- Mental Health»
- Mental Health Self-Help
The Power of Intention to Change Emotions and Turn Life Around
Opting for Entirely New Game
After the last card seems to have been dealt to us in this whimsical game of life, we still have a chance to ask ourselves if perhaps we are in a wrong game - rather than if we are playing it right. Namely, do we really have to feel at the mercy of that hand that is dealt to us?
Could we just yank ourselves out of that fatalistic attitude and try something like our own volition? And I certainly don't mean the one when we close our eyes and blow the flames out on our birthday cake.
And neither I mean that daydreaming ending up with a sigh spelling out "If only..." What I mean is an intention beyond which nothing is left to the whims of stars and Lady Fortune. Something like moment to moment insistence on what we want for ourselves, for our life.
Conscious vs. Unconscious Life
Would you be willing to believe that even what we feel at any given moment could be a result of our conscious intention? I am not kidding you. Any feeling imaginable is available to us at any moment, regardless of the current situation of life circumstances.
It's only that nobody is talking about it, because the great majority of people spend their whole lifetime switched on their automatic mode of functioning. Surrendering their conscious power of choice to it, they let it choose for them how they feel - out of the memory bank of similar experiences that may match in some even completely irrelevant detail.
Some of us may get an anxiety episode while waiting in a lineup where a person has a moustache similar to that of our elementary school teacher who once made the whole class laugh at us. Indeed, to a different extent most of us are living unconsciously, letting the life happen to us, allowing our conscious-self merely a role of pissed off observers.
Let's Face It - We Are Mostly Unconscious and Don't Know It
Since we are social beings, most of our emotional responses we learned from interacting with those around us. After years of seeing everybody imitating everybody else, we are bound to take it for granted that feeling good on Monday morning, or feeling happy on a gloomy, rainy day is like a heresy.
Something like a "conscious intention" is simply catering to those programs in our brain which we follow blindly like some traditions or "customary and appropriate" experiencing of life, without ever questioning their value for us. Yes, when it boils down to the basics of our processing the reality, we tend to be quite "mentally dogmatic" in our ways.
Then we naively talk about our "free will" which somewhat reminds me of a philosopher's saying that "if a thrown pebble could think, it would believe that it is deciding where to fall". Since over 90% of our mental activities are unconscious, we, as conscious beings hardly have a say about how to run our show - it's all pre-cooked and pre-chewed for us already, and we just have to swallow every morsel of our mostly toxic and negatively spiced recipe for living.
We Can Choose Our Emotions
How do we wake up? The answer is simple - by realizing that we are asleep. That act of conscious detachment from our experiencing and observing it makes us awaken. We are either in it, blending with it, identifying with it - or we are outside watching it nonjudgmentally, with a full power to either allow it to stay, or change it for something that intuitively makes more sense to us.
To the most of the people it is unfathomable that we can consciously change how we feel almost in an instant. Neuroscientists are telling us that during sleep we experience a time distortion, and a long dream is actually lasting just a few moments.
It's like brain has this ability to fast-forward its experiencing, which, for our purposes means that we don't have to "practice" to feel great but can fast-forward to that emotion. The problem may be in our tendency to question "how natural" it is.
Yes, it is, just think how "natural" it would be to you to make that emotional shift from a boredom to an euphoria the moment you found out that your lottery number is the winner of jackpot. You see, our inner program is allowing that exception, but not the one where you would out of the blue, and without a jackpot feel euphoric or alike.
For sake of our awakening we've got to realize that such a mental shift is possible to our nervous system, meaning that we don't have to "gradually practice" it. Once when we are clear about it, it becomes so much easier to accept that we can consciously "intend" to feel a certain way and have it delivered by our nervous system.
Why would we do it? Just because we can, and it's a fabulous way to live this life, while not having to "wait and see" what's appropriate to feel in certain situations. I have said it elsewhere and I will say it again here: "Mind is an obedient servant, but a cruel master".
No Need to Replay Traumatic Past
So your childhood did not spare you from some traumatic experiences, and now you think that your present emotional situation has something to do with it. Sorry, I know what psychoanalysts are telling us, but to me it's all like saying that the pain from hitting our finger with hammer "originates" from the pain from hitting a finger with a toy.
The qualitative pattern of suffering is there available to us whether we make it our experience in our childhood or in adulthood. It's only that our automatic pilot is bound to choose for us those patterns which "stick out" as more prominent in our memory bank - but we have to realize that we can activate any other at any time, no matter how much less it has been in use.
Thus, saying that we had an unhappy childhood and religiously replaying those patterns of experiencing - whether it's loneliness, feeling unloved, overly criticized and ridiculed... - we are surrendering our power to our automatic pilot to keep us in that emotional groove.
Contrary to saying that "we can't edit our past", I am telling you here and now that we can consciously decide to even turn all of it into a funny experience, dulling the painful edge of the past. Indeed, we don't have to escape from that past, but confront it with a conscious and awakened spirit and requalify its emotional content into something that doesn't feel bad at all.
If you look at those TV sitcoms, all of them are actually doing exactly that - turning the drama of life into a comedy of life, using those real human issues and making them insignificant. Everything, from handicapped folks to funerals has been shown in a light way - at times making us laugh to tears instead of crying.
Indeed, it's entirely up to us whether we choose our emotional responses to past consciously or unconsciously.
The Only Way is a Straight Way to It
Could we jump out of that grove by intending to start anew?
So far we only thought we wanted a better life, without intending it, and then we kept sabotaging it by beating around the bush. Let me give you a little metaphor, Suppose you are sitting on your couch and deciding to get yourself a glass of juice from your fridge - O.K., guys, I'll make it a beer for you.
So what do you do, if we are to compare it to our "attempts" to be a happier person? You get up, make a couple of rounds around your coffee table, wondering why it still doesn't feel like drinking that beverage. Then you look at the front page of the magazine sitting on your coffee table showing the commercial for your drink, and that picture still doesn't "taste" like it.
Then you finally give up and sit back, now pissed off because no one around you is bringing that damn beverage to you - or "making you happy" in translation, something that you refused to do for yourself by not walking a straight line to that fridge and taking out of it what you chose for yourself.
No matter how we want to philosophize about happiness, it all boils down to either igniting that emotion in ourselves by a conscious intention, or not. There is no other way around it, we have to "want" it for ourselves. I mean in a straight line from that want, now given an energetic charge of intent, and to that chosen mode of experiencing, no pausing, no questioning, no distraction.
Remember the metaphor involving that beer from the fridge. We can't get it if on the way to the fridge we take the TV remote control to check what's on the global news and how many people have been killed, raped, burnt in fires, robbed, molested, etc. We either end up having that beer or we end up being pissed off by something that others are doing.
A True Magic in those Intentions
Are you starting to get a picture of how much is possible to change in your emoting - and consequently in whole life, by a sheer intent, while meaning business and not beating around the bush with CD's, seminars, and other "gradual" re-conditioning and reprogramming?
For it only takes an instant, empowered by full understanding of this "technology of intention" to produce results beyond anything that we have "attempted" before. Intent is not about "trying".
And now that you know that getting that beer from fridge doesn't involve anything else on your way to the fridge but a shortest distance from point A to point B - you deserve to enjoy that beer. Cheers!