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Excuse Me, College Is Now
How to Be a Success in School and in Life
By Doreen Banaszak, Sebastian Oddo
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Doreen Banaszak and Sebastian Oddo
All rights reserved.
CREATING YOUR LIFE 101
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
—Henry David Thoreau
Before we get started, I want to acknowledge that everything I'm about to share with you in this book is going to sound pretty different from what you've learned so far about how it is that you get what you want in this life. Up until this point, you have probably heard things like:
"No pain, no gain."
"Success is earned, not given."
"You are what you are; make the best of it."
"Work on your weaknesses."
What these expressions get at is a value that is pervasive in our society, which is that life is meant to be difficult; that to be successful and have a happy life, we must always be on our A-game; that only the strong survive; and that only the most ruthlessly ambitious and self-disciplined can thrive.
Imagine going through not just the next four years, but the next twenty years with this kind of mentality. Then one day, if you are lucky, you experience a midlife crisis that forces you to consider that there is another way entirely to go about living your life. As I mentioned in the introduction, a lot of adults have hit this wall and have been turned on to the Law of Attraction. Slowly but surely, inspired by a midlife crisis that changes their perspective, they learn that the old beliefs they've lived by are not as fixed (or even as true) as they had always believed them to be; their life does not "have to" be anything, it can actually be whatever they want it to be.
I will be the first to admit that I fell for all those "truisms" about success—all of them! I truly believed them, and lived them, and my experience became just what they promised: my life was hard and the most I could hope for was that it wouldn't get any harder. I am so grateful that I didn't have to wait for a midlife crisis to wise up. I'm hoping to catch you early enough so that, like me, you can learn the truth that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon: you can have all that you want right now. I invite you to open up your mind to some new concepts and, more important, actually try them out and see if they resonate as truth with you. You'll know truth when you feel it—it's that sense you get when you just know you are right, no matter what anybody else says or thinks.
WHAT IS THE LAW OF ATTRACTION?
So, what is the Law of Attraction and how can your conscious use of it create the college experience you really want? Scientifically speaking, it has been identified that everything is made up of energy and that all energy comes together and pulls apart to become the reality we observe. As humans, we give off energy in the form of feelings, thoughts, words, and actions. Some of that energy can be considered positive energy, that is, happy feelings, upbeat thoughts, pleasant words, and thoughtful actions. Other energy can be considered negative energy, that is, angry feelings, destructive thoughts, spiteful words, and selfish actions. What science is proving is that the energy we give off actually attracts and creates all of our external reality, all of it. Think about it for a second: What happens to your reality when you die? Does it exist if you're not there to observe it? How could it?! If we look at it this way, then you have to be the creator of your reality.
For all you non–science majors out there, this is what it all comes down to: like attracts like. If, for example, you are sending out positive, success-oriented energy into the world—feelings of success, thoughts of success, words of success, actions that reflect success—then you will ultimately attract opportunities to experience more success in your reality. Seems simple enough, right? Then why aren't you consciously using this approach all the time to create the experiences you want? The answer to this question is slightly more complex.
Most of us are conditioned to believe that something "out there," whatever it is, will make us happy. Our time is spent saying things like, "I'll be happy when I get into the college I want," or "I'll be happy when I ace the exam," or "I'll be happy when so-and-so likes me," and so on. What typically happens when we "get" all those things? We start saying things like, "I'll be happy when I get the job I want, when I finish this project, when so-and-so marries me." What happens to happiness in all of this? It may be experienced for a little while, but the feeling is ultimately fleeting. Why? Because we've attached happiness to some thing/person/event in our external reality. If you haven't noticed by now, reality changes (a lot!), and because of this, once we get the "thing" that will bring us happiness, we start to fear that if that "thing" goes away, then we won't be happy, or we decide that there has to be more happiness, so we go off to create the next big thing that will bring us the happiness we desire. This creates a perpetual cycle in which we are always striving for happiness, and more happiness, and more happiness. We're so busy chasing happiness that those times when we actually do experience happiness are few and far between.
