Bliss is nothing you create anew; it is what is always already here that you open up to. By consciously dropping all attachments to the forms of this world including the idea that you are the body in a space and time bound reality, you set yourself free from false mental associations and thus the formless light of God can shine forth revealing itself to be your very own Awareness.
– Bentinho Massaro (2017)
Most of us tend to do, say, and think things we might not want to. Why is that? Some teachers say that we choose, but do we, really? Why would we choose to do and think all these destructive things if we simply can choose?
The talk over the last few years—which scientists are starting to support as well—is about how we are misidentified with our minds, running on autopilot, and listening to our subconscious mind instead of being conscious and connected to our hearts. That could explain why we cannot choose. How can we choose if we are on autopilot?
Spiritual teacher Dr. Anthony once gave an interview with a great explanation of how we are programed and on autopilot. Basically, what he said was that we can try to change our thoughts to be positive, telling ourselves that we are wonderful, beautiful or smart, putting post-its on the mirror with “I love myself,” but the subconscious program will still be the same. He had a very interesting metaphor for what is going on in our minds:
“How much talk to a tape recorder does it take to change the message? Well, you cannot change it—you have to put it into record mode first.”
So that would mean that we can say that we choose this or that, but if we choose it when the tape recorder is on play, we won’t get the desired effect (I love the 80s metaphor). The tape recorder has to be on record mode first then we can start choosing out thoughts/program and make them a reality. Does this make sense?
Dr. Anthony also brought up the much-debated law of attraction— that it is not about thinking positively to get what you want; rather, the law of attraction mirrors how you feel about yourself. Thinking is thoughts; it doesn’t matter if your thoughts are good or bad as they won’t give you the life you want. Only when you are connected to YOU, not the programs, can you can start to harvest the “goodies.” For me, the interesting part is how do you connect to YOU then?
The key for putting the tape recorder on record mode is GRATITUDE. We can reprogram ourselves by connecting with our compassionate and grateful hearts. We can then embrace all the 7 billion shades within ourselves and others.
When we acknowledge the pain within us and in others, we tune into compassion and forgiveness. An amazing tool suggested by Matt Kahn when confronted by internal or external pain is to say or think:
“I acknowledge your pain—may you be healed.”
“I respect your power.”
to or about people who judge, abuse, or attack us verbally. We then heal the wounds both within ourselves and the “abuser.” Although, respect the power of the pain—not the behavior as such. This is an important difference—to respect the energy is different to respecting and accepting the behavior. When I have, for instance, sadness coming up within, I say:
“I respect your power, sadness. I love you.”
since that sadness can really affect my whole day. That is very powerful. Those simple words above, however, can reprogram everything. We turn on record mode. When we honor others and ourselves, we stop judging. We start to see life through different eyes. From that space, we can choose our thoughts and internal experiences.
When we are on autopilot, we are perceptually blind and have to remove or rewrite our subconscious programs to open up possibilities for alternative perceptions. The cool part is, as I have experienced it, that when we become aware of the programs, they can be changed automatically. When we start to become conscious, aware, and accept things as they are without any right or wrong judgments, our problems fade and life becomes easy and much more fun. I see it from the observer perspective. If I feel contracted, “bad,” or triggered about something, whenever I am “ready” to zoom out a bit—to observe what is going on—I will ask myself:
“What program is running here?”
When I can see the bigger picture, the inner transformation happens. The “problems” might still linger there for some time, not seen as problems, however, but opportunities and a part of life. After we have embodied the “problem” frequency, the outer reality will catch up and the “problem” vanishes. It is magic, I’m telling you!
“The realm of consciousness is much vaster than thought can grasp. When you no longer believe in everything you think, you step out of thought and see clearly that the thinker is not who you are.”
– Eckhart Tolle (2003, p. 18)
As I sat there on the bench, a man came up behind me and chopped my head off with a huge saber. Just like that, my life ended, and the wound from that past-life experience has been carried forward throughout my other lives.
The vision ended.
What I didn’t know was that this vision of one of my past lives would help me reconnect with my present self. Another piece of me was found. But for now, let’s go back to the vision.
Once, I did a meditation journey to be conscious of why I act and think the way I do and to see what stories control my life. That’s what I was doing the day I had this vision.
After identifying the feelings I wanted to be conscious of, in this case feelings of injustice and fighting, I was guided back to a time when I had had those feelings. I went back to an Arabic country thousands of years ago, where I was a ten-year-old slave dancer with long black hair and dark eyes filled with pain and suffering.
After this part of the vision, I was guided through the feelings that arose to see what was behind that “layer” of feelings (This is an awareness exercise that is revealed later in the chapter called AORA). It is just like peeling an onion of feelings. And I always ended up in the center of light, love, God, Source, Universe, Big Mind/Big Heart, Higher Self, whatever you want to call it—the real me.
