“Our biggest mistake is that how we, as an individual, sees things, is the way life is. That’s not true. That’s one perspective out of billions of people on a planet in the universe. How could what you experience be true for everyone? That’s just ignorant to think that way.”
This summary & book (Clear Quiet Mind by Kevin Schoeninger) are guides for those who are looking for ways to attain a deeper inner peace, leading you to a more fulfilled life—being more happy, healthy, loving and wealthy.
All aspects of your life benefit from inner peace.
I highlight two main ideas from the book and within those sections I include many “how-to’s” and techniques that when practiced can help you obtain peace of mind and better life experiences.
You don’t need to read the sections in any specific order—if there is a section that you think will help you most then go to that one first!
Table of Contents for this Summary:
1) Main Idea Number 1 —The way you perceive & think about Reality is unique and NOT how Reality actually is (Solution=Objective Thinking)
1a) Perception in Politics
2) How to Take on an Objective Perspective
1) Recognize & Accept that your personal perspective has been influenced & shaped by your environment throughout your upbringing
2) THINK about specific experiences you would like to have more of, and then write them down
3) Technique—Mental Rehearsal
4) Technique—Making Conscious Turnarounds
5) Write down small actionable tasks you can do to get closer to experiencing things you want
6) Focus on what you are Thankful For
7) Practice Self-Observation
8) 5 ways To Practice Healthy Detachments
8a) Observe what you are doing from a place above and behind your head (The First Seat of Consciousness)
8b) Laugh at yourself (this is one of my personal favorites)
8c) Take a walk, exercise, change your posture, and move your energy
8e) Detachment Drill
9) —Big Idea Number 2 — Life Is Communicating With You
9a) Techniques & How To’s on Listening to Life
10) 7 More Techniques to Help you Live your Best Life
11) Technique For Redirecting Thoughts: Mental Pause
12) Mental Approach For Change: Take full responsibility
13) Technique—Remind self of affirmations
14) The Ultimate Release Technique: Forgiveness
15) Technique: Rewriting the Past Technique
16) Technique: Inner Smiling
17) Mental Technique: Viewing tough times as opportunities
18) More Quotes
Kevin explains how peace of mind does NOT come from external circumstances; it is something to be had by practicing techniques (written throughout this post), which when practiced and applied to your life can help you have more of the life experiences you truly want.
Kevin dives deep into the human psyche throughout the book by using what he has learned in over 35 years of learning & teaching multiple fields of Mind-Body Training (Life Coach, Qigong Meditation Instructor and Reiki Master Teacher). He also has his Master’s Degree in Philosophy.
I have done my best to condense the almost 200 page book into an outline of what I think will best help you begin living a more peaceful life today…
..I can confidently say that if you take time out of your busy day to patiently practice some of these techniques, you will recognize yourself having less worries & truly enjoying more of the day-to-day tasks that you previously found to be tedious.
If you’d like, you can buy the book here on Amazon.
—Main Idea Number 1—
The way you perceive & think about Reality is unique and NOT how Reality actually is.
…We all perceive & think about reality in our own different & unique way.
The quote at the very beginning of this article talks about how our personal, narrow-minded thinking can limit our life experiences and therefore our happiness.
What is the solution?
Practicing Objective Thinking.
When you aren’t able to understand why a person does what they do, you are looking at life through your own personal lens and not allowing yourself to view life through their lens.
Our limiting thoughts become our idea of who we are, and what reality is, but our thoughts can not represent reality in an accurate way.
Perception in Politics
A great example of this is in observing Politics. Politicians learn to speak confidently even if they are lying. They usually try to get people on “their side” and make “the other side” look bad. Instead of being objective and trying to truly see how they can help their community, country and world, they create an us against them mentality and only small and usually futile tasks are achieved. —This is not all politicians, but it seems to be a trend.
Can we one day genuinely cooperate & work together? Can we actually resolve negative situations?
