Monday, November 22, 2010

Today and Yesterday: A Thanksgiving Challenge

The mystics and wise people of today and yesterday often speak of the now.  Admittedly, I have found myself annoyed by this concept in the past.  I agree, that a clear mind brings you into the now, but no one was ever really explaining how to get a clear mind...or what a clear mind was.  I practiced meditation, yoga, read books, found time to be surrounded by nature, observed my kids...all were sometimes beneficial, but I still felt uncertain.  Then I learned of Mr. Sydney Banks: 
"When such people refer to the now, they mean the personal mind is free from the contaminants of yesterday's memories and fears...In clearing our minds, we may have to give up something to receive something."
And, of course, Dr. Roger Mills:
"If we dwell on the past, these thoughts become our outlook, our self esteem, our self-image, now.  Negative thoughts from the past only harm us when we allow them to create interference.  Drop the attachment to ingrained habits of thinking."
Like all wise souls, these two spoke of the same thing, and even completed the others statements. For me, what they did is offer me clarity and the realization that I am in total control of my experience.  At first this information is scary, and I admit that I took baby steps initially.  I only allowed myself so much enlightenment at a time!  It quickly became clear to me that I must take a real leap of faith...and then another, and another...if my goal was harmony, well being, peace of mind, fabulous parenting, etc.

In my life, dropping my ingrained thinking involved the idea of forgiveness and even empathy for people who had hurt me in the past.  I did it (and continue to do so) quite naturally and with ease and even grace at times!  This happened, because I know that my negative thinking and fixed grip on the past only hurts me.  It makes me miss what is real right now & it makes me feel upset regardless of what is true now

Dropping old thinking also required me to take full responsibility for my experience in life.  I simply cannot be hurt by people in the same way that I was before I understood my own thinking.  I so much more quickly, find my wisdom and am able to have a new perspective.  My ways of functioning yesterday are not good enough today. 

Ask yourself how often you spend each day thinking about hardships of the past or calling up old memories that are hard to tolerate?  How often does this type of thinking allow you to create new fears or negativity for your future?  When was the last time you allowed your five senses to notice the now?

This Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to look around at what you are thankful for.  Take it all in...taste it, see it, smell it, feel it, hear it.  If you find yourself in thoughts from the past or worries of the future, simply remind yourself that you got here by your own trusted a thought you should have ignored.  Distract yourself, and zoom you'll be back to the now!

Friday, November 5, 2010

For Parents: teaching and learning from your children

Children are the best teachers.  For them it's so simple.  They just see things from such a clear vantage point.  A beautiful example of this came this morning.  My daughter is almost 10 and she has been showing the early tell-tale signs of hormone surges.  She becomes rude and sassy, but is also sensitive and easily hurt.  We've been talking about it a lot...I've been trying to listen carefully. 

This morning, it happened...the tide was high (to quote Blondie).  She remained angry and on edge on the walk to school.  I listened and told her I loved her...I asked her to be in charge of how seriously she was taking her own thinking.  I pointed out examples of where her perception did not match the facts of the morning events.  Still, she glared at me and fought back tears.

As we entered the school hallway, I began to be flooded with guilty thoughts as I saw all of the other happy children with their parents.  Maybe I was favoring my son that morning?  Maybe I am too strict?  Maybe I was to blame for the entire mood of the family?  Then it happened...hallway magic...the greatest experience.

A new friend of my daughter's said hello with a ginormous smile.  You could feel behind her words how much she loved my daughter and how excited she was to see her.  Contagiously, my daughter, son and myself were all smiling and feeling much an instant.  My daughter said hello back, and her voice sounded different.  I looked at her...she was beaming.  Her smile was bright, sincere, and in all parts of her face.  They made plans to play at recess.  With that, we all walked on happily...holding hands, and looking very much like the other families I had observed in the halls.

I should have known what my daughter needed...what we all needed was a distraction for our senses.  I know enough about thought to know that there's always a new one around the corner, and when you feel bad it's time to drop the old and try on the new.  I was just working really hard to make my daughter see the logic in this and act accordingly.  That was exhausting and unsuccessful.  Instead, her sweet friend gave her a new thought to consider.  Like work needed. 

