‘Ah I get it! We create life through our thoughts. It’s not going to help me lose this though is it?’ (Grabs some belly fat). ‘I mean this is reality… I’m not just thinking this!… If only!’
‘Well I can see how it’s true that some things are experienced through thought but the rent is due on Friday and I don’t have the money. No amount of chat about thought is going to make that go away.’
‘Yes I see what you are saying that it is all inside out. Now could you give me a strategy of what to do if she criticises me again?’
The work I do is based on the fact that we can only experience the world and ourselves through Thought. Our thinking flows through our mind and our experience changes accordingly. As this realisation deepens we stop trying to fix things in ourselves and in the world and we look inwards to what is permanent, unchanging and reliable.
Often someone asks about earning more money or losing weight or fixing a relationship and whether this coaching will sort out the issues they have. My truthful answer is that as we explore what is real for them, these ‘issues’ disappear.
Because the truth is that there are no problems or issues out there.
And I don’t mean in the sense of ‘a problem is just an opportunity in disguise’. That is just a platitude that would have us sitting in a house, electricity cut off, saying ‘well its good for the character’ and then thinking we are ungrateful if we aren’t overjoyed to be eating cold soup in a freezing room.
I mean it in the sense that any problem is an illusion. 100% of the time. As is an opportunity.
I’ll pause for a moment while I (most of the time) and the entire world (except for those clear thinking souls among you) scream: ‘This is ridiculous! Irresponsible! Of course there are problems out there!! At least 99 of them.’
The thing is, there are no problems. And there are no opportunities. And as we realise this, the problems we think we have to solve and the opportunities we think we have to chase fall away and inspiration takes their place.
Let’s break it down into three steps.
- The problem
Our reality is a projection out of a state of mind.
From one state of mind to the next, the world is a great place or a difficult place.
People are there to help us or trip us up. Jobs are plentiful or we are living in a dystopian wasteland. We are gorgeous or we should wear a paper bag on our head. Doors are opening or they are banging shut in our face. We are successful or a walking disaster. And all variations in between, all changing from one moment to the next.
Any problem that we perceive is an illusion conjured up out of a state of mind that is looking for problems. We know this because when the state of mind changes, the problem is no longer there. As Garret Kramer says, “it often appears that personal problems, or issues, are the cause of mental anguish or strife. But, in truth, it works the opposite way: Personal problems are a symptom of mental anguish or strife.”
There are simple facts. Like our bank balance or our waist measurement, the divorce papers on the desk or a diagnosis.
And every single thing about those facts is held in Thought. There is nothing inherent in an amount of money or a measurement or a piece of paper or some words from a doctor which is either bad or good, a curse or a blessing, a disaster or a miracle.
Which is why one moment it looks like we are depressed, stressed, anxious, frantic and desperate about something. The next moment we are not. The problem exists in one moment in time, created out of a state of mind. Then the state of mind changes, thought flows through and bingo no problem.
From a low state of mind we see problems, which in order to be problems have to have no obvious solution. The problem and the lack of solution are inseparable. And both are imaginary. Our attention is fixed on a made up issue that by definition has no solution. Good luck with that one.
So what are we saying here exactly?
Are we saying just forget about the debt and the divorce and the illness and the awful boss? Blank it all out and live in some crazed, fixed-smile Pollyanna land? The eternal sunshine of the head in the sand? Resolutely ignore the diet and the rent until it is a toss up whether the heart attack or the debt collector’s dog gets us first?
This is the brilliance of the mind. The gift, that once we realise it, means the end to stress, anxiety. The end to problems.
The fluid nature of our thinking, the fact that problems appear and disappear from one moment to the next is the best reminder ever not to use any of that as our guide.
So what do we have instead to help us deal with the real world?
Ah. We have the most wonderful thing.
We have (what I like to call) the nudge.
As we lose the panic and the imagined consequence of the ‘problem’, as the ‘real’ world reveals itself as not entirely real, we start to listen more quietly to what is going on inside. That’s when we hear the nudge. And the greatest thing about the nudge is that it is 100% reliable.
The nudge is the quiet voice of our own inner GPS (to use Michael Neill’s brilliant expression). It is the knowing of what makes sense for us. It is nothing to do with what we ‘should’ do, or what is expected of us or what we can get away with. It is nothing to do with the panicked ‘I HAVE TO SOLVE THIS OR ELSE’. It is nothing to do with the stuff we are making up around the facts. It is nothing to do with trying to pin down an outcome.
This is where the universal meets the personal. The interface of truth and permanent to specific and momentary. Where formless comes into ‘real’ world form. Our life becomes both a sublime work of creative art and a simple, real path to follow.
It is everything to do with the wisest, most expansive, most grounded way for us to live our life.
When someone struggling to pay the rent is no longer fixed in the dazzling headlights of what they are imagining, they come into reality, into the facts of the situation. The reality will be a sum of money to pay and possible consequences of not paying it. And if they veer away from these simple facts into what they think about that sum (huge! I’ll never find it!) or about the consequences (we’ll be eaten by rats!) then the stressful feelings will tell them they are off-track.
Out of the glare of the headlights and away from the shrill shriek of panic, they will be actually able to hear the nudge. It might be saying ‘ask for help’. It might be ‘move house’. It might be ‘find a way to earn more’. Or ‘speak to the bank’. Or another simple, feasible, realistic prompt, perfectly attuned to that individual in that moment of time, from an infinite supply.
We never know what it will be. We just have to listen for it. It is always there. Always wise. We listen to the nudge. It make sense to us. It comes with a settled awareness of ‘this is the right way to go’ or ‘I’ll do this.’ And the acceptance of the nudge opens up a whole new transformed reality for us.
Because when we listen to the nudge, the wonderful kicks in.
We move from looking at the made up problem out there to looking within for guidance as to what makes sense for us to do right now. And when we look within we start to hover closer to the realisation that we are the creative power of the universe.
Remember how our reality is a projection of our state of mind? Well now that we are looking inside to where the state of mind originates, we have front row seats at the premiere of that amazing transition. We can grab our bucket of popcorn and watch a problem appear and disappear like a rabbit in a magician’s hat while we remain aware of the only permanent and true form: life and consciousness of life.
And because we are in life, our wisdom guides us according to the life we are living. If we are being nudged to pay the mortgage we create the way to pay it. If we are being nudged to find a sport we love or change what we eat we create the way for that to happen. If we are being nudged to move job or take someone to court or research a diagnosis or grieve a death we create the way for that to happen.
Our reality is no longer about drowning in bills or hating our body or avoiding a boss or seeing no life for ourselves without a loved one. How can it be when we know we are abundance itself, life itself, love itself?
There is no desperation or panic. We move with flow, ease and simple, peaceful inevitability. And because there is such freedom and because it all makes so much sense to us we are now living in curiosity and openness. Stuck in the ‘problem’, we were tight, anxious, defending. Now we are open to the wisdom pouring into us and to all that the wisdom unlocks in the world. We have conversations, we ask for help, we are open to suggestions, we find out more, we say what we want, we take time out, we cry, we laugh.
We get real.
We act from inspiration.