Read an Excerpt
A Daily Guide to Conscious Living
By Shakti Gawain
New World LibraryCopyright © 2006 Shakti Gawain
All rights reserved.
Each morning as we awaken, we have the opportunity to begin our lives anew, with a fresh perspective gained from what we learned the day before and the refreshment from our night's rest.
The beginning of each new year represents a special opportunity to awaken to a new level of awareness, with all the wisdom we have gained from the previous year's experiences. Day by day and year by year, we proceed on our journey of awakening into consciousness.
Each day, and each year, I am awakening to greater consciousness.
The journey of consciousness
Becoming conscious means becoming increasingly aware of what's going on inside us and around us. We've all lived in a certain level of denial, and we are in the process of awakening from that unconsciousness. Consciousness is not about fixing ourselves or improving ourselves. It's about coming to know ourselves in all our many aspects and thereby living life more fully. The journey of consciousness is lifelong. But when you really think about it, what else is there to do?
I am on a lifelong journey of conscious awakening.
You are unique. You are a valid and special part of the universe. You are important. You are here to create in your own very special way, a way no one else can. Know this, in the deepest core of your being.
I am unique. I am contributing to the universe in my own special way, right now.
What do you want?
We all want certain things, although we may not always be conscious of what they are. If we can get in touch with what we want, we can create it. Because simply by becoming aware of our true desires, oftentimes we can begin to manifest them in our lives.
I am becoming conscious of my deepest needs and desires.
Once you are conscious of what you want, you can begin to take the next step, which is setting goals. To receive what you desire, you must take some action toward it. This action is not complicated. Simply write what your goals are for the coming year and for the next five years. Writing them doesn't mean you have to stick to them. Your goals are always evolving and changing. But you must recognize and acknowledge what they are now. Then you can begin to move forward.
What are my goals for this year? For the next five years?
We get what we desire
The universe is designed to give us everything we need and want. It's really our own fears and our feelings of unworthiness, shame, and doubt that keep us from receiving the incredible abundance and fullness and goodness of life.
As I learn to trust in the universe, I am receiving everything that I desire.
We create our own reality
We create our own reality every moment, whether or not we're conscious of it. If we're not conscious, we create it out of habit and old patterns. As we become more and more conscious, we are more able to create what we truly desire.
I am creating my own reality, every day.
Our lives are our creation
We need to acknowledge how incredible our lives already are and, therefore, how powerful we are. We have all created a great many unique, interesting, even amazing experiences in our lives so far. We have attracted a number of fascinating characters into the drama of our personal reality. These people and experiences are all mirrors of our creativity. Although we are all capable of creating even better and more satisfying realities, what we have already manifested is strong proof of how powerful our beings really are.
My life is an expression of my own creativity.
Life is simple
Life is much simpler than most of us think it is. We struggle so hard trying to improve ourselves, trying to grow, trying to become conscious, trying to achieve in the world. We need to relax, open up, and allow ourselves to receive from the life force within us and all around us. Life is always trying to bring us everything we want and need, but most of the time we're moving so fast and trying so hard that we don't notice!
I am open to receiving whatever comes my way today.
We each have a direct line to the truth
We each have the wisdom of life within us, and we each have a direct line to that truth at every moment. If we can listen to and trust our intuition, it will guide us. It will show us, step by step, what we need to do and what we need to know, every moment of our lives, if we let it.
My intuition is guiding me through life.
Life is an exploration
Life is an exploration. We need to liberate ourselves to think of it that way. We tend to take everything we do too seriously and feel that every action must produce the desired results. When we can instead think of life as an exploration, we're free to try more things. We can explore our options and discover many different aspects of ourselves in the process. This attitude creates more possibilities for us.
If some of the things you try don't work, just let them go. Don't think that if you start something you must finish it. It's okay to explore and learn from that process of discovery.
I am willing to explore something new.
Live with passion
What do you do out of guilt or because you think you should? Ask yourself instead what it is that you truly desire to do. Do what feels right, and that will bring you satisfaction. Live your life with passion, in a way that is meaningful and fun.
How can we create a world of fulfillment and joy unless we begin to live so in each moment?
As I let go of "shoulds" and the feeling of guilt, I do what brings me joy.
Spontaneity is the quality of living in the moment and truly following our own energies, moving fully and freely with the life force. It's a wonderful feeling to allow ourselves to be totally spontaneous at times.
Our culture generally values structure, planning, and discipline over spontaneity. Spontaneity is equated with childhood. Even as children, many of us were forced to control our spontaneity. Certainly, as adults we are expected to behave in a rational, contained manner, so most of us have lost our connection with our true spontaneous spirit. One of the most profound things you can do in your healing process is to reconnect with your natural spontaneity.
Each day, I am learning to move more fully and freely with the life force.
Loss of spontaneity contributes to addiction
One way some people deal with the suppression of their natural spontaneous spirits is by using drugs. Alcohol and certain other drugs temporarily paralyze the "censoring" part of the psyche that tends to repress anything that may not be socially acceptable. This allows for a temporary outburst of spontaneous energy. Unfortunately, this outburst takes place in a distorted, unnatural, and destructive way and ultimately leads to further suppression.
The healing process requires that we give up manipulating ourselves with artificial substances and get to know our own psyches. We must find the support we need to learn to trust our natural, feeling selves and to allow them to express in healthy ways in our lives.
I express myself spontaneously in natural, creative, healthy ways.
Spontaneity can feel like losing control
Spontaneity can feel frightening because it means giving over our own preplanned ideas and trusting in the moment, letting the spirit flow through us. It means taking a risk and letting go of control. It's hard at first, particularly if we've been taught not to trust spontaneity. But when we feel that connection to the moment, it's very fulfilling. When we are free to follow our own spontaneous feelings, we are open to the universe and we allow for more opportunities and more creativity in our lives.
