I became upset this morning when I read about the increasing number of local murders and international political confrontations. As I read, I felt sadness overtake me. I disengaged from those around me. I wanted to hide. I felt awful. The truth is however, nothing really changed in my world. Had I not read the articles I would not have even known anything happened. It was my reaction, not the events themselves, which caused me pain.
As a society, we seemingly always focus on the external; what we read in the papers, what we see on TV, our physique, our bank accounts, our favorite sports team, our political party. But we spend very little time focused on and improving what’s inside. And it is what is inside that affects our lives and our experience.
For example, over the last few months I have been having issues with my body. I have been doing what I can to change my diet, take herbal remedies, receive reflexology, and do deep cleanses all in the hope to find some relief. What I have found though is that although these steps have helped to provide some relief, one element provided the largest shift.
Working on my inside.
Until I did the deep emotional work, until I reversed unhealthy beliefs, until I truly faced my inner voice and how I was choosing to approach the world, I could not find physical relief.
To make changes to your experience of life start with your insides. I am not talking about your internal organs. Take the time and find the courage to address your beliefs, your expectations, and what causes your unconscious reactions. It is in the muddled mess of your mind, emotions, and convictions that you can have the biggest impact on your life.
Awareness: All too often we skate through our days unaware of how our thoughts and beliefs are affecting what we experience. Grow your awareness to not just see the outcome of your actions and reactions, but to find the motive behind what you expect, what you do, and how you react.
Understanding: Once you find the core motive behind your actions (or inactions), explore where this motive came from. Did you learn it from your family or friends? Did it come from your religion or ideology? More importantly than uncovering where it is from, is discovering how this belief serves you – or doesn’t. Does it bring you joy? Do you think it protects you – and does it really? Do you think someone else has wronged you and you are entitled to feel hate or fear? Explore how thinking and acting like you do affects the life you lead.
Implement: Once you have awareness and understanding, if your core belief and motivator does not serve you, choose a new one. What way of thinking would serve you better? You have a choice in how you think. No one has dictated your belief system. No one enforces you to believe and act a certain way. You have the ability to choose a new way of being. And it starts on the inside.