You turn on the daily news and hear about a violent school shooting. You ask your son how he is doing, and he says very little, quickly returning to another mindless distraction on his phone. You’re having coffee or tea with other parents and you can’t help but discuss the latest afflictions among students and young adults. You hear words like Millennials and Generation X’s and Y’s to put people into categories and rationalize behaviors. You attend a parent-teacher conference and hear about the changing patterns in the hallways and classrooms. Kids are no longer talking to each other and interacting face-to-face. They are texting each other, wandering around the halls wearing headphones that block out everything but the sound of angry music. How does this make you feel? Do you get stressed when you think these thoughts? And what about the drugs? What are we supposed to do about the drugs? What is a loving, caring parent to do about the increasing risks and uncertainties in our schools and communities? We need more protection and security, right? We need more governance and control.
My insights on these challenges may surprise you. Most “outside the box” perspectives do. That’s because they come from outside a paradigm you don’t even know you’re in. In this case, it is the ego box – a fear-based, dualistic thought system that dictates right and wrong, us and them, good and bad, and countless other dichotomies. Don’t sweat it. Every human being on this planet can relate to it. That’s why we call it human nature. We see ourselves as separate people all trying to protect ourselves. We compete and compare. We divide and conquer. We attack and defend. We win and we lose. That’s how the ego is designed to work. And we know we are attached to this thought-system, this paradigm or box, whenever we feel anxious and afraid, guilty or sad, angry or prideful. It’s just the ego doing its job. It is the ego driving our back-to-school anxiety and stress. It is the ego feeding on the daily news of one catastrophe after another. It is the ego thriving on gossip, drama, criticism and condemnation. It is the ego demanding security in a zero-sum game.
Here is the good news. We have an alternative thought-system available to us and an entirely different way to live our lives. We can transcend fear and doubt, anger and hostility, worry and stress – by transcending the thought-system that drives it. Think of this like upgrading the operating system on your computer and eliminating all the viruses that were sabotaging the old one. We can let go to let flow.
But take note. We cannot solve problems sustainably from inside the box that causes them. Managing stress from inside the operating system that causes the stress might suppress it temporarily, but it will not delete it. You can hit the gym or the yoga mat or the pub all you want but the symptoms will return. The key is to get to the root cause. This is what I believe Albert Einstein meant when he said, “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” We need to think at a radically different level. We need to transition from fear to faith, from ego to Spirit, and from grief to grace and gratitude. We cannot experience fear and true faith at the same time. It is one or the other. Period. Herein lies the peace of God. It is only when we are in-Spirit, truly inspired, that we feel fearless and free.
So, let’s try a new paradigm – an “outside the box” perspective that eliminates anxiety, fear and doubt by dismissing the root cause. Consider for a moment that you are more than a human being having temporary spiritual experiences (maybe). Consider you are a spiritual being having a temporary human experience. You existed long before you were born into your body. And you will exist long after you leave your body. Life is eternal and cyclical, not linear and finite. And consider that while you are living in your body you can dial into different energetic frequencies, just like you can a radio dial. You can tune into negative gossip, addictive drama, and fear-based thinking, or you can rise above this with faith, unconditional love, appreciation, joy, and forgiveness, despite what is going on around you. You can be the one who lights up the room, who brings inspiration and hope to the naysayers of the world. Or you can join in the doom and gloom that appeals to the ego. This choice is yours to make. This is what being in-Spirit is all about. It is about tuning into an entirely different thought-system and vibration. It is about reconnecting with who and what you truly are – your Higher Self.
Now consider that we attract energetic frequencies that match the signal we are sending. So, for example, misery loves company. Pay attention to this the next time you witness a group of people complaining about whatever. There is always something to complain about if we look for it. We find what we seek. We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. Pay attention to this. It has been happening since the beginning of humankind. Peace is not something that happens “out there” occasionally. It is a state of mind – your state of mind, ever-present and always available. Change your mind and you will change your world. Tune into peace, and peace will be given you.
Here are four steps to help you with this practice. And keep in mind, these steps are not linear with a beginning and an end. They are cyclical, one feeding off another. They are a practice, not a performance.
Step One: Let Be. Be present. Be mindful. Fear, anxiety and stress happen when we are not present. They are projections of the mind, based on negative assumptions. What will go wrong next? To live in peace, we must be present.
Step Two: Let Go. Let go of fear and doubt by letting go of the ego thought system that projects it. Let go of grief and grievances. Let go of emotional baggage weighing you down. Let go of flawed assumptions. Let go of negativity. Let go of criticism, judgement and condemnation. Let go of resistance, skepticism and defensiveness. To live in peace, you must empty yourself of fear-based thinking. To thrive, you need to take your foot off the brakes.
Step Three: Let See. Look at the bright side. It may be hidden, but it is always there. Yin and Yang are a perfect match, always in harmony and balance. When you let go of the negative thoughts, assumptions and beliefs holding you back, you will see the world anew. You will see with forgiveness, compassion and faith. You will see the perfection that surrounds you.
Step Four: Let Flow. This is what some athletes call the zone. It is a state of mind that seems timeless and highly productive. It is what many writers experience when they are most creative. It is what dancers experience when they let go to the music. It is what you can experience as a parent when you choose faith over fear.
Take a moment now to stop and examine your signal, your heart coherence. What energetic vibration are sending out? And pay attention to the honest answer – to how you are feeling right now. Your feelings and emotion mirror the signal you are sending. Use this as your guidance system to determine if you are in flow. We do indeed reap what we sow.