Psychology Has It Backwards

Episode 161: Figuring It Out vs. Listening From a Quiet Mind

We are all “lifelong learners” but we are taught early on to “figure things out.”  Everyone can remember being told as a child, “Think about it.  You’ll figure it out.”  As we move through life, we spend more and more time going over and over life situations in our minds, trying to come up with answers, or asking other people for answers and then trying to figure out how to follow their ideas.  This takes us away from the most wonderful resource we have:  the ability to have original thought, ideas that occur to us out of the blue in a quiet state of mind.  When we are looking for what we don’t know, we won’t find it in our stored thought (our personal mind), which only contains memories, things we DO know.  But we have a safety net, the capacity to stop trying to come up with an answer and wait, in a quiet state of mind, to see what occurs to us.  Fresh answers come from before our personal thought; they arise from a deeper wisdom, before thought, always accessible when we have faith it is there for us.

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Episode 162: What Do We Mean by “Reflection”

A listener of this podcast asked us to explain what we mean when we tell people to “reflect.”  When we’re trying to understand ourselves and life, we tend to ask ourselves “why” questions.  Why is this happening to me?  Why can’t I come up with an answer?  Why did so-and-so do this to me?  The list is endless.  “Why?” takes us in the wrong direction because it gets our personal thinking going — we start scrambling through the memory library looking and feeling worse and worse.  Reflection means wondering, being curious about what we don’t know or see yet, keeping our minds open for insights, inspiration, fresh ideas, staying in the present moment.  Everyone can recall “effortless” times in their life when things just flowed.  Those times seem “magical;” they are the actual magic of living naturally in the present, in a state of reflection, trusting that you’ll know what to do and knowing, when it comes to mind, that it’s right.  Answers that emerge from reflection feel obvious and simple, no second-guessing.

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Episode 163: The Start of a Lifelong Journey

This is the first installment of occasional podcasts we are going to make with Hawaii Counseling and Education Center (HCEC) intern, Spirit, to track his journey from traditional psychological training into becoming a counselor whose work is grounded in the Principles.  Chris started HCEC 40 years ago, the very first clinic in the US founded on the Principles, and has sent many interns out into the world over time.  Their journey into lifelong learning reveals how this work differs from traditional psychology.

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Episode 164: Effortless Change vs. Trying To Change

When we decide we want to change or we feel we need to change, we often work at it.  We try really hard to change.  We come up with strategies; we seek advice; we read self-help books; we go to courses, thinking we’ll find a technique, or a means to fix ourselves.  Too often, that leads to hopelessness and discouragement.  Too often we monitor ourselves and force ourselves and get ourselves so stressed and anxious that we give up.  Trying hard, despite good intentions, rarely works for long.  True change does not come from more intensity and greater effort from the same level of thinking; it arises from wisdom that guides us in a new direction from the quietude of our own minds.  We can’t think our way into a different experience of life, but when we look to quiet our thinking and “allow” fresh thought to occur to us, we find inspiration and clarity and a new direction easily, and change is natural and effortless.  Sometimes we hardly realize it until someone else notices that we are different.

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Episode 165: Words We Use That Are Often Misinterpreted by the Intellect

There are many expressions that are used when people are sharing the Principles that are easily grasped and interpreted by our intellect, but do not mean what people commonly think they mean.  Our intellect, the repository of everything we have learned or know so far, is quick to jump in and give us easy answers.  That is why we tell people to listen for the feeling, or listen beyond the words.  Here we offer some examples of this.  A common one is the word “listen.”  The intellect listens to remember information.  A good listener, to most people, is someone who can retain and repeat information they’ve heard.  When we talk about listening, we’re talking about having nothing on our mind at all as we take things in, and then, from a clear mind, “hearing” what we have taken from the experience.  Listening is not thinking about what another person is saying as they talk; listening is a deeper experience of understanding.  Our words do not do justice to the depth of the Principles.

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Episode 166: What’s the Big Deal About “Mixing?”

When people become curious about the Three Principles, they often think of our work as a tool to add to their tool kit.  So sometimes it seems confusing when we make a point about not “mixing” the 3P with other approaches.  The reason is that, although there are well-established approaches that do help people, the assumptions of other approaches are that people are affected by circumstances that have to be dealt with.  We assume that people all have innate mental health as a birthright, even if they’ve lost touch with it, and our goal is to awaken it within them and guide them back to their innate wisdom, peace of mind, and contentment.  Once they understand how their thinking creates their experience and see how to recognize their own common sense, they get insights about their life situations.  We are not offering information and answers or methods to help them; we are eliciting and explaining their own ability to find clarity and recognize their power to see beyond any circumstances to the answers they need.

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