Umbrage, Urgency and Understanding

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I’m so grateful to Dr Linda Pettit who mentioned the 3U’s in a call I was on the other day and it inspired me to write a blog about them.

Whenever we feel Umbrage (usually towards a person) or Urgency – it’s just a sign that we’ve temporarily got caught up in our thinking. It’s a rumble strip. It’s not telling us anything about the situation out there, nor is it telling us anything about our true nature. It’s only telling us about our thinking in the moment – and that we’re a bit (or a lot!) revved-up.

I notice that whenever I settle down, come back ‘home’ and rest in that glorious peace, clarity, gratitude and connection in that place called Home, it’s actually impossible to feel UMBRAGE or URGENCY!

Yes, there are some situations that are time-dependent – like catching a train at a certain time. But the URGENCY we feel – harried, stressed, noisy – is all coming from thought in the moment, not the external world.

When we feel UMBRAGE, we have simply forgotten that everybody lives in a separate reality. Everybody is doing the best they can – given the thinking that looks real to them in that moment. In other words, it doesn’t look like thinking – it looks like reality and truth.

So, what helps us see this for ourselves? You might be thinking “That sounds all very well, but you haven’t met my boss!” Or mother-in-law! Or whoever.

What really helps is the 3rd U.


Rebecca Perkins is now a great friend and former client who does amazing work with all sorts of people – but especially people with eating disorders and those that care for them. Rebecca has a great depth of understanding about the principles behind the human experience, and the unconditional love, kindness and radical acceptance that truly helps us to thrive – no matter what our circumstances or life events. See what you think as Rebecca talks about kindness here:

The Power of Kindness

I’ve noticed over the years that so many of my clients come into this conversation IN ORDER TO… (feel better in some way, change their experience, manage their feelings)

So, they’re listening all the time through the filters of:

How is this relevant to me?
When am I going to be fixed?
How can I apply all this?
Where’s my insight?

All very understandable, but these filters themselves actually become the ‘interference’, and stop us hearing or seeing anything new.

We often miss, or overlook, the beautiful, gentle, effortless – often very subtle – changes that are happening all by themselves.

Our ego will always come up with a different thing that we want to fix.

Our intellect comes up with a story about what we will look like when we’re ‘fixed’. Or what a ‘happy life’ looks, feels and sounds like.

And we also create an expectation of how long it will take.

And because we so want to feel better, we look for prescriptions – strategies, techniques. We look for answers outside ourselves.

We also believe that, in order to change sustainably, it has to be US that does it through effort and will. Even if we’re not consciously aware of this, we’ve been taught to believe that we could get it done if only we were smarter, or had more will-power.

For example, in this conversation, we often talk about having a quiet mind. You can’t do that through effort and will-power – or at least not for more than a few minutes.

The worst thing you can do to quieten your mind is to try and quieten your mind!

It’s about going away from prescriptions – and towards Understanding.

As your understanding deepens, your mind automatically starts to quieten down – but it’s not YOU doing it through effort or will-power.

You just ‘get it’. You see that the nature of your mind is always still underneath all the babbling.

This conversation is pointing you in a direction… often a very different direction than you’ve been looking in your whole life.

Towards what’s ALWAYS there inside you.

You turn and look in that different direction, and start to get more and more curious.

As you look in this direction, you start to see how the system works, and who you really are… and another veil of misunderstanding starts to fall away… and another one… and another.

You see that your well-being is never really on the line, no matter what your insecure thinking is telling you.

The light of your innate health and well-being starts to shine more brightly.

Our capacity for insight is always there… no matter what. Insight is just a fresh thought you’ve never had before. And it’s the insight that creates change.

But – as long as you keep making the way you feel the GOAL, you’re still looking in a direction that may be less than optimal.

Looking to fix, to manage, to control. Seeking to ‘add’ something that you feel you don’t yet have – when actually the opposite is true. It’s about dissolving the interference. It’s a subtractive understanding.

Look in the direction of Understanding. Make that the goal.

Sit in appreciation of what you already understand. Be grateful for what you’ve already seen about the nature of the human experience. Stay curious. Stay in the conversation. Be kind to yourself.

More and more will be revealed to you if you do this.

But you’re not in charge of the insights you get, nor the timeline you get them in. Our egos hate this!

Einstein said “You cannot solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it”.

You have to go beyond the story that’s currently in your head about “I’ll be happier when…”, or “It would be better if…. “

So, stop looking for the happy ending in the story you’ve created about what needs to happen! Why do you want to get to the end of the story anyway?

The story was only ever made of thought.

The wonderful feelings you seek are all there inside you, and will start to bubble up more and more.

But it really helps when we allow them be a natural, effortless by-product of our understanding.

A by-product of our true nature, rather than a destination.

If you’re curious to create more understanding (and spend less time experiencing umbrage and urgency in your life), consider joining me for my 3-day immersive Heart of Thriving workshop on 5 – 7 April.

These workshops are completely free – you only have to fund your own travel and accommodation. Find out more here:

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