On It’s All Good

Sometimes, it feels like it’s all good and all is well. We feel calm and contented, peaceful and joyful, loving and connected, and just generally well.

We love feeling like this. Universally, everyone knows what this feels like, we all enjoy it, and we all strive to get back there when we’re not feeling it.

But it’s easy to misunderstand what we’re feeling. Often, it looks like we’re feeling life “going our way”.

It looks like we feel good because the person we want to spend time with also wants to spend time with us. It looks like we feel joyful because we got that promotion. It looks like we feel peaceful because it’s a sunny Saturday. It looks like we feel love because we found the right person to love us.

And so we attribute all those good feelings to things outside of us: our circumstances, environment, and other people. We feel great and automatically scan our lives for the reason for that great feeling.

Oh it must be the sun! The recognition! The lovely person! The day off!

When it truth, we feel good because we naturally, by default, ARE well-being.

When we’re feeling good we’re simply feeling our default natural state without the interference of thought. That’s it.

We think it’s the sun but really it’s the lack of critical thinking about the weather.

We think it’s that special person but really it’s any human we’re in the moment with when we’re not listening to our insecure, self-conscious thinking.

We think it’s the day off but really it’s just lack of thinking about the work week, our to-do lists and our perceived responsibilities.

When we have less on our minds, we all, universally, consistently, feel like all is well. We feel contented, we feel peaceful, we feel connected and all is good.

It’s true that we’re not always going to have little to nothing on our minds. All humans feel busy, sped up, caught up and stressed from time to time.

But that experience is always moving, always ebbing and flowing if we let it move through us.

When we’re not trying to fight it, fix it or control it, it just leaves on it’s own accord and we’re right back to having not much on our minds and feeling great.

So if you don’t feel that all is well, that’s okay. Give the system a minute or two to reset. Don’t try to do anything with your thinking, don’t listen to it, don’t take it seriously, don’t engage with it.

The minute it’s allowed to come and go as it’s designed, it reveals what’s always just underneath it: love, peace, connection, contentedness, joy and well-being.

And then, once again, it’s all good.

On The Waves of Thought

Today I wanted to share another chapter from my book True Nature: An Exploration of Being Human in honour of recently releasing the True Nature Companion Course, enjoy!

GO WITH THE FLOW

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Rumi

Thought and feeling come through us like waves on a shore. An ocean wave forms and then returns to the ocean, ready for the next wave to take form. Every thought/feeling wave we’ve ever had has come through our system, created a full sensory experience and then returned from whence it came.

This is why we’re not stuck in the same feelings we felt as kids. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had a moment where I truly believed that I would be stuck in a feeling forever, but time has proved that’s simply not possible.

Thought is always moving, always changing and always flowing, even when it’s not different enough to catch our attention.

Our brains are really efficient machines which tend to categorize similar feelings into one mood. So even while we’re in a bad mood, we’re still having hundreds of different thoughts, all with their corresponding feelings.

Once we’ve labelled it as ‘bad day’ we notice all the thoughts and feelings that support that, while ignoring or dismissing the outliers. The subtle nuances tend to get blurred together by the lens of how we’re seeing life in the moment.

The ocean of thought keeps making waves: temporary forms that crash on the shore, give us an experience, and leave. They’re random, unpredictable and impersonal.

Even on our worst days, days full of panic attacks, crippling not-leaving-my-bed depression, tough illness, or unexpected injury, there’s still variance from one moment to the next. There’s still flow, even if it’s not to the degree that we wish.

Even when it goes unnoticed, even when we label it away, there is still thousands of times a day where the energy of thought comes through us like waves on a beach.

It begins in the formless, takes a form, gives us the ensuing experience, and returns to the formless to make way for the next wave of experience.

This dance of energy is a universal constant, we don’t know what will show up next but we know something will. The content can be anything we could ever imagine, as it’s fully creative, pure potential.

Yet whether the next wave is an anxious sensation, a surprised reaction, a joyous thought, tears of gratitude, a pang of hunger, nostalgia, despair or absolute enchantment, anything and everything comes to us as waves from this eternal ocean.

The same energy that powers the tides, waves and ocean currents of physical bodies of water also powers our human experience. The details are always changing yet the underlying principle is a constant.

I find it so comforting to know that we have infinite waves ahead of us bringing us fresh thinking and new feeling, ultimately recreating our lives from the inside-out.

 

p.s. if listening is more your thing you can check out the audiobook here

 

On The Future Is An Incomplete Equation

As humans it’s far too easy to fall into the mistake of thinking a) that we know how things should turn out and b) that it’s up to us to make that happen.

Lately I’ve noticed myself falling back into that trap. The trap of “it really is in my best interests if x were to happen” followed by a whole load of thinking “now how can I make sure that that happens?”

To be honest, it was making me positively neurotic and frankly no fun to be around.

