Creating the life you want

Professor of digital social science at Uni Helsinki

How do you create the life you want? There are an endless number of self-help books that try to answer this question. I haven’t read any of them. Still, here I will describe my understanding, based on my own experiences and no one else’s. To what extent this applies to others, I do not really know, but perhaps my experiences will help you in finding your own way of creating.

Here is how I do it, and how I progress in learning on how to do it. The list is borne out of years of trying different ways and observing the results. Based on how my life events are unfolding, and have been unfolding for the past years, I seem to be getting pretty good results pretty fast. In the past year, I have: started this blog, begun a new line of work as a healer/coach, founded the first company ever in my life, then begun as a university professor for the first time, as well as healed myself from appendicitis without having the prescribed operation. What a year!

And therefore it is time to share the experiences and see if these steps of creation can benefit you too. Enjoy! May this be for the benefit of all beings in all universes.

This post contains: The nine steps of creation, Explanation for each step, On the usefulness of prior inner work, and Words of caution.

The nine steps of creation

  1. Prepare good external and internal conditions for creating an optimal outcome.
  2. Ask all help that is for the highest good.
  3. Decide to let go of all opposition and resistance within, related to this creation.
  4. Intend, that whatever you create now, works towards the highest good for all beings.
  5. Visualize what you wish to create.
  6. Intend, that THIS is what I wish to create, while holding the coherent vision in your mind.
  7. Let go of your creation.
  8. Thank all the help you received, and will receive.
  9. Observe and pay attention to events as they unfold. Learn.

 

Krista with Al Pacino
Krista meeting Al Pacino in 2016

 

Ëxplanation for each step

  1. Prepare good external and internal conditions for creating an optimal outcome.
    Practical means of preparation might include: cleaning the physical space and making it comfortable, lighting a fire or a candle, and playing suitable music. Or having a good night’s sleep, taking a walk in the nature, having a wonderful, relaxing conversation with a friend. Regarding your state of mind, you may wish to center yourself, to be well seated within your own body, to bring all parts of you within the body, to clear, balance, stabilize all within you, and to contact your inner light at the center of your being. You might also wish to bless yourself, bless everyone you have been or will be in contact today, and bless the work that you are about to do here.
  2. Ask all help that is for the highest good.
    Highest good refers to events that work towards the optimal course for all beings. This is much more powerful request than asking for help from a specific source. At the same time the wish is protected by the phrase “for the highest good”: It rules out any self-serving “helpers” who do not act in your best interest. However, this request will only reach sources of help that you have a connection with, that are able to contact you. Working in a group of friends, a much wider variety of help will be available for creating any outcome. This makes group co-creations much more likely to work well than individual ones.
  3. Decide to let go of all opposition and resistance within, related to this creation. Do it: Let go! Repeat as long as necessary. Let go from all internal states: Visit consciously all internal states that you are aware of within yourself, and decide to let go of resistance towards this creation. For example, you can work this in terms of the Archetypes (do inner work to recognize your own archetypes): The Mother, the Father, the Child. Various wounded states might also include: The Victim, the Judge, the Perpetrator, the Thief, the Creator, the Starving, the Unseen one, the Unloved one, the Unaccepted one, the Masochist. Visit each state by deciding that you now seek to go to that state….then go there. Then decide to let go of all opposition and resistance towards this act of creation.
  4. Intend, that whatever you create now, works towards the highest good for all beings. Make a decision that you wish to create an event that is on the “optimal timeline” for all. Commit yourself to this, decide to work for the highest good of all beings.
  5. Visualize what you wish to create. Start with something small and concrete. For example: you might wish to create a visit from a long-lost friend, or a gathering of friends. This needs to be done without specifying a particular individual: you cannot cross free will of other Creators. So, make sure your Creation leaves enough space so that whoever is willing to answer your call for contact will answer it by choice. In particular, describe how the visit would feel: what good and pleasant qualities it would have. While doing this, if you recognize thoughts that are objections to whatever you wish to create, these objections are real obstacles. If you say within yourself “but this is not possible because this, that and those factors…” then likely the creation will fail. You are contradicting yourself while you create, your own “left hand” thinking destroys whatever you are building with the “right hand”. So, either find an outcome that you are able to agree upon within yourself, or apply any means you can to remove the contradictions from your mind before proceeding. Also phrasing your wish in negation, such as “there will be no quarrel” is an obstacle, because you are imagining a quarrel while visualizing the outcome. You might then get a quarrel – the “no” word does not make a difference. Instead, you might wish to imagine a harmonious, pleasant, lively, enriching and fulfilling meeting of friends, one that is joyous and will leave everyone uplifted spiritually and in a state of thorough emotional satisfaction.
  6. Intend, that THIS is what I wish to create, while holding the coherent vision in your mind. Make a point, for example stomp your foot on the ground to stress that this is it. I decide this. Remember, do not harm other beings. Asking for good things for yourself is perfectly fine. Asking for something that is good for you and for others, is the best choice. Asking for something that is good for others but forgets your own needs, is a recipe of slower or faster self-destruction. It cannot be on the optimal timeline. If you have trouble asking for good things for yourself, there is a reason. Work on finding and resolving it, healing it, letting go of it.
  7. Let go of your creation. Release it – do not hold onto it with your ordinary mind. It is no longer your job. Trying to control it will not help, it will prevent the vision from materializing. Trust the universe now, or trust the vast completeness of your Self that is much bigger than you realize. Trust your own intuition and the course of events that will proceed. You may at different points feel a natural, intuitive pull to act a certain way in a situation that will contribute to the materializing of your creation. Listen to these inner guidances and outer synchronities. Listen to the events in your life and gently let them float you beyond corners that you did not know of, did not see, towards the outcome you visualized. You have now prepared your own mind, its conscious and unconscious parts, towards the route that is likely to materialize whatever you wished. You have now used all your own gifts and talents and all the available help for this outcome. Whether it materializes as you wished or not, pay attention. Learn. Repeat to learn more about how your own mind works to create the life around you.
  8. Thank all the help you received, and will receive. Thank the universe as well. Feel the unbounded Love of the Universe while it will help you, as it has your back in whatever you do. You are not creating alone, you are creating with the whole universe. The more your creation is for the good for all beings, the stronger it will be aligned with wishes of others, and therefore backed by the universe. But even wishes for our own individual good are backed by the universe.
  9. Observe and pay attention to events as they unfold. Learn. As life unfolds, pay every now and then attention to what you asked for and what is happening now. Did you get some of the things you asked? Did you overlook something important, while “making the order”? What was missing, and how to improve on the visualization? How to visualize something that you want and that is good for you?

