I awakened one weekend morning some twenty years ago feeling quite anxious. Having recently divorced, I was missing my kids, who were with their mom that weekend, and I thought getting out of the house might help. I headed out for a bike ride, but as I pedaled around the gently rolling hills of my hometown, my angst only continued to heighten. I realized I was experiencing the start of an anxiety attack—something that had never happened to me before.
Still feeling shaken when I arrived home, I walked into my office and absently pulled a book off the shelf: The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture,written by theoretical quantum physicist Fritjof Capra, which I had bought some time before but never gotten around to reading. Now I opened it and began to read about a major worldview shift, catalyzed by quantum physics (also known as quantum mechanics), which was just beginning to herald a deep impact on many aspects of our society. Capra described how this quantum sense of reality departed radically from our beliefs rooted in the once-groundbreaking work of the seventeenth-century thinkers Isaac Newton and René Descartes. I felt myself becoming enthralled as I read of a wondrous universe—one that was inseparably whole and thoroughly interpenetrating—in which all notions of separation faded away. Moreover, this new reality indicated that the universe existed in a state of uncertainty—a state of pure potentiality.
As I continued to read, I was astonished to notice that my anxiety and despair had been supplanted by a sense of serenity and connectedness. Although nothing at all had changed in my outer world, my inner world was undergoing a profound shift. I was becoming a participant in this magical wholeness that I was reading about. I no longer felt alone, but sensed that I was an integral part of this universe. I felt calm and connected. Capra’s vision had opened me to the immense potential to be derived from connectedness.
As I continued reading over the following days, my fears retreated, and I began to embrace my future with confidence that I could summon these new potentials into being. Finishing Capra’s book, I set to reading more about quantum physics, focusing on the theory and its implications (as the mathematical and technical aspects were well beyond my comprehension). I had immersed myself not only in understanding the science behind this quantum vision but also, more importantly, how it might affect us on personal levels. As my understanding of reality altered to align with these discoveries, my beliefs changed too. I reflected on how my misinformed beliefs, rooted in fear and the idea that change was onerous, had constrained my life. This insight ultimately touched virtually every aspect of how I think and live.
The new life that emerged was untethered by many of my old limitations. Rather than feeling unmoored, I marveled at my transformative experience, reflecting that if this worked so well for me, why not for others?
I began to integrate these insights into my work as a psychotherapist and marriage counselor and was further buoyed by the success experienced by so many of my clients. Over time, I developed an accessible approach that applied the quantum worldview to personal growth, showing people how to live more resiliently and fearlessly and how to think, feel, relate, and communicate differently based on this worldview.
At the same time, I began to teach this approach through a series of lectures and workshops to both therapists and the general public. This experience of working with so many people and witnessing their gains deepened my conviction about this approach toward personal transformation. This process helped me distill my new thinking into some basic principles to assist people in their lives.
How exactly do the quantum worldview and its core principles bring about personal transformation? It boils down to one word: possibility. I’ve called my new book The Possibility Principle because its purpose is to open the window of possibilities in all areas of our lives. I believe that we can shed the old beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors that have constrained us by welcoming life-enhancing principles that we can cull from quantum physics. Doing so enables our proactive participation in orchestrating our life experiences.
You can turn your insights into your own shift of mind. And with that you open the door to your infinite possibilities.
This article was excerpted from Mel's new book, The Possibility Principle: How Quantum Physics Can Improve the Way You Think, Live and Love (2017) Sounds True