I was at the Three Principles Conference last week, and the most beautiful thing I took away from it was being reminded again just how simple and hopeful life is so I thought it would be useful this week to go back to basics.
I understand that it might not look that simple to you right now, so I am offering this as a glimmer of hope that it really can be, and as an insight into the cutting-edge psychological approach that I coach from.
I thought it might be beneficial to remind ourselves what exactly the Three Principles are that create our experience of life and so I am going to do my best to describe them to you, and what difference it makes knowing about them. I say do my best because words really can’t do them justice. They are the inter-dependent building blocks of life and it’s a bit like me trying to explain gravity to you!
Most other therapeutic/healing models that people turn to when they are in emotional pain, anxiety, depression, in a life transition, feeling stuck and needing help to change, like counselling, CBT, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, NLP, conventional coaching etc look at freeing up the thinking patterns that have been created, that look like they are causing the difficulties and then try to assist the client to change them. All these methods deal with thinking and attributes the cause of feelings to the outside world. They help people to manipulate their thoughts in order to help them create a better experience of their life. It takes work, learning tools and techniques and being vigilant that they are being implemented.
But as fellow coach Nicola Bird so beautifully said at the conference, these methods deal with the smoke- the Three Principles look towards the smoke machine!
The Three Principles behind life, (called Principles because like Gravity, they are working whether we know about them or not, and are universal to all beings) are Mind, Thought and Consciousness.
The Principle of Consciousness is the stage on which life plays out, the screen on which life appears and our ability to experience life.
The Principle of Thought is how we create our personal emotional experience of life; how we mould and shape life, our circumstances, the situations and the people we see, the meaning we give to them from our personal perspective and consequently, via the thoughts we activate, how we then feel about life and our relationship to it.
So, consciousness is the fact that we experience life and our personal thinking creates what and how we experience life.
The Principle of Mind is the intelligence behind all things. The intelligence that beats our heart, that pumps our blood, that grows our hair, that is constantly working in our favour in the background even when it really doesn’t feel like it; wisdom that is available to us as our mentor 100% of the time when we get quiet enough to attune to it.
When I begin 1:1 work with clients we begin with an intensive look at these Principles and how we are creating our life. We start from this understanding because from there everything changes.
There is a very simple equation- we think, (between 12-60k thoughts a day) we believe and pay attention to our thoughts and our feelings follow. Most of the time we have lost sight of who we really are and how amazing we are and believe the thoughts that create an experience of insecurity, anxiety and stuckness- mistakenly thinking that is who we are. We are living in the felt experience of the thoughts we have activated with our attention.
But here’s the important bit- just because a thought is in your head it does not mean it’s true. Thought is transient and intangible, it is smoke passing through the atmosphere, clouds passing through the sky. We are not our thoughts, or our behaviours, we are the space in which they arise, and we can get caught up in believing them or we can remain neutral to them. Thought has no information it just has limited perspective and it knows nothing about our ability or capabilities. It simply bridges the gap between the outside world and our internal experience of the outside world.
Once we have activated thought we create a corresponding feeling and although we have been conditioned to believe our feelings are coming from our circumstances, our job, the people around us, our future or our past that is simply not possible. It is all an internally generated picture show that we are believing in that moment to be true and living as if that’s the case.
And no matter how cloudy your sky is looking this morning, no matter how much thunder is rumbling around, the sun is still there. You may not be able to see it right now, but I can 100% assure you it hasn’t gone away, it is currently just covered up.
And no matter how difficult your experience of life is right now, no matter how many thought storms you are caught up in, joy, happiness, peace of mind- indeed a quiet mind, are ALL available to you, it hasn’t gone away and is currently just covered up.
The most wonderful part of the conference was being in a room of people who had fallen out of their thinking and fallen into a beautiful feeling.
To begin to illustrate this, imagine the following- You wake up, it’s Monday morning and you start to download your day- you begin to think about what you have to do, where you have to go. You begin to think about something a person said, how you were feeling yesterday and what the future is looking like-and thought gets activated. Your feelings start to arise, and if life is currently transitioning that might be feelings of dread, boredom, disappointment, confusion, self-criticism, fear, or sadness. From this place more thought arises, and you find yourself caught up in an experience……before you have even left your bed.
Or imagine this- You wake up, it’s Monday morning and you pause to appreciate you have woken up in a bed, with a nice pillow to lay your head on. You will have food in your tummy today and water to drink. You have everything you need, and you stop for a moment to give gratitude and thanks for that.
Which of those two days are going to turn out better? Which of those two days are going to be muddled, difficult, stressful and draining? Or which of those two days are going to be resourceful, have clarity and grant you access to your wisdom.
Now I am not saying this is a programme in positive thinking. It is a programme in the fact that you are thinking.
You are a thinking, feeling creature creating an experience called your life and all experience is okay because it is made of thought. And when you know that it is made of thought you also know it is no longer scary, limited, fixed or destined to always be the same.
And that gives us a huge amount of hope.
I am going to be inviting you to a really simple webinar in the next couple of weeks for people new to the Principles, where we will get back to basics.
Write to me and let me know what you heard, saw or felt in this, and what questions it has brought up. I am always happy to answer them ♥