Listening to Your Inner Voice

Reprinted from Fractal Enlightenment

“You must listen to your heart and follow it or it will find a million ways to remind you that there is something missing” – Unknown

Probably one of the most cliché phrases we hear in spirituality circles is, “follow your heart.” Everyone is telling everyone to follow their heart, listen to their inner knowing, follow their intuition etc… Unfortunately the heart doesn’t have a loud booming voice that comes from the heavens and tells us exactly what we should or shouldn’t do. Nor does it hang signs and banners in front of us telling us “go this way” or “don’t go that way.” So how do we know which of our inner voices to listen to? How do we know if we are making decisions from our heart or if we are listening to our head?

It’s important to remember first and foremost that we are born with the natural inclination to follow our hearts. A baby doesn’t make any decisions from its head, all decisions are based upon how it feels. If the baby feels happy it giggles, if it feels angry or hungry it will cry and scream, it has no thought of how ridiculous it looks to have been laughing one second and the next be wailing and crying. Over time we lose this natural ability to just handle life based purely on our body’s energy and cues, because we start to learn the social “norms”.

We discover which behaviors are “appropriate” and which aren’t and we start to form our personalities based on how we think, not only society but also how our family and friends expect us to behave and live our lives. All of this listening to other people and their opinions and standards for what is a “good” life or what is a “good” job or what is “bad” one, leads us straight into our analytical selves (our head), and straight away from our true feelings (our heart). We mull over decisions from the perspective of what is “good” and what is “bad” or what is “acceptable” and what is “unacceptable” based purely on our programming, which is a collection of the data we have collected from television, parents, culture, society, book’s we’ve read, etc…
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The problem is most people do not consciously know that their heads are filled with a collection of things they’ve read, heard on television, heard their friends say. They actually think they are generating all of their thoughts on their own which makes it even harder for them to discern between which thoughts are coming from their head or which are intuitive nudges from their heart.

So if operating from our heart is what comes naturally, and operating from our head is what we have learned over time, it’s safe to say that the unlearning of listening to our mind chatter and getting back to our natural way of dealing with life, is where we should start in order to start being able to tell head vs heart apart.

“The quieter you become the more you can hear” – Ram Dass

Forget everything you think you know about how life should be. Shed every “should do”, “shouldn’t do”, that you’ve heard from people in your life. Everyone you meet is going to have an opinion on what is the right kind of life to have or the right decision to make, but the only person who can truly make that decision for you is you. Of course this is easier said than done because our programming is so ingrained in our heads, but once you start to disconnect from all of your past programming you will find that your mind gets a little quieter.

Since the mind is divisive in nature, it wants to label each decision as right or wrong, good or bad. This is what it is always doing no matter what. Almost all fear and doubt is coming from your mind, and I say “almost” because there are actual instances when you will be in danger, in which case a natural intuitive fear will come about, but these are rare occasions. While the heart KNOWS what to do, the mind THINKS it knows what to do… and then it’s not sure, and then it is sure, and then it’s not sure again. It goes back and forth between “should I” or “shouldn’t I.”
heart-mind-dialogue
Anytime we are caught in an internal conflict such as this, we can be assured this is coming from our head and not our heart. The heart however, operates from contraction and expansion. Contraction is when our body tenses up, we may feel short of breath or our chest will feel tight. Expansion makes us feel lighter, like we can breathe better, like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. Sometimes following our heart will make us feel a little scared too, because it may involve us making a huge life change, but when we are trying to make an ultimate decision, we notice that one decision will feel stifling, suffocating and limiting and one will feel like anxious excitement.

It’s important that we are able to decipher which is which. Excitement about the future is always a good sign that a decision is coming from our heart. If you are noticing that lots of fear is popping up in your decision making, walk yourself through the fear. Does the fear stem from what other people will think about you? Does it stem from making a ‘wrong’ decision and then regretting it later? Both of these are coming from the head, they are based on the programming again of what life should or shouldn’t be like. If we just remember, the head thinks and the heart feels, we can start to be more in touch with the cues our bodies are sending us instead of the fear and doubt that our minds are generating.
followyourheartfreeheartlovequotefreed-3f29078a80bf0a4dac642d73cb7e5ea3_h_large Everyone has that little voice in their head telling them “you can’t do it,” “you’ll never succeed,” or “it’s going to be too hard or take too much time, so why even try?”… Everyone. Once you realize this voice is lying to you, a whole new realm of possibilities opens up for you. What if you knew, like REALLY knew that anything was possible? How would your life change? The more you stop believing in that little fear voice that likes to instill doubt in you, the more you realize that those thoughts aren’t popping up at all anymore.

