Reflections of the inner world

The reality you experience starts with the thoughts in your mind.

The reality you experience starts with the thoughts in your mind.

If you’re new to conscious creation, this can be a difficult concept to accept. Heck, even if you’ve studied conscious creation or law of attraction at length, this can be a hard concept to accept. But in basic terms, the physical world—your “outer” world—is a reflection of your internal thoughts, beliefs and emotions.

The physical world is reflecting your inner state of being. It’s a pretty cool process really, since it allows you to see your creations with fresh eyes. It allows you to react to your own inner reality and make changes as necessary. You create with your mind first; the universe then makes those creations physical so you can check your work.

I remind myself of this frequently since I, like other people, get wrapped up in believing that I have no control over my existence. I forget that I am responsible for the life I lead and I frequently forget that I have a voice in the reality that I experience. It sounds simple in theory, yes, but not as easy to implement in daily life.

So what kind of reality are you experiencing in this moment? Are you happy and joyful? Sad and fearful? Successful and exuberant? If you like the current state of your life, or at least if you’re enjoying the present moment, keep at it. You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing.

When you don’t like your present circumstances, however, or when you find yourself experiencing pain, sadness, depression or other negative emotions, it’s time to go inside and do some investigating. What are you thinking about? How are you feeling? What daydreams have been running through your mind?

So much of our conscious awareness is unconscious. We don’t take the time to investigate our own active thoughts or take the time to become aware of what we’re feeling. If we don’t stop and take the time to do this, a lot can slip by under the radar. It’s not that we purposely want to lead unfulfilling lives, it’s that we don’t take the time to apply awareness to our inner world and change course if necessary.

Sometimes this process of going inside can result in quick changes; other times it may take a while for physical reality to catch up. Either way, the only way to make true, hardcore changes to your life is to adjust your own internal thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

Last weekend I was driving in the mountains in Colorado. Summer weekend travel on the interstate can be anything but pleasant and I certainly got caught up in my own “reflected reality.” I was focusing on the heavy traffic, rude drivers, oppressive heat and road construction. For almost two hours, I found myself thinking about “negative” things: problems at work, financial stress, and lack of time to name a few. I was caught up in a living reflection of my own negative creations.

When I turned off the interstate and eased onto a county road, I caught myself. I realized I had spent the previous few hours ruminating about problems and I made the conscious decision to change my thoughts. I decided to look for 10 things that made me feel good in any way possible: big or small. I started with noticing the deep blue sky and puffy white clouds floating by. I reminded myself that it felt good to be up early in the morning and getting out of town to spend some time in retreat. I stopped and got a milkshake, which then added to my good mood. The tide was now turning in my favor.

As I rounded the hillside close to my summer retreat, I noticed the small pond below me. The water was perfectly still and reflected the brilliant sky and mountains behind it. I stopped the car, took out my phone and snapped a picture to remind myself of the beauty before me. As I looked at that picture through rest of the weekend, I was reminded how easy it was to change my thoughts and allow the world to reflect a better, more pleasing reality.

The outer world is a reflection of your inner world, so take some time today to craft the best inner world possible. Think about the good things happening in your life. Take time to appreciate small things that catch your eye. Realize that the universe is conspiring to help you develop in the best way possible. Hold those positive thoughts and images in your mind and return to them time and again until your outer world reflects that inner landscape.

You never know what beauty you may find.

 

 

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Pessimistic me

When the intellect gets in the way

The detail would have escaped anyone else’s notice. From the vantage point of my deck, it was a beautiful summer evening, complete with a little cloud cover to keep the temperature at a comfortable 80 degrees. The humidity was low, the air was still and a lukewarm breeze caressed my face. Yet, my eyes continued to return to the same spot, over and over: three yellow leaves on one of the trees.

Within a few moments of noticing those little leaves, my heart sank. Instantly, my mood was transformed into molasses, sinking heaver and heavier into the patio chair beneath me. There was nothing you could do to convince me to the contrary—summer was over.

To others, summer isn’t over on Aug. 6, not by a long shot. In this case, I was being subjected to the harsh and sometimes unrelenting view of the intellect. The intellect is that piece of the personality that helps make sense of the world. It sorts, classifies and categorizes information from the senses to help build a personalized view of the world. It uses memories to form opinions. It works with the imagination to then project those opinions into the future.

Like the ego, however, the intellect doesn’t have access to all of the information available. The intellect generally works as more of a “surface dweller,” taking things it sees on face value. Its relationship to memories and the physical world help it form what it thinks should be happening and what it thinks will happen in the future. The intellect is always operating but in a lot of cases, it’s operating under false pretenses.