Because very little is in our control. Very little is up to us. 

And yet, we walk around in these bodies, with these thoughts and feelings, with these hopes and dreams, with these fears and dilemmas, with these expectations and projections, and we think the responsibility for our future well-being is on our shoulders.

It’s a heavy burden to bear. Thankfully, it’s not necessary.

The future is an incomplete equation is a line I first heard from Dr Keith Blevens and I really got what he was pointing to.

Not only do we not know what’s going to happen in the physical world (injury, illness, death of a loved one, bankrupty, breakups, the list is endless) but we also don’t know what our experience of anything will be in any given moment.

Our experience is a result of how the energy of thought shows up in us in the moment. We can’t predict the thoughts we’ll think, the feelings we’ll feel, the sensations we’ll experience, the great ideas that’ll arise, the sense of knowing we’ll have in our gut and so much more.

We can’t predict any of it. There’s too many moving parts, too many pieces of the puzzle constantly rearranging that it’s impossible to know what the future holds, even when (and I would argue especially when) we think we have it figured out.

And because experience is something that occurs, arises, comes into form, shows up, appears… does it really make sense to think it’s something we can control, manipulate, have power over, force, or make happen?

The idea of not having control scares the living daylights out of us. It makes us feel vulnerable, unprotected, and at the mercy of life.

But while we’re putting in lots of effort to try to control life, manage our experience and ensure our future happiness, we miss what we have going for us, always have had and always will have.

We miss that we have wisdom, and knowing, and intelligence that is innate.

We miss that we’re a small part of a larger universal unfolding.

We miss that we’re safe and okay even if injury, illness, death of a loved one, bankrupty and breakups are in our imminent future.

We miss that we’re in a flow of experience, an ocean with a million waves that look and feel different but can’t affect the deepest part of us.

And when I remember that it becomes clear to me that a) my idea of how things should turn out is just a wave of thought that I’m treating as solid truth and b) when I’m too busy trying to make life turn out a certain way I miss what I always have going for me.

I miss the moment. The today. The right now. The right here. The stellar jay that landed on my deck as I write this. The way the sun looks in the trees. The warmth of the tea in my cup. The feeling of my fingers on the laptop. The sound of the music coming through the speakers. The softness of the blanket.

The future is an incomplete equation. 

I don’t know what will happen. And yet that’s okay. I’m starting to see more and more it’s not up to me to make life conform to my ideas of how life should be. 

Because really what do I know? I could be, and have been, totally wrong before.

I’ve strived to make things happen only to discover that life was never meant to work out that way. I’ve had beautiful unfoldings, serendipitous coincidences and unexpected delights change my life in numerous ways.

But most importantly, I’m perfectly whole, complete and okay no matter what the future brings.

 

On Bathing in Wisdom

The longer I’m in this conversation about the true nature of human beings and how our experience gets created, the more I’m surprised.

Surprised by the simplicity. Surprised by the depth. Surprised by the fact that there are no exceptions.

But lately, surprised by the unpredictability. I have no idea what I’m going to see or when I’m going to see it. I like to think I know what’s coming down the line, but I’m being proven wrong time and time again.

To be honest, it’s really kind of nice. Yet surprisingly, I shouldn’t be surprised that my future predictions are inaccurate. It makes perfect sense that they would be.

The nature of this conversation about understanding the human experience is that we’re looking to something deeper, something more foundational.

We’re looking to our spiritual nature. We’re looking to universal wisdom. We’re looking to our innate health. We’re looking to what we all have going for us, all the time.

Looking in this direction is like soaking in the most magical hot springs: the hot springs of wisdom. It’s very warm but not too hot, with clear mineral-rich water tucked away in nature under a starry night sky. We can invite whoever we please to join us, or we can dip in alone.

We can relax in that place, bathing in the beautiful feelings, soaking in the warmth. It’s inherently healing and soothing.

Better yet, we don’t have to know what positive benefits we’ll get from soaking in the hot springs of wisdom.

Will I step out of the hot springs with my sore back feeling better? Maybe.

Will I step out of the hot springs with a new solution to an old problem? Possibly.

Will I step out of the hot springs with a lack of stressful thinking about a loved one? Perhaps.

With a new idea for a creation? With the inspiration of how to better serve an intention? With an easier time waking up early? With an effortless daily yoga practice? With a deeper friendship? With a better understanding of life?

Who knows?

What I do know is that soaking in the hot springs of wisdom does something for us. By its very nature, it takes care of us and brings us back to our deepest, truest self. I may not know what form it will take, but I know something always occurs.

Bathing in wisdom is the ultimate panacea.

To quote Michael Neill it’s 98% unpredictable despite being 100% reliable.

Will something new occur to me? Absolutely. Will something that doesn’t yet exist get created through me? Of course. Do I know what those will be? Not a clue.

