Steps to Illumination

What you will find below is a very powerful tool. You may choose to refer to it as a reminder, to use it as a daily exercise, or to consider it a methodology to which to aspire. Try reading across the rows as if you were reading a book. Do you notice a pattern? Can you see a relationship among the terms? Do some words trigger stronger reactions than others? Do your responses reveal clues about your current state of clarity? Are you able to identify opportunities for development?

Reading this list from time to time, or even on a daily basis, will create a conscious reminder of that which we often let simmer in the background. Controlling our thoughts and clarifying our intentions can be quite overwhelming. Rather than divert energy from conscious creation into random release, observe where your thoughts and intentions are coming from in order to EMPOWER yourself.

God Mind Carnal Mind
Cosmic Consciousness
Heaven State
(Attributes of the Christ)
Mortal Consciousness
Hell State
(Attributes of the ‘little ego’)
I affirm… I affirm… I deny… I deny…
1 Absolute God good sin (d)evil 1
2 mind thought thoughtlessness stupidity 2
3 spirit substance lifelessness matter 3
4 principle law rebellion lawlessness 4
5 light inspiration superstition darkness 5
6 life health disease death 6
7 love compassion enmity hatred 7
8 truth reality falsehood error 8
9 wisdom knowledge false beliefs ignorance 9
10 understanding discrimination foolishness idiocy 10
11 order system confusion chaos 11
12 unity brotherhood selfishness separation 12
13 divinity consecration profanity carnality 13
14 eternity now fear-of-future living-in-past 14
15 immortality indestructibility destruction mortality 15
16 universality impersonality self-consciousness egotism 16
17 perfection at-one-ment dissatisfaction incompletion 17
18 will obedience indecision timidity 18
19 joy happiness sadness sorrow 19
20 mercy forgiveness unforgiveness cruelty 20
21 courage fortitude dread cowardice 21
22 faith trust worry fear 22
23 strength vigor impotence frailty 23
24 mastery dominion bondage slavery 24
25 creation imagination hallucination delusion 25
26 power ability helplessness laziness 26
27 purpose determination vacillation obstinacy 27
28 progress expression inaction retrogression 28
29 peace tranquility turmoil strife 29
30 poise balance irritability derangement 30
31 purity virtue immodesty impurity 31
32 patience non-resistance resistance nervousness 32
33 praise reverence criticism condemnation 33
34 abundance prosperity poverty lack 34
35 success achievement defeat failure 35
36 service labor idleness indolence 36
37 sincerity honesty dishonesty deception 37
38 renunciation humility false-pride vanity 38
39 generosity liberality jealousy greed 39
40 gratitude appreciation depreciation ingratitude 40
41 tolerance patience bigotry fanaticism 41
42 confidence reliance doubt suspicion 42
43 beauty soulfulness shallowness ugliness 43
44 security protection danger peril 44
45 individuality originality imitation personality 45
46 zeal receptivity indifference carelessness 46
47 youth re-creation deterioration old-age 47
48 endurance perseverance impatience weakness 48
49 freedom independence dependence subjection 49
50 harmony concord contention discord 50

Here is a link to the printable (pdf) version of the table. There are actually two versions of the table in this printable copy – one includes all the words you see above, and the other is a workable blank copy of the table. As you read each word, take note of the first thought, image, or single word that pops up in your mind. Please do not judge your reaction. Then, write that respond down in the corresponding cell of your blank worksheet. Continue doing this untill all the cells are filled. You can do this by yourself, with a partner or even make it a group activity with your friends. Once everyone has finished, reveal your reactions to one another, but instead of comparing them, allow each person a moment of reflection. Share with one another. Learn from one another.


20090113 PostWhat is attachment?

To be attached to something is to be unable to let go of a belief. To be unable to let go of a belief is to create a limitation for ourselves. A limitation does not allow us to progress. It does not allow us to expand our thoughts, develop our feelings, and essentially, stops our journey of experiencing life. Every time we create an attachment, we take a step back on our journey through life, and every time we return to the ‘comfort’ that we have convinced ourselves the attachment brings, we take yet another step back. To experience life, not just to ‘know’ of life, but to experience life in this physical dimension, we must choose to continually take steps forward. The difficulty is that each new step is a step on new ground. New ground is unexplored unknown. Growth through experience means taking new steps and placing our feet on new ground, regardless of how afraid we have convinced ourselves to be.

