“Choice. The problem is choice” -Neo speaking to the Architect.
I love The Matrix trilogy of movies. They have many great spiritual and religious themes presented throughout their stories. The most prominent, in my opinion, is the idea of ‘Choice.’ The idea of choosing a path or a choice opening up a new reality is the core theme of the movie. Some examples:
Neo has to choose between the red pill or blue pill.
Neo has to choose to know he is fast enough in the Dojo sparring with Morpheus.
Neo has to choose to believe in himself and his power as the ‘One’ to defeat Agent Smith.
Neo has to choose between love and saving Zion when he meets the Architect.
Neo has to choose to give in during his final battle with Agent Smith.
So why am I writing about ‘Choice’ and The Matrix movies and what does any of it have to do with the Law of Attraction and Intention? The answer is simple, at the core of every spiritual ideology, book or belief is the idea of ‘Choice.’
In addition to watching movies, I read and try to keep up with many of the latest authors in the LOA\Spiritual arena. I’ve read most of the recent books by: Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Paulo Coelho, Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, Byron Katie, Anthony Robbins, David R. Hawkins, and many more. The interesting thing about all these authors and all their books is they are trying to describe a process to manifesting a new reality or manifesting happiness that has nothing to do with how they actually got there. I don’t say this to disparage the authors, they are all amazing people with powerful messages, I say it to point out that they didn’t get to where they are by using the process in their books.
The problem may be that there is no easy way to convey what it means to actually choose a new reality. If you read the histories of how these authors and spiritual leaders came to see this power within them you will notice that at a critical moment in their life they saw a light, or put simply, chose a new path. Eckhart Tolle talks about how he was so poor and considered suicide at the age of 29 and at that moment became aware of of the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ and has since become an amazing spiritual leader. Byron Katie talks about how she was suicidal in a halfway house laying on the floor with a cockroach crawling over her and was reborn. She had a new awaking and made a new choice. Dr. Wayne Dyer had a childhood in foster homes that brought him to where he is today. Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith had a troubled youth and was selling drugs before he had his enlightenment. Most of the spiritual authors and teachers I read all have similar stories.
These people have made a leap, a choice, and see the world in a different way. They try to explain the process and convey information to help people understand but in the end it comes down to the simple idea of making a choice. I equate this to falling asleep on earth and waking up the next day on the moon. Once you’re on the moon you feel lighter gravity, see a brighter sun and can see the earth in a whole new perspective. You are amazed at what it feels like to be on the moon and you want everyone to be up there with you. You tell your earth bound friends all about how great the moon is and they say “I want to go to.” How do you get them to get to the moon to join you? You just wake up there, so you say well I guess you can build a rocket ship or a transporter but that is not how you actually got to the moon. You made a choice and woke up there. Now your friends build rocket ships and transporters but they can’t build them correctly or in time or it’s too difficult so they give up and never reach the moon.
This is why I believe so many people who read these books on the LOA, Intention and self-help fail to make the changes needed. They are following a process but ultimately not making the choice that is needed. The question posed to us is how do we choose to be a new person, to see a new life, to manifest a new world?
If I had an easy answer to this question, I’d be the next big thing in the new age spiritual movement. The truth is there is no easy answer and to make things even more complicated, the answer seems to be different for every person. The good news is that maybe we can hack away at it and get closer to something we can all use.
We know a new choice, or choices, have to be made since the summation of our previous choices have led us to the life we currently live. Logically speaking, if our previous choices led to a life that we want to change then new choices have to be made to change the life we want to live. Sounds easy right? We just need to make new choices.
In order to make new choices we have to figure out a few things:
What choices do we want to change?
What choices do we want to put in their place?
Are we ready to make these new choices?
It looks simple when it’s written down but nothing is ever as easy as it seems. If we were able to make these simple new choices, we’d be set, bad choices stop, new choices start, new reality ensues. So why do we have so much trouble?
What Choices Do We Want To Change?
I have so often found when talking to my friends as we commiserate about our issues that my friends keep making the same choices yet expect a new result. For example, they can never find the right woman or man but always date the same type of person or search for them in the same places that have consistently let them down. Another example is people who struggle with their jobs but never improve their skills or apply to new jobs. The list is endless but the lesson is the same, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result. One of my favorite quotes is “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” (some say it’s from Einstein others from Ben Franklin but no one knows for sure).
