Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Energy of Belief: Part Two - Getting Out by Giving In

The air is crisp and smells of autumn. Yellow leaves rustle on black asphalt while green grass settles into sleepy hibernation. I am walking to school, making my walk a meditation, letting my mind be still, letting my mind be the reality TV show that occupies my attention as I walk to school. This morning, the hill feels steeper and I’m breathing hard. When a guy on a bike puffs to a stop, swings his leg over and starts walking the steep hill just ahead of me, my mind is triggered into a memory.

I remember, as a teenager riding up the hill to Utah State University to participate in The Festival of the American West, which I was privileged to be a part of in my high school years. When I heard of the opportunity and told my parents I wanted to audition for the show, Dad’s response was “Fine, but we can’t take you.” So I rode my bike the ten or eleven miles from my house to the university all summer long. More than once, other cast members would go out of their way to give me and my bike a lift home, rather than see me pedaling along the highway in the dark at the end of practice. True to his word, my dad never gave me a ride, not once, not even on performance nights when I’d be traveling the highway near midnight.

There I am, walking up the hill flashing back to past history. I’m sucked into a memory, and I find myself noticing the kindness of near strangers was greater than the support of my own father. Then I feel amazed that this memory has been lurking in my shadows for all these years. I recognized an opportunity to practice the process that is the heart of today’s post. 

So I dig around in my darkness and I ask myself, “What is the belief that holding on to this memory supports?” The answer isn’t hard to come up with. The underlying belief is “My father doesn’t love me.” Underneath that I find: “I am not good enough.” The former becomes a supporting argument for the latter, like this: “I am not good enough. See? Even my own dad doesn’t love me.

That is how it goes, the stories in our mind give rise to wrong or distorted conclusions that we arrive at and then link together to support and prove themselves right.

Let’s talk about how we can transcend these kinds of stories, and thus remove ourselves from the pool of leaking, poisonous energy beliefs like this contaminate our minds with. I found a talk by Bentinho Massaro. He expresses what I am going to say very well and is worth listening to.

We have spent a lifetime feeding attention to negative beliefs, rewarding and reinforcing them with energy. We are the broadcasting station, but they are the leaky containers that toxify the signal we send out to the universe. We know that negative beliefs distort our perceptions, and like cement shoes they pull us down, down, down, over and over again into their own darkness, tainting and twisting the way we see the world around us. 

We know that our first response is an opportunity to simply stop, to cut off the juice being gobbled up by the thought to live, to consciously put our attention somewhere else, so that the negative thought is forced to slink back into the hole it keeps pulling us down into. I can’t emphasis enough how beneficial and powerful that one simple habit can become in your life.

It lessens the impact of a negative belief when we pull attention away from the supporting thought the belief projects into our mind. Over a long time this response pattern can starve those cancerous stories like chemo for the soul. While it's true that eventually the belief dies out, this approach is difficult. It requires constant mental vigilance and needs a long time to fully waste away a negative belief. So how can we take the leap? How can we transcend these negative, poisonous beliefs and supercharge our experience with an influx of potent, positive energy?

The answer is powerful stuff, but counter-intuitive. Get out by giving in. The best way to transcend is to admit defeat. To let our negative beliefs have their cackling way with us. To sink into the belief, fully experience it, and admit that we are powerless. The belief is completely, absolutely correct.

“It’s true,” I say, walking with my head down, as I sink into the belief and fully feel it. “I am not good enough and my dad doesn’t love me.”

The energy system that is the foundation of creation operates in layers of density, like lasagna or that fantastic bean dip you devour on Super Bowl Sunday.  Every layer has its own density, or vibration. Every layer has its own rules and its own truth. Metaphorically speaking, the deeper the layer, the darker and more dense it becomes. Think of the ocean, where all the vibrant life, the colorful fish, the coral, the pretty and playful things all are found near the surface. The deeper down you go, the scarier and more alien the stuff down there gets. This is true energetically as well. 

The layer where a belief can form that says “I am not good enough,” is a place we all spend way too much time.

I believe this is the intrinsic challenge of the earth experience, to swim up from the level of “not good enough” to the next higher sphere of human potential, where there is no failure; there is no blame, and there is no need or room for negative beliefs. Rather the rooms are filled with opportunities to learn and grow, and where the beauty of being is a constant bliss buoying up our souls. I’ve poked my toes in those waters and many people are already lounging around on its beaches.