*A way to resolve this is to take on the mindset of not viewing others’ opinions as ‘wrong,’ but just as different.*
Here are some quotes from Kevin that will help you begin taking on a more objective perspective:
“We believe that the way we think about things is the way things are—and if someone else thinks differently, we believe they are flat wrong. This leads to inner tension and outer conflict. It keeps us from expressing ourselves articulately and from working well with others.” (154)
“What if, instead of points of view being right or wrong, every point of view simply shows us some aspect of reality?” (154)
“What if we begin with each person sharing what is important to them, while the other people listen and ask questions to better understand where the one speaking is coming from? Everyone can then share their points of view with reference to the points made by previous speakers.” (154)
“What if our goal is not ‘Being Right!’ But, instead, coming to mutual understandings and solutions that honor each other’s perspectives?” (155)
“How might your discussions be if you start with these basic insights?:
1—Every point of view has something to show us.
2—No perspective contains the whole truth.”
“Once you let go of the need to be right, you can open to a much wider range of insight and information. You gain a deeper compassion for yourself and others.” (158)
How To Take On An Objective Perspective:
Recognize & Accept that your personal perspective has been influenced & shaped by your environment throughout your upbringing.
“Perspective is like a lens that offers a specific view of the world. It can be a collection of almost any number of preconceptions, expectations, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, needs, moods, relationships, memories, physical sensations, and external circumstances which form your personal meaning context at a specific moment in time.” (11)
“Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas.” Edward de Bono
Here are some questions that can show you how your perspective has been influenced by your environment. Answering these questions can help you gain a new perspective and lead you to living your best life on purpose:
What has been the result of living from this perspective?
Am I living a life I desire?
Have I chosen to surround myself with supportive people?
Practicing objective techniques (Below) can help you live a life you love.
Your actions are a result of your thinking, and if your thinking has been heavily influenced by your environment then how do you know you truly think for yourself?
You don’t need to be happy all the time—there are ups and downs in everyones’ lives—but you are the only person who can really know if you are living your best life.
Living as a product of one’s environment is easy, it takes little effort. Know that you have to put some effort into opening your mind to new perspectives and taking control of your life.
“What you focus on determines what appears before you. How you focus determines your relationship to what happens. Why you focus determines your energy, inspiration, actions, and results. And your conscious choice of focus determines the quality of your life and interactions with others.” (14)
“Ask yourself, ‘What am I focusing on at this moment?’ Then ask, ‘What happens when I focus on this?’” (15)
** “When we have any experience, the primary mistake we all make is to think that ‘the way we experience things is the way things are.’ … We absorb those beliefs, attach to them, identify with them, and live from them as if they are true, as if they accurately represent Reality. We then tend to think these beliefs will always be true and continue to act in alignment with them. Then, in turn, produces results in our lives that reinforce those beliefs.” (19-20)
Kevin talks about how when we live with our limiting beliefs we quickly tend to judge ourselves and others:
“We see ourselves and others conditionally. Only if people behave in certain ways, have certain preferences, or conform to certain beliefs and values, are they worthy of being loved, cared for, and rewarded. Otherwise, they are excluded or punished.” (20)
“Instead of asking ‘what is the right way to look at things?’ Ask ‘what does this perspective show us?’
‘What does it focus on and highlight?’
‘What does it reveal?’
‘What is the result of looking at this situation this way?’ (22)
THINK about specific experiences you would like to have more of, and then write them down (Technique-Mental Rehearsal)
“Is there anything you hope or wish for but haven’t been able to do, be, or have? A limiting belief is hiding there.” (21)
Many people automatically focus on negative results, which makes them more likely to have negative experiences. When you are thinking about an experience you do NOT want to have Kevin says you should think about positive alternatives and make a new choice that will lead to a better experience—(Technique-Making Conscious Turnarounds).
“The purpose of mental rehearsal is to consciously use your imagination to pave the way for the experiences you desire and to test options that might provide these experiences.”
How to Practice Mental Rehearsals:
“First, define an experience you’d like to have and imagine any important details of this experience.
Second, in your imagination step into the scene so it surrounds you. Notice what it feels like to live in this experience.
Third test some potential options that might give you this experience and notice how they make you feel.”
Take back control of your life. Ask these questions:
“Is it possible to let others have their feelings and opinions without allowing them to determine what you think and feel? Can you let go of allowing the opinions of others to control you? Is it possible to stand strong for what you want in the face of criticism?”
Also “Write down any obstacles or objections to the option you are considering and how you might handle them.”
