Old And New Paradigms of Change
The old human paradigm of change is all about linear goal setting. It’s driven by the rational, logical left-brain with an illusion that life can be predicted and controlled. Know what you want, obtain the right resources, plan your steps and then just do it! Lose weight 10 kg, eat less and exercise three times a week. Or with a workplace change, inform people and get them do what’s expected. When obstacles pop up, push harder, eliminate resistance.
One major problem with the traditional paradigm is that it’s set to fight reality and human nature instead of collaborating with it. In real life, circumstances change, unexpected opportunities pop up and the human mind in itself is unpredictable. Resistance arises when our needs are not taken into account or something is being forced upon us. The subconscious mind may react with defense even against our own conscious mind, its bold resolutions that require changing our habitual patterns.
There is another way of making changes that takes place from the inside out. It’s our inner state that in the end determines the outcome.
Is your mind it filled with worry and doubt? Or is your heart trusting and open to the miracles of possibilities?
Everything in our lives is a projection of what lies within our minds, hearts and cell memory – and most of it is not conscious. “As within so without” said the great teacher Hermes.
So, we need to get the inner and outer realities into coherence to support our dreams.
To make it happen, the left-brain logic must meet the right-brain intuition, feelings and sensations. That’s the “irrational” invisible part of life that cannot be forced or eliminated by will, although you may suppress and mask it. Fighting against it just feeds resistance; you might get your feet moving but your soul is not in. Instead, this pure creative potential serves you well when empowered, nurtured, embraced and mindfully guided.
The soul of change is based on intention rather than a specific goal. It connects your dream or desired change to who you are, what’s calling you and to your authentic needs.
There are three questions that you can apply to any change or dream for integrating the inner with the outer reality.
How is this change supporting me to become my best self?
Often underlying unhealthy patterns and unsatisfied circumstances is a disconnection to our deeper essence or the soul.
Who am I becoming? These questions reconnect you to the deeper essence and your true self-identity. A transformative change will move you closer to who you truly are and liberates your greater potential, your unique strengths and gifts.
“Losing weight 10 kg” as a goal may not instantly make you feel good, rather it sounds like a lot of struggle and hard effort. Instead, “becoming vibrant, energetic and healthier” gives you a boost, doesn’t it? It makes a difference how you call your change, what’s the image and feeling it evokes within you daily.
To enable your ideal outcome, you will most likely need other strengths too. What kind of a person do you need to be in order to achieve what you want? The answer could be something like courageous, committed and persevering.
You can practice your new strengths by tuning into the energy of the desired qualities. If it’s courage, recall situations where you have shown courage and relive the memories, thoughts, feelings and sensations that were present. Imagine that you are breathing in the energy of courage until you can feel it in your cells. Then ask yourself: What would courage do in my life right now? Begin to take small steps that require courage, so it anchors into your self-identity.
When your identity shifts to match your desired change, any required actions become so much easier. You will naturally choose behaviors that are aligned to who you are.
How is this change boosting my sense of purpose and meaning?
One reason why manifesting our goals often fails is that we don’t always know what gives us true happiness or sense of purpose. It may be someone else's dream that we pursue or make choices out of fear rather than inspired by our soul's passion.
So, what’s your big WHY with this change? And how is it moving you closer to what gives your deeper meaning in life? Keep inquiring until you can connect your dream to something that ignites the true passion of your soul.
When you become “vibrant, energetic, healthy”, what does it enable you to do? For example, you may love dancing or playing basketball, so through this change you would have greater opportunities to enjoy physical movement. That’s what gets your out of bed every morning 6 AM to go the gym!
When you fight against what you don’t want (bad habits), it becomes an uphill battle. Instead, move towards what your soul deeply desires and it’s so much easier to develop healthier habits.