Let me ask you a very important question: Where does your experience of happiness exist? Where does happiness exist? Is it something that exists outside you, attributable to something or someone "out there"? Or is it something that you experience from within? The answer may seem obvious, but it's worth looking at. Happiness exists inside you and is experienced from within. If happiness exists inside of you, me, and everybody else, then it is an experience, not a thing. Doesn't it seem just a little bit crazy to say then that we need something outside of us in order to experience something we have inside of us right now, 24/7? You bet it does, and it's the reason why so many of us are chasing happiness, joy, wealth, abundance, and success, instead of experiencing all of those things right now.
Let's get back to what actually causes happiness. Well, what is happiness? It is an essence, an invisible concept, a state of being that we describe as a physical experience. It is something we feel. To feel something, it has to exist before we feel it or else we couldn't feel it. That means that the state of being of happiness, the invisible concept, has to exist and therefore precede the feeling of happiness. Ever have one of those moments when you just feel happy and you don't even know why, you just are? That's how you know the state of being of happiness had to precede the feeling because you weren't consciously thinking, "I'm going to feel happy now" or "That song made me happy"; you just physically experienced it. This is important because we tend to identify with what we are feeling and not what is causing the feeling, a state of being. Bear with me here.
Happiness (an invisible state of being) becomes a physical experience through feelings, thoughts, words, actions, and our perception of physical reality. So state of being is the cause of our feelings, thoughts, words, actions, and perception of physical reality. (At this point, you must feel like you unknowingly picked up a philosophy book. Don't worry! We will shortly get to the practical applications of all of this, particularly in regard to your college experience.) If state of being is cause, then our feelings, thoughts, words, actions, and perception of physical reality are effects of the state of being we are currently experiencing. It turns out that all this time we've been focusing on the effects of our state of being instead of looking at our state of being as the actual cause of the effect. If we want happiness as our effect, for example, then our attention needs to be on experiencing the state of being of happiness right now.
WHAT CREATES AND WHAT ARE YOU CREATING?
Some self-help experts suggest that your thoughts create; just think positively, they say, and you'll be all set. Or they say things like your feelings create, so just be happy, or that your words create, so just say you're happy, or that your actions create, so just act positively. Or even more broadly, they say that all these things create, so be sure you are watching and acting on all of them all the time and you'll be good to go. What they say is fine, but it's exhausting just thinking about it, isn't it? It just doesn't make sense that something we are already doing unconsciously—creating—would be so complex when we do it consciously.
If feelings, thoughts, words, and actions are all effects of the state of being you are experiencing, it makes sense that to create what you want, you need only keep your attention on your current state of being. When you do, the energy you send out through your feelings, thoughts, words, and actions will reflect and expand your current state of being. What we are actually constantly creating are opportunities to experience more of our current state of being. Let me repeat: You are always creating opportunities to experience more of your current state of being.
You are not creating failing grades, you are not creating an inconsiderate roommate, you are not creating the zero balance in your checking account, and you are not creating the fact that your parents disapprove of your behavior. What you are creating are opportunities to experience more of your current state of being of failure, frustration, lack, judgment, or whatever other feelings those events evoke for you.
Let's take a look at some basic, fundamental states of being:
Notice how each is the opposite of the other in these pairs. If you pause to consider your own experience, you'll find that it is impossible to experience one at the exact time you're experiencing its opposite. Think of them as two sides of the same coin. You are experiencing one or the other in any given moment—never both.
Let's simplify this: if there were two worlds, the world of acceptance and the world of resistance, then all the "positive" states of being would exist in the world of acceptance and all the "negative" states of being would exist in the world of resistance. So, when you come right down to it, you are either experiencing acceptance or resistance.
At this point you may be thinking, "Well, it seems that all I have to do is put my attention on experiencing the states of being that reflect acceptance and I'll be just fine." This would seem to make sense, but let's take a closer look at that strategy. What if I said: "I want you right now to not picture a pink elephant in your mind. Really, just don't picture a pink elephant." What are you thinking about and picturing right now? My bet would be a pink elephant. Why? Because I asked you not to. I asked you to resist picturing a pink elephant. Now what happened? You were experiencing a state of being of resistance and it expanded into your thoughts by picturing exactly what I asked you not to picture—a pink elephant.