So here’s the deal. If you sink down into the level at which a negative beliefs exists, that belief cannot be proven wrong. No matter how much we try, we cannot win against it, because everything we do is connected to the belief. Our actions arise from the belief, from our struggles to prove it wrong. “But I am  good enough,” we cry out. 

Every success is distorted because it gets weighed against the belief and comes out wanting. We buy into the belief and then struggle our whole lives to disprove it. We fail. We fail, because at the level where the belief lives, it’s true.

That’s the hard part to swallow. That in this densest layer, the thoughts we hate most about ourselves can be true. The key is to remember that we are not stuck living forever in that level of existence. When you no longer resist, when you stop struggling against the energy of “not good enough” --- then your consciousness is free. It floats upward. You literally become lighter. The “not good enough” level stays the same; while you change. You transcend. So when the belief of “not good enough” pukes up a negative, poisonous thought, you can just smile and pat it on the head like a charming but errant child and say “So what?”

At the level of belief, it’s true that I’m not good enough and that my dad doesn’t love me. My dad has the choice to keep living in the Not Good Enough level or to transcend it, just as we all do. When his consciousness is acting out of the NGE level, of course a part of him doesn’t love me and knows I’m not good enough. A part of him doesn’t love himself and knows he will never be good enough either. That is how the game plays out down here. When my consciousness is acting out of the NGE level, then being less than perfect, how can I ever be good enough?

So What?

When you look down or back at the NGE level, it is easy to see how, according to the rules of the game, we can never be perfect. Therefore, we can never win and we can never, ever, be good enough.  You can’t beat the house; you can’t beat the game. It’s set up that way. We can stay in the house and play the game as long as we like; but when you get tired of it, the only way out is to admit defeat.
In the NGE level, there is only one rule: you cannot win. So instead, you give the game its due.

Near the top of the hill, I’m triggered into a memory and catapulted into the game I’m playing against the house. So what do I do?

Admit defeat. At this level, I am not and never will be, and I mean never, ever will be good enough. That’s the rule of the game. I sink down into the feeling of not. I remember all the stories and thoughts that pop up to support my lack, to prove that I am a failure (or whatever flavor your stories come in), that there is no hope; that I can’t do it, can’t change, feel helpless, powerless, stuck.

Give in.

Sit with it, don't fight the thoughts, don’t resist the emotions, let them flow.

Here is the real truth. You are so much more than just a being on the level of NGE. Other parts of your soul are already transcended, already far above your mortal pain and your experiences of lack and suffering. No matter how stuck you feel, or how helpless it may seem, or how much you wish you were better or different or more privileged, or lucky, or blessed, or special --- all of that is available right now in your soul, and you KNOW it.

So, as you admit defeat and give in, as you surrender your membership in the NGE social club where misery loves company --- by not playing the game anymore, because you lost again and again and again and will lose every time you play --- then, the part of you that KNOWs will send you a sigh and you will relax into So What?

I am not good enough --- So What? My dad doesn’t love me --- So What?

In the very next level, I experience no failure. I am good enough and my father loves me unconditionally. We just have to recognize the layers. Both are true at the same time. Love and Not Love; Good Enough and Not Good Enough --- both are equally true at their own level.

So as I walk to school in the crisp autumn air and stride through the yellow leaves on the black asphalt, and as I climb the hill of my own self-esteem, challenged by memories that shout or scold or declare my faults as evidence that I am not good enough, I can just admit defeat. I can choose to not resist. I can yield like water or bend like bamboo in the wind.

After all, since I can't win anyway, why fight? Why play the game? Just sit with the self-accusations. Since we live there anyway, since we already hear it tearing away at our heart, since we already feel the confusion and doubt, it’s not hard to live with the truth of a belief. Nothing has changed. Except that the energy of defeat blows away and we are lightened. The voice of the darkness has been heard and so it has nothing more to say. We accept it all; we embrace it all. We go all Gandhi on its ass. Little by little, stroke by stroke, we swim higher and hang out in more lively, pretty and appealing waters. Eventually, we will have transcended the level of NGE altogether. Our soul will no longer have any curiosity about self-directed negativity. We will no longer have the need to experience fear or self-doubt. We will have liberated ourselves from those levels of density and no longer get sucked into their darkness.