What’s the positive impact your dream or change could make for others?Relating your change to something greater than yourself may become a huge inspiration. But do start with yourself. Sometimes, people don’t dare to focus on personal changes due to fear of being selfish. If that's the case with you, perhaps you could contemplate the following questions: When I'm happier, how much more energy do I have for being present with others? What if taking the best care of myself could be my highest service to life?
How is this change addressing my true needs?
What do I need, here and now? That’s perhaps one of the most essential questions we can ask ourselves on a regular basis. In connection to your change, it shows what you most need in order to step into your new reality and higher potential. It also reveals your hidden fears that might come in the way if not addressed.
The human mind is hardwired to resist change to make sure we are safe. If some of your key safety factors are missing, resistance pops up in an instant.
Many people try to force changes in their own life like the worst bosses treat their teams. (Mentally) beating up for better performance and denying their true needs and emotions. No wonder there is resistance and sooner or later, reverting to old habits.
Our needs guide us to honor with the wisdom of our body and emotions. A human being is an integrated body-mind-soul system, and making a shift in one part affects the whole, so everything begins to shift. Some parts take more time and need more support. It’s like your inner team – how do you make sure everyone is onboard and cooperative? The time you give to the most vulnerable part pays back later.
So, how is your change helping you become more whole? How is it transforming your whole life for the better?
Some of our needs are vital for our wellbeing like getting enough rest. Other needs may show places for healing such as attachment to unhealthy behaviors. Those needs reveal our core beliefs about ourselves and life. A transformative change works on the level of our core beliefs shifting our perception about what’s possible.
Do you truly believe that you deserve what you want? Can you really see and feel yourself in your ideal state? If you don’t feel that you fit your new self-image, it’s unlikely you get there in the first place or the change will not be long-lived. Like someone who loses a lot of weight with a quick-fix diet but doesn’t feel okay in her new “skin”.
What beliefs do you have that still keep your to your old identity? What new beliefs could you assume instead? Changing beliefs is not just a mental exercise of positive thinking. It requires a complete shift of the old pattern including your subconscious mind and cell memory. With persistent limiting beliefs you may need to work with a coach or another professional to heal the underlying wounds and shift the energy.
Power of Action – From The Inside Out
In the end, manifesting our dreams and making lasting changes depend on keeping a fine balance between a supportive inner state and committed purposeful action.
With long-term projects, ask yourself daily: What's one action step I could make right now? Take small steps on a regular basis to keep the momentum. If you find yourself frozen with procrastination, that’s often the right place to act even if you can’t see a bigger picture. It will liberate stuck energy and you may see things with greater clarity again.
With lifestyle changes, incorporate new habits with small chunks practicing new behaviors and related mindsets daily. Repetition is the key to rewire your brain over a few weeks’ time – even five minutes daily could be effective.
Be merciful with yourself and notice the small wins along the way. Every time you shift your inner attitude from the old to the new mindset, you'll reinforce your new reality until it becomes automatic and fully embodied.
The Soul of Change
The soul of change is about creating the right circumstances much like a gardener preparing the soil and watering the seeds with heart while waiting patiently. It includes an ability to embrace life and love yourself moment by moment and not only in an ideal future.
Sometimes, what you most need is to let go rather than push forward. When you have fully released the old and the time is right, the new will unfold without an effort.
The inner way uses everything that happens as source of potential. Resistance is a sign to pause, something seeks integration. Interruptions could offer sudden opportunities. It’s an ability to shift, grow and evolve along with life’s changing tides while holding your soul's intention as an anchor point.
And remember an attitude of gratitude. By acknowledging life’s abundant blessings and your own efforts, you reinforce what is already well and it energizes your entire being. Gratitude is a great magnetizer proven by research! Life gives you more of what’s in the focus of your attention.
When you have done your best as a conscious creator of your life, simply release the rest for a greater intelligence. Giving up a need to be in control opens your energy to magnetic presence and a creative flow. You may relax and let go. The universe has your back.
For your daily 1-2 minute practice: Take a few deep breaths and imagine with every cell of your body how it is to be the person you know you can be in your new reality!
