The great question of our time is not how much we can learn but how we will evolve.
Consciously choosing to evolve sets you apart. You are much more consumed with your inner world than the outer world around you. It affects what media you consume, your activities and relationships, and how you spend your time and money. Consciously evolving becomes a way of life.
Consciously evolving means you live your life from the inside out. You spend time focusing on your inner world, knowing your purpose and values, and, most importantly, being able to assume 100% responsibility for your way of being in every moment.
When you assume complete responsibility for what you think, how you feel, how you perceive, what you believe, and what you experience, you create a quantum leap forward in your evolution of consciousness, toward the freedom and relief that you are seeking, toward the realization of your purpose, toward awakening.
I would argue that you cannot grow in consciousness without assuming complete responsibility for who you are, how you are, and the experience and quality of life you are living.
Refrain from the luxury of believing that anyone outside of you causes your beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and outcomes.
Let’s face it; it’s so much easier to cling to the notion that something or someone outside of you is causing your experience in life. But doing so impinges on your ability to grow because your growth is not dependent on what others are doing. In other words, you must assume personal power.
Howard Thurman, the American author, theologian, and civil rights leader, wrote in his 1972 book Creative Encounter,
There is a world within where the great issues of our lives are determined. It is private and silent. It is where we communicate with the field of all potential via the vibration and frequency of our thoughts. Our power resides in how we use it.
Notice he says our power resides in HOW we use it…. Not why we think the way we think or feel the way we feel. HOW is the question of our times.
The question of the previous era was, “Why.”
Asking why is a disempowering question. You can make up “Why” forever and never know that you have the correct answer.
- Why am I the way I am?
- Why do I feel this way?
- Why do I have these habits?
- Why did I do that?
- Why didn’t I do that?
Our minds lament the endless trope of:
I am this way because of my childhood,
or because my teacher said I would never amount to anything,
or because my former boss told me I would be a small fish in a big pond and no one would ever know my name
or because I’m gay or Hispanic, Deaf, or different in some way.
Why questions give rise to inaction, stagnation, and victimization. If you can’t figure out why something exists, it absolves you of your responsibility to do anything about it!
We create justifications and rationalizations for the way we are – and those rationalizations disempower us. They relieve us of any responsibility for creating change.
To create a better world, we have to ask better questions.
The question we need to ask today is how does anything move from the invisible field of thought energy to the visible field of creation? How do we evolve consciously? How do we create our world? And to ask better questions, we need to bring forth more wisdom. Our world is filled with information and knowledge but starving for wisdom.
Wisdom means mastering the self. And to bring forth more wisdom, we must master our inner world of thought and emotion. Mastering the self requires the inner work to live in the natural and divine state of love, peace, transcendence, and generosity. When we ignore our spiritual life and live solely within the confines of our human ego, we experience all manner of difficulty – stress, anger, resentment, blame, fear, and resignation.
Wrong use of emotion and thought cause all manner of suffering. The problem is that you need to be aware that you can USE your thoughts and emotions rather than the other way around.
Raymond Charles Barker, in his book The Science of Successful Living, says that:
The Mind of God is the source of our thinking nature, and the Love of God is the source of our feeling nature.
I love that. What an excellent way to connect with your spiritual nature – to remember that your thinking nature is one with the mind of God, and your emotional nature is one with the love of God. So in this way, you elevate your consciousness.
While I love this teaching, I struggle with it some too. If I am one with the mind and love of God, then why do I feel so bad sometimes? Why do I feel the struggle and strain of life? Why do I feel like such a loser, like I don’t matter, and my work doesn’t make a difference?
Fully human. Fully divine.
While these thoughts and feelings are unpleasant, I’ve learned a few things about them.
First of all, they’re not true. This is such a critical and elemental teaching. Your thoughts and emotions do not constitute some foundational Truth of your existence. They are not you. They only define you to the degree to which you believe them.
The second thing is that even though they are not TRUE, they define your life experience when you believe them. The way you think and feel constitutes your experience of life. What you tell yourself about yourself and life becomes your lived reality.
So, one of the ways out of the “fully human” part of our experience of life is to recognize that your thoughts and emotions are not true, but they color and create your experience of life, so you MUST become clear on HOW TO USE YOUR MIND.
Here are a few principles that help you move from knowing to being. I choose points that are backed up by contemporary scientific research to prove their veracity.
Three practices: Distancing, Immersing, and Shifting
The practice of distancing helps mitigate difficult emotion. Simply focus on a visual image outside of you. For example, look at a painting or out the window – anything in the distance to separate from the emotional intensity.
Take a bird’s eye view of the problem situation and reframe it from a problem to a challenge or, better yet, simply see it as another circumstance in your life.
To deepen pleasant experiences, shut off all other stimuli when you experience something that induces love, awe, or wonder, such as holding a baby, watching a sunset or sunrise, staring off at the horizon, looking out over a mountaintop, or holding your beloved.
When you experience uplifting emotion, don’t distance yourself; but immerse in the experience. Doing so raises your vibration, allowing you to connect with the higher energies of life.
Train yourself to notice the goodness in life and people. Notice what’s working rather than what is broken.
Being grateful changes your consciousness and raises your vibration.
Studies by UC Berkley (Greater Good Science Center) and Harvard Health show that expressing gratitude in a journal, a letter, a verbal expression, or even simply internally noticing what you are grateful for increases happiness, reduces stress, and even strengthens your immune system!
What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for you taking the time to read my thoughts and that we are learning to live more consciously!