Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Archive for the ‘Thought’ Category

I Am Who I Am: A Reflection On The 3 Principles

I woke up this morning with the thought “I am who I am” on my mind. A peculiar thought for me at 6AM in the morning. Intrigued I started reflecting what that might mean for me and everyone else for that matter. The bible tells us God said to Moses: “Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you”. ‘I AM’, no qualifier, not quantifier, just “I AM”. No more and no less. As if anything more would be limiting, taking away from, not doing justice to the speaker. And by doing so it can become everything.

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So, here I am who I am (we are who we are). Not what you think about me, not how people judge or put their cherished expectations on me, not even what I think about me and my cherished expectations of myself. I am not a sinner nor a saint, not a mother, a teacher, a therapist, a lover, a cook, a wife, a sister, a daughter, or a philosopher. I am much more than that! I am neither clever nor dumb, soft nor harsh, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, kind or malicious. I am all of that and none of that. That complexity is what makes us human beings so exciting as well as scary to be around. For the ‘Other’ we are what they see in us, but that’s not really who we are, it’s only the bit they recognize, the tiny bit that was revealed to them or they became aware of.

We are an expression of nature or in other words ‘the life force’ I like to call it MIND, others call it other things like ‘God’ that breathed life into us and gave us the power of THOUGHT, the ability to think and make sense of the world around us and within us. The third principle is CONSCIOUSNESS, our ability to become aware of and bring to life what we think.

Who AM I? Who are we? We are the sum-total of how we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness to come to an understanding of ourselves and our world. Everything that ever happened to us or around us, we interpreted and we came to conclusions what that meant about us and about the world. How safe is the world? How safe are people? Is Life benign or malignant? We all are a product of how well we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over our life span.

How I have used the 3 Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over time to make sense of my past and my world has made a difference when I hesitated to cross certain ‘bridges’, not trusting the bridge, the people, or myself. I am sure I missed many opportunities to create something positive that way. How I used the principles to make sense out of my world has at other times enabled me to cross bridges with verve that sometimes lead me to a ‘better’ place while at other times left me ‘stranded’. Like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ – it was a pleasant walk, a very pleasant walk, but it didn’t lead anywhere.

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I am who I am! Not how I have made sense of my past, or achievements, or disappointments. These are just thoughts. They are not reflecting reality, they reflect my current thinking of a certain time. My past was my past. It really happened. But how and what I think about it has been changing over the years many times depending on my state of mind. When we can see that our thoughts are just thoughts, not reality based evaluations about us or the world but fluctuating all the time, we become free. Then everything is possible, then “WE ARE WHO WE ARE – I AM WHO I AM.”

Am I at peace with myself? Yes and No. At times, when my mind wanders to pleasant moments, attached pleasant feelings flow through me and I am happy and at peace. When my mind wanders to moments of unmet needs, discord, or conflict, unpleasant feelings wash over me like a tidal wave. At those moments I am not at peace. If at those times I know that these moments are just echos from the past, unpleasant thoughts that I now remember and that cause unpleasant feelings, I can let them go and they become a passing thought, soon replaced by another, and then again by another, and inner peace is restored fairly quickly. If at those times I forget that my unpleasant feelings are just passing through thoughts of my past, if I give them a life of their own, let them into my house and cherish them for an hour, a day, or even longer, inner peace will take its sweet time to come to me, usually taking longer than I would prefer.

This will go on and on as long as we live. Nobody escapes this law of nature, these 3 Principles. However, what I do know is that when I am surrounded by people who respond in a caring, supportive, respectful, and loving way my thoughts usually wander into hopeful, uplifting realm of possibility and creativity. When surrounded by criticism, disinterest, or even disrespect, my thoughts wander more easily to negative and painful realms, awakening difficult and unpleasant feelings. At those times I need a lot of energy to hold on to ME and wall up against the negativity which leaves me with less room for creative life choices.

I am who I am – and life’s circumstances do not determine my well-being, but the way I think about these circumstances do. However, just like a fish is more alive and agile in clear, healthy water, so am I – so are we. It pays to check regularly the quality of the water we swim in to make sure we swim the best we possibly can.

Thoughts About canoeing on the Whanganui River

I am going on a canoe trip down the Whanganui river this coming weekend and I am really excited! Ever since we had a cottage in Taumarunui I have wanted to paddle down the river. There is something very special about this beautiful part of New Zealand. When you ask me where I lost my heart, I will answer without hesitation: “Taumarunui” – not Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Athens, or other places of ancient culture and great beauty. There is something untouched, old and raw, tranquil, unspoiled and scary about the Ruapehu district that touches something in me and makes me melt inside. (more…)

Think for Yourself

This morning I came across an article called “How energy vampires drain your spirit and soul” suggesting that negative, demanding, inconsiderate, and un-boundaried people drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and depleted. To protect yourself from such drain it is suggested that you limit contact, set boundaries – indeed the author came up with 11 ways to do so. The only thing missing was garlic.

Of course, like all vampire stories, the idea that a person can drain your energy isn’t true either – even though there may be a lot of people who believe that other people, circumstances or events can ‘DO’ something to you. However, human beings are just not built like that. Sorry! We don’t come with power sockets or USB ports that other people can – without our consent – plug into and upload or download files, feelings, thoughts, or for that matter energy. (Actually, in ‘the land of psychiatry’ the notion that someone can make you do things or gives you thoughts or feelings, is an indication of psychosis). Let me show you what I mean:

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Perception: How people create reality

The secret to effective and successful life-navigation lies in understanding how people create their experience. Only when we become aware how we and others create our experiences will we be able to understand ourselves and others. Why is that? It has to do with the way our brain functions. People are not like cameras that take a picture of a person or a situation and give back what can be seen. Whatever raw data we take in through our senses will always undergo thought processes of interpretation and meaning making through our filters such as our moods, past experiences, beliefs, or values, to name a few. Humans are unable to perceive reality for what it is. – Notice the white dots in the picture left changing? (more…)

Losing Your Confidence

This morning I heard in the NEWS a comment made by Keven Mealamu, the captain of the Blues, that he lost his confidence because of the poor start of the Rugby season with the Blues ending up in the bottom of the score board.

I find it fascinating how widespread the myth is that outside circumstances can influence what happens inside of a person’s mind. How terrifying it must be to think like that and find yourself at the mercy of people and circumstances no one can control. But it’s a mirage, it’s not true! (more…)

Love is Everywhere!

 

The subatomic particles
love each other so much
they form an atom,
which loves the other atoms
so much they get together
and form a molecule
which loves the other molecules
so much they bind together
and create matter
material reality
which is so attracted
to other matter
that it collaborates
and cooperates
and works together and creates
binding together
and life is born
and love amplifies
love animates
our very
existence
To not recognize
the overwhelming amount
of love present
in the world
around you
is to just be blind.

Wake up

Poem by – Eric Allen Bell
click the link to get to his website (more…)

Resolving the Past

Traditional psychotherapy approaches rest on tracing the origins of a person’s distressing feelings and investigating or processing what had happened, encouraging people to express sentiments they had been unable to express ‘back then’ and then analysing and understanding the damage. Looking at a person’s distressing feelings with an understanding of the principle of thought is very different and has implications for resolving one’s problems. The first thing to understand is that thought creates a perceptual reality that creates an illusion of what is really ‘out there’. One of my favourite quotes is by David Bohm, a physicist who said

“Thought creates the world and then says ‘I didn’t do it'”. (more…)

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