On the usefulness of prior inner work

Personally, I have done 10 years of active, conscious internal work to clarify my inner world, to become conscious of my emotions, internal habits, programs learned and inherited, or those carried from previous lives. I have healed wounds, deleted old programs, and released stuck emotions. I have made space within. I have contacted my inner self, acquainted with the light within. I’ve began receiving help from sources that I do not know with ordinary mind. I have resolved internal conflicts and integrated my being gradually to gain a more stable view of what my own will is.

In my case, I consider this inner work completely essential step before creating with full power. Consider, for a second, what happens if one has internal conflicts: One day I am in one state, with a particular personality, emotional dynamics, wants and wishes. And I create life events starting from those. The next day, my state is different, my personality, needs, wishes and so on are slightly or even radically different. And then I create life events from those wants. These things materialize in the real world, but they are in conflict – they take me to different directions. Let us say in one state I invited in my life a companion that suits that half of me. And the next day, I absolutely do not want a companion at all.  Even if a companion materializes, the inner conflict will alternately pull him in or push him away, Now this is an example from my life – it is not fun for either party.

Figuring out the internal conflicts and resolving them is essential if one wishes to have a harmonious experience in this world. The end result might be a compromise, a middle way, or a combination that satisfies part of the time the needs of one party and the next day, the needs of the other.  This is no different than resolving conflicts in the outer world: First you need to hear and understand the needs of all parties. Then figure out if all of these needs are true, necessary, or are they pains of old wounds that could also be healed to gain more freedom in the negotiations. Or re they aperhaps stuck programs, habits of the mind that do not reflect the real wishes of either party, and which would be best to let go.  Finally, a solution that is at least acceptable to all parties may be found.  If one of the parties is not heard properly, to the core self, an imbalanced solution may be created. Due to suppressing part of the Self, over time it will lead to increasing unhappiness. An illness or some form, or an eruption of the suppressed energy is a likely outcome in such a case. So, pay attention to the totality of who you are, when choosing what to create.  And if you get it wrong, focus on step nine, learn, and create a better outcome next time!

As an example, consider the needs for both being without a companion and having a certain type of companion. What type of creative intention could be the middle ground, where both needs become satisfied? At first it looks impossible. But in fact, the solution is this: having a relationship contains frequent “alone time”. If there is co-habitation, it must be only part-time. This could materialize as living in different apartments, cities, even countries. The reality always finds a solution – when doing a creation, one does not worry about HOW the solution will be found. Just describing the essentials, all the combined needs of all parties, in sufficient detail is fine. Let the universe figure out the rest.

Words of caution

If you make a powerful wish that stems from a wounded state within you, it still has every chance of materializing. For example, if you are in a state of martyrdom, and create something from that state, you may create life events where you end up acting as a martyr. This might entail very difficult and taxing life circumstances for yourself. Nevertheless, these may serve your highest good, as living through what you just created will make you notice that you create from a wounded state, not from a healed state.  For these reasons, it may be wise to start consciously creating quite small and concrete things. With practice, you will get good at creating things you like. Then it is a great idea to step up the game and extend to creating bigger outcomes.

