I’m Juliet Fay, based in West Wales, UK, a writer and Three Principles Facilitator. Join my list for updates and this free e-booklet, ‘Plagued with doubt? A simple way through’.
.The world is changing fast, in ways we cannot predict and people are waking up. Waking up to what matters. We need to adapt to what is coming (whatever that may be). Already this year, we are facing challenges, previously unseen for many in the richest countries.
The shocks coming thick and fast are exposing systems that are not fit for purpose: economic systems, healthcare systems, criminal justice systems, food and farming systems, the media, our relationship with time, ageing, dying, systems of relating to our fellow human beings, the natural world and most of all how we relate to what and who we really are. Countless people know at first hand how unfit these systems are but they adversely affect us all (even those who appear to benefit from them)
We live as if we are separate entities who must exploit, belittle or destroy those we deem less than us and flatter, worship and ingratiate ourselves with those we deem to be more powerful. We search endlessly for security and status in the material world all the while knowing that is not what really matters. It looks as if we must constantly fight to get and protect resources for ourselves and our loved ones.
From this standpoint we look like crazed animals fighting for a piece of a finite pie. Dog eat dog. And the big dogs get the little dogs to do their dirty work. It seems like a world where everything is evaluated on its worth based on narrow and soul destroying criteria. In the richest nations, we are a product of this culture whether we know it or not (and mostly it is invisible).
There have always been cycles of birth, growth, decay and destruction but now it looks like we are witnessing an acceleration of the destructive phase without a corresponding rise in the rate of birth and growth: birth of new species, new ideas, new depths of being. Things appear to have got badly out of balance. And we all know this in our hearts. But there is hope.
There is another way. A way to live generously with love in our hearts. To live in wonder at the fact of being alive. To live from abundance of spirit. To engage fully in life with all its ups and downs. To extend compassion to the hurt and hurting. With love in our hearts we are open and curious to the richness on offer when we engage with others. Other people, other cultures, other religions, other beliefs, other species, other times, other stages of life, other world views, other skills, other experiences. And this is not for when we have fixed the problems of hunger, poverty, violence and destruction. This is urgently needed in order to experience a different world.
Witness the popularity of natural history programmes, where skilled wildlife presenters give us a window on the world of species from the tiniest to the most majestic. The lens they invite us to look through, is one of wonder and curiosity.
Everything, means everything: including the atrocities, the genocide, the cruelty, the violence and destruction that humans inflict on each other, other species and the land. What might we see if we really looked?
There is seeming unbearable pain and horror there. Something we don’t want to see. Something it is easier to look away from. Our hearts may already be hardened against touching this suffering.
We might discover we all have those hard places. How the hardness of heart shows up varies. Often we can’t see our own hard heartedness. These are our blind spots. They look to be ‘just how it is’. Our reality. If challenged we would come up with all kinds of logical justifications for treating others as less or more than us. We might begin to realise we learnt that hardness as a coping mechanism, from our families, our communities, our cultures, our leaders. We might realise that hardness of heart comes from fear and insecurity. We might realise that anxiety about our place in the world, our past, our future drives all kinds of behaviour that reinforces the idea of separation.
Yet for every moment our hearts are hard, we might also notice there are other moments when we experience the joy and connectedness of an open heart. And so does everyone else. Those who beat, murder, oppress and orchestrate and perpetuate systems that hurt others, also feel moments of love and understanding for their loved ones, for animals, for ideas, for nature:-
We move between open heart and hardness of heart all the time and that is natural. One comes from being in contact with our essence and the other from the illusion of insecurity. When we recognise that, really see it and experience it, then we experience a shift. A shift in our relationship to our own experience.
This shift does not come from trying to be compassionate or kind, from writing in a gratitude journal, from striving to be a ‘better’ person than your ex, your neighbour, your parents or your adult children. It comes from a shift in consciousness. When we get a glimpse of what is beyond our sense of separation. When we feel, really feel life coursing through us, unadulterated, unfiltered, without judgement or commentary. When our sense of self expands to include all life. Then, then, we cannot help but feel compassion, love and gratitude for all life: the rocks, plants, insects, algae, animals, trees, humans, living and dead.
Does it come all of a sudden? For some. Mostly, it is a gradual movement towards wholeness and away from separation. The fear and insecurity the progeny of separation that creates and experiences so much suffering begins to look less real, so we pay it less mind.
Made as it is by the incredible, infinite power of thought. The same power of thought that creates a symphony, feeds the hungry, opens shelters when homes are shattered and which we can experience as profound and timeless love on looking into the eyes of a newborn.
