12 Principles We Believe In
1. If life has any meaning, it is this: each event of life has the potential to bring wisdom. The wise person is able to see through the events of life to their essence, in a moment of simple engagement.
2. It is impossible to live life free of anxiety. There is the anxiety that comes when deciding to shift one’s way of being-the anxiety of change, of pain, of growth. And, there is the anxiety of trying to stay the same, in denial, pretending. Shifting, to me, seems the better choice. From there, I can be intimate, and choose to love well.
3. For each of us, the path to self-knowledge is a circle. We go inside and review what we are about, what we “know,” and what we are enacting. We look for blocks, fears, terrors. We reveal our thoughts, feelings, fears, and joys with a select few‑a principal partner, therapist, spiritual director, and Bodyworker. We devise ways to let down our walls and let out the repressed material. We then take in the perspectives of those whom we respect, and use this feedback to nourish more self-knowing.
4. At The Phoenix Centre, we teach our clients to be in charge of their lives through both acceptance and transformative action. We encourage lifelong self-actualization. And the key to that is self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-knowing, deconstruction of the ego, and the reconstruction of a fuller sense of self.
5. The usefulness or validity of an action is always determined by the result. If it ain’t working, doing more of it isn’t going to work either. If you’re hammering on some issue and no one else is interested, maybe you need to let the thing go. If you’re ignoring something and hoping it will go away, and it isn’t, maybe you have to deal with it. If you find yourself saying, “It always turns out like that,” maybe you need to try another approach.
6. We have the potential, in dialog, to examine and re-examine both our beliefs and the stories of our life. We can listen to what we tell ourselves, how we describe our situation, and we can begin to understand that, far from being “true,” our stories are simply subjective interpretations of neutral experiences. Once we accept and enact this, we are able to drop the stories, and choose to live in This Endless Moment.
7. Growing up means hearing hard truths about ourselves and, rather than get defensive and run around whining about being ill-treated, dealing with what is revealed. This process begins from where I am, as I calmly accept myself, and then incorporate into my self-knowing all aspects of who I am and what I am doing.
8. I must take full responsibility for my choices, decisions, and directions. Just as there is no one to compare myself to, there is no one is to blame for any choice I have ever made. I am where I am and I know what I know based solely upon what I have chosen to learn, to absorb, to assimilate and to find within myself.
9 . My “I‑am-ness” is limited only as I choose to limit myself. If I identify with “good/bad”, right/wrong lists, or with what others think or what others want, my “I‑am-ness” becomes a small, tight box. I must realize that I am not a noun. I am a verb. The question, then, is this: how much of my “I‑am-ing” will I bring into consciousness, and how much will I choose to live?
10. Happiness and contentment is an inside job. Because of our cultural training, we look outside of ourselves for meaning, for completion, and for security. Self-knowing requires 100% commitment to the understanding that nothing outside of you controls you. How you are, and who you are is always and only about you. Discovering your own level of contentment is the chief goal of life.
11. One of the toughest “sells,” both in therapy and in life, is this: there is no need, nor is there any way, to resolve the issues of the past. There is not a hope in hell that water, once under the bridge, can be pushed back upstream and filtered until clean. There is letting it go, or letting it own you.
12. You are all of you-body, mind, spirit, and energy. In a sense, this is your “known universe.” Through counselling, meditation, breath and bodywork, you learn to empower yourself, free your blocked energies and thoughts, and experience the freedom that a full release (a “non-holding”) brings.
© 2008 Wayne C. Allen and The Phoenix Centre for Creative Living