Imagine what it would be like to have love at the base of your attention? Essentially, what would be steering, guiding, directing and moving your attention is love itself, you as a being of love. This shift may be readily available for us, or it may seem to be a ways away. Either way, I invite this moment to be one of pondering the possibility of having love at the base of your attention. Breathe into that.
Now let's talk a moment to acknowledge where we've been, and what we're graduating from. As I've been exploring for a few months now, many of us are graduating from fear based learning. We acknowledge that we're not designed to be motivated by the promise of rewards or the threat of punishments. When the exhaustion and the anger at not being able to figure it out or do it right has taken hold it's an indicator that we've outgrown that approach to learning.
One of the things that comes with the territory of fear based learning is that fear is at the base of our attention, and manipulation and control are the strategies used to determine where our attention goes and how long it stays there. Often for many of us our attention gets fixed in certain positions or directions or in certain moments in time. As your reading this now I invite you to get curious about what it would be like to free up your attention from anywhere it has been fixed, controlled, dominated or manipulated. In the land of punishment and reward, attention was often made to be quite the commodity. We were told to "pay" attention and there was always a threat of something negative, painful or undesired being issued if we didn't. The better we were able to control or fix our attention in the way we learned was best, the more safe we were. If we put too much attention on the wrong things we would get in trouble. If we put enough attention on the right things we got a pat on the back or approval or positive attention from others. Often, someone's else's giving or withdrawal of attention was a reward or punishment in and of itself!
So, here we are, at the brink of change. Where life is supporting and inviting many of us to acknowledge that love is available for us, as a frequency, as a field, as a space that we can more and more acclimate to, live in and know ourselves as. In regards to attention, we can be assisted to surrender the ties that bind, in other words, the people, places or things that our attention has been fixed on out of fear. We can be mentally and emotionally liberated from having to sustain our focus on whatever we were told we had to pay attention to, or else. We can begin to let love steer our attention, sweetly, kindly, gently, beautifully. Our attention can become available to flow, and dance, and include that which is here for us to be with. I wonder how much this can change the way our energy moves in the world, and what we notice, and what we perceive and receive as contributions to the joy of being. Here we are. We are here and now we welcome and initiate love based attention so that we may truly find our flow.
In recent months, through blogs and classes, I've been exploring Love Based Learning and how it differs from Fear Based Learning. In the online class tomorrow the subject is Love Based Creation and what's available now to assist us to graduate from Fear Based Creation, which involves the use of the mind and emotions to manipulate or control life events to produce better or more personally favorable outcomes. It often involves things like implanting thoughts, or new beliefs, and then feeling into that, with the hope that the better feeling state will result in life circumstances that match that state. Essentially it's the land of self-modification and tinkering, as though we're machines or computers or systems that can be adjusted according to formulas and equations such as different input = different output, installing the right way to think, calling up the right feelings, so that life will go your way and you'll get what you want more of the time. When it takes on a more spiritual framework, the universe becomes this thing that you can get to work for you to bring you what you want, if you ask, and if you're open to receive. So we then jump into the land of deciding what to ask and how to ask it correctly, and whether it's better to be general or specific, and then how to get into receiving mode, or make yourself be more open or available for the universe to be able to find you and give you what you want.
At some point we get tired of fear based creation, where separation prevails, and we have to stay on top of maintaining our identity as the "subject" trying to get life to co-operate or attempting to change how we are by bettering our-self, healing, modifying our-self and becoming this perfected thing that hopefully can adopt the right stance or perspective to have things work out. It's also full of so-that's. So even the adjustments that we attempt to make that are seemingly loving, still have agenda's based in manipulation and control. Doing one thing so that what we need or want will hopefully happen for us.
As we acknowledge what has been, take a moment to breathe and be present with the exhaustion, the confusion and the let-down at trying so many things and still not having life work with us, or desired circumstances unfolding. In this willingness for a new way to present, let's see what can now be known about Love Based Creation and what elements within the atmosphere of love can be named or perceived. What can we now know? May life show each of us, in our own unique way, to invite us in to this field of love where we can initiate creation in a new way. May we all be loved, nurtured, resourced and supported to thrive.
A few months ago I posted the blog: Is it time to graduate from fear based learning? Which you can take a look at to provide more context for what I'll be exploring here. Essentially, alongside fear based learning are tools and strategies that we've been given to "create our lives" or have more of what we desire in life and be free from undesired life circumstances. As is typical of fear based environments, those tools and strategies are based in manipulation and control. Even something as seemingly benign as someone saying to "love yourself", it's still has the air of control to it because the reason to love yourself is so that you can have more of what you want and less of what you don't want.
Everything in the fear based environment is essentially a mental or emotionally based strategy that you employ so that you can have the rewards (what you want) and avoid the punishments (what you don't want). What comes alongside this is often statements with little or no true guidance, mentoring or offering of a process to support the building of what someone says you need. So someone may say "you just need to be positive," with no acknowledgment or genuine assessment of where you are and what your history is in terms of the trajectory of your mental and emotional development and the capacities you've developed to manage the environments you've lived in. Or someone will say "just be in the now" or "just be grateful" or "you need to be more present", with no acknowledgment of what it actually takes to develop that, and how much you have to examine and address the foundation of your very existence to be able to do that, which is no small matter!
