22.09.2013 Personal Growth

The Reality of Choice

Creating our reality means taking responsibility for all our choices, suggests David Arenson

The personal growth industry has turned into an all-pervasive industry selling hopes, dreams and unrealistic expectations. The bestselling book The Secret promised that focusing on what you want was the easiest way of getting there. It sold millions and spawned an entire movement of "manifesters" who left out the requisite steps of taking action. Massive results require massive action. Massive hopes and dreams achieve little without action.

I am curious to explore what it actually means to "create your reality". How do we even define reality? Since we are sharing reality, each of us filters so-called reality through billions of neurons and cellular responses, which can easily end up with a rather narrow view of the world. By definition, the human mind must have some focus in order not to be overwhelmed by sensory stimuli. We don't so much see reality, as experience it, feel it, and take part in it.

Focusing on a goal is naturally a good way of actually setting the whole mechanism into gear in order to get to a particular destination. So if you want to get fit, focusing on getting fit for most people will lead to actions that set this result in motion - regular exercise.

This is not really manifesting "reality". It is having a goal in mind and then taking the requisite steps involved to actually get there. Just like crossing the road requires the initial idea that you want to get to the other side, and then taking the actual steps. It is nothing new, nothing "magical" or "alchemical" or requiring some personal growth guru, or thousand dollar program. Newton laid it out some time ago - actions lead to results.

If the whole world is a manifestation of consciousness, then we are swimming in alchemical thoughts, concepts and consciousness. So more qualitative, generalised goals like happiness, can set in motion actions to help us get there. Once again, the science has shown that all the simple things that common sense informs us - good relationships, a fulfilled working life, a creative outlet, respect from others, exercise - are the best way to be happy. It hardly requires scientific studies to "prove" such things, yet we still engulf ourselves in the latest scientific theories and proofs that so often lead us to the obvious.

Do we create our reality?

Yet, the question remains do we create our reality? Whatever we have is partly a result of our actions in the past, yet where we are born and to whom has the greatest impact for most of us. The conditioning we received as a child is the most powerful force in our lives. Wealthy families usually produce offspring who are born into wealth and status already. Poor families are usually born into limited opportunities, education and perspectives.

Environmental influences dictate almost everything. Yet there are those who despite limited opportunity, defy the odds and achieve something unimaginable for their families and community. I would say the greatest way of getting something outside of the gamut of expectation in your environment, is to move. Immigrants have done amazing things in Western countries like Australia, Canada, England and the US, achieving lives that look very different from where they originated.

I can't help but think so many aspects make up who we are, whatever your beliefs, from religion to numerology, astrology, genetics and heredity, karma, to our surrounding environment - people, places, family, friends, work, laws, government, belief framework, climate, and so on. In the context of such complexity it becomes difficult to make any promises without compromising integrity. We are born and die within a complex interplaying web of circumstances, actions and reactions.

Instead of buying the latest gimmick on how to manifest success, find someone who does what it is you want, and ask them what they do - or move in with them!

Perhaps my greatest lesson is to look within for the answers I seek, to take complete responsibility for everything in my life, and stop looking for outside "miracles" for what is already accessible through my actions and behaviour. For instance, if my goal is to be more spiritual, many people (if I ask) will tell me to meditate. Some will want a short-cut, a hollow quick-fix answer or solution. Most things of value require work.

Westerners have had a tendency to "want" many comforts, seeking affirmations and luxuries outside of themselves. This seeking and idol-worshipping of shopping and that which is exterior only brings counterfeit fulfillment.

My advice is to start from the context of already being whole - and then add to it. If you are already whole, then you don't need that Gucci bag or that relationship to "fill you up". It is fine to make choices that add to your life, and bring you joy, so long as they don't define you. Intrinsic self worth is developed outside of social standing and comparison to others. It comes from the recognition that no matter what happens, you are still 100% worthy.

Contentment does not come from things, it is a state of being.

Compassion for You

I believe that all the world starts with the self, and the greatest self growth is in learning compassion for ourself.

Always ask yourself, 'What must I be believing about myself in order to feel this way?' Then empower your life, through shifting how you think and feel about yourself. Start with being authentic in how you talk to yourself and others.

How do you let go of attachments to things? Start with attachment to yourself. Attachment is released when you identify with yourself as a spiritual human being. For example, when you know yourself to be intrinsically valuable whatever you do, and whatever happens to you in life, then you have moved outside of needing affirmation, needing outside attention, needing outside "things" to "make" you feel whole. You are now operating as an authentic whole.

"As long as you have all sorts of ideas about yourself, you know yourself through the mist of these ideas; to know yourself as you are, give up all ideas. You cannot imagine the taste of pure water, you can only discover it by abandoning all flavourings." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Conscious Awareness

What would it be like to have more conscious awareness of everything happening in your life? This would allow you to make greater choices with a further (big picture) perspective.

