3P and Me (My 3P Journey)
A series of short stories, explaining some of my journey with the Three Principles over the first 14 months.
- #1 - How to Tell People You're Crazy
- #2 - My First Insight
- #3 - What I Saw... A Lifetime of Insights...
- #4 - Was it Really Real?
- #5 - The Next Door Neighbours
- #6 - Coincidences
- #7 - Motivated to Do "Crazy"
- #8 - Feeling a Fraud (The State of Stupid)
- #9 - Is Laughter My Connection to the Divine?
- #10 - A
Year in Reflection - May 2013-2014
- #11 - What the Hell is Going On?
- #12 - Thought Storm 2.0
#1 - How to Tell People You're Crazy...
When I experienced my initial insight into the understanding of the Three Principles, it was "big". It was deeply profound and completely and totally unexpected... It just happened... Whoosh! There it was.
And despite its immediate
impact (a big life moment I would want to share), I realized I was going to have a problem explaining it. Not only would it require exposing the story of my lifelong insecurities, but it would require telling my family, and friends that I'd had a profound
spiritual awakening. This may be great dinner conversation if you're hanging out with Eckhart Tolle or the Dalai Lama, but for most everyone else I knew, it would be heading into "crazy territory", with very little frame of reference for them to relate to.
And so I figured that I'd hold off for a while before telling anyone... I'd try to wrap my head around it first, and then figure out how on Earth I was going to explain it.
After the first day however, I was just so elated
with feelings of joy and love and relief from my own suffering, that I just couldn't hold it in anymore... I needed to tell someone now! And so despite my reservations of "explaining crazy", I decided to tell my significant other.
I actually have no recollection of what I said or how I said it, or even what was his initial reaction. I do however remember his calm listening, some discussion, and his eventual nodding off to sleep when showing him the video that had sparked my insight
(to his credit, it was pretty late in the evening for someone who had been getting up at 3:30AM for work).
Amusingly, this initial discussion was a sign of the future discussions to come. Sharing my story with family and friends usually
included their calm listening, some curiosity, and then on to talking about the latest news. I was certainly relieved they weren't looking at me like I now had 3 heads, and I was relieved to find it relatively painless in the moment to share some of my insecurities.
However, I was continually perplexed that something so clear, and simple, and so profoundly significant for me, was no more impactful to them, than if I had been sharing the highlights of my latest vacation. Instead of being inspired by a new view of the complete
and total illusory nature of life, they were inspired to take a nap! :)
And so began (and continues) the challenge of conveying a spiritual understanding in an intellectual world... Trying to explain that I'm "crazy", and by the
way, everyone else is too.
The funny sarcastic little voice in my head says to me "Good luck with that!" LOL
PS... The experience of my initial insight and the three following days was very similar to this...
#2 - My First Insight
The experience of my first profound insight happened within about an hour after hearing about the Three Principles for the first time. A past work colleague mentioned the Pransky name in a blog, so I was curious to see who they were and what work
they did. After googling their name, I came across the Three Principles Movies site, and began watching a few of the video interviews talking about the Three Principles... first the ones with George Pransky, then Linda Pransky, then Roger Mills, then
one with Sydney Banks, and then eventually getting to the videos of Jack Pransky.
In the exact moment that Jack said "How can we take ourselves seriously in light of the fact that we're making it all up?",
I realized the immense truth of that statement. I realized that every single thing that the "little voice in my head" had been telling me throughout most of my life was completely made up, and therefore, not real.
of this were incredibly huge for me. I had spent years mentally beating myself up for all the things I believed I should have done, or shouldn't have done. I agonized over how I wasn't "enough" compared to the accomplishments of others. And along with all
the "shoulds" and "not enoughs", I was embarrassed for many of them, and fearful of being found out.
And so to realize that ALL this stuff was made up, and therefore that ALL my suffering was made up too, was incredibly liberating.
It felt as if a huge and heavy weight had been lifted off my shoulders. To suddenly realize that "not enough" was actually "not real", took ALL the pressure off of me, figuratively and literally.
And in that realization, it
all just seemed incredibly, ridiculously funny... That we're all makin' it up. That we're all living in the fabricated story of our own reality, with no idea that we're the actual author... To me it seemed like the ultimate hilarious cosmic joke.
So in the wake of that insight, over the next three days, I experienced extended periods of intense well being and "bliss"; a level of intense happiness I had never before experienced in my life. And, I began to experience insight after
insight. I could clearly see through the illusion of life, and as a result was so much less affected by it. It was as if I could watch everything happening around me as an invisible, dispassionate observer, seeing my life and the world from outside of myself.
There was an intense feeling of freedom and joy, and never-before-experienced feelings of universal love, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. And along with that, the marked absence of fears, worry, envy, and judgement of myself and others.
And it was so easy to feel this way, with the completely clear understanding of how everyone in the world was experiencing life in exactly the same way... innocently and unknowingly navigating through the personal and private world of
their own crazy made-up thinking.
We mistakenly believe that most of the people living with us and around us have (or should have) similar views and experiences of life, and therefore, equal understanding of right and wrong, good
and bad. Our common language gives us the the fallacy that we all perceive the same window, and the same house, and the same sky, and the same event... but in a world of infinite and invisible thought continually flowing through our minds, we can't even begin
to consider just how differently each of us really sees the world. "Of course we don't think or see the same thing that others do, how could we?!". From this perspective, the capacity for compassion, understanding, and forgiveness makes complete sense...
