Responding from a place of peace.

“Between the stimulus and the response there is a space, it is in that space that our freedom lies” – Viktor Frankl MD, Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor-

To me this quote from Viktor Frankl speaks of the space of wisdom and peace innate in all. When we operate from this space we realise we have a freedom to choose what we “think” about any circumstance we find ourselves in.

We have the choice to take things personally, scanning our minds for reasons as to why it is happening to us, or we can see it for what it is, life happening.

Knowing we can only ever feel what we are thinking in any given moment, means we are the creators of how we experience life. For example, if a person says something we perceive as hurtful, pausing for a few seconds allows us to drop into the space Victor speaks of, helping us to understand the words that have been spoken, do not have the power to hurt or offend us, it is only ever our interpretation of them and the meaning we put on them, that sets our brain into action, causing us to have a physiological reaction to them.

If we interpret the words as threatening and become defensive, our brain prepares us for the fight/freeze/flight response, by flooding our bodies with Adrenalin and Cortisol, while reducing other functions such as digestion, repair and growth, along with our decision making abilities and immune support. All of which is a welcome response if you are under physical threat and need extra resources to defend yourself.

However, what you will find most of the time is, when we perceive the words this way, we are most likely in a low mood, or the words said, trigger an insecurity or old hurt we are suppressing from childhood.

Being in awareness of what is truly happening in the moment, taking the time to look at their behaviour, discarding preconceived ideas, and considering what’s really going on, means we are less likely to overreact or say things in anger, which we usually regret later, creating a bigger problem to solve.

Instead, if we take a pause and keep our mind quiet, we can really hear what is being said, we can see that it is coming from a place of hurt in the other person, and that there is more going on beneath the surface than they let on.

Taking this deeper dive, being willing to look beyond your initial assumptions and interpretations about what’s going on, taking an attitude of curiosity rather than immediate judgment, asking yourself, “I wonder why they did that?” allows a space for compassion, keeps us in a more stable and balanced, psychological and physiological state, where we will most likely find and use a more peaceful way of dealing with the situation.

This may seem like an impossible task at first, but the more you begin to understand how you operate subconsciously, means you catch yourself in the process of this reaction quicker and quicker, rewriting years of conditioned behaviour until this more peaceful, helpful, reaction becomes your new subconscious conditioned behaviour.

Thanks for reading,

Angela

Namaste:  “I honour the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

Freedom

“I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.”

Eckhart Tolle

Having just returned from an amazing trip to Italy, I found myself reflecting on the changes I am seeing in my life since coming to see who I truly am. I realise that while most people who know me, might describe me as easy going, what they couldn’t see was, I was masking a deep fear of what the future could bring.

Having been through some very tough times in the past, I felt a strong need to protect my family from any more suffering. I believed if I could control and fix everything around us, I could keep us safe.

This was usually amplified when traveling on holidays, my stress levels would go through the roof, visualising worst case scenario’s, and packing accordingly. My husband and kids learned to leave me be on the day we were traveling as I checked and rechecked we had everything we could possibly need. It was only when we were sitting on the plane I could take a breath and relax, at least until we got to our destination.

Arriving at our hotel I had little rituals, while my husband and kids would be itching to get to the pool, I would need a little settling in time, wanting to get a feel for the place. While this might sound strange, I have always been very sensitive to energies around me, and can pick up if somewhere feels safe or not.

However what I’ve come to realise is, I had been living my life in hyper-vigilance mode, always watching out for any signs of trouble or possible danger in order to keep us safe, which doesn’t really make for a fun holiday.

This realisation came shortly after a coaching program with Michael Neill called “The effortless path to change” in which Michael described our most natural state of being as one of love, peace and contentedness, when we are in this natural state, beyond our conceptual mind, it brings feelings of bliss and a sense of being Home.

This hit me like a lightening bolt, as I remembered the many times I had felt this way in the past, and, not understanding this was our natural state of being, I spent years seeking and chasing this beautiful feeling, unaware it was sitting under the surface of all the over-thinking I was doing.

