A question I am often asked is “do you have to want change/understanding to be able to see something new?”
I was asked a version of this at the end of a 3 day intensive programme I was delivering with Paul Lock at one of the prisons Beyond Recovery work within. One of the guys asked me this by saying “I think you have to want to get this to really see something different”. Others agreed. “I have to challenge that” I said.
I told him that what we are talking about IS the nature of how we work as a human being, therefore there is no GETTING it. There is no need to have any criteria in place to see something new. It is always available.
Yes we know that from a clear mind we have access to greater resources, resilience, happiness and creativity. However, a clear mind is not the defining factor.
The defining factor is that we are conscious human beings. We all have the ability to think. The power of thought runs our lives regardless to how aware of it we are or not. And a fresh thought is available in every given moment. For everyone.
Hence, one can be at rock bottom and have a realisation that saves your life. One can be amid the chaos of a disaster and know what to do next. One can be full of anxiety, worry, fear or any other emotion and see something helpful. In fact it happens all the time!
After a pause one of the participants said “that has to be true, because I walked in here determined NOT to get it. I spent a day and a half fighting it and then all of a sudden something different occurred to me and I feel completely different”.
I know that many people concentrate of a quiet space and a clear mind and in fact even in our workshops we look towards that space. However, that is not to say that insight is not available in a busy head or a worry head. If that were true it would be impossible to work with the population I do!
It is important to me to make this point because we have had decades of positive psychologists, coaches, therapists and so on guiding us to meditate, breathe, say affirmations, go out into nature, have massages and perform all sorts of rituals and techniques and systems that will ‘make us feel better’ or ‘help us see clearer’. The understanding known as the Three Principles can sometimes come across as yet another way of getting to this enlightened state. My message is that REGARDLESS to what we do or don’t do; REGARDLESS to what seems like a good idea and what doesn’t; REGARDLESS to what we are going through right now. Our ability to have a fresh perspective on anything is ALWAYS intact, working perfectly and needs no tweaking.
Therefore, a quiet mind may assist with clarity but it is in no way the only way or even the preferred way.