I’ve spent the Spring reading about happiness.
It’s probably my favourite ‘book’ thing, that and food, and children (or education),
My wee reading roll, started with ‘The Geography of Bliss‘ by foreign correspondent Eric Weiner – one grump’s search for the happiest places on earth.
Proceeded to, Gertrude Stein’s turquoise and sunshine yellow covered ‘Happiness Project‘.
I’ve got a third in the queue, ‘Difficult Conversations: How to discuss what matters most‘ by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen.
I will admit to pilfering both of these titles off three great women’s bookshelves – the things sitters get up to, ay!
This week i finished ‘The Inside Out Revolution:The only thing you need to know to change your life forever‘ by Michael Neill.
And i’d like to read (having being introduced to it through the above inside out text) George Pransky’s ‘A relationship handbook: a simple guide to satisfying relationships‘.
I found it ‘The Inside Out Revolution’ an easy and enjoyable read. Cliche but true = very readable.
And it possibly won’t mean a lot to someone who hasn’t read about ‘The 3 Principles‘ or ‘State of Mind’ or Sydney (Syd) Banks, but as a reference point and something to share with my husband, and this lovely Saturday night with my cup of Mayan Cocoa Spice Yogi Tea.
I may add to it too. Or perhaps you’d like to in the comments below with your most uplifting passages.
pg 116: ‘By way of contrast, allowing the energy of life to guide you is like allowing the wind to fill your sails and propel you forward. If you’ve ever had the feeling of something coming ‘through’ you instead of ‘from’ you, you know what the wind feels like. We experience it as inspiration, or flow, or being in the zone. We make more progress in a few hours of inspired action than we did in months of hard work and struggle. A friend of mine who spent many years as a priest before turning his hand to a different kind of spiritual teaching shared a similar analogy with me:
“No matter how hard a surfer works, the ocean is doing most of the heavy lifting.”
pg 115: Helpless <<<<<<<>>>>>>>Empowered<<<<<<<>>>>>>>Enlightened
Victim Creator Conduit
Fear Courage Insight
No choice Choice No choice
pg 109: ‘Our free will can hinder the course of inspiration, and when the favourable gale of God’s grace swells the sails of our soul, it is in our power to refuse consent and thereby hinder the effect of the wind’s favour;but when our spirit sails along and makes its voyage prosperously, it is not we who make the gale of inspiration blow for us, nor we who make our sails swell with it, nor we who give motion to the ship of our heart; but we simply receive the gale, consent to its motion and let our ship sail under it, not hindering it by our resistance – by St Francois de Sales.’
pg 108: ‘The moment we see that every feeling is just the shadow of a thought, we stop being scared of our feelings and just feel them.
We’re playing with the house’s money. There’s nothing real at stake. The only thing we have to lose it the illusion that something outside us can make us happy, safe and secure.
When you’re playing to play, being alive is the best game in town.
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself;it’s thinking of yourself less.
How things ultimately turn out isn’t up to us. It never was. But if we do our bit and play our part, it’s remarkable how far we can go.”
pg 98: ‘Because we think our happiness comes from getting what we want, we pursue our goals at the cost of our relationships, our health, and our spiritual well-being. When we get what we want and we’re still not happy, we assume the problem is that we’re still not doing enough, so we push even harder and end up even further away from the experience of happiness we actually want.
Because we think that our sadness comes from being on our own, we make ill-founded choices about the people we get into relationships with. Then, when we think our anger and frustration are coming from out partner, we try to change them or swap them for a different model instead of looking to Thought as the source of our experience.
Because we think that our fear is causally linked to certain life circumstances, we do everything we can to avoid and/or protect ourselves from those circumstances.’
pg 95: ‘The problem with advice is that until we regain our bearings, we can’t use it; once we regain our bearings, we don’t need it.’
pg 81: ‘When our mind is empty, it can be filled with insight from the natural intelligence that exists beyond our personal thinking. This natural intelligence is our innate wisdom.
When we listen without anything on our mind, we become receptive to a wisdom that comes from beyond the reach of our own experience.
There’s nothing we can do that will quieten the mind faster than doing nothing to quiet the mind.
The less we have on our mind, the better life gets.’
pg 80: ‘Let your mind be still,
for the wisdom you seek is like that
butterfly over yonder.