And so, fast forward two years, I have just had the most amazing holiday experience, overcoming long held fears of deep water, after a near drowning in Bali, I found myself on a speed boat crossing the beautiful Lake Garda, and while the familiar, worrying thoughts of all that could potentially go wrong entered my mind, I let them slip on by, no longer feeding my paranoia, instead letting the wind and sea spray wash over me as I gave my attention to the beautiful views along the distant shoreline we sailed past.

And, as we tied up to a buoy off the most beautiful shore line I have ever seen, I joined my kids in jumping off the back of the boat into the water, something I wouldn’t have had the courage to do with them in the past.

For full disclosure, when we first sped up out of the harbour, I gripped on very tightly to the seat back in front of me, which brought back a memory of another holiday in which we hired a jet ski, I was on the back and suddenly became so terrified of falling into the sea, that the next day the muscles in my arms were aching from holding on so tight. I realised if I didn’t loosen my grip on the boat, the same would happen again, as I let go and relaxed my body, I began to move easily with the flow of the boat.

In those moments I realised just how rigid I had been in my life, keeping a tight grip on everyone I loved, thinking it would keep us safe, instead I was holding us all back, missing out on the fluidity and flow of life. I knew I had made some changes and had begun to let go, but this holiday was proving just how far I had come.

In the past I had been completely limited by my fear of the “what if” thoughts that always seemed to invade my mind, instead of going with the flow of the endless opportunities life brings, I would over-analyse it, usually to the point of letting the opportunity slip by.

But not anymore, having completed my life coaching diploma last year, I set myself a challenge of living bravely, by saying yes to opportunities which felt right for me, no longer listening to the follow up insecure thoughts of whether I had made the right decision. I also strived to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, by doing things beyond my comfort zone, in the knowledge I am a magnificent being of love and light and no matter what life brings, I AM always okay.

As we made our way back to shore, I sat hands free, watching the sunlight sparkle across the water like diamonds, suddenly feeling a beautiful sense of being at one with everything, a feeling I am becoming very familiar with. I also saw clearly that I am no longer afraid of my thoughts, having finally broken free of the chains of the fearful, habitual thinking that had been keeping me from living and loving life to the full.

Thanks for reading.

Angela

Namaste- I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.

Our True Nature

“I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.”

Eckhart Tolle

Discovering the truth of our true nature, unleashed a passion and sense of purpose in me, I hadn’t felt for quite a while. It also unveiled to me, my infinite potential, which had been previously masked by my learning and limiting beliefs. I have also since gained a sense of freedom and relief in the knowledge I don’t have to believe, or give time to every thought I have.

Through this discovery I am now experiencing life in a more loving, carefree and compassionate way. Having had many spiritual experiences from a young age, I grew up conflicted with an inner knowing we are all one, while being taught we are separate. While at this young age I couldn’t fully understand or explain to others what I had experienced, science has since caught up, having discovered everything in the universe is made of the same energy.

Another realisation I’ve had since coming to understand how our mind works is, I previously believed my emotions were a reaction to outside circumstances, I used to spend a lot of time analysing why someone would behave badly towards me or imagining how I might resolve a situation that was causing me to worry.  On gaining the understanding that I can only ever feel the emotions of my thinking about the behaviour or circumstance, has led me to a whole new perspective of how life works.

This doesn’t mean I accept disrespectful behaviour, I trust I will handle it as needed in the moment, however, I no longer spend time trying to figure out why someone could act that way, knowing, as we all think differently, It would be an impossible task. I also realise now, the more thinking I give to it, will just keep me in uncomfortable feelings of anger, worry, or anxiety.

As I’ve come to see the magnificence of who we truly are, I treat myself and others in a more loving, gentle way. I am kinder to myself on the days my mood is low, especially so on mornings when I wake up and just want to put the cover over my head, finding it hard to muster up the energy to interact with the world.

Intead of worrying about why I feel that way and berating myself to get up, fearful it could lead to depression if I don’t fight through it, I now understand low moods are a normal part of the human experience and is my inner wisdom’s way of letting me know I’ve been overthinking life again.

This has been a major relief to me and has helped me to be more kind to myself during those low mood times.

Understanding my natural state of being is one of peace and there is nothing I need to “do” to get back there, simply knowing low moods are part of our experience of life, and that new thought will soon flow through my mind is enough to move me into a nicer feeling state.

