Josh Schwarzbaum, MD, MBA

Have you experienced moments in life when you felt down and it was difficult to regain your balance? 

It’s a common experience that many of us can relate to, and in my work in the emergency room, I’ve witnessed it countless times. However, in my experience of caring for thousands of patients and educating hundreds of doctors, I’ve discovered a powerful insight: there is always a way out, and it lies in understanding these three fundamental principles.

Through my degrees in psychology, medicine and business I was never taught about them but  through my personal  journey I’ve come to find that they underlie every aspect of our lives.  Everything I think, know, and feel.

I recently had to tell a mother that her son passed away. She came to the ER not knowing what happened and when she heard the news, had an expression of shock on her face and started crying.

By all accounts, this is a perfectly normal reaction. In just a few minutes though she took a deep breath and walked out of the room with a smile on her face.

Many people would say that she was faking, how could she walk out of that room with a smile especially after hearing the news?

At that moment, I asked “how are you?” She looked at me and said, “I’m not really sure but I know everything is okay.”

How is it possible for everything to be okay?

How could she go from crying to smiling in just a few minutes?

This is what the principles come to explain. They explain how there are things that go on outside of us and there are things that go on inside of us. They also explain how what goes on outside connects to what goes on inside.

There is no direct connection from what happens outside of us to what happens inside. It is only through these principles that the connection is made. 

Objectively we have the loss of a son and a grieving mother. Most would say it’s a normal reaction to experience sadness after such a tragedy but how does it actually happen?

The death of the son happened on the outside, how does it get internalized to create sadness?

That occurs through the principle of Thought. The fact that we all think.

We have thoughts that come into our head and we have thoughts that leave our head.

The thoughts that we think about are the ones that stay on our mind. With those thoughts comes the birth of our feelings.

Interestingly though, as the thoughts change, so do our feelings.

For a moment, this mother let go of what was on her mind. A new thought came in, one of calm and quiet and it was there she found a deeper knowledge and understanding. It’s a place from which we have the ability to say “everything is ok” and walk out of the room with our heads up. 

Thought (the ability to think) is an unbelievable power and we use it all the time as we think our way through life. 

But what powers the ability to think? Where does original Thought come from?  

It’s answered by the principle of Mind. The force that gives life to everything.

It powers up our minds and keeps our heart beating 24/7/365. It’s what turns seeds into trees.

It causes the sun to rise and the ocean to ebb and flow. It’s the eternal battery pack for Thought and as long as we’re given the ability to exist, thought is in the picture.

Each one of us thinks and the ability to think is universal but what is the mechanism by which Thought enters inside and manifests physiologic change?

That is the third principle – Consciousness. 

Consciousness brings an awareness to whatever thought is on our mind. It takes the thought and plays it out within us. 

We have an automatic awareness of Thought and because of it, we feel the way we do. It’s why with a sad thought a mother would feel sad.

But it’s the same consciousness that allows someone to walk out of the room feeling better.

When thoughts change, consciousness picks up on that and signals are sent to our various organs. From there, an internal response is generated.  We may notice our heart beat rise or fall, and depending on what’s on our mind, we may feel more tense or at ease.

But once we release any given thought, a new one automatically comes in. When it does, our consciousness picks up on it and immediately, the signals being sent inside change. With that, we start to calm down or speed up. 

What I’ve discovered is that the interplay between these three forces are directly responsible for how we feel. It was when I started to gain an understanding of these principles that my ability to heal and relate to others changed dramatically. 

They gave me a new way to look at any challenge that I encountered. It’s through this understanding that I feel better and have helped my colleagues and patients do the same.

It’s something that I teach my children every day because it’s with this understanding I know where the power truly lies. Within me, within you, and within each one of us on this earth.

I know this, because I’ve seen it thousands of times and it changed my life.  

Now when I’m feeling down, instead of looking at whatever seems to be making me feel that way, I turned inside to look at the power of the three principles – 

Mind (what powers) Thought and Consciousness (that allows us to feel our thoughts).

It’s a reminder that I have the ability to think and that as my thinking changes so will my feelings. It’s a place where I can find a sense of unity and the key to feeling better no matter what is going on outside of me.

I see these principles all over and I’ve witnessed their transformative power in countless lives. That is why I share them with you. 

May you always find peace within your heart. 

To learn more about the Three Principles please visit

Dr. Josh Schwarzbaum is a triple board certified physician in emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and emergency medical services. He consults for organizations and coaches individuals helping them find their natural resilience and peace of mind no matter what life brings their way.

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