Friday, 30 October 2020

Stay alert and receptive of ideas, people and circumstances

Unlike the traditional patriarchal definition of power over, or control, real power is the spiritual energy that comes from living with integrity, from aligning your thoughts, words, and actions with the deepest part of who you are--your soul. The heart of your personal and spiritual development is all about creating this alignment. Most of us think of power as having the confidence, strength, and courage to do what we want with our lives. In reality these qualities emerge as a result of living with integrity. Just as a magnificent painting comes into its full glory through the convergence of space, creativity, and energy, so shall you come into your full power as you start to think, talk, and behave in ways that are congruent with your spiritual self. As you continue to fulfill your Divine assignment by investing in your personal and spiritual development and listening more intently to your inner wisdom, you naturally begin to live a more congruent life. This forms a solid foundation for you to stand upon as you head in the direction of taking this inner work out into the world. As you continue doing the work to strengthen this foundation, you'll want to stop engaging in the habits that prevent you from letting the fullness of who you are shine through. This awareness is likely to lead you to try to adjust your behavior toward that person, or people in general, in the future. Being able to think about the self symbolically also enables people to mentally simulate future events and to imagine various possibilities for their lives. In this way, people can delay a habitual response to a situation and consider alternative responses, to ponder the past and anticipate the future, and to ask why? In a nutshell, having a concept of self that connects past, present, and future is adaptive because it vastly improves our ability to monitor and change our behavior, ultimately increasing our chances that things will go our way. Having a self gives humans freedom and flexibility in their behavior unlike that found in any other known living thing. Conscious and Nonconscious Aspects of Thinking A central idea in the 2,600-year development of philosophical and psychological theory is that although humans are quite capable of being self-aware, much of our behavior results from nonconscious processes. You don't have to think about sweating when the temperature gets high; And very often people are not consciously aware of the factors affecting their behavior, as Freud emphasized in the early 20th century. We also see this in contemporary research, as when people's judgments are influenced by exposure to subliminal stimuli they are not even aware they have seen. Unproductive tasks, Needless distractions, and/or

Ill-defined goals. In short, instead of being focused, your mind is scattered. And the constant friction you experience every day leaves you feeling unfocused, stressed and exhausted. In this section, you'll learn how to declutter your mind and your environment so that you can move toward your goals freely and effortlessly. Reconnect with the present Do you worry too much? Do you have significant problems you can't stop focusing on? If so, these problems are likely to destroy your peace of mind and make your life harder than it needs to be. You'll need to stop hiding your power. WHY WE HIDE OUR POWER For years I've watched bright and talented people think, speak, and act in ways that minimize their power. I've seen clients plagued by self-doubt hold themselves back from taking important steps toward their desired goals. I've listened to them continually put themselves down in spite of the talent they possess. I've watched countless people subconsciously sabotage their success by taking (or not taking) the necessary actions to fuel their dreams. There's nothing sadder than watching someone bursting with potential hold back his or her power in this way. We hide our power for a number of reasons. For example, if you were raised by rules like don't brag or don't get a big head, you may have learned that there are negative consequences to feeling confident or sure of yourself. If you had a parent who was angry and filled with rage, it may not have been safe for you to express yourself fully. For example, super-quick (28-millisecond) subliminal flashes of words associated with aggressiveness can lead people to judge others as being more aggressive (Todorov & Bargh, 2002). The psychologist William James (1890) pointed out that an action that initially required conscious control can become habitual, such that conscious thought is no longer needed to perform it.

For example, learning to play a musical instrument requires rigorous conscious attention over long hours of repetitive practice. Once musical skills have been acquired, however, playing the instrument becomes quite automatic. In fact, once these skills become habits, consciously thinking about them (eg, thinking about each finger's placement on a flute) can interfere with smooth action (Beilock, 2011). The process by which a task no longer requires conscious attention is referred to as automatization. Can you see how automatization would be quite adaptive? For one thing, it allows people to get stuff done without actively thinking about the actions they are performing, freeing their minds to concentrate on other tasks. As a result of automatization, many behaviors result from unconscious automatic processes, while responses to more novel, complex, and challenging situations involve more conscious controlled processes (discussed more in article 3). Of course, many behaviors combine both types of processes. The reason you worry too much is that you spend too much time focusing on things you cannot change. You dwell on your past without being able to do anything about it, or you worry about your future, wondering if everything is going to be okay. To reduce your worries, you must learn to live in the present. You can only live one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time. Yesterday is gone. You did what you could, so let go of the past and move forward. Tomorrow hasn't yet come. You'll deal with whatever happens when it arrives. But for now, the only thing you have to focus on is this moment, right now. Before we continue, let's complete a simple exercise. Many of us have received messages that told us to be modest, humble, or understated. While these qualities may be virtuous, taken to an extreme it only serves to keep our God-given talents and gifts hidden from others.

Whatever your reason for hiding your power, what matters most is what you do now to change it. Now that you've begun to develop a stronger relationship with yourself, it's time to stop hiding your power so you can use it to build the emotional strength and confidence necessary to center your life around your values. HOW DO YOU HIDE YOUR POWER? In what ways do you put yourself down, hold yourself back, or discount your strengths and talents? Like Lilly, you might temper your conversations with words that downplay your intelligence. Or you may have a habit of putting yourself down or making fun of yourself in some way. Maybe you respond to compliments with an off-handed, self-effacing remark to deflect attention. As I've mentioned before, we've all learned to downplay our greatness and, in this article, I'd like to bring your awareness to how you may be getting in your own way. Automatic processes Human thoughts or actions that occur quickly, often without the aid of conscious awareness. Controlled processes Human thoughts or actions that occur more slowly and deliberatively, and are motivated by some goal that is often consciously recognized. In fact, we can understand the mind's activity in more general terms as the combination of two mental systems (Epstein, 1980). One is an experiential system of thought and decision making that relies on emotions, intuitions, and images processed in the brain's evolutionarily older regions, including the limbic system. Automatic processes often happen within this system (FIGURE 2. The other is a rational system that is logical, analytic, and primarily linguistic. This system involves greater activity from the more recently evolved frontal lobes of the cerebrum and supports controlled processes (see Figure 2. It takes over when the person has sufficient time, motivation, and attention to think carefully about her situation and herself. Spend a couple of minutes reflecting on the fact that this moment is the only thing that is and ever will be real. Don't think.

Feel the present moment. Become aware of all your senses. Notice how your body feels. Hear all the sounds. Observe the room you're in and look for things you've never noticed before. Now, realize that your past is no more. It exists only as a memory you recall in the present moment. Meditate on that for a while. To see how you might be hiding your power, read through the following statements and check those that are true for you: Let's see how you did. Follow the guidelines below: As you can see, the examples above fall into three categories: The thoughts we think on a moment-by-moment basis have the most powerful influence over our lives. As you've already learned, thoughts are creative, and they become the springboard for your emotions, words, and actions. When you lend words to your thoughts by vocalizing them, you give them even more power. And as you act on those thoughts, your actions become your defining experience. Remember this: Everything that occurs in your life is in direct connection to the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and the actions you take. When your thoughts, words, and actions are congruent and aligned with your values, you exercise your greatest use of power. Limbic System and Frontal Cortex Our experiential and rational systems take place in different regions of the brain that support different types of thought processes.

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