Photo credit: Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash
What does success mean to you? Do you consider yourself successful?
The Oxford Dictionary defines success as an accomplishment of an aim or purpose or an outcome of an undertaking (good/bad). Likewise, it can refer to a person or a thing that attains fame, wealth or social status.
Hence, success contains an element of comparison, winning or losing. It’s the feeling of “I did it! – Or I failed.” It comes with a timeline upon which we pursue our goals and then measure results against some yardstick.
It may also tell us how we rank in the social arena, even becoming a defining term for someone’s identity. Am I a successful person?Our need for recognition can be linked in our minds with other rewards such as social fame, power, career promotion and financial gain. It makes us feel more worthy.
No wonder “being successful” is a sought-after status in the results-oriented world where social media exposure means power.
And, whether you want the fame or not, you may feel trapped in the corporate success game. The fast-increasing burnout rates reveal the harsh reality in today’s work cultures.
One academic research identified four sources of satisfaction related to success with high-achieving professionals: achievement, happiness, significance and legacy. These four were seen contradictory and seldom experienced all at once.
“If you’re deeply content all the time, what happens to your achievement? It’s not there. One of the reasons you’re successful is that you’re not happy. Significance to others can be guided by a sense of fairness, generosity and caring, but do fairness, generosity and caring help you in your achievements?”
Perhaps, it’s time to redefine what success means to us, individually and collectively. We started to explore the idea with the following question.
What if success could align with happiness and a meaningful life – and create value for self, others and the world?
Success is generally measured as an outcome, whilst happiness is in the process. Problems show up if your happiness becomes conditional on success – be it driven by external fame or internal purpose. “If I achieve this and get that, then I’ll be happy.” With that mindset, your joy is short-lived. Much like a drug, you keep wanting more. You must begin with happiness, or you’ll never quite get there. It’s a being state.
The same is actually true with the essence of success. Your beliefs shape your experience. “I am successful” magnetizes very different events than “I am a failure.” Successful people are not those who always succeed. They are those who bounce back from a setback still believing in themselves. Thomas Edison found ten thousand ways that don’t work before he invented the light bulb. Hence, the path of success calls for effort, unwavering commitment, perseverance and resilience. And we may need to redefine failure, too. There is always a gift to be uncovered. That’s the essence of growth.
At the end of the day, how you define your success is what matters. What you aim for as your purpose directs your life and gives you a sense of meaning.
With that in mind, we had a Conscious Dialogue Session with a group of people asking them: What is Success to You?
One observation was that people talked about inner rather than external things. Achievement of personal goals and prosperity were mentioned. Mostly, the dialogue was about fulfillment beyond achievement, such as being present, following your heart and inner guidance, connection to a higher source, loving yourself. People were also concerned about the bigger picture whereby we are connected to others and the world around us, even future generations. Contribution, being of service and helping others succeed equaled success to many.
Those ideas fall in the category of internal rather than external drivers with a strong emphasis on service. In fact, no one talked about reputation, recognition or career.
These people are not alone. A growing number of people today are looking for a more conscious lifestyle and work that aligns with their deeper values. Some choose to step out of the success race, finding new ways to define who they are and what’s their purpose. External rewards alone do not satisfy their heart’s yearning. They are seeking to contribute to the well-being of our entire human family.
Are you one of those who are looking for a deeper meaning?
The current lifestyle has not encouraged us to be real and authentic, to bring our whole selves to the workplace. As an outcome, many have lived in constant self-denial to fit in. One day you may awaken to realize that something is missing. The inner spark is no more there. It may feel like you’ve lost connection to your true self or just grown out of who you once were. Alternatively, it can be an external crisis that shatters your life’s safe foundations. Life has its ways to nudge us towards growth – and towards true fulfillment.
We all have some unique gift to offer to the world that needs our resources more than ever. But you can only access your greater potential when in touch with your authentic self. It calls for courage to break through not only external expectations but also your own limiting beliefs about who you are. Including the need to be accepted and loved for false reasons. Being real means being vulnerable. It’s a long path to peel the layers of our masks and reveal the real self in all magnificence.