Well, at least it did for me.
I should point out that there were moments during these initial 3 days that weren't 100% unicorns and rainbows. I'd briefly get caught up in negative thought, but then be able to let it go, without conscious
Now of course, as with any wonderful experience, I wanted the high level of positive feeling to last forever. Unfortunately, it didn't. I'm apparently "human" and so I eventually came back down to earth, and went back
into my intellectual thinking.
The good news however is that I haven't lost the "memory" of this experience. It has fundamentally changed my thoughts of who I am. And although my appearance and actions have not changed significantly,
my view of the world has. And so now I get to wait patiently (and not so patiently) for the occasional new insight, a gradual letting-go of my ridiculously long held fears and insecurities, a renewed sense of hope and wonder, and the awareness of being part
of something much bigger.
And so the journey continues...
#3 - What I Saw... A Lifetime of Insights...
In the first few days, and within a few weeks after my initial insight, I "saw" (realized) all sorts of things I had never before felt or understood as true or obvious. Things that I had previously sensed as having some truth
to them, I now really "KNEW" to be true.
For example: In the past, when I heard things like "everyone is beautiful", I intellectually appreciated the idea of it being true, and even had some sense that in the
bigger picture of what's important in life, it probably was true. BUT... I still saw things and people as NOT beautiful, including myself. I couldn't look at any person and say to myself with honest feeling that "Wow, they really are beautiful", as I imagine
parents feel when they see their newborn child for the first time. And that's the difference. It's the move from intellectually "knowing" that "oh right, yah, everyone's beautiful, I get it" and instead "KNOWING"... "Wow, my God, I see it and feel it... Everyone
truly is beautiful".
And so that's how my insights came to me. I went from having an intellectual idea that these concepts were true to suddenly just KNOWING that wow, they were true.
And so, I thought I'd share the list of things I "saw", knowing full well that some of it may not make sense, and that this may just put me more into "crazy-town", according to some. But, I guess it ultimately doesn't matter, since my worry of being
perceived as "crazy" or "out there", is just simply my made-up insecure thoughts. Today I'm OK with it, but I can guarantee that sometime soon (and again and again), I'll keep regretting and being embarrassed that I shared this. So ridiculous, is this up and
down game of life! LOL
And so,here goes. This is what I saw, in the best way that I can explain, at least for today that is...
- Not only am I living in an illusion
of thought that I've innocently and unknowingly created, but everyone else is too
- With less thought on my mind, time slows down
- EVERYONE (and I mean EVERYONE!) suffers with insecurities, and these insecurities drive
most of our behaviours (both good and bad). Some are driven to achieve in order to overcome their insecurities. Some are driven toward inaction due to their insecurities. Some are driven to take drugs or alcohol or do activities to distract their minds away
from their insecurities (negative thinking). Many are driven by a combination of all of them.
- It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, or what happens TO me, or in the world around me, I will always be perfectly fine, even if I die. With
this understanding I realized that for the first time in my life, I now understood the true meaning of faith and hope.
- There is nothing wrong with me. There is no need, pressure, expectations, or obligation to be anything other than who
and what I am, because I am already perfect.
- We are all perfect. We are all the same... There is no one better than anyone else and no one worse than anyone else. We are all the same and we are all love.
- I felt an
incredibly simple, true, and profound love for everyone and everything. The love was impersonal and oddly detached, but it was all encompassing, unconditional, pure, and certain. There was no ego attached, and therefore no fear of loss of love or loss of life.
I could see that love was infinite and in everything.
- I realized that although I had had various experiences of love throughout my life, I had never understood what love really was until now.
- While out driving, we passed by a
bulletin board announcing the expected jackpot for the next lottery. I suddenly realized that if I won the lottery that it wouldn't make me happy, and that money had absolutely nothing to do with my true happiness. My happiness already existed within.
- While out driving, we passed by a man on a bicycle with plastic bags full of empty beer cans. I suddenly realized that he was not "less or worse" than me, and I was not "more or better" than him. We were equal. And he was perfect, and could be (or
already is) perfectly happy, despite his apparent disadvantaged circumstances. And I could be perfectly happy if my circumstances were the same.
- Anyone driven for success or fame or money or "stuff" (including myself), are driven primarily
by insecurities. Every time a goal is reached, the sense of achievement or pleasure doesn't last, and so there's an ongoing drive to continue to strive for more (even when the level of success and amount of money is insanely excessive compared to most others).
The drive is always focused on chasing after "things" (something out there), not realizing that the quest for satisfaction will never end. What we're all looking for is not "out there", it is already within.
- Oddly, I felt intense compassion
for the Wall Street bankers, realizing they are just innocently caught up in their thoughts/insecurities. If they saw what I saw, they would see through the illusion of the need for more, they would live much simpler lives, and they would be driven instead
by the understanding that they are already "enough". Their motivation would instead be love.
- There is beauty and perfection in apparent imperfection (whether people or things or circumstances)
- I saw moments of vibrating
energy in everything
- Everyone is beautiful... The terribly overweight person in the store, the weathered looking waitress...
- Our neighbours renting the house next door and dealing with drug addiction, alcoholism,
violence, domestic abuse, gang connections, suicide, and an extensive list of issues, were exactly the same as me. They were innocently and unknowingly suffering from their thoughts and doing the only things they knew how to do, to temporarily chase the thoughts
- Bad behaviour and crimes are not done by bad people. They are precipitated by the innocent occurrence of bad thought, and the innocent misunderstanding and misuse of that bad thought.
