On New Year, New You

Ahhh good old New Years. New Year, New You. I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that all the hype, commitment and resolution of the beginning of January is not sustainable, practical or easy. It relies on willpower and motivation, both of which are exhaustible resources.

The good news is that we don’t need a specific day, event or even intention in order to experience change, to be renewed, or to have life feel different. Our ability to have a fresh start is not dependent on any of that.

Change and renewal is the default in nature. We are no exception. We live in a constant flow of thought, a constant flux of levels of consciousness, and consequently, an ever-changing reality.

Because our experience of life is not caused by our life circumstances, our weight, our bank balance, our friends, our partner, our job or our appearance, we can have a completely fresh experience of life without those things changing.

As soon as our thinking about those things is different, our experience of them is different. This is why we sometimes love/sometimes hate the same job, the same person, the same home, the same appearance, the same friends, the same weight, and the same bank balance.

At this point, people always ask, “Okay so if my experience is created through thought… how do I change my thinking?”

And again, I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is we can’t, because thinking is not something we have control over or can manipulate at will.

The good news is fortunately we don’t have to, because the bigger intelligent energy powering the universe provides us with higher levels of consciousness, fresh helpful thought and a new perspective on the same situation automatically.

As in, there is nothing we need to do to make it happen. All we can ever really do is get in the way of this natural process.

It’s so incredibly helpful to know that renewal is built-in because without this understanding we humans tend to do a lot to make ourselves think, feel or act differently than we do.

A clear mind is a mind that isn’t cluttered with thoughts, ideas, concepts, worries, ruminations, analysis, plans, strategies, tools, techniques, or other superfluous constructs. Without those, the mind is naturally clear, wise, responsive and calm.

If we know that, and I mean like really deeply know that, then doing more thinking to make our minds more clear makes absolutely no sense.

It makes no sense to try to make change happen if we see that change is a natural effortless unfolding that we can only get in the way of.

It makes no sense to try to make ourselves feel something we don’t feel, think something we don’t believe or act in a way we feel is “better” for us because that’s only introducing more clutter into the default clarity.

It makes a lot more sense to hang out in the quiet, to be grateful that our reality is not stable or solid, to appreciate how simple things are when our minds are clear, to take managing our life off our to-do list and to allow something bigger to take care of it.

Change is the only constant in life. Change is reliable and automatic. So perhaps instead of doing more this year to become a “better you”, see if you can just relax, kick your feet up and let change happen naturally.

Let your natural bent towards thriving reveal itself. Let your mind self-correct to peace and bliss. Let your ideas about who you are and who you should be come and go. Let change happen effortlessly through you, it’s so much more effortless than you think.

 

On Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

One of my favourite bands released a new album earlier this year titled Truth Is A Beautiful Thing.

Now aside from the album being absolutely stunning, there’s something about that statement that I just feel in my bones.

The beauty in discovering principles is that they are true by definition. They’re not just sometimes true. They’re not just true when we believe them. Or true when we want them to be, or true when it looks logical.

Principles are foundational truths about how something works. The principles I share in my work are the three principles of mind, consciousness and thought, the spiritual forces that underlie every thought, feeling, sensation, memory, decision, and experience we’ve ever had.

And as helpful as it is to learn about these principles, if it just looks like a good idea or a nice concept or a more comforting perspective, then the essence of what makes it so transformational and powerful, the fact that it is always true all of the time, is lost on us.

We are always having an experience of mind, consciousness and thought, nothing more, nothing less. What we see as reality will always be a product how these three principles are operating in us in any given moment.

There is not a single moment of our lives where we could be disconnected from the energy and intelligence of mind.

There is not a single moment of our lives that is brought to us by anything other than these three principles. The system simply doesn’t work that way.

And granted it’s also a truth that we’re not going to see this all the time, our level of consciousness is always shifting allowing us to see more or less about what’s universally true for all of us.

There’s just something incredibly helpful in seeing what’s going on behind the scenes. Knowing that when I get a new solution, have an insight, receive fresh helpful thinking, see life clearly, feel pure well-being despite my circumstances, have a completely transformed relationship with someone or something, or feel an undercurrent of peace in the midst of physical pain, it isn’t a fluke result that I lucked into.