The NGE level will still be there, but we won’t be drowning in its waters. Its energies and thoughts will no longer have the power to trigger us or capture our attention. We will be free.

Make defeat your personal practice. This is what Jesus meant when he said “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it” (Luke 17:33). You can't break the bank; you can't even break even. Proclaim your surrender; admit your defeat, declare the contest lost and win free of the game.

This is a lot to digest and accept; and yet, may we all find freedom together.

With love and aloha,

P.S. My most sincere intention and hope, if my writing resonates with you, is that you will feel inspired to share this post with all your friends and social media. Together we can reach as many people as possible; Together we can all pump powerfully positive, loving, accepting, juicy energy into the world. Namaste.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Energy of Belief: Poison or Power? Fundamentally Upgrade Your Belief System

Part One 

Are you Brave enough to examine the Beliefs that drive your life?

Sadly, not everything in life is unicorns, rainbows and endless good cheer. Sometimes, to create more light in our lives, we have look into our own darkness and love the lurkers in our own shadows. To do that, let's take a closer look at the energy of belief. 

Can you remember a time, when you saw a child (or were the child) bursting with excitement, literally jumping up and down over some little something. The child runs up to an adult, who feeling the stresses of life, inadvertently squashes the child’s enthusiasm? Can you think of a time something really exciting happened and you couldn’t wait to tell your special someone, who feeling the stresses of life, inadvertently brushed you off? In a second, your excitement got hammered and squished into something negative. Maybe it was hurt or sadness, annoyance or anger, shame or embarrassment, but whatever the evil butterfly moment (see prev. post), it rose out of a belief.

Every belief has a set of emotions it champions and sends out to battle against anything not itself. Every belief has a favored group of thoughts that it orders to crowd out all other thoughts that might oppose it. Our thoughts and feelings arise out of our beliefs.

Every belief has an energy field that we step into anytime we feed attention to that belief. This energy field snaps into existence any time a belief is triggered by circumstance or association; additionally, the more energy (in the form of attention) that a belief has been fed over the course of its parasitic lifetime, the more the belief bleeds its own energy into our soul, our heart and our mind. Think about radiation poisoning. Our beliefs constantly leak, poisoning the groundwater of our life. Can you see how dark some of our beliefs are; can you grasp the volume of vile junk those beliefs are vomiting into our experiences --- even when we are not noticing them or consciously attending to them?

The most basic and the most damaging of these beliefs always centers on our own worthiness or capacity. You know these thoughts:

I’m not good enough.
I don’t deserve it.
That might work for you, but it could never work for me.
I can’t do it.
I am bad, so I deserve what I get.
I never had a chance.
I am not able.
I’m not pretty enough, or thin enough, or smart enough.
I can’t --- I’m not --- I don’t.

Life plain sucks in the energy of these thoughts. And that energy comes from all the underlying beliefs that vomit up the thoughts and feelings that are constantly distorting, denaturing, or darkening our perception of the circumstances unfolding around us. 

Spiritual teachers and philosophers tell us that all circumstances are completely neutral. We are the ones who project meaning upon whatever we experience. Things are not positive or negative until we decide to see them that way. The way we see them, the way we assign meaning to experience is largely (if not completely) based upon our belief system. 

Our NOT thoughts will always poison our circumstances with their negative bias. For example, we can be with a wonderful person that loves and supports us, but our NOT thoughts will gobble up their goodness until we hardly even notice it. But by god, we’ll notice EVERY little way in which they are NOT what we think we want or what we think they ought to be. If we are not finding enough NOTS, our NOT thoughts will happily make up some shit to fill the gaps. The NOT thoughts will spew out confusion and doubt at every turn until new relationship opportunities are poisoned and pushed away; while older relationships are damaged, sometimes beyond repair. 

Worse, it was never the person. It was the energy of the NOT thoughts pooling around us, the belief in NOT filling up our space until the other person had no choice but to step into the energy of our NOT  thoughts. This calls out the energy of their own NOT thoughts; it activates or triggers their own negative beliefs. Then their negative beliefs and your negative beliefs happily occupy themselves fighting, complaining, competing and generally reinforcing themselves, getting bloated and fat on your attention. “See,” the NOT thought says, “See how she doesn’t appreciate all the work I do to provide for us?” or “See,” the NOT thought says, “See, all he ever does is complain and criticize.