At this point you can follow what is coming naturally to you, maybe it’s moving away, or maybe it’s painting, or maybe it is writing or making music, it doesn’t really matter what the decision is. When we start doing things that intuitively bring us joy and excitement we will start the ball rolling on our expansion of our heart and our true self. Living our life from our heart will FEEL good, so little by little we start to trust this little intuition feeling instead of the thoughts stemming from our minds and slowly but surely our life starts to unfold into a spontaneous set of exciting circumstances, instead of a controlled, rigid and fear based existence. Then our heart becomes our ‘go-to’ guy in decision making, which makes life not only completely unexpected, but also amazing.

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Laughter Announces Your Arrival

laughing-buddhaIf you have ever wondered why the Buddha laughs, well the answer is simply that enlightenment does that. Osho, the Indian mystic explains in Shift>. 

I does seem like something very much to look forward to and something very much to work for. But of course, it requires no work at all.

When one becomes enlightened, laughter is almost a natural by-product; spontaneously it comes, for the simple reason that we have been searching and searching our lives for something which was already there inside. Our whole effort was ridiculous! Our whole effort was absurd. One laughs at the great cosmic joke. One laughs at the sense of humor that God must have or the existence: that we have it with us already and we are searching for it. One laughs at one’s own ridiculous efforts, long long journeys, pilgrimages, for something which was never lost in the first place.

My own understanding is that there is nothing more valuable than laughter. Only laughter is left in you when you are total. In everything else you remain partial, even in lovemaking you remain partial. But when you have a really heartfelt belly laugh, all the parts of your being — the physiological, the psychological, the spiritual — they all vibrate in one single tune, they all vibrate in harmony. Hence, laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual. Laughter brings you to the earth, brings you down from your stupid ideas of being holier-than-thou. Laughter brings you to reality as it is. The world is a play, a cosmic joke. And unless you understand it as a cosmic joke you will never be able to understand the ultimate mystery. I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter.

Everybody takes themselves and others seriously. That’s the way of the ego to exist. Start being a little more playful and you will see ego evaporating. Take life non seriously, as a joke — yes, as a cosmic joke. Laugh a little more. Laughter is far more significant than prayer. Prayer may not destroy your ego; on the contrary, it may make it holy, pious, but laughter certainly destroys your ego. When you are really in a state of laughter, have you observed? …the ego disappears for a moment. You are again a child, giggling. Again you have forgotten that you are special. You are no longer serious; for a moment you have removed your fixation.

That’s why I love jokes…they are poison to your ego! You would like me to talk about serious things: astral planes and how many bodies men have, seven or nine, and how many chakras. And every day there are questions — esoteric, occult. These are the serious people. They have fallen in a wrong company! I am not serious at all. I don’t laugh with you because that is part of telling a joke: the person who tells it has to be very serious, he cannot laugh with you. All my laughter I have to do alone.

But my approach towards life is utterly nonserious, playful, because in my experience this is how the ego disappears. Watch when you laugh: where is the ego? Suddenly you have melted, suddenly you are liquid, no more solid, but flowing. You are not old, experienced, knowledgeable. Listen to this joke and try to find out whether the ego remains or not.

All buddhas have laughed when they awaken. Their laughter is like a lion’s roar. They laugh, not at you, they laugh at the whole cosmic joke. They lived in a dream, in a sleep, intoxicated completely by desire, and through desire they looked at the existence. Then it was not the real existence, they projected their own sleep on it.

You are taking the whole existence as a screen, and then you project your own mind on it and you see things which are not there, and you don’t see things which are there. And the mind has explanations for everything. If you raise a doubt, the mind explains. It creates theories, philosophies, systems, just to feel comfortable, that nothing is wrong. All philosophies exist to make life convenient, so that everything looks okay, nothing is wrong — but everything is wrong while you are asleep.

Nobody lives, nobody dies. Nothingness lives, nothingness dies. You are not. Have a good laugh at this situation. You are not and you exist. You are not and you are. This is the cosmic joke.

You see a person and you smile. You smile for them. One should smile only for oneself. If others share, good. If nobody shares, good. But one should smile of one’s own accord. One should not laugh to make somebody else happy, because if you are not happy, you cannot make anybody happy. Even if you are happy, it is very difficult to make somebody else happy because it depends on that somebody else as to whether he will accept it or not. One should simply laugh of one’s own accord, and one should not wait for reasons to laugh. That too is absurd. Why wait for reasons? Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful…it is so wonderful. It is all sorts of things together. It is a great cosmic joke.

