The New Paradigm For Breaking Habits – Part 3

In this 3rd and last part of the series, I will delve further into some of the highlights from Dr. Amy Johnson’s book, The Little Book Of Big Change.

The Three Principles

The spiritual insights shared in this book, originate in a field of spiritual pshichology called the Three Principles. This describes how all human experience comes into being, through the interplay of three principles:

  1. The principle of Universal Mind, represents the creative energy which is the source of everything in existence. Its life-force permeates and powers the entire Universe.
  2. The principle of Thought is the vehicle through which we experience the creative energy of Universal Mind. Everything we know or experience, comes to us via thought.
  3. The principle of Consciousness is that which brings thought to life. It is what enables us to have an alive, vivid, sensory experience.

Together, these 3 principles account for every moment we live through, as human beings. Thought, powered by Universal Mind, creates experience, which is brought to life within us, by Consciousness. What seems to be happening outside-in, is actually inside-out. Everything that happens in life, occurs within us, by the interplay of these 3 principles. We don’t experience things as they are, outside of ourselves, but as we perceive them, within. And we, are not what happens, but Universal Mind, having a human experience.

Depiction of the Three Principles discussed in the article.

Your true being is, and always has been, habit free. You did not come into this world with your habit, and while it might dominate your thoughts, emotions and behaviours, it says nothing about the essence of who you are. It does not represent your real self, underneath all the human weather (thoughts, emotions, behaviours) you’ve identified with. Your basic nature, is peace, clarity, and well-being.

The “Voice” That Powers Your Habit

When we are caught up in our habit, we are too close to it, to realise what is actually going on. In that moment, we don’t perceive the fact that our mind engages in commentary about our thinking. We don’t realise that the voice which tells us our thoughts are meaningful, truthful, or trustworthy, is not us.

One of the most important understandings shared here, is that any voice which encourages you to act on your habit, is not you. What is called the addictive voice, is essentially the voice of your habit, telling you to act on it. If you have a behavioural habit, the addictive voice is what encourages you to act on your urges. In the same way, if you have a thought habit, the addictive voice is what tells you to act on your drive to analyze, ruminate or figure things out.

If we consider the spiritual wisdom that our true identity and natural state, is pure health, peace and freedom, we can see that any voice which causes us to suffer, is not our own. The addictive voice I’ve mentioned, is ultimately just passing thought which fades on its own, like any other experience.

Depict our natural state
Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

You Don’t Have To Do Anything

This is where the whole conversation around how experiencing change really works, comes full circle. As it is one of the fundamental ways in which Dr. Johnson’s approach differs from traditional ways of dealing with habits, anxiety and addiction.

If you’ve already explored many modalities of experiencing change from habits, you can notice that their common feature is having to do something about what is allegedly wrong with you. This doing, often comes in the form of practicing a specific technique, using a certain tool, or performing some kind of routine. Regardless of what the doing is, it usually tends to come from a perspective of having to repair something which is wrong with you.

The problem with applying doing as the main solution, is that it can often feed straight into your habits or addictions, because doing is the very thing they are based on, and what keeps them alive. This is why you don’t often see people actually free from addictions, but rather swapping one habit for another. For example, they might stop gambling, but binge drink coffee instead.

On the other hand, when you consider the wisdom shared in “The Little Book Of Big Change”, insightfully seeing that your true being – who you really are – is innately healthy, safe, and whole, changes everything. When you deeply see that there is nothing wrong with you, the compulsion to do something to repair yourself naturally dissipates, and the need to do something to fix yourself, becomes irrelevant. When you deeply understand the true nature of yourself and that of your experience, any doing that does happen, arises from your innate wisdom, instead of the addictive voice of your habit.

The key point here, isn’t that you can’t do something about your problem, but rather that you don’t have to do something about it. This is an important distinction. As when you stop doing things in order to fix yourself, you stop swapping one habit for another, and start experiencing your innate freedom. When your doing isn’t informed by your habit, but comes from a new paradigm, a different foundation, and is guided by your wisdom, everything changes.

Final Thoughts

We all want change from habits, addictions, and anxiety. But when we try to make change happen through force, by manipulating, controlling or managing our experience, the foundation of our problem remains the same. This is why either new unhealthy habits arise, or old ones reappear. And while we may experience some freedom from our habit, it’s usually temporary, unsustainable, and short-lived. We end up always being on the lookout for when our habit is going to “strike” again, or constantly trying to dodge it.

The key to ending this cycle, is addressing the foundation of our habit. When we focus on the visible part of our problem – the habit itself – we miss the invisible 90% foundation, that our habit is based on. This foundation, is simply the misunderstanding we have around the nature of ourselves (who we really are), and that of our human experience. Our entire habit is based on it.

This is where deep, insightful seeing and understanding, come into play. For insight has the power to shift the foundation of your habit, in a way in which intellectual, factual learning can’t. You are already facilitating insight, by opening and exposing yourself to new information such as this, which challenges the old paradigm that isn’t serving you anymore.

Next Steps

If you have enjoyed this article series, and would like to step further into the transformative power of Dr. Amy Johnson’s work, I warmly recommend checking out her website, at There, you can access free resources such as her blog, podcast and pdf, buy her book, or enroll in her amazing transformative program, The Little School Of Big Change.

May this guidance serve you well in your healing journey.



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