Within this quieter space, my thinking becomes reflective,  naturally bringing more peaceful, creative and innovative thoughts to my mind, allowing me to see through the illusion of my worrisome thoughts, seeing them now for what they are, made up images, projected onto the screen (consciousness) of my mind.

Know that this is true for all, if you are interested in uncovering the true nature of who you really are, please contact me at angelamcevitt@hotmail.com

Thanks for reading,

 

Angela

 

Namaste- I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.

Synchronicity.

It was October 1994, while waiting to get the bus to work, I enviously watched workers climb the steps of an office building and wished I was going inside with them, rather than to the shop I managed. I had been unhappy in my job for a while and often thought about changing career, however, my fearful, insecure thinking, always led me to believe it would be too difficult to start over. In fact, I had become increasingly unhappy with other aspects of my life at that time too, I was in a five-year relationship which was going nowhere, and was living in a small bed-sit. In those moments I remembered l had read about the power of the Universe, it said something along the lines of ask for what you want and believe you can have it, I half laughed to myself as I put out as a challenge, that I pretty much wanted a new life.

A few weeks later while visiting a friend in Scotland, I admitted to her how unhappy I was feeling, explaining I felt trapped in my life and didn’t know what to do to change it. She suggested I leave Ireland, offering me a place to stay with her anytime I felt ready to start over. During the next couple of months I thought about it a lot, varying between fearful thinking around all the changes I would have to make and excitement about the possibilities those changes might bring. Thankfully, I decided to take a chance and do it. I told my boyfriend I was moving away, gave notice to my employer and landlord and set a date to move to Scotland. As it got closer I was excited at the prospect of starting a new life there, however, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit terrified too. As I lay in bed on my first night there, I was glad to have the music from my headphones drown out all the worrying thoughts that were going around in my head. Within a few days I began to settle in and managed to get a part-time job in a local bar, which was good fun and a great way of meeting people.

Soon after, I got a new job as a receptionist, which involved using a computer, as I had never used one before, I was sent on a training course and remember lighting up with excitement as I took to it really quickly. At the end of the training I knew I wanted to learn more and was looking forward to starting in my new role. Unfortunately, during my time with this company, I had my first experience of discrimination, while I had done very well in the interviews leading me to be offered the position, when It came time to meet the owner of the company, he made no secret of the fact he was unhappy I had got the job, taking every opportunity to make things difficult for me, eventually leading to me being let go with the reason given, “it would be more suited to a local girl”. What saddened me most was his own daughter was a student designer in Paris, I couldn’t help but wonder how he would have felt if someone was to treat her the way he treated me, I wasn’t brave enough to say this to him at the time and often wished I had.

While I did find another job, I couldn’t seem to settle and soon after decided to return home to Ireland. My parents had moved house during my time away, and I remember vividly, waking up in the back bedroom of this unfamiliar house the morning after my return, aware of the fact that what I had thought was a fresh start hadn’t worked out, and at the age of 29 (old in those days😂) all I was left with was the suitcase of belongings sitting on the floor in front of me. Just as I felt myself dropping into despair at the picture my thoughts were creating, the sun suddenly began to shine through the bedroom window, I immediately felt my heart lift and fill with hope, a feeling I had experienced many times in my life. I had a growing awareness of how blessed I was, with my family, good health and a strong faith, all of which gave me the strength I needed to face an unknown future. In those moments I realised I was at a crossroads, I could get a job back in retail as before, or, as I had enjoyed my time working with computers I could do a course to build on that experience, which is what I did.

I won’t lie by saying it was an easy choice, I knew I would have very little money and no guarantee of a job with such little experience, but I was determined not to waste this opportunity for change. As part of the course you needed to do a three-month work placement, which you had to organise yourself. I had become friendly with a lady on the course, who suggested her husband might be able to arrange an interview with his company, which he did. As I arrived for my interview, I was blown away to find myself walking up the steps of the same office building I had been looking at one year previously, I was buzzing with excitement as I looked towards the bus stop I had been standing at, remembering the challenge I had set and thinking of all the synchronicities that had taken place to lead me there, once I took that first step to change. In that moment I had no doubt that this was not just a coincidence.

