A 3P Elevator Pitch?

A 3P Elevator Pitch?

Of all the things that people have asked us for, by far the one that has come up most is – I want a 3P Elevator Speech!

People who have seen the power of the Principles in their own lives and others naturally want to share it and they want to know how to go about doing so.
It is enticing to think there is a formula, certain words, one metaphor etc that make this understanding understandable to the people we most want to share it with!

So what’s wrong with that? Well, As Syd says:

“Techniques are to therapists as rituals are to the church – they lead you away from the truth that you seek.” – Syd Banks, The Missing Link

I think the same could be said about “formulas for sharing the Principles”

So if that is true then why would we as an organization even hold a workshop on 3P elevator speeches?

Well there are a few things our staff and advisors have learned along the way that we think add to the discussion and point in the right direction:

  • the power is in the feeling, not the words.
  • words can both clarify and get in the way of expressing this understanding
  • the “come from” is important
  • the more we share, the better we get at sharing
  • the more settled our own thinking is, the more the truth seems to come through us
  • we can only share from what we see
  • sometimes getting people to settle down includes giving them what they think they want
  • sometimes playing in the form can make us remember that it is all made up and take things a little more lightly
  • brainstorming and creative thinking exercises can get us out of our normal thinking patterns and open up more possibility
  • people have fresh thinking in relaxed environments when they are having fun

So with those things in mind we decided to give this elevator pitch thing a whirl and see what we all discover in the process!

On July 29th we are holding a two hour workshop facilitated by Oscar Wolters Duran to play with this idea.
And we do mean PLAY.

  • we will share our favorite metaphors that have helped us see something new and we will make up our own – after all the truth is all around us!
  • we will share personal stories of things we have seen for ourselves to be true
  • we will play with language and audience
  • we will play with the place we are coming from and see the difference it makes
  • we will play with outrageousness and how to back up bold claims
  • and we will laugh at our shared humanity, and the times that things didn’t work so well

We hope at the end of the two hours, participants are relaxed and having fun, are open to new ideas about how to share this understanding and see something new for themselves.

If that sounds like something you’d enjoy – please consider joining us.

To keep it intimate and allow for everyone to participate we are limiting the workshop to 12 people and spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis

We are very much looking forward to what surfaces and no worries if you are not among the 12, we will share how it goes!

** UPDATE – A second workshop date has been added on August 19th as the July 29th workshop sold out within the first hour!  Thank you to all of you who support our programs!

Doing Well and Doing Good

Doing Well and Doing Good

Reinvesting is at the heart of the world’s economic system. Money is only a means of reinvestment exchange – reinvestment with the hope of a greater gain.

When I was seven years old, my father, a landscape contractor who propagated much of his own landscape materials, gave me my first job. A job for money that is – not just my regular chores on the farm. My dad knew I wanted, more than anything else in the world, a Wilson baseball glove. This was before marketing departments realized the value of getting the names of big name players emblazoned on their products. Wilson was all I needed to know.

In the landscaping business, the second stage of plant propagation was to pot the recently germinated (rooted) clippings into their first soil – bound by 2” clay pots. My dad hired me to do this on piece work – ½ cent for each cutting that I potted. That equated to 200 potted plants for one dollar – but having a way to actually get that Wilson glove was an incredible feeling. With many hours of labor and 1,960 pots later, I was able to exchange my earnings for a $9.80 baseball glove. If proof is needed, I still have an iconic 2nd grade school photo of me holding my Wilson at my chest. The play and pride I got from that glove was to me a great gain.

Life is about making choices – making exchanges – reinvesting what we have gained in exchange for food, shelter, family security, community improvement, or “making the world a better place.”

Combining my cabinet making and carpentry skills and my wife’s administrative skills allowed us over twenty years to purchase and pay off the debt on our first house in North Carolina’s Triangle area. When we moved to Charlotte to begin community development work, we felt it was important to live in the community we were serving. We thought we might be moving back to our house in the Triangle area after five or so years. Therefore, instead of selling our first house, we decided to rent it out.