- The concept of eating
or gambling or watching TV or playing video games or surfing the net when depressed or anxious or agitated or bored, finally made complete sense to me. It takes one's mind away from thinking bad thoughts (it distracts us, even if only temporarily).
- I was suddenly finding myself cleaning my home in honour of those coming to visit, and NOT doing it because they would see the mess and think less of me
- I realized I could get rid of all of my self help books and programs. They
were now effectively useless since they were all giving steps and processes for changing the content of my thinking, without the key consideration that none of my thoughts are actually real. Understanding how I think and perceive my experience of life, versus
looking for solutions to what I think, is the ultimate solution to suffering.
- I realized I was likely going to be challenged in my job with delivering behaviour-change training that focused on steps and concepts and "things to do". Trying
to change thoughts and behaviour is not only not productive, but actually counter-productive.
- The reason for all the world's polarizing differences in opinions, and beliefs, and values, and the inability to
let those thoughts go, now makes complete sense. Everyone believes their thinking is real.
- An understanding of the Principles would end all suffering
- The Principles ARE everything
Literally, enough insights for a lifetime!
What's interesting now, is that during most of my waking moments, I am still often bound by my insecurities. Even though I know intellectually that my insecure
thoughts are not real, they still "feel" real in the moment, and so they drive my behaviour and my sense of self. At other times, the intellectual understanding is actually enough... I notice the insecure thoughts and let them go, even though they still "feel"
quite real. And at other rare times, I'm fortunate to be in an occasional state of grace, where the insights above (once again), "feel" completely clear and true and without question. And in those moments, I have no insecurities, I feel love, and I act with
love and without fear. As time passes I look forward to more frequently being in that space.
#4 - Was it Really Real?
When I experienced my insight into the Principles, it was clearly something I had never experienced before. And so, in the days and months following my insight, I looked for everything 3P that I could find... videos, websites, books, blogs. I
wanted to learn more about the understanding, I wanted to know what I could do to sustain the amazing state of well being, and I wanted to learn how to share it with others.
And despite the "real-ness" of my experience,
I also felt the need to confirm that I wasn't the only "crazy one" around. Were there others who had experienced this? Were there others who had seen everything I had seen? Was my experience really real? Was it valid? Was it solid? Could I count on it to continue?
Throughout my lifetime, I had heard plenty of stories about various forms of spiritual awakenings, but not with anyone I knew. And to be completely honest, as much I believed that some people had experienced "something", it was never really
anything I could relate to. I viewed the situations either with some healthy skepticism, or just as something I was never going to experience or understand... a part of the mysteries of the universe. And despite my background of growing up with the Anglican
Church, getting confirmed, teaching Sunday School, and once even giving the Sunday sermon as a young teenager, my adult experience of spirituality was primarily agnostic.
That being said, it's not that I lived without any sense
of wonder or a dream of the "impossible". I've always been fascinated by the infinite nature of our universe. I've always known there was much more to the world around me than I could possibly begin to imagine. I've always sensed that there was something significant
in the spiritual teachings of the oneness of everything. And in times of desperation, I certainly lived in some hope that there was something outside of me that I could rely on. And realistically, if I hadn't been "smacked up side the head", I probably would
have kept on existing with my confused mix of wonder, skepticism, and limited hope.
But since I did get "smacked", it was pretty difficult to trivialize or ignore, and it easily led me to wanting to learn more, cautiously (insecurely)
sharing my story, soaking up all the available resources, and eventually attending some 3P events and training.
It's February 2014 right now, and it has been nine months since my initial insight, and as I learn
more, and experience more validation for the insight, it continues to become more "real" for me. The intellectual/"personal" side of me is getting less insecure about the experience, and therefore more confident about what the "spiritual" side of me experienced.
But ultimately, no matter how my view changes as I continue with this journey, I will forever be seeing the world from the light of the new perspective.
#5 - The Next Door Neighbours
In early winter of 2013, my significant other and I began to observe the distressing activities of our newly arrived next door neighbours. We never really saw anyone officially move in... just an unusual stream of people going in and out of the
house, sometimes bringing small pieces of furniture, but mostly just carrying in the occasional load of motley bags and boxes.
People were arriving and leaving at all hours of the day and night, by foot, by bike,
by car, by van, and by taxi. Footsteps in the snow showed unusual movement all around the house, and there were frequent signs of trouble... drunks banging and yelling at the doors and windows, damage to the home, sidewalks never shovelled, no garbage ever
being put out, visits by the police and ambulance, and lots of other unusual behaviour that we couldn't make sense out of. With evidence that pointed to drugs, prostitution, and gang activity, we did some internet research on local gangs, which then made our
perception of the troublesome situation go from bad to worse.
Unsure of the level of threat to our safety, we went to the local police station to explain the situation and get their advice. When advising "our
instincts tell us the situation is not good", the officer told us we should trust our instincts, and gave us the contact for a police community service that assists with these types of issues. After several conversations to better understand what was going
on, and what we could expect, including the recommendation to "keep a bat at the back door", we realized we were neither equipped for, nor interested in, living in constant worry and fear.
We reluctantly decided
that we needed to move, and we needed to do it quickly, before the situation next door got worse, and potentially affected the value of our house. We went into action figuring out all the possible options for getting out as soon as possible... selling the
house, investigating storage options, determining financing, getting a real estate agent, looking at properties, planning for house repairs and home staging... All the hundreds of things that need to be considered when someone moves.
