Change frightens people.
What’s worse, there are too many examples of people “in power” using the fear of the unknown that change might bring about as a weapon. Hence, on the one hand, you have progress. On the other hand, you have attempts to go backward.
You cannot undo or redo change, whether it’s subtle or monumental. Yes, you can certainly resist — which can be a good thing. But to alter change that’s undesirable, you must create a new and different change. Perhaps a counterchange if you will.
On the grand scale, the big picture matters are largely out of our control. We can vote, protest, write and call politicians and business leaders, and so on. But apart from that, the big picture matters are not in your control.
Realizing this over the years, I have been working on using the only control I truly have. That control is ME. I am the only one in my head — so I, and I alone, control that.
Likewise, YOU are the only you inside YOUR head. Thus, you, and you alone, control that.
To work with this and make the best use of it, almost ten years ago I began to develop my personal philosophy. Pathwalking is all about practicing mindfulness to be aware of not just that which is without, but what is within. That consciousness makes you better aware of what’s without via awareness of what’s within.
Still with me? Okay, so in that time my philosophy has evolved. Given that change is the only constant in the Universe, that comes as no surprise. Knowing this and working with this, though, are two separate notions.
Working with it has evolved it.
Go with the flow
When I began to develop this philosophy and work with it, I came to see life as a flowing river. Like the river, it’s not always a simple flow. Sometimes there are rocks, rapids, natural and artificial obstacles, and so on.
As you flow in the river of life, situations, experiences, and seasons change. Some change is natural, some artificial. And there is little to nothing you can do about this because change is inevitable.
Pathwalking, like Buddhism, recognizes the impermanence of life. Who I was ten years ago is not who I am now. Likewise, who I am now is not who I will be in ten years. Some of that will be by my design and practice of my philosophy. But some won’t.
In my philosophy, I strive to work with mindfulness to consciously create my reality. But with that, I recognize that there is only one place I have control. ME.
No two people perceive reality the same way. As Einstein said,
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
My philosophy of actively, consciously choosing paths to traverse in life has served me well. But as the scenery along the flowing rivers of life changes, aspects of my philosophy change, too.
The changes have shown me that what I began with isn’t wrong — it’s just incomplete. Hence, Pathwalking evolves as I discover and work with the new puzzle pieces I receive.
When you don’t go with the flow of positive, evolutionary change, you have three other options. Resist and be drowned, eventually be swept into the stream, or swim. If you choose to swim against the current it can build muscle and strengthen you. It can also weaken you if the current is too irresistible. Mindfulness will inform you as to which this is.
Evolving recognition of mindfulness
When I began to assemble Pathwalking into a cohesive philosophy, my analysis of mindfulness was smaller. I recognized that thoughts, feelings, and actions were the main elements to connect you to the you inside your head that perceives life, the Universe, and everything.
After nearly 9.25 years, I’ve come to realize there are more elements to mindfulness.
Mindfulness serves two purposes. The first is awareness of the world around you. The second is awareness of the world within you. Specifically, your subconscious.
That awareness on both fronts makes all the difference between whether you make choices and decisions to live life — or if life lives you.
Your subconscious mind
In your subconscious is where your beliefs, habits, values, and overall approach to life exists. All of this has been formed by a combination of experience, education, the beliefs of others, conscious and subconscious consumption of information, environment, and so on. The less you consciously process things, the deeper they embed in your subconscious.
Because many people don’t learn the value of critical thinking early on, everything they absorb gets embedded in their subconscious. Thus, outdated beliefs and values can interfere with who you are now and who you might desire to be.
The subconscious is made up of past experiences. Hence, who you are now is the product of who you were. And since there’s no one-size-fits-all, it could be who you were months ago, years ago, decades ago, or any combination of all the above.
To access your subconscious mind requires awareness of your conscious mind.
Your conscious mind
As you read these words, your conscious mind is taking them in and either dismissing them or transmitting them to your subconscious. This may be active or passive depending on your overall state of mind at this moment.
Your conscious mind is informed first by your senses. Touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, and instinct/empathy/sixth-sense impressions reach your conscious mind for processing. Thusly, they inform you of the where, how, why, and what you are doing in this moment.
Further than that — and more directly connected to the sixth sense — is your initial processing of data you take in. In the here and how — the only time that is really real — this is conscious awareness. It is comprised of thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions.
Allow me to illustrate how this all works together. You smell coffee brewing. You see the black liquid in the pot. That makes you think, I’d like a cup of coffee. You feel how coffee would be good, feel how the caffeine will energize you and satisfy a need. Intent on getting a cup of coffee, you take hold of a mug, go to the coffee maker and pour out a cup.
This can be so routine that you don’t realize it is a conscious, mindful process. But it is.
The next time you get a glass of water, please take a moment to consider all the above mindfully as you do.
When you are conscious and aware, you know your inner being. Your mindset/headspace/psyche sense of self gains clarity.
That clarity is how you increase awareness of both the world without and your subconscious within.
It is that conscious, in-the-now awareness that gives you control.
Pathwalking philosophy and conscious reality creation
The idea of actively practicing mindfulness can look like an awful lot of work. But the truth is that it’s not. As my above illustration of getting coffee shows, you do it all the time and seldom notice it.
When you do notice it, you now grant yourself control of it. Hence, if you don’t like coffee but want the caffeine boost, you can instead get black tea, soda, or such.
Awareness of your inner being, mindset/headspace/psyche, in the now, is how you can reach into your subconscious and change beliefs, values, habits, and your approach to life.
Thus, rather than let life live you — you get to live life. Mindfulness is how you can actively practice conscious reality creation to make manifest things material and immaterial for the life you most desire.
My Pathwalking philosophy is using mindfulness to choose the direction you desire your life to go. Rather than see the evolution of it as complicating it — I see it instead as refining it.
Mindfulness is not a one-and-done practice. Since change is the only constant in the Universe, practicing mindfulness keeps you informed of that change. This applies to both your inner being and the world without.
When you’re clearer on who, what, where, how, and why you are — you empower clarity of the same in the world without. That clarity empowers you to live as fully as you can and experience the wonders, potential, and possibilities our abundant world has to offer you.
As I evolve, my philosophy of life is evolving, too. And I embrace that. I share this because I believe if more people choose to live life rather than let life live them — together we can help the world reach and surpass the possibility and potential it has for everyone.
How do you handle the evolution of life, the Universe, and everything without and within you?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on March 10, 2021.