I am delighted to say I got the placement, which led to permanent employment and my life to change in ways I could never have imagined. As I progressed in my new career, I met many wonderful people who are still great friends today, and, best of all, I met my wonderful husband and went on to have two amazing children. Growing up, I believed our lives were planned out for us, and we had to follow a predestined path, now, I truly believe we can create whatever we wish to experience in our lives, we just need to decide what that is and go for it. Instead of sitting back and letting life happen to you, let go of your fearful thinking, in the knowledge no decision is wrong, it is all experience, which helps us to figure out what we don’t want in our lives, bringing us closer to what we do want, to that which makes us feel truly alive.

Also know, we all have innate Divine intelligence, which will help guide us to the life we want, if we allow it. Learning to trust your instincts, listening to your innate wisdom and being brave enough to take the path you feel most drawn to, can lead you to creating the life you have always dreamed of. I will be forever grateful to my friend Debbie for encouraging me in taking those first brave steps on my most profound, life changing journey. And now 23 years later as I find myself at a new crossroads in my impending career as a Life Coach, I am filled with wonder as my life continues to unfold.

Thanks for reading,

Angela

Namaste – I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.

Resilience

“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world“ – Sydney Banks

While there are many words to describe resilience, such as spirit, strength, toughness, buoyancy, no one truly understands just how many of these traits they have until disaster strikes.

For me it was 11 years ago today, I received the worst possible phone call from my Dad to say the police had called to their house, telling them my brother had been taken to hospital and was in critical condition. I’m sure you can imagine the feelings of panic and fear that came with those words. As I drove to the hospital, I prayed to God he would be in a more stable condition with hope of recovery by the time I got there.

However, I knew as soon as I saw my husband, who had arrived before me, the news was bad, in fact it was the worst, my brother had died before any of us had got to him.

It was devastating to watch, as more family members arrived to be told the same news, but worst of all, it was heart-breaking to watch my mum trying to deal with the shock and realisation that her youngest child was dead. Up to this point none of us had been allowed to see him as he had to be officially identified. As the oldest and wanting to protect my Mum, I agreed to do it.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen this same scene played out in a movie or TV drama, each time I would feel the pain of the emotions evoked by my thoughts in those moments, bringing me to tears, as I imagined how I might react if I ever had to do this, and now here I was, facing it for real.

The reason I am sharing this is, no matter how many times I had imagined how this might play out, I had never allowed for the resilience and intelligence of our mind and body in the moment, I was too numb from shock to feel or do anything other than confirm, that yes, this was my brother. I can only describe myself as being on auto-pilot.

Looking back I am still surprised to realise, I had suffered more in my thoughts of having to ever do this, than the reality, something I had done many times throughout my life.

Later that night as we all sat around my parents kitchen table, a place which held many great memories of fun and laughter, at the many family gatherings held there in the past. However, this time we were too shocked, numb, and trapped in our own thinking, to even speak.

In my mind I worried if we would ever laugh together again.

I vividly remember waking up the next morning, for the first second I somehow forgot what had happened, as the memory came rushing back, I hoped it had all just been a bad dream, my first words to my husband were “is it true?”

I could hear the anguish in his voice as he had to break the news to me again, that yes, it was true, my funny, handsome, fun-loving brother was dead.

And yet, in those painful moments, I knew he wasn’t “gone” and that I would be with him again, somehow.

The next few days can only be described as a blur. We arranged all that needed to be done and felt overwhelmed by the love and support given to us by family and friends.

It was heart-warming to hear just how loved he was by so many. And, to prove my thoughts wrong again, we laughed at some of the many great memories his friends shared of him. In the days after his funeral I found myself dealing with so many emotions I couldn’t sleep, I lay awake with too many thoughts and questions swirling around in my head, I wondered if I would ever have peace of mind again.

In those moments I realised just how exhausted I was. I had been living with an undercurrent of worry and fear for as long as I could remember, as the oldest of nine children, I naturally felt a responsibility for my younger siblings, but I now realised, since becoming a mum, 4 years earlier, I felt a vulnerability I was finding hard to deal with.