Secondly, every powerful creation starts a process. Specifically, it is a process of transformation that takes you towards the materialization of whatever you created. If this requires a cleansing process or inner work on your part, then that is what will start to happen.  By creating the end result, you also do create the causes for the materialization of the end result.  So be careful what you ask for, as you might get it – and whatever is necessary to cause it!  A famous example was a man who wished to have patience. As the answer, “god” sent him some pretty taxing circumstances where he did start to learn patience.   In this case, the god is within – we are the creators, in collaboration with the whole universe. Just be careful out there, and in there, as you are truly responsible for whatever you create!

On Healing And Consciousness

What is Energy Healing?

Joining now? Please read the starting post first. It will tell you why I have started this blog and what is the objective eventually. We are not there yet, though. This is a time of introducing terms and concepts by using them, so that we start to slowly understand what each other means by a particular term. It takes time to understand each other’s language. Especially since there has been reasonably little open discussion about energy healing even among the various traditions that do some kind of energy work.

I use energy healing loosely to describe any kind of work with energies, with the individual energy field or with the collective energy field, in a healing manner.

By healing I refer to a change towards wholeness, connectedness and aligned. To be healed is to be whole, connected, and appropriately aligned. Wholeness refers to wholeness on the soul level, i.e. that there are no misplaced soul pieces, either extra pieces taken from another, or missing pieces that need to be retrieved. In addition, it refers to wholeness on the various levels of the emotional body: that its layers are healthy, strong, have no holes, and are not porous. There may yet be other aspects of wholeness that are not included in this description, and yet need to be described.

Being connected refers to having exactly the appropriate kinds of connections between different parts of the human energy field as a whole. This includes connections within oneself, as well as connectivity with other people (and the ability to make healthy connections and stay away from unhealthy ones). It also includes being appropriately connected to universal sources of energy from below and from above. Being aligned is a condition I feel belongs to the definition of being healed. However, at this point I am not yet ready to describe what I mean by it.

Discussing energy healing without talking about consciousness seems incomplete. While ‘energy healing’ is a way of describing certain phenomena in terms of so-called energy, another approach to these phenomena may open up from the direction and using the concepts related to consciousness.

Individual consciousness

Conscious, sentient beings are able to observe their surroundings. The same faculties of observation can, with practice, be turned towards observing the mind itself. While we easily learn to observe outside events during our life, starting to observe one’s own mind requires particular effort. What happens ‘out there’ has a strong pull,  a power to grab our attention. What happens within may remain unnoticed – at least until a life situation arises that is difficult enough, or restricting enough, that the old forms of working with the world do not seem to suffice. The gaze is then finally shifted inwards.

Practicing concentration through observation of the mind

Just as with learning any other skill, observing one’s own mind is a skill that can be learned by anyone who is motivated enough to put in the time and effort to do so. Our capacity of making distinctions within the internal observation space grows only with practice – there are no shortcuts. Just like there are no shortcuts in learning to skate, or in learning to drive a car: inevitably one must practice a lot to learn the new skills required.

At first, we may need to limit the amount of outside stimulation, to be able to observe what goes on within. Observing what goes on within may be so uncomfortable that we avoid it at all cost. Restlesness, anxiety, and slumber are possible ways of avoiding the inner experience. Over time and after repeated practice, however, the internal gazing becomes more habitual.

For some, before practicing meditation, one must learn to relax first the body and then the mind thoroughly.  Dealing with emotional obstacles that hinder full relaxation might be required. Next, one may practice observing the thoughts as they arise and then subside, trying not to get caught in the thoughts. This meditation technique is taught in one form or another in many different teaching traditions. In the buddhist tradition it is called Shamata or Shine meditation.

Once one has practiced enough of observing the thougts, another level of the practice is to start noticing also the more subtle emotions, or bodily sensations, as they arise and subside. In some training traditions there are explicit practices for observing  these, for example as a ‘body scanning’ practice, where one observes each body part at a time.

Over time, these skill honed through repeated practice, wtill start ransfering to everyday life situations. Practicing the stance of the observer of emotions as they arise, eventually when anger is triggered in a real situation, instead of reacting in anger, one may just pause there and observe the anger.  Just observing the arising of the emotion, and how it feels and so on. The observation itself gives space and freedom and time to choose with more wisdom, how one will eventually act. Perhaps an appropriate action is then found, rather than just ‘blowing up’.

In this way, simply learning to observe the mind often leads to increased emotional wellbeing and happiness. The ability to observe a thought or emotion instead of being engaged or engrossed in it, begins to open the possibility to act wisely even when strong emotions are present. The practice opens up a kind of breathing space between emotion and action. In this way, meditation practice can over time lead to a more peaceful, wiser and happier existence for ourselves and for those close to us.

Working with difficult emotions by using antidotes

Once we are able to observe the emotions as they arise, and to recognize them within us, to name them, it is possible to take further steps. We may call in ‘antidotes’ to the more poisonous emotions. These antidotes include for example love and compassion. If we have ever experienced love from another, or experienced compassion when we were suffering, we may be able to recall that emotion at will. By naming the antidote, recalling it from memory, we may ourselves learn to also practice being in a compassionate state. Just as one can practice becoming angry and over time, become angry even more easily, one may also practice the antidotes. One can think of this practice as learning the movement of how to reach to the correct drawer in a cupboard. At first we may not know the way, but the more we practice, the more straightforward the movement becomes. Or think of learning to pitch the ball in tennis. A very specific movement, which over practice becomes fast and reliable.  Similarly, one can over time become fast and reliable in reaching a state of compassion, of love, of forgiveness and so on.