The word humanity is from the Latin humanitas for “human nature, kindness.”
As we wake up to our humanity, we naturally do less harm to ourselves and others. There is more us and less them. Day to day, just as the tide ebbs and flows, we can move in and out of a sense of our humanity, a sense of something beyond our temporary ever changing states of mind. But every day we have the opportunity to wake up, over and over, deeper and deeper.
If this article gets you curious, follow where that curiosity leads you.
© words and artwork Juliet Fay 2020 Artwork: detail from ‘Heartfelt’, acrylic on canvas 30cm x 30cm
On the estuary where I live a rusty old fishing boat sits on the sand. I don’t know when it last went out to sea and yet at the rise of the tide this boat comes to life for a few hours, bobbing on the water.
When I see that boat, I often think of a moment I felt great hope stir in a room of 180 people, two years ago.
At the One Solution conference in Oslo in 2016 George Pransky raised the question:
Why hasn’t this Three Principles understanding spread further?
He responded, something to the effect, maybe the time wasn’t right but now there was a sense of change happening. “All boats rise with the tide,“ he said.
“All boats rise with the tide”
That phrase has stayed with me.
There seem to be more and more people looking towards Truth and I see people waking up to the idea there is an anchor point in their lives they have lost sight of.
It seems certain societies have gone off down a bit of a detour for a generation or two drifting away from home, chasing after shiny stuff and collectively losing sight of our essence and what this Life is all about.
It all seems to be getting less personal. As stuff that doesn’t serve us, falls away, we get lighter. Like a field of sunflowers turning towards the nourishing rays of the sun, beings are waking up everywhere.
And what a show it is.
Who knows, perhaps there have been other movements at other times in history in different parts of the world and I have a sense there are communities where the focus never shifted so far from the source.
It seems to be less about me and mine and more about Life and Love and connection coming into focus.
Why do I say this?
It makes sense.
If my life can be experienced so differently (though it looks much the same on the outside) and so many others I know (and know of) are finding their lives more peaceful, easy and filled with Love, then much as my little self would like to imagine this has something to do with me being a diligent student, I see this can’t really be the case.
Though I love gathering for conversations looking towards Truth and I love to share this understanding and help others share their understanding, to the best of my capacity, I’ve had a suspicion for a while now, that my own and others’ deepening awareness of what we really are is due to a collective rise in consciousness that is gathering pace.
And this is exciting for so many reasons:-
The shift towards an understanding of a universal consciousness beyond our personal sense of self, takes our focus away from the personal and towards the bigger picture where what we have in common is far more compelling than what divides us.
The teaching of this understanding in all its many forms is spreading in rural and urban areas around the world. The ripple effects of sharing this understanding overtly and covertly through our daily dealings with people is accelerating.
The impact of more and more human souls waking up to their True Nature is the great hope for humanity.
This rise in consciousness is being nourished by spiritual teachers and traditions all around the world using many different forms of words.
It seems to me there is a great germination happening and once started awareness seems to unfold in each being at a subconscious level.
So why continue to stay in the conversation?
All through history humankind has been drawn to congregate in a space of quiet reflection, to hear Truth. From storytellers round the fire to preachers in the pulpit, there is a deep desire to rest in the awareness of something greater than our (small) selves.
Just as the old fishing boat cannot help but rise with the tide, I have a sense that consciousness is rising in humanity and nothing can hold that back. Enjoy the ride!
© Juliet Fay 2018
Two years later and we might be asking where is this great swell of hope and rising consciousness? I guess it depends where we are looking from. I see several large scale shifts in awareness underway, around global issues: climate, sexism and systemic racism. It may look as if there is a big mountain to climb but the sea change in attitudes has a momentum that is bringing changes in behaviour. It may not include everyone but once there is some kind of critical mass, old systems and habits begin to give way as the thought patterns that created them lose their power.
Einstein famously said,
‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’
Knowing at some level we have everything we need to create more just and equitable communities, looks to me, to be the first step towards opening the door to the ideas, innovations and actions that will bring that into form.
Being willing to face the fact that our existing, often unconscious, conditioning, ways of inter-relating and foundational beliefs in scarcity and insecurity have led to some profoundly harmful ways of being in the world, looks like a doorway, an invitation to uncover the parts of our humanity that have been obscured.
And yes that might be painful to look squarely in the eye, but it is nothing to the hurt and pain that have been inflicted. But the healing, the treasure on offer for us all, the other side of that reckoning, is beyond what I can currently imagine. I sense it and am drawn towards it but I have a feeling, I may have to give up something (internally and externally) to get even a glimpse of the riches that lie beyond fear and insecurity.
