HJ: We are always tempted to rearrange those things outside of ourselves — our job, our clothes, our location and so on — in the hopes of resolving some inner dilemma or conflict. The irony is that more often than not, the solution to the problems and challenges we face is to make internal changes in our perceptions and beliefs. There are situations in which external changes are appropriate and necessary, however, ultimately internal shifts are the only ones that bring the lasting change and happiness we seek.
Alan Cohen beautifully illustrates this concept in the anecdote presented at the beginning of this article. To it, I will add this: when we make the internal shift, our externally reality will rearrange itself to reflect the new perceptions and beliefs we embody. Furthermore, almost always, this internal shift will produce the exact changes in the external reality we wished to see, but if we had gone about trying to change the external reality first without the corresponding internal shift, then we could never have created the situation on our own, as we did not have the wisdom or understanding necessary to even know exactly what it is we wanted in the first place! We may have had a general idea or even a very specific one, however, the divine nature of the universe is such that it serves us exactly what we need, even if we are not consciously aware of it. So, recognizing that and letting it bring us what we need is a superior way of approaching a situation instead of forcing our own will, oftentimes fueled by the ego (which is distorted to a certain degree) onto the situation.
Change Your Frequency
While staying at a hotel, I signed up for wireless Internet service. To my disappointment, the service kept going on and off. A call to tech support did not help much. Finally the technician concluded there must have been some interference near my room. He suggested I change rooms. So at 1 A.M. I packed my gear and trudged to another hotel room.
I logged onto the wireless service and found that the reception in this room was no better. Stymied, I scanned for other wireless services in the hotel and found there was another one available. I logged onto it and it worked perfectly. So I didn’t need to change rooms after all. I just needed to change my frequency.
Many of us are tempted to change jobs, houses, or spouses, and sometimes that works. Yet it’s not unusual that when you get to your new situation you find it to be simply a repeat of the old one. In many cases you didn’t need to change the situation. You just needed to change the point from which you were looking at it. More often we need to make a vertical move rather than a horizontal one. Instead of moving to the side, move up.
Dr. Michael Ryce offers a workshop called, “Why is this Happening to me Again?" He cites this example: “You fly away from New York to get away from a relationship that isn’t working, and the person who meets you at the airport in Los Angeles finishes the sentence that the person you left in New York started."
The world we experience is not created by people or situations. It is created by our thoughts. The most powerful place to start changing the world is in your mind. If you try to change your world without first changing your mind, the world will not change. When you change your mind, everything changes.
We are entering the holiday season, which often brings up lots of juicy material for spiritual growth. You might face family and social gatherings with people who annoy, insult, or drive you crazy. While you may attempt to avoid such situations, if you find yourself in a position where you have to attend, you can seize the moment to practice vertical rather than horizontal movement.
To illustrate: A woman called into my radio show Get Real on Hay House Radio (www.hayhouseradio.com) and reported that she had to go to a weekend family meeting with members who bug her. I suggested, “Before the weekend, sit quietly for a few minutes and make up your mind that your only goal for the weekend is inner peace. No matter what anyone says or does, you will stay centered in your calm inner space. Completely withdraw any power you have given your relatives to make you unhappy."
That might be a good practice for all of us to adopt. If you can hold your inner peace in the presence of someone who has regularly irked you, you earn your spiritual graduation diploma. Consider yourself in a seminar called, “Happiness before all else." Reframe that person as an angel who has come to help you find inner strength. You have a spiritual contract with that person to assist you to build soul muscles. If you can choose to thrive in their presence, no matter what they say or do, they will likely spin out of your orbit. If they don’t, you won’t really care because you have mastered the lesson they have come to help you learn. A Course in Miracles tells us, “The holiest spot on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love."
Think of life a big radio tuner or Internet browser. There are millions of stations or web pages to choose from, some delicious and others horrid. You get to experience the station or URL you tune in on. If a bad show comes on, it will do you no good to yell back at the station or curse the web page. You have the option to choose another frequency. An old Microsoft tagline is quite appropriate here:Where would you like to go today?
I’m not suggesting that you never change relationships, jobs, or hotel rooms, or that you have to attend gatherings with energy vampires. Sometimes a move is indicated, and “no" is the most helpful response. But there are times when changing your mind is far more effective than changing your position. Ultimately your mind is your position.
Your problem may not be, as the tech support fellow told me, interference from somewhere outside your room. Your problem might be interference from illusion. The answer to interference from illusion is not to substitute one illusion for another. The only answer to illusion is truth. Reality doesn’t move illusions around. Reality sees beyond them.
The secret to a great holiday season may be what you have heard millions of times from your favorite radio and television shows: Stay tuned.
© 2012 Alan Cohen Publications – http://www.alancohen.com – Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the just-released Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment. For more information about Alan’s other books and free daily inspirational quotes via email, visit www.alancohen.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 1 808 572-0001.