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We Can’t Possibly be Feeling the Effects of Life…Can we?

by Dr. Amy Johnson on December 7, 2017

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I spent a couple days last week with a nice man who is looking for a better way to feel better. 

Alcohol, a plethora of pharmaceuticals, and some behavioral habits that jeopardize his health and relationships aren’t working anymore. He is ready for a better way.

He was brand new to the understanding of health and resilience that I share, but from the very little he had heard, he knew there was something to it.

When I asked him what he had heard that made him curious enough to reschedule his busy life and spend two days in Michigan with me, he kept telling me that there was this one line, early on in The Inside-Out Revolution, that stopped him in his tracks.

Now I was curious. Because there was one line early on in The Inside-Out Revolution that stopped me in my tracks when I read it back in 2013. The essence of that one line is the only thing I remember from that book today, almost 5 years later.

Turns out, the line that blew his mind was the same line that blew my mind. It was this (speaking about a woman going through a divorce with “lots of ups and downs”):

“I then asked her what she made of the fact that her experience was fluctuating much more quickly than her circumstances were changing.”

That’s it. Brand new to the fact that life unfolds from within us…from fluctuating Thought (which is one and the same as fluctuating feeling), rather than from what’s happening in the world around us…this one little line opened a door in both of our minds that we previously didn’t know existed.

Shortly after reading that line, I began seeing evidence of this inside-out truth everywhere.

Something happens in the world –> I feel emotion and pin it on the thing that happened –> I insightfully notice that my feelings are changing far more rapidly than the event (which, in many cases, is now done and over).

I saw that I could experience some sort of disappointment and I’d feel badly. But only when I was in some way mentally recreating the disappointment. (It wasn’t for many more months that I glimpsed the fact that “the disappointment” was made of Thought too).

I could also experience some disappointment and at some point thereafter feel neutrality, bliss, indignation, boredom, joy….

It no longer made sense to pin a fleeting feeling of disappointment on that event. Which meant it no longer made sense to try so hard to change events.

It also no longer made sense to try to change my feelings. If they always and only came from Thought in the moment, and Thought in the moment is always changing on its own…

After a couple days of exploring the implications of this with the nice man who wanted a better way to feel better, I read this post written by my good friend Phil Hughes. Phil posted this in a Facebook group dedicated to exploring this Inside-Out view of life.

He wrote:

Dear all,

Very recently a dear friend sent me a note to tell me that she had been in a car accident with her husband in Houston the day before Thanksgiving.

He did not survive.

As I read her message, I began to shake with despair. For the next while I could not grasp a thought as I was consumed with feeling for my friend and her loss.

The next day I was much calmer and less embattled by these thoughts.

But as I worked, I began to dwell on how my beautiful friend had been deprived of the love of her life at the age of 30, of how they only been married just over a year, of how unfair it all was.

In no time at all, I had gone from feeling relatively calm to feeling as though I had a lead balloon in my stomach.

Then I had a presentation to do, and as I shared my head cleared and the balloon disappeared.

Reflecting back on this experience, I was shocked at how my feeling state had fluctuated.

When the accident actually happened, I was blissfully unaware and very happy.

When I found out about it, I reacted as though the accident had happened in that moment.

Then, while my feeling state fluctuated wildly over the next few days, the outward circumstances had still not changed – the accident and its fatal consequences were a fact, and nothing would change that, as much as I wish that something could.

While often we believe otherwise, we can only ever experience Thought in this moment.

And in that fact there is great hope, one which is eternal and applies to us all – no matter what the circumstances, our thoughts and our feelings can and will change, and as they do, so does our perspective of the world.

Our well-being is like the sun – even though it may be obscured by the darkest of clouds, which can seem to stretch to the horizon and beyond, it is forever there nourishing us with its light and warmth – even when we can’t sense it.

With love,

Phil

You can feel the lead balloon within yourself as you follow Phil’s thinking, can’t you?

You can feel the waxing and waning of suffering, simply by listening to the story of a couple people you don’t know.

It is true that we feel nothing but Thought in this moment, as Phil says. Thought is energy moving through us, independent of the world out there.

Deeply seeing this is the better way to feel better.

Feeling better is there by nature.  Feverishly adding substances and behaviors in order to chase away a fleeting feeling begins to look pretty silly when we see that we’re afraid of what we think—not what we think we’re afraid of.

 

 

 

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Resilience isn’t a Personality Trait. It’s a Human Given.

by Dr. Amy Johnson on November 30, 2017

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I was talking with some friends recently about a mutual friend of ours. 

Our mutual friend had a tough year. Shocking divorce. Health issues. A temporary slip back into depression and old, addictive patterns used to numb that depression.

We all agreed: Our friend has really gone through the lowest of the low. He was not in a good way.

And although we felt loads of compassion and love for him this past year, we never truly worried about him. He knows his design. Through all he’s experienced, he’s known that he is fundamentally well.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that he’s felt well. He definitely has not felt well for much of this year. He had many moments of not wanting to be alive—probably many more than he shared with us.

