January 13th 2022, 11:08:22 AM
There have been so many changes and challenges in the past year and we face many urgent and pressing challenges just to survive as a species. In the face of these realities, it is all too easy to forget the importance of the state of mind in which we approach things. In our experience, clarity of mind and well-being are most important, at precisely the point at which they seem less of a priority. The more important and challenging issues are, the more vital our stability, clarity and wisdom become. Going into 2022 is the perfect time to remember that our ability to have happiness and clarity is more than just self-indulgence, it is a powerful point of leverage to make a wiser, powerful and positive difference.
Just because you care it does not mean you are the clearest version of yourself. Care and effort without clarity will lack impact and contain unseen limitations. The issues we face are too important to get lost in panic and concern. We think it is time to get focused, by being uncompromising about our clarity and wellbeing.
Hope cuts through overwhelm or pessimism. Active hope is following the thoughts and inspirations that have a clear feeling of possibility to them.
Being part of positive change: If you want to change the world you are living in, start by finding a deeper connection with yourself. The more connected you are with yourself the more connected you will be to your insights
Clarity: When we learn to decipher between unclear from clear thoughts then we have a powerful first step to living with more clarity. Choosing the level of clarity that you live in will allow you to have the kind of thoughts that will have an impact in what you are passionate about having.
Change your mind, change the world: Change starts with the quality of your thoughts which impacts the quality of your actions.
Going into this new year we encourage you to empower yourself with the knowledge that your actions have an impact, whether it’s how you treat yourself and others, or your efforts to make positive change in the world. We all hold the power to create change. Everything we do has a ripple effect. When our mind is quiet, we always know what to do. Our state of mind determines the quality of that ripple.
This has been an emotionally full year for me and most people I talk to. An emotional good, bad and the ugly. Where do we go from here?
Writing this I found myself wondering what I want to find when I open a newsletter. I have two things I am looking for.
One: I want to hear their news, to connect with things that are happening with others, to hear what people are inspired by.
Two: I want to see what other people are trying, I want to see things that are changing in a positive way. I want to hear hope.
For me, the good, bad and the ugly this year has been about what’s happening with climate change. I have been trying to make impactful choices for the last fifteen years. For the last two, I upped my game by making huge efforts to get out of my plastic habit. I have reduced my consumption of new things by 80%, I have taught myself to make cleaning products and body lotion. Plastic is currently still beating me, it's everywhere, a layer of it coating most things in supermarkets and shops, but I am seeing it and looking at alternatives. I have simplified where I can.
The upside for me has been slowing down. As I have been getting more mindful of what routines I live in, I have found a release of my habitual thoughts and feelings. When I don’t think I have time, it’s a good clue that I have sped up. Every time I take an hour away from my phone or laptop and into the kitchen to make something, I feel more grounded and present. I feel connected to myself. I feel more receptive to what I am part of.
I am well aware that I vote with my wallet. I am well aware that what goes in the bin does not disappear. But this year, environmental issues have been hitting me full force.
“Mum, I have looked at the data. I don’t think we can make it” he said.
I was standing in the kitchen making breakfast. My sixteen-year-old son was sitting at the computer doing his A-level geography homework. My world collapsed with his words. It was one thing to feel driven to turn things around for my kids but another to hear fear in my son, to see him frightened by what’s happening to humanity and the natural world. He is thoughtful and intelligent. He was not just jumping on a headline.
That day I went to Kew Gardens with Aaron. It was supposed to be a ‘date day out’ in the trees. Walking around, I could not get the comment my son had made that morning out of my mind. I felt a grief and crushing low that I have not felt in twenty five years. Walking down a path lined with walnut trees, willows, and oaks, I rubbed up against my darkest thoughts, not knowing what to do. I felt utterly lost, dark and hopeless.
‘What are my options?' I asked myself.
I knew that feeling this bad was not going to help anyone or change anything. Getting lost in my eco-anxiety was not going to do anything other than hold me in a freezing pattern of fear. But going back to what I was already doing was not going to have more impact either. I know that change comes from a clear and hopeful feeling. It was hard to imagine that a positive feeling was relevant, or even possible, in the situation we are facing with climate change. But I know that if I want to change things then I have to find power in the feeling. I have to draw on the clearest most insightful part of me.
“I have to move forward with a stronger, deeper, more positive feeling” I said to Aaron.
I know that the feeling I act from matters. I see that I need to be more active in change and that I have to be driven by hope. Fierce hope is the only way I see to have the kind of impact I want to have.
Ten minutes later, Aaron and I walked into the Kew gift shop and started looking at the books. The second book I picked up was Jane Goodall’s ‘The book of hope’. In the first few pages that I looked through I heard her speak to me.
Her words had found me when I needed them the most. Hope sliced through my hopelessness like a knife in butter.
If I was sitting in a car that was driving towards a cliff then I would have to do more to reach for the steering wheel. No one can turn this planet around alone. We have to do it together. I see I have to be braver, bolder and more active in my part in making change happen. I feel inspired and hopeful that I am not alone, that we can do it if we do it together. I am learning that social injustice is inexplicably linked to the climate crisis. We have always been involved in social change but this year I want to get much more explicit and focused. I am educating myself, highlighting those that are creating change, I am donating to organisations that resonate with me and supporting where I can. More hands on the steering wheel the better.
Here are some resources that I found inspiring this year. We have so many of the answers for a healthy planet, we just need to act on them.
‘A life on our planet’ by David Attenborough (hang in there to the end.)
“To move forward we need more than intelligence, we need wisdom.” -David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
‘Kiss the ground’ documentary by available on Netflix. Worth watching twice. Filled me with hope and excitement about how simple some of the answers are to not just stopping our direction but reversing it.
