Where We Look Matters | Blog
Where We Look Matters | Blog
I was in prison last week. Well, it's more accurate to say, I visited a prison last week. My friend and colleague Anna Debenham is the founder of an amazing non-profit, The Insight Alliance where she teaches the principles of well-being to groups and individuals in the Oregon Correctional System.
As I sat in a circle with 15 men, all from different walks of life, in prison for various reasons, pasts that are not pretty, different nationalities and many with numerous tattoos covering their bodies, I was struck by how I could see myself in EVERY single one of them. No really. It's true. As we went around the circle sharing, checking in and hearing what their weeks were like, what they were experiencing, I had the repeated thought, “Yeah, I totally get that.” or “Yep, me too.”
Someone shared how, he got caught up in his head, got really reactive and almost acted on it but then knew it would pass. Yep, I do that. And by the way, I often do act on it!
One person shared how he didn't realize how much he lived inside his head and how he is enjoying more moments of just being present but has a long way to go. Yep, that is a big, “me too”.
Another man shared how much it meant to him when he helped a member of the group when they were really upset. I'm paraphrasing but he said something along the lines of…”It felt so good to help him. I'm known as a helper. But in my past when people came to me for help, it was for drugs, money, cigarettes. I would get it for them. I loved helping. But helping him in this way was so much better than that. I felt good. I want to help others in this way too and no longer do any of that other stuff.”
When he shared, I thought, “That's why I do this too. It's such a gift and feels great to help others.”
Besides just being an incredibly enjoyable evening with this group of men, it was a reminder of how we are all the same.
We are all human.
We all get caught up and hooked by thought.
We all get reactive and those reactions pass.
We all experience the incredible creative gift of our minds to have new thought, fresh ideas and shifts in consciousness.
We all have resilience within and an ability to bounce back and to rise to the occasion.
Beyond our thoughts resides our innate well-being, our essence, our true nature.
I'm in New York this week, co-teaching for a team of people that work together in a growing start-up. What's interesting to me is that, like the prisoners, like me, like you…as we point them to where they're experience is coming from, as they begin to understand the power of thought and see that they can have a freedom of mind no matter the circumstances, they too relate to life and their thinking in new and insightful ways.
When we SEE beyond our moment-to-moment experience to a deeper truth, we ride the waves of life more gracefully.
When we SEE our experience of life is happening THROUGH us not TO us we experience more freedom of mind.
We SEE life is shaped by thought in the moment. And behind that momentary experience is an INFINITE POTENTIAL of our mind to SEE FRESH. To have INSIGHTS and to have SHIFTS IN CONSCIOUSNESS.
This understanding, this knowing is the same for us all. Regardless of our culture, our past, our status or our circumstances, at our core, it is a level playing field.
We ALL experience life inside out, we all have the power and potential of our minds – the intelligence behind all life – going for us.
When we look in the direction of our TRUE NATURE and where our experience is coming from, we naturally access more creativity, hope and well-being. We authentically connect to ourselves and others.
“When we SEE our experience of life is happening THROUGH us not TO us we experience more freedom of mind.”
Looking in the direction of our sameness, what's true for all of us, touches something inside that gives us insightful thinking, fills us up and touches our lives.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Insta