Here, I reviewed the movie or vision again, but from the light of God/Universe’s point of view. The I AM perspective. When I saw the vision in the Arabic country again from the I AM perspective, the story was totally different. Instead of attacking the men and fighting for our lives, I looked deeply into their eyes while I was dancing. They were all hypnotized. It was like they had frozen. They were captivated by the love and light in my eyes. My eyes were filled with so much light power beyond words. I penetrated these same men with my eyes, which crushed their illusions of who they were, why they were the way they were, and awakened them to their true selves. And since they were no longer a threat, I took my sister by her hand and we ran away, never to return. Now that is a great ending!
A problem for me in my life was that I kept fighting, struggling, seeking, and working hard to find my way to freedom, inner peace, and joy. What I learned from the vision was that if we stop doing and start being—being on the inside what we seek on the outside—the results would be staggering. If we stopped fighting and being human doings instead of human beings. In essence, the results would be what my perceived intention of the fighting in the vision was: freedom, love, and peace. So a solution is that when we embrace what is and come from our hearts instead of our heads, we are free, we feel inner joy, peace, and compassion. We are present. We see things from different perspectives. We remember who we really are instead of being controlled by our stories, past, and even future.
Maybe that is easier said than done? Let us try to find some easy ways to explore this possibility.
This vision had a deep impact on me and gave me some aha moments, which can be helpful. It was like gold pieces of deep understanding and consciousness fell from my head into my heart. I could feel it, not just understand it. I have heard from so many different people and read in so many books about “stop doing and just be.” But how do you do that?
For me, with a history of never feeling good enough and an identity as a problem solver, I kept fighting against the injustices in my life and in other people’s lives since that was the only thing I knew how to do. My “doing habits” often produced results that backfired but you do what you know. I didn’t have much experience with just being. With this vision, I had an embodied experience to use as a guide, which helped me stop fighting and decrease my doing in my everyday life. If I catch myself fighting life with a feeling of going against the flow, I stop, focus on the light and the I AM in my heart, love the one who is fighting with me, and start being automatically. I focus on the light in my heart and body and feel the light and the energetic expansion. I relax, focus on my breath, and feel the stillness within. I feel embodied and the “beingness” helps me to go with the flow and listen to my intuition. From this space, I’m present and can see clearly.
This past-life vision confirmed to me how powerful we human beings are, and that certainty helps me stay focused on feeling good in the Now.
If we look at the vision again, it comes down to: Do we let our stories, which often fight, suffer, and struggle, control our lives? Or can we let them go, be Earth Gods/Goddesses, and embrace what is?
The question is though, how can we let go of the stories in practice?
One suggestion is: Our perspective of things can change our stories and thereby change our lives. Do we look at a situation from the fight and flight point of view—as in our biological safety mechanisms—or from the divine intelligence of the I AM perspective? Just as in the fight and flight story above, either being the love or fighting your way out.
The fight and flight perspective is our primitive biological instinct that helps keep us safe and to survive. The problem is that in modern times it tends to be a bit over-reactive and over-protective. This perspective is activated in the reptilian part of the brain. The I AM perspective, on the other hand, is more activated in the frontal lobe, where the third eye is located or where consciousness is “in charge.” The I AM is the divine consciousness or intelligence—which I call the heart light consciousness—that creates the feelings of love, compassion, and oneness. It has nothing to do with safety, since we are all connected and therefore we don’t need be saved from ourselves. From that space, we trust and feel safe automatically. That does not mean we should stay in abusive relationships or situations. When we identify with our I AM, we also respect and honor ourselves and remove ourselves from abuse.
Stop for a moment and tune in. Feel into or “see” where one of your stories comes from? Maybe you can even feel a physical sensation in your brain. Tensions in the back or the front? Do you see images? Do you feel it in your gut? Heart? Does it feel expansive or contractive when you think of it? For me, when something feels expansive in the gut (even if I feel a heavy heart, for instance), I know it is my truth. When contracted, it is a program running.
Another suggestion is to embrace the story and emotions around a program or belief. And I literally mean embrace the emotion and story that is running. I tend to feel like the mother of the earth who embraces this inner child of the emotion and rock it and love it until it feels my unconditional love and compassion. Then the child relaxes and fades into my beingness. We become one. Sometimes there are several “children” I bring into my arms of love. For instance, if I feel angry and then judge that anger, I now embrace the anger and the judgment and love it to death.
So as a summary: We cannot choose when we are identified with our stories and mind—where past experiences will define the future. Then we are running the programs on play. When we change our perception of the story and experience, we feel gratitude and love from our I AM perspective, so we are recording. We decide how the story will be and take back our power. We give up our victimhood and fighting. We choose the perspective that makes us feel good and expanded. That is always for the highest good. If we don’t feel good about something—it carries a lower frequency. Rewrite the story so it feels good—and we can then embody a higher frequency.
Now, some might say, “Then we are lying if we make up our story.” Don’t we always make up a story? Ask everyone about the same movie they saw and you will get as many different versions of it. Whose version is the true one? We all create our own realities; why not create something that makes us feel better about our lives? Everything is subjective—objectivity does not exist. We might believe it does, but does it really? Is there a universal truth we all agree on? Not that I know of. We have our values of what is right and wrong but isn’t that fluid as well? Do we interpret the words of God all the same? I know this might trigger uncomfortable emotions in you as you read this. That is okay. I’m here to challenge your beliefs so you can find your own truths.