It is important to notice, that doing this on the level of the mind, as a thinking process, is not enough. It is not enough in the same way as thinking about pitching a ball is not the same as actually pitching the ball. So we need to actually work on the level of our own emotions. Not someone else’s emotions, not on analyzing mentally or intellectually emotions, but on actually feeling the emotions. Then, learning to name the feeling. This can be a very difficult job when you have learned to use your mind as a purely intellectual, analytic tool. The world of emotions may at first feel chaotic, even. Something to be avoided. But as with everything, over time and practice the chaos will start becoming clearer.

Depending on our life histories, we may have practiced certain emotions a lot. Perhaps getting angry was the thing to do, how to solve any difficult problem when we were kids. Or perhaps it was becoming overly joyous and pretending any difficulties did not exist. As if not admitting that there is anything wrong would make wrongness go away. Whatever emotional strategies we practiced in our earlier lives, we are now very good at. The positive thing, though, is that starting to practice healthy strategies now, we can actually change the ways we have always reacted. As a result, our lives will be profoundly changed as well. Perhaps even our identity, how we see ourselves to be, starts to change.

Working with antidotes, I have found that the practice that transforms my emotional dynamics in a profound way is this: when I am able to stop in the moment and observe the emotion as it arises, I recall the appropriate antidote. At first this is practiced in ‘laboratory setting’, that is, by recalling a past situation where a difficult emotion arose, and working with the antidote in regard to that memory and similar ones. At a later stage, the practice can be transferred to real world situations. Getting this far requires quite steady and observant mind, the ability to stand back and observe instead of engaging. Which antidotes to use in which states of mind is a matter where instruction from experienced practitioners and teachers is valuable. Not everything has to be discovered by oneself – there are general ways in which all minds work, the knowledge of which can be utilized to help further generations of practitioners.

Where are these antidotes taught?

At first it may be necessary that a particular antidote drawer is opened with a teacher who knows the right drawer and the required movements. This happens in much the same way that a parent may guide the baby’s hand to reach the correct movement path so that the spoon actually reaches the mouth for the first times. After a time, the baby can continue practicing and do this unassisted with more and more fluency of action. The same principle applies when reaching for the antidotes regarding dealing with our difficult emotions: self-learning is indeed possible, but the speed of learning can be greatly increased with a good teacher and a good source of knowledge regarding the particular antidotes.

So far, I have found only two sources that teach the use of antidotes: Tara Rokpa Therapy which applies Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques as part of the therapeutic process, and Ho’oponopono, which applies four basic antidotes for any difficult situation,  not making distinction which one of them is needed at a particular time. In addition, in healing traditions, the concept of applying antidotes on an energetic level is known, for example in the Barbara Ann Brennan School of Healing. The concept of an antidote or an energy medicine is found also in Homeopathy.

Often advanced teachings are protected in order not to be diluted or transmitted in a partial or corrupted form. There might indeed be many other spiritual or healing traditions that also use these kinds of antidotes for working with difficult emotions, but if their practices are reserved only for those who advance far enough in their studies, I would not know about them.

I have so far talked mostly about relative antidotes, that is, using an antidote that is based on one’s own human existence. With help from outside, it is possible to learn to use purer and purer antidotes. What is needed is that someone can create or recall the antidote emotion in a strong, clear and powerful manner, and to share that state of being with us, in a way that we feel it as well. Then we may have that experience, even if we did not in our earlier lives. And afterwords, we have the experience in our cupboard, to be used when needed. In some traditions there is a reference to so-called absolute antidotes. These include absolute love, absolute compassion, absolute forgiveness, absolute grace and so on. For example, the way that very profound spiritual experiences actually transforms people’s lives, is in my view due to the person momentarily experiencing an absolute antidote. Once that antidote is experienced, it is in one’s cupboard and can forever be accessed. One single experience may transform the life forever.  This is also the reason, in my view, why such experiences are rarely repeated. There is no dire need of repetition, one initial experience of a pure antidote, combined with own practice on how to retrieve that antidote to use it in real-world situations, is enough to change lives for good.

The difference between relative and pure antidotes is similar to the difference between a certain pitch played by a gitar, or sung by a human, and the absolute frequency as a pure sine form, which can be mathematically produced. The absolute frequency exists, but in the physical world it is always either combined with overtones (as in the case of humans or instruments) or combined with various kinds of noise that arises in all physical systems. We may have an idea of the absolute frequency, and we may get closer to reproducing it, but even in its purest case, its actuality in the physical world is always relative.

 

Shared consciousness

Is conscious experience always individual? Or can there be an instant or a even a prolonged period of shared consciousness? 