It’s now twenty-five years later. Our original house while providing us a modest monthly income has appreciated in value. We’ve finally realized we’re not moving back. We’ve begun to think of selling. Early in those considerations we realized that our government would rather significantly tax the appreciated value of our first house – now considered an investment property.

We briefly but uncomfortably considered relocating back to our first house to establish residency to avoid a capital gains assessment. That thought never felt good. Happily through sharing our discomfort with friends, we made contact with a tax attorney and learned about Charitable Remainder Trusts*. A CRT is a vehicle through which we can essentially reinvest a portion of what could have been our capital gains tax assessment into a worthy nonprofit organization of our choosing and to have a greater amount for us in our retirement through an annual annuity. That’s what I call “doing well and doing good.”

We are designating Center for Sustainable Change as the beneficiary of the CRT we are establishing. But that is only the beginning. Because of this initial “planned giving” contribution, CSC has formed a “Legacy Community” available to anyone wanting to invest in the long-term, growing awareness of and engagement with the Three Principles that CSC provides. CSC is planning to continue growing with the rapidly-expanding, worldwide community that is awakening access to peace and happiness for all.

Follow your wisdom about the reinvestment of your life’s efforts. Consider first your own financial security. Consider the continuing financial future of your family. But also consider the financial viability of sharing such a life changing, family changing, and community changing understanding. With knowledge and planning, all these considerations can work together for mutual advantage.

If you have an interest in exploring the possibilities, please send a confidential email to Legacy@CenterForSustainableChange.Org. We would love to help you make a reinvestment with the consideration of resulting greater gain.

[*Information about Charitable Remainder Trusts can be found at the following website: https://www.gdblaw.com/bypassing-the-capital-gains-tax-with-charitable-remainder-trusts. The information shared in this article about financial instruments is simply a description of my personal experience and is not a recommendation or inducement toward taking a specific course of action. Tax-related financial decisions should be made in consultation with a qualified professional.]

Spotlight: Helena Roth

Spotlight: Helena Roth

Helena RothHelena Roth, Vice-Chair of the Board of Center for Sustainable Change, lives in Malmö, Sweden. She’s a graduate of Michael Neill’s Supercoach Academy and has been coaching for 7 years. “I mostly coach individuals, which I love doing. My favorite modality is using CoachWalks, i.e. we’re out walking while coaching. I live close to a recreational area so “my office” is absolutely stunning! I do group work as well though, at the moment mostly with pre-school and school staff in a small municipality in Sweden. I learned of the existence of the Principles from Rasmus Carlsson, who attended SCA in 2012. He initiated a MasterMind-group in 2013, of which I am a member, and a few months in, he asked me if I didn’t want to attend SCA 2014 (which he also did).“

She brings leadership and a curious mind to CSC.  An avid reader, Helena has a goal of reading 100 books in 2018, half in English and half in Swedish and she just finished #47, so she’s on track. She blogs about her books every Sunday and you can follow her at www.helenaroth.com. Helena was an exchange student in Lincoln, Nebraska her senior year in high school “89-90. It took her until December of that year to think and dream in English, she told us, even though her English was good when she arrived. She fooled her calculus teacher, He declined to answer her question regarding the meaning of perpendicual. “Frustrated, I blurted out “’ don’t know what perpendicual means. I mean, I am Swedish, and it’s not a term I am familiar with, please explain it to me!’ At that, he dropped his jaw, stared at me, and finally said ‘Oh. It means at a right angle. I though you were from Minnesota. I didn’t know you were from Sweden.’”

She has a business background from earlier in her career as a validation engineer and project manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She is also a mother of two children. While participating in their school’s Parent Association, she initiated as well as became an activist in a national school reform movement that started on Twitter in 2013 known as “School Spring”, asking the somewhat provocative question,  “Why School?” In the Swedish school debate that question – asking what the actual purpose is – has become the norm. She volunteers now with a Swedish non-profit called MIND, which aims at promoting mental health. “I just did my first shift at their café, where young girls and women (mostly) can come to hang around, talk to an adult if they want to and generally have a place to “just be”.

The CSC Board gets to see Helena monthly in virtual online Board meetings which begins in Sweden at 8 pm while other Board members are on at 2 pm Eastern, 11 am Pacific and 8 am in Hawaii. CSC’s digital meetings, along with digital interfaces for courses, webinars, and other programming, are part of CSC’s daily operation to reach people in different time zones, cities and continents.