Methods for Working on Consciousness

DesertDog1I always find that walking the dog is a great time to try to practice some of these methods. It makes the time and distance go by rapidly while helping me to center within.

This post is from Waking Times and was written by Brandon West.  I hope you find it useful too.

 

 

Consciousness evolution is the process of becoming universal consciousness. In order to do so, all that we need to do is simply open up a channel within us so that universal consciousness can flow through us uninhibited, because our highest self, the highest level of our consciousness is universal consciousness.

This is the process of consciousness evolution and it is a completely natural process, indeed one that each one of us will go through at one point or another. It is guaranteed.

We have two aspects to our being. We have a radiative aspect which is always changing: our thoughts and emotions; and we have an observing awareness which is collapsing towards singularity where we are one and connected with the rest of the universe, all beings, and where we are united with our source of all-possibility: pure consciousness. Awakening consciously to the former is the path of consciousness evolution.

Our thoughts radiate from the event horizon of our being which is the boundary between thought and silent awareness. Yet there is a lens which determines how the pure energy of consciousness expresses itself through us in our thoughts and emotions which directly manifests in our lives and in our bodies.

That lens is belief.

Imagine belief as a lens much like the negatives on a roll of film which creates an image on a screen when light shines through. When you change the negative, when you change the belief, the image on the screen changes. Your body and your life is a three-dimensional hologram defined by your beliefs, and our society is the collective holographic image we have co-created with one another and with the Earth hologram we call nature, within a greater hologram we call our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, and so on to infinity.

And yet the most important thing to remember is not that your belief determines your hologram, but that if your belief system was out of the way altogether then pure consciousness which is energy of the highest vibration – love – would radiate from yours being and express perfection and abundance everywhere in your life. Not if your belief system was changed, but if your belief system was abolished. And that is where thought and meditation comes it.

Thought is a natural part of yourself, so there is no reason for you to feel the need to stop thinking altogether. We just have to learn how to think consciously. However, it is important to periodically strive for (and eventually achieve) inner silence in order to open ourselves up so that our thoughts, emotions, and actions can channel through us unadulterated from a higher level of consciousness within.

All beings are expressions of the universe, God-in-action, but the reason why we have murderers, rapists, imperfection of any kind, and sleeping people of varying degrees is not because some people are inherently good or bad, compassionate or evil. There is no such thing.

The reason we see negativity is because there is so much distortion in the high-vibration energy from the lens of our beliefs and the chaos created by unconscious thinking. The natural high energy of consciousness ends up being distorted and misdirected by so many different limiting beliefs and negative habits, thoughts, and behaviors that it ends up being expressed in harmful ways. Either harmful in an expressive way towards another human being (or yourself), or it is repressed and internalized and it manifests itself as disease in the body.

Therefore peace in the world and health in the body both stem from inner peace and inner silence: clearing out the clutter within ourselves.

I know in my heart that everyone can change if they want to. It is just a matter of cleaning out the programming.

Three Steps to Consciousness Evolution

These three steps are the most essential steps in order to raise your level of consciousness, cultivate personal mastery, and thus engage in the process of consciousness evolution.

1. Live on the Event Horizon between Thought and Silence

“Be mindful of your self-talk; it’s a conversation with the universe.” – Unknown

In order to live consciously and to think consciously, we must live on the border between thought and silence. Only then are we in the best possible position to be truly self-aware and to manifest because this is the only position where we can follow Deepak Chopra’s succinct process of manifestation: “Slip into the gap, have the desire, detach from the outcome, and let the universe take care of the details.”

Only from this place can we manifest, and only from this place can we be truly vigilant over our perceptual state. When we live in this space we can easily see not only the perceptual pattern we are living from, and change it if we desire, but we can also feel clearly how spirit is moving us, and what we are being guided to do by the unified field of pure consciousness.

Silence is the yin aspect of our awareness, and thought is the yang. When we live right on the border, but deeply centered in silence with a greater tendency to submerge ourselves in infinite divine consciousness than to radiate too far and become lost in the world of things, then we will learn how to live with true power and potency because from this perceptual position our thoughts emanate directly from the highest aspect of ourselves without being distorted by our thoughts and beliefs.

Our actions from this place are aligned with our highest potential, our thoughts are pure and our emotions are of a high frequency. When we live on the event horizon between thought and silence, then we flow from our highest self and there is an immediate feedback of creation between the two infinities of the universe.

2. Let Go and Surrender to the Universe

Letting go and surrendering is not laziness and apathy. It is the process of learning how to live from a place more aligned with the highest aspects of ourselves.

