Gratitude: Breaking Patterns and Building Heart

Many people go out and do some form of self-development. Whether mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, they address the development of their inner-selves to have a resounding growth experience and increase their skill set. Normally people will find that both during and soon after the process of their learning they feel very empowered and able to manifest beautiful creations in their life.

The greatest challenge for people who want to live happier, powerfully create and be more in control of their lives, find that soon after learning such teachings these advances are thwarted with the fog of their years of negative programming. Slowly the dust settles and they find themselves falling back into old habits. All that time and effort they gave to their learning is lost, fallen through their fingers. This growth reversal ultimately results in people becoming apathetic about taking an active role in their own life and learning. Our old, non-serving automatic processes often leave people without the will or confidence to actively create in their own lives.

Often this common pattern of negativity about the difficulty of up-keeping these newly learnt ways of being, dampens the power of their intentions and the person drifts back into their unconscious way of being. These new learnings are only recently wired in the brain and like infants needs constant tending to, with a similar love and devotion you would give to a child. Remember that quickly your new-found inspiration gets overshadowed by old life programs of negativity. Our brains are lazy and these old patterns are well carved routes the brain knows well that they can take with little effort. So it takes an active ‘extropic’ effort to redirect these patterns and strengthen them so that they are the new status quo.

By constant daily practice we slowly force a new direction to the currents of our mind. Find and set a routine to help you change to your new patterns. It is the role of our front brain to inhibit impulsivity but sometimes the pull is to great to old patterns so we can anticipate the change of our mind to set up pre-planned behaviours that will nullify our old bad behaviours. This might be things like setting an alarm to get up early to run or meditate. This might be to remove all the alcohol from your house. Whatever your new pattern is, set up routines and plans of action so your lazy brain has to expend the least amount of effort to do the new behaviour. The best scenario would be for it to expend less energy doing the new activity than the old because then you will find very little internal resistance.

I had this experience with learning the power of Thanks. So many people hear and learn the words of the power of gratitude to change their life and feel an immediate rush of inspiration and creative power. They live in gratitude and create positivity through their positivity. But this takes work and the impotence from my old patterns made it difficult to redeem the reawakening to the power of gratitude.

I tried by stopping and being grateful once or twice a day, which would give me a good feeling here or there, but that’s about it. Our life programs of negativity are deep within our minds. Therefore, I learnt how important it was to constantly practice gratitude to increase the richness of life. I set alarms, wrote notes to myself, made gratitude boards and said it out aloud with such conviction I made myself believe it. Gratitude is a muscle and I learnt I needed to work all day every day to make my heart grow. By doing this all the time it changes the automatic (and even evolutionary) programs from one of negativity to one of joy and gratitude. Life was more fun, the colours of my day were saturated, food tasted sweeter and my interactions were richer. I learnt that when you practice gratitude you don’t need to make a lot of money to be happy because you already feel like a millionaire. Contentment is a powerful emotion, because it enables you to create for the sake of having fun. It allows you to create to give rather than take for yourself.

Gratitude is a case, not of seeing is believing, but believing is seeing. By waking up to, and living constantly with gratitude, things to be grateful for will constantly flood into your life. If needs be, fake it till you make it. There is always something to be grateful for and the very act will change your physiology, your chemistry, you perspective and the shape of your daily smile.


The Stress-Free Present

Often we lose control of our thoughts like a runaway train. We simply notice something, a feeling, a thought, and within a blink of an eye that thought has built up to some moment of impending doom. The momentum is so powerful that you are left feeling so overwhelmed by the power of this thought, that all you can do is take it as truth. But something deep inside you knows that this thought isn’t real – that this thought is one of a trillion possibilities. So why do you want to give this thought any more power than it already has?

