A Quiet Mind: From Ah To Aha

A Quiet Mind: From Ah To Aha

A quiet mind – sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Noisy people, traffic, the electronic distractions of smartphones, headsets, computer screens, smart speakers, etc., added to your incessant inner chatter, make you long for peace and quiet.

Turns out, a quiet mind doesn’t just feel good – it’s good for you. The evidence is compelling. A restful state of mind reduces stress and anxiety, enhances brain function, promotes cardiac health, and improves your overall wellbeing. The research has been done primarily on reaching mental quiet through a technique or practice such as meditation or mindfulness. While these are very helpful strategies, what if you could find quiet without a technique or daily practice?

Rather than trying to coax an already busy mind into a quiet state, why not eliminate what un-quiets your mind in the first place?

A great deal of the thinking you do is unnecessary and unproductive. The reason for this is a pervasive misunderstanding about how your mind actually works. Your mind works only one way, crafting the reality you see from the inside – out. Only, it doesn’t look like it works this way.

It appears as if your stress, bother, upset, anxiety, frustration are coming from your circumstances, other people, your spouse/children, your boss, the traffic, the list goes on. Interestingly, you often attribute your positive feelings to external factors as well. But your mind can’t work this way. The only source of experience is your thinking in the moment. Without thought, there can be no experience. And there is nothing in the external world that can make you think about it in a certain way.

Something profound happens when you see the inside–out nature of reality for a fact. All the outside–in misunderstanding-thinking falls away. Why keep thinking something that is not true?

It is the outside–in illusion that robs you of your mental quiet.

When you realize in the moment what is happening inside your mind, your mind returns to quiet. We say returns to quiet because, in it’s most natural state, your mind is quiet, like a pond is quiet unless you disturb it.

Realizing something is different from knowing it intellectually. When realization or insight happens, you embody knowledge, allowing you to see life in an entirely new way. Sounds like a big deal, and it is. But your mind is designed to have insights, you have been having them your entire life.

To insightfully see in the moment, that your feelings and your experience is being created within your mind via thought, is an unconditional and immediate path to a quiet mind.

When Money Doesn’t Look Like Thought in the Moment

When Money Doesn’t Look Like Thought in the Moment

When I first started working with Paula, she was a multi-tasker who used to start out strong at the beginning of the day, but by lunch time her mind was a muddle.  After receiving coaching and gaining the benefits of understanding the intelligent design of the way our minds work, she was able to maintain her mental clarity throughout the day.  The result was that Paula took her company from a net 5% loss to a 29% profit in one year.

Now, however, Paula was in a situation that she didn’t know how to handle.  One of the factories that manufacture her clothing line had been shut down due to flooding.  Thousands of orders had to be put on hold. She didn’t have the cash flow to keep the company going until the problem got straightened out.

Paula was in a financial crisis that threatened the survival of her business.  She felt panicked, discouraged – even hopeless.  This happens to all of us at times – it’s not like you can control your reactions to challenges even when you understand the role that Thought plays in your experience.   When there’s a real crisis like this one, it can stop looking like our feelings are coming from thought.  But the mind always works the same way – no exceptions.

As we talked, it became apparent to Paula that, while the financial issues she was facing with her company were real, her thinking in the moment was still the only source of her feelings about the situation. She realized that her feelings of panic and stress fluctuated throughout the day, even though the crisis remained the same.  Paula even realized that she had moments of light heartedness, like when she was with her daughter, or had a positive encounter with someone at work. Nothing had changed about her financial crisis, and yet her feelings were completely different.  What had changed?  Her thinking in the moment.

As she remembered where her experience was actually coming from,  Paula calmed down.  She realized, once again, that if thought in the moment is really the only causal link to her feelings, her panic had to be thought-created, not crisis-created.   With her new found mental calm and well being, she began to have a trickle of common sense about how to handle the situation – she became responsive, rather than reactive.  She remembered that there was another factory that she had considered hiring to manufacture clothing as her business expanded.  She managed to get a short term contract with them to supply the clothes at a reduced rate until her financial crisis was resolved.  They were thrilled to have the business and Paula was able to meet her customer orders.  The unexpected bonus was that with this added factory she was able to expand her business ahead of her projected time schedule,  and increase revenues by an additional 23%!

What brought about the turning point?  “Remembering that even my experience of a financial crisis was being generated by thought in the moment,” Paula said.  “As my mind settled down, the creativity that I needed to meet the challenge emerged.  And then the challenge turned out to be an unexpected opportunity!”