But nothing was going well... we weren't happy about the situation next door, we weren't happy about having to move, we weren't happy about selling and moving in winter, we weren't feeling good about selling the house to someone who would be unknowingly
subject to the same issues, we were conflicted over the choice of house or condo or apartment, we weren't having any luck finding anything we both agreed on, and eventually the pressure of everything just got to be more than we could handle.
We finally made the decision to cancel the move and see how the issues next door affected us over time. We figured we would wait for a year, then consider the decision to move if needed. This would mean accepting the potential loss in value of the
house as an unavoidable risk, but would give us more time to manage a move, and to do so in a better frame of mind.
This immediately took a huge load of pressure off of us.
Unfortunately, as expected, the situation next door continued to get worse as the spring weather arrived. The nightly party would start in the afternoon or evening, and continue until morning, often spilling out onto their front lawn and down the
street. The music would be blaring so ridiculously loud, that we could always hear it, and frequently feel the bass beat through the walls of our house. Every morning we'd check for beer cans and junk to be retrieved from our lawn and garden. And along with
others in the neighbourhood, we began to experience graffiti, broken glass, car break-ins, property damage, and even an event where I found myself choking from the overdraft of pepper spray. Over 3-4 months, we had to make multiple calls to the police, in
addition to two emergency calls to 911. The police would arrive, the situation would quiet down for a few hours or a day, and then start back up again.
And then in May 2013, I came across the Three Principles,
and everything changed.
Not only was I given a completely new perspective for my own lifelong insecurities and resulting depression, but I also saw the situation with our neighbours through completely new eyes.
They were no longer "lesser" human beings for whom I often had no respect and limited compassion... Instead, I realized that they were EXACTLY the same as me. They were human beings with insecure thoughts (like we all have) that they innocently and unknowingly
believed as real, and that they were just trying to mask in the only ways they knew how.
All of a sudden instead of fear and anger and frustration...
- I felt compassion for our neighbours
- I realized that my access to unlimited potential for new thought meant that I could look at each event next door in completely different ways
- I no longer lived in fear, realizing that my fears were not real, and that I would
be perfectly fine, no matter what happened
And fortunately, my significant other began to see all of this as well. For both of us, it was a completely life changing experience.
A couple of months later, our neighbours made the decision to move out, but in the meantime, we had a bit of time to learn about their lives and their suffering, as well as their sense of humour.
experienced a somewhat miraculous event, but I'll keep that for another story...
#6 - Coincidences
I have never really been one for the belief in miracles, or divine coincidences, or destiny, or karma... probably because I felt they weren't happening to me. LOL. Or maybe because I wasn't noticing them or believing them when they did.🙂 Either way, I also felt that many people's views of "personal miracles" tended to be terribly self-serving... They saw the good event as happening to them because they
were good or special, and bad events happening to others because they were bad.
My sense of "everyone just doing the best they could in each moment" didn't quite match up with that perspective, let alone the apparent
randomness and inequity in the distribution of good and bad. Life as far as I could see, was just life, and that personal circumstances were more "luck of the draw" than anything else, and that we really didn't have much control over our behaviours or the
outcome (despite, and possibly because of, my personal efforts at changing my own).
Since my insight, I don't necessarily see the circumstances of each person's life that much differently... The "luck of the draw"
still seems true in the sense that each moment brings infinite possibility of event or circumstance, and how we perceive each moment is based on the thoughts we end up hanging on to (from an infinite source of thought options).
That being said, my view of life now from a level of insight, tells me there is much more going on in the background than I can see or imagine. And besides that, I have felt brief moments where a defined path, or destiny, or divine coincidence seems
to ring true in some way (although not in relation to perceptions of good or bad). However, as quickly as I get some sense of what that means, the thoughts slip away. I have also wondered how "innate wisdom" fits in with all of this? I don't really know.
What I do know is that I am noticing more coincidences more often, and I am more likely to believe in the possibility of divine coincidences. However, I'm not sure if my change in perspective is because it's true, or because
I experienced my own "mini-miracle", or because it's just a consequence of now seeing life in a more positive, hopeful, and holistic way.
So here's some of the coincidences that made me think "Huh, that's interesting"...
There were a few things that kept me watching the 3P videos when I first came across them...
- I had spent the last three years in my job, focused on delivering training for a course that was based
on 3 fundamental principles
- The source of the Principles, Sydney Banks was a Scottish Canadian (my same heritage). It caught my attention because Canada isn't exactly known as the go-to place for famous mystics. LOL
- He lived on Salt Spring Island (which I had visited in 86, and loved, and thought I would like to go back to some day)
- The Principles movies kept appearing on the screen along with videos of Chris Hadfield (I had been following
the Canadian astronaut's adventure commanding the International Space Station and appreciating his ability to articulate the wonder, beauty, and fragility of the planet, along with how everything and everyone is connected)
And then there's the fact that I came across the Principles at the time that we were experiencing the incredibly stressful situation with our next door neighbours.
And in that regard, is the following
story of some more interesting coincidences...
When I first ordered some books online about the 3 Principles, I accidentally ordered two copies of The Missing Link by Sydney Banks. I have no idea how I did this,
because I'm usually very careful about reviewing my order before clicking the final purchase button. Once receiving my order, and realizing I had 2 copies, I didn't have any immediate thoughts about what to do with the second book, but an idea came to me shortly
Once discovering the Principles for myself, and seeing how it could end anyone's suffering, I made the decision to write a letter to our drug/alcohol-addicted next door neighbours, communicating my love,
my respect, my concern, and how the Principles that had helped me, could potentially help them.
