Prove it with the HYS Five-Day Reality Challenge ™ Contract
In grade school, my parents insisted I take violin lessons. I had no interest in the violin. The lessons were, shall we say, painful. I couldn’t produce one sound that even somewhat resembled a musical note. To be quite blunt, I sucked.
After several weeks of lessons, we finally discovered the biggest stumbling block to my lack of musical ability: I didn’t know how to read music. I panicked whenever the instructor asked me to play a note—I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at on the sheet music and would randomly place my hands on the instrument and hope for the best. After discovering my inability to read music, I was off the hook.
There is a point to this story, I promise. After I finally learned to read music and selected a different instrument—one I wanted to play–I became a better musician. As I progressed in school and joined the band and orchestra, I spent more and more time practicing my instrument, learning scales, challenging myself with new music and enjoying the process much more.
What’s this have to do with conscious creation?
Before I was exposed to spirituality and specifically the concept of conscious creation, I often wished for a better life. Overall my life was fine but, like everyone else, there were things I wanted to change. I yearned for a more fulfilling existence, great relationships and, of course, material things.
But without knowledge of spiritual principles, I was simply repeating those damn violin lessons. I hoped to make beautiful music with my life when all I was doing was annoying the hell out myself and everyone else. I didn’t have the tools I needed to change my life effectively; I was going about it the hard way.
Many years later, I would acquire the knowledge, skills and tools needed to help transform my life. I got excited about the prospect of change. I read a lot of books, studied the principles and talked about them with my friends. I was ready for a complete transformation of my life.
And so I waited. And waited. And waited. Why wasn’t my life changing in leaps and bounds?
The problem, of course, was that I wasn’t practicing. That’s like someone pointing out where to place your fingers on a saxophone and expecting you to immediately join a jazz ensemble. It takes more than reading music and understanding your instrument before you become adept at making beautiful music. Learning how to use conscious creation to your benefit requires practice, too.
Old habits die hard
The principles of conscious creation often sound really simple. Think about what you want and you can make it happen. Change your thoughts and change your life. Focus on the good things in life and you’ll get more of them. The list goes on and on. You can read a lot about these principles in the archives of the Honor Your Spirit blog.
However, reading about and understanding conscious creation is one thing, living it is another. When you set out to change your thoughts and beliefs, you’re pushing against a lifetime of learned and practiced behavior. Unbeknownst to you, you have practiced yourself right into the person you are today. So when you want to change that person, you’ll have to push through a lot of self-imposed resistance.
This is proven to me frequently whenever I talk to my best friend on the phone. Despite knowing and studying conscious creation, we often find ourselves replaying the same conversation over and over again. It goes something like this:
Me: You won’t believe what happened at work this week! It was such a bad week and I’m tired of all the bullshit that goes on there.
Bob: Oh I understand. I’ve had to work 14-hour days for the past six days in a row and I’m not convinced they’ll ever hire anyone to help alleviate the situation.
Me: I know I should be thinking positive thoughts but I’m really tired of living this way. Can’t I just win the lottery?
Bob: Oh I hear ya. Sometimes I wonder if this stuff works or not.
You can see how even well versed and well-intentioned spiritual seekers can get caught in the undertow of old habits and thought patterns. The moral of our phone conversations is this: we know better. We know how important it is to direct our thoughts toward what we want. We know it’s important to focus on solutions, not challenges. We know that staying stuck in complaining mode is disastrous to the spirit. We know those things and yet consciously choose to keep going down the familiar road.
After one such recent phone call, I decided a firm commitment to change was in order—real, honest, palpable change. I needed a change in my thoughts, actions, and beliefs. In short, I needed to walk the talk I espouse to on this blog. Although I’ve made great strides in my own spiritual development in the past several years, I could see where my own blocks were staring me in the face and it was time to knock them down.
Guidelines to operate by
I decided I needed to write a contract with myself, one that would spell out some of the basic conscious creation principles I try to live by. The contract would serve as a visual reminder of the basic things I feel are important to crating a better life. This will be fun, I told myself.
And then I started to panic.
There were an awful lot of things on the list, certainly too many to remember, let alone accomplish. I looked at what I had written and felt like it was too much to tackle all at once. Changing my life would have to wait. That’s when I realized what my ego was up to. It had already jumped ahead and decided the plan wasn’t going to work because it (my ego) didn’t want to change. It was comfortable where it was. It likes to complain and to gripe and keep me in the same thought patterns because it finds them comfortable. That’s when I knew I was on the right track.
To help appease my ego, I decided to put a time limit on the contract: five days. That way, if I gave my absolute best to the process and really worked hard, five days should show me that I’m either on the right track or I’m full of bunk. I know five days is barely scratching the surface when it comes to changing beliefs or behavior, but everyone has to start somewhere so I decided a full-on commitment to my spiritual principles for five days was the least I could do to honor myself.
Share the wealth
Why limit my excitement (or my fear, for that matter) to just myself when I can invite my blog readers to join along with me in changing their lives? Activities that are challenging to your body, mind or ego (like exercise or skydiving) seem to be a little easier when you have others joining you.
If you think you’re up to the challenge, start by downloading and printing the form at the bottom of this post. You’re going to pick five consecutive days to start and end your Honor Your Spirit contract. You’ll see on the contract itself that there are two categories: things you WILL DO for the next five days and things that you WILL NOT DO for the next five days.
The items are relatively self-explanatory. In essence, you’re attempting to first observe and then adjust your thoughts accordingly. Some points may be easier than others. For example, I’ve become very good at following my impulses when I can recognize them but I find I still must consciously work on not complaining…that’s a skill I’ve honed over many, many years.
It’s important to remember that you won’t be 100 percent effective at your new thoughts and behaviors. You’re aiming for a noticeable change in your behavior/thoughts/beliefs. It won’t be easy but keep at it and if you fall off the horse, so to speak, get right back on and adjust accordingly. The willingness to undertake this challenge shows your inner self that you’re serious about making positive change.
In addition to the listed points, feel free to add one or two items of your own. These are things that honor your spirit, things that fuel you at a deep level.
They can be spiritual, physical or mental items—whatever helps accelerate your own spiritual development. For example, I’ve decided to make breakfast for the week since I usually don’t eat until lunch or dinnertime. You may wish to include things like exercising, stretching or calling your siblings.
Paging Mr. Power, Mr. Will Power
Let’s be honest. If it were really, really easy to change your life by changing your thoughts, you would have done it a long time ago, right? Even with the best intentions to change deeply ingrained thoughts and beliefs, you will most likely find yourself struggling with some of the ideas presented here.
It’s hard to break old habits like complaining, ruminating and focusing on problems. They are simply old habits. They need to be kicked to the curb and out of your life so you can make room for more positive arrivals. Because of this, you may have to search deep inside for willpower. Your will is your intent—you want to change your life. Use some power with your intent to try these activities for five days. Reason with your ego and/or your conscious mind. Remind yourself how much you will gain from doing this exercise. And, remind yourself that if you don’t see the slightest bit of change in five days, you can chuck the whole thing.
And remember the biggest conscious creation lesson from our friend Seth: “You get what you concentrate upon. There is no other main rule.” That means if you keep telling yourself over and over how hard it is to do these things, you’ll get more hard work coming your way. If you exclaim to everyone that you can’t do these things, you indeed will not be able to do them.
It’s time to write a new script for your life and the next five days can provide the space and time to write your first draft.
Share your experiences
If you decide to participate in the HYS Five-Day Reality Challenge, I’d love to hear from you. Simply use the “reply” button on this post and let me know how things worked or didn’t work for you. You can also chime in on my Facebook page.