So, where do we go from here? What is beyond fear based creation? I invite you to read the words Love Based Creation and see what comes to mind. What do you notice, what do you feel? We can't expect ourselves to know how to do this, or even be able to accurately perceive what it is. That is another carryover from fear based learning, that if you just expect yourself to be able to do something and put enough pressure on yourself rise to meet it. For many of us, that rarely worked. Or we achieved the result, but were tense, stressed, emotionally shut down and mentally fixated in the process. So, again we just breathe, show up as we are and tune into the words Love Based Creation.
From this new platform, or base, we can acknowledge what we have in our lives now and explore what we'd like to add or include. We can progressively unravel the "so that" formulas and associations, and gain the capacity to notice what authentically arises in us as preferences, desires or curiosities. And we can initiate true explorations for the sake of the exploration itself. So if it does arise that "I would like to love myself more" it's no longer attached to the so that (insert rewards here), it's just because you know that loving, caring for, attending to yourself more deeply is possible and so you initiate that. If the desire arises "I would like to have more money" then you can go about exploring what you can add to your life to have more money. If it's "I would like to know what I love to do and do it" you can initiate an exploration of finding out what you love to do and acting from the awareness that comes about. Essentially, we can be free of everything someone else told us, promised us or taught us to fear or turn away from, so that there is space to truly discern where you are and what your sense is, and more uniquely find your way and create your life, progressively more inclusive of your heart, body and mind. I wonder what we can now know about Love Based Creation, and how easily, dynamically and joyfully it can come alive through each of our lives.
In certain environments we may be around people who say, why can't you just be happy? Cheer up. You're okay. Everything's fine. In other words, how we're feeling is not okay. Our authentic response to the environment we're in is somehow wrong, or inconvenient to others. In that moment, if we don't sense the environment changing anytime soon, we yearn for a way to feel better about it. At some point the solution is given. Someone comes along and says, guess what, you can change the way you think and feel about the environment you're in! All you need to do is think different thoughts and then you will have a different feeling response. So basically, nothing needs to authentically change, you just get to think and feel different about it all and thus feel better no matter what! We hear that, and think, yes, what a great idea! I get to take control of how I think and feel and as a result I will get better feedback from the people around me who want me to feel happy and good and satisfied. So, we employ the strategy. Perhaps repeating thoughts like, "I'm exactly where I'm meant to be." And lo and behold, we feel better. That is a "good feeling" thought. And on we go, getting better and better at using thoughts to manipulate our feeling body and we feel good about ourselves because we're really making progress.
At some point as we're moving along feeling better no matter what, we get or are given by someone else the brilliant idea of extending this "practice" outwards. Rather than just employing it to manipulate and control how we think and feel, perhaps we can influence the people around us and make them think and feel better too. How ingenious! How clever we've become. So, we get to work, starting to offer other people these thoughts to implant into their "subconscious" mind so that they can feel different too. And oh, even better, once we do that enough we start to change and modify our behaviors so that we get different results in life. Now we've really gotten somewhere! Not only have we learned how to change how we think and feel regardless of what the environment is like, we now can influence our own and now others behaviors so that we are all making progress, taking control and making things better. On it goes, up the ladder, feeling good about our hard work, becoming more effective, getting the right thoughts in there and feeling good and proud, and then seeing some results. The control and manipulation is working, so we keep going. Employing the strategies more, and more and more.
At some point however, it may show up as a person in our life, or just from within our self, there is this anger, or backlash. Someone doesn't like being manipulated and controlled. It's stifling, un-kind, and even abusive. Even if it's so "positive" and "good" and "making things better." There's something inside us, or someone who shows up in front of us that goes: "go fuck yourself with all your bright ideas." And we're surprised. What is this anger? They, or something within me just doesn't get it! They are being negative, so lets find a way to get rid of them! If it's a person in your life it may be easier. If it's arising within you, then what? The response may be to double down, get stronger thoughts, to negate or be rid of this in-compliant response pattern.
The anger may subside, but then you may notice difficulty sleeping. Your mind just can't stop. Or you notice your body and there is all this tension. Or you notice that you're incapable of appreciating your environment or allowing yourself to feel sad when something occurs that is truly heartbreaking. Eventually there may be a pause. Something that wakes up in your body, a frequency, an intuition, the presence of a different energy that is essentially saying, take a breath, notice your body, pay attention to your breathing and observe the state of your mind. You hear the question: Is this where you want to be? And we allow the grief and sadness to well as the "no" emerges. Then perhaps there is a fear of not wanting to go back to what it was like before the positive manipulation strategy was introduced. You've gained so much by being able to control things and not be powerless over how you feel, you don't want to lose it all now. This voice of love that's beginning to wake up inside of you says "you won't". It's not like that. And so perhaps you begin to listen, and breathe, and get curious about how you authentically feel and whether this new frequency of love can help you change your life circumstances naturally and organically so that you're response to where you are is one of peace and calm, appreciation and acknowledgment of beauty.
As you breathe, and notice what's here, and what's arising, that perhaps wasn't available when you employed the strategy, you can ask for help from this loving field to surrender the strategies and go on a new adventure where you are loved, supported, honored and cared for every step of the way. For a different blog on this subject you're welcome to read Beyond Coping.