Our Common-Unity

Our Common-Unity

Common UnityRecent occurrences in Charlottesville, removing statues, government outbursts and fractured global relationships weigh heavy on our hearts. Hegemonic “isms” reflect ignorance, wreaking exclusion. Such behaviors indicate a disconnection from our innate well-being. I’ve been thinking about how a 3P understanding cultivates unity. Thus, as a Collaborate Associate, my project with Center for Sustainable Change is to facilitate a webinar focused on diversity and our common self-identity.

(UPDATE:  Audre’s webinar went well, please sign up for the recording here.)

With a 3P awareness, conversations about the power of thought, its effect on mental health and the way we label and perceive each other, could foster understanding, unity and inclusion. Although the term, self-identity, has been interpreted as ego, self-image or personality, a 3P understanding defines self-identity as our kind, inborn, instinctive nature, the tender, unconditional love and trust that infants exhibit.

I certainly respect and even honor words people choose to identify themselves, i.e. by culture, ethnicity or nationality. However, as we’re all human beings, we DO have something in common!

One issue that has deeply enhanced my relationships is my 3P understanding that words we use can foster unity or division based on different personal connections between language and thought. As an example, I’ll share one of my experiences with self-identity and the power of thought. As a child I was labeled as niggah, colored and negro. I felt very hurt, worthless and angry because of my thoughts about those racist, mean words! During the sixties, I identified myself as African-American, then Black because of my darker hue. It was also a way to glorify my rich heritage, since Africa had been identified amongst the “third world,” inferior to the “first” and “second” worlds. However, now I also acknowledge my Native American, Cuban and Portuguese bloodlines. Another label that’s been offered for my use is “woman of color.” Well, perhaps that’s pretty accurate, because according to my birth certificate, my ethnicity is “colored.”

While conversing with a white woman at the dog park, when she learned I was from New York, she said that I would soon be a “CRACKA” like the rest of them!! Immediately, I felt a twinge of discomfort! I understood “CRACKA” meant red-neck racists who “cracked the whip” on those enslaved. Previous to my 3P understanding, based on my thoughts about and experiences with racism, I would have reacted angrily. I understood, however, this woman used the word innocently. Thus, I listened calmly and then told her my personal association with the word, which was totally different from hers. A few weeks later, waiting for a massage in therapist’s office, I was conversing with a white man who expressed excitement about refurbishing his “CRACKA” house! Again, as I listened, I learned “CRACKA” was also an architectural style. Hopefully, we all learned something new.

A 3P understanding about psychological innocence reminds us that deeply listening to each other with compassion and non-judgement disintegrates anxious thoughts bred by bias and ignorance. This fosters peace of mind and nurtures our common-unity.

The Janet Reno Legacy You’ve Never Heard

The Janet Reno Legacy You’ve Never Heard

In 1987 Janet Reno approached Dr. Roger Mills, inquiring whether he thought he could help solve some of the systemic problems at the Modello Federal Housing Project that had for years plagued her at her Florida State Attorney office.

Roger Mills accepted the challenge. Ms. Reno’s willingness to “think outside of the typical bureaucratic box,” her trust to authorize a radically new and “unproven” intervention, and her commitment of the financial resources necessary proved to be the elements necessary to make this experiment possible.

In one case, “a crack-addicted mother was prostituting her two teenage daughters to bring money in to the house to buy crack. She’d already sold all her furniture. Virtually nothing remained in the house. Her kids’ behavior had become erratic – missing school a lot.” Her nine kids were placed in foster homes. One year later, the mother was clean. She got her kids back, her kids returned to school and were doing well, she got married and began work as a hospital nurses’ aid.

The phenomenal personal and community transformations that occurred over a three-year period are beautifully recorded in Modello: A Story of Hope for the Inner City and Beyond: An Inside-Out Model of Prevention and Resiliency in Action, by Jack Pransky.

