Mind Power Issue #69
Keep calm and weather the storm. Here’s how...
Issue #69 – Monday, July 10th, 2017
In this issue of Mind Power, I’m going to talk about riding a bike. Easy right?
Learning to ride a bike took some practice, and support, and a certain amount of courage and diligence.
The same is true with navigating change, disruptions and chaos in your life. And, as we know, the only constant in the universe is change.
But how you deal with constant change determines, in large part, how much happiness and inner peace you have in your life.
Most people, though they want change — often desperately — unconsciously resist it. In the feature story below, I'm going to teach you how to stop resisting change…
...and do what it takes to thrive, effortlessly and quickly.
Bill Harris, Founder/CEO
Be the Calm in the Center of Chaos
by Bill Harris
If I were to look inside your mind, I believe I would see the three things you want most from life:
To be happy
To be peaceful inside
To be successful in the world
Am I right? If so, please keep reading...
Now I’ll go one step further and pick a term that encapsulates what I mean by all three of these desires:
You wish to thrive.
I understand this completely. I also know that this can be challenging in a universe whose main feature – constant change – is unrelenting. So, learning how to deal with change is essential…
...if you’re to be happy and peaceful and successful in the world. Norman Vincent Peale sums up an elegant solution this way:
“The cyclone derives its power from a calm center. So does a person.”
This concept reflects a universal principle that I call, “Conscious Change,” which will help you deal effectively with disruptive, unexpected or otherwise or unsettling changes. In fact, Conscious Change is both…
...a concept and a practical tool in the process of becoming more aware of your your motivations, your reactions, your angels and your demons.
And why would you want to do that? Yes...you’ve heard me say it before, and I'll keep repeating until it sinks in (and changes your life in ways you can’t imagine):
Awareness creates choice. And with awareness, you will automatically make choices that serve you (and your highest, best good).
It takes time – and effort – to be truly aware. Do you remember when you learned to ride a bicycle? You would ride along with your dad or mom running alongside holding the bike up.
Then they would let go and pretty soon you would fall over. It seemed hard and you wondered if you could do it. Then, mom or dad let go (but you didn’t know they’d let go)…
….and several seconds later when you looked back, they were half a block behind you and you were riding, all by yourself! Hey, this is easy!
With enough information, support and practice, navigating change, responding to chaos, and making the best decisions for yourself and others…
...will be as automatic and easy as riding a bike.
So let’s get to it.
If there is one thing I’m trying to impart in my three decades of teaching, it is that life is easy. If it’s hard for you, you’re doing something, consciously or unconsciously, to make it hard.
I see or hear from people everyday who experience one drama, one disaster, one stress after another in their life. Life is mostly bumps and bruises and suffering for them.
From my perspective, it’s easy to see how they’re creating all of this—and also how they can stop creating it.
But for them, it all just seems to be “happening” to them. They don’t yet see that what happens comes from them…
...from their map of reality, from what they focus on, from their internal and external strategies for dealing with life. Unfortunately, most people operate from automatic, preprogrammed responses (what I refer to as “running on autopilot”).
They have rules or set procedures for what to think, what to feel, and what to do in various situations—rules or procedures they learned when they were too young to know any better…
...and these responses happen automatically, like Pavlov’s dog salivating when it hears the bell.
Some of these responses were learned through physical or emotional pain, and are particularly deeply imbedded. Others are just things we accepted as true because our parents told us they were true over and over at an age when our parents seemed like infallible gods.
At the very least, many of these rules and procedures serve to help us deal with our anxiety, or what I often refer to as “overwhelm”. We feel anxious, so we…
... withdraw, get angry, have a cigarette, eat, exercise, act silly, have a drink, talk too much, space out, have sex, tense up, buy something, watch TV, cry, or one of thousands of other behaviors or feelings.
We don’t choose to do them because they seemed to be the most resourceful thing we could do at the time. We just do them…
...automatically. Usually they are anything but resourceful. Often, they lead to drama, suffering, problems, sadness.
People who have lived much of their lives on autopilot, don’t know they are feeling, behaving, responding, and living unconsciously, and you may not believe me when I tell you this is something you are probably doing…
...and doing quite a lot, if not all, of the time. It takes becoming more conscious to realize what you are doing.
Here is the big benefit of being more conscious: It is impossible to do something that isn’t good for you, or is in some way non-resourceful (destructive) to you, and also do it consciously.
You can do something destructive to yourself (feelings, beliefs, values, behaviors, etc.) over and over as long as you do it unconsciously (without continuous conscious awareness).
But once you begin to do the non-resourceful feeling, behavior, belief, value, etc. consciously, it will begin to fall away. You just cannot do something that is not good for you and also do it consciously.
The trick, of course, is to remain conscious, which is, as I said earlier, one of those things, like riding your bike or tying your shoe, that seems really hard until you get it…
...and then it seems easy and you wonder why you ever thought it was hard.
For this reason, as you unravel the mystery of what it means to be conscious, do not let yourself become discouraged. Keep going, keep trying, keep watching, and at some point…
...you will turn around and no one will be holding the bicycle up, and you’ll be doing it, and it will all make sense.
To become conscious, you must:
Identify your favorite ways of going unconscious
Be vigilant in noticing them
Be the witness to what is happening
Be committed to developing that part of you that stands aside and notices what you are doing, feeling, or thinking, as you do it…
...watching without judgement or comment, just watching with curiosity, like a scientist.
Let whatever happens be okay, and take some time, especially when you feel an uncomfortable emotion, to just watch yourself have it.
Pretty soon you’ll be saying “Look, Mom! No hands!”
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