Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter.
It covers most of what Susan and I trained in and taught in our first 15 years. When we met Susan was just finishing training with Elizabeth Kubler Ross. One of the first workshops we both attended was led by Gregg Furth a Jungian psychologist, who used children’s drawing to examine the dynamics of their family.
Susan has always been a spiritual pioneer. She seems to pick the latest trend about two years before it starts to go mainstream. People’s minds were much more closed 35 years ago. One day our girls came back from their Church of England secondary school with a notice saying that yoga and reflexology were the work of the Devil. Susan was teaching and practising both, in Adult Education. She was one of the first people to train in, and practice, the Metamorphic Technique which works on the spine line in the foot.
Susan’s main influence in those first 15 years was Gill Edwards, a psychologist and author of books like ‘Living Magically’. After attending a few of Gill’s workshops in the Lake District Susan signed up for her year’s course and was accredited as a practitioner. Susan came back with some great tools and lifelong friends and this learning formed the basis of her workshops for most of those first 15 years.
The formula for success in life, and in business, is very simple. Most books on these subjects are built on this formula.
- Know where you are
- Know where you want to get to
- Make a plan to get from where you are to where you want to get to
- Carry out the plan
Simple but very few people use the formula. To save energy, our brain creates habits of thinking, believing, behaviour and communication. We live 99% of our life on autopilot and most people believe that’s it. I don’t, I can’t, I shouldn’t, I must etc. contain and limit us. It is all very efficient but not always joyful and often desperate, anxious and miserable. We don’t know where we are. We severely restrict our expectation of the future. Worse, we paint such a bold picture of our future, without a plan, that we build in failure, and then don’t acknowledge how much we have achieved.
I ran a workshop once for a friend and her presentation skills trainers. My friend had started this company on her own, was earning hundreds of thousands of pounds, creating an opportunity to earn for resting actors, and running a home! She was also beating herself up because she was not sitting on a beach in Hollywood earning millions of pounds as a scriptwriter and yet, she had never done much to get to the beach.
Metaphysics practices and tools help us change our mind. They support us in fulfilling the formula for success. The following are a few of the tools we use and find successful.
- Know where you are.
One of our favourite tools is the 9 box Bagua chart used in Feng Shui. It covers 9 areas of your life and we ask you to rate each area out of 10, where 1 is dire and 10 is fantastic. Once the participants have filled in their boxes, we ask them to share the scores and the reason for the scores with another person. The sharing is important. It makes your thinking audible and you get a listener to witness and to help you discover what might be getting in the way. Most people are honest. Some people have very low scores. Often there are tears.
- Where do you want to be?
The next step is usually to pick the area where change would make the biggest impact in your life. Only pick one area otherwise you will lose focus. The magic question is “What do you want instead?” Again, working with a partner you share your vision for that area. You are encouraged to dream big because this vision needs excitement and energy to drive step 4. Do not let your mind put limits on your vision. We live on a bountiful planet. There can be plenty for everyone. You would be amazed at how many people try to sabotage themselves at this stage with “I don’t deserve.”
- Make a plan to get from where you are to where you want to go to.
We like to keep the plan high level. The brain just gets in the way if you involve its old habitual thinking at this stage. We ask participants to create an affirmation or a treasure map which holds the picture of their vision. The affirmation is for a specific date, not too short or long a time ahead, when the vision has been achieved. The treasure map is a collection of photographs from magazines that create a collage of your vision of the future. You put both in a place where you will read the affirmation three times a day or see the treasure map several times a day.
Using either of these tools tunes up your unconscious mind to notice, out of the millions of bits of data that hit your senses every second, those things that will help achieve your vision. Think of a crowded party with lots of people talking at the same time and little of it understandable and then you hear your name. You immediately pay attention.
I once ran an exercise as part of the start-up conference of a new marketing group. I asked everybody to bring a couple of magazines with them, split them into groups of eight, mixed directors, senior managers, marketers and secretaries and gave them two tasks. One was to create a four-page brochure to attract people to work in this new marketing group and the second was to create a TV advert to do the same. The conversations around the tables were very open and revealing. The TV ads were great fun and the brochures were brilliant, We stuck them on the walls around the office to remind ourselves of how we wanted to work together. They made a difference.
- Carry out the Plan
Just keep working with the affirmation and the treasure map. You will notice opportunities that lead you to achieving the vision. These may be new people, new jobs, interesting diets, exciting exercise regimes or just something that a person says that changes your outlook. Some of these opportunities may have sub-plans that you work through. Make sure they pass the excitement test or you may not put the energy in.
This is an example of the sort of workshops that Susan and I facilitated in our first 15 years together. We ran them with 8 to 10 people. Sue also ran Crystal workshops, an Angel workshop at Christmas and we had a weekly meditation group.
To keep us fresh we trained with new teachers, like Denise Linn. We read inspiring books. We both completed a year’s course on counselling skills. And, of course, teaching in workshops meant that we talked about the subjects and had lots of good experiences when the tools we used worked. You can change your live!
Nowadays what we have learned in metaphysics goes into our ‘Law of Attraction’ workshops. We have even more tools, and they work. In our garden there is an olive tree given to us by someone whose life has dramatically changed. Not in the way she expected but that’s the point!
To be continued…..Vision Quest