Living an authentic purposeful life won’t necessarily lead to great external achievements. But it certainly offers constant places to stretch beyond your past limitations. On that path, any event and encounter with others may become a place of conscious growth to love unconditionally, to be present, to heal your shadows and reach your greater potential. Not forgetting to take care of your well-being. And yet, there is no failure, only learning.
The more you shift to living from the inside out, the more the external reality begins to align with your values. You don’t need to change your job or pursue a great mission in order to live a purposeful life. But most likely, that path will lead you to take on some inspiring project calling your heart. That’s a place for committed action to achieve meaningful outcomes – with an opportunity to create value for yourself, all involved and the larger world.
How would that look like and feel for you?
Seeds For Conscious Inner Dialogue –
Article first published at empowerbase.com (blog) and co-created by Mia Aittola & Dinesh Chandra.
This is the first in a series of articles on Conscious Living inspired by Conscious Dialogue Community Calls. Our gratitude goes to all who participated in co-creating the dialogue. Welcome to join our free monthly sessions and to share your insights on the article. See more information: Conscious Dialogue.
Photo credit: Juan Jose on Unsplash.
In the first part of this article (below this one: Living Your Purpose - Aligning With Heart) we explored the difference between the essence (energy) and the many possible forms (expressions) of your purpose. When aligned with your essence, you can live your purpose in the moment and touch others in the heart through everything you do. Nothing else is necessarily needed to fulfill your purpose.
But one day life may wake you up with a specific calling. Whispering about possibilities that strike your heart’s deepest core. It could be an inspired vision or a dream of what might become. A call to a new career path or an idea for a business of your own. Perhaps a book waiting to share its message through you.
A calling like that demands a conscious choice. It's a defining moment that will direct your future. These are the crossroads where people typically want to know the "right path".
But what if there is no right or wrong here? Once again, forms can vary while the essence remains the same. Whatever you choose, it becomes your path of learning exactly those life lessons that await you next.
Alternatively, you could find yourself undergoing an inner crises of meaning. Finding no inner satisfaction, even if everything looks great on the outside. It may feel like you've lost connection to you true self or just grown out of who you once were. It's time to let go of the safety zone and open up to what's in the coming.
Sometimes life calls you through an external crisis that shatters the very foundations of your life. It kind of makes the choice on your behalf forcing you to leave the old behind, like it or not. Life has its ways to nudge us towards growth.
Whatever it is that brought you to the crossroads of your life, between the present moment and your calling is a leap of faith into the unknown. It requires courage to take the first step on a path that is not yet fully visible. And it never is completely. Standing in a place of not knowing is a prerequisite for making your dreams come true.
But the mind wants to be in control and know every detail, so you could feel safe. The mind is never quite ready. Therefore, let your heart be the guiding force when it comes to knowing what's best for you. But do consult the mind when it's time to move into action and do some wise calculations. Conscious living too must be grounded in practical reality.
Making the choice could be one learning lesson in itself. What if it's not so much about what you choose but how you go about choosing it? As with all important choices, your might recognize voices of fear (ego) and voices of love (higher knowing) - which one will you follow?
Sometimes fear disguises as the rational wise option. And often the path that is most aligned with your purpose comes with greatest fear. For deep inside you know that it's time to jump off the cliff of your comfort zone to find your wings.
The more you are willing to be stretched, the more your reality is going to form around your inner passion and calling. That which truly ignites your heart and awakens your natural genius. Most of the time, it may seem like you are living in a zone of flow, ease and grace.
Even so, it's wise to pay attention to your other needs too and get enough rest. Everything in life moves in cycles. Time for activity and a time for rest. Time for being inspired and a time for restoring balance. So take care that your energy becomes continuously recharged.