You may be familiar with the phrase "What you resist persists." When you resist a state of being, all your attention becomes focused on it, making it impossible to experience its opposite. So the best strategy is just not to resist any state of being. If we practice acceptance of our current state of being instead of resisting it, when a less than desirable state of being arises (like anger or fear), all we can do is simply accept that we are experiencing it. The actual definition of acceptance is "to be open and receiving." When we are accepting, we are no longer resisting and therefore no longer expanding the experience of resistance, so we become open and receptive to the opposite state of being. If you were to accept everything, I mean everything, you would be truly free. The only reason anything has power over us is because we say it is not okay or we don't want to experience it. We become trapped by our resistance to that thing or experience. We become free when we are willing to say, "I'm experiencing it and it doesn't matter. It's okay." For example, if you say that you are experiencing fear and it doesn't matter, how can fear have any power over you? It can't! Acceptance equals freedom. Isn't that what we really want to experience?
Your greatest opportunity now is to realize that happiness, success, wealth, freedom, joy, and abundance all exist inside of you right now and become a physical reality through the energy of your feelings, thoughts, words, and actions. When you accept your current state of being, you are open and receptive to more physical experiences that expand the state of being of acceptance which includes all the "positive" states of being you really want to experience. Your willingness to experience these now will become your power to create opportunities to experience more of them in your life. This is the power available to you right now; this is the Law of Attraction!
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN ALL OF THIS?
Quantum physics has shown that reality, far from being definite, is actually pretty malleable. Scientists are proving that, in a very real way, we have the power to create our own reality. The states of being we've discussed expand and create opportunities to form and change your physical reality. Sounds good at first, but that can make some of us nervous. I mean, who among us wants to take responsibility for creating war, crime, a failing economy, or, perhaps a more immediate concern, failing out of college? Remember, it's not that you are creating those things, it's that you are creating opportunities to experience more of the states of being those things are reflecting.
It's important at this point to be willing to consider that you are the creator of your reality. If you can get that far, then you have gotten over the hurdle that most people never quite overcome, which is the belief that we are mere victims, passive to the forces of reality over which we have no control. Because it's impossible to be a creator and a victim at the same time, to be a creator, you have to be a creator absolutely. This means that you are completely free to create, that you cannot be hindered by anything, including the reality you've already created. Talk about power!
I'm going to ask you to consider one more thing: you are not alone in your ability to create. Believe it or not, you have a creation partner that helps you out in all of this. The job of your creation partner is to figure out the "how" of how something comes into your physical experience. Think about a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. You have all the pieces lying in front of you and, in your hand, you hold a specific piece, but you've lost the lid of the box and don't have any sense of what the final product is going to look like, or where the piece you hold is supposed to fit in the larger context of the puzzle. In this scenario, your piece represents your experience, and all the other pieces are things that make up all the possibilities that you can't envision. Your creation partner sees the picture on the box, so to speak, and sees how the pieces all fit together to give you what you want. In this way, your creation partner helps you to orchestrate into your experience what you truly desire, in a way that works in the context of the big picture of your life. Some call this partner "Universe" or "God" or "Genie." It doesn't matter what name you use. What matters is that your creation partner is there to deliver all that you say you want to experience in the physical world.
Ever had one of those experiences when you think about someone and later in the day bump into them? Or when you want something that seems impossible to get and somehow it just shows up? That's your creation partner aligning the physical world to deliver opportunities to experience more of your current state of being.
Your job is to communicate with your creation partner through your state of being. If you are experiencing lack and fear, your creation partner can only create more physical opportunities to experience lack and fear. If you are experiencing happiness and success, then your creation partner can create more physical opportunities for you to experience happiness and success.
That said, don't just "fake it until you make it." As you were reading the preceding, you may have had some of these thoughts: "But I really don't feel happy," or "I really think this exam is going to be hard," or "I really don't believe I am going to get the class I want." Let's be clear here—I am not asking you to pretend that you are experiencing something you're not. I'm inviting you to be aware of the state of being you are experiencing so that you can grow to be accepting of each state. Once you accept it, then you are open to experiencing the state of being you want. It is the difference between saying "I am happy" when you are actually experiencing sadness versus "I accept that I'm experiencing sadness right now, and that's okay." If you are pretending to experience a state of being, you are actually experiencing resistance, plain and simple. Contrary to your best intentions, that is what you end up expanding!
The Law of Attraction, like attracts like, is a universal law and is the explanation for what exists in our reality.
Excerpted from Excuse Me, College Is Now by Doreen Banaszak, Sebastian Oddo. Copyright © 2009 Doreen Banaszak and Sebastian Oddo. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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