Throughout this blog, I plan to write extensively about something I refer to as “the shift”.
What I am pointing to can be described in a variety of ways. The simplest being the shift in focus from being externally referenced to internally referenced. Or, more specifically, am I solely focused on shifting the appearance of my life (my job, relationship, home, the traffic, my diet etc) as something that will result in more well-being and joy or am I first shifting my state into well-being irregardless of what is happening in my life? (and, subsequently, recreating life and the appearance in front of me along more joyful lines?)
The former is the posture of the victim and is, sadly, where most people live from. The latter is where true empowerment and a vast capacity for joy, creativity and service reside.
The former is what we are trained in society to focus upon. The latter is rarely, if ever, even suggested as being possible (save by a few, rare spiritual teachers and life coaches) and certainly isn’t offered in most schools, churches or – usually – by families or mentors.
And yet, it might be the most powerful tool known to man: the innate ability to generate well-being and joy simply by desiring to do so in the moment. Anyone and everyone can do this right now, in any circumstance.
The reason this is so challenging is because we have been convinced that happiness lies outside of ourselves in things such as accomplishment and attainment. We have been taught that joy is a consequence of “doing” and “getting” rather than a state of being as natural to us as our eye color.
And so, the process of waking up to one’s true and authentic power (that is, the sovereignty over one’s state of being) is to, simply, make the shift.
But, it is not that simple (and, yet, it is).
Unraveling decades of delusional focus and thinking takes some of us quite a bit of time. The belief that my state of being need not be attached to the outcomes in life is tantalizing, and touches a deep knowing within (“yes, I have that power, I must!”) and yet…it remains elusive as the conditioning of the world kicks in and reinforces it’s message of “do this and then be happy!”.
And, sadly, most aren’t even open to believing this is possible due to the depth of conditioning and the deep blankets of spiritual sleep which envelop most of humanity.
The power to begin comes with the recognition that we create our own realities. We are not, in fact, victims of circumstance we are creators of circumstance. If we don’t truly, deeply believe this we cannot shift as we will continue to interpret our life and our world as something that needs to change “out there”.
This never works.
We create our own realities based on our state of being and not so much from our hard work and efforts. Though action is certainly a part of creation, it is not nearly as important as our state.
If we seek to transform our lives, generate more abundance or a more dynamic lifestyle or deeper intimacy in relationship, we must want this. And, we must desire it in a way that surpasses the tepid power of the mind. It must become more than an idea that I know, or that I read on some book (here’s a great one by the way). I must desire this from a place deep, deep within so as to embody it so powerfully as to withstand the vast and mysterious forces of the unpredictable world.
Without making the shift, we are doomed to repeat the same cycles and patterns as before and any effort to enact change in my life will always recreate the same reality as before. Because if we don’t first undergo a change in state, our reality, our live simply cannot budge. It might have a different color or speak differently, but its essence will be the same.
If you are open to this, here are a few rather simple yet immensely powerful practices to assist you in making the shift:
- Practice gratitude – start by doing it in the morning and evening. As soon as your eyes open, be grateful for the rest you’ve just taken, the comfortable pillow or mattress beneath you, the air you breathe. Do it just before bed too. Focus on the good things that happened during the day (and there are always good things no?), see them, feel them, taste them, hear them, focus on them. Observe as you do both how your stage changes – often dramatically – into one of ease, joy and lightness. As often as you can, throughout the day practice gratitude too – for the parking space, your dog, the water you’re drinking, the table upon which your laptop rests. Whatever is in front of you, be grateful for it as this is the easiest way to pilot your state – to appreciate what is. Quite honestly, the more you remember to do this, the more radically upgraded your life will become.
- Meditate – meditation, whenever you can do it, is beneficial. It has far greater possibilities than in just making the shift, but here, what meditation does is to help us deemphasize the automatic mind, which is the noise factory that generates most (all?) of our woes. In order to make the shift, we must learn to break these patterns and introduce a different, more empowered awareness. And so, meditation is our means for breaking these patterns. Even if you simply pause, close your eyes for 10 seconds and focus on your breath, this is a huge step in the right direction.
- Allow – usually, when we begin to consciously re-create our own reality, we can often become hyper focused on our state to the point where we panic if any negativity creeps in. The knee jerk reaction then is to quickly shift into a more abundant and empowered place. This may have application at times, what is usually happening here is a deeply held belief is surfacing and is usually something that needs to be seen, healed, transformed. It is our beliefs that generate the majority of our states of being and once we set the intention to own our state of being, inevitably, the demons rise to the surface. This is GOOD. All too often, I (and many I know) miss the forest for the trees here and try to use a spiritual tool to bandaid over these painful, deeply held beliefs. In fact, the best thing to do here is to ALLOW it to surface. Bring it into the light, so that it may be transformed. Often, this will feel counter intuitive, but in my experience, is a crucially important (and often missed) step on the spiritual journey. I will write more about this topic soon as it goes deep and I feel is deeply misunderstood.
For most, this journey is marked by patient improvement (often barely noticeable). So, if you decide to shift, you will likely spend a lot of time bouncing back and forth from being outwardly focused to the more powerful inwardly focused.
In the end, it is the joy and the clear, indisputable happiness that emerges which will call me back more than anything else. The reason is simple: it is my (and your) natural state.
Once this true nature has been discovered, and recognized, it is far more likely to return again.
Again, I intend to write more about this topic over the coming months. I come from a place of deep conditioning with needing results to generate happiness and feel my perspective and experience can help others desiring to transform their lives and usher in a more joyful existence.
Making “the shift” is the best thing we can do to upgrade our lives, and to serve those around us who are so urgently calling for support and inspiration to evolve themselves.
Have you made the shift? What has helped you to do so (if so)? If not, no judgement here as I am still in the process of fully shifting. But, what possibly continues to trigger you, or hang you up?
(NOTE: This is article 1 in my “The Shift” series. To read more, please click here)