- What is the most important lesson or takeaway you want readers to get from reading your book?
We all have control over how we feel. Our thoughts have the biggest effect on our emotions, we’re just not very good at monitoring them. The conscious awareness of our thoughts in any moment t allows us to focus on pleasant-feeling thoughts rather than thoughts that produce negative emotions. When we learn how to monitor our thoughts, we get better at controlling our emotions. When we learn how to control our emotions, we change our experience of life.
- What would you suggest to someone who is having trouble being in the present despite your advice already written here?
Most people understand how important it is to monitor our thoughts, but we just don’t. Sometimes our thoughts are moving too quickly, so I would tell someone to begin with identifying how they feel. Based on how you feel, you can start to recognize which room your thoughts are in. Once you are consciously aware of which room your thoughts are in, you can intentionally begin the process of moving back to the Present Room.
- Who has inspired you to be a better, more mindful person?
We have much to learn from the spiritual masters throughout history. They taught us to listen to our “inner teacher” more than what we learn from others. This inner teacher is the first voice I try to listen to every morning. But, we also have amazing modern day teachers. Wayne Dyer and Neville Goddard both inspired me to be more mindful. Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle and Abraham-Hicks have also had a big influence on my life. Still, our greatest teachers are all the quiet ones who demonstrate love every day in their lives. Those people are all around us.
- What interaction in your life has had the most influence on you?
The most challenging times in my life have had the most influence on me because they are the moments that forced me to look inside myself for answers.
- Did you discover anything new about yourself while writing this book?
Yes. I discovered more than ever that true self-confidence doesn’t just come from your accomplishments, or feedback from other people. It comes from truly liking the person you see in the mirror.
- What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book?
I had to learn to write what I felt compelled to say and not what I thought people wanted to hear.
- Do you really consider yourself a mystic?
I consider everyone a mystic-in-training—myself included. Some people may say that not everyone can be a mystic, but I don’t believe that. Mystics don’t have anything that others don’t have. They just don’t have a lot of the negative thinking that others have to contend with. I think you also need to agree on what a mystic is. To me, a mystic is someone who devotes their life to knowing God, and who understands that we are all eternal beings, connected to Source energy, who have manifested in physical bodies. In addition, a mystic is one who has aligned vibrationally with their eternal being. I know that I have had mystical experiences. I strive to have more of those moments.
- Where do you “see” God in your daily life?
What we see is just our perception. Before you can see God in your life, you have to feel God in your life. Once you feel that part of you that is connected to our Source, which is your Higher Self, then you can allow that part of you to see through your eyes. Now you start to see your life from the perspective of your Higher Self. That becomes your new perception of reality. That means you are watching the movie of your life from the Present Theater.
- What is next for you?
I have begun writing a second book that expands on many of the principles of The Three Rooms. It is a fictional book called The Land of Perception and Time.
- You speak of having your own day of reckoning like Lieutenant Dan from Forest Gump. Looking back, would you change anything that led to that moment for you?
I wouldn’t want to change anything that has happened in my life. That is not to say that everything in my life has gone the way I thought it would, but we tend to want to keep the “good” things that have happened to us and get rid of the “bad.” But this tendency comes from just making judgments, and many times, what we believe to be good we later determine to be bad, and what we label as bad we later determine to be good. In reality, there is no good or bad, just our perception of it.
- What do you feel is the biggest obstacle to our ability to remain in the present?
Our thoughts are our biggest hindrance to remaining in the present. We don’t need to monitor our thoughts so we can get back to the Present Room; we need to monitor our thoughts to keep them from pulling us out.
- You mentioned how Generation Z is also beginning to feel the impact of stress. How early should the mindfulness you speak of be practiced?
Our children are never too young to be mindful of their thoughts, and therefore, their emotions.
- How would children and young adults get started on a mindful way of life in the present?
The best way for children to learn about mindfulness is to make it a game. The more fun you have with monitoring your thoughts, the better at it you will become. Since all children like to play games, you can play, “Which room are my thoughts in?” Also, if you see someone exhibiting negative behavior, you can ask your child, “Which room are they in?” The better they get at identifying which room someone else is in, the better they will be at recognizing which room their own thoughts are in.
- Is this the responsibility of their parents? Teachers? Other adults? Or is this something they need to come to on their own?
We are all responsible for teaching mindfulness to children. But, we teach by demonstrating. If you are not practicing it yourself, then you certainly can’t teach it to children. So our number one responsibility is to align with our own Higher Self in the Present Room first. Then we can teach our children how to do the same.
- What inspired you to write this book?
I was always curious as to why some people appeared so happy when it seemed they had so little, and others appeared so unhappy when it seemed they had so much. I started asking a lot of questions, internally, to better understand. The answers didn’t come right away, but one day the whole concept of the Three Rooms came all at once.
- You use many movie references throughout this book to explain your musings, do you think that viewing a film can be a spiritual experience?
Absolutely. I love movie references because there are so many inspiring movies that produce the feelings of compassion and appreciation that bring us back into the Present Room. I also love to watch movies based on true stories. We are all participating in our own life movie, and when we watch a biography, we get to see how someone’s thoughts and emotions directly impact what manifests in that character’s life.
- Do you find yourself struggling to stay in the Present Room even today?
Of course I do. Ironically, The Three Rooms is all about how your thoughts affect your experience of life, but I don’t focus on my thoughts to tell me which room I am in. I focus on how I feel. Your thoughts can fool you, but your emotions never lie. If I feel good, I constantly show appreciation for everything in my life. Even the little things. This helps keep me in the Present Room. If I start feeling negative emotions, I know my thoughts are not aligned with the thoughts of my Higher Self. Do I move instantly back into the Present Room? No. But it is easier to get back there when you know you have left.
- How do you personally break the bad habits that put you in the Past and Future Rooms?
This process starts with understanding where your thoughts come from. If we focus on what we see and hear all around us, with everyone’s differing opinions, then we start to produce the resistant thoughts that put us in the Past or Future Rooms. However, when we focus on how our inner being feels in any situation, we are no longer affected by what others say and do. The resistant thoughts that put us in the Past or Future Room are replaced by thoughts we receive from our Higher Self in the form of inspired ideas. Those inspired ideas will help keep us in the Present Room.