No problems


Years ago, I heard a spiritual teacher say, in essence, “There are no problems. All things that you think are problems are only stories that your mind has believed, labeled as a ‘problem’ and then began to worry about.” I didn’t understand what she was saying, at all, and my reaction was to become angry and dismissive of her work and of her. As I recall, I said something like, “What bull—-!”

Over the years I began to notice that anger was the response I had to things that challenged my beliefs or that I didn’t understand. Worry, anxiety, restlessness, fear that I couldn’t figure life out, fear that I’d be ridiculed by others, and fear of the future, were more “comfortable” to me than the thought that I could stop believing in problems, which just seemed like a stupid and foolhardy approach to life. But slowly, I began to change, and the radical, spiritual, truth that there are no problems began to seem like reality to me. When a “problem thought” confronted me, I would say things like, “This is not a problem” or “What if I refused to see this as a problem?”

Writing this morning, I had to check the spelling of foolhardy. I thought it was fool-hearty and corrected it, but then I paused. In the Tarot card deck, there is a card called The Fool which depicts a young man about to step off a cliff. He has his head in the clouds and yet this is a positive image that really points to trusting in the unseen reality that is the larger part of Life and of us. Many other spiritual traditions talk about the Holy Fool too. I believe that Jesus was called a fool by many…especially when he said, “Do not worry about tomorrow…Ask for what you want and believe that it is already given…” and other such radical teachings.

I still get caught in fearful, worried, anxious, thoughts…but I catch them sooner now. I’m moving toward my goal which is the full knowledge that there are no problems, only problem thoughts, and those can be changed as soon as I recognize them for what they are; mind-made stories.

Today, I think I’ll embrace the fool-hearty life; I’ll laugh, smile, and dance for no reason at all. I’ll refuse to see anything as a problem…just for today, and I invite you to join me.

“‘Then let go, dear one, and turn all over to Me, your Self, your God within you–not to some God apart or away off from you. For I, your Self, am here directing all, caring for all and have been waiting so long for you to give Me full charge. Can you not realize that I will permit only that to manifest which is for your greatest good? For remember I see and know what is that good, and long with a great longing to have you participate in it with Me.” pp 246 from “The Way To The Kingdom” published anonymously in 1932


one of my new paintings

one of my new paintings for sale on my artwork page


13 thoughts on “No problems

  1. I love the phrase; mind-made stories. I’ve a few of my own! I have much work to do in this area and I thank you for leading me to that “aha” moment when I realized my thoughts have much to do with my happiness in this life. Blessings always.

  2. Mary, no doubt, your blog this morning was divinely inspired and it is certainly the message I needed to hear today. No wonder I came straight to your blog this morning before checking my email! A couple months ago I tossed myself into what many (most) people would call a foolhardy life transition. I stepped out in faith and have grown in faith and understanding (your blog has been so helpful) but yesterday I fell into a very deep and dark place emotionally. I really let myself come unglued about my dwindling savings. “What if I refused to see this as a problem?” Merci beaucoup!!! Many blessings to you and Jack and your family.

  3. “…there are no problems, only problem thoughts…mind-made stories.” I love this Mary.

    I was raised in a strict Christian home where the Bible was “taught.” I used to ponder those words in the gospels that Jesus spoke to; those radical and often very literal scriptures that you mentioned here in today’s post. But here’s what I noticed among my family and the messages from the pulpit. It didn’t feel like we really got it, evidenced by the choices we all made day to day. I’ve inwardly/outwardly challenged what I saw lived-out around me and I still do. Isn’t it the greatest to know how IT really is with each of us on the inner plane; the gut-felt-fool-heartiness?

  4. Dear Mary, how very poignant that this morning before I read your blog, I found my mind running in circles, trying to identify problems…feeling as though something was up and hunting for reasons to feel unsettled. Thank you for your oh-so-wise reminder that problems are within the mind and it truly is how we view things that creates our reality. The centered self, the god within, the divine peace that exists always nestled in our hearts is a much better guide than the troubled mind! Bless you.

  5. “I still get caught in fearful, worried, anxious, thoughts…but I catch them sooner now.”