It has been customary to think that consciousness and mind are individual phenomena, restricted to an individual’s mind. However, not all of our customary ways of thinking about the mind are correct. While we may not yet have a sufficient theoretical explanation that could account for ‘the substance’ of shared consciousness, we should nevertheless be open to the possibility of its existence, and to pay attention to experiential observations rather than restrict ourselves due to a lack of a unified theory.

Is consciousness limited to a single physical body, as if an aspect of the body? Or can it be rather more like a field extending somewhat outside the body? 

Many of us are accustomed to thinking that our existence is limited to our own body, as if we inhabited our body only, or as if we in fact were our body. However, this might actually just be a very entrenched thinking habit, involving specific beliefs about the body, the mind and the consciousness. Whether or not these are a particularly appropriate or fruitful ways to think about our consciousness remains an open question.

Keen observers have started noticing that there are concepts such as ‘the atmosphere’ of a space that seems to persist, regardless of individuals occupying that space.  Moreover, even sociologists have noticed that emotions can be transferred among individuals who are in contact. It is not currently understood properly how these phenomena should be explained, but again, the lack of theoretical explanation should not be a reason to restrict making observations. Let us observe, and let us later attempt to form the appropriate theory to explain the observations.

Can consciousness have a reach that is regardless of physical location, but rather more related to for example intentional state and the attention of the individual?

Nowadays, there appear to be a large number of people who have internal observations that do not correspond with the habitual ways of thinking about consciousness. Moments of apparent telepathy, having premonitions of people arriving soon, experiencing visitations from people that have passed away, experiencing angels, nature spirits, or star people or ETs are examples of consciousness phenomena that are within the range of experience for a large proportion of people regardless of nationality, religion and so on.  Experiences of energy healing or even distant healing or distant seeing are further phenomena experienced by many. Furthermore, there are people who experience collectively synchronized events or emotional or other consciousness processes, whose origins seem to be totally unrelated to their own lives, yet synchronized with those of many other people.

What is the ontological nature of each of these experiences is a separate question, which does not need to be the first question to be figured out. A proper theory of consciousness should try to give a reasonable account of all of these, in addition to the ‘ordinary’ conscious phenomena that are shared by all. Cataloguing the various kinds of non-ordinary experiences that seem to take a place is a start, a pre-requisite for building a theory. The next step would be to collect data about the prevalence of each type of experience, as well as  about the conditions in which they are experienced. Finally, theory formation might begin. Of course, some of this type of research has already begun.

What are the immediate obstacles in this kind of research? First of all, for some, these experiences might be very subtle. Observations of the so-called external world are loud, strong and solid. Internal observations are in general rather of a different kind. To begin with emotions, it is not that simple to observe one’s own emotional state. What is the current emotion or mood, exactly? Noticing that there even is an emotional state or mood takes a lot of practice.

If making proper observations requires practice, then who are the people who can be included in this type of study of conscious phenomena? Do people need to be categorized based on their skill level? How to measure such consciousness skills? How to create standardized ways of training a group of individuals in sufficient internal skills to be able to do large-scale empirical research on these phenomena?

Developing ways to discuss various phenomena of conscious experience in all their varieties is essential if we wish to increase our general understanding of human consciousness. Open discussion might shed light also on phenomena that appear to signify the existence of a form of shared consciousness which can extend between two or more individuals. Even later, perhaps it becomes possible to posit a theory that attempts to describe not only the phenomena relating to an individual’s consciousness but at the same time offers an elegant explanation of the shared consciousness phenomena as well.

Final note of my own experience on energy healing and shared consciousness

In my experience, developing the ability to heal energetically appears to be closely related to developing my ability to  observe and work with the mind. The more ability I have regarding consciousness, the better and stronger are my healing abilities becoming as well. I do not yet have a full theory of how this works, but this is how it feels like: When I learn to observe an emotional block within my own mind, then learn how to release it, then I learn which antidote to apply to it within myself.  Then, either through compassion practice or strong natural tendency for compassion, I observe an emotional block in another, then starting from the wish to help another being I am able to guide their consciousness and together with their consciousness we work to open the block and apply the antidote. For me, most of this happens very intuitively. The other person not only obtains a release of the block,  a fine result in itself. At the same time, they sometimes report learning experientially matters regarding their own consciousness. The experience often leads to concrete changes in relation to one’s own life.

For me, these two ways of describing the mind , either through energy healing, or through working with one’s own consciousness, are closely related although the conceptualizations differ. Others might have different views and experiences. For me, shared consciousness and the ability to touch another person’s consciousness is very natural. Distance is not an obstacle. Consciousness reaches its destination as quickly as a thought does, as long as the intention has a specific destination. The ability to recognize, however, when my consciousness is where, and to intentionally direct it in useful and healing ways, is something that has taken a lot of practice of awareness and other types of systematic learning.

Do you wish to share an experience?

Do you have an experience of shared consciousness, or some other phenomenon mentioned above?  Please write a comment below.

