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Old 03-03-2005, 05:43 PM
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Morning Glory
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Body, Mind & Spirit
By Peter Shepherd
In order to create our reality - to make things happen in our experience of the world - we operate at all levels of our being: the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical. We do this 100% of the time whether we are aware of it or not. It is possible to improve our life experience by becoming more conscious of our creative process.

In Western culture, we are brought up to view our lives as primarily a physical manifestation: we go to work, produce things, get paid, survive, try to keep our bodies healthy, find a partner, make a family home. Talk of "creating our reality" from a spiritual viewpoint seems out of touch with reality, maybe even a bit crazy. But if you follow it through - as I will try to explain - it does all tie together. The everyday life we experience is very much affected by our spiritual nature, our creative will. Then we manifest that "will" according to the beliefs we hold, the feelings that result from those beliefs, and our resulting actions.

We can start living consciously by manifesting what we want right here and now, by putting into place our plans and dreams in the real world.

The first step is to become clear on what you want to create - to decide what you want.

The second step is to visualize, with emotion, it happening, until you get to a point where you know it already has happened and is on its way to you.

The third step is to be open for guidance, from the source of knowing that you are spiritually connected to and part of. Wait for spiritual guidance before taking action. If you take action before receiving guidance you may end up running into blocks or manifesting something other than what you really want. That's the Ego's way, when your behavior is reactive, without consciousness, and without connection with your Higher Self. Wait for God's guidance, and it will always turn out perfectly, sometimes even in a better way than you first imagined it.

Then you act, according to your intuitive knowing. You can tell if that comes from Spirit because it will have the presence of Love. That means acceptance without judgment. And without negative emotions like fear or hatred, which are resistances against what exists - that which you are creating! You may be guided to sources of information to help you act more effectively.

So then do it, the first step, the first communication. Make the plunge, and then learn from your experiences in manifesting what you want. Spirit will offer these learning opportunities (sometimes they may appear as "mistakes") as part of your ongoing connection with your true all-knowing Higher Self.

Here's an imaginary example of how a man might learn to better his situation more consciously. Perhaps he wants to improve his relationship with his daughter as the two of them are frequently arguing and fighting. He loves her very much but most of the time she is obnoxious and rebellious.

He wants to turn this around, to create a better reality from all levels of his being. Before he felt it was all her doing, none of his responsibility. But this time he consults with his Higher Self. He is simply given the guidance to communicate with his daughter in a loving way. This is probably a bit of a shock because he likes to think he is "loving" and he communicates well, but now he realizes that perhaps he has something to learn here.

This is where personal growth tools, like the 'Living Consciously' course can help, giving a person some clues how to go about making a better life for themselves. If you are guided to the Living Consciously course you'll learn that when you're trying to get on with somebody or help them, it's best not to invalidate what they say or evaluate their view of things with your own interpretation, otherwise they will immediately go into resistance or feel distant and introverted - either way, not effective communication.

Let's say the man in our example has acquired this information and wants to relate to his daughter more lovingly, according to his guidance, since he has realized that is his truth. He asks his daughter how she's got on at school today and she replies, "It's none of your business." Normally he would have ranted, "It's very much my business," and been fairly angry, but this time he doesn't invalidate her view or judge her to be wrong. He just says "OK, I understand." She looks surprised. His feeling is that he cares very much about her, so he tells her that, again according to the course guidelines but also according to his inner truth. She looks a bit taken aback and says, "Oh, yeah?" but a small breakthrough has been made. He keep going on this path and gradually his relationship improves, and she seems much happier.

There are set-backs but he learns from them, so in their own way they are valuable. Really he learns about himself, about being able to respond as himself rather than reacting according to habitual learned patterns. About how to be truly "in the moment." But it is hard at times, like when she tells him she is jealous of his relationship with her mother. Instead of recognizing that as an honest and brave thing to say, he blows up and tells her not to be ridiculous. A step backward. Looking at what happened later, he realizes that actually he is rather jealous of the mother and daughter's relationship, as they have always seemed to be much closer. That's why it was a such a button for him, her comments matched his own suppressed feelings, and they drove him to react in an unconscious way.

So what is the real issue? Insecurity in his relationship with his wife, perhaps. A belief leads to feeling a certain way, which then drives behavior, and this context then leads to further thoughts and interpretations and the situation spirals. The relationship with his daughter had deteriorated as a result of his own feelings of insecurity and jealousy of the mother-daughter closeness, something he hadn't been conscious of before.

What belief was driving his feeling of insecurity? Such things tend to be pretty suppressed; we keep them hidden away to avoid confronting issues that we have long-since decided are too difficult to face. Fortunately he had the tools of 'Meta-Programming' to quickly get to the root of it. The Meta-Programming course is an in-depth procedure utilizing biofeedback monitoring, that is recommended for earnest seekers of self-knowledge. Centerpointe's 'Holosync' program, and the accompanying advice Bill Harris gives, is also a big help along the way.