“To summarize mental rehearsal, the key is to define and imagine your desired experience in full sensory detail, step into it as if you are living it, and notice how it feels.”
TECHNIQUE—MAKING CONSCIOUS TURNAROUNDS
“When you are frustrated, sad, angry, or depressed, what do you do? Are you at the mercy of these feelings? Do they make you think you’ll never have what you really want and never be who you want to be?” (173)
Conscious Turnarounds help you empower yourself.
How to have a conscious turnaround:
“Be real about what you are feelings and the thoughts that stroke this feeling. Don’t suppress it.”
“See if you can observe all this without judging yourself as good or bad. Use your skills of mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment.” (Mindfulness, acceptance & Detachment are discussed in Step 5).
“Ask yourself “When did I start thinking and feeling this way? What event set these thoughts and feeling in motion?”
“Have you thought this way your whole life? Or did a specific event or series of events set this mood in motion? Most recently, what prompted you to think, feel, and act this way?”
“This experience does not represent the way things are, it’s just how you think things are.”
“Perhaps there are other ways of thinking, which would feel different, lead you to act differently, and create different results?”
Remind yourself of your limiting perspective. Think about experiences you want to have and welcome those new possibilities.
“Ask yourself, “If anything is possible now, what would I like to have happen?”
“Even if you’re not convinced that you can think, feel, and act differently, what if you could? Even if you’re not convinced you can have different results in your life, what if it is possible? What happens when you act as if things can change?”
…“Once you crack open the door of what if, and allow in even a silver of light or a wisp of fresh air, that sets the stage for new thoughts, feelings, actions, and results to appear before you. What might these be?”
“Ask, ‘What is one, small, very doable action I can take to move in this direction, to have a taste of this experience?” (This is Step 3, below)
As you ask these questions and take action you become an intentional actor in your life instead of a victim of circumstances. Continuing to view yourself as a victim creates all kinds of anxieties and worries. Kevin says that conscious action is a cure:
“Stepping into conscious intentional action is the key to transforming your anxiety into excitement, anger and judgment into loving acceptance of yourself and others, depression into inspiration, doubt into confidence, and fear into faith.”
If this were easy everyone would do it. If it were easy to let go of how you think things are, we would all do it. It can be difficult because our thinking has been conditioned and reinforced throughout our lives. The more you practice letting go of how you think things are, the more you will take on new perspectives and allow for better life experiences.
“Your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results form a perspective through which you perceive yourself, others, and Life.”
Write down small actionable tasks you can do to get closer to experiencing things you want
Example—After writing down specific experiences you would like to have more of, such as “I would like to work from home and travel, living on a beach in _(fill in the blank)_,” some small actionable tasks to help you experience that are:
—Think about a subject or subjects that you are knowledgeable in. Write them down.
—Look up stay at home jobs in that field & look up the top influencers in that field.
—Read the top books(find at least 3 specific books) in your field of interest.
—Continually seeking out opportunities that would allow you to work from home.
*Never Stop Learning.
—Feel free to email me if you have a goal or goals and are having a difficult time thinking of actionable tasks to achieve it.
Focus on what you are thankful for
Think of at least 3 specific things instead of dwelling on something negative. This can quickly change your state of mind. Billionaire entrepreneur and coach Tony Robbins agrees and explains Here how to not just think about gratitude but feel and step into a grateful ‘state of being.’ He says that “Gratitude is the solution to anger and fear.”
“Self-observation is your ability to adopt a ‘neutral perspective’ from which you can witness your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results as objectively and honestly as possible—without judging them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ As best as you can, you simply witness what is.” (29)
Practicing self-observation includes using techniques that stem from mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment.
“Mindfulness is your ability to consciously place your attention on something and be ‘present with it.’ — You are present with your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results, moment by moment, without being caught up in and carried away by them. You are simply witnessing presence.” (30)
“Acceptance is crucial because it enables you to look at yourself very clearly, instead of avoiding the truth because you don’t like what you see.”
With acceptance comes detachment:
Detachment is separating yourself from your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results.
