This quote is from a fascinating article by Deepak Chopra that discusses the brain, reality, perception and the cosmos.
You can read the entire article here: http://huff.to/10q0iPn
This quote is from a fascinating article by Deepak Chopra that discusses the brain, reality, perception and the cosmos.
You can read the entire article here: http://huff.to/10q0iPn
We’ve been talking about perception and beliefs–here is a video that demonstrates how our senses, beliefs and perception via the brain operate.
One of the most powerful ways of engaging this process is to consider the question of WHO is doing the choosing….who is holding a particular perception or viewpoint. We are all the product of so many influences and as a result have multiple sub personalities living inside us.
So this is no small question. One helpful way to unearth what may be coloring your perceptions, and thus your choice-making-apparatus, is to make a list of your beliefs. The beliefs that are problematic here are the ones that keep you from fully experiencing ease, joy, fulfillment; the ones that create stress within yourself and relationships; the ones that keep you bound in fear, anxiety, helplessness or hopelessness. Sometimes it can be most helpful to get in touch with the feeling and then work backwards to what belief about life may be the glue holding it in place. Your beliefs are your story … the drama you live through every day.
Where does one look for faulty beliefs? Well … how do you really feel about Men, Women, Mothers, Fathers, Siblings, Relationships, Love, Self, Others, Prosperity, Success, Abundance, Deserving, Playing, Work, Money, Health, Illness, Body Image, etc.
1. Take out a sheet of paper and write down what you don’t want to keep happening or how you don’t want to keep feeling. Write for as long as you like. Then, look at your “story” and underline or highlight the charged words … the words that hold emotion for you. Write these phrases or words in a vertical column. Now on the other side of the paper, write the opposites. For instance, if you are feeling stressed, the opposite might be relaxed. If something that you want is not happening, the opposite is that it is happening. If it should be easy, the opposite is that it is easy. If you are feeling it’s just a dream, the opposite is that it is real. Next go through and simply repeat each pair of opposite phrases out loud. See how it feels to bring the issues to consciousness and to look at both sides. Discover where you are caught in the spin and who you are without your story.
Keep in mind that you may have some wonderfully strong, helpful and supporting beliefs within you that you certainly want to keep. The suggested exercises can also help you see your strengths as well as the weaknesses…what has gone well in your life. Let your consciousness rest on that for a time and build on that strength. All too often we look at only what is off instead of embracing the totality, working with the good to help us in our release of the less graceful material.
In addressing any of these, remember there is a difference between what we WANT to believe we believe AND what we really believe deep down. By sitting quietly with each topic area you may become aware of deeper emotions and issues that signal something that needs to be cleared within you. These are simply the results of not knowing, they are not sources of fodder for self-flagellation or caving into hopelessness!
2. Another method of uncovering and working to release problem beliefs that cloud perception is chakra work. The chakras provide us with a roadmap of consciousness. As we work to clear and balance our chakras not only does perception clear but all other aspects of our mind-body health also improve.
3. Meditation is a another great method of uncovering faulty beliefs as well as for creating the space for their release. In addition, meditation practice opens you to another level of mind that is beyond the conditioned mind with all the beliefs and stories. Meditative methods reduce stress, heighten self awareness, enhance creativity and ultimately deliver us to true freedom –to that portion of the Self that is beyond habituated perceptions.
Change and creativity…so many aspects enter into the equation when we are trying to navigate the former and embrace the latter! One aspect that may not be commonly thought about with either of these topics is that of expectation.
Neuroscience is showing us however that we should think about expectations. It has been clearly demonstrated that the brain actually changes its activity based on our expectations!
In one experiment individuals were instructed to expect to see color even though they were viewing black and white…their brains made the same changes as if they had actually perceived color.
This is very exciting! Imagine! The brain responds to the choice you make about how you want (or in this case are told—much like in life!) to perceive something! So it seems to follow that the brain can shift from a closed, preconceived way of processing to a more open creative one should we make that choice and adopt that intention.
The fact that our brain changes its process in response to our expectation is not simply interesting. This and other similar research is pointing to the notion that we are all much more the driver of our own bus than we ever thought! We always have the choice to discount this information, resist it and or ignore it altogether like a news bulletin we opt to not receive. Haven’t we all at one time or another felt the hurt, confusion and righteousness inherent in being the victim of circumstances? We experience ourselves as the one affected rather than the one with the power within our lives. It is a major cultural conditioning that has kept us imprisoned within our own inner cell for centuries!
Of course, we would feel this way. We cannot demonstrate something we do not really understand or know how to use—our minds! So, we have been a bit less than graceful in shaping some of our realities! Not really a big deal….unless you walk away from it.