13 July 2020
Photo © Juliet Fay
Three Rivers Estuary, Carmarthenshire Wales, UK
1st November 2017
Winter walks reveal all kinds of delights in the absence of the lush summer foliage. Like lichen and dormant seed heads. These seasonal ornaments invite us to remember the sweetness of life right here, right now. In our quest for peace or deeper understanding we can miss what’s right in front of us.
Doing the housework, paying bills, preparing for tomorrow’s activities. Folding clothes, creating slides, feeding animals, printing papers, checking news-feeds, reading reports, listening to the radio, cleaning work surfaces, running errands, recycling, posting parcels, chopping, hauling loads, cooking, writing, reading, listening, walking, running, beach combing, taking photos, driving, swimming, sitting, resting, napping, calculating, forecasting, estimating, drawing, painting, knitting, singing, chatting, debating, gaming, sharing laughter, music, TV, film, jokes, watching nature, weather, clouds, faces of those you love and complete strangers, breathing in and out.
There are a million ways to experience each moment and each remains only a possibility until it happens. A figment of the imagination until it is brought into form. And once passed it resides only in the shadowland of memory.
There is no storehouse of experience. That too is illusory.
We can not make deposits and withdrawals in some vast memory bank that will create a better now. For now is unattached to past and future. It exists independent of all else and yet intimately connected with everything else that ever has or will come into form. A paradox we do not need to understand.
And that is the joy of it. Each moment contains infinite possibility. No matter what the experience of the moment before; the next one could be anything. How can we possibly know what is coming next? How can we make sense of any of it?
We simply don’t seem to be equipped to fully grasp the miraculous, mysteriousness of this thing called Life.
So call off the search.
And rest, as far as you can, in the extraordinary miracle of being alive to each ordinary moment and see how those moments begin to transform into something rich and sweet.
Something that has nothing to do with the activity we are engaged in and everything to do with the awareness we rest in while experiencing those activities.
Photo © Juliet Fay
Penamaen Woods, Gower Peninsular, Wales, UK
9 February 2018
I’d love to hear your reflections on this piece.
I went to look at contemporary art in a gallery recently. It wasn’t what I’d planned. I was heading to look at a collection from the nineteenth century but at the last minute found myself outside a modern art gallery and so, on a whim, I changed my plan and headed in despite a niggling feeling.
Why the reluctance?
I have an idea I just don’t ‘get’ modern art. Rather than come right out and admit that, in the past, I would have said it is pretentious, pointless or some other sweeping generalisation. But I thought I would give it a go.
Once in front of a multi-media exhibition I found myself examining the labels on each piece. Words. I like words. I was looking for a way in, to understand the point of the piece.
To my surprise I found myself amused and drawn by several pieces
Next up, a photographer’s work. Framed black and white print after framed black and white print with no captions. What! No descriptions. I read the bio of the artist and once I realised there were no captions, I relaxed and started to gaze at the prints. They were arresting and showed a variety of subjects. Instead of trying to work out where they were I found myself just enjoying the atmosphere and the feeling I got from the prints. I was captivated.
It strikes me it’s very easy to get all opinionated about life as it comes through us
To have all kinds of rules and stories about how things should be, in our heads and in our lives. This tends to leave us with a precarious relationship to what ‘is’ because most of what shows up falls into the ‘not okay’ category. And what I realised from my foray into contemporary art is you miss so much when you stick to randomly created ideas (calcified into beliefs) about what things are or are not, should or should not be.
‘Like’ or ‘dislike’ are totally arbitrary and subject to change
And more often than not our opinions and beliefs come from thoughts about the past rather than what is in front of us.
We may like the smell of coffee because we associate it with all sorts of ‘nice’ things. We may dislike wet weather because in the past we have felt down on a grey day. The sentiment is not really about the coffee or the rain it’s about what stories we hold about them.
And those can change at any time….. Who knows what you currently dislike or think is impossible that you could see differently, at any moment?
I’d love to hear what comes up for you on reading this article. Please add any comments, questions, reflections or insights below.
As tools to communicate, social media platforms are fantastically efficient: fast, (mostly) free and easy to access and they provide a whole world of connections, information and inspiration.
However when we begin to mis-use our social media feeds: say constantly checking our Facebook feed to get a hit of feeling good or begin to compare ourselves negatively with others or simply use it to distract ourselves from engaging in tasks we dislike, the Facebook feed no longer serve us and can become a hindrance to being or doing in the world as we would wish.
