What has profoundly and positively changed my life, and the lives of so many others, is the understanding that changing one’s mind, and thereby having new experiences and gaining new insights—is simply a matter of breaking the habit of doing things the way you always have. When you overcome your senses, when you understand that you are not bound by the chains of your past, when you live a life that is greater than your body, your environment, and time—all things are possible. The universal intelligence that animates the existence of all things will both surprise and delight you. It wants nothing more than to provide you with access to all you want. In short, when you change your mind, you change your life!
Your brain is involved in everything you do, including how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how well you get along with other people. It’s the organ of personality, character, intelligence, and every decision you make. It is very clear to me that when your brain works right, you work right, and when your brain is troubled, you are much more likely to have trouble in your life. With a healthier brain, you are happier, physically healthier, wealthier, wiser, and just make better decisions, which helps you be more successful and live longer. When the brain is not healthy for whatever reason—such as a head injury or past emotional trauma— people are sadder, sicker, poorer, less wise, and less successful. It is easy to understand how trauma can hurt the brain, but researchers have also seen how negative thinking and bad programming from our past can also affect it.
True empowerment comes when we start to look deeply at our beliefs. We may find their roots in the conditioning of religion, culture, society, education, family, the media, and even our genes (the latter being imprinted by the sensory experiences of our current lives, as well as untold generations). Then we weigh those old ideas against some new paradigms that may serve us better. Times are changing. As individuals awaken to a greater reality, we are part of a much larger sea of change. Our current systems and models of reality are breaking down, and it is time for something new to emerge. Across the board, our models for politics, economics, religion, science, education, medicine, and our relationship with the environment are all showing a different landscape than just ten years ago.
Much of what we have learned and experienced has been incorporated into our biological “self”, and we wear it like a garment, but we also know that what is true today might not be true tomorrow. Just as we have come to question our perception of atoms as solid pieces of matter, reality and our interaction with it is a progression of ideas and beliefs. We also know that to leave the familiar life that we have grown accustomed to and dance into something new is like a salmon swimming upstream: it takes effort and, frankly, it’s uncomfortable. To top it off, ridicule, marginalization, opposition, and denigration from those who cling to what they think they know greet us along the way.
Who, with such an unconventional bent, is willing to meet such adversity in the name of some concept they cannot embrace with their senses, yet which is alive in their minds? How many times in history have individuals who were considered heretics and fools, and thus took the abuse of the unexceptional, emerged as geniuses, saints, or masters?
Will you dare to be an original?
It seems that human nature is such that we balk at changing until things get really bad and we’re so uncomfortable that we can no longer go on with business as usual. This is as true for an individual as it is for a society. We wait for crisis, trauma, loss, disease, and tragedy before we get down to looking at who we are, what we are doing, how we are living, what we are feeling, and what we believe or know, in order to embrace true change. Often it takes a worst-case scenario for us to begin making changes that support our health, relationships, career, family, and future.
My message is: Why wait?
We can learn and change in a state of pain and suffering, or we can evolve in a state of joy and inspiration. Most embrace the former. To go with the latter, we just have to make up our minds that change will probably entail a bit of discomfort, some inconvenience, a break from a predictable routine, and a period of not knowing. Most of us are already familiar with the temporary discomfort of not knowing. We stumbled through our early efforts to read until this skill became second nature. When we first practiced riding a bike, our parents wished they could put us in armour plating to prevent us from getting hurt. Absorbing knowledge (knowing) and then gaining practical experience by applying what you learned until a particular skill became ingrained in you (knowing how) is probably how you acquired most of the abilities that now feel like a part of your being (knowingness). In much the same way, learning how to change your life involves knowledge and the application of that knowledge, because our destiny is not shaped by the shoes we wear, but by the steps we take!
Life is filled with certain crossroads and moments that position us to make significant choices. What are the indicators that you are at such a crossroads? Are YOU standing upon one of the crossroads right now? It’s never too early to realize that life teaches you many things, but it is up to you to gather the wisdom hidden in your life’s journey.
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