The Middle Way Takes You There

A New Take On Resolutions:The Middle Way Takes You There

As we shift now, marked by the end of ancient calendars and the beginning of a new year, there seems to be a call for a transcendence and reconciliation of the extremes and opposing ways in our life.

Having survived the polarizing period marked by the end of humanity’s 26,000 year cycle, and the conclusion of another year in our personal lives, we continue to travel around the circle of life as we embark on new beginnings.

We often celebrate the end of a year by setting intentions of some kind for the next. In this way, we generally say, “I want to stop doing this and start doing that.”

However, whether we are looking forward globally as a collective, or personally as an individual, moving from the extreme of this to the opposite extreme of that involves a massive change.

Idealism aside, in most cases such moves are unrealistic. A reason that resolutions of this kind do not hold up is because they are just too drastic.

Rarely do they honor where you ARE but rather they catapult you toward an ideal that you are nowhere near able to sustain (otherwise, you’d already be doing it).

The Way Between This and That

Maybe you’ve noticed that extremes have been playing out everywhere. The flame of extremism peaks it seems before it burns out. Many people, myself included, have been bouncing between old habits and new behaviors, high emotional states and lowly feelings of shame and pain, or feelings of throwing-in-the-towel met with a new sense of can-do felt stronger than ever before.

In this way it is apparent that the conclusion of this year is a catalyst for integration.

We have arrived at a connection with our zero point. This beginning is different from others in that now we can finally integrate our inner (subjective) world and the outer (objective) world.

The potential for such reconciliation has been long sought by many, because the separation and deviation between our inner-world-reality and our outer-world- reality causes each of us suffering.

Here, in the zero point energy offered between the old and the new, there is an opportunity and call to integrate our extremes in order to embark on a middle-way.

The middle-way says that we don’t damn the thing we think we need to stop, nor do we idealize the thing that we want to start.

Instead, we find the place in between these two points, where we can balance and even enjoy ourselves while making upgrades and taking the journey toward our own potential.

Very often we resist the middle way because:

–>      As a path it seems too simple and subtle

–>      Balance is in fact the hardest thing

But the middle-way is the perfect fusion between where we are and where we want to go, the neutral point between what we deem bad and good, and the states of being & doing. 

In the middle, we don’t need to stop or start, but rather we just move along toward our next in renewed ways.

A New Approach for a New Year

This year as you take stock of your thrills, successes, disappointments and personal let-downs, find the lessons.  And if you make a resolution consider letting it be simply to go forward on the path of the middle-way where you integrate where you are and where you are headed.

By setting a resolution to find the middle-way in all that we aspire to improve or change, we will begin collapsing dualities and taming extremes.

Some examples of common extremes and possible middle-way intentions could include:

–>      Natural Healing vs. Allopathic Medicine

The Middle Way:  As we look towards the possibility of improving our health or healing, we can give ourselves permission to use the medicines, supplements, foods and treatments that support us right now that create maximum comfort and success regardless of what they may be.

–>      Indulgence vs. Abstinence

The Middle Way:  As we examine habits or behaviors that we may beat ourselves up about or struggle to keep balanced, we can use the crowding out philosophy which allows partaking without berating as we include equal behaviors, substances and nourishing activities that feel good and naturally crowd-out the imbalanced habit without feeling deprivation (which is a trigger for addiction).

–>      Real Relationship vs. Ideal Relationship

The Middle Way:  As we ponder ways to increase contentment and satisfaction in our personal relationships we can start by dropping the extreme templates formed around the expectations placed in our heads from fairy tales, hollywood movies, or roles and images from days of old.  Instead we can go for the practice of allowing each other to be who we are and looking for ways to compromise and find the middle ground around this authentic being-ness.

–>     Religion vs. Spirituality

The Middle Way:  As we reflect on belief systems or look to up our spiritual practices we can intend to ease the promotion of strict lines of thinking that lead us to feel fear, guilt, shame and separation and find ways to connect with the essence and heart from which our personal practice is based, which unites, edifies and builds up.

–>      Job that you don’t like vs. Creative Labor that excites you

The Middle Way:  As we seek meaning and purpose in our lives through career or service, we can give ourselves space to re-examine how we spend our days, our occupational duties, and the ideal that lights us up.  Rather than drastic moves or staying the course in mysery, it is likely possible to find ways to do more of what we love at our existing occupation and less of what we don’t, or ignite projects outside of work that include our passions.

Having It All Right Now

We know from experience that there is rarely a quick fix solution.  Unresolved “stuff” which stands between the way it is and the way it could be indicates that it is going to take time for things to fully shift to the eden-like state of perfection that we are all templated to desire.

This may best be taken on by keeping our eye on the new possibility which we can see clearly now perhaps for the first time while taking steps of incremental change which lead us into the Garden.

Through sincerity, endurance, presence and truth of heart we always prosper.  The path of the middle-way takes us out of our all or nothing mentality and places us in an energetic zone of prosperity where we exist within the potential of having it all right now. And we do whatever we can do right now, from this place.

As we enjoy this fresh start of a new year, we only need to make one resokution: to inyend to move along the path of the middle-way. 

It is the one resolution that will mean something very different to us all, and yet will simultaneously set us on a unified path.

Advertisements

Thought-Flipping: A Guide for Taking Charge of Your Mind-Stuff

No matter where we are on our personal growth journey, there is always room for improvement when it comes to disciplining our mind.  The mind-work is never done.

It is estimated that people talk to themselves–either subconsciously or out-loud–at the rate of approximately 50 to 300 words per minute.  Research says that on average we have 65,000 thoughts each day, and that 95% of those thoughts are reoccurring.  Much of this is self-talk or inwardly directed chatter.

