5 Steps from victimhood to self mastery

Mastery is not a function of genius or talent. It is the time, intense focus and sustained concentration applied to the task at hand. To master our minds, we have to study it without bias. We may not have grown up with a rule book on how our minds operate, but that does not mean we have to stay ignorant.

1. Mind watching

Mind watching is uncritically observing your mental diet and making the connection between your inner script and the experience and perception of your outer life.

To be a Master is to be At Cause. This means taking full responsibility for one's state of mind. To know the power of thought is to know the power of decision. If we can choose fear, then we can also choose love. If we understand this fundamental Law of Cause and Effect, we will see that there is no good or bad harvest; there is only the harvest we choose to reap.

The mind is wholly creative and as such, the source of everything we experience. Given this fact, it makes sense to what to look at it and train it. To be a Master, then, is to appreciate how powerful the mind is and how it is always creating reality or making illusion.

Thought is a tremendous possibility. To mishandle it is to make misery and suffering. To handle it responsibly is to create beauty and success. So, when we depreciate the power of one's thinking to influence one’s reality, we also enthrone fear unconsciously. In devaluing the power of thought, we create a divided mind; one that it is at war with itself. And as we become identified with wrong thinking,  we will also feel like we are being tossed around by the projections of our thoughts and feelings.

The Quantum Field in which everything exists judges nothing. It expresses all our thoughts and presents them to us in a way that we can experience our mental creations firsthand. If we are not able to accept this, then being at effect, fear, and conflict becomes the lens through which we experience our lives.

physics, quantum physics, particles

In truth, there is nothing to fear. We can liberate our minds by unlearning the negativity and healing the divide. However, when we are unwilling to do so and believe we can't, this upside-down perception creates a veil of separation which propagates fear, energizes meaninglessness, and engenders a sense that "I can't do anything to change my life circumstances around."

It is thus imperative that one revises any wrong thinking as it comes up. All wrong thought has one common belief: that I lack and can be at the mercy of something outside of me. This is a Newtonian and primitive perception of reality and it is an antipode to the Quantum model of Mind over matter.

Consider.

If our mental diet is negative and we are stuck in the script of grievances, we will also not be happy and fulfilled.

If our imaginal acts are those of how unfair life is, we will also participate in aggravating situations in which we feel ourselves to be unfairly treated.

And if our minds radiate the non-binding qualities of peace, love, respect, and abundance, our projected world will also take on the cozier and lovelier shades of harmony, cooperation, and friendliness.

The inner and outer are One and it is the inner that causes the outer. This foundational understanding means that there can only be true mastery of the mind through love, kindness, compassion, and inclusion; WE are all One Self,  and not a divided mind of warring factions and competing interests.

A distracted, restless, and undisciplined mind is an unhappy mind.

A rested, sorted and unified mind is a happy one.

"Mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love."

A Course in Miracles

Anyone who first starts watching their mind will report strong resistance from the mind itself.  It's like stirring up a hornet's nest.  We have become so identified with ego self-preservation, that our minds have also set up many elaborate defenses to keep those limiting and negative programs of thinking in place and unchecked.

The value then of mind watching is to make that which is unconscious, conscious. Mind watching facilitates self-correction and healing.

To guard our minds against wrong thinking is the first step towards liberation. To stay vigilant is the precursor to creating a beautiful mind.

attend, attention, awareness

"By watching the mechanics of mind, you step out of its resistance patterns and then you can allow the present moment to be."

Eckhart Tolle

One form of resistance is the fear of change. Change from the perspective of the fearful is always associated with threats and hostility instead of healing and opportunity.  This is because the fearful cannot accept anything that is not consistent with their antagonistic worldview. To have an insight into the inner workings of resistance is also to be free from its mesmerizing snares. Persistent mind watching is the antidote to breaking free from the negativity bias and the addictive patterns of destructive thinking.

Another form of resistance is the mental habit of giving up when it starts to feel uncomfortable. So instead of accepting and letting go of what is uncomfortable, we are at war with our experience. This keeps fear protected,  hidden, and therefore unresolved and unhealed. Resistance is an insidious defense of the conditioned mind because it secretly perpetuates endless struggle and unnecessary suffering. Hence the adage, "What we resist, persists and what we judge, we sustain".

Mind watching gives us those insights into the workings of our mind which we would not normally have when we are lost in thought. This is the power of awareness and the ability to see the tendencies of our minds without prejudice. And what we can accept and compassionately bring into the light of awareness also heals and releases us.