Everything we have ever done, and every experience we have had is leading to our consciousness evolution. It has meaning. If we shift our perspective from being a victim of our experiences to being the recipient of a cosmic education and co-creator of our destiny, which ultimately is consciousness evolution, then we can start to tap into who we really are.

Letting go and surrendering is not laziness, and it is not giving up. It is simply centering yourself in the awareness that your dreams and all of your purest desires will unfold naturally as an expression of who you are, if you discipline yourself to get out of your own way. It is a shift to the awareness that you already are complete, and that all you need to do every day is exactly what you are inspired to do, what you’d love to do, and what makes you happy in this moment. That is the difference.

Wayne Dyer explained the shift to letting go and surrendering to the universe best when he said: “Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. When you do this, you’re also tapping into another face of intention: love. If you’re doing what you love and loving what you do—whatever it is—you make a living at it!”

Letting go and surrendering is a process of getting your ego out of the way so that your higher consciousness can work through you.

3. Live Without Desires, but by Divine Inspiration

Instead of living from low-level desires such as earning lots of money, achieving fame, recognition, or even respect, try living more aligned to universal principles (and thus universally aligned desires) by cultivating a deep desire to serve the consciousness evolution of humanity, to live your highest potential, and to create as fearlessly and as ego-lessly as you can. This is what I mean by living by divine inspiration.

When we can live consistently in this fashion, every one of our needs and desires will be taken care automatically.

Living by divine inspiration means to focus all of your energy on your love, and the creative self-expression that is your purpose in life, and to let the universe handle the details. We have been trained to care about the outcome of our efforts through school and society in general. We have been conditioned to seek success. But humans are far too powerful to waste their time with such low level activities.

When we focus all of our energy delving into the depths of ourselves, tapping into the universe through our inner connecting link, and then expressing the truth, love, power, inspiration and creativity that we find, then the universe will take care of the rest. The more we try and force the world to do our bidding, the poorer the results and the more frustrated we become.

If we instead focus all of our energy on living from inspiration and the boundary between thought and silence, and the deeper we submerge ourselves in that inner silence which is the cosmic ocean of pure energy/information, the brighter and more radiant and powerful we become. When we live from this space we have true power, and the universe responds.

The more that we align with our universal source, the more we become our universal source. This is the process of consciousness evolution.

Conclusion

The result of living a life aligned with these three principles and practices is that we enter into a world of magic; a brand new world and perception of reality that we achieve by disconnecting ourselves from the matrix which exists only in our thoughts. The perceptual matrix of our society is at a low level of consciousness, and the only way we can get out of it is by thinking from a brand new place within us and living from a new awareness.

In order to live from a higher level of consciousness we must stop taking orders from lower levels of consciousness, our minds. This is not an event but a process. And while there will most definitely be spontaneous shifts, or quantum moments, know that all your previous actions and work accumulate to make these quantum shifts occur.

The universe is speaking to each one of us individually and is seeking to express itself through each one of us because we are the universe … except we are resisting this aspect of ourselves and pretending to be small, limited, insignificant, and powerless. The universe is consciousness and we are consciousness, thus we must be like what we came from. There is no division. When we can continually center ourselves in silence, and learn to let go and allow ourselves to be guided by that silence, a miraculous shift will occur in our lives…

We will cease to desire from the ego. Recognition will become unimportant. Success will not be the greatest pull on our attention. Instead we will discover a magical connection within us where there is a flow of information, creativity, and knowledge, and by tapping into this flow, we will create and discover beyond our wildest dreams.

Tapping into this flow consciously will release the dam created by our minds so that the universal force, the Tao, or God, can flow through us like a mighty river, and this new energy will be of such a vibration as to radically transform our perception of reality. And we will live “in a great and wonderful world,” where “dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you will discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be,” as the great Sage Patanjali expressed so beautifully.

This is the potential within each one of us. The limitations of any individuals are in direct relationship to the degree to which they live from their mind. For as soon as we discover silence, all barriers disappear, and the universe speaks through each and every one of us equally.

 

About the Author

 West is the creator of Project Global Awakening. A website dedicated to the research of a variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines, and applying that knowledge to help you live an inspired life and change the world. Follow Project Global Awakening on Facebook, and Twitter.

 

What Causes My Suffering?

This might well be something to chew on for a few minutes today.

From Michael Jeffrey’s blog:

What’s true is always what’s happening, not the story about what SHOULD be happening. ~Byron Katie

“Sally should call me more often.”

