Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Choice Trap

choice Our most powerful tool, choice, is also our most abused and unused. This basic mechanism of consciousness is the direct demonstration to ourselves of our power and powerlessness. Are we choosing the best life? Are we choosing to destroy it? Are we not making choices because we're afraid? Are we afraid of any choices at all?

These are really deeply existential questions that get at the core of what we are: creators. We create our life only by using choice. In fact, making choices is something so natural, so automatic, we oftentimes don't realize that we are choosing the pain, discomforts and unwanted conditions we "live with" on the day-to-day. We tell ourselves, "We have no choice" about this, that and the other.

I like to call this the Choice Trap. We pretend we're not choosing and things get bad or worse, and then we suddenly realize we "have no choice" but to...(fill in the blank). My spiritual teacher once told me, "Choosing is an exercise in paying attention. Be aware of what you choose, because it's the only way you're going to get what you want." At the time I laughed at this seemingly obvious statement, but later I realized it was quite profound. There are so many "choices" we make in the form of choosing to "go along" with others, or choosing to procrastinate, or choosing to not do what you know needs to be done, or choosing not to think about your life. These are, often times, unconscious choices that become a sort of operating manual for life.

We can too easily choose to be a victim, or choose to look outside ourself for causes, or choose to be "right" as opposed to "correct". In fact, most of our psychology is constructed on the choices we've made to embrace or deny our values. What's the more important choice? Being right or being compassionate? Being truthful or secretive? All of these types of questions point out what we are choosing any given day.

A friend of mine visited last week on vacation, and said, "It's been so nice to be on vacation. I don't have to make any decisions--I just go wherever I want and do whatever I want." To him, making a decision was a big deal, and yet he was making choices the entire time of his vacation as to where to go and what to do. He didn't think of these kinds of choices as being significant. And yet, these are the kinds of decisions that get us from Point A to Point B every day, and are the key to living the highest and best life we can imagine.

follow energy There are a couple of "choosing hacks" I like to use to keep me mindful of the choices I'm making moment to moment. One is, "light or heavy". Say you've narrowed your choices down to two. Ask the question, "is this light or heavy"? One of the choices will seem lighter than the other one, or if they both seem heavy, there is another unacknowledged possibility you aren't considering. If they are both feeling light, well, then, have fun! Always favor lightness. It will serve as your North Star for navigating through your day.

The second choosing hack is "follow the energy". This is similar to favoring lightness, but it's much more specific. Get the idea of something you want to have. Feel the energy of that as though you have it. Now, start choosing the things to do in your day or week that make you feel that same energy. Before too long, you will have that thing you originally wanted, and usually more. It's the "act as if" drill applied to energies.

So, carefully observe every time you make a decision, no matter how small or inconsequential. You'll begin to see where you've actually decided to have the life you have. And once that awareness dawns, you can change it by using your most powerful tool: Choice.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two Tools

question There are two tools in Access Consciousness that I have found are absolutely great as what I call "anti-funkifizers". You know, when you feel yourself falling down in life, and beating your own head against a wall you are painfully aware you put there yourself. That kind of "funkify".

TOOL NUMBER ONE: Staying in the Question. Humans are not particularly good about handling answers. We tend to "find THE answer" and then stick with that sucker come hell or high water (even if we caused the hell and high water). I guess there is a sort of comfort in "knowing you have THE answer". And yet (and I speak from experience), when you think you've found The Answer, after some time and life goes by, you pretty much become convinced that it really wasn't THE answer. So you start off again down that road to the Holy Grail. It's in human DNA, I believe, and it's not very useful.

What IS useful, is to continually ask the open-ended questions and sticking with those no matter what happens. Questions such as, "What energy do I need to be to experience my life with ease and joy?" Or, "What else could happen here that is far beyond what I ever could imagine?" Or, "What would it take for me to be happy, creative and inspired?" In other words, you don't want questions you already know the answers to, or that have obvious answers. You're shooting for the moon with the questions, with no idea what the answers could be. In fact, you don't want to have answers, just better questions.

What's weird is when you ask questions like these, you begin to get certain awarenesses that look like answers. It's the "ask and you shall receive" mechanism in this reality. And it's nice, but you want something even greater. "What else is possible?" is a great question when you start getting "answers" or awarenesses as a result of an open-ended question.

What's also weird is that apparent answers or changes relating to the question start coming at you from the Universe at large. Someone will say something that relates to your question, or an event or scene will suddenly strike you as particularly relevant to your question. It's fun, really, and really helps restore your curiosity. Much less frustrating than burdening yourself with the search for answers. The Universe is much better at those. Let it do it's job.

point  of view TOOL NUMBER TWO: Interesting point of view. This is a very useful way to snap out of negativity of any kind, or to "reset" yourself when you realize you're being judgmental or making a bunch of conclusions not supported by evidence. Just say, "Interesting point of view I have that point of view." The self-observation that your behavior was the result of a specific point of view allows you to shift outside of it, and in so doing neutralizing the energy with that point of view. For example, I have late bedtime and late rising hours, and this morning someone was hammering on something nextdoor. After waking up three or four times all grumpy about it, I remembered Interesting P.O.V. I made the statement a few times and lo and behold, I wasn't grumpy anymore, and was able to go back to sleep and not be awakened again by the noise. This is a good one for driving in traffic, too, or in any social gatherings or events. It keeps you light and in present-time awareness. Much more fun!

Experiment with the two tools, and who knows where you could go and who you could be?