When the intellect develops a line of thinking around a pretense (false or true), it works in a rather straightforward manner, like a horse with blinders on. When the intellect makes up its mind, it literally becomes obsessed with finding information to support its claim and it will ignore information to the contrary.

For example, my yellow leaves. When I looked out at the lush greenery of my back yard, all I could spot were those three yellow leaves. I didn’t notice the pot of pink, red and purple flowers right in front of me. I skipped right over the purple butterfly bush and yellow flowers in the garden below. Instead, I noticed that it was starting to get dark earlier than just a few weeks prior. I noticed that it was a little colder that evening than in evenings past. In that moment, I was hooked into the intellect’s power play and I was losing.

I love summer. I adore summer. Or, I should say, I adore and love early summer. There is a romantic quality when the earth starts to thaw and new life begins to sprout. Late summer, by contrast, has always been a bit depressing to me because it means fall is right around the corner. School will start again and the leaves will drop.

Soon after that, the snow will come and I’ll be holed up in the house until May. When I examine my beliefs about it, I realize that I believe summer is in short supply. There simply is not enough of it to satisfy my soul. Forget about the present moment, forget about the four months of summer, in my belief structure, true summer lasts between May and July.

So that’s what my intellect honed in on. And when it did, it directed my thoughts in such a way that I started to become depressed. I started to think about all the things I hadn’t accomplished and became worried about the things that would soon pile up in September. The intellect was pushing me out of the present moment and keeping me from enjoying a beautiful summer evening.

The intellect is extremely susceptible to your beliefs and will filter reality around those beliefs. If supporting evidence fits with those beliefs (in my case—summer ends in July), the intellect will work with your faculties to help quantify those beliefs (like noticing the leaves or the earlier nightfall). It will also ignore or downplay other information that may be valuable, like the thousands of green leaves, the warm temperature or the singing crickets and cicadas that I had missed earlier in the evening. When the intellect internalizes beliefs, when it accepts those beliefs as its own, it focuses thinking along a thin line with little room for erroneous information.

You’re too smart for your own good

Working with the intellect can be as tricky as working with the ego. Both of these parts of the personality believe they are helping and protecting us by showing us a world that fits our beliefs. Sometimes, however, we want to see the world in new and different ways and when we do, it’s important to change our perceptions accordingly.

A great deal of data that we receive on a day-to-day basis comes to us from sources other than the intellect. The ego works with the physical senses to bring us information on temperature, taste, smell, sights and sounds. Our intuitions tap into unspoken language as well as the vast universal mind, allowing us to perceive things that can’t be explained otherwise.

The intellect needs this intuitional data—any other source of data—to help operate efficiently. When it shuts out those other data, the intellect feels responsible for running the show and can stress the body and mind. This is the normal operating procedure for most us: trying to think our way out of any problem or challenge we’re faced with.

The way to get these other kinds of data through to the conscious mind is by changing focus. Like an awakening, you must catch yourself in the act of thinking and evaluate what you see, think and feel. As you do this, the intellect still tries to operate, continually trying to classify the information you just identified and make sense of it all.

On the deck, I had to consciously choose to examine other pieces of data in my field of perception. I focused on wearing shorts at 11:00 p.m. I tuned my hearing to the crickets and cicadas that were chirping loudly and I consciously reminded myself that there were still several weeks of warm weather ahead.

Intuitionally, I know that yellow leaves may be a sign of things to come, but I had to reassure my intellect that fall is not descending on the earth now. I had to use my willpower to focus on the present moment and return my feelings to comfort and joy.

Should I stay or should I go?

This “catching the intellect in the act” is especially important when you’re trying to solve problems. A friend of mine recently had to decide whether to take a new job out of state. And as part of that process, he tried to collect supporting evidence both for and against the move. But when both lists started to compare evenly, he was stymied.

Again, the intellect doesn’t have all information available. It only has a small taste. In problems and challenges such as this, it takes a look inside the mind and body to help the intellect make good decisions. For my friend, that meant examining how he felt about the move, how he would feel if he stayed, how he would feel if he moved and then determine if one decision “felt” better than the others.

The intuitive capabilities of the personality are in direct communication with the universal mind. They are able to travel the earth and look through many probabilities that exist and send back pulses of information to the conscious mind. Those pulses—we like to think of them as ‘impulses’ or ‘urgings’—can then be used by the intellect to help shape decisions.

Taking a conscious look at your thoughts, looking inside for intuitive information and using your intellect together can help bring about the best decisions: big or small. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prune back a few leaves in my tree and enjoy the rest of my summer.