Larger groups of people than ever before are reaching a higher awareness. As we become ever aware of our place in the world, so we become familiar with the vast array of techniques and methods that can help us live our lives in more effective ways. But which do you choose? Which parts of your existing life do you want to cut out to make room for a new way? How many practices have you put in to being? And how much guilt do you feel for the things you think you should be doing, but don’t?
For instance, I wonder how many people own books containing various practices and new ways of living that are either read or unread, whilst the information within is left unutilised. As a result, how many experts do we have that can ‘talk the talk’ but not yet ‘walk the walk’? Hands up, please…
I’ll start with mine. And I used to feel ashamed of that. I felt I had let myself down, because I had amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge about several practices, but for one reason or the other, decided not to carry all of them through into reality. There are some who would consider that a shame. But I have learned to see things in a different way.
Perhaps you have heaps of books you have put in to practice. And if so, that’s great. It’s a real achievement. But, perhaps, like I, you have a collection of resources that you thought would help you, but you don’t presently resonate with. If it is the latter, then I heartily recommend you to take the pressure off! Right now, just take a moment to reach an understanding that it’s all ok. Take a minute. Take five. Whatever it takes, just give yourself the freedom to be in the moment and accept that everything is the way it should be, right now.
If you managed to do that right there, then you should congratulate yourself. And you can feel pleased that you move on now – aware that the pressure is gone. You see, there is quite often an unconscious guilt and impatience, associated with awakening in to a new consciousness or a new way of living, swiftly followed by an aching desire to change everything all at once; or to attain a certain level of awareness as quickly as you can imagine it! A little impatience is no bad thing, but forcing yourself up a hill and then beating yourself up when you’re part way there, can be counterproductive. Whilst I am grateful for experiencing what I considered to be an awakening when I was relatively young, I had already been conditioned to feel a sense of failure or guilt for not reaching the high standards that had been expected of me. That I expected of myself. I have found that this is a rather common trait with those who are awakening and it can therefore be worthwhile breaking with our conditioning.
The Value of Breaking Conditioning and Consumption Cycles
Breaking conditioning and past patterns can be a deep and solemn process, but it can also be a wonderfully self-empowering experience too. There are many ways that you can begin this process – you may even have some books on the subject – but I believe that the greatest remedy is first of all being true to yourself. But what does that really mean? There are many ways to look at this, but one simple way is to apply the following: If you are fully present in this moment in whatever you are doing and you feel a deep, uplifting sense of peace, then you are most likely, being true to yourself. It is as simple as that, no matter what you are doing. If you can start to apply that little test to every moment, then you can begin to break with your earlier conditioning.
Breaking our conditioning as consumers, the spiritual marketplace is filled with remedies, products, programmes, pamphlets and paraphernalia that are extremely helpful and useful, but that are at their most useful when they apply to us. They can however become fanciful collections for our egos. “That would really help me!” To become what? To do what? To experience what? It can be quite rewarding to challenge yourself about this. Why not try it the next time you think about getting something that you think will make you better, “Will this contribute to a greater experience of peace?”, or, “How will I benefit from this?” By challenging yourself in this way, you open up a window to a future free from unconscious impulses and an empowered ego.
But what if the conditioning applies to things you are giving up? As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I was trained to practice self-hypnosis every day. It is a hugely rewarding experience that I loved, but after a time, I started practicing open-eyed hypnosis – just sitting peacefully in the moment and experiencing whatever I happened to experience. Later, I would evolve this and began composing music that helps evoke a concentrated consciousness, a greater awareness of the present moment. But rather than accept this, I began questioning things. I had begun to feel guilty that I had stopped practicing self-hypnosis! Was self-hypnosis not for me? Perhaps a different type of meditation would be better? So, I began buying books and watching movies about meditation – not necessarily because I had a soul-level calling to these things, but because I was motivated by the guilt that I wasn’t doing what I was ‘supposed’ to be doing. The guilt was also a fear that I had moved away from something good. Had I filled the void with something less good?
Through various conversations, I have been heartened to hear that all that analysis and ego-driven guilt, while consuming, is also commonplace. For a time, I was unaware that I was actually being shown another path that was bringing an even deeper state of peace! Since that time, I have shared the music I have channelled and composed, and it is used by meditation, Reiki and Yoga practitioners. Some, like I, just play it when they’re busy or when they want to centre themselves in the moment and recharge their energy.
Free Yourself By Harmonizing With Your Core Values