It’s time to bring this illusion of the overwhelming thought to a stop. It may not necessarily happen as a grinding halt but there are ways that you can help yourself relax into a place where you can get a handle on your thinking and ultimately your reality. First and foremost, you can relax by bringing your mind back to the present. The present is a present to you. Take a deep breath and focus on that breath. Feel the air rush in and out over your lips. Feel your belly flow with the to and fro of the moving tides of your breath. With each breath cycle in and out, count that as 1, and then do it again for a second time all the way to 10. Then repeat this cycle of 10 breaths ten times for a total of 100 breaths. We take around 30,000 breaths a day, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by this, but just do as many as you can.

It is with presence that you find your power. When you allow your mind to move out to all the infinite possibilities of things that may or may not happen, your evolutionary nature will typically focus on the negative in order to help you be able to pre-empt future threats. The problem with this is that our mind often believes that our thoughts are real. This unintentionally leaves you stressed about things that don’t actually exist like when you were a child and believed there were monsters in your cupboard. Breath is the most powerful way to create space for you to blow away the conjured illusions about the fog of the futures impending doom.

Science has begun to provide clarity to this process of thinking by exposing what are called mirror neurons. These neurons help to create the same physiological experience you may have by thinking about something as you may have if you were actually experiencing the event in real life. For example we wince when we see someone get hit in a boxing match because our mirror neurons have us partially experience what we are observing. This is what also helps us build relationships and be the social animals that we know ourselves to be.

So it is important to remember that these thoughts are not real and that you will be more powerful in your creating if you bring your mind into the present. Emotional stress often causes the creative centers, which are also known as the executive functions, of our brain to shut down. Cognitive inhibition happens so that we can allocate the most amount of mental resources to protect ourselves, which involves either fighting with, or taking flight from the danger. Neither of these reactions typically help us deal with a problem in the most desired manner when we consider our current lifestyle and stressors. Therefore we often result in less than desired creations and outcomes when dealing with stressful situations.

SO again I ask you to bring your mind to the present. Focus on your breath or the things around you that you are grateful for and this will help change the perspective of that which stresses you to that which simply is. By looking around and noticing all the great things that surround you it helps you change your focus to that which you have control over and that which you love.

Giving is the Key to getting all that you Want

It feels like at times when we think of bad things they so easily come, but when we think of good things, more good things don’t come as easily. This happens because in the Universe there is a natural law called entropy. It means that when things are left to their own accord there is a downward spiral toward chaos and disorder. It is the same way things naturally need up-keep otherwise they will deteriorate and no longer be usable. For example, a coat of paint on a house will only last so long until it begins to deteriorate and more paint will need to be applied to maintain the original coat.

In saying this we say that we see that there is the opposite side of this coin in which we can give energy to something in order to maintain it or even make it even better. This phenomenon is what is known as extropy. It is the process of giving energy to a system in order to, not only maintain homeostasis, but also to put enough new energy into the system to lift it against the natural order away from chaos and towards ever greater functionality, purposeful and organized complexity.

Giving is a powerful tool in which we can create greater extropic cycles. This is done through the process of giving, for the fact that if you choose to give in all your actions you are not only giving more energy to whatever system you are working with, you are also opening yourself up to receive. Sir Isaac Newton gave us this conclusion in his third law of motion, in which every action has an opposite and equal reaction. This means that for every time that you give you are also opening yourself to receive the same amount of new energy back to you. This energetic equation enables you to move beyond the place you were at by introducing more powerful energy patterns in the form of wiser thoughts, richer emotions and more effective actions.

When we think negative thoughts that don’t make us feel good, we are taking energy from our system and leaking it out in the form of stress. This ineffective use of our energy thereby speeds up the degradation of the system towards chaos as that is the natural cycle of the downward spiral. For example we all know that it is much easier to swim downstream, and in a moment of despair it is easy to go with flow of our natural thoughts down to disaster. However when we instead think positive thoughts that serve us in these dire situations, we are in fact putting more energy back into the system that allows us to now swim against the natural downward flow. This reversal of the natural cycle towards chaos allows us to introduce greater order, functionality and organized complexity into our lives. The perpetuation of this giving cycle and the introduction of new energy into the system opens up a space forever more increasing growth and development of ourselves and our lives. This allows for the most powerful and functional version of you to create and manifest all that you desire.