Back to my story, the crux of the matter was that the man believed that women were too emotionally unpredictable to trust. He had a couple of very painful experiences that led him to believe that, and he generalized the belief to apply to all women including his wife. Looking back now he can see that he actually created those earlier experiences too, and he found another belief that was behind that.

As he unlayered these beliefs, he found at the bottom some beautiful truths, simple as truths always are, about his basic loving nature. That is also the nature of each of us, our spirituality. Love expressed as creative will. That love becomes distorted by our mental structures and conflicts into the range of painful emotions and self-defeating behaviors that most people either experience frequently or cover up, and live within 'safe' boundaries so they're not triggered. But really we create that experience and it mirrors what's going on inside of us. On the scale of group consciousness this extends to world events.

With learning, obtained from consciously experiencing and being open to guidance from Spirit, one becomes more enlightened - then indeed magic can happen. With clarity, life becomes much more simple and open to your creative influence.

A correspondent, Saikoun, pointed out to me that the "human identity" experience that we are all so familiar with is in fact a veil, a projection, not a truth in any way. It is a habit that we acquire early in childhood. Certainly one can maximize the veil and have a "good life" experience. And certainly one can decide that the veil represents a truth and deal with the resulting limitations. However, truth is that there is no separation and you do have conscious access to how you are creating your reality in every moment. That is the whole, the "human identity" is a subset. One is only locked into that viewpoint if one chooses to be.

I'm sure she's right; I also feel that we are here to experience life at the physical level and to understand ourselves from that viewpoint too. The human experience is not something to reject or lessen, it's a great privilege. We are “the man in the heavens,” there is no "up there" and "down here" - metaphysics and physics are one - we simply are all of it.

Spirit-mind-emotions-body-the world: this is a circle, a wholeness. We are all connected. Because spirit is of the nature of information, not within the boundaries of space and time, the beliefs of a few conscious beings influence the group consciousness of Mankind - or perhaps I should say group unconsciousness, since relatively little conscious will is expressed here, but the unconscious still responds. I feel the recent war has been a wake-up call on this planet and things are changing; there could be an exponential increase in the expression of our true nature, of Love, in our world. It is up to each of us to play our part.

Learning from Our Experience
By Peter Shepherd
Current events have demonstrated a tremendous desire, on the behalf of perhaps the majority of people in the world, for peace in their lives. They are no longer satisfied with the mentality of political conflict, which endangers economic progress and human rights and freedoms. But most importantly, I feel that many people are now aware that if we want peace in the world, first we need to make peace with our own lives. It is human nature that needs to change, and we are capable of making such a transformation.

Our experience in the world reflects our inner state - yes, this is a kind of magic but that is the reality, the world is miraculous. I have seen so much evidence of this when I - or a student or client - have made a genuine shift in our belief system that resolves an inner conflict, then very soon our real-world circumstances change accordingly. We mirror our internal state - our resistance/fear and acceptance/love - in our personal life experience. As a group we mirror our consciousness in world events. It is our personal responsibility to become aware of our contribution to the group consciousness, to help create a world with more opportunities for ourselves and our loved ones - which ultimately means for everyone.

So what wars do we wage inside? The purposes and goals that we hold dearly - some we may have brought into this life or felt most strongly as a child or young person - are often compromised in the face of problems that we discover in trying to achieve them, and we may forget about them (actually suppress them) and opt for safer solutions. Playing the safe game is a sad conflict with the game we really (still) want to play. We have become someone else, a substitute for our true self. Reinforcing this position are the attachments we have come to cling on to, the fears we may have of losing control of our safe space, the resistance we feel against elements of change, and the judgments we make that prevent acceptance of what is.

To better our position, to be able to open up our space and express our true desires, we first need to come to terms with our situation. Our true nature is an expression of love and that is the quality that we need first to rediscover in our consciousness.

Before we can contribute, through our consciousness, toward peace in the world we need to make peace with ourselves. Before we can love others unconditionally we need to be able to genuinely love ourselves. Before we can forgive and cease making judgments of others we need to learn how to forgive ourselves and warmly accept ourselves just as we are. So let's look at how to do that...

We all do things we are not proud of, we wouldn't be human if we didn't. Something that affects others in a way that we would not be willing to experience ourselves. Sometimes we chose to act in a way that we know at the time is not being true to ourselves, but it seems like a solution to our situation. Or maybe we are tempted to put our own interests first. Other times we may be carried away by emotions of anger or jealousy and do something out of spite we may later regret. Or we don't do something, like helping a friend in need, that we know we really wanted to. Alternatively we may have the best of intentions but things don't go as predicted, we make a mistake or realize something we have done was harmful, even though we didn't mean it to be.