Learning to Be in the Now

Power of observation

Cool that you are reading this. I do not yet know who I am writing to. I am just writing the words that are given, as they flow through me. I am not planning this post. I do not know where it will go. I am curious to find out, though. Being present in exactly Now, with no plans, is actually pretty strange. I did not understand what that means at all, just a short while back. It sounded like a lot of theoretical thinking to me.

Now there is a pause in writing…I am kind of waiting….waiting to hear where the flow will take me next. I have an urge to try to plan this. My mind tries to take control. Oh, it knows so well to do that. To plan, to control, to manage, and to make everything look good. Respectable. In order. Of good quality. It is much easier to be in control and to plan ahead, than not be in control. Not know where the hell everything will go. Where will I go? What will I become? Is there any contribution to whatever I produce right now? I don’t know.

A pause, again. Again my mind tries to step in charge. It thinks it is getting the hang of the situation now, and seeing, wants to at least now jump in the head of the wagon. To actually make something out of this. Something respectable. Something worth while. Something, going somewhere. And again, I let go. It is an incessant practice. I get to practice this every day. The controlling part is so well practiced already. Knows its ways. Can manage, has proven efficient. Why then let go? A pause. Do I even know why to let go? A momentary fear: perhaps I don’t know. Why then am I writing this? The mind invents endless questions, worries, troubles, obstacles, and reasons Not To Let Go.

But I, the “big I”, persists. I let go again and again. It feels like the “Big I” is this loving and safe embrace, and the “I” that wants to be in control, is about a 3-year-old kid, who struggles to do stuff her way. Has a strong will too! Who am I really, in the middle of these two? I am both. My consciousness, my multidimensional mind, contains both of these states. Or these processes, as they are not just states. They are states, but yet they also contain dynamics, like processes or computer programs that can be activated precisely in that state. A particular program may be triggered in one of the states but not, perhaps, in another state.

Stuck again. A pause, and I am not sure where this will go. Usually, I would not write about the pauses. This time though, it is the process itself that I am writing about. Or this is how I interpret it now, after the fact.

The analytic mind

Our minds love to interpret what we experience. We invent a story of our life. We describe experiences in a certain way. These are all after the fact. When we experience in the Now, the experience is huge. In so many different ways, it is undescribable. Later, we remember some aspects of it, and build a story line, involving categorized events and event sequences. That is the sequential, analytic, logical mind.  In the now, there is the parallel, multidimensional mind.

Categories. Would we not be better off without them altogether? Categorizing people as black or white, or political views as right-wing/republican/conservative as opposed to left-wing/democrat/liberal does not do justice to the reality. Yet we create these categories. Then we make inferences and predictions based on these categorizations. The more a particular instance differs from the category prototype, the more likely the inferences will go haywire. But this is the way our mind works: it does an imperfect job of describing a very complex experience in just a few categories, and then forgets most of everything else it perceived. Most of the stuff we perceive, we never even become conscious of. We concentrate on the categories as if that in itself was our perception. It is not. We even fight over categories. We fight over where the category borders are. How to name them. How to describe what they are about. We write our laws referring to these categories. Such as ‘citizen’ and ‘immigrant’, and what are the criteria of belonging into one or the other.

A pause, again. It is frustrating – I still don’t know where this will go. I deliberately refuse to plan, to even guess. I am pretty confident, that if I try to plan this, it will not be as fresh as if I just stay in the present.

When we think in the logical, analytic, categorical mind, our mind works in the space of existing programs. The paths well trodden. Being there, we will create whatever has been seen before. We will create a repetition of what we have already observed. Perhaps it will be a somewhat novel combination of old stuff. But mostly, it will be an average of old experiences. That is the most likely outcome, when working in the analytic mind. It will find a ‘solution’ based on past experiences. But what if we wish to find something new? To take a road not yet taken? To invent something totally outside the box? Outside of all boxes that we ever saw? What good is it to take old paths, if you wish to find a new continent? Finding your way out of the categorical mind is the first, essential step of creating something. Letting go of control, of planning, of guessing the end result.

Yet, the need to be in control is strong. I’ve always been in control. I’ve controlled emotions, their expression, what I say so I don’t hurt, bother or alienate others. Controlled destiny, controlled in relationships, controlled others around me. It is very easy to be in control. And one can get very good at it too. Letting go is much more difficult. It is scary too. Where is there safety, if one is not in control? Isn’t being in control the ultimate and absolutely necessary part of being safe? For a while, it was. But then, kids happened. Kids are beyond expectations, beyond anything that can be controlled. Birth, giving birth, is outside of any kind of control. Actually, trying to be in control makes giving birth that much more difficult, painful, and longer-lasting. Being in control, and being in your own power are two very different things. Control is like the weak human behind a 6-pack of horses, somehow trying to hold their reins. Being in your own power, is being the horse. Being able to run yourself. Having all that power within you.

Rational or worth while?