Like a slasher flick, we stab ourselves the same way. We go into the basement of the creepy house. No wonder we end up metaphorically screaming when the chainsaw roar of our NOT thoughts massacres our self-esteem. The basement is our own darkness and NOT thoughts drive us down there over and over again despite how the chainsaw guy splatters our well-being all over the walls. 

Like we did with other people, we do to ourselves. We can be practically a saint, but our NOT thoughts will gobble up our goodness until we hardly even notice it. Sadly, we’ll notice EVERY little way in which we are NOT what we think we ought to be. If we are not finding enough NOTS, our NOT thoughts will happily make up some shit to fill the gaps. The NOT thoughts will spew out confusion and doubt at every turn while the chainsaw guy laughs and slashes away until we feel smaller and smaller. We forget that our diminished state is an act of self-directed violence. 

Take a breath. . .

When we are outside the energy of our NOT thoughts, we naturally see ourselves as bright, beautiful, capable, strong, confident superstars. We know we are the triumphant hero of our own tale, vanquishing the chainsaw guy with such love and goodness that he gives up his violent tendencies and becomes a gardener, tending the flowerbeds of our soul.  

When we are outside the energy of our NOT thoughts, we see our partner's painful behaviors as a cry for love and validation expressed through an ineffective strategy, not as an attack. We see it as an opportunity to grow closer and deeper and better. This understanding is a very saintly perspective and a difficult response to offer others, precisely because our NOT thoughts are used to getting their way, used to distorting our perspective and casting their own interpretation on everything. The NOT thoughts rape and pillage and plunder our well-being. The NOT thoughts steal away our natural bliss; bliss that is an ocean of never-ending love and acceptance. The NOT thoughts hide not only the boat we use to power out into our bliss, but also the pier, the marina and even the whole ocean side town. We forget we have a boat, tied to the pier, anchored in the marina, located in the most desirable ocean side town we can imagine. We forget an ocean of bliss is RIGHT there in front of us.

Even as I say: All experiences are neutral and mean only what I think they mean. Even as I assert:  All experiences are neutral and ONLY I can assign meaning to them; even as I feel the vastness, beauty and empowerment of those words --- another part of me is screaming:  But what about… 

What about this or what about that? What about evil, or suffering, or taxes? What about starving children or politicians? This is not to say that there are no evil taxes or selfish politicians, clearly there are. It is to say that existence is not the same as meaning. We can choose to see suffering as a negative situation to be avoided or we can see it as an opportunity to look into the mirror of our experience and change. Only as we change ourselves can we hope to make a difference globally. I have to laugh, “but what about…” That’s just my negative beliefs, well fed and well cared for, panicking, crying out “Please, may I have some more?”

My hope and intention in adding another layer to our discussion on how beliefs operate in our lives, is to emphasize that beliefs broadcast energy and that energy affects both us and others around us. Positive beliefs broadcast positive energy, energy that feels good to be in and around. Negative beliefs broadcast poisonous and dark energy that sickens us and sucks away our life and attention, giving nothing in return but disease and depression and despair. Knowing this helps motivate us to marshal our most precious resource, our attention. It propels us to focus on learning how to watch our thoughts, so as to refuse the dark ones attention and to deny negative beliefs the opportunity to suck away our life and poison our perception of the events unfolding around us.

So what do we do with the negative beliefs leaking their poison into our lives? I’ve outlined the elementary answer in nearly all of my recent posts. Cultivate mindfulness, self-awareness, and the ability to watch your own thoughts. Use that awareness to cut off the juice feeding negative, unhelpful or ineffective thoughts in the very moment you become aware of them. This brings us back to where we started. The reason to cut off the juice from negative thoughts is because that thought arose from a triggered belief and every belief has an energy field that we step into anytime we feed attention to it. Its energy field affects us. Hanging out in an energy field has consequences. Most of us don’t like the consequences that arise from hanging out in negative energy fields.  

That alone is enough reason to stop feeding attention to negative thoughts.

I say this is the elementary answer, because watching your thoughts and being mindful of the contents of your mind is a cultivated response adopted to modulate your perspective and feeling space. It is an opportunity to shift your thoughts, to change the energy of your emotions, to choose how you will broadcast into the world and what the energy you transmit all around you will be. 

