Your Habits, Conditioning, and Narrow Focus

We have become so narrowly focused on all the things occurring outside of ourselves, that we feel a loss of control in our lives. Of course, this kind of thinking leads to anxiety, stress, worry, and fear. These types of psychological problems are becoming all too common for us these days.

External problems can appear to be the same to specific groups of like-minded people and not as problems at all to others. That is because of each person’s conditioning, and the beliefs created out of that conditioning. In other words, it is how we think about things that tell us whether or not it is a problem.

The conditioning we receive is instilled at such a young age, much of it before the age of seven, that it is never questioned. This conditioning becomes the foundation that we build on to become who we are now and what we believe. When enough people believe and think the same thing, it creates what we see in the world. That is because we make choices based on our beliefs.

Could we have been misled or built our views on incorrect information? Is there more to us than what we see with our eyes and think with our minds?

If you narrowly focus on one thought long enough, then it can become the truth for you, and then all your choices going forward will be based on that new belief. This unreliable information then makes us think things that are not true. For instance, I am not good enough, I am not smart, or I will never be happy again.

Many have come to the point where they are at the mercy of their thoughts and feelings. At times, they find that their thoughts and feelings are overwhelming. There seems to be no way to be free from them, which again creates more anxiety, stress, worry, and fear.

When you slow your thoughts down by paying attention to them, and you begin to question them, you can start to discover and unravel your conditioning. Self-inquiry like this will lead to freedom from your conditioning and creates a very different life than what you are experiencing now.

We unconsciously attach to our thoughts and habitually follow them. These thoughts arise spontaneously without any conscious effort on our part, and you can see this taking place with awareness. They are not based in fact but often accepted as fact. They are born out of our false foundation. It will require effort for most people, particularly in the beginning, to break these habits, to uncover their True-Self, and to shed the skin of who they have become.

Know that anyone can be free, no matter what your mind and thoughts tell you. The challenge is not to believe what the mind tells you and not to be tricked by its subtle and cunning ways. This is because you are more than your mind and body. The only way that this idea becomes a reality for you is to have direct-experience of your True-Self. Otherwise, your mind will use this lofty concept to keep you a prisoner, and you will be lost in a maze of thoughts leading down a path with no way out. Rest assured, in my words, that there is always a way with awareness.

Living Without Fear, Worry or Stress

The following words are not meant to change your mind in any way. They only point to something that you can experience for yourself. This is important because it is only through direct experience that we can begin to awaken.

Please know that what I am sharing has nothing to do with religion, and is available to anyone interested in waking up to the realization of his or her true nature. Finding the way to where I point is not about traveling any distance, but experiencing your real nature, which has been in you all along.

The life we live in personhood is not stable. We are continually dealing with fluctuating emotions, body sensations, and feelings. The person we see in the mirror, our false sense of self, is constructed by the mind and overlays our true self or true nature.  Anyone who looks with an open heart at his or her life can see the instability. On the other hand, our True-Self is unchanging and eternally stable; having direct experience of your True-Self is life changing. If this is something you are drawn to, then keep reading.

Think of it like this: when clouds cover the sky, we no longer see the sun. Does that mean the sun is not shining? Of course not, it never stops shining, but we do lose sight of it and may wonder if it is still burning bright. Once the sense of self is constructed, like the clouds blocking the sun, we lose sight of our real nature, but it is always there and can be seen anytime we let go of this false sense of self.

It is not difficult to experience your real nature; just know that your mind will challenge you. It wants things to stay the way they are, and it will use your thoughts and senses to carry out this effort. Because of this, anything that feels hard, difficult or challenging means your mind has tricked you, and you have become attached to something the mind created to distract you. Let the feeling of effort or struggle be a sign that you need to let go.

Remember these key insights:

  • You will not lose anything of importance in your life as you know it now.
  • Any fear, anxiety, worry or thought that arises comes from the mind and is nothing more than a distraction to keep you from experiencing your true self.
  • If you do not like where you are going, you can stop at any time.
  • Waking up is not about fulfilling any desire that comes through thought. It is a calling from deep within, something you feel, a soul-full call to be home again and to live through the experience of your true nature.

Have you ever asked yourself?