I was often terrified at the thought of something bad happening to my family. I was living in a wide range of emotions on a daily basis, mostly good ones to be fair, however they were always underlined by a sense of impending doom, I just couldn’t seem to shake from my thoughts.

I often found myself caught up in my thinking, visualising worst case scenarios, mostly involving my children, and worrying how I could protect them from all the perceived bad in the world.

I spent so much time wondering how I would cope, if anything bad were to happen, and now, here I was in the realisation that my worst fears had come to be.

The weird thing was, in the midst of it all, I felt a strength I didn’t know I had, I somehow knew I would be okay, I had an amazingly strong family who would help each other get through this tragedy.

I somehow knew we would find a way back from it. I had always had a strong faith in “God” and trusted I would be guided to the answers I needed, and, while eleven years of searching and learning might seem like a long time, as we reach another anniversary of my brother’s death, it suddenly feels like it was only yesterday, again the power of thought.

I understand now, part of the reason my journey of discovery took so long was because I had been searching for those answers outside of myself, reading books and completing many spiritual courses, and while I gained some insights which helped me to deal with some of my fears and worries, mostly by trying to control my negative thinking. It all felt like such hard work. I only seemed be able to maintain it for a short period of time, before finding myself back in a low state of mind.

I would berate myself for not being more positive about all the great things I had in my life, and seemed to be going round in circles, unable to maintain the peace of mind I instinctively knew, should be easier to attain.

Thankfully, I found the reason behind this was, I didn’t have an understanding of the fundamental nature of thought.

We have thousands of thoughts passing through our minds every day, lots are habitual, invoked by our senses, others just pop into our minds, seemingly out of nowhere, often leaving us a little shocked, surprised, or even embarrassed, at the idea of anyone else ever finding out what we think.

We often find ourselves lost in thought, which can be nice if they are happy, positive ones, however the more negative ones, can cause you a lot of unnecessary worry and stress, especially if you believe them to be true.

For example, if you have a lot of thinking around a person or situation you “feel” creates a problem for you, you can get stuck in your thinking around that for long periods of time, you try to think of ways to deal with the person or a solution for the problematic situation, causing you to feel the sensations of every emotion attached to those thoughts, be it fear, anger, regret, guilt, shame, etc. Each causing your body to release the stress hormones related to that thought, for example, if your thinking is fearful, cortisol and adrenalin are released for the fight or flight response, which is needed when you are in real danger. However the brain does not know the difference between real and imagined threat, plus research has shown elevated cortisol over a long-term can lead to illness.

Having spent many years living with the worry of all the what if’s and maybe’s that could potentially cause pain or hardship in my life, I have now come to understand, I am the creator of how I experience  life, while I can’t control what is happening around me, or in the future, I do have control over how I think/feel about it.

Like in the past, I can conjure up fear based, movie like stories in my mind of what “might” happen, how I ”might” react and how it ”might” effect me or my loved ones, or I can remind myself, there is no point suffering unnecessarily by trying to guess the future, instead trusting my inner wisdom will guide me through whatever I need to do, in any given moment.

And so, with special thanks to my brother Roy, I am about to embark on a new journey of becoming a Life Coach, in the hope I can point others to their innate resilience, wisdom, creativity and well-being, and to the understanding it is only insecure thinking keeping us from achieving our life goals.

Believe me when I say I know this from experience, I have talked myself out of so much over the years, questioning my abilities to achieve what I want in life.

But not anymore, at the age of 51 instead of believing my old, habitual, insecure thoughts when they sneak into my mind, I see them for what they are, transient energy that can only be shaped to look and feel real by my thinking.

Better than that, I have an unshakeable knowing, that we all have innate universal intelligence which will guide us in creating whatever we wish to experience in our lives and the resilience to deal with any situation we may be facing now or in our future.

Thanks for reading,

Angela

Namaste:  “I honour the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

 

The Three Principles

 

Mind is the universal intelligence behind life, Consciousness creates an awareness of what we call reality, and Thought is the power to create our moment to moment existence.” – Sydney Banks

 

There is no technique to understanding the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought as first articulated by Sydney Banks. They are a truth of how we experience life, and they are the reason no two people have the same view of the world. We may share similarities, but our thoughts are unique, add to that our intellect, culture, life experiences, learning and belief system.