One week ago today, Janet Reno, former Attorney General of the United States, died. She is remembered as being the first woman to hold that position. She is remembered for her bluntness and independence. She is remembered with criticism for her handling of some high-profile controversies, including the deadly raid on a cult compound in Waco, TX, and the custody issues surrounding Elián González, a 6-year-old Cuban refugee.

What has been little noted as the nation mourns Reno’s passing is her pivotal role in initiating the very first community-based Three Principles program in Homestead, FL. This intervention model recognized core truths about humanity – each person is innately healthy and is to be respected, each person can access their innate wisdom at any moment, each person’s innate wisdom offers choices that when chosen will benefit their life and the lives of their family and the broader community.

Center for Sustainable Change (CSC) is the international nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated by Dr. Roger Mills in 2004. CSC directly resulted from Roger’s tireless work replicating the successes experienced in Homestead, FL, in many similar communities across the U.S. as well as sharing the Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought with “people on the street” in communities around the world.

We, everyone engaged with CSC and its mission, remain grateful for Janet Reno’s support of Dr. Mills in Florida so many years ago. We are proud of the world-wide reach achieved from that initial project.

We express our sorrow at the passing of Janet Reno. She had a sense of trust in her innate wisdom, recognizing that traditional and researched responses had not worked, she was willing to trust a different approach, a new idea. It is our hope that administrators world-wide who are charged with improving the quality of life for their constituents will become willing to trust their own innate wisdom, to try something that might work over what has not worked. That would be a lasting legacy indeed.

Everybody Should Think Like That!

(Mette Louise Holland, a 3P-based psychologist in Denmark, has provided this interview with her client Ida, 15 years old.  Ida has agreed to allow us to share this beautiful simple truth about our healthy nature.)



I was suffering from severe depression and social anxiety when I met Mette Louise. I had tried to take my own life once and I was planning on doing it again.

Previously, I had seen another psychologist for a year or so, but nothing really changed. We talked about how I was feeling and in some periods I felt a little better, but I didn’t feel any real change. Then suddenly I felt really horrible again. It was all ups and downs with no end to it. It felt like my condition was slowly getting worse. I was beginning to give up hope that I would ever be okay.

At one point I couldn’t get more sessions at my first psychologist, and then I started seeing Mette Louise. At that point I had anxiety attacks every day, or at least every second day. But as I returned to Mette Louise for our second session, I realized I hadn’t had one since we spoke the first time. I thought: “ah, that can’t be true. It must be because I haven’t been in any of the situations that use to cause me anxiety.”

But after another couple of conversations I realized that it really was because of what we talked about in our first session. Suddenly I just got these insights: that in fact it wasn’t really the situations that caused me anxiety, I myself was the one who created my feelings in the situations. So no, it wasn’t because I hadn’t been in certain situations – my anxiety had gone. Just like that. I couldn’t believe it. But I couldn’t deny it either. I had been going like one “click” from being so far down in the darkest of moods and then suddenly, in another “click” it had just gone. I mean, after only one conversation. That was blowing my mind.

In the beginning I was thinking a lot about what we talked about. I thought I had to think positive and things like that. But after a while I realized that it’s not like that. Thinking is thinking and you can’t really control it. And you don’t need to. And with the understanding of the Principles in the back of your mind, that is all okay.

My normal state of mind has jumped up several levels. Now, I’m just really fine. And it persists. It’s more than a year since I stopped seeing Mette Louise now. I think I had 4 sessions over a three month period. That’s all. I haven’t experienced anxiety since. I’ve had the greatest change. I’ve become more spontaneous – if I get a thought, then I might just grab it and do it! Before I used to overthink every situation hugely.

Like: “if I do this, then I also have to do this and that.” Or: “If I do that, people will think so and so.” Oh my god, I was thinking so much! Now I know thought is thought. You can chose to believe it or you can just let it go. I’m doing so much more of what I want to do now.

I’ve become so much more joyful. Before, I was hiding in a corner and psyched myself up somehow, made myself feel worse and worse. In a way I wanted to feel that way – I thought: “I’m not going to get out of this anxiety anyway.” And then I just went on – because I was used to feeling uncomfortable, it felt safe in a way. Familiar. Now I know it’s just thought. You can build so many walls around yourself with your thinking. It’s pretty weird to realize that it’s just made of – like, air – it doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t hold on to it, it’s gone.

