No Really… (part one) (#953)

Over the past couple of months or so, I’ve been having a series of insights into the nature of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought that have been so mind-blowing to me I thought it might be time to write a sequel to The Inside-Out Revolution. The problem is that when I look at them more closely,I realize they are all insights I’ve had and even shared before. What’s different this time around is that I see them more clearly and at a deeper level.  So if I were to write a sequel right now, the only thing I could legitimately call it would be “No, Really…”

Over the next two weeks, I’d like to share a few of these insights and stories in hopes that they might catalyze some similar reflections and insights in you…

1. Turning mountains into molehills

When my wife first read The Inside-Out Revolution, she said that she really enjoyed it but it seemed to her to be a remarkably simple idea. When I asked her what that idea was, she said “Don’t turn molehills into mountains.”

Despite the fact that I thought I really grasped that concept (after all, I wrote the book), back in October I found myself buried under a mountain of work and both physically sick and mentally tired. I was aware that I was in no fit state to “climb the mountain”, so resigned myself to doing the minimum needed to keep things moving forward until my state of mind and body returned to their natural state of health and equilibrium. My body recovered after a couple of weeks, but I still sensed I wasn’t ready to really go for it so I left the mountain to its own devices and carried on with my “do the minimum” strategy for another week.

And then something interesting happened. On the Thursday of that week, my mood broke, my energy and zest for life returned, and I was ready to take on the world, starting with that mountain of work I’d been putting off for over three weeks.  But there was an unexpected problem with that plan: when I looked out at my life from a quiet, healthy place inside me, I couldn’t find the mountain.

There certainly were things to be done – a few calls to return and some emails to respond to – but the entire backlog was cleared over the weekend and it was like I’d never been away.

What I was left with was a genuine sense of amazement at the dramatic difference between how things looked from my low state of mind and how they looked when my innate resilience returned me to the surface. Even having glimpsed the inside-out, thought-created nature of reality again and again over the past seven years, the contrast between how the world looked on Wednesday night and how it looked on Thursday morning shocked me.

I was reminded of a line I first heard from my colleague and friend Dr. Aaron Turner:

“When your car is only running on two cylinders, every road feels like a hill.”

2. Like a rat in a maze

One of the most invisible products of the principle of Thought are the field of “givens” we attempt to navigate in our lives. For example, one of the most common questions people ask me is some variation on “How can I make more money in the new year?”

If that were all there was to the question, the creative force inside each one of us would instantly go to work providing so many answers that our only problem would be choosing our favorites from the menu. But the unspoken “givens” behind the question make things a bit more complicated than that:

“Given that…

  •  I’m not very good with people
  • The economy is terrible
  • I’ve no evidence that I can do it and plenty of evidence that I can’t
  • I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m being pushy
  • Money might be evil
  • I’m being selfish to even consider taking money out of other people’s pockets
  • If I was more spiritual, I wouldn’t even care about this

…how can I make more money in the new year?”

Notice the difference?

Before we even get to the actual question, we’ve put so many limitations and restrictions on our possible answers that we’re lucky if we get one or two ideas, let alone one or two ideas we like enough to follow through on.

So what can we do about this hidden maze of self-defeating thoughts?

Imagine you are a rat in a maze. You know from both rumor and experience that there is a lump of cheese waiting for you somewhere, and that the only way to get it is to run the maze successfully and in some cases, faster than any of the other rats. So you put all your resources into both learning strategies of successful maze running and developing your stamina and speed for the next raze.Over time, you begin to experience more and more success and although it’s wearing you down and negatively impacting your relationships, your slowly growing pile of cheddar fuels a renewed commitment to learning even more strategies and training even harder for the limited number of races you’ll be able to participate in the year ahead.Until… one day you wake up and realize that you’re only imagining that you’re a rat in a maze. From that moment forward, you’re once again free to tap into the infinite creative potential of the deeper mind and put your wisdom to work in the simple, uncontaminated pursuit of a simple, uncontaminated objective.

In other words, the way out of the rat race is neither to get better at racing nor to work on the self-esteem or confidence of the rat. It’s to allow your mind to clear, the system to reset, and the most inventive, creative part of yourself to go back to the drawing board. After all, anything is possible and everything is up for grabs – right up until the moment that you decide that it isn’t.

Next week, I’ll be sharing a couple more “insight catalysts”, including why I would have made a great spy and how the invisible power of thought is more potent and pervasive than you (or I) think. Until then, please post your comments and insights to the Inside-Out FB group and I’ll look forward to seeing what you’ve seen and hearing what you’ve heard!

With all my love,
Michael

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