Understanding these Principles comes from a feeling within, when you have an insight to them, it can vary from an “Aha” moment of, that is so true, why didn’t I think of it before, to an OMG moment of feeling like your heart is going to burst with love and excitement from the recognition of truth in what you have just come to see.

When you start to realise these truths, life just seems to become easier, knowing that you are connected to a higher power, a higher intelligence, a higher guidance, brings a sense of peace to your mind.

For me, understanding the principle of “Thought” instantly took away some of the limiting beliefs I had grown up to have. Realising my negative thoughts and low moods are “normal” and don’t need to be controlled, was so freeing. I knew I was blessed in so many ways, but I could never understand why my mood could get so low at times, as there was depression in my family, I worried it was genetic and could lead me to there.

I understand better now, that our most natural state of being is one of pure peace and love, the one we were in when we were born, the one we all have the capacity to come back to at any time.

Understanding we all have low moods, and it is only when we  get stuck in our thinking about it, ruminating over past hurts or the uncertainties of the future, or searching our intellect for a solution to a problem we think we have, is what keeps us trapped in a low state of mind.

Previously during low moods, I would have been quite harsh on myself for not being more positive and grateful for all the great things I have in my life, and, for getting so lost in a past hurt that I would actually feel the emotions all over again. Knowing what I do now, I am much kinder to myself when I get lost in my thinking during a low period, instead of berating myself now, I quieten my mind, letting my thinking settle, no longer trying to figure out the reason for my low mood, instead reminding myself it will pass,  and like a cork in water, my natural state of peace will soon rise to the  surface of my consciousness again.

Even though I am new to the understanding of the Three Principles, I had been living in consciousness of a Divine energy, known as “God” to me, and over the years have had many insights of knowing, there was more to life than what we can see. One of my first memories of this, was when I was 11 years old, our dog Lady, a beautiful long haired German Shepherd,  had just had nine pups, I was sitting with her in our shed where my Dad had fixed up an area for them. The pups were crawling all over each other, yelping and fighting for a space to feed from her. I remember feeling sorry for her, as she looked exhausted. I really wanted to help her with the pups but could see she was on high alert and instinctively protective of them. I sat as still as possible, just gently stroking her head, as I did this, I sensed her getting more and more relaxed. I slowly moved the pups around her, giving them more space while gently stroking them until they too quietened down. As I looked into Lady’s eyes, l was suddenly overcome by a feeling of deep connection between us, I could see the trust in her eyes, making my heart burst open with love for her and her pups. I felt a rushing sensation in my head and a ringing in my ears, and had such a strong feeling of what I can only describe as everything being perfect in that moment.

While I was too young to fully understand what was happening, I knew without doubt we were all a part of something much more than what I could see around me, I felt a sense of oneness I couldn’t quite comprehend. I sat for hours in  stillness, watching over Lady and her pups as they slept, soaking in the peacefulness of it all.

When you have a realisation like this, the description that comes to my mind now is, it is like holding a jackpot winning lottery scratch card, as you scratch the opaque covering, it crumbles away bit by bit so that what is hidden underneath is slowly revealed, the more you get to see of what is there, the more excited you begin to feel, your mind can suddenly see all the possibilities and potential available to you, as piece by piece you begin to get closer and closer to this life changing experience.

And so, if this speaks to somewhere inside of you, or leaves you with a curiosity to know more, follow where you are guided to look, know that, when you are open to it, you may be surprised where and how the knowing who you truly are comes to you.

Thanks for reading,

 Angela

Namaste:  “I honour the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

 

Thought vs Our Thinking

“If the only thing people learned, was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world” – Sydney Banks.

Being new to the understanding of the principle of thought, I had been pondering over the question, what is thought as opposed to thinking. In a moment of reflection I came to see our thinking as being the soundtrack to our thoughts.

