within where all our insights and creativity come from. The space where my own wisdom started to come through about how to handle everything that’s on the laundry list.
That’s highly practical and useful in navigating my life. And there’s a peace of mind and a clarity as I’m dealing with the stuff that transformed my experience of life.
What people need more of, in my view, is not the wisdom that comes AT them, but the wisdom that comes THROUGH them. Sometimes, this wisdom can nudge us to go seek out expertise or advice from somewhere else – that’s fine.
But so many people overlook and neglect the wisdom that’s always there, whispering, if our minds are quiet enough to hear it.
We are the sky, and the weather shows up inside the sky. The sky is constant, whether we can see it or not. Sometimes it gets clouded up with the weather. But the sky is never tainted by the weather – it never has to do anything to change it.
In a way it’s an end to superstition. As human beings, we used to dance and do sacrifices and rituals to get the sun to come up. Presumably somebody noticed at some point that the sun comes up just fine on its own.
The same with us. We have all sorts of rituals and techniques and practices to bring us back to well-being – and it’s just innate. It happens all by itself. It’s built in to the design.
It’s a complete change to our relationship with the clouds.
Again, it’s an innocent misunderstanding. As long as it looks to you like you’re supposed to control the weather in order to be happy and successful, you’re going to spend all your time and energy doing that.
When you realise that the weather hasn’t got much to do with how happy or successful you are – it just becomes less interesting.
There’s no such thing as a solution to a feeling.
We are human beings who think, and who feel what we think. The idea that we need to DO something is a little absurd when you consider how fluid and transient the clouds are – and how fluid and transient our thoughts are.
So, I promised you the practical. Here are two examples from my own life – one business and one personal.
Business: I used to think that I had to have a plan to make my business successful. When I realized how much of my experience was just my own thinking reflected back at me, I started to realise how much my infinite potential I was sitting on. Great ideas that were coming through me that I didn’t act on, because of my own insecure thinking. Because of my own blind spots. I can’t tell you how much easier my business is to run now. I have a great idea. I go do it. Some of them work, some of them don’t – but I don’t care. I just keep showing up and listening, taking action – and taking my ego out of it. Taking ME out of it. My business is more successful than it has ever been, but with less EFFORT than has ever been the case.
Relationship: When I first met my husband Ross seven years ago, it looked to me like it was my job to ‘fix him’ (I know, I know). I took up the challenge wholeheartedly.
And although my efforts were motivated by love, they were full of judgement too. And of course, he felt judged. (Duh!)
I can remember the day I saw that he didn’t need fixing – that he wasn’t broken. And that we could just enjoy being in a relationship.
I didn’t need him to be certain way so that I could be happy.
He was just Ross – a flawed and perfect human being – just like me, and somebody that I love spending time with. This has made a huge difference in our marriage.
There are many more examples that point to how practical this understanding is.
For me, if feels like the practical, and the philosophical and the spiritual parts of this conversation now completely overlap. Actually they’re the same thing