Please note that this is just not something I would ever have done before... I am usually very far from sharing or
pushing my beliefs on others, I hate it when it's done to me, and my tendency has always been to avoid controversy or conflict. For example, I can't even send back a bad meal at a restaurant or return an unwanted item to a store for fear of the uncomfortable
conversation/situation. Rationally and logically I know it's absolutely ridiculous (like many other people's fears), but for some unknown reason, I have a deeply ingrained sense of palpable discomfort, that stops me from taking these actions.
So I wrote the letter, and although I still felt a great deal of discomfort, I put the letter in the neighbours' mailbox, along with the book, and a sticky note marking a passage that referred to Native Spirituality, which I thought they would relate
to with their Native heritage. I didn't have the courage to sign the letter, for fear of what could happen if it wasn't received in a positive way. My insight had clearly helped me take action in spite of some of my fears, but I was obviously still affected
by some others.
I then got up the courage to show a copy of the letter to my significant other, and to tell him what I had done. I didn't want to let him know initially because the letter was of an unusually spiritual
nature. It was very unlike me, and possibly sounding of the spiritual zealot variety. Since most of our families and friends have been somewhat limited in using the word "love", saying this to strangers would be right off the planet. And so, I was afraid how
he would take it, but somehow knew it was important not to try to hide what I had done.
Somewhat amusingly, although he was thankfully very calm in his response, he did mention his worry of my need to spread around
my new "evangelism". He made the joke about me wanting to hand out my Watchtower brochures to everyone in the neighbourhood. Fortunately, I took his fearful concern with the same humour and lightness in which it was delivered.
What happened next was the biggest coincidence, and somewhat of a minor miracle. On the day that the neighbours received the book and letter, and for the full day after, the house went completely quiet. No loud music or disturbing behaviours, and
in fact we overheard one individual on her cell phone in the front yard, saying that she was feeling really good, and having the best day in a long time.
And then... for the remaining few months that these neighbours
were with us, the disturbing behaviours were considerably reduced.
We never did find out exactly if/how the letter and book affected the lives of our neighbours, but the coincidental timing of the change, definitely
made divine coincidences something to consider.
Wouldn't it be nice if, even for a brief moment, they realized their worthiness, they gained access to their innate well being and wisdom, and they suffered just
a little bit less. Amen. 🙂
#7 - Motivated to Do "Crazy"
My life (from my own perspective) has never been about taking "big risks". The path that I followed seemed to mostly be the path of least resistance. If I was interested in achieving something that required facing a big fear, I didn't usually
choose to overcome it, I just avoided going in that direction. Ultimately, the fear ended up being more motivating than the desire. That being said, there were plenty of times when small fears needed to be faced in order to get wherever I wanted to go, or
just as a part of the necessary evils of life.
With an understanding of the Principles, it's clear that all fear, as with all thought, is just an illusion. And it's not that "bad" things don't happen, it's just
that I now know that how I perceive the potential risks, and how the risks make me feel, is all made up in my head.
So what happens when someone discovers that no fear is real? Well, if they are bound by a lot
of ridiculous fearful/insecure thinking, it can make life much easier. And that's definitely what has begun happening for me.
Now, it's not that I've lost all my fears, but here's how they appear to me now...
- Some fears have just gone completely away
- Some fears still pop up in my head, but I remember they're not real, and they quickly go away
- Some fears pop up, I remember they're
not real, and although they still hold a strong feeling, I find myself looking at them as an observer instead of the person experiencing them
- Some fears pop up, I remember they're not real, and although they still seem to hold a strong
feeling, I'm able to face them (something I wasn't able to do before)
- Some fears pop up, I remember they're not real, but they still seem to hold too strong of a feeling to ignore or overcome (so as in the past, I take the path of least
resistance in the moment)
- And of course there's likely some fears and insecurities that are still driving my behaviour without my realizing it
What's very nice to know is that over
time, as I deepen my understanding, and "personal" trust in how I perceive my fears and insecurities, they will continue to affect me less and less. And just thinking about that, already makes me feel less stress :)
being less concerned about fears and insecurities has made me more "motivated to do crazy"... doing things that I just wouldn't have done several months ago. So here's some examples:
- Shortly after my insight
into the Principles, I shared on the public blog of a colleague how I had previously lived with depression, and how profoundly I was affected by the insight (previously I would NEVER have shared news of my depression on a public blog)
wrote a thank you letter to the administrators of the 3P Movies site (people I didn't know), going into great detail about my story of depression and insecurities, and thanking them for their part in "saving me" from all of that
- I wrote
a letter to the new Canadian Minister of Health, sharing a bit of my personal story, and suggesting she looks at the research done on the Principles to consider them as part of the plans for the mental health programs in Canada. (I've never written a letter
to government... And I still sent it, despite having insecure thinking that because I wasn't working in the field of mental health, that the letter would sound like it was written by a fanatic. LOL)
- I shared some of my story of depression
on another blog that was open to a semi-public audience
- I started this procrastinationpublications.com site as a way to share my experience and the Principles with my family, friends, and colleagues (as part of the yearly Christmas Newsletter).
And if sharing with all of them wasn't scary enough, this site is open to anyone who has the link, so it's basically another public sharing of my insecurities.