Why do we have attachments?

They make us feel artificially safe. We surround ourselves with attachments to create a world where we feel secure, where we see the predictability of what will happen when we turn to our attachment. We convince ourselves that routines are positive things. We are told that routines, or in other words, processes that we continually repeat (or…PATTERNS!), allow us to limit, or one day ‘maybe’ even eliminate the possibility of making a mistake. We are taught practice makes perfect.

So, we attach ourselves to processes that we have dared to try at one point, and after seeing that things worked out, and probably believing that it was luck that made it work out and not us who did it all by ourselves, we continue repeating the process. There is a sense of addiction in the success that we reap from attachments. But before you get too comfortable with this ‘success’, tell me what is wrong with making a mistake in the first place?

A mistake is just as much an experience in life as a success. Who is to say that mistakes aren’t successful? We are here to experience. We are not here to experience the good, and then go home. We are here to experience the all. Are you not perfect? Are you not whole and complete? Are you not a direct manifestation of all the power that exists? Why are you limiting your experiences out of a sense of artificial fear that you have convinced yourself exists in the unknown? What is the unknown? Who is to say that the unknown is bad? What is bad, and what is good in the first place? You owe it to yourself to do Your ALL in this lifetime. If you choose to hide from that which is not familiar, you have stopped living.

There is a different side of this story as well. Sometimes attachments do not bring ‘success’ and pleasure. Sometimes, people grow attached to beliefs that make them miserable. Why would anyone want to be miserable? They may believe that they deserve to be miserable. Attachments that result in suffering are created as a form of self-deprivation, or in other words, as a punishment that we think we deserve.

Why do some people think they deserve to be punished? Because they have stopped loving themselves. They have stopped seeing the beauty and magnificence of the loving being that they are. They have forgotten that the person they are in this life is not a clear and full representation of who they are  and of what they represent. That which they represent is pure love, is pure acceptance – the two are synonymous, but the attached person has forgotten about this. The attached person believes that they are not worthy of their own love. This is when attachments develop.

What are we attached to?

It is easy to say that someone is attached to his mother or her sister. How many people do you know who are attached to money? What seems on the surface as an attachment to an object, to a process, to a physical or intangible thing, is really an attachment to a belief. Beliefs make us feel certain ways. Beliefs create artificial security that motivates an attachment. If you say you are attached to your mother, could it be that you are really attached to the belief that only responsible, good and polite daughters take care of their mothers in old age? Could it be that you have chosen to punish yourself for your successes because your family wasn’t as strong as you and you failed to help them to change and to be stronger, so instead you started punishing yourself for being the strong and limitless person you are?

Could it be that your attachment is a manifestation of a belief of which you convinced yourself decades ago: that being strong and loving of yourself should be punished, and being weak and refusing to take responsibility for your own life should be praised and rewarded? Could it be true that you don’t love yourself enough, that you don’t appreciate the gifts that you chose for yourself to be an independent, free spirit that does not NEED to be attached to any belief? The moment you understand your true potential, the second you begin to love yourself again and to appreciate the radiant spirit that you are, is the instant when you begin to fully experience life again.

I say again because there was a time when you chose not to accept your strengths as weaknesses. There was a beautiful time when you were totally unconditional love and free of judgement. There was a time when you loved yourself enough to know that you could do anything. Go back to the point when you gave up hope and love for yourself. Go back to the painful and wonderful moment when you started punishing yourself and feeling the need to attach. Go back to the person who you are still punishing and free the limiting belief structures that have trapped you for so long. Let that person free and you will feel your lungs fill with fresh air for the first time in years. Release all limits and you will again be able to manifest your dreams into reality.

