An elegant way to facilitate change within oneself is to (a) bring what’s here into awareness, and then (b) allow our natural intelligence to work on its own.
As I see the consequences of certain behaviors, either internally or externally, they naturally become less attractive to me. And as I see the alternatives more clearly, they become more attractive to me.
No effort is involved, apart from just bringing attention to what is already here. Often again and again, over time.
The Your Money or Your Life program is a great example of this. I did it with a group of others some years ago, and it had a big impact on my life. At the end of each month, I added up my expenses in different categories, estimated how many hours I needed to work to pay for it, evaluated whether or not the spending was aligned with my values (good for health, the community, ecology/future generations), and whether I wished to spend more or less in that category. We all modified the categories to fit our own life, so for me, food expenses – for instance – were categorized into supermarket (wanted to spend less there), local farmers (a clear yes), local food cooperatives (also yes), and eating out (usually spend less there). I also added income, expenses and savings/investments on a wall chart so I could see changes over time. Through this, the way I spent my money and time naturally and effortlessly changed. I had an impulse to go to the supermarket, remembered that I spent more than I wanted there last month, so went to the local food cooperative instead. I had an impulse to eat out, the same happened, and I made a good meal at home or with friends instead. I also found ways to make money that was more rewarding and meaningful for me.
The Work is another good example. I find a belief, recognize that I cannot know for sure it is true (open the door for other possibilities), examine what happens when I hold onto the story as true, imagine and feel into how I would be without it, and find the genuine truths in its turnarounds. Through bringing all this into awareness, a shift may naturally happen. Sometimes, the story is released from being taken as true. Or it may come up again, and I recognize it as a belief and remember my previous exploration, and it doesn’t have the same hold anymore. Even if I still try to make it appear true for myself, it doesn’t quite work as it did before. When it comes up again in this way, I can find underlying assumptions and beliefs and investigate them. Or I may investigate the initial story again.
It is the same with other forms of inquiry, such as the headless experiments, the Big Mind process, and exploring the sense fields. I get to see and feel what’s already there, and that informs my life.
Since habitual patterns are, by definition, habitual, it is good for the inquiry to become habitual as well and return to it over and over, as if for the first time.
And that is another inquiry: What happens when I do inquiry from an assumption that I know this already, this is the same as before, or I need to find such and such? What happens when I do it as if it was the first time, from curiosity and with an open mind? Or perhaps actively aiming at discovering something new and different?
- bringing attention to / bring “into awareness”
- ymoyl, the work, exploring sense fields etc.
- bring attention to what’s already happening
- and that’s it, sit back, allow digestion to take place (trust the natural intelligence)
- often most effective, working with the system
An elegant way to work is to simply bring what’s here into awareness, and then allow our natural intelligence to work on its own.