The compass of life
The compass of life
What has the Three Principles got to do with a compass? Let me explain by sharing two things I love. The first is the National Park of Dartmoor and the second is my love of the 3Ps.
I live on the edge of Dartmoor; it is a wild open expanse with rocky hills (called tors), streams, rivers and boggy peat land. It is renowned for the mists that can descend without warning, it has an ethereal atmosphere that has spawned myths and legends and is the home of Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskerville.
Dartmoor is not beautiful in the conventional use of the word. It has a rawness, toughness and honesty that are reflected in its buildings, history and people. It is a unique landscape, moulded by the grey, impenetrable granite bedrock.
Dartmoor rises up out of the centre of Devon, like a whale surfacing from the ocean. When the clouds hang low in the sky they brush the moorland sheathing it in a mist.
When you walk through a mist even familiar terrain seems hostile. It’s impossible to gauge distance; time seems to warp and it’s easy to doubt even the most recognisable landmarks.
Dartmoor mists are notorious. They can descend without warning and obliterate the landscape in an instance. The mist disorientates the most competent walker. If you set out on Dartmoor you need to take a compass.
I remember once deciding to test out a compass (before the age of GPS and smart phones) and set off into a moorland mist. I knew the direction I needed to travel in and I knew I would need to trust the compass.
It was only a mile across the moor – but as soon as I stepped into the mists I lost sense of direction. I started doubting the compass – I was drawn in a different direction. I couldn’t tell uphill from downhill. What if the compass was broken? What if I got lost? I had to keep squashing the panicking internal voices and I methodically kept taking bearings on the compass from boulders, gorse bushes or trees one small step at a time. I felt such a rush of relief when I found my way back home – the compass had been right all along.
The great thing about a compass is that it doesn’t get swayed or put off by questions or worry. You can shout at it, you can doubt it, you can curse it but it will still keep pointing north.
We can, at any time, over-rule the compass, or hide it, or ignore it. It doesn’t force us to travel in any direction. Regardless of your beliefs, actions or behaviours it will point north and when you’re ready to look at it again, it is still there pointing north.
In recent years I’ve discovered that one of the most useful things we can develop is an internal compass to help us navigate through life. When we get lost in thoughts, anxieties or worries it’s great to have a compass to check.
Coming across the Three Principles has been like discovering my own internal compass. When I see how I am creating my experience in the moment and I trust in a deeper spiritual force and energy then this is the best compass of all.
About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are 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