- I attended the 3PGC Conference in Minneapolis in September, and the 3P School
on Salt Spring Island in November, and ended up sharing more of my stories there
- I invested a significant amount of money (and future time) in a coaching training program. I have wanted to do this for 2-3 years, but just never had the
nerve to do it before.
So that's just a few of the things I've done that I never would have done before... And it's possible that you may think these things are not crazy at all (that you wouldn't have
had any of these same types of fears), but believe me, these actions were at one time (and sometimes still) definitely "crazy"/unthinkable for me.
And what ultimately helps me deal with most of my fears, besides
the awareness that they are an illusion, is this one key insight... "It doesn't matter what I do or don't do, or what happens... I will be perfectly fine". It may not sound like much, but whenever seen as COMPLETELY TRUE WITH NO EXCEPTION, it's a life-changer.
#8 - Feeling a Fraud (The State of Stupid)
Sometimes I feel a bit of a fraud... Wanting to share the understanding of the Principles so that others can reduce their suffering, while I myself, although having had an incredibly impactful initial experience, still run into many moments, and days,
and sometimes several painful days in a row, where I'm completely caught up in the crap in my head. Even though I can always remember the profound insights and feelings of my initial revelation, I'm very good at doubting the truth of all of it when I'm in
"Oh this is all crap. I'll never be able to avoid my depression or look at it objectively. I'll always get stuck as I always have. The frequency and severity of my 'down moments' will never decrease. How can I share this with
others, when sometimes I don't even believe it myself? What do I think I'm doing? I'll never get out of this state."
When I'm in a funk, I conveniently label everything with "always" and "never", I conveniently forget all the changes
that have already happened, I conveniently forget the majority of the time when I'm feeling fine, and I have no patience for waiting for my automatic well-being re-set button to go into effect.
Of course, "feeling a fraud", is completely
made up, just like all the other thoughts. And when I'm back in a higher/wiser state, I can once again see things more clearly. I once again have a much higher level of trust in what I initially saw and felt, and I have much more awareness that life is already
better, and will continue in that direction. And I'm not talking about making more money, or losing weight, or having more things (those... wonderfully and miraculously... matter so much less to me now)... I'm just talking about more often being in this kind
and comfortable place of contentment, of living with an understanding of my humanness, of not being concerned about outcomes, of being able to relax into life and take it less seriously, and having the strong sense that I'll always be perfectly fine, no matter
And with kinder eyes for myself, I get to see the rest of the world with kinder eyes as well.
By the way, if you happen to catch me in "the state of stupid", perhaps you can remind me of what I already
know... and have somehow momentarily forgotten. LOL!
#9 - Is Laughter My Connection to the Divine?
All my life, I've found a lot of things funny, and I've been inspired to do things that made me laugh. I love to hang out with funny people, and love it even more when I can start something that has the potential for funny, and find others who are willing
to play along. And often, even the memories of funny stories have continued to strike me as "just as funny" whenever I have thought about them.
I got a job once as a Hostess Munchie (mascot for a potato chip company),
because I thought it would be funny. It turns out it's not so funny "being" a mascot, and I discovered that just thinking about being one is a lot funnier.
I've been kicked out of places for laughing too much (bothering the other
patrons), I've had friends wait for me outside the theatre after the movie is over (they were watching the same movie and recognized my laugh), and I've usually jumped at every opportunity for creative crazy... silly hats for every holiday, Loud Mouth pants
for curling, costumes for Hallowe'en, and whatever other convenient excuse and idea comes up... Although amusingly, it has often been much funnier to "think about and plan for these things" than participate in the actual event.
although I never realized it before, I think that in many ways, my sense of humour has always been what has made life "worthwhile" for me. No matter what ridiculous suffering I've put myself through, I've still had brief moments where something has struck
me as funny and laughed out loud.
So when I came to an understanding of the Three Principles, and realized that we're all living in the world of our own crazy made up thinking, the irony of it all just seemed so hilariously prophetic.
I had lived a life with all these incredibly grave and serious thoughts about weaknesses and bad habits that needed to be fixed... Only to discover that all of this was made up, and that my natural state at the core of my being was incredibly similar
to the joyous, uncontrollable, doubled-over state of hilarious laughter.
After all, anyone living in a complete world of illusion, in a reality that they've completely made up in their own mind, has just got to be crazy, right? And yet
that's what I am, and that's what everyone else is too... and most have absolutely no idea!
I guess that many of my friends and family had no idea that I lived in a world that was sometimes significantly different from the laughter
that would bubble up frequently during our conversations. And I think there may have been some significance to my laughter showing up more often when I was connecting with others, versus when alone. And I kind of think that in some way I have
been closer to my "sense of soul" when laughing. It makes sense that something so easy, and natural, and positive would have to be closer to the divine than to the mortal, right?
And yet, it's entirely possible that
laughter is just a thought, and what I've learned to believe as funny is just a habit of seeing funny, and that "thinking funny" is just a part of the made up illusion of who I think I am, and what I think I need to do. But even if that's true, I think
I'm perfectly OK with that thought. After all, I'm human, and since I still seem to spend a lot more time in my humanness, than in a state of grace, I might as well be laughing.
#10 - A Year in Reflection - May 2013-2014
It has been almost a year since my initial insight into the Principles. And so it's a great time to reflect and ask myself, "What has been happening? What have I learned? What stands out for me?".
Well, nothing has changed and yet
everything has changed.
My View of the World
My physical world (the form) has hardly changed, but HOW I VIEW THE WORLD (the formless) is significantly different, which funnily
enough, makes the physical world completely different as well.
