When a client accepts me as their coach I usually start off with a brief request on how to proceed and get the most out of the coaching session.

We have within us a capacity for listening and because you are reading this, sub listening for reading.

I want my client to park their left brain for the session. Left brain? Yes, that side of you that wants to analyze, judge, compare information that it is hearing with what you know already. The response is usually, “oh yes, that is just like…” or something like that. Nothing wrong with it, but it is not the listening that moves us forward.

Here is the point.

If you actually knew…would you not be doing better already?

So what kind of listening I want my clients to do is called deep listening. Listening beyond the words I say (write). Look between the space of the words. Look for something fresh and new.

‘We Can’t Solve Problems By Using The Same Kind Of Thinking We Used When We Created Them’

Albert Einstein

How do you explain what gravity is? I do not think you really can.

You can show the effects of gravity and create an understanding that if I were to drop something no matter how high off the ground, that it would fall towards that ground. It would do it every time without fail.

Gravity keeps working regardless if I believe in it or not. I know that no matter how much positive thoughts or misdirected thinking I did when I was rock climbing, when I slipped, I fell by the power of that gravity.

Gravity has no form, but I can show you the results or effect of it. It was not so much the fall that hurt; it was the sudden stop that made the difference.

To explain the context of living that has been part of my life since 1982 has been difficult. When I come from a place of “you should,” it often fails to reach the mark. When I tell people about some of the miracles I have experienced, they are often looking outside of themselves to offer any explanation or evidence to support a position that I am different, or they are different, and therefore results are mixed.

Yes, results do vary, and so do experiences individuals have with similar results. What might be bad for one appears to be good for another?

There have been and probably will be many “truths.” For me to say that this is THE truth is to take a position saying nothing else is. All I do know is the experience I have of it and the results to show.

In 1982 I learned about letting go of what I thought I knew about how the world worked; how I worked.

Before you continue, I would ask that you be open and just read what is here. Not to compare or judge. I am not even asking you to believe any of it if you don’t want to. Only to be open to a possibility.

Unknown to me at the time, in 1973, a Scottish-born welder, turned philosopher, author, lecturer, and a good friend to so many, had an insight into the nature of the mind. This understanding, Banks called The Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought.

I had an understanding of Mr. Banks’s insight but was not aware of his work until 2019 when I watched a Ted Talk (see the bottom of this post for the video). Through study, I decided to have these principles play a significant role in my coaching and sharing of my experiences as individuals navigating life.

The Principles have helped people all over the world to discover their own well-being and to move closer to achieving their full potential.  The Principles have had a profound impact on every aspect of life, including education, business and leadership, addiction and PTSD recovery, athletic performance, community work, and marriage and family counseling.

“The Three Principles is not a self-improvement course, trying to improve what is. Rather, it is understanding the nature of what is.”

Dicken Bettinger

Mind – (the source of all intelligence)

The Tao called it the nameless. To label, it was doing it, whatever it is a dis-serves. There are no current words to describe the un-describable. It is only through my experience of it, that I have this sense that something or nothing is there. It is the energy and intelligence of all things, whether in form or formless.  Some call it God, others the Universe. To me, it is the context to which all life is created and allowed to exist, with all the good and with all the bad it might have to offer. We have no control of whatever it might be or offers. Like explaining water to a fish, the fish just takes it for granted without question. it is the question behind the question that has no answer. So can we just stop right here?

Consciousness – (which allows us to be aware)

Consciousness is awareness. A thought comes “alive” within our senses and through what we call our feelings and emotions–all via Consciousness and the brain. We experience our thinking (even “sub-conscious” thinking) always. We cannot escape this simple fact.

Would you like to experience your consciousness? Say hello three times in your head, right now.

Did you? Did you hear it in your head or at least it felt like it was coming from some space in your head. You couldn’t really point to where that spot is, could you? It is more of a feeling.

So who did the hearing? We have the gift (although some experience it as a curse) the ability to observe our thoughts and thinking.

Cool and crazy, right?

Thought – (which guide us through the world as free-thinking agents)

It is through thought that we construct our personas, limitations, anxiety, fears, and moods. What we have been told is that through our conditioning and circumstances, thoughts are produced which usually take the form of judgment, meaning, and conclusions. We, therefore, act (react) accordingly to our conditioning. It appears that life is doing something to us.

When I realized that the thought and the thinking (I will admit, even after almost 40 years I need to be reminded from time to time), I was having over an event was not being produced by the event itself, but by me, immediately emptied my bag of victim-hood. My story had no hold on me. Rather than defining me, it only described me.

The miracle for me was the gain in freedom and power to overcome my ego thinking limitations and choose to act from the conditions I placed on myself but to act in spite of them. From that point, all possibilities of new results and futures became available.

A Whole New Way of Thinking about Thought – Michael Neill

The Three Principles are called “principals” because they are within everyone. It is the construct of all reality.

Inside-out verses Outside-in

Our conditioning gives us the impression that something outside of us is “doing it” to us. It is that same conditioning that provides the impulse to act in a certain way. We have something to blame for the way we feel and act and therefore do not take responsibility for any of it.

You have heard it before. When you point at anything in the context of blaming, there are always 3 fingers pointing back at you. Almost begging you to see that it’s more your fault than theirs. In actual fact, it is all your fault!

Language such as, “If only I…” followed by whatever we think is needed, whether it is something to be, do or have, is outside-in thinking. Our happiness or well-being almost depends upon it. Shortly afterward, we realize that was not it and we go off in pursuit again, looking for the next quick fix to get us out of our misery.

Understanding that life is experienced from the inside-out gives us the freedom to stop searching outside and look within for the deeper wisdom and insight that will ultimately provide what we have been looking for all along.

Here are the immediate benefits of looking within: You,

  • feel more at peace
  • have insights more often, both simple and profound
  • get “philosophical” about life and take things less personally
  • connect more deeply with others

You are not what you think

You are not your beliefs, your values, your diagnoses, your habits. You are the fact of Thought itself and, beyond all personal thoughts, you are Consciousness itself–intelligent, aware, unfathomable and eternal.

This is not really new.

There are many paths to enlightenment said the wise monk. The Three Principles is just one. Michael A. Singer in his book, The Untethered Soul, talks about mind, consciousness, and thought. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, writes about letting go of thoughts tied to the past or future to live in the present moment. After all, is there any other moment to live in?

Shakespeare, Victor Frankl, and Carl Jung are a few others.

Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.

Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

There are many more, just seek and you shall find.

What is really important to know!

We started off in life whole. It was only through our thinking about the circumstances and events in our lives, did we condition ourselves out of this well-being state. What if we had it wrong all this time?

You are unique, you are whole, you are not broken.

You are whole and well. You are awesome!

Here is the TEDx Talk by Michael Neill on Why Aren’t We Awesomer? This is the video that introduced me to the Three Principles and motivated me to learn more.

Want to learn more? Have questions? Troubled and looking for insight?
I am only a conversation away with you, so why not book it. It’s free and there are no obligations to do anything afterward.

RICK RUPPENTHAL is a professional Personal and Leadership Transformational Coach and a Certified Change Practitioner. As a retired paramedic of 30 years, Rick has held positions in leadership, education, as a coach and a mentor. Through those experiences, understanding, and adaptability, Rick has dedicated his life to a continual journey of self-discovery, adventure, and guiding others on their own journey of being their best self.

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