No Really… (part two) (#954)

Last week, I shared a couple of stories of insights into the inside-out nature of our personal realities that I’ve been having over the past few months. (If you missed part one, you can read it here.)

While each of these insights were fresh, they were also familiar – things I’d seen before but didn’t grasp the full implications of, leading me to conclude that the best I can do at times is to repeat the same insights I shared in The Inside-Out Revolution:

 

  • The mind works like a projector, not a camera
  • We’re living in the feeling of our thinking, not the feeling of the world
  • ‘Reality’ changes when viewed from different levels of understanding
  • We’re only ever one new thought away from a completely different experience of being alive

 

Only this time, I’ll add the words “No, really…”

Here’s another recent experience illustrating how even an “expert” like me can be completely sucked into the outside-in illusion:

I’m a big believer in coaching, and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money bringing in the best people in the field to support me in creating an impactful career and a happy, meaningful life.

So as I was coming through a difficult time in my business earlier this year, I turned to one of the coaches I had hired and asked him “how do ‘real people’ handle stuff like this?” After all, I thought to myself, if I was struggling this much with a relatively small company knowing what I know about the nature and power of mind, thought, and consciousness, how were “less enlightened” CEO’s and top performers coping with challenges that must be at least ten to a hundred times the size of mine?

When he answered “They cope variably,” I had a huge insight. I realized that the question I’d been asking was not a practical business question, along the lines of:

  • How do other business owners manage cash flow issues?
  • How do other business owners manage work flow issues?
  • How do other business owners manage customer service issues?
  • How do other business owners manage unpaid receivables?

What I’d actually been asking was:

“How do other business owners deal with the stress of running a business?”

In that moment, I had a full Homer Simpson “Doh!” insight. For months, I’d been thinking my understanding of the principles was helping me to cope with and mitigate the stress inherent in running a business. I had completely lost sight of the fact that there is no stress inherent in running a business.

To make sense of that statement, let me share the moment I came to see that I would have made a great spy…

For many years, I used to think that the absolute worst job in the world for me would have been “spy”. I am a comically bad liar, and the idea that I would have to make my living by lying and worse still, putting my life on the line to do so seemed to me to be the most stressful occupation imaginable.Until one day I was sitting on the deck outside of my office, enjoying the feeling of the sun on my face and basking in a sense of deep inner peace when a new thought occurred to me:

“What if I was a spy, but felt like this while I did it?”

The truth is, there is no inherent “feeling” to any job or job description. But for our thinking, being a spy is no more or less stressful than being a chartered accountant.

Our experience of life is 100% thought created, moment by moment and thought by thought.

I know this, not just intellectually but experientially. I have felt totally at ease on stage in front of thousands of people and was terrified asking my wife on our very first date. I have worked with investors responsible for hundreds of millions in assets, directors responsible for tens of millions in budgets, and CEO’s responsible for the welfare and utilization of thousands of employees. At times, they were freaked out by a misplaced comma in an email; at other times they were no more stressed by their work than a barista is pouring his hundredth cappuccino of the day.

This is the invisible power of thought in action. It makes mountains out of molehills, dramas out of deadlines and can create stress in the midst of a field of flowers in the middle of a sunny day. It can also turn crisis into opportunity, conflict into connection, and carve windows and doors into the edges of our world.  Simply put, thought is the creative force before the form of life; the missing link between the formless potential of Mind and the separate realities we all live and work inside of.

In the moment I saw that I had been trying to think my way out of problems that were made entirely out of Thought, I had that welcome feeling of release that so often accompanies an insight. I didn’t have to get better at mitigating my stress; I just needed to deepen my understanding of where stress comes from.

As I reflect on the year behind and look forward to the year ahead, it occurs to me that I can set no more lofty nor practical goal for myself – to go deeper in my own understanding of the principles behind the human experience and get better at spotting them in action in my life and all around me. As with all truths about life, there is nothing to do, but there is something to see – the principles in action in my life and in the world, moment by moment, day by day, and thought by invisible thought.

Please share your reflections and insights to the Inside-Out FB group and may the year ahead be filled with joy, peace, prosperity, and understanding!

With all my love,
Michael

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