Surprisingly, that’s all I need to know.

On What’s Really the Problem

“Your thinking is not the problem; thinking your thinking is a problem is the problem.” – George Pransky

Time to get personal. These past two weeks I haven’t felt like myself. While every single human being has low moods, my low mood lately has felt particularly sticky.

Sticky in a way it hasn’t felt in a very long time. Sticky in a way that when I talk about thought moving through us like an ever-flowing river I would think to myself hmmm some of that flow would be nice right about now (while completely missing the fact that it works that way universally and consistently).

So… what the hell wasn’t I seeing?

It occured to me a few nights ago, as insights often do, that I was making this prolonged low mood a problem.

As in: I shouldn’t feel this way.

As in: feeling this way for this many days in a row is not normal.

As in: what do I need to change in my life/diet/sleep/circumstances/activities to make myself feel better?

Hahahahahahahahahaha. It’s funny now that I see it, but at the time those thoughts looked so real to me, and not humourous at all.

Such is the nature of consciousness: we see it when we see it and we don’t when we don’t.

What happens as a consequence of making our thinking a problem? We give it lots of attention. We constantly check-in on it. We scan for it. We label it. We search for it. We see our life through the filter of “this problematic low mood I’m stuck in” and gather the corresponding evidence.

And perhaps worst of all, we fall for the illusion that our experience works outside-in and that solving the problem is a matter of changing things in our life so that those things can then change how we feel.

As if it works that way. In truth, we can only ever experience thought in the moment.

It was only once I saw what I was innocently doing that it changed. Once I saw that I was making this prolonged low mood a problem, it just didn’t make sense to keep doing that.

Given that I wanted to feel more in the flow of life, to return to home base and to feel like myself again, it made no sense to keep constantly gathering evidence to support my current distorted perception of life. Or to be constantly pre-occupied with how I’m feeling. Or to be on high alert for feeling bad and responding ‘oh no, not this again!’

The problem wasn’t that I was in a low mood. The problem wasn’t that I felt bad. The problem wasn’t that it looked like a good spring clean of my life was necessary to feel better. The problem was simply that I was making my thinking, feeling and experience a problem.

Like George so wisely said, the problem is thinking that your thinking is a problem.

We’re human beings. Thought moves through us. We’re designed to get it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, the miraculous, the bright, the dim, the dull, the electrifying, the magical, the horrible. That’s all normal. That’s all okay.

We don’t need to make it a problem; it’s all good, it’s all fine.

Once I stopped making my low mood a problem, I stopped feeding it with so much attention and energy and lo and behold, like ice melting in a river, my experience started to flow again.

Gratitude, amazement, joy, laughter, enjoyment, they were all right there waiting for me once I woke up out of the illusion. And just like that, I’m right back to what never left.

On Our Minds As Prisms

This week I wanted to do something a bit different and share with you a chapter from my new book True Nature. Enjoy!

Any Colour You Like

“All feelings derive and become alive, whether negative or positive, from the power of Thought.”

– Sydney Banks 

What I find incredibly comforting about learning these principles is that we start to see that anything that we’re experiencing, no matter how different it looks, no matter how isolating it feels, no matter how awful it sounds, is still just the same universal energy disguised in a temporary form. Elation and anxiety are the same thing in different costumes. Depression and bliss are both forms that this energy can take in our human system.

We’re so accustomed to noticing the details that we see the disguises for their differences rather than their similarities. Yet its essence is fundamentally the same. Regardless of how different we feel when we’re anxious, depressed or grateful, the system still operates the same way. Consciousness brings all thought to life, not just the ones we like or dislike.

Thought is always changing form, appearing and disappearing, and flowing through our system, whether we judge it as desirable or not. What Syd glimpsed in his moment of enlightenment was that all is one. The energy of mind is the great all-ness, the great oneness. At the same time, it is the great nothingness, the unknown. The yet to be created. It is everything and it is no thing. It is what allows any of us to change in an instant, once we see something new, we will literally be living in a different reality. It was a subjective made-up ‘reality’ all along, which is what allows it to get created and recreated in any moment.

Our minds are like prisms. Within the pure white light lies every colour of the rainbow. The colours are simply different wavelengths, energy vibrations at different frequencies. The nature of prisms is to refract light, splitting the pure light into a particular wavelength. Universal Mind is the pure white light running through every living thing.

As soon as this universal energy shows up in our system it gets fractionated into different wavelengths, colours of experience, that we then assign meaning to, label, judge, use as evidence, take seriously, believe or otherwise imbue with energy and attention. Sad feelings are like a bit of blue light getting refracted from the prism and brought to life through our consciousness. Then our minds refract a different bit of light, some red colour wavelengths that we recognize as fear. Then some green light comes through the prism and we feel calm.