Thoughts flow through our mind like photo images, all day long. We have conscious thoughts and subconscious ones. Often, they are triggered by our senses, things we see, smell or hear, which led me to the realisation, how we respond to our thoughts, is a lot like how we choose to listen to music, for example, we can listen to the radio not knowing what song will come up next (letting our thoughts flow), but understanding if we are tuned in to a certain frequency (our state of mind) it will play a certain kind of genre (positive or negative thoughts), or we can listen to a playlist we created, made up of  songs we like, (controlling our thoughts).

I also thought about, how hearing an old song can trigger a memory, bringing you right back into that moment, it can put you into a trance like state, seeing the past event vividly replaying out in your mind, you feel all of the emotions you felt back then, and depending on the memory, it can make your heart soar, bringing a smile to your face if it’s a happy one, or tighten your heart, even bringing you to tears, if it’s a sad one.

As our thoughts flow, we regularly zoom in on one, triggering our thinking around that thought, which will most likely be habitual thinking, made up from past experiences, our learning, and our belief system. This trigger effectively turns up the volume on our thought, adding a soundtrack to the movie like scenes which begin running through our mind, be they romantic, sad, uplifting, scary and so on, each of which cause us to have an emotional response, such as, love, joy, fear, grief, etc. In turn, releasing the chemical associated to those emotions, into our bodies.

This is how we are made to function as human beings, and if our thoughts and emotions are balanced and we see them as just being a part of how we experience life, rather than our reality, we will have good mental and physical well-being.

However, it’s when we get stuck in our negative thoughts and the emotions they bring, such as fear, anger, grief, regret or shame, believing our thinking to be true, we can soon start to see symptoms of illness showing up, for example, if we are fearful our brain releases chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline as part of the fight/flight response, which was essential in our cavemen/women days, however, as we’ve evolved, it is rare we face such dangerous situations. Our brain reacts to our thoughts whether the danger is real or perceived and continues to release these chemicals until the danger has passed, or our fearful thinking has settled.

An example of this came to mind, as I remembered back to when I first watched a scary movie, I couldn’t help reacting to the threats playing out in front of me and was terrified at times by what was happening in the movie, at certain points I would get such a fright my heart would nearly burst out of my chest, leaving me with an elevated heart rate and shaking until I could talk myself round to the fact it was only a movie.

While I can look back on this now and laugh at my innocence, it made me realise, we also have these same reactions to our thoughts. When we get caught up in fearful thinking, it can feel real to us and leaves us with fearful sensations in our bodies, and while the odd fright does us no harm, if we are doing this long-term we start to feel the ill effects of it in our bodies and minds.

I want to stress, having fearful thoughts and reactions is part of being human, in fact being fearful in certain circumstances can be exhilarating, exciting and fun, (think roller-coasters). It’s only when we get stuck in our thinking about them for prolonged periods of time, believing them to be our reality, they can become a problem.

I also remembered back to when I was 13 years old, my siblings and I watched a tv series called “Salem’s Lot”, it was based on a novel by Stephen King and was about vampires, it was the most terrifying thing we had ever seen, and we were hooked. I remember one particular scene left us cowering behind cushions. Once we settled down from the fright, we couldn’t help but laugh at each other’s reactions. At times the soundtrack would change to a more threatening tempo, signalling the arrival of another terrifying part, which inevitably would send one of us running to the television to switch it off (pre-remote control😊), until we thought the scary bit had passed, however we didn’t like missing out on what was happening and decided to try it with the sound turned down, as we watched it that way, we laughed about how silly it looked now without sound and how it was no longer frightening to us, we were amazed to discover something as simple as turning the sound off, could take away it’s ability to frighten us. We could see it for what it was, moving pictures on a screen, which to be honest,  made it kind of boring. This realisation made us brave enough to keep the sound up for longer periods, getting us to where we could watch it through, with no intervention needed.

And that’s all our thoughts are too, moving pictures flashing onto the screen of our consciousness, its only when we give them dialog by ruminating over them, that we make them into perceived real life, and if it’s the same scary or pessimistic talk, (your habitual thinking), you are giving your thoughts the ability to frighten or sabotage you, by simply lowering the volume on your thinking, gently quietening the chatter, you take that power away. This in turn, leaves space for inspiration to deal with whatever might be troubling you, or insight for a new way of understanding, or clarification to see your thoughts for what they are, formless energy, shaped to look real by your thinking.