But even when he was feeling like he didn’t want to go on, somewhere deep down he knew he did. He knew that each time the suicide thoughts came up and he didn’t follow through, that was his true self—wisdom—leading the way.

Even when he felt as if he’d never bounce back, something deep within him suspected he would.

That feeling versus knowing difference is everything. It’s what an accurate understanding of who-you-really-are-and-how-your experience-really-works does for you.

You get to feel any feeling possible without it meaning anything about your nature or your future. Your experience is closer to that of a child. Deep and raw, but present and relatively story-free.

You get to feel broken, but at the same time know that broken isn’t possible.

You get to feel lost and as far from health as a person can be, and still know that resilience is your nature. It is an immutable part of the human design.

It has nothing to do with you. If our friend believed resilience was up to him he would have had no hope at all. His self-esteem—his thoughts and opinions of his personal identity—were in the toilet. He would have never believed that he was resilient.

It’s not that resilience was a personality trait he possessed. It’s that humans are resilient by design, all of us equally. He’s resilient because he’s alive.

Same with you. When I talk about things like resilience, clarity, and wisdom, I’m not attributing those qualities to your personal identity. I have no idea if those are personality traits you happen to display.

I am talking about them in that they are woven into the fabric of who we all are, by nature. They are part of the real you, the deeper you, the part we all share.

They are the part of you that doesn’t take a hit when your self-esteem or nice feelings plummet.

Because we are spiritual beings constantly thinking up our experience of life…and because those thought-created experiences are fleeting and impermanent…we are resilient.

Our friend knows enough about being human to know that he couldn’t trust his thinking when his mind was telling him he’d be better off dead.

He wasn’t responsible for being resilient; he simply got to experience resilience as it bubbled to the surface. So he knew enough to hang out and wait.

Regardless of the suffering you are experiencing, resilience and peace are waiting to rise up, always. Knowing this is the definition of freedom.

You can feel things without being things.

This is why my friends and I (who are blessed to have glimpsed these truths about life) weren’t worried for our mutual friend. Not really.

It’s why I rarely worry about my clients. I’m not worried when someone who is free of a habit or addiction and falls back into it for a bit. I’m not rattled by any experience someone has, especially when they’ve glimpsed their resilient design.

There is nothing to worry about when you know that you are designed like a beach ball. No matter how long you’ve been held under the water, it’s in your fundamental nature to eventually pop back up to the surface.  

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Thank You

November 23, 2017

Thank You is not manmade. It moves through, not from; realized, not created.  Thank You hides in plain sight, patiently waiting to be felt. We seek and we miss it. We stop seeking and it finds us. Thank You finds me in unlikely moments and I know that is on purpose. Sitting at a stoplight. […]

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The Content Blob that is You

November 16, 2017

I recently heard an actor being interviewed about her process for getting into character.  She explained that she creates a history—in her own mind—for the character she needs to become. The movie script points toward some history, of course. But this particular actress goes beyond that. She vividly imagines her character at various moments in […]

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Seeing Freedom…Even Deeper

October 19, 2017

So many of you are feeling into the Truth of what I share. You’re seeing that you are well and thriving by default. That you’re feeling your moment-to-moment thinking brought to life within you; that the world out there doesn’t create your experience. It makes sense that your mind is like a snow globe, settling […]

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You’re not the Boss of Me: How a very Basic Understanding of Your Brain (and What Powers Your Brain) Can Free you from Pretty Much Anything

October 12, 2017

The publisher of The Little Book of Big Change asked me to write something for their blog about the lower brain. I was a little hesitant. Not because an understanding of the brain isn’t super interesting. It is. And seeing how the brain works in a deeper, more insightful way–beyond the mechanics–can be incredibly freeing. […]

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Here’s How We’re Going to End the Violence. I Have a Plan.

October 5, 2017

Okay guys, here’s how we’re going to end this senseless violence nonsense.   I have a plan. And it includes you, so listen up. I need you to realize the truth about your human experience and your spiritual essence—what is real and what isn’t—as deeply and fully and as you can. I know that sounds bossy. […]

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Your But Is Too Big

September 28, 2017

When I was seven or eight years old, I got to pick out two flavored lip balms from my mom’s Avon catalog. The flavors I chose were Banana Split and Strawberry Shortcake.  The lip balms came in tubes just like real, grown up lipstick. This was the highlight of my summer, no kidding. The fancy-looking […]

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Sadness, Humility and the Truth about What’s Under the Bed

September 21, 2017

I’m not typically sad.   Of course I experience up and down moods like anyone, but depressed isn’t a feeling that visits very often. Except for this past summer. Off and on, here or there. There was a depth to my moods that I can’t remember experiencing in the past. A flat feeling that I recognized […]

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The Implications of Being Born Habit-Free

September 14, 2017

Back in June I was a guest on Human Being TV, which is a great little YouTube channel devoted to sharing the Three Principles understanding. We talked about the fact that we are born habit-free, with a design based on our shared, innate health. We talked about what habits really are and how change really […]

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