Are you going to embrace the light side of the force or stay mired in the dark side? Is it the saint or the chainsaw guy that represents your interactions with others? It’s your choice, chainsaw guy or saint. Which one steps forward is a natural, inescapable consequence based upon where you focus your attention. However, that being said, mindfulness cannot change your beliefs. Nothing can. All mindful awareness can do is shift your attention from unhelpful, unproductive chainsaw thought-types to more loving and beautiful ones.

Beliefs cannot be changed. They are or they are not. You cannot change a belief, only create a new one. Yet, while beliefs cannot be changed, they can be transcended, which is different than shifting your attention to more positive ideas. Transcendence is a much deeper practice, much harder to both understand and accept, but it offers a golden key to the kingdom of your own mind. It is Jacob's ladder, leading ever higher up your soul. This practice offers an end to the struggle against your own negative beliefs, if you have the self-love and tenacity to go all Gandhi on their ass, if you have the courage to go all the way down the rabbit hole. This will be the content of my next post. Like Gandhi changing a country, you can change your life. I mean deeply, fundamentally change your life. I’ve only just begun my journey down the rabbit hole, is it wrong of me to want your company?

You are worth it, you know. Your light is so bright, if you could but see it. What YOU have to offer is irreplaceable and necessary. You are needed. The potential product of your mind and heart is priceless. You are Awesome; you are Love; you are Beautiful! Believe it. Own it. Make it your skin and climb in. 

You can --- You are --- You do.

Let’s make our lives matter.

With love and aloha,

Click Here for Part Two: Getting Out by Giving In

P.S. My most sincere intention and hope, if my writing resonates with you, is that you will feel inspired to share this post with all your friends and social media. Together we can reach as many people as possible; Together we can all pump powerfully positive, loving, accepting, juicy energy into the world. Namaste. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Evil Butterflies? Who Knew... How Changing ONE Thing Can Change Everything!

Why think you "aren't?" Instead, KNOW you ARE 

Believe me when I say: Imagination is creation

What we believe we become

It is often said that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in some far distant land can be the cause of a tsunami where we now stand. Could such a small thing really be the reason for the terrible storms and the torrential rains that fall into our lives?

Some years ago, a friend introduced me to a five star resort & spa southwest of Scottsdale, AZ. It’s a beautiful and serene resort and I really wanted to work there as a massage therapist. I studied it on the internet; I downloaded and filled out the application; I prepared my resume. Bright and extremely early (ten) in the morning, I straddled my motorcycle and raced over. I pulled around back to where the HR department was located. 

I strode up to the door and stopped dead in my tracks; as frozen as if the childhood game Red light, Green light had become cosmic law and some joker had just cackled out “Red light.” Just to mess with me. Or, as if I’d shifted in to Dr. Who’s reality and somehow transformed into a Weeping Angel and no one blinked.

Nothing I could do would allow me to open that door. Defeated, I thought, “Okay, maybe if I look around a bit first…” So, I toured the facilities. I looked at the spa, poking my head into where the massage services were being offered. The setting was gorgeous. I really, really wanted to work there. 

Sadly, I could not bring myself to talk to anyone. So, I looked over the pool area and wandered around some of the lounges, paths, terraces, and lobbies making up the resort. Finally, I ended up standing at an overlook peering down at the HR building. I was completely paralyzed. Three hours had passed since I’d roared up to the resort on my motorcycle. After a half hour more berating myself and flinging lots of self-directed monkey-mind poo madness in the form of unkind self-talk, I walked back to the parking lot, slumped on my bike and slunk home. It was not one of my finer moments, but it was a fine example of the fear that arises from our inner self-definitions, the fear that complicates and limits our lives. I blame it on butterflies. Evil little buggers, with their beady eyes and creepy wasp-like bodies and their flap, flapping evil little wings. 

Obviously, I don’t mean the gentle creatures fluttering about in nature. 

The evil insects I’m talking about. . .

. . .are the bugs that burrowed into our beliefs when we were children, or perhaps are burrowing still. Those are the flapping wings that create the storms we suffer through now.

Maybe it was the picture you drew and ran excitedly to show your daddy, but he was too busy to look. Flap. 

Maybe it was it was the funny looks you got when you sang out with joy and exuberance, or the shushing you got from your mother in the grocery store or at church. Flap, flap. 

