…even though you intend to be calm?
Can you fake your way through consciousness development? If it were that easy, anyone appearing to be calm and centered would actually be just that. It’s not so easy, though, because when you explore consciousness, you do so by actually practicing awareness from moment to moment. And that means that you become more aware. You can guess where that leads… you become more conscious of the feelings, thoughts, and sensations within you — the entire range of them.
And yet, those who seek to look spiritual often mean well, because they really do want to be calm and centered. However, they agonize because they believe that something is keeping them from attaining their goal. The paradox is that your choice to become more aware lets you know the truth. The truth is that life is a range of vibrations, and your recognition and acceptance of this lets you settle into your natural self.
Your natural self includes the broad range of your Being, from enlightened sage, to critical observer and thinker, to naive child, and everything in-between. These are all genuine aspects of you. To make one more real than another is unfair to your broad-spectrum multifaceted self.
You are ever-evolving, and you discover new levels of your inner self each day. That means that even as you are accessing your higher potential, your awareness also reveals deeper tensions and issues. When you accept this, you approach a calmer state. Not because you are free of tension, but because you are relaxing into your tension by gently including it in your consciousness.
The paradox of relaxing into your tension is that the so-called tension energy makes a gentle shift, as if by magic. The reason it changes is because you have let go of judgment and resistance. Embracing tension seems like a too-simple solution, and it may seem, at first glance, as if you are celebrating tension. Not so, because you are bringing it to your consciousness, and your consciousness has the amazing powers often attributed to saints and angels.
Your consciousness, also called your awareness, is your essential nature. Awareness is what your soul does. Even more, consciousness may well be what your soul actually is… Pure consciousness. And so your awareness is a mysterious, and yet truly powerful thing. And this begins to explain why utilizing your consciousness helps shift tension. Note that it doesn’t entirely banish tension… that is the naïve dream of those who merely want the appearance of calmness.
When your awareness interacts with tension in a non-judgmental way, the constricted tension patterns begin to mingle with the cosmic presence of your consciousness. When you first practice this, your judgment will pop to the surface, and announce that the process is not working. And that is why many modern people prefer the simplistic methods of positive thinking. After all, if all you need to do is think positively, then you don’t have to bother with pesky emotions and thoughts. You just disregard them, and think positive thoughts instead. If only consciousness development were so simple…
Why are some of the most desperate people those who are trying to develop their consciousness by only thinking positive thoughts? Though well intentioned, they are attempting to deny the real power of consciousness. Awareness is aware. Consciousness is conscious. Your perception perceives. To deny this is to deny your essential conscious nature. And so, when you deny the presence of your emotions, thoughts, and sensations, you create resistance.
But if you bring your attention to tension, won’t you get lost in it? This is the fear that leads people into escapist positive thinking practices. The logic of positive thinking is rather appealing, because this doctrine claims that you should give more energy to positive thoughts, and less energy to negative thoughts. Unfortunately, that is rather like choosing not to notice the moldy smell of decaying food in the kitchen. It becomes more and more difficult to enjoy the bouquet of roses when the stink of moldy cheese becomes stronger and stronger.
Consciousness, being divine and infinite, is more capable than the would-be positive thinkers realize. Your consciousness is the same material as the universe itself. It is that vast, it is that loving and wise, and it is that infinite. When you consider your tensions, you are not getting lost in them. It is very much the opposite case, because you are inviting your tensions to exist within the vastness of your essential self — your pure consciousness. This lets the tension release from its constricted condition, so that it begins to unite with the vaster world of consciousness.
You have more choice with your consciousness than you had realized was possible. This is why there is such a fear of tensions. The tensions are noisy and dramatic, but they are, so to speak, on a small theatre stage. Tensions live their dramas on this little inner stage, and they have persuaded you to be an audience member. However, if you deny them, they just yell and gesture more intensely. So how do you work with them, if you don’t avoid their little noisy inner theatre, and if you don’t want to be an audience member either?
You are the writer and producer of this little inner tension drama, but until you acknowledge this, you might have thought that you were merely an audience member. You are in charge of the stage lighting. You can turn up the lights on the dark little stage, and change the scenery. Most important, you can bring in the influences of your conscious self.
Your conscious self is made of the same material as the divine universe itself… pure awareness. So your conscious self can choose to expand the little inner theatre so that it is amongst the stars in the sky. Your conscious self can help the energies of the cosmos flow through the little inner theatre. And what do you suppose the inner tensions, with their little dramas, are going to do? They change, in spite of themselves, and they slowly but surely take on the character of your true self — your conscious self.
Your inner tensions are not trying to bother you. They are not trying to make your life bad. They are only repeating old patterns, and when you gently shift those patterns, the tension becomes more fluid and less constricted. This is because the tense energies weren’t stuck and limited to begin with. They have only become tense through losing their way — losing their connection with the greater universe.
If you choose to put your tensions in an expansive environment, they gradually become less tense. This is the fascinating paradox of energy and awareness, because whatever you supposed your tensions were, they aren’t really that. They aren’t really anything in particular, because originally, they were universal energy. And that strange and beautiful thought can open your awareness to an interesting possibility…
Your tensions didn’t start their life intending to be tense. And that is why you can’t cover them over with positive thinking. Trying to cover up the tension merely reinforces the constriction. It validates that those tense thoughts and feelings are essentially bad. But they aren’t bad at all. They are stuck, and your awareness can help them. But that would require your conscious awareness, and you can’t fake that. You can only use your consciousness.
As you explore consciousness, your logical mind will tempt you to compare yourself with others. Your inner critic knows that this will make you judge your so-called imperfections, including your inner tension. To leap over that troublesome crevasse, you realize that the comparisons are all superficial. Here is why…
Your mind assumes that you have to look as calm, cool, and collected as anyone else. But who knows what the inner condition of anyone else actually is? Maybe they are trying to project a cool and collected appearance. You can never really know what anyone’s inner condition is, and this is why comparisons are a waste of your time.
So how do you respond to your criticizing mind when it provokes you with comparisons?
You bring your attention to your inner self, with your vast range of cosmic possibilities, and your tensions as well. You love it all as the lovable you — the self that is already enlightened, and the self that is still finding its way. This full spectrum of self is who you embrace with your consciousness, and when you do that, you become free of the comparisons. You realize that your real self is a vast cosmic spectrum, and is entirely unique and beyond comparisons.
So the next time you find tension, before you try to squelch it or deny it, see it for what it is. It is limited, and so you create unlimited space for it. You could let it expand, until it becomes light like a bubble. You could hold it in cosmic light, until its heavy shadows begin to dissolve. You could love it, so that its feeling of fear and aloneness melts into the embrace of your universal self.
And you can be creative with this self-healing process, because creativity is the essence of the universe. That is why the force that generates the universe is called the Creator. Your soul is made from the universal energy of that Creator, and so your creative approach to tension is a beautifully smooth and elegant response to an age-old challenge.
When you stop comparing yourself to others, the wondrous possibilities that grow within you like a forest of strong, elegant trees will reveal that they have grown in the rich inner soil that you previously called tension. You come to realize that you have everything you need, but you are in a continual process of spiritual evolution. When you let go of the judgments, and bring the nourishing light of your creative consciousness to your inner patterns, you find fertile harvests growing from the vibrant soil of your inner essential nature.
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