198 – July 17
“Life precedes form and life survives the last atom of form. Through the countless days proceeds the life-ray, the one, like a thread through many jewels.”—The Book of Dzyan
One lazy Sunday afternoon, I opened up my keepsake trunk and pulled out some of my old scrapbooks. Nostalgically, I reminisced over pictures of high school dances, dried flowers from the corsage I wore at the cotillion, drama reviews of plays performed, bits of cheerleading pompon. I remembered the hopes and dreams of the girl I was then and the fun I had dancing through days dappled with sunlight and shadows.
The phone rang, bringing me back to current reality. It was my friend, Carol. When she asked me what I’d been doing, I told her I had been having fun looking through my “remembrances of things past.”
“Ugh,” Carol exclaimed. “I hate to do that.”
“You do?” I asked. “Why?”
“Because it reminds me how fast life is passing and how much time is gone already. I’m getting older and there’s a shorter and shorter length of time left to live.”
“Well, of course, that’s true. But then there’s the next life to look forward to!”
“No, I don’t believe in that,” said Carol. “There’s only one life and this is it. I’m an atheist. When you die there’s nothing.”
“Oh, I can see why that would make you feel bad. It must be scary, too,” I commiserated.
Carol agreed that it was very scary—and depressing.
“Well then, Carol,” I said, “I think you should change your beliefs. We are both experiencing the passing of time, but I’m happy about it and you’re miserable.”
“But I believe what I believe!” she protested. “I can’t just change my beliefs!”
“Sure you can,” I replied. “Look at it logically: If you’re right, when I die—I won’t know. There’ll just be nothing. But I’ll live this whole life happily, thinking my beliefs are true. Your belief, on the other hand, makes you miserable. And if I’m right, and there’s a life on the other side of this one, you’re going to be very surprised. And you would have been unhappy all this time for no reason. So the smart choice is to choose a belief that makes you happy to believe it right now!”
I’m not sure she got it. Do you? Re-examine all your beliefs right now. What limiting beliefs do you have—about anything—that make you miserable? Find evidence to believe things that make you happy instead. You can believe that “the world is a terrible place” and prove it by example. But I can say, “The world is a beautiful place,” and prove it just as easily. For which belief do you want to gather proof? Do you want to think positive or not?
“All my beliefs are positive and make me happy!”
The 3 Aspects of Self
I was on vacation in Bali about 25 years ago and had the opportunity to go parasailing. Part of me was excited to do it and part of me was filled with fear. It took me an hour to get up enough nerve to put on the harness and allow myself to be lifted into the air. As I sailed through the air high above the water, I had two opposite feelings simultaneously. “How could that be?” I wondered. How could I feel exhilarated and at the same time so scared?
The answer to this question was recently revealed during a class I am taking called Awakening To Life taught by Craig Hamilton. He talks about who we are from three aspects: the ego self (who lives in duality), the Self with a capital S (called the non-duality realm, our divine, eternal, immortal, infinite Self) and a third self he names the evolutionary self. It is this self that the class is exploring and becoming more familiar with.
When I identify with my small self, I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, angry, unstable, confused, unhappy and frightened. That is the part of each of us that has concerns, issues, problems, fears and suffers confusion. The part of me that feels exhilarated is my evolving self. That is the part of each of us that loves, laughs, enjoys, is curious and compassionate. Usually one is dominant and the other lingers unnoticed in the background. When I was swept up into the air on my parasailing adventure, both parts emerged to the forefront simultaneously. I felt the fear of my small self and the joy of my evolving self at the same time.
The evolutionary self uses the human body to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world of time and space. This evolving self is curious not afraid, excited not threatened, expanded not contracted, clear seeing not confused. When I identify with this aspect of who I am, I welcome change, have lots of energy, feel alive, care deeply, and am content to live in the mystery of not knowing what’s next.
In class, we did an exercise this week in which I was guided to look at my current life from the perspective of my evolving self. I was shocked at what emerged. Instead of being overwhelmed by how many things there are to do, my evolving self saw all those things as opportunities for fun, miracles, aliveness, flow and got excited about taking them all on. It knows all things are possible; it has no idea “how” things will evolve but with all the excitement of a child, it looks forward to the adventure!
I am getting better at calling forth my evolving self to be dominate and inviting my small self to linger in the background, be silent and just watch the unknown become known. It is a practice that only gets practiced when I become aware that my small self has snuck into the dominant position and my evolving self has silently faded into the background. When I hear the frustrated voice of my small self in overwhelm, I stop, shift my attention to my evolving self and ask what it sees. My bad mood vanishes and often I break out in laughter of the absurdity of the narrow view of the small self.
This year life events have besieged me raising my stress levels and throwing me out of balance. Craig’s Awakening To Life class is helping stabilize me and getting me back on track. I am very grateful to be learning and practicing seeing the world through the eyes of the evolutionary self. I look forward to sharing more insights with you as the class unfolds.
Until you return, fill your days with GIGGLES, JOY, and APPRECIATION!
Sylvia Silk, D.D.
DoctorofDivinity, SpiritualCoach, ReconnectiveHealingPractitioner, Writer