These sorts of actions can leave us feeling ashamed and depressed, and we can end up carrying our guilt for years, but if we want to live happy lives, we need to take responsibility for the consequences of our behavior and move on.

Feeling guilty should not be confused with taking responsibility for our past. Responsibility means that we make a concerted effort to change the behavior pattern that resulted in the mistaken choice, and the beliefs and feelings that empowered it. We need to move on by making peace with the past.

The natural tendency when we do something without integrity is to try to justify our actions, to make ourselves right. Or we may say the action was deserved, making the other person wrong. Both of these are avoiding the reality, by denying our own sense of truth and our own responsibility for our actions. We avoid our feelings of guilt by pretending it was not a mistake or misconceived choice that we acted on, indeed it was "right." We avoid our feelings of shame (feeling badly about how others perceive us) by pretending that it is the other who should be ashamed.

The problem is not the harmful action or making a mistake - that's happened and can't be undone. The problem is what we tell ourselves afterward. Whether we are honest or if we lie to ourselves. It is that lie which causes all the damage to our own integrity and to further relationships with the other we have wronged.

We need to drop our defenses, drop the lies we may have told ourselves to hide the truth, face up to the reality of our actions and their consequences - and forgive ourselves.

There is a big bonus to being realistic and truthful - we can learn the valuable lesson that the experience offers us. Indeed, it's only when we have learned that lesson that we can let go of the past error and live our life as truly ourselves in the present.

So to forgive ourselves we need to learn the lesson. Let's look at mistakes first. Mistakes are opportunities for learning. When we learn to drive a car, we crunch the gears and go backward instead of forward. But we learn and get better. Later on we may cross a red light and get stopped by the police and fined. Again, we can learn from that, to take more care when approaching crossroads. We then become a better driver. The next time you make a mistake say to yourself, "That's cool, so what can I learn from this?" Instead of feeling grotty you will feel challenged and motivated.

But what if I had crossed the red light, run into a car and injured the driver badly. That's not cool. I can say that it had only just changed to red so I didn't really do anything wrong. I can blame the other driver for not checking anyone was still crossing before they moved off. Or I can accept it was a foolish action, a combination of a mistake but also recklessness. I did it and I'm sorry.

But real forgiveness has nothing to do with feeling sorry or apologizing, neither of which actually changes anything. From a higher perspective there is no right or wrong. There are choices and experience. There is cause and effect.

And neither can forgiveness be given by another; it has to be granted by ourselves. Unless we can truly forgive ourselves, we can never really move on and be free of the past.

What gets in the way of this forgiveness is judgment, that I am a bad person. I need to separate my inherent worth from my actions. I am basically a loving being, I know that. We all are. Actually I am not even my thoughts and feelings. I create these and sometimes through ignorance or misguidedly I create them inappropriately, and my consequent actions can result in hurt for others. Then the best I can do is to learn from that so in future I can create more truly to my nature.

I need to realize that my choice was a result of my ignorance - I did not know what I can now see to be the lesson from the experience. I just wanted to get to my destination quickly. I didn't think about the possible outcomes that could result from driving irresponsibly, I thought it was OK to cross a red light. So my basic motive wasn't bad but I was operating on false information, I was misguided.

We can't move on if we regret the past, nor if we have contempt for our selves. To feel like this implies that we view our past as meaningless and of no value, and our selves as no longer to be trusted. On the contrary, forgiving ourselves requires finding value in our experiences and in our selves. Instead of just writing off an experience as a painful episode and trying to forget it, we should try to learn from it whatever we can.

Life is a journey of learning and the most worthwhile learning is derived from our personal experiences. When things go as we want, because we have good information and appropriate beliefs, then our learning is reinforced by this positive feedback. When things go astray, because we have faulty information and inappropriate beliefs, then we and those at the effect of our actions suffer. But here we have a chance to learn something new. Much of our new learning and personal growth does therefore come about as a result of painful experiences; provided we are willing and open to learn those lessons.

If we wish to grow and to use our experiences beneficially, it is vital that we focus on what we can learn, rather than to resist the reality of what occurred.

Find something you did (or failed to do) that you still feel bad about, that you regret, that makes you feel ashamed. Now begin to take meaning and value out of this experience. Ask yourself: "What has this taught me - about myself, about others and about my life?" Based on this lesson, work out what beliefs you need to change, what fixed ideas you can let go of, what assumptions you made that are no longer helpful.

Self-forgiveness recaptures the energy that you were giving away in guilt and resistance against the past. It frees you to be yourself again - a new, happier and wiser you.

If we can forgive ourselves then we can more easily forgive others. If we do not feel able to forgive others then we clearly have not learned to love ourselves. And the irony is, when we do truly love ourselves, we and others will not even need any forgiveness, because we are able to accept the past, present and future as it is, without judgment. Our creation. Discrimination - of good/bad, right/wrong, ugly/beautiful - is not part of the vocabulary of love.