Why a Busy Mind Is Not Productive

Why a Busy Mind Is Not Productive

It surprises me sometimes how many people think that in order to be productive you have to have a busy mind.  Most people know that a busy mind causes stress, and that stress is not only the leading cause of disease, but it leads to a loss of mental clarity.  In fact, research now shows that mental stress literally lowers your IQ.  How can you be productive when your IQ goes down and you lose your mental clarity?

While yoga and meditation help you let go of the mental habits that cause stress, most people find that the mental calm they experience from such activities only lasts a short while.

The good news is that there is a way to achieve and sustain mental presence without the use of techniques.  I teach individuals, couples and leaders about a new paradigm that removes a fundamental misunderstanding about how the mind works.  Incredibly, the simple removal of this misunderstanding is allowing countless people around the globe begin to lead lives from a state of mental presence that is sustainable.

Mental presence is the antidote to stress.  As a leader, it allows you to connect better with your teams and workforce, create trust, communicate effectively, and have high functioning teams.  It gives you the mental clarity you need to get good ideas and insights to evolve your business.  And all the energy that gets freed up from not coping with ongoing stress is energy you can use to be productive.

The Value of Quiet

The Value of Quiet

As we enter the time of increasing darkness, I think of the value of quiet. Since being introduced to the Three Principles, I have found on a number of occasions, when something unexpected happened that was overwhelming or (temporarily) frightening, a voice in my head saying loudly and clearly, ‘Time to get quiet.’

When the mind starts to rush and thoughts fly everywhere, your wisdom will often step in to remind you that there’s an eye in the center of that storm. When you look there, the noise of too much thinking will usually settle down. This returns you to a sense of faith and connection to a wisdom beyond what your mind can find through its frenetic searching. There, right in the center of us, is the answer we seek. In that quiet it reveals itself.

May you find your own wisdom in the months that lie ahead.

What is a Leadership State of Mind?

What is a Leadership State of Mind?

A woman leader who I’m working with asked me recently to describe to her why a responsive, rather than reactive, state of mind is essential for leadership. I have many examples of how leaders have blown it with colleagues, at team meetings and with direct reports by becoming reactive rather than responsive. But what came to mind when she asked me about it was an experience I had from 2004-2008, working with a team at a very large manufacturing company.

This company had been struggling for a number of years, and was running very much in the red, due to high cost of poor quality and high company turnover. Before the introduction of our trainings, leadership behavior was characterized as harsh, arrogant, and frenzied, and those behaviors had become accepted as the norm. The more leaders treated people this way, the more insecure they became, which lead to even more mistakes and more people leaving the company.

We taught the leadership teams how state of mind drives performance. As they began to see the link between thought and experience, they realized that when they were upset or angry, it wasn’t coming from the performance of colleagues and direct reports, or from loss of profits, it was coming from their own thinking in the moment about company issues. As they settled down and became more secure, so did the people who worked for them, and the morale of the company improved significantly. Leadership began to get good ideas about how to empower their teams. During the period when this approach was used, sales and profit increased almost every year. Every year the performance targets for sales were increased and every year they were exceeded. *

Understanding the link between thought and experience allows you to see the direct connection between your state of mind and your performance. It’s a predictor of success both at home and in the workplace.

How the Single Paradigm Impacts Leadership Effectiveness

How the Single Paradigm Impacts Leadership Effectiveness

I’ve been coaching two sisters who have started their own business, helping the elderly stay in their homes. When we started, they described their lives as hectic and stressed. After learning about the Single Paradigm, they began to see big changes in themselves and in their business. “We were working seven days a week, sometimes 12 hour days. We were hiring caregivers and doing some of the home-care ourselves. We were in a state of constant stress. We over-analyzed and worried about every decision we had to make. We were on automatic pilot, and it felt like we were headed for a crash.

“When we learned about the Single Paradigm so much unnecessary thinking fell away. It was almost spooky at first to experience that mental quiet. But then so many benefits followed. We no longer over think things. When we had to fire a caregiver recently, we were able to do so easily and with grace, instead of agonizing over it as we would have in the past. And we were able to talk with her in a way that seemed to bring out the best in her – she owned up to what she’d done and we parted on good terms.

“Our business is growing so quickly now our main challenge is keeping up with all the growth. We’re starting to meet our financial goals. And the best part is, we’re having fun doing it!

When unnecessary thinking gets subtracted from your day-to-day, moment-by moment experience of life, it frees your mind to work as nature intended – with mental clarity, and the capacity to respond well to work and life challenges. It’s all so much easier when you have a clear mind.