You see the process of choice making and its ramifications continues to work whether you are aware of it and consciously using it or not. If you do not take responsibility for your part in the process then the outcomes in your life may not be as you would like. Responsibility is a daunting word, but in this case it ultimately leads to freedom and can become a source of deep peace and joy. But you’ll have to try it, stay with it and practice, practice, practice before you can really experience that in any ongoing way. But once you do life changes beautifully! And I must insert my usual caveat here—we do not control everything, but we can exercise more influence than we have thought possible. And the tools that we use in learning to use our higher minds are the same ones that will build inner strength, stress hardiness and the ability to remain centered within our own higher heart-mind…and that will help navigate the stormy seas that arise out of our control or influence.
Next post: Effective Methods to Remove Blocks to Clear Perception
Since we are in a season of change as well as a very intense time of change for the planet and mankind I am reprinting an older article that speaks to the stages of change. I hope the awareness of these stages is helpful as we all ride the waves of transformation.
Ms. Chaos & Mr. Change: Guests on a Mission
CHANGE! We all know it’s an inevitable and necessary fact of life. Even so it can fill us with trepidation! We are brave, put on a happy face, see only the good, shush the voices that surprise us with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that we believed were long discarded … and yet they wake us in the night, and are the first ones to greet us in the morning!
There are many journeys through change as we move through life. Some we instigate and others are thrust upon us. Of course the ones we initiate seem easier. We feel more in charge. A good strategy to adopt no matter what the source of the change is would be to develop ways to feel in charge where you can. A correlate to that is to find ways to be comfortable with not knowing, uncertainty and ambiguity!
It is helpful to realize that there are stages to change. If you properly identify the stage you are in, allow yourself to be there and match your activities to that phase. By doing, so you will move through change and transition with more ease. You also may find yourself growing and learning in ways that in the end are very satisfying and rewarding.
Sources and stages of change
Mr. Change most often arrives quite properly attired in a boring beige suit. He is not a very interesting fellow. The spark has long gone out of his eyes and his attitude. He has settled for stability in his life, happy to have things remain status quo. He may begin to experience feelings that he is not sure about…foreign and confusing they make no sense to him. In spite of the unease, or maybe because of it, he gradually becomes aware that something is amiss.
In contrast to the boring beige suit type of change is Ms. Chaos. She rips into town gaudily dressed and announces her presence quite loudly and often rudely. There is no denying she has arrived! She is shocking, harsh and entirely unwelcome. However, she does get your attention and demand that you deal with her….NOW!
Of course there are many ways that change can enter. These are two extreme metaphors that describe qualities of the initiation stage. The next stage is the passage through dissolution. In this phase some or all of certain aspects of your life and identity disintegrate. Confusion, doubt, fear and anxiety are frequent guests at your table now. This is a good time to remember what Fritz Perls said “Fear is excitement without breath”. It is also a good time to remember to give yourself permission to grieve losses, as well as time to indulge in some extra tender loving self-care. A Feng Shui tip to help with this stage: have some cool colors around you to help your energy flow more freely. The color gray, the color of dissolution, can be a helpful reminder to you to be willing to adopt an attitude of release. Letting go is a big part of change. As you become willing and open to letting go, you begin to create empty space and room for new ideas and parts of you to emerge. You also make space for new experience to happen.
After some time of feeling stuck and like you have been stagnating, you may (gradually) sense a stirring of life within you. The thought begins to arise in your consciousness that perhaps you will survive this reconstruction. Maybe you will even end up with a better life, or be a better person, or learn how to be happy no matter what, or…___ you can fill in the blank with some wonderful quality, event or happening that was not apparent at the start of this process–one that only materialized as a direct result of this change. In this stage there is the beginning of the integration of new abilities, skills, emotions or beliefs. Mr. Change shows up in a trendy new suit and Ms. Chaos is chantingOM! You’ll probably feel like wearing brighter colors like spring green to reflect your rebirth. In fact you can deliberately bring clearer, brighter colors into your world to help remind you of the new life mounting within you.
You may not feel quite steady or solid as you begin to live your new life but you are here, alive and present. Congratulations, you’re a butterfly at last! You’ve emerged and you’re ready to fly. It’s best to remember that these stages are often entwined, difficult to discern altogether clearly and there is a lot of overlap as well.
Each of us is going through various changes every single day. The world, our environment and inner and outer beings are in constant flux. When you learn to embrace your changes and allow yourself to dance in with them rather than resisting then the chances are you’ll be more comfortable with yourself. You may even look forward to change rather than fear it.
