Have any of you Coaches ever had a client say anything like this….?
“Yes I can see how I’m creating my experience of life but those idiots really are ruining the country.”
“I realise that when I’m doing other stuff I don’t think about food but that’s just denying the issue.”
“I’d be fine if it was just my thinking but it’s not – she actually is a bitch.”
“If we don’t think about the things that cause us stress we’re just being a Pollyanna and ignoring the real world problems.”
These comments resonate with me because the big question I had when I started learning about the 3Ps was: is this just a way of denying the validity of the real problems of life?
Other questions crowded in:
Is it a cult that is training me to bypass my intellect and objective analysis?
Will I spend all my money on trainings, while I slide obliviously into bankruptcy and homelessness? (And if I don’t love living on the streets, that would just be my thinking, wouldn’t it?)
Am I being taught to ignore all the bad things in the world – poverty, violence, terrorism etc – and the bad things in my life – death, illness, bills – because they cause me stress when I think about them?
This felt terrifying if I am honest. Stress up until that point had been my navigating system. If it causes stress it is worth thinking and worrying about. Stress meant valid, important and urgent. Stress meant taking responsibility.
My fear was that if I just ignored the stressful thoughts that my life would fall apart because I would not be attending to the parts that need immediate attention. Would I just be burying my head in the sand and avoiding all personal and human issues? Would the end result be living in a supreme state of denial?
Now that I have completed the Super Coach training, this is what I see:
Firstly, and very importantly, from a very low, stressed state of mind I am either incapable of doing anything or all I do is replicate my thinking out into the world.
Something that made this clear to me was my experience after the birth of my son. I was exhausted and in pain for weeks. I spent many hours lying in my bed, feeding him, cuddling him to sleep. During this time I spent a lot of time on twitter and Facebook. I started to read twitter feeds from people protesting about violence to women. The more I read, the more fearful and angry I became, and I read even more. Each new person I followed led to following more people posting about this issue. My whole feed became stories of horrible violence.
What could I do with this overwhelming and shocking information? All I could do, it seemed, was to spread the word about this violence. I posted on Facebook and twitter. I retweeted. I signed petitions and shared that I had signed them. The more I read and the more I shared, the more powerless, overwhelmed and concerned I felt.
Anxious and stressed about violence, I was making sure that everyone who read my twitter feed or Facebook page could start their day with a mental image of violence against women. One minute they are eating their cornflakes and violence is not part of their lives and the next minute it is. Because of me.
What was the outcome of this? I certainly didn’t reduce violence. All it could possibly have achieved is more people living in fear, more women’s lives with a shadow of potential violence cast over them even though their lives were exactly the same as before. When I am coming from fear in a low state of mind, I spread fear.
What I see now is that in a high state of mind, I behave in a way that is non-violent. I speak and behave lovingly. People are safe with me. People who have been hurt or mistreated are safe with me. With a clear mind, I nurture my daughter’s own clear mind, helping her trust her wisdom and I provide space for my son to continue living in his gentle, respectful love of others. Those are peaceful, non-violent, specific acts and who knows what the subsequent impact will be on their friends and eventually their own families.
In this aware state of mind, I may well have an insight or idea to take this understanding outside my family, to help people live more and more from their own innate capacity for love and peacefulness. I can see how the clearer our minds become the more certain it is that we will do this with ever greater reach and impact as people like Michael, Mara, Aaron, Mark, Cathy and Elsie are doing (to name but a few).
I had a similar experience when the UK voted to exit the European Union. In deep anger and dismay about this future division, I deliberately separated myself through my actions and words from those who had voted to leave. I was furious with those people. My stress about a future division led to actual division in my life.
Not only that, but in my anxiety about the security of the economy, I cancelled the building work we had planned. My anxiety about a possible future (and therefore non-existent at this moment) downturn created a real-world, real-time loss of work for someone and who knows who else as a result.
When I came out of the panic and into a clearer state of mind, I could see that the leave voters were just people like me trying to do their best. I could have actual conversations with people who had voted differently…(!) In a low state of mind, angry at division, I spread division. In a clear state of mind, I connect and listen.
When I read of a terrorist attack, my stressful, fearful mind tells me to distrust others, particularly those with certain beliefs. I fear and even wish harm on another because of what they think. In a low state of mind, I am my own version of a terrorist.
In a clear state of mind, I can look at every person in my life and see where what I believe about them gets it the way of my unconditional love and acceptance. I can see through my thinking and put this right. This to me feels like the beginning of the end of terrorism. Right here, in this moment, in this house.
I have come to see that out of stressful thinking, I either don’t act at all because the whole thing is so frightening or I act and just recreate that fear, anger or stress in the world. Stressed about my finances, I don’t even open bank statements and bills. Stressed about illness, I avoid the Doctor or I self-diagnose myself to death via google. Stressed about my children, I can only see my doomsday nightmare of what they will become. When I see that thinking for what it is and I stop fearing my experience, there is nothing to resist and there are insights and nudges to follow. I pay my bills, I earn money, I live in health, I listen, I appreciate, I respond, I provide, I share.
The second aspect that has become clear to me and which leads on from this is that concepts such as sexism, violence, terrorism, homelessness, bankruptcy, divorce, death, illness, can only exist in what they mean to each of us at any point in time. They represent our individual fears, anxiety, associations and insecurities at that moment.
How I hold these things in my mind changes from one thought to the next. They are intangible and nebulous. Existing in my life when I think about them. Not existing when I don’t. In other words, there is nothing there to deny.
I might well feel compulsion to act out of the insecurity and stress of my thinking about these concepts but all I will achieve is more stress and insecurity. It is in the specific that I can get real. In the specific I can look at my life and see how the outer world reflects back to me my state of mind. As my mind clears I act on what it occurs to me to do without fear of any experience. It is only from the place of love, peace and connection that I am able to create abundance, health and joy for everyone around me.
Gandhi said, “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” and Martin Luther Kind said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
In a low state of mind, I am caught up in what I imagine and believe, in fear, anger, anxiety. There are no solutions to this state.
With a clear mind, in touch with our innate love, creativity, peace and connection, that is what we bring each moment to the real world, to the real people.
Denial has nothing to do with it.