Freeing Your Mind – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 24, 2008

Today’s idea:

“The mark of a moderate person is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind; she has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring her way.”

Tao Te Ching, Verse 59

Most of us like to consider ourselves open-minded and fair. We like to think we look at things objectively and tolerantly. The fact is, however, that our life experiences have indoctrinated and biased our views.

Most of us are not, as Lao Tzu suggests, “free from our own ideas.”

The mention of certain words or concepts evokes waves of emotion that have little to do with the concept and a lot to do with the mental baggage we have accumulated. Worse, our views are often formed based on what other people have told us rather than what we ourselves know.

Since awareness is the doorway to understanding; let’s do a little test.

I’m going to list some words. As you read each word, take a moment to listen to your reaction. I’m not saying you should feel one way or the other about any of these words or the concepts they conjure. I’m simply suggesting you become aware of your blind spots and prejudices so that you can release them and truly deal with life in the open and honest way you want to.

Some of these words may cause little reaction within you, while others may cause a strong, visceral reaction. Becoming aware of your reactions is a very empowering way to take back control of your own thinking.

Ready? Read the words one at a time (silently if you like) and pay attention to your reaction.

  • New and Improved
  • Capitalism
  • Communism
  • Sarah Palin
  • Barack Obama
  • Democrat
  • Republican
  • Christian
  • Jew
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Immigrant
  • Labor union
  • Russia
  • Israel
  • Corporation
  • Old
  • Young
  • Fat
  • Freedom
  • Fear
  • Math
  • Wall Street
  • Science
  • Religion
  • War
  • Peace
  • Terrorism
  • Love
  • Hate
  • Rich
  • Poor
  • Environmentalism
  • Profit

The Greek sage Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The more you examine and pay attention to your auto-reaction to things the better able you are to look at each circumstance with fresh, unconditioned eyes.

The key to freeing your mind is to ask yourself why. Why does this word evoke this emotion? What information is that feeling based on? Where did I get that information? How do I know that information is accurate? It takes a lot of strength to really examine your unconscious assumptions.

You don’t have to use this list. You can make your own list of emotionally charged words and explore your feelings.

The fact is that – for better or worse – words that create unconscious reactions when they are even uttered hold the potential to be used as manipulation. An empowered thinker is able to set aside the initial reaction and explore what is being said beyond the word.

We see this all the time in political campaigns. Labels start getting tossed around. The labels are a kind of psychological warfare because the labelers know people react to those words.

You may find that this approach helps you break free from old programming and allows you to move forward in your life.

Know thyself!

Ray

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6 Steps to A More Authentic You

Today’s Affirmation:

A new day dawns…I am a new person today; a better person, a healthier person, a happier person.


lao.gifToday’s thought comes from the ancient Chinese Book of Wisdom, The Tao Te Ching (pron. Dao De Jing) “The Book of the Way”. Little is known about its author, Lao-tzu, other than he was probably an older contemporary of Confucius.


“Tao” has many possible English translations among them would be “The Way”, “Ultimate Truth”, and “That which underlies all that is.”

“Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the WHOLE WORLD belongs to you.

True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked,
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

Tao Te Ching Verses 44 & 45

The passage encourages us be authentically ourselves and truly follow the impulses of our hearts rather than the dictates of the herd. The problem is that after many years of living “by the appearances” we find ourselves unable to tell the difference.

How do you get back in touch with your authentic self? In my experience, I’ve found the following 6 steps effective.

  1. Quiet – quiet time is the first prerequisite to self-understanding. You need a space to be, to listen, and to ask. It is no accident that every spiritual traditon suggests quiet prayer or meditation.
  2. Question – once you establish a quiet space begin to question yourself. Think of yourself as a friend you are trying to help. Ask questions that prompt thought and help you assess your true needs and feelings.
  3. Listen – asking questions is not enough. You need to listen, really hear, the answers coming from within.
  4. Understand – follow up on your initial answers by probing deeper. Really seek to understand your needs and feelings.
  5. Act – when you truly understand your needs and your feelings and successfully block out the voices from the herd, you can take action. When that action is aligned with your underlying needs and feelings you are on your way to being authentically you.
  6. Allow – the passage also points out that there is wisdom in letting things happen as they do and accepting them as they are. This does not mean you give up on your dreams and goals or stop trying. The acceptance mindset is simply one that removes the pressure to be perfect.

Outside influences will always be there, but you need not sacrifice your sense of self for them. Things beyond our control are always going to happen. No amount of worry, no pill or technology science will ever invent can alter the circumstances of the human condition.

Nonetheless, being authentically yourself, accepting what is, and being at peace with all things helps you to weather life’s storms. It also helps you grow and flourish when the storm passes. You are back in the drivers seat in your life. The concern for appearances and the controls of the herd melt away. You are authentically you just as creation intended you to be all along.

Try, just today, to truly be YOU in every way and get out of the way so the universe can work its perfection.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the author of Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com – founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race. He’s life-long history buff and holds a B.S. in History Education. He’s always been fascinated by alternative views of history.

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