Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Men and Spirituality > Gates, Thresholds, Departures and Arrivals!

Gates, Thresholds, Departures and Arrivals!

Yesterday I posted a long sequence from my “Morning Pages” (The Artist’s Way) about change. I woke up that morning a bit on the irritable side and my mood was exacerbated by a series of innocuous events that sent me immediately to my pages, often a respite from the world of other people!

I took time to breathe, to reflect and to move into a whole new frame of mind. It was then that I decided to dismiss Mr. Irritation from my life. And one of the triggers that ushers irritation into my life is a violation of the rules, my rules. So, I decided that Mr. Rules needed to be dismissed right along with irritation, since they so often seem to enter my life hand-in-hand.

If you read yesterday’s post you may believe that I finished my pages and skipped across that threshold I describe and swept into Happiness! Well, I don’t know how things go for you, but as soon as I let the Universe know I am moving into a new space, a whole new pattern of being, I am immediately tested!

I re-entered the world of other people, opened the refrigerator to make my morning smoothie and out flew an open box of Yoohoo leaking a chocolate flavored concoction all over the bottom of the refrigerator and the kitchen floor. After a few choice words I tossed the container into the sink, thereby splattering more brown liquid everywhere (OK, my toss was not gentle!).

I took a breath, muttered a bit more about rules and open containers and finally caught myself (and the Universe) in the test of my commitment to a new behavior pattern. Yes, Mr. Irritation and Mr. Rules had not gone far at all and came knocking at their first opportunity. And I was right there at the door to let them in!

Change is not easy! It’s easy enough to write about Gateless Gates, Thresholds of Joy, Departures from irritability and a world of rules and Arrival into a new world of Happiness. I can picture myself in this new world; I can hold the image for long moments, especially while sitting on a cushion or writing or practicing qigong. But remaining there in that new world is a completely different exercise. It takes practice, lots of practice. The old habits influenced so heavily by Mr. Irritation and Mr. Rules are deeply etched pathways in my brain. New habits influenced by those fleeting feelings of joy and happiness barely scratch the surface of the neocortex and evaporate all too easily if not reinforced with awareness, repetition and practice.

Over the last few days I have been practicing often; in other words the tests keep on coming and giving me the opportunities to practice. And this is a good thing! How else will those mere scratches become indelible ruts of good, new habits? And as always it’s all about awareness, catching the old behavior and making the conscious choice to modify it as quickly as possible so the old ruts begin to fade as the new behavior “sinks in.”

Fortunately there are tools to help with this. All “consciousness building” tools can be put to good use: meditation, yoga, qigong, tai chi, journaling, prayer, contemplation, etc. are all methods to help build our conscious minds to come to our aid with awareness of every moment, every breath, to fill that awareness with realization of our True Nature and how to align our everyday behavior with that Nature.

How do you build your Consciousness? What methods do you employ to effect change in your life?

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