Thinking will not bring more awareness; that comes with the ability to witness events watchfully as an observer. With such awareness you are then able to choose your experience, instead of reacting to it.

The stories you constantly and consistently tell yourself quickly become your identity. These are usually based on beliefs about your experiences and often littered with dramas. They are not reality-based. They are created stories that have been fashioned unconsciously.

You're the one who sculpts your identity, belief system and ultimately your life. You may feel the victim of your family and cultural experiences, media and government, yet you can move to more choice, merely with more awareness of what is happening.

You are the creator of your experience. Everything you see is actually revealing something about you. What you see in others is inside you. When you realise that, it will help you to see "reality". Then you'll have a true understanding. Mindfulness is paying attention without getting caught up in the "story". The goal is to create the environment for happiness to arise spontaneously without effort.

For too long the traditional channels of communication (media, marketing, politics) have made us think and feel small. This has served their motive to control us and keep us subservient. If we cannot think for ourselves, then we become easy pickings for advertising and marketing messages and, hence, compliant consumers. So long as you believe yourself small, you seek their product to improve your life.

For too long, our innate knowledge of our magnificence has been suppressed. Now we're ready to dream up a new possibility, to take the first step to achieving new expanded results. Whatever you can imagine for yourself is possible, when you take consistent action.

Open your eyes to the lessons of the cosmos, the whispers of the stars, the caress of the wind, the wisdom of the sunshine that feeds and nourishes our being. This is the infinite oneness that we are all part of. This is the larger reality in which everyone resides. When you access this consciousness, then you access your true nature.

Believe in Your Dreams

When you believe in your dreams, your sense of self immediately expands. You become bigger than when you set out.

When you take the first step in search of your dream, each step is a little miracle along the road to your dream. Strangers will support you, people you never imagined may mysteriously appear before you to help you along the way. Spirit is moved by action. Spirit will support your dream.

The grander your vision, the more action will be required and the more support from spirit will be received. When we embark on a journey to achieve our dream, we literally and metaphysically move mountains in the cosmos. Lives are changed by our dream.

The greater our vision, the more we will start believing that spirit follows our thought, that matter and spirit are one and the same. All greatness has been achieved by believing boldly, by imagining the impossible, by taking the first step and each step that followed it never losing sight of the destination. Leap into the unknown, take a journey within and open your eyes to new possibilities. There's a hero within each of us, just waiting to be heard.

How do you change your map of reality? "Steps" can seem a bit glib, yet I offer these as a summary and guide to help you along your way. As Lao Tzu taught us centuries ago, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." May you be blessed.


1. Admit there may be a problem.

Admit your map of reality and understanding of life is incomplete, and some of your beliefs may be based on limitation, and are no longer working for you.

2. Reality check

Let go of any resistance to what is. Start with a clean slate of what is real in your life. Check this by asking 'Is that true in every case?'

3. Be willing to change

Stay open minded. Be open to new information about life.

4. Let go of the past

Pull back your consciousness or energy from matters in the past and matters that no longer serve you. Forgive any past and present hurts.

5. Expand your awareness

Open your mind, heart and soul to new information and ways of being.

6. Meditate on what you want

Meditate to activate deeper awareness and develop the capacity to practise stillness.

7. Be grateful

Choose how you experience your life by paying conscious attention. Celebrate the sacredness of all things great and small.

8. Change your beliefs

Make new beliefs about yourself and the world. If you want something different, you have to believe something different. Ask, "What would I have to believe in order to get the result I want."

9. Take action

Consolidate your new beliefs by taking action. Beliefs lead to action. Action creates new roadmaps.

10. Live expansively

Choose to lead a life that represents the most magnificent vision of who you are. Choose to live an expanded life. Be the greatest possibility imaginable and always "Be the change you wish to see in the world". (Gandhi)

www. findshambhala.com

David Zenon Starlyte

David is a channel for Divine wisdom. His intuitive coaching, speaking and healing sessions invoke purposeful shifts into deeper connection, confidence, self love, abundance and happiness. An empath, David's healing is focused on bridging the gap between addressing core wounds and reaching limitless possibilities, to living an extraordinary life. David’s passion for synthesising Eastern and Western approaches to spiritual wellbeing, has seen him immersing himself in the biblical tradition as a monastic, studying Western Naturopathic Medicine and Buddhist / Taoist Healing under three living masters - Master Chen in China, Grand Master Mantak Chia (Time magazine’s top 100 most spiritually influential living people) in Thailand and Ajahn Brahm (one of the world’s foremost masters of meditation) in Australia.

For more information, he can be found at: Website: http://davidstarlyte.com, , Email: davidstarlyte@gmail.com , Facebook: http://facebook.com/iamstarlyte