This is not the fault of the social media platforms, simply a result of how we use them. How nice it is when we switch off our social media feed for a while. Returning to our feed after a break, we get reminded too what a great tool it can be when we are clear about when it’s helpful and when it’s not.
Our social media feed is not so different from our cognitive function
Our cognitive function, our ability to reason and make judgement is a fabulous tool which is incredibly helpful when we are faced with certain problems, tasks or projects such as building a bridge, baking a cake, learning to play an instrument, organising a party, booking travel plans, doing our tax returns or buying tickets.
Where would we be without it?
It excels at assembling facts, looking critically at information, making judgements, weighing up pros and cons and coming to conclusions. All very useful skills in some areas of life. Imagine the world if this function did not exist?
But our analysing and judging capabilities are really, really rubbish when it comes to matters of the heart.
By matters of the heart, I mean that search for a sense of peace, well-being and connectedness which lies at the heart of what all human beings yearn for. We may not express it that way. We may express it as a yearning for a partner, a rewarding job, a family, good mental or physical health but these just look like ways we might get to feel these things, to feel ‘happy’.
The cognitive brain is really, really bad at helping us feel connected and peaceful.
In that arena, the cognitive mind is no use at all. It’s simply the wrong tool for the job.
Do you hear the calling?
There is in each of us a deep deep yearning. A yearning to be at rest, at peace. It is a yearning that propels people up mountains, to run marathons to meditation and yoga classes, into nature or reaching for the top of the career ladder or aspiring to drive a nice car. We reach blindly for things out there, mistakenly believing in that yoga class, in that summiting of the mountain, in that winning of that promotion, we will find what we seek.
The yearning to be at rest, to experience peace, comes from a desire to feel complete, okay, satisfied. To rest in the space where there is nothing to be done, no goals to be achieved, no expectations to be met.
Yet ironically we act on the belief that it is in the doing, setting goals, meeting expectations that we will find our happiness, not realising that mistaken belief, in itself, takes us away from our natural state of rest and well-being.
(How different it feels when we engage in activities because they occur to us, because they appeal to us, because they are fun or would be cool, rather than doing things in order to ‘feel better/whole.’)
The yearning is a kind of knowing
Knowing what is good for us, knowing what we need, knowing what we truly are. Underneath the business of judgements, opinions and criticism, underneath the ups and downs of mood, underneath the ebb and flow of life events, there is a space that some call home. A space we know intimately. It’s a space where the chatter of our cognitive thinking is less dominant, matters less. Where experience just happens without analysis and commentary. It is a space where all is well.
Rather like the addictive checking of a social media feed, we have mistakenly given far too much importance to what our cognitive brain thinks about everything, from how we feel on waking, what we had for breakfast, how much our neighbour’s dog barks, what our partner said last week, how we were brought up, the state of the world and the weather.
Rather than making use of this powerful and remarkable tool to help us create and serve others, we have got carried away with the idea that the cognitive function is there to make us feel better. So it sets to work doing what the cognitive function does: analysing, correlating and drawing conclusions. Which would be fine, except that being at peace and feeling connected does not occur through analysis. It is our natural state and occurs when we fall out of that way of thinking.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could switch off our cognitive brain like we can shut off our social media feed? And actually just log in to it when it is of use to us. Any time we feel wide open and curious, not engaged in judgement, criticism, opinions, should’s and shouldn’ts we touch a space where all is well, everything is wide open, everything is possible and we are at peace. And it is a space where fresh, helpful ideas can arise and be heard.
How do we fall into that space more often ?
I’m not sure it is in our gift to determine exactly when we fall into it and when we don’t but perhaps we can increase the odds. These things may help:-
The space is always there. Only our awareness of being in it goes in and out, in and out, like the tide.
And rather like our social media feed, if we get too obsessed and start trying to use our cognitive mind for purposes it wasn’t designed for, i.e. to try and find peace of mind, we’ll start to feel yucky. It will feel sticky and stressful and not okay and we might notice we feel tired and cranky. It’s a nudge we are using the wrong tool. Let it be. Look away.
Willingness to turn away from the cognitive mind (not being seduced by FOMO ~ fear of missing out), and just falling into our natural state, hearing and feeling that deep yearning that longs for your busy cognitive mind to fade out, that will luxuriate in the space that is always there, beyond that.
I’d love to hear what comes up for you on reading this article. Please add any comments, questions, reflections or insights below.
“Techniques will not help you to find the knowledge or the happiness you seek. I would call techniques the lost man’s way to enlightenment”
p.53 The Enlightened Gardener Revisited by Sydney Banks
This morning running through my mind was the question, ‘What I can bring to conversations with groups I work with? Picking up The Enlightened Gardener Revisited, I opened the book randomly on page 53 and my eyes fell on the line above.
