For me, my busy mind and quick thinking were the things I was proud of – after all they’d got me everything I’d achieved so far in life, right?
They were my asset – the difference that meant I could succeed where slower people struggled to achieve their goals.
But when I started my exploration into the Three Princples , George Pransky (who was facilitating the first training I invested in) told me that he wouldn’t let me on the training unless I listened to his ‘busy mind’ audio. (Highly recommended for the busy-minded among you, you know who you are!)
And I realized I had got it all backwards.
That my busy mind was hindering me and holding me back.
Week after week I’d come to my coaching calls with my mentor, Michael Neill, with a list of ‘Shall I do this? Shall I do that? How do I make better decisions about this thing? How do I handle this person better’.
And week after week the reply would be ‘All your questions are symptomatic of just one thing. You’ve just got a really busy mind’.
I kept hearing about all the amazing things that would happen when my mind settled down and my repeated question was: ‘I get it, but HOW?’
I tried sitting a room doing nothing for a day. Didn’t work for me, my mind just filled up even fuller with spinning thoughts.
I tried yoga. Which worked some days and then it didn’t.
I tried meditation. More thinking upon more thinking was my experience of that.
Totally frustrating. I felt like they were holding back on me – “JUST TELL ME HOW TO DO IT!!!”
And the answer would always be: ‘There’s nothing to do’.
Meanwhile I continued to stay in the conversation about how the Three Principles work, getting a deeper and deeper understanding of how our ‘equipment’ we use to do this thing called life actually works.
And all of a sudden, one day, I just felt it.
My friend saw me and said ‘you look tired’ and I felt almost every physical experience you would when feeling tired; speaking slower, thinking slower, moving slower and feeling almost slightly stoned is the best way I can describe it in words – but I felt just amazing.
Just for half a day.
(In fact I had also felt that feeling on the third day of an intensive with my mentor, Michael Neill, but had chalked it up to jetlag but it wasn’t until it happened again that I recognised it as such).
Then it was back to rushing around and shall I shan’t I-ing again.
Now after that little taster I was REALLY interested.
“How do I get that back again?” And off the quest began again.
I’ll stop reading Three Principles books and listening to audios. (More to come about the Three Principles next week).
I’ll only read Three Principles books and listen to those audios.
None of it helped.
And then, again, a couple of weeks ago, I spent three days with a totally empty head.
Not feeling amazing, but just quiet.
And it was such a relief.
And again, I recognized it as that connection to a deeper feeling.
How did I make that happen?
For the love of God, I wish I knew the formula!
I had had a pretty huge insight into the nature of thought a few days beforehand so my guess is that had something to do with it.
That insight released a huge amount of thinking I realised it no longer made sense to do, and when that dropped away I think what I got left with was space for the quiet to come through.
Again, I looked in this direction – that’s all I ‘did’.
And then yesterday we were in a small group where just one group member was having an incredible experience of the same thing for the first time and one by one, and ever so quickly, we just fell into that connection with him.
We looked at the problem we’d been tasked with discussing and it didn’t even make sense any more to any of us.
It just dissolved.
That feeling, that quiet, that connection to wisdom, that profound feeling of well being – that’s the space I want to live from, to make decisions from, to coach my clients from.
And how great to know it’s there all of the time, but for our thinking.
And if you ask me ‘how do you do it’ now, I will irritate you intensely by saying ‘there is nothing to do’.
It doesn’t depend on the layout of the room (I’ve experienced it on a hard wooden chair, sitting at my desk and in a warm cosy sofa).
It definitely doesn’t depend on the drawing skills of the facilitator. (See any flipchart produced by Michael).
It doesn’t depend on the training skills of the facilitator – I’ve experienced it on my own and also hanging out in the presence of someone who’s already there.
It doesn’t even depend on the length of time you’ve been in the conversation – For me it’s taken a year to finally ‘feel the feeling’ of quieting down in a way that I can recognize and now I know it in my bones, it seems to be here for me ever more readily.
But for the man in my group yesterday, it took just a few hours to feel it for the very first time.
All that I (and he) did was get a better understanding of the equipment we use to make sense of the world.
And this, THIS, is the biggest business asset I could have.
This shit really works 🙂
And there really is nothing to do.