Kevin describes detachment with: “You separate who you are from the thoughts and feelings ‘you have,’ the actions ‘you take, and the results ‘you get.’ You are NOT your thoughts, feelings and actions, or the results you bring. You are the one who ‘has’ the experience.”
5 ways To Practice Healthy Detachments
8a) Observe what you are doing from a place above and behind your head (The First Seat of Consciousness)
The first seat of consciousness is letting go of our thoughts and any associations we have as we experience a place just above and behind our head.
“For a few moments, you let go and your awareness ‘diffuses,’ so you take in the ‘whole field’ of this page, yourself, and the space around you.”
Kevin introduces and explains how to practice this seat of consciousness HERE.
8b) Laugh at yourself (this is one of my personal favorites)
“We all take ourselves pretty seriously..” This is true.
* “There’s a simple antidote: see what’s funny about what you’re doing, thinking, or saying—or make it funny.”
“Can state what you’re thinking in a funny voice and really exaggerate it. This can work well with a limiting belief, a fear, or something you really want to be right about!!”
“Bottom line is to find something funny about what you’re doing or make it into something funny to take the edge off your seriousness and let go of how tightly you’re hanging onto your point of view.”
8c) Take a walk, exercise, change your posture, and move your energy
“Take a deep in-breath as you raise your arms overhead.
“If you really need an attitude adjustment, try more vigorous exercise.”
“When you journal, try writing down exactly what you are thinking and feeling, without judgment, nonstop, until you feel you’ve gotten it all out.”
“When you’re done writing, you may want to rip up what you’ve written, or burn it, to symbolize that those thoughts and feelings have run their course.”
8e) Detachment Drill
“Detachment Drill is something you can say to yourself, over and over, to imprint the idea that you are not defined by your current perspective. When you realize that you are much more than anything you think, feel, and do or anything that happens to you—this helps you detach and let go.”
As you practice detachment techniques you will be able to realize that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are only one aspect to any individual—they are not the whole individual. Who you truly are is beyond thoughts, which is hard to understand because as humans we are constantly thinking.
You are the universe experiencing itself through the perspective of the physical body you are in.
When you begin recognizing how your perspective is shaping your experiences, you will be able to better shape & change your perspective so that you are able to make choices that lead you to experiences you truly want to have.
“Keep in mind that your limiting perspective is not a solid, unchanging thing. It is more like a tendency, a preference, a habit, and one that isn’t giving you the results you desire.” (34)
Know that your limiting perspective is temporary and only thoughts that have been reinforced. It can be changed.
Many people are comfortable in their pain, so they hold on to their limiting perspectives:
“If you strongly identify with your limiting perspective, think it is a permanent quality that defines you, or think it is the ‘true and right way,’ to see things, you make it more real and substantial than it really is. It becomes negative force in your life and strongly determines the results you get.” (35)
So detachment is a lot about letting go of limiting perspectives so that you can have experiences you actually want to have.
When applying self-observation:
“You become a magnet for better experiences and discover that you have a lot more power to influence what happens than you thought. As a result of these experiences, you tend to feel more grateful and at ease no matter what happens.” (48)
—Big Idea Number 2 —
Life Is Communicating With You
In this section you will find quotes & ideas that can help you understand that life is communicating with you. People who ignore what life is telling them usually aren’t happy for long, but if you truly learn to listen to life, happiness happens.
This life-force is “An invisible life-force that has come in many names through many religions. This Life-Force is the Divine Breath that animates and connects us all.”
We experience this life-force all the time but we just don’t usually recognize it.
“Have you ever felt the presence of someone who just walked into a room? Or have you felt uneasy or deeply relaxed when entering a room? Do you get a feeling about a person when you meet them, without even knowing anything about them?”
These energies are life communicating with you.
Techniques & How To’s on Listening to Life:
“Breathing is one of the best techniques for activating the life-force. Breathing is the most primary event happening in the present moment that is keeping you alive.”
To practice breathing, find a quiet place as you sit comfortably upright. Don’t try to force breathing, but focus on the sensations inside your body:
“Allow your mind to rest on any sensations that draw your attention. See if it’s possible to simply be aware of how your breathing presents itself, without trying to feel anything specific and without trying to make anything happen. Just pay attention and notice any sensations of breathing..”