My Level of Consciousness
I have unfortunately not been able to drop into the sustained state of unconditional
love experienced in the first few days of insight (and not for lack of trying, believe me LOL). However, I have had occasional moments of feeling much more love and gratitude than would have been typical for me in the past.
I feel a lot
less fears and insecurities, and a lot less judgement of myself and others. And, for the times when I can't seem to let go of those thoughts and feelings, I tend to be less critical of myself for thinking and feeling them.
My New Insights
I've picked up a few "medium-sized" new insights along the way...
- Not only do I have no control in what thoughts come to mind, but I also have no control in which thoughts I choose to hang
on to or let go of... another incredible relief
- During a recent argument with my spouse, it occurred to me that I could see it as part of the adventures of life, instead of spending time being miserable, angry, and frustrated, at both him and myself.
Hopefully I'll keep remembering that in the future. :)
- I've never really had the need to forgive others (since I'm usually much harder on myself), but I realized that in a state of unconditional love, that forgiveness is not even necessary
noticed how my mood in the moment is sometimes NOT from my thoughts in the moment, but from my thoughts sometime earlier (and often from a combination of thoughts I'm not even consciously aware of)
Over the last year I've probably
had thousands of little insights in the form of fresh perspective, where I've seen old things in new ways, and I've gradually deepened my understanding of the illusion of my human existence.
The biggest insight that continues to save me
pretty well every day is "no matter what happens, I'll always be perfectly fine".
My Understanding of Past Experiences
I've begun to see (remember) moments throughout my past
where my innate wisdom and well-being was continually (and unknowingly) showing up for me. One key thing being how humour and laughter has frequently showed up as my "saving grace".
I've begun to see all sorts of past events with a different
perspective. Many of the experiences, behaviours, and habits that I could never understand or overcome, are beginning to make so much more sense to me.
I've come to realize that I've been having insights frequently throughout my life...
They obviously haven't been as big for me as my initial 3P insight, but new thoughts/ideas/insights appeared all the time. I just never thought of them as insights... I saw them as what we do and how we think, without noticing their significance.
As an example, I've always found brainstorming for work, projects, and events incredibly easy, while noticing that many others seem to struggle with it. I've always seen and counted on the fact that I could think up something new with no limits, and that
creativity is a "process". I would often think up some ideas, then intentionally get my mind off of it for a while, knowing that other ideas would eventually come up. And if nothing new came up, that was OK, since at least I had something to start with...
But invariably, new ideas would always surface. How interesting that I hadn't realized how this could be used and relied upon in all areas of my life.
My Understanding of Others
So many other things in life make so much more sense to me now...
- Why people behave the way they do
- The dynamics of learning and insight in the classroom
- How participants get "ah hah" moments
- How creating a safe learning
environment has been helpful
- How ensuring to offer 2 days of training - with an overnight to allow time for reflection - has been helpful
- The dynamics of how insecurities drive behaviour and development, in life and in the workplace,
for myself and others
I've come to realize just how significantly different each person sees their world. Each of us lives in a COMPLETELY different reality, and none of us have even the teensiest inkling of what any other person
is truly seeing and feeling, no matter how well we think we know them.
The way that each person gains insights into the principles of the human experience is infinitely varied and variable. With access to infinite thought, infinite levels
of consciousness, and completely unique life experiences, our insights are as infinitely unique as we are.
What I Do Not See Yet
I still get caught up in negative thought a
lot, and although I know it's not real, I still sometimes struggle getting out of it. I can't yet look at most of my "bad" feelings as neutral, although I have done so on occasion, and they do tend to pass on faster.
I'm slowly learning
to lean into vulnerability, although exposing my craziness is still a continual game of ups and downs. I'm completely OK about sharing one day, and then horrified about it the next. I know it's all just unreal fears, but I live in the paradox of knowing my
fears aren't real while still feeling them, and trying to avoid them.
Perhaps some of my fears and insecurities still affect me because each individual fear is actually a whole set of unconscious fears that I haven't realized yet. Perhaps
they still affect me because it's a case of feeling fears out of habit. Perhaps they still affect me because it's as simple as feeling fears more due to my lower levels of consciousness in any given moment. And perhaps I'll begin to feel them less, as I continue
the journey of leaning into vulnerability, and seeing that I always make it through OK, so that the "human me" begins to believe and trust more of what the "spiritual me" already knows. But in the bigger picture, no matter what silly fears and insecurities
I continue to manifest, and which ones I choose to face or not, I will always be perfectly fine.
What More Could There Be?
Sometimes I have the thought (due to the simplicity
of the Principles), that I have seen all that I'm going to see. And yet there are other times I can see with confidence that I'll eventually get insights into situations that are still a bit of a struggle for me.
And then at other times the potential
for infinite thought and infinite levels of consciousness seems both tangible and miraculous and inspiring. How could I even begin to imagine what is yet to come?... Having had a glimpse of it, tells me that words are insufficient.
A year later there is still a lot of gratitude. Besides the relief and gratitude for feeling a lot less personal suffering, I am incredibly grateful for:
- All those who
have been sharing their understanding and experiences of the Principles with me
- All those who have been freely sharing a wealth of 3P resources
- All those who are along on this journey with me, occasionally willing to expose their soft underbelly/their
human-ness, ultimately making it easier for me to do the same
Again, words are insufficient.
#11 - What the Hell is Going On?!?