We’ve established we all make the same choices over and over that have led us to the reality we live in today. We now have to ask, what do I want to change in my life and by extension what different choices do I have to make? Do you want the right partner in your life but can never meet the right man or woman? What choices do you normally make that got you here? Where do you go to meet them? Where do you go on first dates? What kind or personality are you attracted to? What choice has failed you in the past? The same goes for all the issues we face. Identify the choices that got you here so you know which choices you have to change.
What Choices Do We Want To Put In Their Place?
Now that we know the Choices that we want to change we have to decide what new Choice will take it’s place. If you want to change and live a new life and a new reality a new Choice has to be made to replace the old one. Using the previous example of finding the right partner in life, if you know what you’ve done wrong, what should you change so that you do it right? Are you always going on dates and the man or woman isn’t funny enough or smart enough? Are they arrogant or not confident enough? You know what choices led you to failure in the past, now it is time to identify the new choices that have to be made. If you are having dating trouble try meeting people in new ways. If you have never tried dating sites, try that. If you have tried dating sites with no luck, try going out. It is time to change your patterns and make new choices and lead to a new life and eventually a new history.
Are We Ready To Make These New Choices?
You now know the choices you want to change and what new choices have to be made in their place. The final piece of the puzzle is.. “Are you ready to make these new choices?” This sounds like a dumb question but it is the most important. The reason we are in this world that we are looking to change is we are comfortable in our choices that is why we make them over and over. Are you sick of your job and always complaining about it? Do you wish to manifest a new job? If so are you ready to do what it takes to get the new job? Are you making new choices to get new training, go back to school if needed? Have you updated your resume? Started networking and reading up on interview techniques? Have you started looking for what jobs are opened and applying to them?
Many people get to this step and fail. They know what choices to change. They know what new choices to make. They just don’t make them. This is why it is so difficult to change. How we live our lives and the choices we make every day are the culmination of years of experiences. Now we have to change our paradigm and do the hard thing and make these new choices. Most people know what they need to do, they just don’t do it. If you want to meet a new person, you know you have to get out there and date someone you don’t normally date. If you want to lose weight,you know you have to wake up and hit the gym and say no to that piece of pie. If you want a new job, you know you have to get trained and go back to school. Doing these things is the hard part.
If you want to really change you’ll wake up and run or get educated or date someone new. You won’t talk yourself out of it, you’ll just make the new choice even if it sucks. It will be hard. It will be tiresome but you will feel great. These are the amazing moments in life when you are ready and you make the new choices.
As you make these new choices you will noticed an incredible new reality emerge. If you were over weight and wake up and start running then eating better, you will realize a few months down the line that you are now on the moon. You will look back at the old you still on earth and think how did I get up here? How did I wake up one day and just choose to be healthy? How did I change my entire reality with just one choice? How did I end up on the moon? This is a question everyone asks themselves after they have made the big leap. People will ask how did you meet that great girl, or get that great job or run that marathon? You’ll say oh I did this or that but the truth is you woke up on the moon because you chose to be different.
There is no magic. There is no complicated path. The answer is simple yet complicated. If you want to end up on the moon choose to be there and that is where you’ll wake up.
What would tomorrow look like if there wasn’t yesterday?
Most of us have heard the gurus and masters talk about living in the moment. Live in the ‘Now’ the ‘Right Here’ not the past or the future. Even Yoda said “Do not look away, to the future, to the horizon. Keep your mind on where you are, what you are doing.”
What does it mean to live in the here and now? It means everything. It means simplicity and happiness. Imagine our reactions to new experiences and situations if there was no past to color our perception. Would you be shy asking a girl out if you have never seen rejection in the past? Would you be so eager to argue politics if you had no frame of reference? Would you be a Democrat or a Republican? Would you be religious or so strongly opinionated? Would you crave that piece of cake if you didn’t know the pleasure it gave you or the hole that you know it filled?
It is an interesting game to play with yourself. See how quickly you react to something then ask yourself is this because of yesterday? Next time someone asks you to try a food and you say ‘Oh no i hate that’ or ‘I don’t eat that’ is it because you really don’t like it or because you had a bad experience with it in the past? Why are you shy or scared or withdrawn or over compensating? All these things that we are is because of what is in our past.
We are what we were.
That is the trouble, we continue to be what we were rather than trying to just be.
Our experiences are what make us who we are and that is a good thing in some ways. We know not to touch a burner on a stove because we have been burnt in the past and in this way our experience is useful but if our experiences prevent us from new adventures then its working against us.