Maybe it was when you got yelled at for just playing or the hundred other ways your natural, vibrant being got contracted, constricted, or controlled. Flap.

Maybe it was any of a hundred times you got the message to stop, shut up, sit down, or slow down. Flap, flap. 

Whatever it was, suddenly you felt bad, suddenly you felt small, and you grew to fear the way big people would punish you and cause you pain. Flap, flap, flap. Damn bugs.
You became less to protect yourself. From this lessening, from all the painful things that crashed down on each of us, we began to believe that there was something fundamentally wrong inside of ourselves. When we acted on that belief, by conforming, we were rewarded and our belief grew strong.

Fear crept in and rooted in our beliefs. Remember, it is our beliefs that create the way we perceive the world around us. So we began to see the world as a place to fear and walk through with care and trepidation. One after another fear-based beliefs began to fill up the container that is our soul. Every added fear-based belief clogged up our system just a little more and every one of them pushed out our ability to perceive from our pure and natural space of awareness. 

Simultaneously, we developed many healthy, self-serving, empowering and beautiful beliefs. These are the beliefs that give us fire and blast our light across the cosmos. These are the foundation of our emotional intelligence and the channel through which our love and compassion flows through us and into the world. These are bedrock beliefs that get us out of bed every day. 

The desirable and empowering were forced to share their bedroom with their evil twins  and inner conflict was born as the light side and the dark side of our self-beliefs battled for time and attention.

So there I was, standing in front of the HR entrance and all my attention was plundered by a belief that said I wasn’t good enough, or confident enough or deserving enough to work in such a commanding position at such a prestigious resort. I was focusing my attention on NOT. I was focusing my attention on a belief in what I lack; “You are NOT this,” or “You are NOT that,” my beliefs would lament, completely convinced of their own truth and veracity. Beliefs always believe themselves, or else they would pop and poof away. 

Remember, negative beliefs are just a thought that has lived in our souls for a long time and gobbled up so very, very much of our time and attention to ghoulishly cling to their own distorted, perverted life. Negative beliefs are the walking dead; the zombies that devour our brains. It is so easy to be blind to our own blind spot, to miss the negative beliefs that create our dark side; then, while peering into our own darkness, to miss the positive things that are so bright and beautiful in life.

Sometimes we hear things many, many times before the message is finally realized, and so it was for me this week when I finally woke up to the weight of my own sick attraction for all the beliefs of NOT, NOT, NOT that I have carried around with me for most of my life on this planet and all the ways I clung to NOT, NOT, NOT to protect my “self.” Yet, what is that self I was protecting all these years? It was a bunch of negative, destructive, limiting beliefs – nothing to do with the real ME at all. The real ME is pure, joyful awareness that has been buried year after year in hurtful, joyless, and self-limiting rubbish piled deeper and deeper on top of ME. 

All this flooded into my mind that morning as I rode the bus to school. “Why,” I asked myself. “Why am I spending so much time and attention on NOT?” Why don’t I spend that same amount of mental time and attention on what I AM, on what I want to be? I asked myself: “Why am I spending so much time affirming that I am not already a kind, loving, peaceful being? Why don’t I begin affirming what I want, instead of what I don’t?”

So, there I am on the bus, mulling over the message that had flowed into my consciousness from the divine source that shines equally through us all, if our limiting beliefs don’t completely clog our channel to the ALL, and I’m asking myself --- “Now what?”

I determined to first begin imagining myself as exactly the type of kind, loving, peaceful being that I wanted to be---because imagination is an act of creation--- and then second to observe and reinforce all the ways in which I was already that. I determined to notice, every time I felt like something less than that, how a negative belief had crept back into my consciousness and to then squish it like the wing-flapping, freak of a bug that started all this trouble in the first place. Finally, I reminded myself: when looking to shine the light of love and acceptance into your own darkness, don't forget to celebrate the light you already have!

Now here I am, at the end of the week, sitting not on a bus, but at my desk, looking back and looking within – not at evil butterfly thoughts flapping against my peace and well-being --- but rather at the lighthouse shinning in my center. I feel more loving. I feel more kind. I feel more peaceful, more determined than ever to more consistently embody these qualities --- and damn, if it doesn't feel good. To the extent that I remember to watch my thoughts and squish the negative ones, it is like the evil butterflies are lifting up and flying away.