It isn’t a random occurence of something going my way, it’s simply the system operating how the system is designed to operate. Fresh thinking arises. Levels of consciousness shift the reality we perceive. Peace of mind is the default.

Our experience of life always comes from the inside out; that’s how it works even when it doesn’t look like that’s how it works. Even when we don’t see that’s how it works; even when we don’t believe that’s how it works.

Truth is a beautiful thing.

On Feeling the Love

Everyone is born naturally hooked up to the life force. It’s what connects us to each other, animates our spirit and makes being alive even possible. Many of us think of love as the result of finding compatible people with a similar way of being. But what love really is, at least what it looks like to me, is seeing the purest part of yourself reflected in another being.

We are able to see it in others because we all have it; it’s a shared essence. It’s the part we all have in common, that spark of being alive, that vitality, that energy. It’s what separates a corpse from a living being, that universal energy that powers us.

There’s a beautiful translation of the expression ‘namaste’ that’s said to mean ‘when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me there is only one of us’. That is love. Love is seeing what is essential in another as being the same that is essential in you.

The recognition of this truth allows for healthy relationships to be built on a foundation of what never changes. Relationships built on the ideas of our psychology, of having the same preferences, living in the same place, having the same hobbies, having the same group of friends and having common interests is a relationship that is built on a foundation of what is in flux, instead of what is always true.

It’s the difference between building a castle on stone as opposed to building a castle on sand. When there is that underlying foundation of seeing yourself in another and another in you, there is stability and sustainability.

When built on temporary ideas that we’re attaching and identifying with, the relationship tends to fizzle out as soon as people change their mind.

This is the definition of conditional love, as long as the conditions are met, there will be love; when things change, the love will change. Just like a sand castle, all it takes is some external conditions to change and things begin to crumble.

What makes love so powerful and why I reckon we naturally tend towards being in relationships with other human beings is simply because when we are in touch with that deeper place in us, we draw it out in others and feel it amplified in ourselves.

Two beings in love are two people very close to home base, in the present moment, feeling their natural state, and having that amplified through connection with another. We are all inherently connected because we are all inherently made of the same stuff, this universal energy and intelligence. 

Contrary to what many of us believe connection is not something that results from compatible ideas, putting in an effort to win someone over or being “nice to them”. It’s not something we can only have with select people. When humans are in their natural state they are infinitely more similar to each other than when they are in any other state of mind like anger, anxiety or jealousy.

The thing that takes us away from this natural home base of peacefulness, love and wisdom is that we get caught up in our personal thinking and believe it to be true. When we allow that to settle down, let it be and let it go, the deeper source of connection is right there. Like the sun behind the clouds it simply exists by default.

This deep shared place of love inside ourselves is what we’re feeling when we feel in love with someone. It comes from us, not from another and yet because it’s a shared essence both people can resonate with, feel and rest in that place of our true nature.

 

On Confusion

When we’re confused, there’s one thing surely going on: we’re not seeing clearly.

That’s it. It does not mean what we’re confused about is inherently confusing.

When we’re feeling confused or that life is really complicated, we simply aren’t seeing clearly in that moment.

We’re not seeing clearly because we’re up in our heads. We’re caught up in a lot of thinking that’s obscuring our natural clarity in the same way the sun gets covered up by a lot of clouds. 

When our attention is on our thoughts, what they mean, how they feel, what we think they’re trying to tell us, and what ones we need to listen to, our attention isn’t tuned into the space before thought.

That space is the space of pure peace, calm and clarity.

We’re either looking at what is already created or we’re looking to where those creations come from.

The beautiful space within where all thought ebbs and flows has a different feeling to it.

It feels open, expansive, alive, and peaceful; very different than when we’re buying into the illusion of thought as reality.

When we’re using the raw potential of thought to create images, form and content in our minds, it’s so easy to lose sight of what’s underneath it.

We don’t see common sense solutions. We don’t see obvious answers.

We don’t see how simple life is… until our thinking falls away and all we’re left with is simply life, unfiltered.

When we’re at home base we see clearly because clarity is our default. As humans we are naturally gifted with wisdom, common sense, creativity, peace, compassion and love. 