Play that game I mentioned above with yourself for a few days. Every time you hear or experience something new, before you react, ask yourself “Are you acting in the now or re-acting to the past?” and if so is that what is in your best interest.
Next time someone asks you to try something new before you say no ask when was the last time I tried this and have I changed? Who knows maybe you like pickles now.
Next time you want to take an action and you stop because of fear ask yourself if your past is worth denying your experience in the now. Maybe that girl will say yes that time.
Next time you get that craving that you know you want but shouldn’t have try to remember that is just the past trying to dictate your today. If your memory were wiped would you still crave that beer, burger or cigarette? I’d say probably not.
Do not let your yesterday dictate your tomorrow. Do not let the past rob you of the moment.
I am often amazed when I start out a new project or take on a new challenge and excitedly tell my friends about it just to have them immediately talk me out of it or tell me how hard it is? There seem to be so few people who genuinely get behind you to say ‘go for it’ or ‘good for you.’ I am left wondering why do people so readily trash our dreams? Even more confusing is the fact that, many times, it is the people closest to us that are so negative.
I should clarify that I’m not talking about those openly negative people who see the bad in everything. Most of us know to avoid them as best we can. I am talking about a more subtle version of negativity that seems to be far more common. When I started making changes in my life, so many of the people closest to me (other than my now wife) seemed to fight the changes.
I went from beer drinking bar fly to someone more focused on fitness and healthy and all my bar fly friends kept making comments like “it won’t last” or “you won’t succeed.” They said it in a joking fashion and were close friends but they did not think it possible. When I went from single to dating to married I heard similar advice from single and married friends “you’ll never go out again” or “now you’ll never have any more freedom.” When I had my first child everyone had advice. My wife and I did our best to be as natural and healthy and give the best care to our daughter and again everyone said “A natural child birth is impossible” or that my wife would not last long breastfeeding or we were too serious taking classes to be better parents.
Everyone had an opinion and it was rarely as simple as saying “good for you go for it.” As I thought about it, I realized that it has to do with energy and the level of people’s consciousness. Our lives are a direct reflection of the people we were up until now. The choices we’ve made have led us to where we are today and accordingly the people around us are a reflection of who and what we were. So if I would go out to watch the games and drink beer with my buddies, it should not shock me that they did not understand someone who became something different. They were a reflection of the beer drinking, sports watching, couch potato me not the healthy eating, running, athletic me. When I changed they resisted it and were negative because they had not changed. The same goes for all the other major changes in my life.
People seem to resist change because it takes a great amount of energy to leave the space you’re in. Further they either don’t understand or don’t like to see people who make the change because it shows them something they want but haven’t put the time and energy to get.
What does this mean for those of us that want to change and keep changing for the better?
Well first don’t say anything. I’ve found it is so much easier when you don’t tell people you’re dieting or dating someone new or taking on a new challenge unless you know they are those rare friends that are always supportive. I’ve found that if I just go about my business and focus on what I want for my life and keep it to myself soon enough people see the change and wonder why I’m so happy. Along the way I meet new people that match the new change I’ve undertaken. They are always supportive and match the energy and life that I am seeking to attain and help me get there sooner.
I’ve found that goals are much easier to reach this way because you don’t have the negative influence from your friends that surrounded the old you and their negative energy doesn’t work against your new positive energy.
Along the way you will find great friends and partners that always want you to succeed and constantly strive to succeed themselves but until you get there I say “Shhhh keep it to yourself” and let the world figure out why you’re so happy and what has changed.
I am often amazed at how easy it is to let the external world influence our feelings and actions. We often let that which is ‘outside’ affect how we feel ‘inside.’ Why do we make the ‘External’ ‘Internal?’
After teaching a class the other night, I was sitting in my car at a red light listening to good music and enjoying my 10 minute ride home. I was an aggressive driver in my youth, but these days I enjoy the comfort of my car and see my drives home as “me time.” I take this same road home everyday two to four times a week. At this particular light, there are two forward lanes that go through the light which then merge after crossing the light into one lane. The left lane, which I was in, crosses the intersecting road and continues straight while the right lane merges into my lane. As a consequence, most people line up I the left lane at the light to avoid the merging.
I was the first person waiting in the left lane this particular night and other cars were lined up behind me. While sitting at the red light, I did a mental review of the new techniques we covered in class. I was very excited and feeling good. Normally, I would get home, talk with my wife about my day and we would go to bed. This night, however, a car pulled up next to me in the right lane and my happy day somehow got tense.