“See if you can maintain an attitude of ‘waiting on your breath’ and ‘following it’ just as it is.”
“To help you, can mentally repeat ‘breathe In’ when inhaling, then ‘breathe out’ when exhaling.”
“Or can say ‘Re’ when inhaling then ‘lax’ when exhaling. Many people find an anchoring word or phrase is soothing and helps them focus.”
As you breathe, ‘feel that you’re welcoming the Universal Life-force into yourself as you inhale and imagine that you are breathing out feelings of appreciation and gratitude for this gift of life as you exhale.”
“What if you relax and trust the flow of life through you, rather than trying so hard to make things happen, because you believe it’s all up to you and you have to do it on your own?”
Letting go and trusting life will give you a more abundant, healthy and peaceful life.
As you begin listening more to life as it communicates to you, you will be able to welcome new possibilities into your life:
“This is a powerful gift of a clear quiet mind—the ability to receive intuitive insight and guidance….your mind is in a state in which intuitive wisdom naturally arises.”
“You can use your analytical mind to gather date, assess pros and cons, and weigh alternatives. Then once you’ve done this preliminary research, it’s time to set your intuitive mind to work.”
“What if you pick up on everything that is happening around you because you are, in fact, interacting with everything energetically? What if you are not aware of these interactions simply because these exchanges are invisible to your eyes and you have not tuned into and cultivated your ability to sense energy?”
“With practice, this type of information can become a source of profound guidance. Receiving this guidance brings a sense of magic and spiritual comfort to life. It gives you the feeling that everything is set up just the way it is meant to be—and that all is well.”
“A nice analogy here is to imagine your mind as the sky. When the sky is clear, it’s easy to see individual clouds floating by. If your mind’s sky is stormy, it’s a jumbled, swirling, confusing mass of information that can be overwhelming.”
“So the first step in discerning intuitive information is learning to clear and quiet your mind—To recognize where you’re coming from, let go of how you think things are, and return to your clear quiet mind.”
“In a nutshell, this is a matter of paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, noticing information in the many forms it might come to you, asking good questions about what you notice, and testing out the results and consequences in real life.”
“For example, Dr. Rossman, suggests that, if you become aware that you’re having heart trouble, you might imagine that your heart can speak to you. Ask it what it has to tell you, what it wants. If you have headaches, imagine that your head or brain can speak to you.What does it need in order not to hurt so much?”
“Good questions to ask: ‘What’s the message in this pain, anxiety, fear, irritation, or discomfort? What needs attention right now? What can I do about this?”
“A second way your subconscious speaks to you is through images. Do you notice any recurring scenes, scenarios, or images in your dreams? Do you notice the same images in your environment again and again? Recurring and attracting images can be signs that important information is available.”
“Third notice signals in your environment. What is life showing you by what is happening to you? What do you hear others saying? What is life revealing about you by what is appearing around you?”
Journaling can help you put the pieces of this puzzle together. To figure out what life is telling you, write down everything that happens throughout your days—your thoughts, feelings, actions, experiences, etc.
“What if life is always guiding you to your next step? Imagine a possible step you could take.”
Again, Good questions to ask:
“What can I do about such and such?
What is the message in this experience?
What is important to know about ________?
What is my soul purpose in this situation?”
“Pay attention to insights arriving in your daily life, your dreams, and your interactions with others. You also might receive images or insights that don’t make clear sense at first, but, as you contemplate them more, they reveal new insights.”
“See if you can simply stay present with your inquiry, without rushing to have an answer. Allow it to resonate within you and imagine your inquiry sends out lines that connect with what you need to know right now.”
It’s important to stay present, open and aware without judging anything to really hear what life is telling you.
7 More Techniques to Help you Live your Best Life:
Technique For Redirecting Thoughts: Mental Pause
Kevin encourages readers to use the technique of a Mental Pause to redirect your negative thoughts to a better experience:
“Can be used in moments of tension, fear, anxiety, stress, and confusion…to practice mental pause, stop what you’re doing, take a time-out and insert a mental pause….
—Ask, “What am I afraid of at this moment? Notice the first thing that comes to mind.”
—Ask “Is there anything I need to do about this? Does this relate to a painful situation from my past? If so, am I now ready and willing to let this fear go?”