What the hell is going on?
It is June 2014, and for about 4 weeks now, I've been living a very pleasant life. I've been easily dismissing most unpleasant thoughts and feelings as they pop up, and I can't seem to remember any time
period of more than a few minutes of feeling yucky or stressed or anxious or whatever. Everything has seemed clearer and brighter.
So, what the hell is going on?
This is such a sharp contrast to just over a year ago
(and for many times throughout my life) when my personal suffering was so deep and palpable that I often couldn't remember any of the times of feeling good. Everything was clouded over.
So, what the hell is going on?
I don't know how long this particular period of ease is going to last, and in the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Whatever happens, I'll keep getting through it, and I'll keep managing to be perfectly fine.
And along with this
current ease, I am experiencing the oddest of sensations (well, at least the oddest for me)... I'm falling in love with people; the participants in my classes, the colleagues I work with, the group that I am studying coaching with, and even with the taxi driver
ranting about the injustices perpetrated by corrupt politicians. And so it's not just family and friends and those close to me, but with people I hardly know, and even with people who would be labelled as unpleasant to be around.
the hell is going on?!? <insert plenty of laughter about this pleasantly perplexing state here>.
With my initial insight into the Principles understanding, I saw and felt an impersonal yet profound love in everything and
for everyone, but this feeling had not as yet, "intruded" into my daily "human" experience. And so I'm very happy to welcome this particular intruder. Once again, I get to see and know (and more importantly, actually feel) the well-being that exists within
everyone, I get to see their amazing, miraculous, human-ness, and I get to see that "but for their thoughts in the moment", they would see that too.
So the truth is, I actually do know what the hell is going on, and that's an awfully nice
awareness to have, for however long it lasts. :)
#12 - Thought Storm 2.0
This July (2014), the company I've been employed at for 26 years, went through a structure change that affected my role. And for the first time in my career, I experienced a job change that translated to a demotion and pay decrease. The cherry on top
is that the new role actually includes a broader scope of responsibility. How lovely.
As a result, I got caught up in a series of insecure thoughts popping up repeatedly over a few weeks. Fortunately I was recognizing the thoughts reasonably
quickly, and was able to let most of them go somewhat effortlessly.
Throughout all these mini thought storms, I remained in a high enough level of awareness, that I could still feel the truth of my initial insight from over a year ago:
that my external circumstances (job, title, money, etc) were not responsible for my happiness. And I remembered the feeling that no matter what happened, I would always be perfectly fine. I was grateful that I had weathered this set of thought storms with
some grace, and that my understanding of the Principles was serving me well.
And then in the last few days, it somehow caught up with me. A couple of unexpected and disappointing events made the job change even less palatable, and combined
with some insecure reflection on the overall change, I put myself into the worst thought storm I've had in months. It's as though a bunch of hidden festering thought finally came into view. I got angry and frustrated, and I felt unappreciated, devalued, disrespected,
anonymous, and treated unfairly. And my judgement of the company and the division leadership went from tolerable to terrible.
And I couldn't get out of it. My thoughts continued to spiral, and I was losing confidence that my innate well
being would rebound. I was trying to reason myself out of the slump, but as I've apparently not yet learned, the resistance just made the thought storm get worse.
Now swirling in my head were thoughts of blaming, finger-pointing, judgment,
and imagined future work scenarios where I was doing only the minimum work required or I was intentionally holding back on my expertise. Intellectually I was aware that my negative experience was being made up entirely by me, but that doesn't always make the
thoughts and feelings go away. Instead, they just dug in and hunkered down.
Wow. That is the immense power of thought. Everything seems so incredibly believable.
Fortunately, I had a scheduled call
yesterday with my support coach for the coaching program that I am taking. And although we only briefly touched on my "thought storm 2.0" toward the end of the call, I felt a sense of relief. Just the ability to connect with someone in a state of calm and
understanding for the illusion of thought, allowed me to get back in touch with my innate well being.
I'm so grateful for the coaching intervention which allowed me to pop out of my delusional state, sooner rather than later. However,
even if I hadn't had the call, I would have eventually pulled out of it. I would have eventually got to a clearer, calmer state, with the latest thought storm as nothing more than the just another bout of silly self-induced suffering. That's the beauty of
having an understanding of how the experience of life really works.
It's interesting that while writing this post, I could feel my discomfort about the job change, rising to the surface. And so it gives me the strong sense that I'm not
completely free from my festering pestering thought on this particular subject. The crazy, uncontrollable thoughts could continue to innocently surface each time I inevitably get into a lower state.
But of course, I don't need to be concerned.
I may or may not be able to let go of each thought as it appears, but no matter what happens, I'll always be perfectly fine. And of course there's always the potential that just one new thought could completely change everything in an amazingly new and wonderful
way... Let's hope for that. :)
In the meantime, for this moment today, I'm seeing more clearly. I see this change as part of my path, I'm secure in the source of my happiness, I'm secure in my innate worthiness and well being, and I see
potential and opportunity in this new role, in a variety of new ways.
And so that's how life works. Who knows what adventure or state of up or down will greet me around the next corner?
An Awakening Experience
The following is not a 3P-based book, but it articulately shares the personal feelings and understandings gleaned from one person's near death experience. I relate to a lot of it and realized many of the same things through my own awakening experience,
so I thought it may be interesting for others.
"Dying to Be Me" - Anita Moorjani
May I wish you well on your own journey of self-discovery, wherever it takes you.
With Love and Laughter,