In rushed my ego and said, “We are all waiting here in the left lane because we know the lane merges, but you in the right lane want to cut the line.” Out went the pleasant thoughts about my class and my nice enjoyable ride home. My sudden new focus was making sure that when that light turned green, I took off quickly enough so the person in the right lane could not get in front of me. After all, is it fair for them to jump into the front when I was waiting here first? My ego demanded to be satisfied.
Normally, I am an easy driver so when the light turns green I accelerate at a normal pace. I am neither in a rush nor driving slowly. Rather, I usually enjoy the drive. This night, I took off as soon as the light turned green as did the car to my right. I was faster so the other car had to get behind me. Safely in front of the other car, I felt superior. I got ahead. My ego was happy. The person behind me, feeling upset, decided to tailgate my car and in turn I drove slowly to annoy them. A great battle of Egos ensued and I was winning.
A few miles down the road my opponent turned off onto another street and I finished my ride home but the ride wasn’t enjoyable. I was tense. I had to make sure to take off as soon as the light turned, watch the car in my rear view mirror as it tailgated me, made sure to drive slowly to get my revenge for the tailgating and even after the car was gone I kept thinking about how rude they were.
My choice to react to the car ruined my normal pleasurable ride home. I let something ‘External’ become ‘Internal.’ If I had driven like I normally do, then the car to my right would have speedily gotten in front of me and been on their merry way. They would have fulfilled their need to reach their destination in haste and I would have continued to enjoy my ride home like I normally do. My ride home would not have been affected in the slightest but I allowed the outside world to influence my actions and ruin my evening.
What’s even more troublesome is that I did it out of a basic reaction, an instinct. My basic self took over and my higher self did not respond. It got me wondering how often I allow something to bring me down to a lower energy space because of my Ego’s need to be righteous. Over the next few days, I kept track of how often I allowed external influences to affect how I react through out my day. I was surprised. Over a 3 day period, I reacted 14 times to external influences I could have let go. I have done a great deal of work to stop reacting to major issues in my life but it seems that I was still reacting to small incidents at my job, with my friends and family and of course the driving incident. My Ego was still in charge of the small things, so I began the process of letting go.
I am now working to live my life as I have planned based on my ‘Internal’ energy. If an ‘External’ influence has no bearing on my Intention and path in life, I have been letting it go. My Ego does not like it. It screams at me to be satiated but I have over the past 2 days let the ‘External’ go 7 times and kept with my ‘Internal’ plan. I set my Intention to live my life my way and not to allow the outside world to influence me. At work, I did not allow upset customers or stressed colleagues to ruin my day. At home, I did not allow comments from my family to influence how I felt about my plan (technically my wife’s plan but I love it so its now our plan) to prepare for our new baby. Finally, on the way home from class tonight I let that new car that pulled up to my right hop in front and it felt great.
My Ego was not as loud this time and the fact that I lived my life my way and did not react to the outside world felt better than any win my Ego could enjoy. It felt better to do my thing my way and ignore the world as it did its thing.
When the External world is influencing who and what you are in the inside, remember to keep walking your path the way you want to and let those that stay behind, jump ahead or stand off to the sides walk their own way.
An interesting conversation at work today made me think about what control we have over our reality. I was talking with a coworker I had not seen in many months and we were commiserating about our crazy work hours and how it’s affected our free time. As our conversation progressed I noticed that my coworker kept talking about how she had let herself ‘slide’ (her words) because of the extra hours at work. She kept interjecting self depricating jokes about her appearance while at the same time talking about her ‘plans’ to take control of life in the future.
I started thinking to myself, “if we can’t control ourselves, then how can we control our environment?”
Earlier in my life I made the same excuses and comments before I realized why we make them. Most of us have felt less than our best at some point in our lives. We use humor to make ourselves feel better and deal with our negative self image. We make fun of ourselves around others to cover up our insecurities as if to say “I’m ok with my current situation.” We make fun and use humor because we are uncomfortable with ourselves and our current situation. We always leave those conversations feeling somewhat lessened and assure ourselves that at some point in the future we will do x,y and z to make a change. When we do finally make that change, it takes time and effort but starts when we decide to take control.
The decision to take control has a very powerful energy. Without control of ourselves we are walking around saying to the universe “I want to master my reality and control my life but I don’t have the energy to master myself.” How do you think the universe will respond to that?