So I urge you to take on the attitude of giving. Give in everything. And know that you are worthy to receive. When you answer a question or are in a conversation make sure that you are not taking but instead give. Smile from within and make sure that your actions are helping the person rather than taking away from them. When we act from a place of giving we undoubtedly neutralize entropy and chaos and create the greatest energetic system in ourselves. This is most pronounced when we feel hesitant to do something. Of course make sure to look after yourself first but giving in all that you do always creates a space in which you welcome the energy of inspiration to create your dreams and make them all come true.



Why your Dreams Need a ‘Why’ to Come True

It can be difficult to find the joys in life. We are told all you have to do is follow your joy and life will work out. But what if you don’t know what your joy is? Well I will tell you right now what your joy is and where you can find it. Your joy is the ‘why’ you are doing something. If you thought it can be hard finding your joy, you are right! It is hard to find the joy because the ‘why’ you are doing something is not an easily definable goal but it is truly the most important thing to define. The ‘why’ provides you with motivation in achieving what you are doing. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you trying to create this dream? ‘Why’ is where the energy of your dreams reside and it is when you have truly found your reasons and embraced them that you will begin to move forward powerfully and unflinchingly towards the creation of your dream.

The ‘what’ is simply the definable goals that have definable limits and values associated with them. We have so many ‘what’s’ in our lives and spend so much time defining them. All these ‘what’s’ though are associated with the external world, all the things that we want, whereas the why is more associated with our inner world, the motivation that drives us towards realizing our dreams in our external reality. The ‘why’ even exists deep in a place in our brain that doesn’t have complete access to our conscious mind. Instead it has to be translated by the cortex, the conscious part of our brain, in order that we can verbalize and understand ourselves what our ‘why’ is. This part of our brain though is heavily connected to our emotions and reward centers which give us the power to follow our dreams. Our ‘why’ is our success fuel and without the ‘why’ we are tapping a very limited energy resource. So we have to spend extra attention and energy in defining our ‘why’, in sitting and being with ourselves. Why am I doing this? Why do I care?

The ‘why’ is then similar in nature to our values. If the ‘what’ is the goal at the end of a journey, the ‘why’ is what drives how you travel along the journey itself. Therefore, as a practice you could imagine how you want people to remember you. People don’t normally speak of the goals (the ‘what’) that we hit but instead how we went about living our life and what was driving us. These elements are key to you understanding why you do things and why you will do things. When you have worked out some of these values you will gain a greater insight into some of these deeper aspects of what is driving you.

However even still sometimes it is difficult to find our ‘why’, even with such practices because people want to know their ‘what’ first. There are many people in this world and all our unique. So for those people who want to know the ‘what’ first I would say this: Follow your joy. What do you do in your week that you look forward to? What do you dream about that you think would be the best thing ever? What thing, when you think about it, makes you feel excited and bursting with happiness? When you have worked out what that thing is, then the next step is the hard one… Take a step towards it. Sometimes that step may feel too big. Too overwhelming. Well then, take a smaller step. Work out what the step is before that step and if that is still daunting, half the step again and work out the biggest step that you are willing to take, but take that step. When you commit to your joy you are committing to your ‘why’.

The good thing about moving toward your joy is that you are never locked in to it. Just because you took a step towards something doesn’t mean that you can’t change your direction. It doesn’t mean that you can’t take a step to the left or do a complete 180 degrees. But you need somewhere to step toward. You need to create that beacon of light, something that draws you to and lights your path. The closer you get the more you feel the warmth from the light. And the more you feel the warmth, the more tactile and real your ‘why’ will become until you will be able to hold onto it and give it a name. From that point on you will be running through every obstacle with the armor of purpose and meaning. For when you have your hands firmly wrapped around these concept of purpose and meaning, when you know the reasons why you are doing something, you can wield it’s awesome power through the darkest moments and create a life worth living in every moment.