“Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.”
– David Bohm, Physicist
Earlier this year, I gave a one-day coaching masterclass in Oslo for six clients. The structure was simple: one by one, each of the clients came to the front of the room and had a 1:1 coaching session with me while the other clients watched and listened. Part of the fun and power of working in this way is that everyone gets to see how the creative power of Mind shows up for each of us when there’s nothing else getting in the way. And what gets in the way? A misunderstanding of the thought-feeling connection. In this article, I’m going to shine a light on the 100% nature of that connection using a metaphor that showed up during the Oslo masterclass: Please let me set the scene, and introduce the cop and the con-man…
From time to time, my client experienced feelings of intense anxiety when anticipating certain situations. I asked them what they thought the feelings were signalling to them: Did they believe the feelings were telling them about a) their moment-to-moment thinking, b) a mix of their thinking and the future situation or c) something else. They chose b) a mix of their thinking and the future situation. This is what I had expected. While most people are willing to accept that their thinking’s got something to do with their felt experience, they believe that the future situation (for instance) has at least something to do with it too.
I explained that it can’t possibly work that way. 100% of our feelings come from the principle of Thought taking form in the present moment. 0% of our feelings come from anything other than the principle of Thought taking form in the moment. He looked puzzled (due to some puzzled thinking, I'll bet!). Suddenly, a metaphor flashed into my mind. Here’s what I said…
Your thinking is like an incredibly gifted con-man. It creates a detailed picture / sound / smell / taste of reality that appears totally real. Thought uses all its powers to create an utterly convincing reality. But if you ask it, your thinking will claim that it had nothing to do with the reality’s creation. Like a con-man passing counterfeit notes, if you ask him, he’ll tell you they’re 100% legit. The con-man’s job is to create an illusion then convince you it’s a reality. But it’s not his job to blow the whistle on himself. That’s the cop’s job.
Fortunately, the con-man is handcuffed to a cop; a cop called “feeling”. Wherever the con-man goes, the cop never leaves his side. If you ask the con-man, he’ll spin you a pack of lies, but the cop will always tell you the truth.
– If you’re feeling angry, the con-man will tell you it’s down to your circumstances, past events, or the kind of person you are. But the feeling is your signal that you’ve got angry thinking. Nothing more. Nothing less.
– If you’re feeling happy, the con-man will tell you it’s due to your partner, your pay-rise or the weather. But the feeling is your signal that you’ve got happy thinking in this moment.
– If you’re feeling frustrated, the con-man will tell you it’s due to laziness, lack of progress or a complex problem. But the feeling is your signal that you’ve got frustrated thinking, regardless of your circumstances.
– If you’re in feeling peaceful, the con-man will tell you it’s because you meditated, listened to music or walked in the woods. But the feeling is your signal that you’ve got peaceful thinking in this moment.
100% of your feeling is a reflection of the principle of Thought taking form in the moment. Your feeling never comes from anything other than the principle of Thought taking form in the moment.
When I introduce people to the 100% nature of the Thought-feeling connection, the first question I often get is “So how do I get better thinking?” But that’s the wrong question…
The issue ISN’T the fact that we sometimes have unpleasant feelings arising from unpleasant thinking. The issue is the fact that we mistakenly believe those feelings are telling us about something other than our thinking in the moment. The moment you see the 100% nature of the Thought-feeling connection, it breaks the erroneous link between our feelings and a world “out there” with power over how we feel. The moment that happens, you start falling out of your erroneous thinking and back into the richness of the present moment. This is one of the biggest secrets of coaching with clarity.
If you’d like to get a sense of the impact that understanding the principles behind clarity can have for you and your clients, check out the results people are getting on our Certified Clarity Practitioner Programme. The 2014/15 programme starts in September and the first 41 people have already booked their places, so there are only 7 places left. You can have a look now to find out if it’s a good fit for you (live-streaming options also available). You can get access to the full information here.