This week as we celebrate the US Independence Day, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the gift of freedom and living in a country that offers the opportunity for individuals to live up to their highest potential.
Freedom, I believe, is one of the highest ideals. It is a gift worth living up to and a gift to be shared. I believe it is good to set aside a day to remember that our forefathers sacrificed much to bring forth their vision of a country that offers everyone the opportunity to peruse their dreams. As you know, it is a vision and dream that is still being fought for in many areas. For that reason, I thought you might find it interesting to reflect with me upon the vision of freedom and its impact in our life. Enjoy!
- Freedom is a buzz word to speak of many things these days. We speak of religious freedom, financial freedom, intellectual freedom, inner freedom and the list goes on. What does the word freedom bring up for you?
- How is your life enhanced because of the freedoms you enjoy?
- What responsibilities arise as part of the gift of freedom?
- How does your personal freedom intersect with the freedom of those around you?
- What does the phrase ‘inner freedom’ mean to you?
- Are there areas of your life in which you do not feel free? Why?
- What would help you to enjoy a greater sense of freedom in your life?
This is the final segment of a series that I began in May that covers 7 steps for helping us to realize our visions and dreams. I think of this final step of peace as a kind of wrapping that holds the vision together. When we can stay at peace about the eventuality for our vision we are always ‘adding to’ the energy of our creation. When we begin to doubt ourselves or get caught up in fear of failure we ‘subtract’ from the energy we have to create what we want.
Patience is often the hardest part. It is good to keep in mind that your vision will come at the most appropriate time. Visions that happen quickly often dissolve because we aren’t really ready for them. For example, we haven’t yet built the kind of support we need around us. We have all heard of businesses going under because they outpaced themselves and couldn’t keep up with the demand and their customer service became poor.
When we are at peace with the process we can enjoy the journey of the creation. Often the real satisfaction is in the work of creating. Once we have manifested our creation we find ourselves wanting to create something new. So have fun in this process!
In the final analysis, there is really nothing that can keep us from creating what we truly want in life – except ourselves. Our good desires and our passion for the things we like to do is part of the creative activity of the universe. It is our own poor perception, lack of focus, fear, unwillingness to do what is needed and abandonment of our projects that stop their fulfillment. A true gift of being human is our ability to imagine more and create. A gift you can give to both yourself and your vision is to enjoy the harmony of the process and be at peace.
When you are serious about creating something, establishing a rhythm or routine to keep your attention focused is very important. Just like learning to meditate or exercise regularly, your vision will be more easily maintained when you pick a dedicated time to incorporate it into your life.
This is especially true if you are creating something new, outside of what you already do. For example, when starting a new business, many individuals continue to maintain their current work and fit in their dream/vision job on the side. Setting up a consistent schedule for your side job (even if it is in the planning stages) establishes a firm presence of its reality. A set schedule keeps you from letting other activities get in the way and will help others to establish the reality in their minds as well. A set schedule is a ‘consecration’ of your efforts, literally adding a sense of blessing to your vision.
As you begin establishing a rhythm it is helpful to have start and stop times. This will keep you fresh and not exhausted by your efforts. A specific pattern for each day will be far more effective than lots one day and a little or none the next.
Finally, creating a specific routine will help to establish a piece of mind about the building of your vision. The routine helps to keep you aligned with a steady sense of progress and assurance that you are truly working toward your goals.
The fourth step of ‘maintaining the purity of your intention’ and the fifth step of ‘concentration’ are very closely related. As mentioned in last week’s post the 4th is about staying with your original idea (not altering our plans) until we accomplish mastery. The 5th step of concentration relates to seeing it through until completion.
Although similar it is important to differentiate the step of concentration because we can be swayed off course by fear, doubt and procrastination. Well meaning but fear filled friends and family not privy to your vision can often convince us we are on a fool’s mission doomed for failure.
Often we begin with great vigor, however, once the bumps in the road and inevitable setbacks occur it is easy to lose not only our momentum and our will to continue. When I am feeling this loss of momentum I love to remember of Thomas Edison as he was creating the light bulb. When asked about his failed attempts he said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ Remember that a perceived failure is not really a failure unless you give up. Until then you are learning.
This means to keep a steady focus on what you originally intended. There are lots of great ideas out there and we have lots of access to more and more ideas with the use of today’s electronics. However, when we keep changing our minds about aspects of our project, it is like trying to take several different paths to the same destination at the same time.
When I first read this instruction it seemed simple enough, yet I have found it takes a little more practice than I thought. It is amazing how many times I can get distracted by a shiny new idea or a suggestion regarding something different. I also have a tendency to become bored with the process when it seems a little slow. I need to consistently practice clearing my mind of the desire to revamp everything, start over, or give up and try something new.
In his book, 8 to be great, Richard St. John (who questioned hundreds of the world’s most successful people) brings out the same point in his third trait of successful people; Focus. In the chapter on focus, St. John points out that taking the wide view can be very important in the beginning as we explore the landscape. However, to be really good at something we need to narrow down the field, stop dabbling and become an expert at one thing. He says, “Developing an expertise means we can’t just do something for a week and fly off and do something else. Becoming successful at anything – a career, a goal, a project – means staying focused on that one thing for months, years, or even decades.”
Love is the ultimate motivating power in the universe. The Seven Steps to Precipitation tells us that love is positive, concentrated action. It gives us consistency under the most trying of circumstances and the correct action at the moment when it is needed most. Without love nothing is permanently accomplished, without love the clearest vision remains but a cloudy vapor.
So consider this important question. I am sure you have heard it before: Do you love what you do? When you think of the creation of your vision, ask yourself…Will I love the to do what is needed to create the reality. Will it be joyful? Maybe you have always wanted your dream and you can visualize yourself with the end result but do you love the work involved? When we don’t love what we do the quality of our service is poor. It will drain us instead of giving us life.. in the end we stop working toward our dream.
Of course, that doesn’t mean every task will be immediately agreeable to us – however when we love the results and what the task is bringing to our dream we can create feelings of joy and peace even in the unwanted tasks. Believe it or not we do have control over this. Remember our thoughts drive our feelings. When we recognize our negativity we can change our thoughts to the positive aspect of what we are creating and almost magically watch our feelings become more joyful about what we are doing.
This step is about creating a firm belief, clear vision and firm grasp on the details of your vision. A good place to start is getting in touch with your talents and personal strengths. A firm believe in our vision comes more easily when we are self-confidently connected to our abilities and awareness of how and when we will need help.
Next take time to develop a very clear picture in your mind of what you are creating. Visualize what you need without rushing forth. Neuro Linguistic Programming studies show that visualization is 95% effective in producing the results we want. So visualize, visualize, visualize! Begin with the end in mind and imagine as clearly as you can your completed project. Then work backwards thinking though the steps it takes to get there. See yourself involved in all the aspects and details of your creation. Notice you feelings. Stay centered and connected to the fullness and joy of your creating.
Use meditation to help you stay connected to Divine support as you build your vision. Know that Divine will for you is to serve in joy. You have a unique role to play and your vision is important and supported. Know the truth of your Spiritual connection and the fact that what we do in life is an expression of our inner truth. Connecting the vision of your creation to your spiritual connection will help you maintain a sense of firm belief and trust that your vision will unfold in the timing and method that will support its sustainability.