Erica Lewis – email interview
My journey with the Three Principles – Erica Lewis
Erica Lewis is the person who first told me (Liz) about the Three Principles. We were both at a party and we started a conversation about books we were reading and CPD we were doing. When Erica told me about the 3Ps I was immediately interested. I had never heard of the 3Ps and I imagined they would be another tool in my tool box of coaching. Little did I know this conversation was the start of a journey that would have a profound impact on both my personal and professional life. I hope you enjoy this email interview with Erica Lewis.
What is your background (in relation to personal development and career)?
Most of my career has been in the voluntary and not for profit sector, developing and managing services for people dealing with disadvantage of some sort. When I was facing redundancy ten years ago I embarked on training in NLP as I felt I had difficulty connecting with others and thought this might help with finding another job. Within four years I was qualified as a NLP Trainer and self-employed as a NLP coach. I learnt techniques which if I kept them up did help me to deal better with my ‘pet set’ of negative self-talk and patterns. But I was soon beating myself up even more for not ‘managing my state’ consistently, and realised that my clients were getting more out of coaching than they were from the formal NLP processes, whose long term impact seemed to be very patchy.
When did you come across the 3Ps?
Five years ago one of my then NLP teachers, Jamie Smart began talking about something else that felt simpler and more authentic – the Three Principles. Over the following year I did workshops with Jack Pransky, Michael Neill and George Pransky leading to a major insight that I was not broken, and that I was only human with the same patchwork of quirks and abilities as everyone else. I had been a living example of Michael Neill’s metaphor – we are all diamonds but see ourselves as covered in horse shit so get busy layering nail varnish on to look better.
What is different about the 3Ps and other CPD you have done?
This is a simple but profound description of how we function psychologically and spiritually. It simply explains that we are an innate part of a perfect, benign universe, and shows how getting caught up in thinking can obscure that from us. Unlike all other therapies or processes, there are no practices to do or useful beliefs to adopt (check out this article on no tools or techniques) because it is simply a description, not a prescription. It seems though that the more deeply I understand the Three Principles, the calmer, clearer and lighter my life becomes. And the simpler everything is.
When it comes to sharing this understanding, what I have seen is that deeply connecting to people, knowing them to be whole and perfect, and speaking from my own authentic experience is what enables people to see for themselves that they have the wisdom, creativity and clarity to enjoy a better experience of life.
What has been the impact for you personally as you have developed your understanding?
It has been huge! Just knowing that I am fine, and that I always will be no matter what life chucks at me, is transformational. I have my ups and downs, but I see that is as normal a part of life as breathing in and out. But I am less bothered about the downs because I know they pass, there is nothing to do about them. Feeling a bit negative says nothing about who or what I am any more than it being a foggy morning does.
I find I have less and less judgement about how I happen to be feeling, what other people are up to or the implications of the experiences I am having. So it’s just quieter in my head, an implication of which is that I find myself appreciating life and other people more because I can more easily be just present and connected.
I have seen that the outcome of what I do is not within my control. What will be, will be and I increasingly appreciate that I can often only see the messy backside of the tapestry that life is weaving and it may take a long time if ever for me to see the beautiful pattern that will appear as long I don’t try to interfere from my very limited perspective. Hence my levels of stress and frustration are much lower than they have ever been.
I also love the fact it is a continuing journey. I keep having insights and repeating old ones at a deeper level! And I am beginning to see (and I have a way to go on this one!) that we being lived by Universal Mind , and all there is for me to do is show up and take whatever practical or compassionate action occurs to me.
Finally, I love sharing what I have seen. It sounds grandiose, but if we all recognised when we are caught up in our thinking, especially if we all understood that fear is not real, just our random thoughts looking all too real, and we all knew we are actually a manifestation of a benevolent universe, then all the major problems of the world would melt away. This actually IS a route to world peace!
Do you think the 3Ps is the only way to a deeper spiritual experience?
I think that’s a question well above my pay grade! I’m sure that there are thousands of ways people can have a deep spiritual experience. What appeals to me about the Three Principles is that it shows we are already here, an intrinsic part of the universe. Enlightenment is not a place to get to; it is simply something to notice we already have when our minds are clear. It is so simple. There is no dogma, nothing to do or practice, no ‘useful’ beliefs to adopt. For me, it’s about allowing the truth to just be and relaxing in that.
If you enjoyed Erica’s article then why not check out what Brett Chitty had to say when posed with questions. Erica also talks about Jamie Smart – you can see Jamie Smart coaching here and learn a bit more about coaching from a 3Ps perspective from Elsie Spittle.
About Liz Scott and Stu Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are the founders of Coaching Connect. They are also Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training