It is time to stop thinking 'am not' and start thinking "AM TOO!"

With love and aloha,

P.S. My most sincere intention and hope, if my writing resonates with you, is that you will feel inspired to share this post with all your friends and social media. Together we can reach as many people as possible; Together we can all pump powerfully positive, loving, accepting, juicy energy into the world. Namaste. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Key to Getting Everything You Desire

The Secret to Getting 
What You Really Want:
Part Three
The Key to Getting 
Everything You Desire

Where we are so far --- the treasure map of our journey into thinking about thinking.


We've talked about suffering, which occurs when our thoughts (in the form of beliefs and ideas) fail to match up with what is actually present. To stop suffering, we need to drop old beliefs and let go of ideas that fight against each other and fight against other people's ideas (both conflicting ideas within us and the ideas of others we are interacting with).

Exploring further, we discovered that if we really look within ourselves, we can locate the exact center of our being and that if we look out from that place, we can literally see everything else (including our thoughts) as being external to our sense of being. From this we conclude that we are not our thoughts; we are not our beliefs or our ideas or our body. We are deeper than all these things. This gives us the power to choose whether or not we donate our precious attention to feed any given thought.

Then we expanded on how thoughts often work against us, competing to capture our energy and steal away our attention to feed themselves and to grow stronger. 

The Law of Attraction
We mentioned the four core components of the Law of Attraction:

1. Whatever you want, you get.
2. Whatever you believe, proves itself true.
3. Whatever you think about, surrounds you.
4. Whatever you feel, invites more of that feeling into your experience.

We concluded that each of these four states: wanting, believing, thinking, and feeling, all work simultaneously and are often in conflict internally and also one against another. We saw that they all ultimately run off the energy of thinking. This led us to detail the lifecycle of a thought; to consider how thoughts operate: how like a parasite, they are born, feed on you, grow stronger at your expense, live forever unless you refuse to feed them, and are hard to starve away. Let’s put it even more clearly.

There are 5 stages in the thinking cycle:

1.   Sensations: The raw data that comes into the brain.
2.   PerceptionsThe brain begins to process incoming data according to rules and shortcuts that have developed over time. Associations between incoming data and past perceptual interpretations, evaluations and judgments --- all running at subconscious levels --- give rise to thoughts.
3.   Thoughts: The “packet” perceptual interpretations delivers to the conscious mind for further consideration and processing.
4.   Ideas: As patterns begin to form between different but similar thoughts, ideas form.
5.   Beliefs: Ideas that continue to “make sense” and receive consistent attention turn into beliefs. Beliefs form the heuristics (the rules and shortcuts) that the brain uses to process data in the perception stage.

This brings us back full circle. What we think on a consistent basis turns into what we believe. What we believe influences and forms the filters and processing cues that our mind uses below conscious thought. What we believe literally changes how we see the world around us. What we believe literally dictates how our life unfolds. Beliefs rule the roost. They are at the heart of everything that happens around us.

In physics, we learn that gravity bends time and space. Beliefs are the gravity of our soul. They bend our personal spacetime by allowing certain sensations to pass through the cycle and excluding other sensations so that we do not perceive them at all, or so that we ignore them; which means that they never make it out of the perceptual pool. From this, can you see that to change your thinking, you must first change the beliefs that are creating the types of thoughts that are allowed or are likely to enter into your mind? This is the heart of the Law of Attraction. 

We get what we want

The most simple (and incomplete) statement of the Law of Attraction is that we get what we want. This is true. However. . .

Want arises from the needs and desires of the body, and from thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs. Of all of these, Belief is the pit boss; belief is the hall monitor shaking you down and demanding to see your hall pass. Often, things we think we want never get passed the pit boss of our underlying beliefs. Beliefs run the show and often we don't recognize that we are no longer in charge.

So many of us suffer from the belief that we are undeserving or unworthy. What has already shown up in your life as a result of that belief? None of us wants more of that. As wants arise from beliefs, shouldn't we dig out the ones that harm us, hold us back, or invite suffering and lack into our experience?

Think about how those beliefs are manifesting in your life right now. Is it any wonder that life can be so confusing? Remember, thoughts that are fed attention gain a life of their own. They become sticky. It is not difficult to feed our attention to opposing and conflicting thoughts. Both thoughts will then constantly battle for your attention. Each thought will have its own set of demands, filters, and desires. Since we get what we want, can you see how confusing life can become?

