Sunday, October 6, 2013
More than an acumulation of all days
I've been giving a lot of thought to all the experiments I've conducted over the years to adopt behaviors that feel natural--baselines for health, mental well being, prosperity and new experience.
When I look in the mirror at my body I review all the actions I've taken to create what I see--every step walked, every pound lifted, every boundary crossed, every bite of food ingested, every risk taken and every failure endured. What I see is a living picture of cause and effect--a physical representation of a life that is constantly transitioning and changing form.
It's very tempting to view myself in terms of how well or poorly I seem to be doing. To feel smug or unhappy because of progress or the lack of it.
My behavior isn't who I am. My behavior is something I do.
All the things I see in my life today (my friends, my cash flow, my body, my home, my job etc) are a complex printout of a web of choices I've made in my past. Even so, they aren't who I am.
Many people look at the landscape of their lives and harbor the illusion that the things they see around them and and activities they participate in represent an intrinsic state--something to hold on to and identify with. Over time people add or subtract behaviors that result in how the image of life appears. And because that, the belief that intrinsic change has taken place emerges. Changes such as becoming more prosperous, or getting fat/thin, or finding ourselves surrounded by children, or living in a foreign country start to form or shift an identity and we believe what we see around ourselves IS who we are.
Why does this matter?
If things aren't going well for you, any belief that your circumstances are a reflection of your intrinsic being will drive behaviors (in conscious and subconscious ways) to ensure you stay in the same unsatisfactory place.
The brain always drives us to behaviors consistent with our beliefs. You may do something that starts to put you in what you see as a more positive direction but you will probably write off the positive result as "luck" and go back to behaviors that support your beliefs about yourself.
Conversely, if things are going well and our outer life looks rosy we tend to congratulate ourselves on being "the kind of person" that (gets raises, stays slim, makes rain, etc) forgetting that what we do today is going to effect who that "kind of person" is months and years down the road.
Change is inevitable in circumstances, behaviors, physical form, and anything else you think you have complete control over. This is all just furniture being moved around in our world. The beliefs you have about these changes and events form their appearance in your perception.
This morning I read this short quote from Jiddu Krishnamurthy. "The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth."
I would extend this to say the same goes for fixed ideas and beliefs about who you are.
Any belief you harbor about yourself should leave you feeling free to make decisions and change behaviors to express your truest self--even if those decisions mess up the image of who you think you should be. This feeling of freedom will guide you to take actions that cause a shift in your life that will form a new external reality--one that will closely match and support your truest self.