Here's the thing that got me thinking...thinking about an idea I had often while in graduate school when certain diagnoses were discussed.  This new friend of my daughter's is considered "special needs."  This is the PC term & I got to thinking about it while walking home.  To me this girl was clearly special.  She lit my daughter up like Christmas morning.  I was sure that she had a most beautiful effect on all who crossed her path.  Yet, this society has dubbed her as someone who needs special things. 

Is there something wrong with her, or is there something wrong with a society which cannot accept this child just as she is?

I say, that we've got it wrong.  We adults have it wrong.  The children accept each other openly and see each other's strengths.  We put labels on someone.  We drag our feet, refusing to open our minds, rather than bridging the gap.  We forget that we are all connected and that we all have the fundamentals in common.  It is something to consider for each of us.  How often have you made decisions about a person based on fear, lack of information, or just based on habitual thinking?  How often have you made decisions based on  feelings of compassion, understanding, joy?  Which process felt better?

I would like to thank my daughter for teaching me, once again, and in her own perfect way.  I would like to thank my son for skipping along and holding my hand as he always does.  AND, I would like to thank my daughter's new friend for being just like she is.  She reminded me of some very important lessons today.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This is THE story.  The story of a woman who was one a girl. 

As a girl, she was happy...carefree would be the best adjective. She was aware of the hardships...they were real, but she always found joy...she naturally found joy.

Of course, there were scars.  Her father's much inappropriateness.  Her real dad's non-involvement.  Her mother's dissolve-ment...what her dissolve meant. 

Teenage years...painful, confusing. Lonely in a crowd.  Everything seemed to hurt her...she seemed to hurt everyone.

She tried it all...self destruction, addictions, self-help.  Still, no faith in herself or anyone else.  Misunderstood & misunderstandings.

She left the country to find something, maybe herself.  This was a good beginning...she needed to take better care.  Time to come up for air...time to open up eyes closed tight.  Time to see that the wall was not serving its purpose.

Change...change...change.  Good and difficult.  A new scene on the outside and a new look at the inside.  A new family that she chose...a marriage..children...a love nest.

Still, not sure she could handle all that may come her way in this life.  Still not calm and not navigating with ease.  Still sure she was missing something...missing something she used to love.

Who knows why we do some things?  For her, graduate school was the path that lead her to where her heart as already familiar.  One all three years of graduate school...held all the answers and reassurance for which she had searched high and low, long and far. 

Her educator, her hero, came in the form of a jolly, brilliant, warm professor.  Dr Roger Mills...the wisest man she had ever heard.  The lightest her heart had felt for decades...the best feelings of home within the walls of a dingy, old classroom.

He spoke of inner wisdom...its buoyancy and reliability.  He spoke of thinking...a powerful gift, not to be taken to seriously.  "Keep it simple" he'd say with a chuckle.  He spoke of levels of awareness and each person's ability to reach new experiences. 

The girl knew instantly that she had found all she had looked for behind this man's words.  She knew her security had been hers all the time.  She knew that her old way of getting by was no longer good enough. She felt excited by life, by her children.  Life was all new.

Suddenly, so many choices.  Such a relief to count on yourself and know what a powerful effect you have on your own experience. 

Now, well, now...this woman "finds the joy in the unknown, rather than the fear."  Now all who are around her benefit from the love she carries with her...they feel it, hear it, see it.

Sadly, her hero passed on.  She misses him, cherishes all of their moments together.  He is still her hero.  He still lives on in her.  She hears him and sees him in her minds eye quite regularly.

Sometimes, while driving, she becomes full of thoughts of him and his family.  She finds herself smiling and experiences the greatest warmth.  The absence of his physical body has changed nothing about his effect.

This is true, you see, because there is something...something in each of us that is greater than us.  Some call it spirituality, others the soul.  She calls it wisdom.  Call it whatever you want, for you have free will of your own, but the existence of this thing is not to be overlooked regardless of what verbiage you use.