In general, I try to choose the belief around a story that makes me feel good. It’s as simple as that. So that is my invitation to you. Choose the story that makes you feel good, more empowered, and expanded. You are free to decide your own truth—we have free will—so why not use it? Bentinho Massaro says (2017):
“99.999% of people, especially the seemingly spiritual ones, are completely caught up in their stories.”
There are loads of exercises you can do to expand your consciousness. One I have used a lot is an awareness exercise, which is a great exercise in all counseling, coaching, or learning areas, or in private. This is also what I used in the meditation vision of the Arabic life in the beginning of this chapter.
I call it the AORA:
A = Awareness
It is as simple as this: Awareness =
- Ask yourself: How do I feel emotionally? (Observe).
Feel the emotion fully. Simmer in it for a few minutes or until you feel inspired to move on. Do not move on because it feels uncomfortable—stretch yourself and really feel the emotion fully. Do not add: Because. Feel the emotion, without its story.
- Next step: “What is beneath that emotion?” (Reflect)
Keep peeling those emotions like an onion until you feel like “this is it, I want to stay here forever.” How do you know? Most people describe this space as a light nothingness feeling. A very spacious, loving, and bright space. There are no words to describe it; it all feels beyond words, so any words used will feel inadequate and small compared to the power and greatness of the feeling. But one thing is for sure—it does feel gooood. Then you are home, reconnected with the I AM.
- Then let it go and see what happens. (Accept)
Your perspective of what triggered that primary emotion will most likely change just as my vision did in my flight and flight story. When you look at that story, it loses its impact from the I AM perspective. You are no longer that story. You have accepted who you are, and the story is still there but not in control of you.
The trick is to not make up a story why you feel like you do. Stick with the feeling. Expand the feeling. Really feel it in your body and your heart. It might be how you felt in a previous situation, or it might be how you feel right now. How do you feel about your job situation, your family life, your body, your relationship, your visions, and dreams? When you can start to truly feel the feelings, you can start to accept and embrace those stories and reconnect with who you really are.
When something happens in our lives, no matter how small or big it might feel, one thing is for sure: It is quite difficult to be objective and neutral about it. You might be criticized for the project you have created, you might be yelled at by your boss or partner, or you might feel embarrassed that you left the ladies room in the fancy restaurant with your skirt tucked into your panties. The situation doesn’t’ matter, it is how we feel about it that creates the feeling of no space, disempowerment, and lack of safety. So let us try to create a bit of distance to the situations in your life. One of my favorite techniques that always makes me laugh is the one I call “the hat trick.”
It is as simple as this:
The next time you read or see something interesting or are in a situation you don’t feel good about, ask yourself:
- “If I were mother Theresa, how would I see this?”
- “If I were former president Bush, how would I interpret this?”
- “If I were ………, how would I explain this?”
Find some different people with very different perspectives of life, as many as you like, and have your own little roleplay with you starring as all the main characters. Try on their hats and see what perspective they have on the situation. The point is to help you start using different glasses to see the world—to expand your boundaries and limited views. And you will get a good laugh as a bonus!
To use the example of the skirt in panties in the fancy restaurant, I would complete this exercise in the following way (These are prejudices and judgments in an extreme form and should not be taken literally or seriously. It is only for demonstrating some extreme perspectives and has nothing to do with my personal view on these people):
- How do I personally feel about it?
I feel embarrassed and want to die from the shame; I feel judgments around “it is so typically me,” “I’m so stupid and clumsy,” etc. I want to escape from the restaurant and never return and so forth.
- If I were the Dalai Lama, what would he say about it?
He would probably say: “It is healthy to bring joy to others, which you did by showing off your old washed-out granny panties.” Or maybe: “There are more important things to focus on so don’t waste your energy on being embarrassed; there is nothing you can do to change it anyway.”
- If I were George Michael, what would he say about it?
He would probably say something like: “That is what gives you attention, people will remember you, and the press will love you for it.”
- If I were Donald Trump, how would he interpret this?
He might say: “How can you make money out of this story?” Or: “You are fired!”
I don’t know about you, but imagining these men hearing about my embarrassing story really cracks me up. Now when I think about the situation again it feels different, more spacious, and so much more fun and joyful. It is like the negative emotional trigger has been removed, and I can now choose how to feel about it. I can choose which perspective I would prefer to have. Remember it is all just perspectives; there are no right or wrong ways to interpret the situation. So why not choose the perspective that makes you feel good about you?
In my life today I feel love, gratefulness, lightness, happiness, and excitement! It is so powerful! Who knew that I could come from a life with pretty heavy, heartbreaking, and crappy stories that ran my life to this! Simply by observing and becoming aware. I haven’t done anything except stop fighting and started observing. I have accepted my stories for what they are. They are still my stories. But they are just stories and experiences, not who I am. I have accepted life as it is. We are that we are. We are perfect, just as we are!
So please, try a new perspective of life, accept your stories in all their shades, and change your world.