Compassionate Awareness works because it is who we truly are. It is the nature of AWARENESS to transform whatever it looks upon to be like itself.

It is the nature of LOVE to look upon all that which is unloving and transform it into that which is loving.

As such, we do not have to actively seek happiness. We merely have to unlearn unhappiness.

For what is the absence of all suffering, negativity, limitation, and ego conditionality?

It is peace, power, limitlessness, and authenticity.

Authenticity heals and it heals for all time.

As you watch your mind, you discover yourself as the watcher. When you stand motionless only watching, you discover your Self as the Light behind the Watcher

Nissargadatta Maharaj

2. Practice compassion

"As human beings we are all the same. We have this marvelous intelligence which sometimes creates problems for us, but when influenced by warm heartedness, it can really be creative and helpful."

Dalai Lama

As we start to expand the boundaries of awareness, we will also start to unravel the self-deception that keeps us in conflict and blinds us to healing, beauty, and Truth. Changing our mental attitude from one of complaint to one of warm compassion and gratefulness is a game-changer.  To be sincerely thankful for the past is to free from its influence. We see the precious lessons that it holds and this helps us to move forward.

Having compassion for our difficult emotions also changes the quality of our minds from one of resistance and attack to one of healthy acceptance and love. When we have an insight into how we suffer our own thoughts, we are also naturally empathetic to everyone's plight. All suffering no matter the form is always rooted in self-defeating psychology.

In compassionate awareness, the sensations of fear, doubt, and anger are no longer feared but welcomed and accepted. We hold space for these feelings to be experienced fully and released without the need to continuously rehearse the narrative of past hurt and betrayal. We lovingly let them run their full course freely without interference.

So why do negative conflicting feelings arise?

They arise from not realizing the nature of who we are and fully appreciating the creative power of our minds. When we truly understand this union and perfection within, we will naturally become loving, sincere, and open-minded. There is another way to be. Fear, anger, and doubt need no longer torment us and we can be free even in their presence. They remind us to let more of the light in and be more of who we are and to let go of what is past, grossly inefficient, and unloving. This is compassion. This is healing and correction, and it is wisdom in action.

Our past miscreations need not be harbingers of guilt and punishment, instead they are gems for self-forgiveness;  opportunities for healing; and decisions for love and virtuous action.

To look with the eyes of compassion is to see that the past is no longer a barrier but a beautiful reminder to live in the present. Loving insight is seeing that it just doesn't pay to live through the reflection of woundedness and to compulsively think sick thoughts.

words, letters, disillusionment

The nature of all negativity is that it creates deeper mental grooves of self-sabotage, experienced as a downward spiral into more separate thinking where you unwittingly become the participant of your own personal created hell.

When we can see how meaningless this attack is, we also move into self-empowerment.

Having mastery over our mind then becomes the priority and worthiness of our efforts

3. reverse engineer a negative situation

In facing a difficult situation, ask yourself "What am I believing about this situation and about myself?"

Asking the right question facilitates you finding and exploring your own answers.

When 1 was 16 years old I suffered a serious bout of abdominal pain which resulted in an auto-immune diagnosis.  Some 15 years later, the same thing would re-occur. This time, the pain was medically undiagnosable.

This was a particularly dark period. And having spent years trying to look for a solution in the world and not finding it, I lost all faith in medical doctors and in the laws of nutrition and exercise. Completely lost and feeling hopeless, my ego, the abdicator of all responsibility, was finally broken down enough so that I can go within and ask the inevitable question "Wherein did I cause this to happen?"

What transpired was another few years of trial and error in trying to understand what went wrong. This was a period of intense shadow work and self-inquiry. I needed to know why my life had turned out the way it did and I was not willing to settle for half-truths. I was looking for a lasting solution, the truth,  and not just comfort and solace.

In exploring my mind, I remembered my prayer to be struck with a disease that would help me not be drafted into the army. I got my answer at age 16. This was not a flattering insight but I wanted it anyway. For how else could I change my mind?

My unwavering decision to take responsibility and heal also gave me a renewed appreciation for the workings and power of my mind to shape my present experience. And as I saw no more value in pain and suffering, all my symptoms started to disappear. This was an undeniable demonstration of the power of decision that I could not pass off as accidental. In taking full responsibility, I could no longer be in denial of what was the cause of my sickness. I saw clearly that I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts and that it was my thinking that needed correction and not my outer circumstances. Authenticity heals and it heals for all time.

