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What I've learned from 40 years in the 'field of change' is that our world isn’t just shaped by what we say and do. It's shaped by our thoughts, feelings and beliefs; by the "consciousness" behind our behaviours. So why is that important?
At our core, people want love, acceptance, security, and connection. We long to know that we are okay, have enough, and experience joy/peace of mind.
Yet when we try to create change, we often treat people the opposite way. We tend push people to do what we want or think is best -- to get them to buy, think or act differently. We may even use manipulative, critical or controlling ways to do that. This may bring short term results. But it ignores how others are feeling and thinking, and what they really want. And it also leads to conflict.
When we use fear, pressure, anger or aggressiveness to change people, our results are less effective. It also grows this consciousness in and around us. And this is what is shaping our world today.
The Thinking behind Behaviour Change
What we do is an expression of how we think, feel and believe. Greed, fear, ego or uncaring behaviour aren't goals in themselves. We don't engage in these because we're "bad" people. They're ways that all of us use to try and make ourselves feel better. Thus over-consumption is really about a lack of inner satisfaction and a belief that "more" will bring us greater happiness. Aggressive behaviour rises out of fear and pain inside, not inner confidence. Ego reflects an inner unworthiness or need to get acceptance from others. And addictions are ways of trying to cope with an inner pain and feel better.
When seen this way, simply changing behaviour or telling people they should act differently doesn't get at the roots of our problems. Trying to control others actually makes them feel worse. It breeds resentment. People don't feel heard and accepted. And these thoughts/feelings will then get expressed in other ways.
Conscious change is about working with the thinking behind behaviour -- so that we help one another to experience inner worth, respect, power and love. And it is these that then shape our choices, and get expressed through healthy, caring and empowering actions.
How do we create change differently?
Within each of us are two mindsets: One that thinks/acts out of fear, separateness, self interest and competition with others. And another which is its opposite. In this mindset, we act out of love, caring, and compassion. We see and experience connection. We desire to give our best and want the best for others. When we act and communicate from this place in us, powerful things happen.
What I discovered (often the hard way) is that lasting positive change doesn't come from trying to change others. This actually increases people's resistance to change. It comes from growing & supporting the loving, secure, connected place in them – by first finding it within myself.
How can we do this? There are so many ways, but here are just a few:
- Thinking and feeling into others' needs, wants, interests & concerns
- Asking and listening to what people think, feel and believe
- Supporting people to engage in what matters most to them
- Building a bridge between their interests & ours, and
- Loving, accepting & forgiving ourselves, and listening to our inner wisdom...
All of these help us to connect with and grow the 'loving' mindset within.
This is not "new"...
This wisdom has been known throughout history. Some have called this mindset our true Self; our deeper or higher wisdom; our whole or loving mind. Abraham Lincoln called it the "better angels of our nature." Spiritual and religious traditions have called it our Spirit, Buddha self or Christ mind.
Whatever name we use, it exists within all of us. When we act from this consciousness, our world changes. We feel richer, better, happier and more engaged. People around us feel safer. They’re more open, willing, and responsive. The way we relate shifts as well. There's more collaboration and less conflict. We operate from a larger self interest, and experience more flow. We draw upon a deeper wisdom. And our results are often more than we could have expected - or imagined.
What is new (to some)... is the idea that we live in a conscious universe, and the possibility that it is our thoughts that shape our physical world, rather than the other way around. This shift to a "consciousness worldview" - described by some of the world's oldest scriptures (e.g. Vedanta/Hindu tradition) and proposed by some at the 'edge' of science today - is that consciousness is what actually 'undergirds' physical reality. If true, this really will 'change everything' in terms of how we create change.
What is Conscious Change?
It's becoming more conscious of how to use these insights and wisdom to create practical change in all areas of life - our relationships, our work and our world. It's about:
- Living from our deeper/higher self, truths, values and aspirations;
- Watching what motivates or drives our behaviours (e.g. love or fear, fullness or lack);
- Discovering what inspires, raises, heals and connects us;
- Engaging in the many practices which help us grow this 'true self' (from mindfulness, meditation & prayer to compassion, non-violent communication & deep listening to healing our wounds/blocks, self love & forgiveness to conscious business... and many more)
- Seeing the impacts we are having on others and the world around us; and
- Learning the true power of our thoughts/consciousness to shape our world...
And it's using all of these to create healing change that benefits us all.
More about Conscious Change
Understanding these two mindsets
How could I use this in my life/work?
How could you help me?
Talks and Workshops
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