January 19th 2021, 3:21:30 PM
We hope this finds you well and that you're doing well.
We are going to do our best to avoid the words ‘uncertain times’ and ‘new normal’. What stands out to us is that many people are suffering and feel stuck or challenged in ways that they are not sure how to deal with. Our hearts go out to people when we hear this and we have been thinking how we could help.
Here at One Thought we have been working to create some free content around well being and resilience during the pandemic. Unlike our last newsletter, nearly a year into this pandemic we have personally had a lot more people close to us find themselves in the midst of grief and loss due to Covid . We have also seen more relationships under strain. The impact of living in a pandemic has been a mixed bag for many. There are so many things that we have no influence over. But our freedom of mind and the potential of our mind is always something we can learn more about. In our experience, whenever we have looked in this direction, no matter what has been happening in our lives, we have stumbled on unexpected fresh thought and fresh perspectives.
We wanted to have an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to offering more free resources. We have been creating free videos including ‘top tips for keeping your head clear in a pandemic' which you can watch here.
If you like it please like and share it. We are creating more free resources to help people at this time. So there will be more to follow. Your feedback on suggestions for topics are welcome. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when new videos arrive.
We wanted to let you know, in case you missed it, we have also launched an online resource. You can access free materials or access the whole programme for only £85.00 for a full year onethoughtonline.com
We have been working on the course (there are new free videos in lesson one) and on spreading the word so that more people can use this online resource by registering for free lessons or full access. If you have seen any of the material and like it, please let others know so they can see for themselves.
We are also still running pilots with organisations who want to try using the course as a company well-being resource. This includes a dedicated landing and access page with measurement tools and free live webinars with Aaron (a value of £1,500). Because it is a virtual resource, it can be used by organisations anywhere in the world.
Email Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more including additional team support that is available with corporate packages.
If you are a Principle-based practitioner of any kind, whether a coach, therapist, trainer, consultant or other, we are about to start this year’s Professional Practitioner Development Programme Starting this Friday, 22nd January.
This programme was inspired by the learning and development Aaron got from sitting in with mentors and colleagues at Pransky and Associates, and elsewhere, during his training and internship. He wanted to create a place where trained practitioners who were working with clients could learn from watching and discussing Aaron’s client sessions and by being able to discuss the challenges and observations they have with their own clients.
Each month the group has two client sessions to watch and a live webinar to discuss their work and the client sessions with Aaron. Participants are able to suggest clients they would like to see sessions with.
Overall there is a rich learning in observing the sessions, discussing the sessions and your questions and from listening and discussing with the rest of the group.
The programme starts with an introductory two-day retreat and ends with a reflective two-day retreat. The programme runs for 11 months and costs £3,000 (plus vat) which has an option to pay monthly. We still have a few places left on this year's programme.
If you are wanting to spend some of this time focusing on your relationship or dating life we are starting our next Relationship Ready programme on the 27th February 2021. We are always happy to have a chat with you to tell you how the programme works. You can book an enquiry call here.
The New Year has been interesting for me. My head was full of the idea of a New Year. As the days went by it dawned on me that things were very much the same. The situation was the same, our household was the same, very little was varying day-to-day. But yet it has often felt very different. My experience has swung from very present, appreciative and content to rushed, doubtful, insecure and dissatisfied. There have been many times when these feelings felt linked to external events and circumstances: the state of the economy, the suffering of large numbers of people, the emergence of a new virus strain.
Whilst my experience of the same circumstances has varied widely, my explanation of these variations has also varied. There have been times when it was obvious that I am experiencing a variation in my own thought. My feelings and perceptions are altered, but my feelings and perceptions are just feedback about the clarity and stability of my mind. They do not mean anything more than that. They do not provide any useful information about the world I am in or about the people around me. They just tell me I am upset, disturbed or worried. They are a windscreen issue not an engine issue or a road conditions issue. At these times I appreciate that my perceptual vision is altered in one way or another. When I see it this way, I have had an underlying stability despite my disturbed feelings or reactive outlook. There is no real problem. Just a disturbed feeling and disturbed outlook. I know it will only last as long as the thought that created it. It is understandable, but I am hesitant to fully trust the way things look when I know I am disturbed.
There have also been times when I have had the same feelings and perceptions but I have interpreted them very differently. I have treated them as if they were caused by my situation and were an accurate reflection of those circumstances. So instead of seeing my own disturbed thought as the cause of my unsteadiness, I have assumed another person was to blame or the state of the world was causing it. It is amazing how much impact a different interpretation of the same feelings can have. When I have interpreted my disturbed experiences this way, there is no underlying stability. There is just a complete trust and belief in the experience I am in and a complete belief that there is an external cause. I do not expect to feel better and I do not see that I could have a clearer mind in the same situation. When I see things this way, I think my upset mind IS a clear mind. I treat it that way. I trust what I see and how I feel about things and I try to use them to understand and address my circumstances. My suffering is more complete. I feel more victimised by it and I have external explanations for it. I also tend to spend more time thinking about how I am feeling and why I am feeling that way.
Reflecting on this experience has been a fascinating reminder that it is very natural to get preoccupied with what we are dealing with or how we are feeling. I often get focussed on whether I am feeling good or bad. In the process, it is easy to overlook how I am understanding what is causing my experience. But it is how I understand what is causing the experience that makes all the difference. It is a very simple thing to take a look at: “What do I think is causing the way I am feeling and the way I am seeing?” Really considering that we are always experiencing our mind and our experiences of disruption are an experience of a disruption of thought, nothing more, does not require anything to change, but I have found it makes all the difference.
I have definitely had to keep an eye out for the feeling my mind has wanted to go in. My mind has wanted to speed up and spin into the future with a worried ‘what if’ feeling. I have had moments (including the announcement of the most recent lockdown) of feeling downhearted and unsteady. I felt like I was standing on a frozen lake which was cracking; my feet on two different bits of ice that were starting to drift in different directions. I have felt sad that the kids have again been sent home and not allowed to go to school. I am feeling for the teachers who are having to work extra hard to adapt to online teaching. On the plus side, our kids have never been so grateful for their teachers, for what a luxury it is to be taught in person and for having a school at all.
What I have found to be the single most useful thing in the face of my own challenges has been so simple.
I have slowed down when my mind wants to race into the future. I can't possibly know what is going to happen next. I have realised that I have never been accurate in guessing what the future would ‘feel’ like.
So why would I bother trying now.
I have realized that if things go in a direction I don’t want them to, I have my mind in the moment to help me. What I have also found is that when I slow down and get quiet and drop out of my worry stories, I feel hope fill my chest. I notice that when I remember to slow down my day goes from a list that weighs on my shoulders and chest like a ton of bricks, to just a moment at a time that not only is manageable but feels possible, hopeful and creative. I go from feeling like everything is falling apart to falling back in love with my family and my work and my feet land on gentle solid ground again. I call it my ‘wobble hack’.