Compounding what we are saying to the universe what do we feel? I realized that my feelings and thoughts were betraying me. How could I believe in my chances for changing reality when I was always making excuses about my lack of control at the most basic level. Our body, mind and soul is our only vehicle for interacting with the world. If I couldn’t control my vehicle how could I master my journey?
The people who truly master their realities have always mastered themselves first. Your body, mind and soul must be under control before you try to control your world. If you can’t master your vehicle in this reality you can’t master your reality itself. If your race car is broken down or running poorly how can you master the race track or win the race?
Your body is the lens by which you view your reality. If you’re making excuses to yourself and others then you are constantly putting energy out to the universe that you feel like a failure, otherwise you wouldn’t make excuses. And if your thoughts are always about failure, then you will manifest more of that.
As you work toward manifesting your ideal reality look inward first and make sure you have mastered yourself. This doesnt always mean the perfect body, the most brilliant mind or a perfectly zen soul but it means a body you’re proud of, a mind that serves you well and a soul that you feel at home in.
Once you are happy and in control of yourself your vehicle is ready. You’re race car is tuned up and you’re ready to win the race.
It is unfortunate that so many people in the world live in dire enough conditions that surviving through life is a huge accomplishment. For those poor people the mere act of finding food, shelter and clothing occupies all their time. They do not have the luxury of thinking to themselves how do I thrive?
For those of us blessed enough to live in better circumstances we should ask ‘are we trying to do better than just survive?’ I find myself pushing to make sure my thoughts are about growth, expansion and thriving instead of just getting by. How often do we think to ourselves ‘if only I had enough money to pay this one bill’ or ‘just get me through this one meeting?’
What energy are your thoughts putting out into the universe? Are you asking the universe to just get you by or do you want the universe to give you more than you can imagine?
What kind of energy are you putting out there? Often times we get so caught up in surviving that we forget to ask for what we need to thrive. If you are always asking the universe to just get you by, to just let you survive this one time then that is all you will get. You will always just survive. You are not asking the universe to give you everything, give you amazing abundance. You are saying ‘just get me by.’
Start asking to thrive. Start manifesting abundance. There is more than enough out there for everybody but you have to ask for it. You have to want it and know you deserve it. Don’t let your guilt fool you into thinking it’s greedy to ask for more. Our realities are just a reflection of our beliefs. There is no universal law that says you have to just squeak by and just survive. If you believe you should thrive then you will.
Change your thoughts and prayers, don’t just ask for one more day, ask for another year. Don’t ask for $50 to pay your bill ask for $500,000 so you never worry. Don’t ask for any guy or girl to notice you ask for all of them to notice.
It takes time for your emotions to follow your thoughts but if you keep asking for everything you want rather than just want you need to get by the universe will eventually reflect your Intention and you will begin manifesting larger and larger returns.
What comes to mine when we hear the word “Instinct?” Is it a gut feeling? Is it biology? An inborn reflex?
The dictionary definition of Instinct is:
1. inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action common to a given biological species.
2. a natural or innate impulse, inclination, or tendency.
3. a natural aptitude or gift.
4. natural intuitive power.
Instinct is that quick gut reaction, that feeling, that voice that tells us what to do or that immediate reaction to a situation.
How is Thought different than Instinct. Thought is defined as:
1. the product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought.
2. a single act or product of thinking; idea or notion: to collect one’s thoughts.
3. the act or process of thinking; mental activity: Thought as well as action wearies us.
The definition goes on but the point is made: Instinct is a gift, natural, innate, impulsive and Thought is activity, a product or a process. I take that to mean Thought takes energy Instinct is just reaction. Much is written about using your thoughts to manifest your reality. People write affirmations, read books and do exersizes causing them to think about a particular outcome and put energy into it. The purpose is that eventually your thoughts change, become more positive and attuned to your life’s goals.
As powerful as Thought is it possible that Instinct can be more useful?
Our Instincts are usually right on. Instinct is the voice in our head that speaks first and foremost. Would listening to your Instinct better serve you than focusing just on Thought?
In my experience Instinct is the voice that tells you the truth and you use thought to talk yourself out of it. Let’s say that you want to start running. Every morning when you wake up your Instinct will tell you ‘Run’ and you’ll look at your clock and think to yourself “I’m tired I’d rather sleep” or “I need rest I’ll run tomorrow.” Thought is betraying you. Instinct pointed you in the direction of the new reality you wanted to follow and Thought talked you out of it.