Yet we’re also gifted with the power of thought. We can rev up our thinking by getting into it: thinking longer, harder and more analytically until we’ve completely clouded over our innate wisdom.

Confusion is the opposite of clarity.

In that state of mind it feels like things can’t be easy, no simple solutions exist, our intellect is needed to solve problems, and we have to make tough decisions that require effort, sacrifice and difficulty.

But most importantly, confusion feels like something we need to take seriously.

It feels like there’s definitely a right and wrong decision, and if we make that wrong decision, we’re screwed. The stakes are high and everything is very serious.

This is how we know we’re not seeing life clearly. The stakes are never as high as they seem because our innate health and well-being can’t ever leave us.

It’s purely unconditional, ours for life (because it is the energy behind life) regardless of our circumstances, our habits or our choices.

We can’t choose anything that will cause us to lose our innate well-being. It can feel that way, but it’s just another thought-created illusion.

If we can allow our personal thinking to settle and listen for our wisdom, what to do next becomes clear.

Our wisdom is simply the intelligence behind life showing up within us as fresh, helpful thought.

The same intelligence that knows how to make carrots out of seeds and fuse broken bones together will provide us with helpful ideas.

The same intelligence that’s renewing our cells, digesting our food and beating our hearts works for us psychologically as well.

We can listen for the soft, gentle voice of wisdom and allow ourselves to be guided by it instead of our personal psychology. Choices made from a loving, free, peaceful space tend to unfold beautifully.

The best way to hear that soft bubbling stream of wisdom under the loud calamity of our thinking is to do nothing with our thinking. Just wait.

Have enough patience to allow the self-correcting nature of the mind to self-correct.

It’s designed to clear old thought to make room for fresh thought.

Once we allow this to happen, clarity will be felt, stale thinking will have dissipated and our wisdom will give us the answer we’ve been waiting for.

On Sneaky Moods

One of the most reassuring things to see within this understanding is to notice that when our moods drop, we lose our ability to see clearly. We temporarily lose touch with our essence of peace and well-being.

Thought is always being created within us, every single experience we’ve ever had is created via thought. We live exclusively in thought-created realities.

We are all gifted with psychological forces that bring the energy of thought to life and make it look as if we’re seeing the outside world as it is. In truth, we are seeing the world not as it is, but as we are.

In a low mood, the exact same circumstance will look vastly different than in a high mood. Intuitively we know this, but it’s easy to forget. We know deep down that traffic, our partner or the weather aren’t consistent experiences for us.

Sometimes traffic feels like the universe conspiring against us and other times it’s a welcome opportunity to slow down and enjoy a song we love. Sometimes our partners look like horrible people trying to hurt us, yet later that same day we can’t believe how lucky we are to spend our precious lives laughing with them. One day we can curse the rain for draining us of energy and the next we can savour the sound of falling raindrops, smell the fresh air and feel renewal.

When we’re resting in our well-being, we naturally see the same situation more clearly. Decisions made from this place are naturally aligned with our true nature: well-being, love and wisdom.

Decisions made from a clear head, an open heart and a peaceful feeling can be trusted; they’re led by truth, not illusion.

Decisions made in a low mood are decisions made in a fog of personal thinking. They rarely align with what we want for ourselves and others. They’re often led by our desire to have less pain and more pleasure and there’s usually a sense of urgency or insecurity.

Think for a moment about hiking up a mountain. When we’re at the bottom of the mountain we can’t see very far in any direction or know where we’re situated in terms of the landscape. We might feel lost as we have limited perspective, and all we can see is identical looking trees. As we ascend, the same landscape looks completely different. We begin to realize that standing in the same spot, only higher, gives us a fresh view and reveals the big picture.

Unlike a hike, we don’t have to gather gear or expend energy to see life from a higher vantage point. Seeing from a calm, helpful perspective is our natural state. That’s always there underneath our thinking, and is seen once our thinking settles down.

Once we understand that things look different in a better mood we can stop trying to change our thinking. There’s nothing to do once we understand how the system works.

We need only understand that the mind is self-correcting to notice it self-correct. Our peaceful state and a fresh perspective is just one thought away.