“As you discover this deeper source of peace, you’ll gain a greater trust, faith, and belief in the benevolent grace of Life and be able to welcome new and better possibilities.” (52)
Mental Approach For Change: Take full responsibility
We know that the first step is to recognize the way you’re thinking. Now, take 100% responsibility for your perspective. Yes, our environment shapes us, but now that you know that it shapes you, it’s time for you to shape yourself.
“Only when you take full responsibility for how you are thinking about things are you able to let go of thoughts that no longer serve you.”
Lasting results come from inner work.
“This inner work is not just for you, because, as you release your fear-based thoughts, stories, and beliefs, you add this ability to our collective consciousness.”
Detachment helps with this inner work—“Detachment is simply stepping outside your current perspective, so you can let go, gain new insight, and welcome new possibilities.” (57)
Technique—Remind self of affirmations:
—“I have thoughts and opinions, and I am more than these. I am a conscious observer who can entertain many different thoughts and choose the ones that work best at any given moment.”
—“I have emotions and feelings, and I am more than these. I can explore the energy and information in emotions to better understand myself and others.”
—“I have interests and desires, and I am more than these. I can use my interests and desires as information to steer me toward what I am here to do.”
—“I have a body, and I am more than a body. My body is just a vehicle in which my soul has experiences.”
—“I have experiences, and I am more than these. I am a witnessing presence who can choose how I relate to whatever happens.”
“Repeat this sequence (affirmations above^^) out loud or in your mind until you notice a shift in your consciousness—until you’ve really detached from hanging onto any way you define yourself that limits you. Then, notice how you feel.”
I loved chapter 7 so much that I wrote an article on this chapter alone. You can find out more on the Myth of Perfection HERE.
The Ultimate Release Technique: Forgiveness
What is true forgiveness? And how can you really forgive? Read Kevin’s impactful view on forgiveness below.
“Forgiveness is an essential technique for letting go of any experience that has an intense emotional charge.”
Kevin has a good perspective on forgiveness:
“Before we explore what it means to forgive and why it’s so effective, let’s dismiss two common misconceptions about forgiveness that may hold you back from it—
—1) That forgiveness is about letting a person who did something wrong ‘off the hook.’
—2) That forgiveness means you are weak or ‘giving in.’
“Forgiveness is primarily about the one doing the forgiving. Forgiveness is something you do to let go. It is something you do to stop allowing the past to intrude on the present.”
“It is about letting go of being defined and controlled by something that happened in the past. You forgive so you can move on. Forgiveness is a step toward your own personal inner freedom.”
“Forgiveness is an act of strength. It is saying to yourself, ‘I will not be controlled by what happened to me in the past. I will not be a victim. I choose to let go, so I can move forward.’” 78
“Forgiveness may or may not be expressed to someone else. You don’t need to say: ‘I forgive you for _____’ you can forgive them for yourself as you say it to yourself.”
Many times people unintentionally hurt another person because of something going on inside of them. Practice not taking your pains personally:
“That doesn’t mean that what they did was right, or excusable, or in any way acceptable to you. They may have been completely misguided. However, what if what they did was an expression of where they were coming from at that moment—and that was about them.” 79
“What they did might have been a retaliation for something you did that was unfair, uncaring, dishonest, or harmful. Is there something you did, said, thought, or felt that played into what happened?”
Kevin also talks about the importance of forgiving yourself. He asks readers, “Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?”
“Forgiveness happens in layers over time — You’ll know when its been effective. You’ll feel an inner freedom that wasn’t there before. You may also sense a clearing in the relationship with you and the others involved.”
Forgiveness can be a process that takes time. It can take multiple efforts and progressive insights & results for real forgiveness to happen.
Doc Childre said “If you stop traveling down those pathways, they’ll soon give way to the new patterns you’re creating, but it takes repetition.”
How to Practice Forgiveness:
“Forgiveness, in our context, is letting go of anger, resentment, blame, or indignation toward yourself and others for perceived wrongdoing.” 80
“You forgive not because what was done was OK, or in any way acceptable, but simply because forgiveness will help you to heal, move on, and journey forward. Regardless of the potential impact on others (which can be powerful), forgiveness of others and yourself is most important for what it does for you, the person doing the forgiving.” 80
It’s normal to feel resistance to forgiveness.