The book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams
On Hope by our son: “A chance at what you want”
Lastly I wanted to thank all of you out there who have been shouting and petitioning to create either governmental change or pushing for shifts in consciousness. Paid to pollute is an initiative set up by Mikaela Loach, a 23 year old medical student. Check her out. She’s amazing. https://paidtopollute.org.uk/
And Ami Chen Mills who had been talking, shouting and shouting some more, to point us towards the titanic situation we are in. Let’s avoid the iceberg together. Thank you for all your shouting Ami.
I wish you all love and hope for this New Year.
Okay, full disclosure, I know that the New Year is made up. I have never really understood New Year’s resolutions. Why not rethink things and make adjustments whenever you want? Why wait until December 31st? Even though I have never really seen the point of thinking about January as a New Year, reflecting over the past year has been interesting and useful. Looking at 2021 as a whole, I see a pattern that points to a new opportunity for an important change
One Thought was founded to bring the ground-breaking discoveries of Sydney Banks to the mainstream. After ten years working at Pransky and Associates, I had seen over and over again the difference an understanding of state of mind made to people and organisations. As people saw for themselves what Sydney Banks had pointed to, they saw and felt more potential for their own clarity and well-being, no matter what their circumstances. I consistently saw people’s level of happiness, resilience and clarity increase and then saw this ripple out into the rest of their lives in waves of improvement in their relationships, life circumstances and their work. It was clear to me that a higher level of clarity, happiness and well-being was a potential for everyone. Not only would this improve people’s quality of life experience, but also the quality of relationships and our ability to create a better world. My mission at One Thought has always been to bring this potential to the world as best as I can.
I have focussed most of my attention on working with organisations because of the link between clarity of mind and results. When I first started this work over twenty years ago, the idea that levels of stress and discomfort necessarily impacted productivity and performance, was a big jump for most people to even consider. Over the years the idea that our state of mind affects our performance has become more widely recognised and accepted. However, the idea that higher levels of clarity are available without effort in any circumstance, is still a very challenging one to most people. So, whilst there is more attention on clarity and well-being within organisations, they tend to be focused on tweaking and adjusting one’s state of mind rather than the potential for a significant and sustainable upward shift in people’s normal state of mind. There is very little understanding of our potential for higher levels of clarity or even what clarity really is. Many people I speak to believe that the current normal adult state of mind is a clear state of mind. They believe that their current state of mind is a clear state of mind so they do not look for anything more. They are willing to settle for the normal state of mind they live in with its lack of happiness and contentment and levels of stress and distraction. Because there is no understanding of what clarity really is and how available it is, there is not a lot of motivation to find it. We see this after our training when people are delighted at the levels of ease, lightness and contentment they have found. They did not know it was possible and they certainly did not expect it even though it is what I had pointed to at the beginning of the programme.
One of the main challenges in sharing this understanding with people has been the lack of vision for, and interest in, a clearer state of mind. 2021 has been different. For the first time in over twenty years, the majority of people I have spoken to are concerned about the state of mind within their organisations and they have had a pressing desire to see it improve. Leaders are worried and disturbed about the state of mind of their teams and departments, individuals struggling with their own state of mind. A vision for the potential to have a clearer state of mind is still missing. But the desire to see an improvement has increased significantly across the board. What people are describing is a drop in the average state of mind. Whereas the normal state of mind used to be fine - stressed, agitated and distracted but functional and tolerable – it was now highly stressed, overwhelmed and clearly straining at the seams. Leaders are worried because they can see that people are not functioning as well and are reporting that they feel they cannot endure their state of mind much longer. The level of strain is too challenging and cracks are starting to show and no one really knows what to do about it.
It has been startling this year to see the increases in people’s suffering and concerning to know it could be more widespread than we realise. But I do see hope. With this increased suffering has come an increased desire to feel better and a stronger motivation to have an improved state of mind. There has been a shift in awareness of wellbeing and the desire to live in more happiness. With this motivation comes a more compelling reason for people to learn. Until this year, most of my initial conversations with people focussed on the logic and benefits of having a clearer mind. Now, all of a sudden, people are already looking for their potential to have a clearer mind. I know some are just looking to return to their previous normal state of mind, but they are still looking to discover what would allow their state of mind to improve. Through this interest they could discover their potential for a whole new level of clarity, the experience and benefits of an actual clear mind without chronic stress and agitation. As heart wrenching it is to see people suffering, I am hopeful it could lead to a turning point in the mainstream understanding of the mind, a shift in what we think of as clarity of mind and a jump in the average normal level of clarity we all live in.
Writing this last newsletter of the year, we have been reflecting back over 2021. It has been a very different year, even compared to 2020. The year has felt quiet and steady, as we moved through it. Looking back, we can see that lots of positive things have happened.
The 3PUK conference that we develop and present with Better World was virtual again this year, and it was stunning. It felt global and fresh, yet rich and intimate. Hosting the conference we got a sense of how connected we can feel globally and how much we can learn from each other. We also launched a one-day event focussed on people’s stories from around the world which we found touching and inspiring. Listening to these stories you can feel that we all have access to profound wisdom. These events were highlights of the year and we wanted to thank everyone that contributed to making them possible.
Our work with organisations has sharpened. Our client work has felt more focussed and impactful and the feedback from new organisations we are working with has reflected that. We have also been developing our online self-study course,One Thought Online, and working with organisations to provide it to their employees as an online well-being resource at a time when this kind of affordable and scalable resource is really needed.
It was also a very rich year for our Practitioner Development Programme where practitioners watch Aaron working with clients and develop their own impact over the course of the year. We were thrilled to hear the shifts in ease, confidence and impact with their own work from this year’s participants. We are looking forward to including new practitioners for the next programme starting April 7th. Click here to find out more and register for a place.
- 13 January 2022