Different parts of your life can be at different stages of change at any given time. For instance, perhaps you’re a newlywed, just starting out, but your job or career is in disarray. Or your job might not have changed, but you’re beginning to notice that you are reacting differently to people and situations. Maybe you’re noticing that your feelings about your friends are shifting. You may be changing, but your job and social network isn’t. You may be caring for young children and sudden changes also require that you also care for elderly parents. Perhaps the predictability of your days and your time has suddenly been thrown into overdrive and you just don’t know what’s coming next. Life is an adventure, a mystery and at (many) times complex!
It helps as the drama of each day unfolds, to observe and experience how you really feel in different situations. Take a few minutes to reflect on what’s happening in a particular moment. Step outside of your situation and simply observe what is going on. Imagine you are watching a movie. Then, notice and honor yourself and your feelings. However you feel is OK. Go with the flow of your energy. If you need some quiet time, take it. If things are in chaos, go with it but don’t get caught up in the melodrama of it. Observe it, play your part but maintain as much of an attitude of noninvolvement with any drama as possible. Do what you can to trust in a deep inner sense of letting go and allow things to evolve.
Have you ever observed a pendulum? It’s in constant motion. It’s also very predictable, swinging from one side to the other, creating patterns all along the way. The pendulum goes to the outer edges but it never stays there. As soon as it reaches an edge, it begins moving toward the other side. Most of the time is spent in the middle. And so it is with change and our lives. Continuous movement, shifting and the creative emergence of the new is the way of our universe and we are a part of that.
Remember: You can take your time, acknowledge where you are in your process, choose to see transition as an adventure, or a mystery to be lived and match your response with the stage of your journey. Above all, stay in touch with the emotions that are part of your future goals …keep your eye on the prize…there is always a beginning, a middle and an end to everything…even change!
Positivity is great as long as we hold it appropriately and not use it as a denial mechanism. Used in the latter way positivity backfires and leaves us ill prepared, ill equipped and more vulnerable to challenges. There needs to be a balance with knowing how to remain in strength and balance while not denying what is in front of you or how you are really feeling. This is a skill we learn through practice!
The human journey is complex and in my view requires us to be big enough to hold all aspects of the experience in ways that do not defeat, embitter or constrict us. Bob Hope seems to have been a person who innately knew how to face harsh reality and bring open heartfelt care and joy to the moment. When we are reminded of the harsher aspects of life, when senseless violence rips at the fabric of our Being, or when burdens begin to make us feel small …we need to find the means to remain heart centered, open and expansive with our energy….watching one who appears to have been gifted with such presence can help.
Seeing the world through new eyes transforms the ordinary to extraordinary
We tend to walk through life as with blinders on and so miss a lot of the experience of life and living that can provide a richness and vitality that fuels appreciation, joy and even a sense of the sacred.
It is not only human to drop into routines and habitual ways of perceiving the world. We need to have a certain amount of life on automatic. We could not stay sane if we had to be remembering everything all the time.
However this natural dynamic can be overdone to the point where we feel we are not inhabiting or really living our lives. We can become disconnected to the people around us, to our sense of purpose,to the deeper, more meaningful aspects of life and most tragicallyto ourselves.
It takes commitment and practice to develop an ability to be in the present moment and directly experience life.
It begins with an intention to do so. Meditation helps a lot to cultivate this capacity for inhabiting life. Energy work helps to develop an ability to smooth our jagged edges and create an inner and outer flow. Prayer, opening your heart, contemplation, breath-work and practices that focus on loving-kindness and gratitude are all potential doorways into this space.
We can learn to befriend life…to cultivate a trust in it…the strengths, rewards and gifts for that are far greater than the effort we must invest.
Letting Go of Resistance Boosts Energy
Resistance can be subtle—I have noticed that I can be fundamentally positive in my philosophy or outlook but still have a subtle resistance to certain events or situation. Resistance constricts our energy and contributes to low energy states and negative moods which then create more of the same. We need to actively intervene in this cycle in order to erase its hold on our energy and nervous system. Once we are “onto” the subtle ways of resistance, the increased energy motivates us to keep practicing until we have a new pattern installed.
Here are three affirmations to help release resistance you may not even be aware you are holding.
Today I will notice the subtle ways I resist and say “No” to life.
Today I will notice how the inner resistance I hold constricts my energy and feelings and contributes to negative thought loops.
Today I can practice softening and opening to a more spacious feeling in my mind and body, not fighting or resisting what is and simply notice the effect.
For a complete description of the one hour downloadable program and worksheets click here: http://bit.ly/JztBYf
We are energetic beings living in a sea of energy and just as the energy of the universe takes many forms and has many layers, so do WE. To fully connect with and express our best selves in the world then it is imperative to have true Self knowledge and Self awareness. These are most efficiently gained through understanding of the structure of our minds and energy systems.
