I've been thinking a lot lately about how we affect our own happiness and well-being, health and prosperity. We've talked at length about how happiness is an inside job and how we hold the power, in the moment, to change everything. But how does that translate into the real world? - What does that mean to us on a daily basis?
I think a lot of it has to do with attending to our internal well being. In this society, we constantly seek to change external circumstances in order to create the life we want without addressing our internal minds. That's a lot of work. It makes me think of my sister-in-law's father - a funny, warm and brilliant man, who would always make us all laugh. An avid lover of puzzles of all kinds, he would be working on a jigsaw puzzle and if a piece didn't fit he would take off his shoe and pound it into place. He didn't care if there was a fish in the sky, he made the piece fit! While being funny, I couldn't help but think that he was driving home a point. It's the way many of us approach problem areas in our lives - we try to force them to work from the outside - which of course in the end never does. We want something so badly we are willing to "make" it happen with our sheer will, frequently fighting against spiritual, emotional, and in the case of the puzzle piece, physical laws. It's exhausting.
I believe that the alignment of our internal selves, our minds and our thoughts coupled with feelings, is the only thing that will create the life that we seek. We tend to value the outside world much more than the inside - we call it reality. In fact, one is not any more real than the other, quite the opposite, one creates the other. I was taught, in my early spiritual training, that the universe constantly conspires for our good. I loved believing in a conspiracy for my good, but we can't take ourselves out of the equation. We must set our internal world, our minds and hearts in accordance with this conspiracy theory. Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science calls it a "mental equivalent." He said, "The limit of our ability to demonstrate depends upon our ability to provide a mental equivalent of our desires, for the law of correspondence works from the belief to the thing. But it is within our power to provide a greater mental equivalent through the unfolding of consciousness; and this growth from within will finally lead to freedom."
Rollin McCraty, Ph.D, Vice President and Director of research for the Institute of HeartMath, tells us that, "The heart generates, by far, the largest rhythmic electromagnetic signal in the body. If you look at this magnetic field as a carrier wave, it's being modulated with information." It is this information that is communicating our beliefs, expectations and desires. If we align our internal perception with love instead of fear, something shifts in our minds and we begin to see things differently. A new perspective is born and the insights we bring to a problem will change. It helps us to see possibility where perhaps none had existed before. It brings a clarity and a different objectivity to the table because we are fundamentally different. In Buddhism, it is called a high life condition.
Since all minds are joined, by the energetic field that we have spoken of before, when our life condition is high we don't even have to necessarily do anything - the phone will ring, an email will come, a solution appears. If action is necessary, it will be inspired and not forced by fear. Here again is where the beauty of the moment can powerfully intervene. At any moment, we can stop and create a life condition that will affect a situation positively, instead of trying to "power" through it. Stop. Relax. Breathe. Bring a state of well being to the equation - gratitude, forgiveness, appreciation, a revised story - they will be more likely deliver the results you desire.
We must stop the internal chatter that replays stories from our past that do not serve us. Katie Byron, creator of The Work, is brilliant at teaching us to let go of our stories. We hold on to stories that bring pain and we create evidence to prove those stories true and draw circumstances into our lives that we do not want. We say things like, 'I never get what I want in my life because (fill in the blank here) my mother was abusive, my father was an alcoholic, I was ignored, I had too little, I had too much...' Whatever your story might be, I encourage you to drop it. Instead of arguing for our limitations, let's begin to argue for possibilities. As my friend Jacob says in his 365 Miracles, The Miracle Workers' Handbook, "We are not trying to get rid of something or push against it. We are suggesting that you invoke something Greater." He goes on to talk about invoking positive denial."Positive denial is looking right at the situation and negating the frightening story you've told about it. Positive denial neutralizes the fear by stripping it of its power over you. Always follow up positive denial with affirming a deeper truth."
This week I would encourage you to rewrite any story that you continue to tell others about yourself (a good clue to your inside beliefs) in order to end their cycle of attracting unwanted circumstances. All it takes is your willingness to change; you will receive help when you become willing. Begin your day by aligning your internal self to your higher self. In your quiet moments reflect on gratitude and appreciation and then really feel it. By backing your thoughts with emotions you will create a positively charged, powerfully attractive state - a high life condition. If there is a situation that is causing you worry or fear, give thanks for all the help you are receiving for its resolution. See it as resolved and without having to know the details of the resolution, feel the relief. Feel the relief. Feel the relief. Answers abound if we move away from the thoughts that created them. Albert Einstein said it the best when he said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." It requires a new perspective. A true miracle occurs when we shift our perceptions from fear (greed, jealousy, hostility, hatred, etc.) to love (gratitude, appreciation, honesty, integrity, generosity, etc.). When that perceptual shift is made, we attain inner peace and well being; and that will change our outer circumstances without the need of a shoe.
Again, I'd like to reiterate that this is not hard to do, it is just different. It is a shift in consciousness, which is the most important thing we can do to create peace, happiness and joy in our lives and usher in a new paradigm. Here lies the hope and change that we can really believe in.
I leave you this week with a quote by Maya Angelou who said, "We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate - thereby making the present comfortable and the future promising."