Kevin invites you to practice forgiveness using a meditative journaling process called “Rewriting the Past.” Rewriting the past helps you call to mind a past event and view it in a new healthier and objective perspective.
Technique: Rewriting the Past Technique
How to Rewrite the Past:
“Find yourself a quiet private environment and commit 20 minutes to do this. Turn off your phone.”
1) Begin by consciously relaxing
—Imagine your body parts completely relaxed. Feel them relaxed. “Take a few slow, deep breaths and feel the sensations of breathing inside your body. Each time you exhale, release any tension from your body with a deep sigh, ‘haaahhhh.’”
2) From this relaxed place, call to mind the past experience you would like to let go of and give it a name.
—Imagine where you were, who you were with, what happened, and how you felt. As you recall this event, accept whatever images, thoughts, or feelings arise.
“You had this experience, but you are more than this experience. It in no way defines who you are. You are a conscious presence who is more than any experiences you have had.
All feelings come and go. It’s OK. You’ll be fine. If you feel overwhelmed, take a few slow deep breaths to help you let go and come back to present-moment sensations in your body.
3) Now shift to key components of the memory associated with this experience.
—Look back on the past event as objectively as possible, see it as a learning opportunity, forgive yourself and others, and, then, see the past in a new light.”
4) Forgive self for the part you played in this experience.
5) Observe self in new light.
—Remember better moments/experiences with the people involved. Can you create a new memory in relation to this event in the light of self-compassion?
—Imagine and feel as if your whole body is filling with your breath. As you exhale, imagine and feel as if your whole body empties out.
—Other ways to rewrite the past include forgiving the other person or persons involved. Not because it was ok for them to do what they did, but for your healing.
Also see if it’s possible to remember better moments with the person or people involved.
Is it also possible to see this past experience as a learning opportunity?
—“Write down any insights about how this experience can help you be wiser or become a better person.”
Here is an idea of why we stress so much:
“We normally identify who we are with our body, our personality, our thoughts and feelings, what we believe, the roles we fulfill, and what we do. Because these aspects of our being are subject to change, decay, and death, we constantly try to make ourselves into something more substantial and secure. We are always striving to be, do, or have more. This fruitless pursuit keeps us in a perpetual state of stress.” (95)
Who is the “I” that is having the experience? It’s not your ego-it’s NOT who you think you are. Kevin calls this egoless state of mind your “clear quiet mind” (96)
This can help you prioritize: “What might you let go of because it’s not really that important? What might you choose to prioritize and focus on?” (107)
Technique: Inner Smiling
Inner smiling is also a great technique to create better experiences and a clear quiet mind for yourself.
“Inner Smiling is a powerful way to heal your heart, reduce stress, improve your health and immune response, stay calm in the midst of chaos grow stronger relationships, and find clear intuitive guidance.”
It’s “Focusing on your heart while you generate these ‘core heart feelings.’”
“Using appreciation, gratitude, love and trust within the space of your heart shifts you into a state of optimal function and healing.”
Step to help with inner smiling:
—Get relaxed, imagine your favorite place. (Example- sitting in sun in warmth) Feel yourself smile and smile and feel gratitude.
“Imagine you are breathing warm, positive, smiling energy in and out through your heart…As you breathe in, imagine and feel you are welcoming warm, positives smiling energy into your heart. Appreciate and feel grateful for this soothing energy.”
Mental Technique: Viewing tough times as opportunities
“What if these challenging moments are the ones that hold the greatest opportunity to break free from your habitual reactions? What if your most challenging struggles carry your greatest guidance and deepest connections?”
“Challenging emotions are portals to deeper insights and connections.”
“Doc Childre and Howard Martin of the HeartMath Institute describe the power of the heart: The heart’s electromagnetic field is by far the most powerful produced by the body; it’s approximately five thousand times greater in strength than the field produced by the brain, for example. The heart’s field not only permeates every cell in the body but also radiates outside of us; it can be measured up to eight to ten feet away with sensitive detectors called magnetometers.”