It has often been said that “knowledge is power,” and nowhere is that truer than when we are speaking about ourselves and the lives we create. Self-knowledge includes understanding how we work as human beings as well as how we have personally operated up until now to construct our lives.
That brings us to Self-awareness. Self-awareness includes the ability to observe oneself, but the way we are using the term implies even more than that.
We share the view that each of us is in the world to bring more of our spiritual nature into human form – to become more of our authentic Selves and grow past the small identity that may have served us well until now but no longer does.
We live in a time that necessitates living in new ways … a time that requires us to rise to challenges from a different perspective than in the past so we can live lives that are more nurturing, satisfying, fulfilling, abundant and prosperous in every way.
To us, the term Self-awareness represents a knowing beyond observation of our patterns of thought, feeling and action. It describes a presence of “I AMNESS” that is beyond the average thought, feeling or sensation of human experience. It is the direct awareness of our spiritual nature.
We are addressing moving from the lower mind controlled by the ego and its self-protective – but often mistaken – ideas and beliefs to a level of BEING that embodies more of your spiritual essence … your soul nature. This is the place where we embrace our full potential and engage the power of our authentic Selves.
There is an art and science involved in this opening to the authentic Self. The way has been laid out for us through the millennia, but now we have the additional benefit of research in Mind-Body Medicine and Energy Psychology, as well as Quantum Physics, documenting age-old wisdom and providing important information to help speed us along on this exciting adventure of discovery.
The beginning of this journey necessarily includes a working knowledge of the mind, as it is the vehicle that transports us for a portion of our journey.
Our mind is not only an operating system; it is also where many of our obstacles lie. To understand the mind’s structure and have a working knowledge of its functions can help smooth our way as we seek to create change in our lives.
In this session we discuss the three levels of mind and how to use each of them appropriately. We talk about methods that are most useful with each level and provide an experiential exercise to help you begin to identify and sort out the layers of your own mind.
Perception, Ego and Pain of Separation
As many of you know, Living Energy’s Tony Pace is an singer and performer who has been in the entertainment industry for three decades. He brings his perspective to the recent tragic loss of Whitney Houston below.
As technology brings the world closer and closer together, the stresses and tragedies of nations once a world away are often felt like the pain of loss of a loved one. There are so many stresses and tragedies in our modern world that call out to deeper understanding. Unfortunately it often takes significant pain for we humans to dive deeper and look at what is going on beneath the surface and emerge from those depths with approaches that really work to heal ourselves and our lives.
Our perceptions (unknowingly skewed), leading with a false ego (as opposed to a healthy ego) and a fundamental separation from our deeper authentic spiritual selves are all a recipe for disaster that claims way too many souls. I (Tony)can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when John F Kennedy was assassinated. Will that be the case regarding Whitney Houston? For some maybe. Others couldn’t care less and feel that our fallen soldiers deserve as much recognition, if not more, for what they have done. Regardless of how you feel, the fact is we all leave an imprint in the hearts and minds of those around us. Importance is based on the lens we look through. As part of the music industry for well over 30 years, so I may look at Whitney’s death through a different lens than some or most.
The music industry is unforgiving, filled with sorrow, reinvention, and rejection and then there’s the bad side! Whitney Houston reached superstardom and lived within that realm for most of her life. It started as a dream and then one day, nothing was beyond her reach. The problem, in my opinion, came the moment she fell from grace within the industry. She was no longer the hot commodity of the day and the paparazzi moved on. “What have you done lately” is the question of the day in the entertainment world. When your 15 minutes of fame are up, it can be one of the most devastating experiences in your life as an artist. How you cope with that loss can determine life, death, or at best your growth as a human/soul.
Whitney brought joy to a generation of people, a gift which she happily shared with the world. She was one who endured the anguish and whispers in the shadow of domestic abuse. She fell victim to substance abuse in her final act when her inner foundation fell. Life can erode a beautiful soul if it is not cherished and nurtured. Pain fragments and disconnects us from the universe when we are not centered and grounded. The ethereal high we seek from substances or any external means serves to sever connection to the beauty of the soul and destroy the human body. Would that it should be so easy to reach for the stars and stay among them. It is a truth that we must keep balance in this life, stay in touch with the energy and splendor all around us, and know our authentic selves.
Whitney endured the anguish of having her shadow self exposed to the public eye as she struggled to deal with the effects of domestic abuse, the rigors of show business and the agony of not having a firm inner foundation (authentic self) to cushion her and help to recreate her life. Substance abuse is more often than not a combination of dealing with unmanageable pain, a sign of a fragmented self disconnected from source energy that nurtures and strengthens. Regardless of what the coroner’s report says, The cause of her death for me, through my lens, was the inability to cope with being normal: The loss of the Superstar Persona in her own mind became the loss of her self. The climb to her true self became too much.