It presents something of a paradox. On the one hand, people are seeking truth and often ask ‘how’ do I see this, on the other hand wisdom lies within.
So why set up an online group based on sharing the Three Principles or run a virtual programme to have these conversations?
Why do I go and run groups in a local mental health charity’s centre to share this understanding?
What is really going on?
When this understanding known as the 3 Principles first came into my awareness I got really excited. I saw something. I realised I was okay and in that realisation a large pile of thinking about my mental health dropped away.
But life wasn’t all hunky dory
Just as I always had, I experienced moments of joy….. but
I still had dark times, difficult times, horrible times. Some parts of my life I experienced as frankly unpleasant.
And I used to get stuck. Really stuck. Stuck back in that prison of my thinking.
So I began devouring 3 principles materials. Webinars, books, signed up for courses. The eager beaver.
For a while I hung out in Bliss Valley. My inclination was to stay there. Like I deserved a vacation after all that mental struggle and strife.
Doubts, fears, insecurity came crowding back so much I wondered if I would ever be free of them.
I hit a wall ……
I went cold turkey and stopped consuming any 3P material for a couple of months.
But then a few months ago, something changed. The struggle and effort went out of trying to understand this thing called the 3Ps.
So now moods still flow through me but I worry less about the ones I used to label A PROBLEM.
I get anxious, insecure, irritated and all the things everyone feels. Sometimes these moods hang around a while; sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I see what’s going on, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get really upset and it can feel like I have ‘gone back’ into struggle and strife.
And yet, there is a difference.
I come out quicker. The moods are less and less compelling. If I get a bit lost, I don’t tend to give myself such a hard time afterwards. Seeing it more as a bump in the road. I know I still have blind spots. People in my life seem to be showing up differently too. My nearest and dearest but strangers too. There is more laughter, more love, more fun, more ease (mostly).
As my focus moves away from worrying about my moods, I am getting more and more curious about what lies beyond them…..
How and why did this happen?
I honestly have no real idea. But I can make a story about that for you…..
What it looks like to me now is I was lucky enough to hang out with folk who themselves dwell in a state of expanded consciousness. Being with them, was an invitation to allow my own consciousness to expand; to let go of more and more stories/beliefs/ideas about myself, the world and others and to surrender to the flow of life coming through me.
My intellect has always been my trusty steed. I experienced the world through my intellect. If I analysed things enough then surely I would figure them out.
It has been a long, slow sweet parting of the ways between me and my intellect.
I value it and know it has helped me in all kinds of ways, but for this particular journey, I eventually realised, I had to go it alone, without my intellect. But not really alone. For once you surrender to the flow of life, you find you are never alone, there are so many who offer to walk alongside or hold a lantern up for us.
I feel huge gratitude for so many people who have shared and are sharing this journey with me. Too many to name….
When I hear people suffering, stuck in the prison of their own thinking, asking for help to get free, it can be tempting to respond to the request for a fix or a technique. And I have gone down that route sometimes…..
But today I am reminded again, that something far bigger than me, flows through here in virtual and real spaces where these conversations are being held, in homes across the globe where people extend love and understanding to each other and my job is simply to allow that feeling to flow when I post and respond to comments.
In that feeling is an invitation to us all to see deeper, see beyond our beliefs, ideas and thoughts, see more of what we really are. People pointed the way for me and as I now point the way for others, I too am seeing deeper and deeper and the journey is getting lighter and lighter with more and more comedy and laughter along the way.
Thank you for reading and being in this conversation…….
Juliet Fay based in West Wales, UK, is a Marketing Geek and Three Principles Facilitator. Facilitating conversations in person and online with individuals, groups and teams to point people towards more ease in life and work. She also writes poems, articles, essays, prose and short stories. Contact Juliet via the Solcare website. To get email updates about new writing, events, programmes and meets ups, sign up to the e-mailing list here.
To learn more about the Three Principles ask to join Love Your Life Again, a Facebook group hosted by Juliet Fay of Solcare, for individuals social care workers and social entrepreneurs experiencing mental stress (or serving those that do). A place to look towards a deeper understanding of who we are and how our experience gets created. In this group you can connect with others and share insights into a new understanding of how the mind works known as The Three Principles as first articulated by Sydney Banks.This is an extension of the work Juliet does at a local mental health charity facilitating conversations with members, staff and volunteers. Please ask to join. Once you are a member you can invite others into the group.