Question: Making resolutions to change comes easy, but the will necessary to keep them soon fizzles. At other times, when life gives me a good blow, change is no longer optional, and resolve becomes quite effortless. How can I muster myself to keep my good intentions for a more healthy and balanced life when it's so easy to fall back into "cruise" control?
Answer: No one wants to struggle…when they don't have to; only when the "currents" of life rise up and threaten to wash away what we are identified with do we pick ourselves up and work to preserve what we fear might be lost.
Such struggles serve nothing other than the world they appear out of and disappear back into once some kind of personal "harmony" is restored. Of course, the problem is that this "balance" is as precarious as the changing of the seasons called our preferences. But, passing time ensures the re-emergence of negative states as unwanted events roll through and by, and the whole pattern simply repeats itself until the body is worn out and passes away… having served nothing but its own conditioned interests.
One must learn to struggle with him or her "self"-- all the time -- because without awareness of the way one meets his or her life, of what meets life for one when one is just "gliding" along… then, in truth, what is it that meets life? The answer is… no one: just a host of habitual thoughts and feelings, prejudicial ideas and beliefs, mechanical reactions. If we are not aware of ourselves -- right now, and in all possible subsequent moments -- then even though we "live"… we are not really alive. And, for the record, the presence of strong emotional states, positive or negative, does not mean we truly live any more than an i-Pod has individual intelligence just because it can sort through a playlist on its own.
Make an aim for yourself… give yourself a task that you know you must attend to, whatever its nature. Perhaps you never stop to consider the needs of others, maybe you're a "rush-aholic," or continually feed yourself "pleasure foods," or eat when not hungry, or enable your own bad habits by submitting to them against your own best interests. Just pick ONE… and keep it before you at all times. Intend to attend to this aim above and beyond all other things. This wish and willingness to struggle with your own runaway parts will produce a new awareness of what is real, true, and valuable for you.
Don't judge, or allow yourself to fall into condemning yourself for failing to remember your wish, or for being too weak to carry out the aim. These initial resulting states are natural and necessary, a part of producing the new energy you will need to increasingly succeed with your inner wish to be free.
Work! Your agreement to struggle with yourself will reveal what is Real in you and what is not. Only what is Real can change...
(Guy Finley's Blog)
Question: I am unhappy with my weight gain, lack of exercise, etc., yet seem unable to change it. Every time I start to make real progress, a setback comes along and brings me back to square one, filling me with doubts and self-loathing. What should one's attitude be towards these setbacks? I do want my health back, but I feel stuck.
Answer: It's possible for us to learn to use everything. Everything can be used. This is the secret of self-awakening. One of the biggest tricks of our negative states is that they secretly conspire to convince us that what "is" is all there can be. This conclusion belongs to who we have been, and can't touch who we may become if we will just gather ourselves up and start life all over again. Remember that who we really are is always becoming whatever we agree to be, so don't allow who you have been to draw you into agreeing to remain the same.
Excerpted from Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom
Question: I've tried many approaches to resolving the same nagging issues that create the stressful experiences in my life. I've sought relief in drugs, naps, special foods, exercises, resolutions, affirmations, and even prayer. No relief! Can you help me find a new, empowering self-understanding?
Answer: Please take a moment here to consider the critical difference between searching for relief from some persistent trouble and being altogether released from it. Relief from something means its essential cause remains intact, even if temporarily abated. To be released from any problem you face is to resolve both its effects and cause.
We find it natural to seek relief from the world around us, a world appearing to be one stronghold atop another of stressful conditions and anxiety producing events. Accordingly, we seek relief from these contentment-crushing states by struggling to change those circumstances we see as being responsible for their cause.
You've seen for yourself all the ways you've attempted to escape those unwanted pressures you find yourself feeling!
But experience tells another story… the more we struggle to change or escape these stressful states of ours, the only thing that really seems to change is the "new" conditions we now see as being the cause of our stress! And it must continue in this way until we realize the truth of one central idea; a realization that leads to our release: What we actually need is not new forms of relief (from these perceived stressful places in our lives) but to be released from our own unconscious nature that is secretly creating the stress we've been blaming on situations outside of ourselves.
Stress, and all of its negative relatives, are the self-wrecking effects of first seeing, and then embracing, a false or incomplete view of reality imposed upon us by our own unenlightened nature. The good news is that the stress-producing self that thrives in this inner shadowland disappears when the lights come on. And this is precisely our task, to bring much-needed Light into our developing consciousness. As we do, all of the conflict-creating creatures hiding therein have no choice but to depart. Inner victory comes in proportion to the amount of inner Light brought to bear. And since there's no end to this healing Light, there's no end to how bright -- and free -- our destiny can be.
Learn what it means to reach for a whole new place within yourself; to find and stand upon a higher ground from where it's possible to see that your present thoughts and feelings reveal only a fraction of the whole of your possible experience -- instead of being what now defines your whole world for you through their conditioned and incomplete perception of it. Reversing this unconscious condition in yourself is both the purpose and the plan of the Timeless Truth. Insights and higher knowledge are its tools.
Our task is to be receptive and willing; to be open to what is trying to reach us and teach us about the truth of ourselves, and to accept the inner responsibility these timeless lessons reveal as being good and necessary for our freedom. As this higher receptivity and responsibility are united within us, a new destiny is forged for us. Its direction becomes one great power headed upward!
Excerpted from Design Your Destiny