Start with allowing yourself to be more spontaneous in small ways, at times when you feel relatively safe. Spontaneity will grow naturally, as you learn to trust it.
I am trusting the universe and allowing it to work through me.
Discipline can support fun
Some people are very spontaneous. They respond to life in a very emotional way and are often oriented toward pursuing pleasure and fun. They are usually creative, artistic, and fascinating to be around. Sometimes they suffer from lack of success or recognition in the world because they fear and lack the quality of discipline and structure. They need to learn that discipline can support fun, and it can support creativity. It can support enjoyment in life. It doesn't have to mean stifling their spirit; it's just bringing their lives into balance.
I am learning to balance discipline and spontaneity.
The balance between spontaneity and discipline
Spontaneity and discipline work together in your life. It's good to have structure and organization when you are trying something new to help you feel safe and to give you direction. Discipline supports the process of learning. It gives you some sense of what you're doing and some confidence. Then, as you master the technical aspects, you can be more spontaneous.
Discipline can give us certain technical tools and a certain kind of structure that then supports the creative spirit. When you are learning to play music, you may need to play scales at first. Then, as you master the scales, you become spontaneous in expressing your own feeling and improvising, allowing the spirit to flow through you.
Through discipline and spontaneity, I express myself creatively.
Create positive structure in your life
Whether you need more spontaneity or more discipline, setting up a structure in your life can help support you in finding a balance of those qualities. Each of us needs to work a certain number of hours per day, play a certain amount of time each day, and have some time each day for relaxation. We need time to accomplish our tasks and time for intimacy with loved ones. Most of us have some difficulty establishing the right balance. We need to create a daily and weekly schedule that allows time for all our basic needs to be met.
I am creating a balanced schedule for myself.
Find your own rhythm
It's very important to create a schedule that really gives you what you want, so you won't be tempted to rebel against it. If your schedule includes only what you should be doing and doesn't allow you the time for what you want to be doing, then it won't work; you'll throw it out. Also, build into your structure open times and space for spontaneity. You are trying to give yourself room for creativity, not stifling it.
Make a list of your priorities and the amount of time each takes. Take into account your responsibilities and the needs of people around you. Then put them into a weekly schedule. Find your own rhythm. Do what pleases you, what works for you, what makes you feel balanced and adds to your sense of well-being.
I am finding a balance in my life of work and play, of my responsibilities to others and to myself.
Perfection is in process
Human life by its very nature is filled with vulnerabilities, trial and error, and learning. Expecting ourselves to behave in some perfect way or to attain perfect results is not realistic.
We need to shift the focus from trying to attain perfect results or to live up to perfect standards to recognizing the innate perfection in the process or in the journey. The life force has an incredible perfection about it. As we're learning to recognize and follow the life force, we will see the perfection of the process, how everything we need to learn is brought to us in some amazing way that we could never have figured out or understood.
I accept the perfection of my process.
Trust your higher power
There is some higher intelligence at work in us. It knows what it's doing and is trying moment by moment to guide us, show us, teach us, and love us. It is trying to help us become all that we can be. In order to do that, it has to guide us through our own healing process. At times this may be uncomfortable. But eventually we are able to see the necessity and perfection of each step we have taken on the journey.
I am learning to recognize and accept my higher power. I am learning to trust and rely on it.
We are already where we need to be
As human beings we are always trying to get somewhere. Many of us seek some standard of success that we think will bring happiness or validation from the world. Even those of us involved in a personal growth process still have the idea that we certainly don't want to be where we are — we're trying to get somewhere better. And when we get to that place, everything will be right somehow. Yet consciousness cannot be found somewhere else; it happens through becoming aware of where we are right now.
Trying to get somewhere else takes us away from appreciating the process. When we begin to enjoy the process itself, we can stop worrying and become completely involved in the fascinating journey that's unfolding each moment in each day.
Today I am not trying to get somewhere else. I'm focusing on being aware of where I am now.
We are students
We all have a tendency to criticize ourselves. We're very good at figuring out what's wrong or inadequate about ourselves. We're constantly beating ourselves up because we don't do everything exactly right and because we aren't already perfect. It hurts to live that way. If you're beating yourself up, you can't learn. We're here to learn. We're in school. We're children. If we were already enlightened, we wouldn't be here.
Life is my school, and I'm here to learn.
You have a teacher within you
You have a teacher within you. It's your own inner wisdom. It's with you every moment, whether you feel it or not. All we ever need to do is go inside ourselves and ask for guidance, ask for truth, ask for the support, love, or encouragement we need. When we ask for guidance, it begins to come to us right away. It doesn't always come in the way that we think it should, but it always comes.
My intuitive wisdom is guiding me step by step along my own special path.
Messages are all around us
Messages from the universe come through in extraordinary ways. Very literal and very specific things can happen to show you what your own soul is trying to communicate to you. You may have to let go of some rational conditioning even to entertain the idea that there could be a higher force that knows what it's doing and is trying to communicate with you. But if you do open up to the idea that a higher power is trying to guide you, you will start to get messages from your intuition, from your dreams, from simply watching the events of your life.
I am becoming aware of all the messages from the universe.
Life is never trying to tell us there's something wrong with us
The universe is always trying to show us how we can be more of who we are. The painful lessons that we get inevitably show us that we are not trusting or loving ourselves, or that we are not expressing ourselves honestly or taking care of ourselves properly. In some way, we are not fully honoring our relationship with ourselves. The universe is trying to show us how we can express our power, truth, and creativity in our lives and how we can love and trust ourselves more.
I honor myself for who I am. Each day, I am becoming more and more myself.
Excerpted from Awakening by Shakti Gawain. Copyright © 2006 Shakti Gawain. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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