The existence of this great wisdom, which we all have equal access to, is behind all great things then, now, and into the future. The existence of this allows us to say goodbye to a hero, without losing them. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Tribute to Albert Einstein

I enjoy looking at all things in terms of the Three Principles (Mind, Thought & Consciousness), because they are everywhere for us to observe.

Mr. Einstein is a favorite of mine, because he mastered the use of simotaneous Mind & intellectual Thought.  A true genious and scientifically before his time...quoted as saying:
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and all science.  He (she) to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his (her) eyes are closed."

Again he meshes the worlds of the mystical with the scientific, saying: "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."

This wisdom..this joy for life, is what I'm pointing to when I experience life with an understanding of the Three Principles.  

There is something deeper to the psychological experience that has made Psychology a soft science thus far.  No theory could offer reliable, positive results.  No psychological laws existed.  Mind, Thought & Consciousness are the three scientific principles that change all that!  They explain all human behavior...behavior is, after all, just a reaction to our own thoughts and how seriously we take them at any given time.  These Three Principles offer mental health to all who listen.  

To understand the psyche...or psychology of the soul...we must first acknowledge that we are dealing with a scientific entity that is abstract, and thus, hard to articulate clearly.

Mind, Thought & Consciousness speak to that spiritual, soulful, center, core part of us that is our essence.  We all know of it by whatever name you like...and we rarely speak of it.

The bridge between science and spiritual wisdom can be understood when one grasps the simplicity that when you choose your thoughts from a quiet mind, you automatically receive higher consciousness (aka a better experience), rather than the experience you have from your personal thought system...a place that may become insecure at any time.

Einstein reminds me to have faith in the mystical, cuz that's where the good stuff is...Don't miss it...Slow down!

Story Time: I walked on quickly last week in my neighborhood.  I saw an older woman ahead, slowly strolling up the street.  She walked leaning forward with hands clasped behind her back.  This instantly reminded me of my grandmother and how she stood in her last years.  This forward tilting, yet proper stance looked so wise, and I knew I must say hello.  We chatted, she's 80 and can't walk any faster...I'm 36 and always rushing to get everything done...can't walk fast enough.  We took a moment to smile and laugh.  The next thing I realized was that my day was seeming quite wonderful.  The experience of slowing down with her was all it took to help me arrive at my day rather than rush through it.

So simple, when you give yourself a chance to recalibrate, that's exactly what happens.  I could have chosen to ignore the idea to chat with her, but I didn't.  This little change in my plan set the mood for the rest of my day...Now you try!!!   

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your Thoughts, Your Mind, Your Consciousness

Do you remember the last time you observed something that moved you?... 
Then you know we are all the same, except some of us are brave enough to live the truth...right out loud!

I have many memories of knowing that I had stepped away from speaking the truth...from utilizing my own wisdom.  Yet, I decided to not speak up.

None of this makes sense to me later.  Not after my justifications are stale.  I wasn't at my best.  I was overwhelmed...confused.  Excuses! 

The truth...I was thinking my way out of acting.  I was thinking instead of listening, as we all do...innocently squashing our own potential.

I'm sure this is why people love babies and animals.  They are simple, pure, at their naturally healthy state.  They operate from their mind...their mind, not their personal thought system.  They are present with you.

People...average people, find their way here.  Sometimes after life threatening or miraculous experiences.  Some people never loose sight of what is innate to them, as though they never loose their child-like ways.  Some people learn to rely on themselves through some state of awful experiences, and this serves them well...the old souls among us.  These are the people that move us...that stop our our thinking. 

But, they move us because we see something familiar.  We recognize ourselves in them.  We believe, if just for a second, that we too can be this conscious

I write about this, because I know this.  I know something about all of us that makes standing in awe of someone else not enough anymore (although it's always an honor to observe other people's power and beauty).  They have what I have AND I have what they have.  I know longer wish to fool myself or look for answers outside of myself. 