Think back to the times when you have determined to change your life and manifest a new reality. As you progressed what was your Instinct telling you rather than your Thoughts?
Did Instinct tell you to take a chance at the exciting new job but Thought reminded you that you have a family and it might be too risky?
Maybe Instinct told you to start a business when you had a great idea but Thought jumped in and said “it won’t work” or “it’s too difficult.”
Take an inventory or your thoughts and see how often they counter your instincts. It may surprise you. The purpose of Intention is to believe something outside of the mind. To move past thinking about it and make it part of your faith. Instinct is natural like faith where Thought is practiced.
Move past Thought and listen to your Instinct and success will become second nature.
In today’s world I know so many people who love to focus on the here and now. The pragmatists, the practical people, the ones that don’t dream. They watch the news every day, focus on the here and now, stay on top of current events and chastise those that don’t. They believe hopes and dreams are impractical. Just a dreamers way of floating through the day. Although there is wisdom in being practical, it seems to me a life of only practicality lacks purpose. Why live if you can’t dream and hope.
Hope is Happiness.
We live in the real world most of our lives. We deal with jobs, bills, relationships, homes, friends, etc. The list is endless. To balance out all that reality, I hope, I dream and I look forward. I don’t need to watch the depressing news everyday. I don’t need to keep focusing on every real world problem when I know I have a plan in place to deal with them. I don’t need to review every issue over and over again to give myself a false sense of security. Focusing on what is real and here sends all your energy on what already exists. For most of us we seek something greater than what already exists.
I am proud to look to the future and dream and to use my hopes to point me in the right direction. I am happy to just turn off the news that fills my head with the terrible state of affairs of the world today and read something uplifting. I will take time out of my day to dream and hope. I will picture my new reality and bring energy to it so it can manifest. Hope will drive me to do the things I need to do and when things aren’t going my way it is hope that will keep me going.
Don’t let those stuck in the quagmire of the here and now bring you down to their level and take your hopes and dreams away. If we continue to hope and work toward our dreams, happiness follows.
Whenever I am confronted with someone who is trying to drag me down I Hope that they find Happiness and go about my day.
As my wife and I are getting ready for the birth of our baby girl, we are faced with a plethora of choices regarding the birth. We have received advice from our friends, family, doctors, the Internet, books and the TV. We want the best for our baby, so after our research my wife and I decided to have a natural child birth.
We learned some startling information regarding births in the US. The birth outcomes in the US are as bad as many third world countries. In fact, they are among some of the worst in the world even though we have one of the best medical systems worldwide. A cause appears to be the over-medicalization of the birth process. More than 1 in 3 children are born through cesarian section and over 50% receive epidurals. Many large hospitals give epidurals to over 90% of women who deliver babies.
As a man, I can’t imagine the immense pain women endure giving birth and I understand a desire to lessen the pain. But I am learning from my wife that a process that is natural, albeit painful, has been made easier and yet more dangerous in an attempt to avoid discomfort and pain in childbirth.
I started to wonder, is easier always better?
We live in a society that uses pills and surgery to help people lose weight, feel better and look younger. The same goals can be accomplished through exercise and diet, but they often require hard work and time. All too often, we take the easy ways to a goal. The problem is that there is a price to pay.
The amount of relapses or new abuses is staggering. If you google relapses after lap-band surgery, you will find a slew of articles showing increases in alcohol, drug abuse, obesity relapses, etc. You’ll find addiction to plastic surgery or pills that make you feel good. So easy, it seems, does not always work in the long term.
There is a reason true success takes time. True weight loss after a change in diet and lifestyle becomes permanent because along the way you learn the skills, attitude and knowledge it takes to become the person who exists in that new reality.
How often do we try to manifest desires, speak affirmations and try to set our Intention to a dream that is easy? We want money or love and think it will just come in the form of a lottery ticket or a chance meeting. I believe everyone wants to use Intention to manifest their dreams, but how often do you hear of stories where dreams just fall out of the sky? If you read the story of anyone who has succeeded, they did have ‘opportunities’ come to them but often they were prepared, worked hard and trained so when an opportunity arose they seized it.