And there is always the next vision, goal, realization. Things are never quite complete or perfect in the human terms. You stumble and fall. But you do your best with heart. And deep down, you know. Your life matters. You are living your purpose, moment by moment.
In Service With Heart - Mia
Below a couple of questions that you can place in the heart in quiet moments of reflection or meditation.
See Part 1 of this Article! Living Your Purpose - Aligning With Heart
(right below this one)
Your life has a purpose – you have some special gift to contribute to the world. And there is no-one else on Earth who could bring forth exactly what you have inside.
How do you then get to know your purpose and your gifts? That’s the question I’ve heard so many times from seekers of their path and it has certainly inspired my own life since young.
Below some realizations along the way.
What is my purpose? That’s an enormous question for the mind to handle. Hence it begins to rationalize and doubt, becoming fixed: “I must find my purpose, so I won’t stop searching until I get it.” Or “I’m going to sit on this fence until I’m certain about what I should do”.
Doing is the language the mind comprehends, right? But purpose in essence is not about doing. It’s more about being.
The more you chase your purpose, the further it slips away from your reach as anything you get attached to. Attachment triggers tension which in turn inhibits the creative flow.
And the more you think about it the more firmly you get trapped in the brain which is very limited in its capacity to help you out with inquiries like that.
It's your heart that holds the essence of your purpose and gifts. Including a most intelligent navigation system with a compass that always points to your true North. The heart knows even if you mind doesn’t. Therefore, the essential task upon your quest of purpose is to connect with your heart.
When you are centered within your heart, all that you do radiates the light of your gift and purpose. Every choice you make or meeting with another person, even performing everyday routines. And it's not dependent on your ability to name your purpose or recognize your gifts. It's the unique quality of energy that you deliver. Perhaps nothing else is really needed for fulfilling your purpose?
What is then "living in the heart"? To me its about living in harmony with myself, others and the whole. Being true to who I am, honoring my own authentic feelings, values and needs. Being present to others and honoring what is important to them. And being available for life to serve through me. Asking life: How can I be of service today?
I believe it's in the giving that our gift becomes known. And by performing small things with heart, our purpose begins to reveal itself.
But if you live your life cut off from your center, the light cannot shine through nor can your purpose guide your actions. No matter how successful you may be. It's life that follows someone else's agenda and expectations.
Even if you can fulfill your purpose without putting it into words, it may become a source of great inspiration when you do so. A good practice to connect with your purpose and capture its energy is meditation. By tuning in to your heart on a regular basis, you could for instance come up with an idea that your purpose is to be an agent of peace. That would capture for you the essential quality of energy that inspires your actions.
Just remember to keep it open for new discoveries, to change and evolve as you do. For energy can take many forms, and your purpose can follow many paths.
You can explore the expressions of your purpose by asking: How do I enhance peace in my work and everyday encounters with others? Obviously, there are several tasks, jobs and careers where you can spread the energy of peace, right? And even more ways to express it in your everyday life.
So how do you know when you are living your purpose?
When you begin to move towards a more authentic life, you may notice a growing sense of inner peace, no matter what happens on the outside. Gradually, the external circumstances too will become organized in new ways. For the outer reality always reflects the inner world. New opportunities to harness your true talents may come your way. Unexpected events show up just in time. And you come across with others who share your values and passions. Not because you actively looked for your purpose, as it was always within you. It all happens because you have aligned with your heart and allow your purpose to serve through you.
Living your purpose doesn’t mean the end of difficulties, for life ever challenges us to grow. More likely, the path of the heart will trigger your shadows and nagging doubts just as it gives you tremendous joy and fulfillment. It becomes a rite of passage challenging you to your limits, so you can release old beliefs about what's possible and discover your true greatness.
Are you ready to say YES to your Path of Purpose?
In Service With Heart - Mia
To inspire your journey, below a couple of questions that you can place in the heart in quiet moments of reflection or meditation.
Transformation Coach - Purpose Agent - Alchemist of Conscious Evolution