I know three things, and they're all related.  Three becomes one:

1. Thought: My thoughts are mine.  I make them.  I make them real.  I also dismiss them.  This happens constantly...(story time)...I once thought daily about how easy my life would be if I could just rob a bank without getting caught or hurting anyone.  I would conjure up this thought most days when I drove by the bank and this happened for about three years.  Yet, I never once took this thought seriously...never once.  It stayed a thought with no power and no livelihood.
2. Mind: I have wisdom..instinct...intuition (fill in whatever word you appreciate) at my access at all times.  I've worked hard with my thinking to muffle it, at times...the true definition of suffering and mental illness.  Yet, it is there for me endlessly, and it is always 100% right on.  Always bringing the best feelings with it.  Always powerful, yet graceful.
3. Consciousness: I know that I am capable of different levels of level of consciousness fluctuates.  My mood changes despite a lack of change in my outside world.  I've been the same place many times and experienced it differently, more vividly sometimes.  Other times, I 'm only aware of myself.  This affects my whole experience of life.  This is really an indicator of how I'm using thinking and mind...not an indicator of how my life is going in my outside world.

Knowing these three things changes all things.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The beginning...
It's hard to pinpoint in words.
I know the truth of it, know the timing of it.
Early on, I was full of wisdom and faith.
Weren't we all?
I remember knowing - not thinking - but knowing with total assurance that I was good. It would all be okay. I didn't need to know the plan or how it would all play out. I just believed in me.
Then, life happened.
I believed I needed, or should listen to, others. I felt the strain of not listening to myself, but thought I could trust others to know. To know for me.

A lot of pain. Agony. Misunderstandings. Good intentions. A focus on other people's perceptions. Never feeling a fit.

Then there were the moments - times when you knew you were in the zone. You got it right. You followed your instinct and were, of course, rewarded. But you could never consciously replicate this, never understand how you found yourself in harmony. Never truly SEE.
These were beautiful times. Times you felt proud. But in the low times you also could never guide yourself back.
This wasn't good enough!
"Someone must know how to help me."
Circular...looking outside of yourself for answers...again...again.

On my journey, I remember my few years as a teacher. I loved, and hated, my job. The kids, I loved. Their families, I loved. My fellow educators, I loved. The bureaucracy, and all that pulled me away from my students, I hated. (I worked in a very elite public school). One thing I know is that I impacted each child that I taught. They meant a lot to me and I paid close attention. They taught me and I taught them. We all supported each other and took risks together. They felt that I loved them, and their families felt it too!
The results:
Astonishing growth for each child in both academic and social benchmarks.
But that's not the important detail. That kept my principal happy; a natural consequence. 
The important thing is that I was able to listen to my own wisdom while I also listened carefully to each child. This was the magic. I listened to each child with full belief in their huge potential...they did not disappoint. I did not falter.

I know now, with my understanding of The Principles (mind, thought, and consciousness), just what kind of magic was taking place. I know that by putting all personal thinking and insecurities aside, and by trusting in the wisdom that they were all perfect and exceptional already, I was able to be at a very high level of consciousness with them. This was powerful, and remains among my favorite memories.

But still, I left teaching. I felt unhappy with the profession. I didn't understand how to translate my positive feelings in the classroom over to the meeting room, or to my endless hours of prep work. Again, the positive experience felt like a fluke. Undercurrents of hopelessness and helplessness crept in.

Fast-forward 10+ years, and I've learned so much about how my thinking creates my total experience. I realize now that it's not necessarily knowledge that helps you navigate with peace of mind, but it's the knowledge that You Are Navigating!
You are deciding which thoughts to pursue and which to dismiss. 
You are either helping yourself hear your own wisdom and intuition, or you're working hard to muffle it.
You are deciding, in all of this, what you will be aware of, and this changes your path...or at least how it looks.

I don't know if it's nicer to know that we all have this innately healthy guidance system within us, or if I'm more thrilled that I can understand it all now thanks to my understanding of Mind, Thought & Consciousness.