Of course these colours, and their corresponding emotions, are simply a metaphor, but hopefully it gives a sense of how the same pure energy that powers the entire universe appears in different forms in different moments. It’s a never-ending dance. The form of thought gives us a temporary experience in the moment. Each moment is the result of an internally generated movie that we’ve innocently projected out through our eyeballs.

Thus, our lives look really beautiful, hopeful and magical one day and really scary, difficult and hopeless the next. This is why sometimes I hear of a bombing and freak out, become fearful for the state of the world and decide that I’m taking that country off my bucket list. Yet a week later I can hear of a similar bombing and feel no fear, only a deep sense of compassion for all those affected and wonder how different life would be if only most people understood how the human mind works. The bombings aren’t creating my experience, my thinking in the moment is.

If I hear the news when there’s blue wavelengths colouring my experience I’ll feel one way. If I hear the news while green wavelengths are colouring my experience I’ll feel differently. I can go from nervousness to excitement to fear to hope to calm without a single thing in my situation changing. Different thought is the only variable that needs to change for a different experience. It’s still the same pure white light flowing through me, I simply have an experience of whatever colour is shining through my consciousness in the moment. The possibility for any experience exists in any moment. It’s just a matter of seeing for ourselves that pure light can take many different forms, literally any colour we can imagine.

A computer is said to be able to display around seventeen million different colours when all the variations of tone, hue, and value are accounted for. Similarly, there are as many different experiences of the same event as there are people in the world. No two people will experience the same event in exactly the same way because they’ll never have exactly the same thinking about it in the moment. Their experience will be completely unique because it’s always and only a reflection of what form the energy of thought takes in that moment. This is what is behind people’s ability to handle extraordinarily difficult circumstances with ease and grace. And also why people can have a complete meltdown over one insignificant thing not going their way. One energy, infinite number of forms.


The book is available as Kindle/Paperback here

Or if you prefer to listen, the audiobook is available here

With love and gratitude,

Shannon

On Knowing How It Feels

Sometimes insights are so obvious we can’t believe we didn’t see it sooner. It’s so obvious, yet so profound. Everyone lives in their own separate, thought-created reality. We all experience the same “stuff”, yet the details differ.

Although the details, the specifics, and the content varies widely from person to person, we all know what sadness, exhilaration, surprise, gratitude, heartbreak, loss, joy, dissappointment feel like. They are universal constants that we all get individual experiences of.

The truth, beauty, clarity, hope and dare I say healing, come from looking towards what’s constant. 

What is fundamental?

What does not change?

What is always happening?

Looking to the constants, the foundations, the core, the essence of something is infinitely more helpful than trying to sort through the details.

This really hit me hard when I was watching an amazing concert on YouTube. I was completely mesmerized, pulled into the visceral flow of masterfully rich music. I thought: Everyone should see this, everyone should experience this and feel how I feel right now.

And that’s when it hit me: everyone is familiar with my experience, because that part is universal and built-in to the human operating system.

It wasn’t the band that was causing me to have that experience, even though it really looked like it. A hundred people I know could watch that same concert and they’ll have a hundred different experiences of it.

Some will love it, some will hate it, some will be indifferent. That’s because the experience is coming from our own individual thought-created realities in the moment. It’s not coming from the band, it’s coming from within each of us.

This is why some of my favourite bands do nothing for others, and why I can listen to my friend’s favourite album and be mentally counting down the minutes until its over. We all live in separate realities.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. One woman’s frog is another woman’s prince.

This is why we don’t all marry the same universally perfect person. This is why we don’t all cheer for the same sports teams. This is why we don’t all watch the same TV shows. This is why we don’t all listen to the same artists. This is why we don’t all have the same hobbies, frequent the same places, study the same subjects, work the same jobs… the list is endless.

Despite the fact that everyone falls in love with different people, we all know what love is.

Despite the fact that everyone feels that deep connection with all of humanity through different music, we all know that feeling.

Despite the fact that everyone sleeps in different beds with different pillows, mattresses, linens we all know what a rested body and mind feels like.

It’s not in the specifics; it’s not the partner, it’s not the band, it’s not the team, it’s not the painting. It’s our thought in the moment, always and only, that creates our experience.

Because every human is gifted with this creative energy of thought, every human has their own personal individualized experience of this universal constant.

Two people with broken hearts are able to feel deep empathy and compassion for each other despite the fact that they were in different relationships.

The details don’t have to be the same, or even similar, to be able to resonate and appreciate what another human being is going through.

We get the whole gamut of human experience during our time here on earth. We all get the psychological sunshine as well as the storms. All of us. No one is immune. We all get the rainbow of human experience, all the different colours that give us a rich, interesting life.

The details don’t matter. I drop into that beautiful, connected, heart-full-of-gratitude feeling within me just as you do within you. That place is within me. That place is within you. That place is available because of our shared humanity, our connection to the oneness of life.