Strengthen Your Will
“If you fail to control your mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else. If you must be careless with your possessions, let it be in connection with material things. Your mind is your spiritual estate! Protect and use it with the care to which divine royalty is entitled. You were given a will power for this purpose.”
If you have been following my work for a while you will know that one of the keys to Self Mastery is the ability to act with intention and without waiting for evidence to appear before you do so.
Consider the notion of 'being' and the 3 worlds in which we exist - the Past, the Present and the Future.
Most of us are living a reactive life, perpetually going around the Past/Present loop. When faced with a situation in the Present we look backwards to see how the new situation relates to our past experiences. We then choose from a range of options based on what has worked in the past - possibly we make small incremental improvements - then we bring that past pattern back into the Present.
Because of the way our brains are hard wired most of us are doing this about 90 -95% of the time. That means only 5 - 10% of the time are we truly creating something new. In my teachings I encourage people to shift this so that you are actively creating what you want about 1/3 of the time and the other 2/3 of the time incorporating the new into self serving habits and behaviours.
When we are going around in the Past/Present loop our actions are based on evidence and rational logical thinking. To step over into the Future/Present loop we need to act with no evidence.
What then holds us in this loop? And how might we bump up our meagre 10% to something more like 30%?
The answer is surprisingly simple - WILL
To create something completely new requires courageous action based on a clear and inspiring Vision for what you want and supported by WILLPOWER. Not others but yours.
So, how can you strengthen your will so that even when things aren't going your way or you are confronted by circumstantial challenges or unsupportive people - you can still find the courage to act?
The key is to exercise your will just as you would exercise your muscles.
You see Self Mastery is the battle of the Self versus the Self - the battle of the Spiritual Warrior.
If you want to create something new and challenging one part of you will be terrified by the prospect of stepping out of your comfort zone (the Past/Present loop and all of your old patterns and habits). Another part of you will be inspired by the prospect of creating your inspiring Vision.
Passion and desire will be challenged by rational, logical evidence based thinking that will seek at all times to draw you back into the old and comfortable ways of doing things.
Will is all about having the courage to hold yourself in the Future/Present loop and acting in alignment with this even whilst that little voice inside your head is telling you why you cannot do it.
Exercising the Will occurs at The Edge.
You can find the Edge when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. In Vipassana meditation retreats you do strong determination sessions where the aim is to remain still for an hour or so. When you do this inevitably you end up with pain arising in your back and legs and it is at this point that your rational mind will tell you and plead with you to MOVE!
Willpower holds you in it and stops you from moving. By exploring the Edge and holding yourself there for as long as possible you strengthen your Will so that when it comes to sticking your neck on the line and doing something that you really want to do you are able to hold yourself there - hold yourself IN ACTION despite the lack of evidence.
"It is because I say it is"
You don't need to go off and do a meditation retreat to exercise your Will. In the last post I wrote about acting with intention and this can be applied here.
Exercise of any form provides an opportunity to work at the Edge. When you go running and find yourself getting tired and want to stop - there is an opportunity to exercise Will. When you do Yoga and find pain whilst holding a pose - there is the opportunity to exercise Will. Breathe and hold - don't REACT - CHOOSE to ACT!
Check out this Will Smith interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWAw7gxfB7Q&feature=related
Whatever you do ACT courageously based on your dreams!
Let us collectively create a more loving and expansive World by rejecting the status quo and actively creating the new.
In peace and love always.