    I do also, Mary. I have lived most of my life certain that the boogey-man is waiting for me behind every bush, around every corner, invisible but there, ready to blind-side me. I must say I’m proud of myself for coming as far as I have with this self-created affliction. I doubt that I will be fully in control of it when the end of my life comes, but I’m trying hard to get it turned around as fast as I can, and I am making progress. And I have you and your blogs to thank for waking me up. You make me ponder things more deeply. Thanks for that.

    And as a P.S., I love your new painting! The rendition reminds me of a fever-dream…something I would expect to encounter after falling down the rabbit hole. Very cool.

  6. Mary, I hope you don’t mind my copy & paste here but to me, there are problems in life that are pretty huge and there are problems, the size of which need not always be. Here is a quote from a book by Eliza Calvert Hall in “Aunt Jane of Kentucky”: ” How much piecin’ a quilt is like livin’ a life! You can give the same kind of pieces to two persons, and one will make a “nine-patch” and one’ll make a “wild goose chase, ” and there will be two quilts made out of the same kind of pieces, and jest as different as they can be. And that is jest the way with livin’. The Lord sends us the pieces, but we cut them out and put ’em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there’s a heap more in the cuttin’ out and the sewin’ than there is in the caliker.”
    I have been a quiltmaker for many years and I’ve often thought of this quote from the story of “Aunt Jane” of Kentucky. It’s pretty much, to me, how we deal with the cards we’re given in life.
    Sandy P, in Ont., Canada

  7. Your message today was spot-on as usual. I always come here looking for answers and am never disappointed. Hugs to Fred, Eleanor and all the rest plus Jack. Stay warm!

  8. You have spoken to our inmost thoughts and fears Mary…for me, it has been so very challenging to quiet my easily frightened mind . Your writings have been an answer to my prayers for more courage as you explain the workings of the mind, I realize that am not alone in my fears for the future. Life has thrown it’s various challenges at all of us . Many unknown and unanticipated events happen along the way. And yet, here we stand , perhaps the worse for wear, but nevertheless here we are : still living and breathing , still awakening to reach down into our reserves of strength, dealing with what unfolds for the day. Perhaps the key is to not to deplete ourselves with unnecessary fears, waiting for some unthought of “problem ” but taking harbor in the arms of the radical , spiritual TRUTH that there are no problems . For as Debra mentioned, it is the divine peace that always exists, nestled in our own hearts , that is a better a guide than the fearful mind. What you said is true for me as well, in that somehow throughout my life I had taken some kind of strange ” comfort” in letting my mind wander around anticipating every kind of problem. Even thinking that it was the ” smart” thing to do. But it isn’t at all smart or healthy to let fearfulness affect our mind and quite literally our heart.. I will join your resolve to recognize the negative thought patterns sooner , and embrace the reality that there are no “problems”. That is , if we trust that it IS our option to think all is (and will be ) well. I am also thinking that it’s okay to be proud of our own brave , adaptable, , more “centered ” hearts that have somehow carried us as far as we have come today.

  9. Like others have said, Mary, your messages seem to come just when we need to hear them. Thank you for that. I’ve come to realize that whether I consider something a problem or not often depends on my state of mind. If I’m stressed out, a situation might be one more angst to add to the pile. However, if I’m well rested & have been taking good care of myself, the situation might just be another life adventure. When I work at the local food shelf or call for money for the local homeless shelter, I realize I don’t have any problems.

  10. Dear Mary,
    You are starting 2015 with incredibly powerful posts…I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Blessings and prayers to you too

  11. Mary, yours and Virginia’s words gave me a lot to think about, because l, too was raised in a religious household and it has taken me many years to come to grips with the various problem messages that got stuck in my mind and replayed themselves over the years: Life must be hard, full of problems, stuff that makes it tough to laugh it off, and be/feel free…l’ve come to the conclusion that it is easier to control fearful people than it is to hold down free spirits. l left home when l could, at 17 – in the middle of a heart-gripping panic attack! Strangely enough, now, at almost 56 I have to face some of these old ‘(mother)problem stories’ again… I often wish that we didn’t have to live the experience first and then get life’s lesson – surely that would help with our disquieting thoughts….oh, and the quote gave me goosebumps, so powerful!

  12. Mary, some look at rose bushes and see only thorns; others look at thorn bushes and see only roses. Whether issues are problems or not depends a great deal upon one’s outlook on life.

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