I was speaking with Elsie Spittle this week in preparation for her weekend in the Soul-Centered Series and was sharing how rewarding it is to see people light up with an insight. She described it as soul-food. I love this description and feel so grateful for the work I do.
What struck me as I was speaking with clients this week is seeing the simplicity of people having fresh thoughts. Even when you think you are stuck and can’t have an insight that is just a made up. It is not the truth of who you are. When you look in the direction of truth, you see for yourself there are no concepts and ideas there. You have your own personal experience of the formless. You will point to it with concepts and ideas and describe it with form, but the experience itself has nothing.
That nothing holds the answer to everything. And the feelings in that nothing are beautiful.
Then it takes the form of an experience. It is no longer a nothing. It becomes a something and that something is useful and perfect for you at that moment. Nothing to something. That is the human experience. Formless to form. Constantly happening without us trying to make it happen. It happens to us.
It is so helpful to see how it works!
Because we get caught up in the form of our thinking and forget about going back to nothing. We look at concepts we have made up about ourselves like: I am not good enough, I am stuck, I can’t get this, I can’t change, I’m bad, I’m worthless etc… When you are suffering, you are looking at those concepts and don’t see them as made up. They look like truth. They look real. They look like problems to be fixed. But you can’t fix things that aren’t real. You can’t do anything with an illusion. If I see a mirage on the road, it won’t help if I call highway patrol to divert traffic away from the water. That will only cause more problems. It helps when I SEE it is an illusion and REALIZE it is not real.
Thoughts are transitory. We have an experience of our thinking that is transitory too, but the real I am pointing to is what does not change. It is practical and helpful. It is transformative and life-changing. It is ordinary and mundane. Because it just is.
Often people will listen to me share this and say things like, but what if I were homeless? That would be a real problem. This is usually when I am pointing to the illusory nature of the problem they are experiencing. I am pointing to the source of suffering as thought and not the circumstance they are in. I am hoping they will see the direct link between thought and feelings so the circumstance is not seen as the enemy. And sometimes circumstance is our thoughts. It is not a problem to have negative thoughts. The suffering isn’t coming from the content of your thinking. That is neutral. The suffering is coming from believing the content of your thinking to be real. This is true no matter what your circumstance.
I am not saying that there is no such thing as physical suffering. I fell down the stairs this week and hurt my back and neck. I experienced physical pain. What I noticed, however, is that the more scared I was by my pain the more attention I paid to it. The more I monitored it. The worse it got. As soon as I settled and realized I didn’t need medical attention and that I could take care of myself and let my body do what it needed to do with the help of some ice and rest the pain became minimal. Not over time, in the moment. I could see the shift back and forth from the pain being in the foreground to the pain receding to the background. I saw my experience of it change in the moment based on how much attention I was giving my thoughts about it.
The same is true of any suffering. I am not meaning to be heartless and uncaring about circumstances, but the best way I know to support anyone no matter what their circumstance is to point them toward their true nature and the formless wisdom that lies within. It is there for every single one of us and it comes to us in the form that is perfect for our exact situation. That is the direction I look in for greater freedom and less suffering.
Fresh thinking is always the answer. Looking beyond your ideas and concepts to what is true, to what is real. You experience that every day whether you notice or not. We all drop out of thought and into our being. What is helpful is to respect that when it happens. To recognize it as valuable. To see the importance of having a quiet mind. Then you look more in that direction and less in the direction of your interpretations and ideas about things and try to fix them, you start to see more clearly that there is no fixing ideas and concepts. There is nothing to do with the idea that you are not good enough. There is nothing to fix there, but you can wake up to it being an illusion and look instead toward truth.
Any problem that looks unsolvable is that kind of problem. When someone comes to me saying I can’t deal with this problem, health issue, mood issue, money issue, relationship issue, don’t know what to do issue… fill in the blank, the problem is not the issue they are presenting. The problem is that their ideas about the issue they are presenting are looking real. When you look in the direction of truth and not your ideas you have access to your wisdom. That will give you guidance for your particular circumstances. And that is what you want to be listening to. There may be action to be taken, there may not, but your compass point is your own wisdom and that is your true nature.
I am not an oracle or an imparter of wisdom. I am just pointing to what you have inside of you. That is where your answers lie.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free ebook Relationships here. Rohini currently has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.