I keep asking: is this text rational? My internal I answers, “No”. Well, is it worth anything? The answer is “Yes”. Being rational is about does it make sense analytically, is it well structured, organized, planned, in control, going somewhere. Worth something, is a question that relates to an outcome, a change, perhaps even existing in a state that is perceived as “good”, or “valuable”. Can we get to a better state? Perhaps. Some might. Then it is worth it to write this. Is it good for everyone reading it? No, not that. Being good to everyone is not really possible. You bow at some people, and show your butt at others (a Finnish saying). Try not to please, it will get nowhere. Is it worth while to me, to write this? Yes. I become more aware of myself, of processes within me, while writing this. Awareness is always good, and increasing awareness is worth while, always.

We are near the end, my internal observer tells me now. Great. I was getting tired. Were you? I still don’t know what the value of this text might be. Perhaps I might find out, later. And then, I might not. I take my chances. I decide to trust the internal flow that took me here. The internal observer who, when I turn to that part of myself, says that everything is good and OK and worth while exactly like this. And who loves me, just the way I am. In the middle of things, not understanding everything. Not knowing next steps. Not always making the right choices. That is OK, all of it is. We get to be here, and learn. That is great. That is amazing, actually. We don’t need to be ready now, or ready ever. We get to be not-ready, and still OK. Not-ready, and still get to do things. Try out, how does it feel if I do this? Oops, broke everything. Interesting. Now I know 🙂  There are words for this, I now recognize. Self-acceptance. Even self-love. Yeah, good words, for describing this experience. There was a time when I did not know what it is like to feel this. I am grateful and happy that I get to experience this now. Not having it different, would I now recognize that there is a difference? Of course not. I needed to experience lack of self-love and lack of self-acceptance, to know what self-love means. If there is just one kind of experience, with no differentiation, is it really an experience? We need to experience both ends, light and dark, to even recognize light. Thanks for the dark, now it is time for some light!

P.S.

Before I have the courage to post this, I am scared. I am scared, that despite all the flow moments, and the guidance, it will go awry in some way. I check again from my greater I: Is this OK? Am I OK as this, also? Yes. I am still OK just as I Am. No need to be anything, anything “more”, anything fancier, anything more ready. I am this just in this moment. That is enough. I am safe, and loved, and perfectly fine. And so are you!

Trump as a mirror

Currently we are watching Donald Trump as he prepares to be a president. We look at him, his actions and his demeanor. We see how he treats people who oppose him. We watch how he is with his emotions. It appears that he is simply reacting and expressing them, with no apparent attempt at hiding or controlling them. For some people, the lack of hiding emotions is a form of honesty. There is very little apparent mask: all is visible as it is, even the basest aspects of human mind. For others, however, watching Trump causes a lot of cringing. Many feel appalled, outraged, and distraught. And judge him.

How does judgement feel? Is it a happy state? Does it bring joy to one’s day? Is it a fruitful state for working? Does that state of mind bring happiness with loved ones? Of course not. It is mostly a state of  suffering. There might be some enjoyment, though: judgement may also imply a feeling of superiority. Superiority, then, is a form of gratification of the Self: I am better than that person. And that can feel pretty good. Who would not like to be better than the next person? Even more fun if that someone is immensely successful. Hey, I am a better person than the president-elect of USA. That makes me pretty good, right? And it feels great to be a good person compared to someone in power.

But at the end of the day, the gratification is short-lived. Just when we are feeling good, someone blunders in the traffic and we get angry, and retort something stupid. And then we feel as a lousy person. It is a form of suffering to be thrown about in these states of mind. So, is there any alternative? Surely one cannot just be happy when mean things, or disrespectful things are said by a person in power. We would like to be able to respect our leaders. To look up to them. To see our best qualities in them. If we have a leader who is near-perfect, then surely we are pretty close to perfect as well?

But instead, the mirror that now faces us is far from perfect. Yes, a mirror. The president-elect mirrors us our own qualities.  At first we may be appalled that he even reveals his emotions, by acting them out. Aren’t you supposed to hide them? Mostly, however, we are reacting to the emotions and actions themselves. We cannot really stand looking at all that ugliness. It triggers so much emotion in us, and we don’t want to get those emotions triggered.

Strong reactions, such as anger, being appalled, or disgust, are a sign, a red flag to pay attention to. At first it appears that we are reacting to something that exist outside, in the world. However, most of our emotional responses are re-enactment of something old. It is as if a program starts.

We are generally unaware of these programs within us. They only become apparent when they repeatedly appear in our life in ways that create unhappiness. So, with every emotional reaction we need to ask: Did my emotional reaction lead me to a better place? Was I able to live a fuller, happier, more fruitful life because of it? If the answer is YES, the emotion was appropriate to the situation. But if it was NO, then it is an old program, not an situation-appropriate response, and we would be better off without it. The mirror of life shows us the programs of our own mind. The mirror is there, but do we have the skill and presence of mind to observe it?

What good is a mirror if we cannot change the reality that it reflects?

Fortunately, when we bring our hidden qualities to consciousness, already this act diminishes their power. Often these qualities are something we consider as negative traits – which is exactly the reason that we hid them in the first place. They were hidden, but life has a tendency to bring everything hidden to the surface. The hidden in us wishes to be revealed. It guides us to circumstances where we will experience a mirror that reflects us back to ourselves. Sometimes the mirror needs to be an exaggerating one – otherwise the small details would not be seen. Trump is that kind of a mirror. He exaggerates some of our worse qualities, so that by reacting to them, we may become more conscious of ourselves.

