I’ve just wrapped up my Advanced Track training in Supercoach academy – a nine month program going deep into the understanding I share here at The Simplicity Project about how human beings work.
As part of the Advanced Track (which simply means I loved it so much the first time, I went back and did it again!), a part of what we were asked to reflect on this year was the spirit of ‘keeping it real’ in our understanding and sharing of the Principles.
So in the spirit of doing just that here goes…..
A few weeks ago, we came to the conclusion that putting three kids through private school was not what we wanted to focus the next ten years of our lives about.
With three kids, there are years coming up where my business would need to bring home £100,000 in profit consistently, year after year, in order to pay the fees.
Which was a great challenge when I was in “bigger, more, faster’ mode.
When I stuck a picture of some kids in a posh uniform up on my vision board and ‘went after what was important’.
When I thought that ‘working my fucking arse off’ was a thing to be proud of.
When I was into driving and striving and being the best and blah blah blah and thought it was important that my kids do all of the above too.
As I’ve settled down, all that shit looks so less compelling to me.
So we moved all the kids to our local schools.
THE hardest conversation I’ve ever had with them.
But, these things I knew:
Circumstances don’t impact on our well-being.
The kids would be fine no matter the school they were in.
Happiness is an inside-out job.
After all, this is what I teach every day.
Twenty four hours after telling them the news, the kids all bounced back in a way that astounded me – and simply became full of questions about what the toilets might be like and whether they were allowed their own pencil cases (the younger ones) and could you take a handbag and was there hockey? (the eldest)
Two weeks later they started at their new schools. Wobbly bottom lips from all of us on the first day, but bravely they all went off into the unknown and began their lives at their new schools.
Four days later, we moved our eldest back to her old school.
The environment she found herself in was so completely different to what she had been used to that she came home confused about the noise, the rowdiness and asking how she was supposed to learn anything.
Everyone had already made their friends the year before when they had all started together, so she didn’t have anyone looking out for her.
She’d done lots of the work already and was continually asking for more extension work.
She found out she would have to play rugby.
And she came home every night looking like a different child – sad, miserable and struggling.
It broke our hearts.
Circumstances were impacting her well-being.
She wasn’t doing fine.
Happiness didn’t look like an inside-out job.
Not for her, and not for us.
Her old school, her old friends and the ability to play hockey make her happy.
Her being happy makes me happy.
And this is the beauty of wisdom – we can’t out-run our grounding.
You can pretend to be all inside-out about life, but if you don’t see it, there’s nothing you can do to kid yourself.
If your thinking looks real to you, what you know to do as a result changes.
I could have ‘gone all 3P about it’ and kept repeating to myself: ‘Circumstances don’t impact on our well-being’ a hundred times a day, but it really didn’t look that way to me at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually think the new school was great and I have applied for my son to go there.
It just didn’t look like it suited her at this point in her life.
I saw that I had been trying to out-run my grounding.
So we knew to move her back.
It made her very happy indeed.
And that made me happy.
There, I said it.
Come get me, 3P police!
What IS true is this. There are places where we see the inside-out nature of our experience, and there are places where we don’t.
There are sometime we see it and sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes it looks like it totally matters what weight I am, what the number in my bank account says and where my kids go to school.
Sometimes I feel a sense of peace and well-being regardless of any of the above.
I also know that something that looks real and not made of thought at all (which school she goes to impacts on her well-being) can shift in a heartbeat and suddenly might not matter at all – as I see more deeply the true nature of thought and I’m up for that too.
Sometimes we see it and sometimes we don’t.
THAT is the biggest truth I see today, that’s true for every human being.
No matter how long you’ve been doing this work.
Thank God I don’t have to be perfect at that either.
There’s always less to do than you think.