As most of you know, our work goes very deep into your inner world, into the psychosomatic, mental and spiritual aspects of our being. We really dig “in there” and it is a beautiful, raw and real interior process.
But what do we do with all this inner transformation once we get home? How can we act differently in our exterior world, now that we have let go of so much and healed so fully? How can our new way of being inform a new way of doing?
This, my dear friends, is where the spiritual rubber really meets the material road. The only way our newfound insights can manifest is if we actually change something in our real day-to-day life. We need to behave differently, engage differently and act differently. Our freshly acquired Aha’s need a practice ground. That practice ground is our daily life, with the ordinary activities and people in it.
In Buddhism, they call that “Right Action.” Acting in a way that is in accordance with your highest values, your deepest insights. If we don’t act in this way, then our old habits will sooner or later (and generally it is sooner!) creep right back in and NOTHING CHANGES.
It’s the good old Pavlovian Principle. Latest neuroscience shows that in the frontal lobes of our brain, there are actual passages or synapses formed from years of habitual flight, fight and freeze kind of thinking and all the avoidance strategies and addictive behaviors that develop from these trauma responses. The “grooves” in our brain are deeply engrained and as soon as there is the slightest stress, we easily revert to those kinds of behaviors.
We can have the best intentions, but intentions alone don’t keep us from returning to those good old unskillful habits that take us right back to those unskillful thought patterns which take us back to the emotional roller coasters of anxiety, depression, irritability, and distrust. Sound familiar?
Without Right Action to help form new pathways in the brain, there is no hope for a new life. But with the Right Action and with implementing new habits, we can form new passageways, and over time with continued dedicated practice, they will also get deeply engrained.
Notice that I said over time and with continued dedicated practice. My dear friend, there just is NO QUICK FIX! At least I have never seen it anywhere in my close to 40 years of doing my own inner work, and witnessing my fellow brothers and sisters in doing theirs. It takes patience, dedication, commitment, loving kindness and a lot of forgiveness towards ourselves and others when we stumble and fall.
We will explore this theme for the whole month of May here at COR, but for this week, I want to leave you with one Right Action:
Consider changing one unskillful habit this week. For example, if you are one of those people whose first action when you wake up in the morning is to grab your cell phone or I-pad to go online, make a commitment not to do that. Give yourself at least 30-60 minutes to consciously start your day— be that with a short body scan, where you simply track your physical sensations for a few minutes, or a prayer or meditation, or consciously, slowly drinking a cup of tea or coffee (with no electronics).
Simply find one unskillful habit, something that is not in alignment with your highest values, and REPLACE it with one skillful habit, something that is in alignment with your healthy self. Remember, in doing so you are forging new passageways in your brain. Isn’t that awesome?
That is doing that comes from being. And this one little Right Action will have a huge effect on your life, I promise!
Let us know what unskillful action you want to let go of and what skillful action you will replace it with on our COR FB page. We’d love to hear what Right Action you’re taking on this week! (And while you are there, please do like us on Facebook. Thanks!)
Love and blessings,