So remember that you have a limiting perspective. Don’t avoid your feelings or distract yourself. Limiting thoughts arise often. Once you recognize them you can move forward.
How you think things are are NOT the way things actually are. It’s just how things are for you.
“Place your attention in your heart, imagine you are breathing in and out through your heart, and allow your emotions to flow freely through you, rather than trying to stop them.”
Imagine yourself in a comfortable position. An ideal place. On a beach. A couch. Relaxing in a country you’d love to be in. A place that soothes and supports you.
Ask yourself what you need to do to move through this. What can you learn from this experience? How can you respond to this situation to move forward with meaning and purpose? Allow yourself to welcome new possibilities.
“Shrines of loved ones…We see them every day and remember that life is more than a few years in this body and we are always part of a larger spiritual family. The worries of life seem so much less scary from an Eternal perspective.”
If there are any quotes in this section that have already been written throughout the paper it is because repetition is a great way to learn. The more you hear something, the more you are likely to learn it.
Perspectives, just like subjects in schools, are learned, which means that you can change yours with practice.
“Meditation also taught me about the diversity in myself. I can have a whole host of different thoughts and feelings—and none of these define who I am. I can inhabit any number of roles and engage in any number of different activities, yet none of these define me. I am something other than the thoughts, feelings, roles, and behaviors in which I participate.” (157)
“I am simply one who has experience. Objectively speaking, I am “a place” in the Universal Field where “experiences happen.” Subjectively I am a witnessing presence who can step into and inhabit any perspective that I choose in order to experience a wide variety of possibilities.” (157)
“Personal flaws can be doorways to greater awareness, as well. When we approach them with mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment, our flaws give us perspectives that lead us to specific insights or to develop specific skills we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.” (157)
“Our personal quirks give us unique perspectives that widen the world. They also give us more appreciation for the quirks of others.” (157)
“Instead of hunkering down and being scared, defensive, judgmental, and angry, we can accept the diverse parts of our own experience—including our own feelings of vulnerability. We understand that anger and judgment are defenses that protect these softer sides of ourselves.” (158)
“Underneath our anger and judgments are feelings of wanting to be loved, accepted, safe, and secure.” (158)
“You can live in many different worlds —and these worlds change moment by moment, depending on what you focus on and how you relate to it.” (162)
“Houses are a great metaphor for perspective. A perspective is a point of view you inhabit that enables certain experiences. Perspectives include thoughts, feelings, memories, actions, and habits that form a point of view. A point of view enables you to see certain things and not others. It gives you a focus that supports certain types of experiences.”162
“So when searching for a house, or making any decision, here are some good questions to ask yourself: ‘What experience do I want to have? And “What decision best supports this experience?” (162)
“As one who has experiences, as a witnessing presence, you can choose to inhabit any perspective.” (185)
Kevin encourages you to think that everything happens for the benefit of the whole life-source:
“I believe the challenges we are having right now on our planet are doing exactly this—pushing us to evolve. What if Life is calling us to expand and grow, to raise our consciousness to a new level?” (185)
“What if all these events are coming up to make us more of who we are here to be?” (186)
“In the face of these challenges, (what if we learned to ) ask more empowering questions:
—“What is this experience trying to tell me? If life is set up to always guide me forward, what is this experience revealing? What is it calling forth from me? What do I want to see more of in the world? How can I participate in this? How can I make a positive difference in my own life—and share this with others?” (186)
“What do you feel inspired to do? How can you act on this today?” (186)
“When you engage in conscious, positive, intentional action—even a little every day—it changes how you feel about life. When you make inspired action a practice, you no longer feel like a victim of circumstances. You realize you are a conscious creator who can make a difference. You are here to play your part, to take on your unique role. In the light of this perspective, your actions take on a life of their own and they carry you, and all of us, forward to places we’ve never imagined possible!” (187)
“From the deep inner peace of your clear quiet mind an abiding appreciation and gratitude for the gift of each moment naturally arises—and you realize you can welcome any experience you choose!” (187)
As you begin to live with more of a clear quiet mind, you are able to view life through a lens of love, being able to live more of the experiences you truly want.
Continue practicing techniques that help you deepen your inner peace. Good luck & I hope the best for you on your journey!