“I’d been so caught up in surviving and staying free that I forgot that freedom is a state of mind.” - R. J. Prescott
I loved chatting with Cathy Casey on this week’s Insightful Conversations. As well as being an inspirational human being with a wonderful sense of humor, Cathy is also a highly skilled 3 Principles practitioner. She is also most well-known for introducing the Principles into the California Correctional System.
It was while Cathy was attending graduate school in California that she first came across the 3 Principles. To help support herself through college, Cathy took a part-time job with the National Institute of Justice. Her role was to collect data on the types of drugs prisoners used on the streets before becoming incarcerated. While interviewing the female inmates, she noticed that they were experiencing stress from being separated from their families. It suddenly dawned on Cathy that if the Principles were helping her, maybe they could help the inmates too. So, along with a colleague, she wrote up a proposal to teach the Principles within the prison. To her amazement, they got the funding they needed to implement their program. Before long, Cathy found herself leading groups with death-row inmates in San Quentin, the infamous prison that housed some of America’s most hardened criminals.
Over the years, Cathy has witnessed many miracles. Stories of inmates whose lives have been dramatically transformed since coming across this understanding. So many stories of hope and transformation that she is currently compiling them into a book. Stories such as the young man who, although serving a life sentence, said he had never experienced such psychological freedom as he does now. Or the story of a mother who thanked Cathy for giving her back the son she had lost to a gang. And then there is the story of the judge who gave a reduced sentence to a violent offender because he saw the positive changes in him since he had been studying the Principles.
I feel so inspired when I listen to Cathy share stories of inmates who, even though incarcerated, have found freedom and peace of mind through the 3 Principles understanding.
The irony is that we don’t have to be locked up in an institution to feel imprisoned. How many of us who are technically “free” live in a thought-created prison of our own making? Instead of metal bars, our prison bars are made of thought. Thoughts that are so rigid and unyielding they might as well be made of steel; Fearful thoughts, sad thoughts, regretful thoughts, shameful thoughts, insecure thoughts, and not-good-enough thoughts, keep us trapped and standing on the sidelines of life. I should know. Before coming across the Principles, I had innocently spent the first fifty years of my life shackled to a collection of insecure thoughts that held me prisoner and prevented me from living my life to the fullest.
So, you might be asking yourself, what was it about the Principles that set me free? There are so many things, but if I had to choose one, I would say that it came from understanding that my insecure thoughts were not real. They were nothing more than energy moving through me, and I did not have to believe them. They were changeable and transitory. They were not set in stone. They were not telling me who I was.
Once I came across the Principles, it was as if the walls of my self-created prison collapsed. I realized that I had been making up who I thought I was, and now I had the freedom to be anyone and anything I set my mind to. I saw that I was never broken or lacking. I saw there was nothing wrong with me, and I didn’t need to keep trying to fix myself. And more importantly, I saw that I was made of infinite potential.
These days my new reality is that I am a 3 Principles Practitioner specializing in Codependency and Narcissistic Abuse. I host a weekly Youtube/ Podcast show called “Insightful Conversations” and my soon-to-be-released new Podcast series called “Secrets to a Life Gone Right!” I also write a weekly blog, speak at international conferences, host webinars, and hold group programs. Not bad for a former self-described shy, insecure, timid introvert!!
Once I saw that freedom is an inside job, life became so much more fun. The taste of freedom is exhilarating. The freedom to play and explore. The freedom to fall flat on my face with nothing on it. The freedom to express myself without reservation. The freedom to share the truth of who I am — the freedom to be unabashedly me.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