I was finishing 9th grade at that time. I was so nervous at the exams before. My thinking was like flowing around in the whole class room and I couldn’t concentrate. But now it’s totally different. I show up and see what happens. I haven’t been nervous – at all! I just do my best and leave my thinking on its own: nervous thinking comes if it comes, and so what. It can come. I don’t take it so seriously, I don’t listen to it.

In the beginning it was a little hard to make peace with the fact that other people don’t know this. People don’t do what they really want to do – they allow their thinking to steer too much.

In the beginning, when I hung out with my friends, sometimes I couldn’t help laughing – because it was so funny in a way, to watch how they were taking their own thinking so seriously. They held on to their heavy thinking. Then they got mad at each other and didn’t speak to each other for a long time. I just couldn’t help laughing because – it’s a thought you had a long time ago! Why not just let it go? Why would you go on and on with that same old thought? And when you do that, you make more thinking around the first one – you make up more thinking and the story gets worse and worse – it can go on forever if you don’t see how easily you can let go of a thought.

It was crazy how fast I saw more about thinking in the beginning, it came to me so quickly. I felt I had wasted a whole year focusing so much on negative thought, so it was really freeing to let go of it. Not that I became free. I realized that I already was free – I had been free all the time. Because, really – I had had good times in that year of anxiety too. I just hadn’t really noticed. I had had the thought that I shouldn’t be happy, that there was nothing to be happy about. So when I felt happy, I tried to think about sad things, because I felt I shouldn’t feel good.

Understanding the Principles has really transformed my life. I think I would have continued the same way as before, if I hadn’t gotten these insights. Now this understanding is mine forever – you can’t forget it once you’ve seen it. It’s yours for life.

What was your first insight?

After the first session with Mette Louise I remember I was blown away. I wasn’t 100 percent sure if it was really true what she was telling me, it had to land inside of me. But I couldn’t regret the logic of it, and soon I started to see it for myself.

Before, I couldn’t go shopping on my own, and I couldn’t go anywhere in my school alone because, what if people looked at me? And if I did something wrong? Now it’s no problem, it changed by itself. I just realized I could go shopping even if these thoughts were there. I didn’t have to believe it.

Before, I didn’t want to go to school and I had a lot of days at home from school, but then my thinking changed and I was like: “Hey! I want to go to school every day!” It just occurred to me: “why not just do it?”

Before, I felt like the girl who couldn’t get friends and couldn’t be really happy and now it has just turned upside down. I have allowed myself to be with others, if you can put it like that. I don’t care what people think anymore. You never know what they’re thinking anyway. Before I just knew they didn’t like me and now I’m like: how would I know what’s going on in their minds?! And so what? If they like me, great, if not, then that’s just how it is.

And my friends felt the change in me really clearly, they were like: “Oh Ida, you’ve really changed!” It’s so weird to think about.

It’s not that I never have unhelpful thinking anymore. But when I do I just see it and realize: it’s just thought. And then I let go. It doesn’t mean anything to me anymore.

I can still feel bad, but not for a whole day. I can be sad, but I don’t let other people make me sad because I know it’s just my thinking. It’s not people who make me sad. I’m the one who creates that thinking.

How does your future look to you now? And before?

Well, before I didn’t really think I had any future. I thought that if I continued my life, it would just go downhill from here. I would never get married and I would always feel bad. Now I think… well, I don’t think so much about the future. I’m sure it will be great, but I just live more in the moment now. I don’t make up a lot of thoughts about how my future will look like.

When I think about how I tried to commit suicide, I sometimes think I wish I had met Mette Louise before. But other times I feel really lucky, because if it hadn’t happened, maybe I would never have heard about the Principles. And maybe I would never have felt as good as I do now.

That’s amazing to hear!

It’s unbelievable. And I can’t wrap my head around the fact that most people still don’t know about it. I think that EVERYBODY should think like this! Think about how different the world would look like, if everybody knew! When I began to look in this direction, it was like understanding life at a deeper level. What life really is. And I’m only 15. How cool is that?

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