  • Where do my thoughts originate from anyway?
  • Do I painstakingly create each thought with loving care?
  • Are all of my thoughts important, relevant or even true?
  • Am I aware of my rambling and misguided thoughts that happen all day, every day?
  • Have I noticed how many of my thoughts are repeated daily?

Once you begin to hear your thoughts more clearly by bringing awareness to them, you will see how absurd and untruthful they can be. Notice how they can hypnotize you, and steal the present moment away from you. When you wake up out of these stolen moments, without chastising yourself bring your attention back to noticing them once again, and this is how you begin to break the mind’s hypnotic habit.

As long as your identity is tied to personhood, the body, and the idea that you are separate from everyone and everything, experiencing God or your real nature will seem elusive. Remember this life of personhood that we take to be who we are is nothing more than a vehicle for consciousness to experience itself. To believe this is one thing, and to experience it: life changing.

Deconstructing the self, the identity that began developing at birth, will not happen in the same way your mind tells you. As I said before your mind will find ways to challenge and distract you. It will tell you stories. For example, it might say, you are so close to awakening, I bet this next thing will be the one. Then years pass by of you doing that next thing, and yes, maybe your efforts have changed your personhood experience in positive ways, but you still have not arrived at where you are being called. Surely by now you should be enlightened.

Perhaps your seeking even with all the positive changes has been a distraction from you having a direct experience of your pure self. We can spend our whole lives seeking this experience, being distracted by our thoughts and mind from our intention and our true self. We can even have moments of what we believe to be this experience, something powerful, unique or special only to fall back into personhood because we were tricked by our mind once again. Please do not misunderstand, the mind is useful for our lives, but should it be directing your life, or only engaged with when needed?

In truth, what we seek, we are, and it is only when we let go of the controlling and deceiving thoughts that we can rest in the eternal and infinite space, which is our real nature. This is the only place you will ever experience stability in your life because living only in personhood will never be a stable environment.

We do not have to believe everything we think, and we do not have to follow the endless flow of thoughts that the mind generates. However, we can still live in personhood with all of our experiences and not be attached to the roller coaster of emotions, feeling and uncontrollable changes that come with it. We can experience life as it was intended while residing in the spaciousness of our real nature.

Experiencing your real nature is simple. A good starting point is to notice that you can witness your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. In fact, from this place of observation, you can witness all activity without attachment. Once you see this, notice how it feels and what you experience. Does it feel stable and peaceful? Does it have any boundaries? What can you discern?

When you have experienced this awareness, you will see that even this observer can be witnessed. Ask yourself, am I watching from personhood, from this place the mind will be involved. Or am I watching from a state of presence? From this place, you can still notice that something is watching even though you feel peaceful. The mind may also tell you at first this is it. Finally notice when you watch from pure awareness, your real nature, you will see there is no other watcher.

Remember that I said that the mind would challenge you, so it is important not to attach to anything that arises from the mind; stay as the witness and do not be caught in any thought traps. Always come back to being the witness, notice the activity of the mind. This will help you to begin to break the habit of following your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which can overwhelm you once you attach to them. Be sure to include all things generated in mind however the mind perceives them to be: good, bad or indifferent. One day attachment to thought and this habit of following your thoughts will be broken, and you will no longer be interested in or distracted by the endless flow of misguided thinking.

If you start to worry, become frustrated or feel out of balance in any way, know that you have been pulled back into personhood by the mind. When you experience your real nature it feels effortless; if it is causing strain, it is because you are attached to something that is leading you astray. Perhaps your thoughts are saying something like, this is hard, I cannot do it, I do not deserve it, or yes, this may be meant for some people, but not for me.

A step toward awakening is to realize that your operating system, which is your current way of thinking and beliefs, may not be your best ally going forward in creating the life and world you want, and this becomes clear once you start observing your thoughts and beliefs.

Below is the middle verse from a poem called “A Great Wagon,” from the Persian poet Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”

doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

Follow where I have pointed, and I will meet you in the field that lies beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, where you can live without fear, worry or stress. May you hear the rumbling and let it go to find your way home. Do not go back to sleep, wake-up, wake-up, wake-up and we shall be in the oneness of pure awareness.