As you work to manifest your dreams, make sure you are not just sitting on the couch wishing. Make sure you work toward your goals in addition to putting energy into manifesting the opportunity. If you want a new job, work on getting the training you would need to do the job and make the right contacts. If you want to meet a new partner, then you need to go out and meet people. If you want to look different or feel healthier, then you have to eat right and exercise. Wishing and setting your intention are one thing, but the Universe loves nothing more than action to bring you your dreams.
I had a friend recently ask me for advice on ‘being strong’ to lose weight. Most of us who struggle with our weight and self image know that it is a constant process to stay with the plan and new lifestyle. Many do not make it. That is why so many billions of dollars are made by fast food, diet and fitness companies. Such a large portion of our economy is designed to feed us cheap, poor quality food rather than to help us to be lean and fit. It is quite an interesting cycle when you think about it.
It has been over 5 years since I lost my 100 pounds and I have managed to keep it off. My friend who asked the advice struggles in a vicious lose-weight-then-gain cycle just as I used to. She wanted to know what my secret was and it got me thinking… there was no secret, I had just found something new to fill my void.
The void in our lives is a powerful force. We eat, drink, party, argue or shop to excess to fill the void of what is missing in our lives. If you do not figure out what that void is, then you will struggle with any change you try to make. Our bad habits are there because they provide some type of joy that fills this emptiness we feel.
My void was my lacking self confidence. I have never been comfortable with myself for a variety of reasons. To fill that void, I used sarcasm and humor to deal with social anxiety. I controlled conversations by dominating them with my ability to argue. It kept me in control and, in my mind at the time, showed others that I was worthy because I was smart. I also kept finding joy in food because I could not find joy in anything else. My lack of self-confidence prevented me from enjoying just ‘being’ without the worry of what everyone thought of me.
My void is smaller today but it is still there. I still struggle with self image but not like I used to. I have a tendency to still want to dominate a conversation. I still engage people to help them feel comfortable and to ensure they will accept me. Slowly I am working to find healthier and healthier habits to fill the void.
My initial change, like any major change in life, began with a belief that I deserved better. I cover my motivations in several previous articles but the belief was that I wanted a longer, better quality life for my family. The reason I succeeded and stayed successful is because I found something to bring me joy that was greater than the joy I got from food.
Food or, more specifically the overuse of food was my source of happiness. Today, as a substitute I manage to find happiness in my family, martial arts, running and reading or writing. I fill the void that food used to occupy with friendships, physical activity and thought. Losing my food addiction became easy when it no longer was my chief source of happiness. As a matter of fact, food worked against my new source of happiness. Running, sparring and lifting weights requires a lean, fit and flexible body. My abuse of food worked against that. Food became a fuel for my body to burn in order to achieve faster mile times, stronger kicks or lift more weight. I started to build a healthier relationship with food because it no longer filled my void.
As I think back to my friend and her request about how I managed to ‘be strong’ and lose the weight, I realize I was not that strong. I just shifted my love from food to fitness and family. My large gaping void became a much smaller one, or at the very least my void was now filled with a habit that was better for me and brought real joy. With the changes in my weight came changes in my attitude, perception and spirituality. It all changed as I filled my void with something better.
What fills your void? What do you use as a source of happiness to fill what you are missing? What is the source of the void in your life and do you want to fill it with something better? Are you using food, alcohol, drugs or combative behavior to bring joy because something deeper is missing from your life?
If there are habits or behaviors you want to change, then you first must find out what void you are trying to fill. There are thousands of possibilities, as varied as our life experience and personalities. Generally, a void is something missing, a sadness that supersedes everything and prevents you from your enjoying life.
Take some time right now and think what you want to change in your life. Pick just one habit you want to break and analyze it. Do you use this habit to fill in for something else? Are you filling a void in your life with a ‘happiness substitute?’ If you need help figuring it out, ask yourself when you are most likely to engage in this habit. Is it when you’re bored, or upset, anxious or nervous? Use that information to figure out what your void is. Is it boredom, social anxiety, depression, bad self image? Once you figure out what your void is, you will be able to find something that fills it the right way. If you are bored, find some fun hobbies. If you have bad self image, use affirmations and exercise to feel better. If you are depressed, get help from a therapist or friends. You will soon find your void filled with something positive and it will shrink and eventually disappear.
Don’t let your void continue to cause emptiness in your life. Fill it with something fun and divine and complete your being.
Practicality meets spirituality. How do we take the Law of Attraction and Power of Intention and make it practical, that's what I am trying to find out. I want to design easy to use methods that everyone can use to put the LOA and Intention to work.