Q: Is the source of my suffering Sally not calling me, or is it believing the thought, “Sally SHOULD call me more often.”?

As Byron Katie says, when we believe our thoughts we suffer. Why? Because we are mistaking a mind manufactured belief, a temporary appearance, for the Truth. What’s the difference? One never changes because it’s what I AM, and the other never stops changing showing me that it’s what I AM not.

~Michael Jeffreys

 

Who Am I?

who-am-iYou probably think you know.

You probably start out with things like, gender, relationship, educational status, work definitions. Most people do.

Some, who think themselves a bit smarter, say the very New Age-y thing: “Why I’m a spiritual being having a human experience.” They always smile proudly when they say it. I used to, I know that.

Who is this I?

It is true that it is not the physical body I inhabit, or at least use for now.

There is a very zen sort of meme that goes something like, “if you can observe it, it ain’t you.” I see the tree, I’m therefore not the tree.

This sort of thing is most useful when trying to separate ourselves from our thoughts. I perceive the thought, therefore it is not me. I can perceive the “sadness” therefore I’m not sad, the thought is sad. Step away, observe, rise above.

Yet this gets us no closer to the core of “me” it seems.

What I am not is useful, but not particularly enlightening. Some suggest that when you rip away all that you are not, you get to non-self which is our true state of being. Others say, we cannot exist as non-self.

Who to believe?

Oh heck, how should I know?

Intelligence- Who Am I I know one thing.

Whoever I am as can be described is not me. Not by my choice that is. Not freely chosen at least.

What?

Okay. Let’s start at the beginning.

You were born.

Whatever circumstances existed you reacted to. You cried, you nuzzled, you slept, you smiled, frowned, you made sucking noises.

People responded to that reaction in some fashion, either in ways that you liked or disliked. They responded to your response. And so on and so forth.

And through it all, you formed a “personality” which was the result of what they “liked” and therefore rewarded, or didn’t like and therefore punished. You had a certain configuration of genetic material that predisposed you to like some things a bit more than somebody else might, and to dislike other things a bit more than someone else might. You took a certain amount of punishment to maintain X, and retreated quickly and gave in on Y.

You lived in some circumstances wherein conformity was or wasn’t important, where being independent was or wasn’t important, where sharing was more or less necessary, where taking turns was or wasn’t essential. All this shit, countless examples and how strongly you needed or didn’t need to adapt based on how willing you were to “face the music” of disapproval shaped your personality.

It became the YOU you think of as you.

It became the YOU others think of as you.

Thousands of people and events impacted you and still do, and you react in slightly different ways than the person next to you.

By the way, the YOU you think of as you, and the YOU others think of as you, are rarely much alike. You know that. Nobody understands you. Your parents didn’t, your spouse doesn’t, your children don’t, nor does your best friend. They all do to a degree, and some more than others, but we, at some unhappy point, realized that nobody could get “inside our skin” and feel what we really feel.

Along the way of course we got to believe that we were the person so constructed. We began to believe our own “story” and sadly we believed all too often the story others developed of us. That’s why teens are so hell-bent on being “accepted” and fall into peer pressure as surely as rain falls down and not up.

who-am-i

The first hard part is not giving a shit what others think of “you”.

A man, whom I barely know, who is a staunch conservative is illustrative. We went to the mat on a host of public issues like climate change, minimum wage, health care. He took to being quite personal in his attacks, calling me stupid, and he told me that my style of arguing (he called it aggressive) was why people didn’t like me.

Now, such talk from a teen-aged boy I would understand, but from a 60+ aged man, I found amusing. He was shocked to learn I didn’t care whether people liked me, and quite frankly, given those he referred to as the one’s who didn’t were like him, I’d have been mighty upset if they had. I wouldn’t want “friends” like him.

Part of this, “who cares what you think” comes with age. Aging people should have much less time to waste on people whose opinions they don’t value anyhow.

But part is applicable to any age. Since nobody really knows us, why should their opinion (which is mostly wrong) matter at all?

That’s the first obstacle to overcome it seems to me.

The second is the hardest–letting go of this false facade of who we think of as our self and discovering who we really are.

That involves the hard work of as I said near the beginning of divorcing ME from all that baggage of thoughts and feelings that are wrapped around that created personality. They almost always involve past events and future worries. I am the one who directs traffic, or at least I should be doing that.

I am the watcher. I am the one who is silent witness to all these goings on.

I am the one who is eternal and connected to all things.

I am the one who seeks the patterns and flows with them with ease.

I seek the right choice at the right time in the right circumstances.

I am free, unconstrained by fear.

I AM.

Sit with that for a while.

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