Fear and flow…

Heaving, dripping, panting, gasping, I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym and for a change of pace I’m reading a magazine instead of blazing my iTunes Music Store purchases through my brain – all in a conscious effort to become unconscious of the fact that I’m on an elliptical machine. (Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but I was pushing for an hour of cardio after a Christmas break free from all things gym-related!) In just so happens that I’m reading O Magazine because my mom brought it for me when she came to visit with my dad for Christmas. This happens to be the issue where Oprah is on the cover Oprah - O Magazine(in her purple ensemble) facing herself (in her white ensemble) and asking herself, ‘what went wrong?’.

I had one of those ‘Aha’ moments as I was reading Dr. Phil’s advice column (p.52 of the January 2009 issue). He was writing about the concept of you getting in the way of your own success, and the statement that slapped me in the face like a cold fish was, “Your fear is disrupting the flow of your life”. Being in the flow is REALLY important to me because ever since I got a taste of how it feels to be in the flow, being out of the flow just feels sooo bad. Pain, suffering, confusion, identification with the body – all those things start creeping up when I start resisting.

The reason this statement is affecting me so much is because I think that my resisting the organic flow of my life recently prevented me from getting a job interview for a position that I think I really would have loved.

To make a long story short (which doesn’t say much for the writer in me!), I just moved to the States from the UK. When I was living in the UK, the iPhone was released in the States. I’m a huge Apple fan. Couple that with the fact that I haven’t had a good relationship with my cell phones in the past and you have a fruity fanatic with an insatiable urge for a new apple. I was really looking forward to getting an iPhone. I had so many beautiful plans for our future! We were going to be so happy together. Then this little thing called ‘credit history’ enters the scene and my dreams go poof. That’s ok though, I thought to myself, because all I have to do is to go to AT&T every week in the hopes that my credit goes up enough for them to know that me and my iPhone are meant to be. Didn’t realize, of course, that the more often they check credit, the worse it gets. (Believe it or not, not every place runs on American rules!)

Anyway, I was so resentful to the fact that I was being made to wait for the cell phone that I decided simply not to get any phone at all (and definitely NOT an archaic land line) and just rely on Skype to talk with family and friends in the meantime. I also had an old cell phone with a US number that got hardly any reception in my new apartment, but that’s the number I gave whenever I had to give a contact number. Like for example, on my resume…

I wasn’t sure where I was going or what my next big step would be, so I decided to plant a few seeds, one of them being to take a quick look on Monster for any jobs that caught my eye. I saw a job for a Learning Manager at Weight Watchers and applied. I didn’t give it much more thought until I got a call from their recruiter the day after who wanted to have an impromptu telephone interview with me then and there. I was fine with that – a little pressure is fun 😉 The thing is, as I was trying to understand what she was saying, I was running around the apartment (hoping she didn’t hear that I was panting) desperately seeking a spot where I could get at least ONE BAR of service! Needless to say, after 3 dropped calls, her patience was exhausted. I eventually got her direct line and left a voicemail (while standing outside where there is better reception) but she had already moved on I guess because I never heard from her or that opportunity again. The worst part is that the last thing I heard her say way, “Well, it sounds like you’re perfect for the job!”

Without boring you too much, it’s important for me to say that Weight Watchers has been a saving grace in my life 3 times. It changed my life and has empowered me to learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food. That’s why this job would have been amazing. I would have been given an opportunity to be in a position to teach and inspire others…and that’s sort of what I’m about. Anyway…

The point here is that perhaps if I hadn’t let my ego drive me into a crazed frenzy to settle for nothing less than an iPhone, perhaps I would have had that impromptu interview on a land line and this story could have gone very differently.

Fear is the way the ego controls us. Did I disrupt my own flow? The more I think about it, the more I think I did… Being in the flow means surrendering. When we insist on thinking that we know best, we are no longer in the flow because we’re allowing our ego to guide us. The lesson I take from this experience is that surrender trumps desire – everytime! Oh, and also that patience is indeed a virtue! I’m also learning to happy with what I have – even if it is a landline 😛