The Sooner We Listen – The Less We Suffer

Any malady in your physical body was a lot longer in coming than it takes to release it. -Abraham

I tell my clients that all the time. In addition, our problems do not happen just because of this or that event, meaning you bent down to pick up something and your back went out. It was not the something you picked up that was the problem; it was only the trigger for something that was already there. Physical problems, emotional issues and other life challenges usually take years of preparation. They percolate in our body and mind until we listen and when we don’t they bubble up to the surface wanting our attention. The sooner we listen, the less we suffer. The more we resist, well you know this already don’t you. You have experienced it before, I know you have because everyone has, just look back at your life. If you can see it, then you can change the experience the next time. Pay attention sooner, or at least as soon as you can and learn from every experience. This is how you stop the behavior. This is how you stop suffering. This is how you live a happier life, because things are always going to bubble up at some point. Would you listen otherwise? You can and this changes everything, I promise.

Short and Sweet #136 – Some Truth About Suffering

Most of our suffering is a reflection of the outer world turned inward and it is not natural for us to suffer. We impose it on ourselves based not on what we see or feel but our perceptions about what we see and feel. Suffering also arises when we feel we have lost control. Please do not mistake your suffering for an expression of your compassion and love because compassion and love heal. Know that suffering does not heal it causes pain. In fact, the energy of our suffering reinforces the energetic strength of the very thing that caused us to suffer in the first place. Therefore, we are not helping heal the world or ourselves by suffering, we are feeding the very problem that makes us suffer.

Release your suffering into the understanding that tragedy brings great change when acted on with awareness. It is only when we look with an open heart that we will see and know this truth. Once we do, the door of possibility opens wide for creating what we want instead of being stuck in what we do not want. In great tragedy comes great opportunity because of how the creative energy of the universe works. By understanding this law of creation and looking for it, we send energy out to create something new instead of sending it back to strengthen that which we do not want.

You will never stop the tragic events of this world by suffering through them. You must release your suffering first by recognizing that you are not helping to stop what is happening by suffering. Know that this is something you do have control over and it is a choice.

Then begin looking for the opportunities that the creative energy of the universe presents you. At first, it may not seem like it will help the situation particularly when it is happening halfway around the world. However, this is the False-Self keeping you trapped in your suffering. Follow your higher guidance knowing that however you shift your energy in a positive way or raise your vibration, you will be helping everyone on this planet not just yourself.

No matter how trivial your efforts seem know that the impact you have is greater than you know. Building on your previous efforts will exponentially increase the impact over time and then one day we will wake up to the world we want and end all the needless suffering.


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What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.

Short and Sweet #77 – Stress

The first thing to understand about stress is that another person or your circumstances never cause it. As long as you believe this and allow your thoughts to confirm this delusion you will continue to experience stress. Ask yourself the following question, if I give ten people the same difficult task would all ten people respond the same way. Of course not, some people may be stressed but others could thrive at the challenge. Our response in these situations is based on how we view the world, our perceptions. In order to change our experience we need to change our perceptions.

One way of starting this process is to notice how you are feeling in your body and what your emotional state is during stress. This will require awareness and willingness on your part to make the shift. For example when you are stressed, what do you feel in your body? Perhaps tension, a headache or tightness in the belly, maybe you begin to sweat. Then you notice that you are slightly agitated, anxious or maybe even a little angry. These are just examples you must tune in to how you feel in each stressful situation because you could feel slightly different is each new situation. Once you begin to notice these feelings, you can become more aware of when you first start to become stressed. As soon as you start to feel stress coming on you need to shift your energy by taking a deep breath, relaxing your body, belly and your thoughts. If you have to leave the room and go another area to do this then do it, otherwise just breathe deeply.

Then notice your perceptions and thoughts around what was happening just before you started feeling stressed. You will begin to notice that these thoughts and perceptions are not for your highest good. Learning this will help you begin to shift your perception and this will automatically shift your experience. Going forward you will see just how your thinking and perceptions cause your stress. Over time, you will be able to let go of them and eventually with practice you will see that what use to stress you out will no longer be an issue. You have taken what you thought was a problem and transformed it into an opportunity to further your journey of awakening.