Here’s something that’s been coming up a lot for my clients recently, so I thought it would be useful to share my insights around the issue with you all.
The first thing that people often see in our work together is that the mind only works one way: inside-out, rather than outside-in. That we live in the feeling of our thinking, moment to moment – not the feeling of the world, or our circumstances.
Once people ‘get’ this (insightfully, rather than intellectually), it’s very common for people to begin to see Thought as the villain of the piece.
“Ah! So, if it’s my thinking that’s creating all my problems, challenges, stress, issues and suffering, then I need to learn how to manage, control and fix my thinking, right?”
Well… no, actually.
We’ve all played that game before (I did it for 30 years through meditation, NLP techniques, positive psychology and affirmations – and I got pretty good at it).
There’s an easier, more sustainable way. An effortless way.
You see, it’s never thought that’s the culprit in creating unnecessary suffering, anxiety, depression or stress – it’s only ever THOUGHT BELIEVED. It’s you identifying with a particular thought, and making it meaningful, significant and TRUE.
Through the gift of Thought, we can literally think ANYTHING.
Thought is like the clay with which we create our moment to moment experience.
- You could have a thought that you are a worthless lump of nothing, who doesn’t deserve to be happy
- You could have a thought that life is an amazing adventure – and that you are perfect, abundant and living in bliss.
- You could have a thought that aliens from the planet Zog are sending you secret messages through the radio waves. (By all means think this, but if you actually believe it, please unsubscribe from this newsletter and seek help immediately!)
What I’ve noticed with my clients is that there’s another, deeper, piece of understanding beyond simply:
Thought creates my Experience
Whilst the above is true – there’s something beyond this that seems to allow this understanding to shift from “quite useful” to “life-changing”.
I’ve noticed one or more of these four things seems to create a big and sustainable shift for people:
Firstly, everything changes when you realise who you really are.
That YOU are not your thoughts, or your feelings, or your experience. The REAL you is the one creating all of that – the artist or the sculptor. You are the creator, not that which has been created.
If you put a hefty slug of salt into a glass of water – and then drink it, it will taste very salty. (Stick with me here – see the salt as analogous to thoughts and feelings). Now add the same amount of salt into an ocean, and it will make no difference whatsoever.
You are the ocean, not the glass.
No individual thought (or feeling, or experience) makes much of a difference when you realise how spacious and big YOU really are.
I have found for myself that I just don’t take any thought that seriously any more. It’s all just energy, taking different form, moment to moment.
Secondly, everything changes when you see that Thought, by nature, is constantly changing.
It’s fluid and transient.
We’ve all had the experience of feeling stressed, anxious or down one minute, and then an hour later – in some miraculous way – feeling optimistic, cheerful and determined.
Nothing has changed in your circumstances. You’ve had fresh thinking coming through you. It’s designed to be that way.
Thirdly, everything changes when you see that we have a psychological immune system.
The mind, like the body, is designed to bring us back to our healthy ‘factory-setting’ – automatically, effortlessly and naturally.
When we see that clarity, well-being and peace of mind are innate.
When we trust the system to do it’s thing.
It’s true that we have the free will to find lots of ways to ‘screw’ with this system – one of the most common strategies in this era of ‘personal development’ is that we believe we have to manage our thinking.
That it’s necessary to be in conscious control of all this. Imagine feeling you were responsible for healing that cut on your finger, ensuring that your heart was pumping, and that your lunch was being digested properly, as well as doing your day job, and shopping for groceries.
Fourthly, everything changes when you know you have access to wisdom in any moment
Fresh, new thinking that points to the answer, the solution, the next step in any situation that you find yourself in.
I didn’t know this until about six years ago. I ‘thought’ I had to figure everything out with my intellect.
How do you know it’s wisdom pointing you towards something rather than the noisy chatter of your monkey mind?
For me, I know because it invariably comes wrapped up in a feeling of lightness, fresh-and-new-ness, well-being and profound “rightness”. That doesn’t mean it always points me towards the easy or comfortable option – just the wise one. There’s also a complete lack of tension or tightness, and I notice there’s little or no ‘ego’ in it.
The only way to obscure or limit access to that wisdom and intelligence is through believing or over-identifying with the insecure thinking we had five seconds ago, or five minutes ago, or five years ago.
You have evolved over millions of years – leave it alone!
Thought is everything. Thought has created everything you see around you.
Thought is creating your experience right now, in this second.
Thought is not a villain.
Thought is a wondrous, awe-filled miracle. (Be grateful – just saying!)
You can just allow your thoughts to come… and then to leave. Like leaves in the breeze.
Keep your hands out of the machinery.