Thanks for reading.

Angela

Namaste: “I honor the place in you in which the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

 

A time of unlearning

Mind is the universal intelligence behind life, Consciousness creates an awareness of what we call reality, and Thought is the power to create our moment to moment existence.” – Sydney Banks

At the age of fifty one I had my first introduction to the three principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, as articulated by Sydney Banks. He explained how these are fundamental truths of how we experience life. He also explained how, we all have innate well-being, with our most natural state being one of pure love, peace and light-heartedness Know that, this state of being is available to all, and, we have the capacity to return to this state, the one before our intellect, our experiences in life, our learning and our belief systems, which has been hidden by our over-thinking. We cover this natural state by ruminating over the past or worrying about our possible future.

I came to understand, if I wanted to get back to this natural state of peace, I needed to let go of my limiting beliefs, my habitual negative thinking, and to stop reacting so quickly to memory triggers, which often led me to assume the worst, while trying to guess the outcome or find a solution to, any perceived problem I had with someone or some situation.

Over the years I had been trying hard not to react to, or take offence from, some people’s bad behaviour. Now with my new understanding that only people who are hurting, hurt others, and reminding myself that in our thinking, we are all living in different perceptions of the world, with theirs most likely being a more frightening or troubling version than mine, has made it growingly easier for me to react in a more compassionate way, leading to nicer interactions with family, friends and even strangers throughout my day.

Over the years I have completed many holistic, spiritual growth  or self-improvement courses, along with reading many insight provoking books by authors from all around the world. A misunderstanding I was hearing a lot, was about controlling your thoughts, by using affirmations or changing negative thoughts to positive ones as quickly as possible, which I worked really hard to do, but could not sustain for long periods, leaving me to feel disappointed in myself and exhausted from the effort.

It was when I came across an on-line course called “The Path of Effortless Change” by Michael Neill, and his understandings of the three principles, that I realised I had been trying to achieve the impossible. He explained the principle of thought, describing how thoughts are transient energy, which come and go throughout our minds all day long, and how wet are not responsible for them.

It is only when we get stuck in our thinking about them, that they become movie like stories we believe and feel to be real, often causing us a lot of unnecessary worry. He went on to explain how, when we find ourselves stuck in our thinking, we can simply quieten our minds, allowing our thinking to settle and our thoughts to flow again.

While this sounded too easy to be true, within days of trying, I caught myself many times trapped in my thinking and he was right, as soon as I quietened my mind, the thought storms in my head settled, leaving me in a calmer more peaceful state of mind.

As I am gaining a better understanding of the principle of thought and the thinking it triggers in me, I now let my thoughts flow more freely, realising I no longer have to stay stuck in my thinking, trying to find solutions to any perceived problems I would have ruminated over in the past.

I have also found by quietening my thinking it allows space for a creative or clarifying insight to either resolve what’s bothering me or for the realisation that the problem is only in my thinking.

I’ve also come to know that like our thoughts, our moods change often too. I have come to understand that when I am in a low mood, I am more likely to have fear based, worrying and anxious thoughts. While before I would have reacted to them with negative self-talk, criticising and berating myself for not being more positive, or for not being grateful enough for all the good things in my life. getting caught up in insecure thinking, questioning my abilities, or a decision I had made while in a more positive mood, seeing it now as a bad idea, or putting made up obstacles in my way, maybe telling myself I’m not capable of doing it or that I would not see it through, all of which left me feeling even more insecure.

Now that I better understand the nature of the human experience, I realise our moods are a natural part of it too, I also understand that like thought, it’s not something I can control. Now, during these low times I am gentler on myself, knowing it will pass. I have become more aware of how something as simple as hearing a song I love on the radio, or coming across a funny clip on Facebook can lift my mood and while my external circumstances are still the same, they suddenly don’t seem anywhere near as troubling, the higher my mood gets. Any impending doom-like thoughts and feelings are soon replaced by better feeling ones, leading me back to my most natural state of well-being. I liken this to a cloudy summers day, understanding the sun is always there, and at any moment, the clouds will move on, allowing the sun to shine through again.

Thanks for reading,

Angela

Namaste– I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.