If you try to catch it with
it will simply fly away.
On the other hand, if you can still
someday, when you least expect it,
it will land in the palm of
your hand (by Syd Banks).’
pg 74: ‘…there’s a difference between having a meditation practice and being in a meditative state of mind. And when you recognise meditation as your natural state, there’s nothing you need to do to attain it. It’s not only right where you are sitting now; it’s the one who’s doing the sitting.’
pg 67: ‘Every one of us has innate mental health.
There’s nothing we need to do, be, have, get, change, practice, or learn in order to be happy, loving and whole.
Connection, presence, and well-being are a part of our ‘factory settings’.
The equivalent of our reset button is a deeper insight into the nature of the human experience.
There is an intelligence behind the system [Mind, thought, consciousness] and a kindess to the design.
When we let go of trying to control our thoughts, this pre-existing intelligence will lead us back toward our innate wisdom and well-being.’
pg 63: ‘…no healing is necessary after an unpleasant or insecure thought – you just wake up (to the fact of your thinking) and before long a new thought comes along and you have a new experience. While the new thought isn’t necessarily better than the old one, when we just allow thoughts to pass through us, the intelligence behind the system seems to move in the direction of deeper thoughts and greater mental health.’
pg 59: ‘We don’t need to create abundance, because abundance is already there. We don’t need to create love, well-being or happiness, because love, well-being and happiness are part of essential nature. We don’t need to learn to open our heart or connect with others, because that’s just what happens when we don’t stop it from happening.’
pg 52: ‘An insight is a new thought, containing information and wisdom outside our current knowledge.
Insight change our world.
Mind + New Thought + Consciousness = New Reality
When we give up on trying to control our experience, we find ourselves moving effortlessly into higher levels of consciousness.’
pg 40: ‘People think experience is coming at them from the outside in, but it’s actually coming through them from the inside out.
We’re living in the feeling of our thinking, not the feeling of the world.
‘Reality’ changes when viewed from different levels of understanding.
The more we understand where our experience is coming from, the less frightened we’ll be of that experience.
When our thoughts look real, we live in a world of suffering. When they look subjective, we live in a world of choice. When they look arbitrary, we live in a world of possibility. And when we see them as illusory, we wake up inside a world of dreams.’
pg 39: ‘Syd Banks used to say: “The world is a divine dream, suspended between the boundaries of time, space and matter.”
pg 34: ‘What i see is all made up. The world is what i think it is.’
pg 26: ‘Our experience of life can be understood via three fundamental principles: Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.
To put it another way, everything we experience in life is a function of three spiritual facts; we are alive, we are aware, and we think.
We’re only ever one new thought away from a completely different experience of being alive.’
pg 5: ‘We seem to have an innate desire to know ourselves at deeper and deeper levels. For most of us, this journey begins with an exploration of our own individual psychology. This kind of self-analysis can reveal an extraordinary amount of data and distinctions, as we discover we’re introverted or extroverted, have high or low self-esteem, and are more or less honest with ourselves than we’d hoped or feared.
But self-awareness can quickly turn into self-consciousness, as each new observation is coupled with judgement and an attempt to fix our ‘faults’ and improve our ‘virtues.’ before long, we become hopelessly entangles in a struggle against out own psyche, spending countless hours and endless effort trying to ‘become the person we think we ought to be.’
By way of contrast, when we look away from our own unique peccadilloes and consider the nature of the human experience, we discover a very interesting thing:that most of what we thought was wrong with us is simply a part of the human condition.
Everybody has moods. Everybody does things that seem like a good idea at the time and then regrets them later. Everybody fails at some things and succeeds at others, and the ratio is usually more a function of what they chose to attempt than any personal genius or lack of potential.
When we stop asking, “What’s true about me?” and begin asking, “What’s true about human beings in general?” we discover thing about our incredible capacity for resilience, creativity and hope. People are amazing – a fact that’s much easier to see when we aren’t looking at ‘them’ in some kind of judgmental comparison with “us”.
I recommend this book. I feel a lightness, a sense of trust and peace, having read it. I feel more relaxed and not so in a rush. I have noticed myself listening. Listening to, what i see in nature (the trees the ocean the birds on my walks with the dog), my thoughts, my instincts and the space between me and another.