As Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” If I may be so bold, I would like to expand upon this point. “Nothing is good or bad but believing makes it so.” What we choose to think about or focus on actually creates a vibration. This vibration is what each of us radiates into the world. That force is magnetic. But it is what we deeply believe that creates what we manifest into the world of our perception. This is a fine point but one to explore if we want to live our lives more consciously.
Our habitual thoughts constitute most of what moves through our minds. The continuous entertaining of these thoughts creates a vibration. It is this vibration which creates what we experience as the circumstances of our lives. It seems to be the other way around. That is, we think we feel a certain way because of our experiences. Situations we encounter seem to be happening to us or caused by others or larger forces. However, the truth is that it is our vibration that creates the circumstances we experience. Or, at the very least, our perception of the circumstances we experience. Often times, we are cultivating thoughts or engaging in thought patterns quite unconsciously. We are generally unaware of what’s really making us feel the way we are feeling. As a result, we feel justified in blaming the outside world when we don’t like what we are feeling. These thoughts arise in us from the conditioning, which formed early on and continues to imprint until we become conscious of it. Making a change is really not so simple until we become aware of the beliefs we have that are causing our world to seem as it is.
As painful as it can be to my ego, I love it when some aspect of my conditioning gets exposed and I become conscious of it. An example of this occurred recently as I was teaching one of my tai chi classes. My classes tend to be filled with chatter and laughter during our warm-up period until we begin our tai chi set. This particular Saturday morning was particularly chatty. As it was the day after the 4th of July, I was dealing with the aftereffects of a couple of glasses of champagne and a margarita or two. When I am compromised physically, my ego jumps on the opportunity to take control of me and whip me around a bit.
This particular morning my ego, which occasionally hops on the belief that I am not properly listened to, (as a result of my beloved dad often interrupting me in mid-sentence to say something unrelated) reared it’s unappealing head and lashed out at these delightful people who were just having a good time enjoying one another. The thoughts passed and cleared while I was doing my tai chi set, but came back later with a vengeance when my partner Steve mentioned how I had lost my cool. My mind conjured up many reasons why what I was feeling was not only accurate, but good for me to express! I knew by the feeling in my gut, that something was not quite right. But try as I might to “just feel my feelings,” the righteousness remained. So, I decided to give it some time and see what was up.
The next morning I woke up with the thought, “My class was just having a good time, laughing, loving, and enjoying themselves.” My heart softened and I realized on a feeling level that my ego was suffering from that old belief that I was not worth listening to. That little girl who felt what she had to say was not important enough for people to make space to hear was crying out.
As compassion arose for her and I gave her the ear she needed, a feeling of release and acceptance arose in me, for me and for the others. I realized that no one was trying to make me feel bad. No one ever is. We are all just doing our best trying to enjoy ourselves.
When I become conscious of the conditioning and let it dissolve by allowing the feelings to be felt just as they are without the need for them to go away, they do melt away and I am left with the more conscious belief that the most important thing we give and receive from one another, whether we are teachers or students or friends or family, is our vibration.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to explore that bit of conditioning again. It’s like peeling an onion to get to the core. Every time I become conscious of these unpleasant beliefs which cause suffering, by opening to the realization that nothing is caused by the outside world but rather by my belief about it, I become a little more at peace and a little more the master, a little less the slave to that part of me which is constructed and not real.
To me and to my students, I say: I’m sorry, forgive me, thank you,
I love you. Now chat away!