Although it may go unnoticed, each thought creates a physical response.  The thoughts being had create emotions and automatic responses in the body which significantly affect our physical health and mental well-being.  Whether we are feeling happy or upset will be dependent on what thoughts we are thinking.  And effects such as accelerated heart rate and changes in blood pressure can be measured as we think certain thoughts.

Essentially our mind is constantly running, thinking repetitive thoughts (the same thoughts that we had yesterday, and the day before that) and our body and emotions are strongly triggered by them.  Clearly, this makes how we think and what we think extremely important.

Mental Cramps

Years ago my personal journey was triggered by symptoms in my body which my first teacher quickly helped me trace with precision, right to my mind.

At first I was so identified with my thoughts that I could not really see them.  My thoughts seemed to be me, and I didn’t feel like I had any power over them.  I had been living a life at the mercy of my undisciplined mind, without even realizing it.

I spent many years focused on taming my wild and rebellious mind.  And in the process I learned that being my own mental-manager was absolutely essential to co-creating a desirable reality.

When I become preoccupied with life, however, I can temporarily lose consciousness in this area for days at a time.  Sometimes I snap-to only to find myself in the midst of racing thoughts, obsessive mental patterns and irrational fears.

For the past few months while navigating a great deal of transition and some very new terrain, I found that I had indeed slipped into a jaded state of mind.  Spinning wildly on the wheel of randomized ideas and unruly self-talk, my mind was in a state of negative looping.

As I began my mental-monitoring, I saw that I was continually framing neutral or potentially amazing things in unnecessarily negative ways.  I had allowed myself to become over-tired, un-centered, and in a state of overwhelm–and as a result, disorderly thought systems were taking root in my un-tended mind.

Negative thoughts grow like weeds.  Left unmanaged, wild and obsessive sprouts can begin to take hold in the soil of the mind.  I knew that I had to get the pruning shears out—and fast.  I immediately dusted off the most powerful mind-tool in my holistic box and began tending to my precious mental garden.

The Thought-Flipping Process

Thought flipping is an advanced form of mind monitoring and management.  This practice accepts that our thoughts are powerful and we can choose them.  Then it wastes no time.

As soon as negative thought-patterns are identified, a silent alarm sounds.  The observer of the thought then steps in with absolute authority and re-programs the mind by flipping the thought on its head, and thinking the exact opposite.

Once a pattern of strong pessimism about a particular aspect of life is identified for example, the observer flips it in that moment, and chooses optimism.   It is the art of taking back the powerful domain of the mind without wasting time giving the weed-thought any consideration or valuable energy.

At first the mind will rebel in defense of the negative thought by alerting the observer of how the flipped thought is ridiculous and could not possibly be true.  With thought-flipping, however, the observer’s immediate response back to the mind is direct and commanding.  The mind is reminded that it’s former thought was, at the very least, as lousy and untrue as the new, flipped one—and as it’s conscious and intelligent Master the observer chooses what is true.

Rewriting Your Mental Script

It is human nature to think negatively about others or ourselves from time to time.  However, unchecked and frequent negative brain chatter can leave us feeling out of control.  A train of thought that is directed towards yourself which undermines you or what you are trying to accomplish, is negative-thinking.   Such spiraling thoughts are the most effective way to self-sabotage.

Take these ideas, for example:

Every day at work you think:  “I am so stressed out because I don’t work as fast as the others at my job, which makes me feel like I am less than those around me, and that at some point I am going to be fired.”  This thought can be healed by changing it to:  “I appreciate that I take my time doing my job according to my own rhythm which allows me to express my unique genius, and my boss should value that attribute in me, because in the end I always deliver big.”

When you turn it around, you realize that either thought can be true.  It is always possible, and even likely, that the negative version which you are obsessively perpetuating is incorrect.

Often times our thoughts don’t even make sense.  Take this common pattern for example:  “I missed an entire week of yoga, so I might as well skip today too and give up the whole idea of exercise completely, because I have no self-discipline.”  Flipping this thought changes it to be more healthy and accurate:  “I honored my feelings and took a needed break from yoga last week, so I am going to take an intense yoga class today because I am truly committed to the idea of feeling good in mind and body.”

A way to transform a thought is to change the wording.  Your thoughts can be wrong, and you can re-write them.  Which one do you want to be true?  You get to choose.

Taking Charge of Your Mind-Stuff

Once you’ve identified a serial negative thought that continues popping into your mind making you feel fearful, sad, uncomfortable, depressed, or hopeless, try the following thought-flipping ritual:

=> Write the thought down on paper and take a good look at it

=> Do you know this thought is true?

=> Does this thought serve you?

=> Write down the opposing thought which counters the negative thought

=> Change the wording of the thought in a way that heals it

=> Every time you find yourself thinking the original habitual thought pattern, catch yourself, and continuously replace it with the new flipped thought

This technique is a process of offering the antidote for the problematic thinking pattern each time it appears.  By flipping the thought, it is cured.  You are healing your mind-stuff thought by thought, thus co-creating a reality with deliberate intent.

How Will Your Garden Grow?

Acknowledging that we can choose our thoughts is taking back a great deal of power.   Becoming aware of our thoughts allows us to look at them.  When we look at them, we are removed from them; there is space between us and the thought.

When there is space between us and our thoughts, we identify with them less.  When we identify with our thoughts less, we can decide if a thought is true, whether a thought serves us, and if there is a better thought that is more aligned with our true nature and highest desires.

And then we can determine what our mind will be filled with 65,000 times a day.

Our world is made from mind-stuff.  Taking the step of conscious co-creation by monitoring our mind, weeding our mental garden, and planting good thought-seeds, will ensure that we like what blooms.