How to Discover New Depths: Subtract More and Add Less | Blog

How to Discover New Depths: Subtract More and Add Less | Blog

This last weekend I was in LA at the 3PGC Conference. It was a wonderful weekend and I loved being able to connect with colleagues, mentors and friends. As I head to NY today, I can’t help but reflect on a few things that struck me. 

Between my personal interest in transformation and a career in professional and organizational development, my adult life has been filled with opportunities to do hundreds of trainings, seminars, workshops and conferences. As both a participant and the person in front of the room. I have always loved being a student and learning. And I’ve loved being able to share and teach. 

One of the things that really struck me this weekend is something that continues to surprise and enrich my life and work. Since learning about the direct relationship between the quality of our minds and the quality of our work and lives, I have been on a journey of subtraction versus addition. What do I mean by that?

Seminars, workshops and conferences used to be places where I learned new models, new techniques, etc. More information to put in my tool box. All designed to help me have a better life or to improve in my job.

I thought the best way to access new levels of potential and success required that I learn more skills and competencies. 

Imagine my surprise when I came across this understanding and discovered the key to a richer life, more impact in my work and accessing new capabilities within actually came when I took things off my mind. 

Through the guidance and mentorship of many of the speakers this weekend, I have seen that each of us has this amazing resource within. We have super powers that are innate. And when our minds settle and are quiet, we naturally feel this truth. In a free mind, we fall into our deeper nature. And this is rich with insight, connection, ease, peace of mind, fulfillment and love.

I had no clue how busy my mind was. In fact, I assumed thinking about things, working them out, analyzing them was important. I had a habit of living more in my head than being present in the moment. For the most part, I followed my thinking wherever it went. Now to be fair, I didn’t really know there was another way.

I knew the concept of being present and before realizing how much I lived in my thinking, I might have even thought I was pretty good at it. 

In a really wonderful and humbling way, I realized that was not the case. Once I really saw there was a difference between living in a busy mind and being present with a free mind, my life and work took on whole new richness. 

This doesn’t mean I don’t still get busy in my head. I can still feel those familiar feelings of push, drive and restlessness. The difference is I now know there is another way. I’ve seen the value, for myself, of a free and present mind. So, when I get revved up, feel “behind” or rushed, it’s a a wake-up call to slow down versus an invitation to get busier. 

This weekend, I was grateful for the reminder. I was grateful for the opportunity to take things off my mind. Each of the speakers, through their own stories, were a beautiful reminder that beyond thought lies the deeper truth of who we are. Beyond our ideas of ourselves, is our True Nature. Our True Self. 

I love my work and love creating. I love the feeling of BEING in life and really connecting with others and the deeper nature of life. And yet, I have a tendency to think about things. To get ahead in my thinking. To live in the future. Sometimes this is light and fun and exciting. Other times it creates a feeling of rush, anxiousness, restlessness and a feeling of being behind. When I go on autopilot I can get distracted by my mind and follow it wherever it goes. Since we live in the feeling of our thinking, that means I’m sort of a passenger on the rollercoaster of my thinking. 

Thankfully, I now know the difference, inside myself, between giving my attention to the thoughts I’m having versus giving my attention to the moment. I eventually “wake-up” and notice what I’m doing. That’s the beauty of insight-based learning. That’s the benefit of having realizations. Of seeing something for ourselves. We always come back to our new truth. Our new home base.

Over the last 8 years, I have been on a journey of letting go. A journey of less of me on my mind. A journey of respecting my thinking less and appreciating a free and present mind more. It has meant, I’ve had to let go of a lot of ideas I’ve had about who I am and what is required to do well in life. But the experience has given me more than I could have predicted or planned. 

I keep discovering this truth for myself over and over again. And it appears to have infinite levels of new depth and richness. This weekend showed me again, the value of less. 

My invitation to you, is to try this on for yourself. Go on your own journey. I can promise this; it will surprise and enrich you.

“A richer life and more impact in my work actually came when I took things off my mind.”

When we go beyond thought, we naturally fall into a richer quality of our minds. This becomes new soil for our work and lives. And the fruits of this soil are meaningful and specific for you and whatever life has in store for you.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company bringing the insights of performance and fulfillment to clients around the world. She helps organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of performance in work and life. Barb is the Founder of Beyond Limits in Business and is hosting the BEYOND LIMITS BUSINESS SUMMIT in Edinburgh Scotland this May. You can follow Barb on Linkedin ,Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at barbarapatterson.com 

 

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