Like a caterpillar devouring leaves or like a cancer eating away at you --- many of the beliefs that you have within you right now work against the life you both desire and deserve. These negative beliefs undermine your relationships, undercut your success, create endless drama and suffering, drain away your life and energy, and generally bully you in unnecessary, unproductive, and undesirable ways.

What do we do?

So what do we do? How can we support the positive thoughts that we want to promote? How can we strengthen the insights that flow in from our highest wisdom places? How can we eliminate negative and distorting filters to promote our greater truth? In other words, how can we live the kind of life that we really want?

We have to take back control --- and the key to everything is attention.


The most pure form of free-will that we have is the choice of where we direct our attention. Once our attention chunks down into a choice, our free-will steps aside in favor of consequences. This is why attention is our most precious resource. What we attend to plants the seeds that blossom in our future. Let me say that again: attention creates your future. Attention is the food that thoughts gobble down to live. Attention is what turns a thought into an idea and an idea into a belief; beliefs create our present. Are you starting to see how it all works together?

Mindfulness is the name we’ve given to the idea of watching our own thoughts, the idea of maintaining awareness of what you are thinking at any given moment, at every given moment. Mindfulness is the process. Mindfulness is your champion, the hero you send into battle to gain and protect your kingdom. 

If you are aware of the thoughts that are sent up to your mind from the perception department, then you are in control. If you are not aware, if you get lost in these thoughts --- because they support and reinforce a belief --- then the belief is in control and that belief is planting the seeds of your future without control or input from you. Then we wonder why our lives seem to have gone so far afield.

The solution is awareness. Awareness takes practice. Lots of practice. The idea is simple; the doing is difficult.

The Practice

The moment you become aware that you are thinking a thought that you know goes against the life you want, a negative thought of any kind, the first step is to --- STOP. (And then stop again, and again, and again, as long as is necessary.) 

Cut off the power; remove your attention. Bear in mind that the belief gobbling down your attention doesn’t want to stop thinking its own thoughts and like a dragon will fight tooth and nail to enslave your attention as long as it possibly can. Attention is gold and the dragon-thought in your mind wants to gather and hoard this gold all for itself.  Negative and poisonous thoughts LIKE to think themselves; it’s fun for them, no matter how much it hurts you or damages your relationships. Like a virus, this is how the poison holds on to life inside of you. 

The second step is to direct your attention to a different thought. The moment you kill a thought by pulling away your attention, your mind is empty. The negative thought will try to rush back and fill that vacuum and once again seize your attention. Push it out and take control of your mental space. Switch your attention to the kind of thought that you know creates the life you want. 

It is a good idea to have a go-to thought pre-prepared, one that you can switch to immediately after you stop feeding attention to the unwanted thought. This means that you have deliberately created a pleasing and powerful thought and spoon-fed it attention. This can be a memory that inspires you, or a mental picture that brings you joy, or a feeling of gratitude for someone you love. It can be a picture that represents something that you desire in your future. The important part is the you have deliberately and consciously spent time feeding attention to your chosen thought, specifically with the intention of using that image to take back your mind when the dragon roars or the monkey starts flinging poo.

When it is too great a leap to go from the dragon or the money to the positive or the glorious, it can sometimes be helpful to leap first to a neutral middle thought --- like visualizing a wooden spoon.

It's your life and it's your mind

Every time you manage to slay the dragon or shoo away the monkey and its weird fascination with poo, you will notice how your shift in attention brings with it a shift in energy and emotion. It moves you from constriction to openness, from feeling down to feeling content. It invites peace. It creates calmness. It plants the kind of seeds that you want to harvest and eat with your salad, rather than the weeds you dread and all the extra work weeds create. Yuck, who wants extra work?

I hope I have laid out a case for learning to watch our own thoughts and for why attention is our most precious resource. Where we place our attention matters. Taking back control of our attention and the beliefs that attention feeds and supports is the key to creating the life we desire and manifesting the relationships we want. Attention, and the awareness it arises from, invites the lasting peace, love, joy and contentment everyone desires and so few consistently attain.

May we work every day to take back control of our own attention and may our lives be filled with love and aloha,