The quantum field, in which all things exist, does not judge anything. It gives expression to all our wishes and decisions be they made in ignorance, in indifference, or in awareness. This is how powerful we all are. We always experience what we wish. This is true mastery where we see that every fearful thought or unloving narrative is false and needlessly painful. When we see that the water in the desert is a mirage, we won't be fooled to go there and drink again. The illusion of suffering collapses when you see it for what it is.

An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. Every thought you have contributes to truth or illusion; either it extends Truth or multiplies illusions.. every thought you have either brings love or fear, peace or war......There is such a temptation to dismiss fear and guilty thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you recognize them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal

A Course in Miracles

And when I was able to clearly trace every negative situation in my life to a thought or belief, it was as if I cracked the code to life. By reverse-engineering every negative circumstance in my life, I saw that all of my unhappiness, depression, and sickness was rooted in a personal self that I had not questioned.  By unlearning illusion, I also discovered that peace and happiness are already present in every instant seemingly covered up by thinking an illusion to be real.

There is a small particle of God in every one of us. You are a child of God and your life is God’s dream. By shaping your own reality with the power of intention, you fulfil God’s will. Your intention is God’s intention. As this is the case, how can you doubt that your intention will be realised? All it takes is to claim the right. When you ask God for something, it is just the same as if God had asked something of himself. Can God really ask something of his or her self? Is there any one person alive from whom God would ask for something for himself or herself? God just takes what he (she) wants. Do not ask, demand or strive. Shape your own reality by way of conscious intention.

Vadim Zeland

4. journal

All war belongs on paper

Byron Katie

Journaling is a precious gift and tool. In writing down our thoughts, beliefs, and stories on paper, we can no longer be in denial of what is in our minds and what is at the root of our experience.  Both the problem and solution are in our minds if we are willing to pay close attention to the nature of our experience. Journaling helps us with that.

Journaling helps us to see the insanity of creating our own problems and then spending all of our time and energy trying to solve them.

Consider this.

If the majority of our thoughts are related to unresolved and negative experiences, then we are also hardwired to scan our environment compulsively to look for anything that is out of order. This is a recipe for neurosis and for energizing an already out of control imagination that is negatively-biased. When we are thinking and unaware of what we are thinking, we become a victim to our own thought process. Journaling interrupts this process. Journaling helps us to pay close attention to our thought processes without being distracted.

Mental defenses like avoidance, suppression, and attack are blind spots and they are set up to protect us from feeling a particular way. So when we are conditioned to run away from “bad” feelings, we also stop ourselves from exposing the beliefs that need to be healed.  It's a double dose of self-affliction that keeps us rehashing the memory of a wounded past. In fear, we feel undecided and crippled as we use an enormous amount of energy to stop ourselves from moving forward.

Journaling gives us insight into why we suffer; how we suffer and uncovers our blind spots and tendencies. With insight also comes the freedom to respond in a way that we never imagined possible.

Journal what you love, what you hate, what's in your head, what's important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see

Kay Walkingstick

5. expand your comfort zone

Fear keeps us cocooned in what is familiar and stale. So be willing to push the boundaries of your awareness and don’t take your life experiences for granted. They show us generously where it is not working and what we wish to have more of.

Anxiety is like a shrine that shows us we need more love and self-care in our lives.
So be willing to do some things out of the ordinary. Take a cold shower. Practice holding yoga postures for a substantial period of time. Build your attentional muscle so that you are on task with what you are doing. Develop and sustain the powers of concentration so that you can become more present with those around you.

In setting goals, remember that a goal should be something that excites you and also frightens you at the same time. The benefit of stepping out of your comfort zone is that whenever we do something which is unfamiliar, it brings into our awareness yet another blockage or antiquated way of thinking that we can let go of.

If you don't step outside of your comfort zone and face your fears, the number of situations which make you uncomfortable will keep growing

Theo Pistorius

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Neal Donald Walsch

conclusion

Mastery demands all of our attention and is an achievement worthy of our time, effort, and practice.

We are our own starting point. Once that is off, nothing makes sense. Changing our minds about who we are and prioritizing where we would like to place our sacred attention changes everything.

Mastery is Self-discipline. It brings stability and structure. It is the continued deepening and clarifying of our purpose; the building of our attentional and intentional muscle and the seeing of reality without any bias.

Mastery is recognizing the Love and union that empowers us to do what we could not have imagined possible.

Roy Gan

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