Life brings challenges. Is life simply a random series of events that keeps us off balance and barely able to cope, or is there a reason for this? Spirituality says the reason that challenges arise is to make you more aware of your inner purpose.
Three levels of awareness
If this is true, there should be a spiritual answer to every problem. The answer doesn’t lie at the level of the problem, even though most people focus their energies at this level. The spiritual solution lies beyond. When you take your awareness outside the place where struggle is ever-present, two things happen: your awareness expands, and with that, new answers begin to appear. When our awareness expands, we can see that events are not random. A larger purpose is trying to unfold through you.
Every time a challenge comes your way there are three levels of awareness.
Level 1 is contracted awareness. No matter how hard I work at something, no matter how hard I try, everything in my life seems stuck. No matter how I reach out for others, no matter how much I meditate or contribute. This is the level of the problem. There is an underlying anxiety and fear of failure. You can tell if you are at this level because as you struggle to get free of the problem you become trapped by it. One example of contracted awareness is complete denial of ‘higher’ reality.
Level 2 is expanded awareness. This is the level where solutions begin to appear. Your vision extends beyond the conflict, giving you more clarity. For most people this level of awareness isn’t available because their first reaction to a problem is to see it as a crisis. They contract and become wary. If you allow yourself to expand, you meet fears realistically. With more clarity you no longer feel confused or conflicted. With expansion unseen forces come to your aid. More people connect with you, and you allow them more input. You can tell you have reached this level of awareness when you no longer feel stuck.
Level 3 is pure awareness. At this level no problems exist, every challenge is a creative opportunity. You feel aligned with the forces of nature. What makes this possible is awareness, that can expand without limits. At every moment pure awareness is in contact with you, sending creative impulses. When you are open to these answers, the is no conflict, no struggle. The next thing you want is the best thing that could happen. You view the world with compassion and you feel safe. Your desires reach fulfilment spontaneously. This is a state of unity with everything in existence. You can tell you are in contact with pure awareness if you feel truly yourself, in a state of peace and freedom.
Awareness isn’t passive
The way you perceive a problem will inevitably blend with how you try to solve it. You respond to a situation through various aspects of awareness. If you are able to examine your state of awareness, five aspects emerge: your perceptions, beliefs, assumptions, expectations, feelings.
When someone is self aware, you can ask them about what their assumptions are, what they expect from you, how their core beliefs are affecting the situation, and you won’t get a defensive reaction. You’ll be told the truth. When you base your life on the reality of the soul, and take the level of the soul to be the basis of life, spirituality becomes an active principle. The soul is awakened.
However, a mind blocked by anxiety or worry isn’t able to experience expanded awareness.
For countless people life feels like that. Feelings of numbness or depression can make life seem to stop; so can sudden loss or failure. But the potential to heal is never worn away completely.
Change and transformation are your birthright, guaranteed by the indestructible basis of life. Life is in a continual process of change. Even when we are feeling stuck, our cells are still processing the basic materials of life continuously.
Each of us is entangled in a world view we call real. There is no separation between a thought, and the body’s reaction to it as it receives messages from the brain, and an action. So when you speak and act you are causing a ripple that is felt in the flow of life. Genes are not nouns, they are verbs. Your life at the moment is a process that involves thoughts, feelings, brain chemicals, the body’s responses, information, social interactions, relationships and ecology. Because pure awareness lies at the basis of everything the most powerful way to change your life is to begin with your awareness.
From Self Power, © 2012 by Deepak Chopra, published by Rider.
SELF POWER: SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS TO LIFE’S GREAT CHALLENGES
In challenging times it can seem as if we have very little control over our lives. Yet with expanded awareness we can shift beyond feeling stuck or despairing, to face each day with new hope. We can find the resources within us to access our inner power and take practical steps to reshape our life with greater love and confidence. With this new expanded awareness we will see that we are still in charge of our destiny. As the stuckness shifts we attract helpful solutions to us. Self Power is a fluent, inspired offering from Deepak Chopra who stands out as one of the leading thinkers in the world on the healing of mind body and soul. His latest book is a gift, combining his compassion for our mundane worries with inspiration for living with a spiritual awareness of life that expands our options and changes our reality.