How can this moment be turned into one that makes a difference? We cannot really change anyone else but ourselves. Everybody is at the same predicament. We would like to change Trump, or our boss, or our spouse. But in the end we have only power to change ourselves.

Working with judgement

Self-forgiveness
Self-Forgiveness (unnamed painting by Anna-Mari Valopaasi, 2017)

Judging someone is a form of saying that they are not good enough. Not worthy, not worthy of respect, not worthy of love. Or that they should be punished for whatever the error, imperfection or evil was that they did. Retribution may be demanded. Grace is not allowed. It is a form of inner tension. Judgement creates tension also in relationships. It is not conducive to love. How to let go of it? How to release that inner tension that causes the judgement program to run, over and over again?

Recognizing the Judge within

Judge is one who does not forgive. It points at the person who is in error, who has wronged, or made a mistake, and judge. They stand on a high horse. Visualize the Judge, and see that this Judge is actually part of you, an inner state in you that every now and then surfaces to react to things within and to things outside of you. It is ok to have a Judge within you -many of us do. But it is not a happy life, living with a Judge inside. Not happy for oneself, and not happy for those around who from time to time get to experience the Judge. Perhaps one’s marriage or work relationship or friendship would be happier if that Judge were less prominent.

For those who wish to work to diminish the power and frequency of the Judge appearing, here is a practice that I offer. It has worked wonders for me.

The release

First, let your body relax.

Create a safe space for working with your mind, with whatever are your own means of creating safety. For some, it is a prayer to some divinity, to the Unity, to Universal Love, Oneness etc, depending on your own path. I usually request that whatever happens is for my highest good, and for the highest good of all beings. This can be considered as a request that I make to my own multidimensional mind, the totality of it. In addition, I ask for all help, and allow all help that is for my highest good.

Then, let the mind relax, and be in a state of open awareness. Sink deeper into relaxation. Lying down at this stage may be a good idea.

Next, bring the Judge to the focus of consciousness. Ask gently that the Judge within comes forward. Bring also the issue being addressed. Be as specific as you can. List in your mind everything that you remember being judgemental about.

State to yourself: I forgive myself for everything that relates to this, including all its roots.  Then actually forgive yourself that act. Whether or not you have done the act, does not matter at all. Just forgive it anyway, as if it were in you. Try to imagine it in you, pinpoint it in you. Try also to make the forgiveness as real as possible. Forgiving is an act, not a thought.

Once you have forgiven yourself, forgive everybody else for the same thing.  Think of concrete people who you forgive, first. Next, extend it to everyone in general.

Finally, ask for Grace, and accept it, receive it.  Grace is there for the asking, and comes to all those who ask.

Thank yourself and any help that you received during this practice.

Unless you are a very forgiving person already, starting to forgive, even in your mind, is not very easy. It may be a good idea to start with an easy topic, a minor issue. Over time you may wish to apply this to more severe infringements. You may want to start paying attention to moments of being judgemental in everyday life. Was it the leadership of the country, the actions of the press, or perhaps the school system that triggered your judgement? Forgive that. Always forgive it first in yourself. You cannot forgive another person unless you forgive it first in yourself. Once it becomes a habit, you can practice this everywhere. Just the forgiveness part is good in itself.

Practice means that you get better over time, when you practice. You extend the muscles of your mind. This kind of results may then ensue: The actions that before triggered your judgement, do not trigger it any more. You can still see that they may be actions you do not choose nor work actively for. Or actions that you will oppose, with force if need be. But your anxiety related to them will reduce. Your life starts to get a little better. A little brighter, and more relaxed and happy.

Questions for pondering

Can you find judgement within yourself? How does it show in your life? What does it cause, or has caused in your life? How did you act in judgement of someone? What came out of it? Did it bring happiness?

Background

The basic notion of working with your emotions, and the importance of complete relaxation I have learned from Tara Rokpa Therapy and Tibetan Buddhist mind training practices. However, since I have only some basic understanding, I’m not qualified to teach their methods.

Forgiveness is one of the antidotes in the Ho’oponopono method of practicing with your mind – that is where I picked it up. I have not come by a good written sources, so I learned it from some videos, and then modified according to my own experiences. In addition to forgiveness, Ho’oponopono contains three other antidotes, namely love, compassion and thankfulness, which I have found useful when working with other emotions.

The rest of the practice I have put together over time from various sources. Creating a safe space is important for being able to relax, and to not be disturbed. Grace was something we discovered with a group of individuals, as necessary in certain situations involving judgement and bad deeds. Sometimes forgiveness just is not enough.

Lets discuss about the practice

Please write in the comment section!

Do you use this or some other related practices yourself?  What kind of results do you get? Have you observed benefit for your life, or the lives of others?

Do you perhaps teach such practices? Or do you know of research regarding such?