Concepts to Consider

On Sunday we continued looking at the effect our attitudes about change have on our peace of mind and sense of well-being in this life. Depending on how we see change, it can look like a great opportunity for growth and improvement that we’re excited to actively direct, or it can seem like a threat to our comfort and security that we want to avoid at all costs. But, because change is universally natural, and constantly going on everywhere, all the time—including in our life whether we are aware of its movement or not—peace of mind is only possible as we accept the inevitability of change, and practice non-resistance to it in our day-to-day life.

Philosopher, Writer, and Teacher, Alan Watts, wrote:

“The only way we can make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

If we want to join the dance of this life (that we have chosen to attend) we need to take off our combat boots and stop fighting change! We can benefit from change, and grow from change (whether it unexpected or intentional activated) when we’re wearing our dancing shoes and embrace change as our partner in learning.

We are here (in physical form) to gather from our relationships with each other, and the contrasts we see, the experiences we need to discover more of our powerful creativity, and to expand our awareness of who we really are. Our true Self never changes. Only our awareness of It does. Who we really are exists far beyond the forms of the world and the body we call our “self.” It is through our relationships with each other that we learn to co-create something new together, and it is through our unity that each of us discovers our unique gifts as we add them to the expansion and extension of creation. This life is meant to be a powerful, spiritual learning experience, but as we read in A Course in Miracles, “learning means change.”

We can try to hang back, hoping that change won’t find us and force us to do something different in our life, even if we’re not happy doing what we’re doing. But when change finds us, and it will in this world of change—and circumstances require us to release some of our treasured thoughts and responses to life—we will be pulled down by the heaviness of our resistance, and pinched off from the greater possibilities for good in our life that change can offer. It is only as we choose to meet change head-on, open to the gifts of learning it can give us, that our mind is lifted into the Christ Light—the higher vibrations of creation that attract the love, joy, peace, and good we desire.

We are free to spend our time and energy focused on heavy thoughts of what was, resentful and regretting what we lost or never had. We are free to spend our time and energy worrying about what will be, fearful we won’t be prepared. But, we are also free to let our imagination fly high in the realm of unlimited possibilities for good, and discover the joy and happiness that await us as spiritual beings right now. Paramahansa Yogananda wrote:

“Most people live in the past with nostalgia or regrets, or in the future with hopes and fears born of desire. The secret of life is to learn to live fully aware of present bliss. When you can learn to be happy in the present, you have God.”

To have an awareness of the Power of God within us, moment-to-moment, is to live fearlessly—trusting that Life is for us and wants us to be healthy, happy, abundant, and free.

In this world of this and that, where we are able to learn through contrast and opposites, we have the opportunity to learn what we want to experience in this life from temporarily experiencing what we don’t want. Our worldly struggles can help us to discover our spiritual strengths. But, the key is to see struggle as “temporary.” Struggling with what we don’t want is not meant to be a lifelong battle to wear us out, but a temporary teaching tool to empower us and lift us up.

In the Daily Guides in the March issue of Science of Mind Magazine, Rev. Dr. Judy Morley, senior minister for Foothills CSL in Evergreen, CO, asks the question, “Have you ever been hit by a cosmic 2X4?” Most of us have, likely more than once, and when that cosmic whack appeared in the form of a painful health challenge, disturbing relationship problem, or limiting financial issue, we likely didn’t greet the challenge with the thought, “Oh goody, change!” And, then immediately anticipate the birth of something new and wonderful in our life. Eckhart Tolle wrote,

“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

Dr. Morley wrote that when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma, she didn’t exactly “jump for joy.” In fact, she said, she was “angry, depressed, and otherwise distraught.” She raged at her doctors, her family, her body, and anything else she could find. But, as she put it, “The experience turned into the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. The Universe never does anything to us, it always does everything for us.”

When we are faced with a challenge of any kind, that challenge is highlighting in physical form a chronic belief and emotional pattern that we need to change. Abraham-Hicks said,

“The Universe is not punishing you or blessing you. The universe is responding to the vibrational attitude that you are emitting.”

Most of us, as we were growing up, picked up some pretty heavy beliefs about our self and our relationship to life, and we developed ways of coping with those negative beliefs that frequently made our emotional responses defensive and joyless. And, because the Creative Universe was responding to the vibrational attitude we were emitting, we attracted more and more unpleasant experiences that matched our “emission system,” and reinforced for us that what we believed about our self was true.

Adversity in our life is a call for change in our mind. It’s a way the Universe gets our attention, and lets us know we need to change what we believe if we want to rise above the challenge (rather than repeating it in some other form) and attract something new and more joyful. When we allow our self to learn from adversity, we discover we have the power to heal every area of our life because we have the power to change our mind about everything in our life, including our self.

Rather than looking at her condition as happening to her by a world separate from her mind, and rather than feeling sorry for herself that life was unfair, Dr. Morley turned within and asked, “What am I to learn from this experience?” She didn’t write the details of the answer she received, or what “outdated emotional patterns” she let go of, but when she let go her body fully reflected the healing of her mind. In Science of Mind we read,

“We understand that health is a mental, not a physical, state…We know there is a Law higher than the physical and we can use It.”

As mental-spiritual beings, we are free, and welcome, to use the higher Law of our being. If we’re waiting for the world to change before we choose to be happy and “have God,” then we will be grounded in a mind that is meant to soar in the heavens. The Universe makes no distinction between the real and the imagined. It is always responding to what we believe to be true. We are free to let go of what we don’t want, and let our imagination take us higher (and higher) into the realms of unlimited possibilities for good, and claim that good in our mind for our self right now. Poet Anatole France wrote,

“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

Spiritual Practice

Benjamin Disraeli said, “Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” If you are experiencing adversity in any area of your life right now, rather than asking “Why me?” you might want to consider asking, “What am I to learn from this experience?” And, then be willing to learn it. If you would like to change the direction of your life, it is likely you will need to change the direction of your thinking.

Take time to consider if this particular challenge is actually the same need for change showing up in a different form.

Changing negative beliefs and protective emotional responses isn’t easy, but it is the only way to rise above a health problem, relationship challenge, honesty and trust issues, and any other limiting chronic thoughts that will not fail to keep you stuck in repetitive patterns of what you don’t want in your life.

Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” You attract your future by imagining it today.

To download Practice Sheet click here: Up, Up and Away