Doing The Important Things You Do Not Do
Your amazing mind notices only the events that confirm your personal beliefs. It sifts through everyday situations to find proof for you. It will even sort through and re-write your past, in order to justify them.
Lamenting a lack and putting yourself down for it, is therefore, reinforcing. Affirming that you cannot, will not, or did not do something, automatically sets your mind searching for proof. It will look into your life and find it all the while ignoring any other events.
If your belief is that you cannot keep commitments, you will not notice the many times you do keep them. Your mind simply overlooks any actions that are not in alignment with your belief. To it, they are not relevant.
How can you change your mind?
How can you by-pass such a built-in sorting system? How can you dissolve an old belief and embrace a new one with such an efficiant system in place? The usual way to do this is to by stating, repeatedly, what you want to believe. You sort of bully your inner observer into noticing a “new program.” We call that process affirming, or making an affirmation.
I have a more immediate way to change beliefs. Try this. Simply and spontaneously do what you tell yourself you want to do. Yes… just do it. Maybe you think that if you could already do it, you would do it. Bear with me. The following exercise outlines what I mean.
Choose something you want to express but do not. Find a belief that says “I don’t; I never; I should, but…” Or choose a quality you tell yourself that you want to develop, but do not practice or apply.
For example, a typical spiritual practice asks you to meditate. Its basic intention is to increase your awareness of peace. Instead of putting yourself down for not setting up a meditating practice, as you think you should, come up with reasons that support your intention of being in peace. What you want from meditation is the peace.
Can you find 5 reasons for wanting to be peaceful? What makes peace attractive to you? What makes you avoid it? You say you want it, but do not do it. Hold the search for 5 reasons in your heart. Roll it around in your mind. Take your time in coming to answers. Go for a walk or do a physical chore. Being active can help you to think about or to contemplate why you would want to change.
Here are a few reasons that come to me for wanting more peace in my life:
- It will bring up the constant awareness of the state that I long to maintain.
- It will make me feel successful at my practice.
- I will begin to build trust in myself.
- Others will benefit from my positive state.
- I will learn to function in peace while involved in everyday situations.
- I will not need a “special” place to practice.
- I will learn to think from a peaceful state of mind rather than the usual fearful place.
- I will be an example to others.
- Since peace is a high and powerful state, it is likely that I will have more energy.
- I will become more healthy, youthful.*
- It is likely to increase my creativity, memory, and stamina*
- I will be living my spiritual nature.
(*studies on the benefits of meditation, suggested such results.)
There you go. That lists a few of my reasons to be peaceful. They may help you to come up with your reasons. When you do, instead of being guilty about your lack of practice, instead of promising yourself that you will start to meditate tomorrow, be peaceful now. Take a deep breath and feel peace.
Is it really that easy? Yes it is.
Take a second or two to bring to mind the feeling-state of peace. A memory of peace will trigger the state of mind. Let peace slide into your awareness and throughout your being. Simply radiate peace.
Do not concern yourself with how long you are able to hold on to it. Try to stay focused on the feeling state. Hold it for as long as you are able, which may be seconds, minutes or hours.
When it slips away, breathe deeply, and bring it to mind once again. Gently bring it back, right now. Even as you read this, you can choose to extend inner peace.
Simply doing this gradually erases the negative belief. How can you believe you do not practice, when you are doing so righ now?
Smile at that crumbling, negative belief. Remember, beliefs are the lens through which your mind organizes its experience of reality. You are befuddling the mind by defying what it holds to be true. You have changed the lens.
For awhile, the mind will try to focus on the habitual way of believing. It will insist on the reign of its previous belief. What belief was that again? The one that says you do not practice. Yet here you are, doing just that, expressing peace.
It does not matter that your mind carries a map of how spiritual practice should be applied and that because of such beliefs, would have you burning incense, ringing bells, wearing special clothes. Those beliefs would say you become peace-filled only when in a particular room, seated in a certain way, with “sacred” friends and teachers. Millions practice peace in such a way. Your mind will likely also jump in and remind you that a few wee practice moments do not really count as practice.
Yet now, here and now, as you read this, even later while brushing your teeth, or driving to work, or taking out the garbage, you are being peaceful.
I encourage you to try this simple, fun, easy, belief-changing thing to do. You can play with it all day. It will transform your life. Being spiritual need take no extra time.
Tie your “being” practice to mundane daily chores and transform them into a blissful time. Each time you do this, you will be making and reinforcing a new positive belief. You are not telling yourself you are it, you are being it.
You are overriding a belief that tells you that you have no time, that you never practice, or that even when you want to practice, you cannot find the right situation to do it.
By using this exercise, your total daily practice may be no longer than minutes. Minutes of peace are profoundly powerful. This exercise undermines negative beliefs, while at the same time you get to experience the state you want. It gives you and those around you, a taste of a higher state of consciousness. Most importantly, you change your amazing mind effortlessly.
So, there you go, you are now in a spiritual practice, a powerful one. By doing so, you are teaching yourself that you have the choice, in any moment, to be peace, to be love, to be kindness or to be compassion.
Erase the “not doing” belief by briefly, but repeatedly, expressing the state you want to be in. In spiritual life, doing matters most.
Peace to you.