This is Part 2 of a three part teaching series where I explore three spiritual lessons:
#1: Learning how to understand and control your emotional feelings.
#2: Discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.
#3: Understanding ‘who is talking and who is listening’ – this means taking control of your self-talk and your mind.
You can listen to or read PART 1 here.
You can listen to PART 2 here:
If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.
You can read the full transcript of Part 2 of the teaching below:
Hello, and welcome to the second installment of this three-part Wu Wei Wisdom teaching series.
In this session we’ll continue to unravel the ‘illusion of confusion’ and explore how you can reject the harmful misunderstandings, untruths and lies that your mind may sometimes offer you.
The aim of this teaching series is to help you restore a sense of balance and inner-peace, and establish a deeper connection to your authentic truth, so that you can start living a spiritually guided life of love, happiness and purpose.
In Part 1 we considered the first spiritual lesson on how to understand and control your emotional feelings.
In this teaching we move on to the second spiritual lesson: discovering why your beliefs, thoughts and words create your life direction.
I write daily quotes on my social media feeds and often get asked what is my favourite spiritual quote.
Well, one of my favourites is from an unknown author that reads:
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words;
Watch your words, they become your actions;
Watch your actions, they become your habits;
Watch your habits, they become your character;
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
I really love this, and it encapsulates the second lesson of this teaching so well – I only wish I had thought of it first!
The paradigm shift for you to consider here is that collectively your beliefs, your thoughts or self-talk, and the words you speak, create a hugely powerful energy and momentum, that not only affect your life choices and actions, but also have the ability to attract, transform and influence all other energies around you.
Of course, everyone understands the simple equation that any action will have consequences, and this is because both the action and the results are often immediate and obvious.
I cut myself (the physical action) – so I bleed (this is the immediate and obvious direct consequence).
But it’s much harder to appreciate the potential and the consequences attached to what is going on inside your mind, both consciously (this is your self-talk or thoughts) and subconsciously (this is your core beliefs).
Now you may think that just because it’s all happening inside your head, that it’s all private, it’s only the secret stuff you tell yourself, and that if nobody hears what you believe or think, it doesn’t really matter… or does it?!
Well, I’m telling you it does matter – it REALLY matters!
Here’s an example:
Deep down I believe I’m not good enough and not worthy (this is my corrupted and inauthentic core-belief), and so I criticise myself all the time (this is the self-talk that comes from and reinforces my inauthentic core belief).
So what are the consequences here?
Well, the outcome of my inauthentic belief and self-talk can often be subtle and less immediate but their effect will be no less profound compared to… if I was actually physically self-harming myself.
The consequences are, that I then treat myself very poorly and disrespect myself, both emotionally and physically – and this makes me unhappy.
Because I believe I am worthless I also let other people treat me very badly – this then makes me unhappier and it also reinforces my original corrupted core belief: I now believe people treat me badly because I really AM a bad person, and not just because I BELIEVE I am a bad person – so I’m sending this energetic message out to everyone.
I am now stuck in a cycle of emotional self-harming that affects every area of my life. I call this the ‘carousel of despair’
Imagine that when you engage and release the energy of any belief, thought or word, it’s like dropping a pebble into an energetic pool – the energetic ripples expand outwards across the landscape of your life and into the wider Cosmos. This happens every time, with every belief, thought or word, PLIP-PLOP-PLIP, constant ripples of energy creating consequences, whether you like it or not!
So what happens when you put the energy of your beliefs, thoughts or words out there into the Cosmos?
That expansion creates an intent or purpose the Chinese masters call ‘Yi’, and which I translate to mean intention.
In the same way a software programme controls the workings of your computer or a sat-nav system guides your car, your Yi or intention influences both your life direction and potential.
There is a Taoist proverb that says: ‘Yi Tao Qi Tao’, which directly translated means: the way (Tao)…. of your intention (Yi)… guides the way of energy (Qi), and by this I mean ALL energy – so both your energy AND the energy of the wider Cosmos. Remember, the Taoist principle of Oneness dictates that you are an integral part of a singular pool or web of Cosmic energy.
Yi Tao Qi Tao is essentially describing the Law of Attraction and how energetic relationships and connections work. So, when you truly understand how energy works, you’ll also appreciate how your intention directly affects your health, your happiness, and your relationships with others, the Tao and the Cosmos.
So you can see how the energy of your intention, beliefs, thoughts and words are very important.
Once you understand this universal principle you can also begin to take positive and proactive SELF-RESPONSIBILITY for your part in this process.
Many people ask me if practices such as meditation or following rigorous lifestyle habits encouraged by some spiritual or personal development teachers will help them get rid of the root problem by emptying their mind and consciousness of all the unhelpful and harmful stuff that’s going on in there.
In response I always share one of my favourite quotes from a master in the Wudang Mountains:
‘The mind without thoughts is like a pillow without feathers…. useless!’
What this means is that the essence of the all Taoist meditation practice and teaching, or indeed any form of meditation and spiritual teaching, is never and should never be about completely emptying your mind of all thoughts, or what many people talk about: ‘killing off’ or banishing the Ego. This is both impossible and unnecessary, and anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you!
The aim of any spiritual practice should only ever be to harmonise your physical consciousness, that is your human body and mind, including your beliefs, thoughts and self-talk, so that it beautifully aligns with what the Taoists refer to as your ‘Shen’, this is the vital non-physical, spiritual and authentic part of you.
In doing this you will also automatically connect with the natural flow and energy of the Cosmos and the Tao.
Life’s journey is nothing more or less than this act of harmonising and rebalancing your energy with every life experience and challenge you encounter. This alignment is what the Taoists refer to as ‘Wu Wei’, and from this place of balance comes effortless flow, joy and personal expansion.
Your beliefs, thoughts and words are extremely important in this equation because together they are like a key that will open one of two doorways for you.
The question is:
Do your beliefs, thoughts and words unlock the doorway to a harmonious and deeply empowering connection with your Shen, inner-truth and the Cosmos… OR do they restrict your life by guiding you to a doorway behind which there are only lies and illusions that cause you to doubt your own magnificence and your divine relationship with the Cosmos?
This question is worth meditating on when you have some quiet time alone.
I believe we are all seekers of the ‘truth’, and this is an inherent part of our natural Yi or intention whilst in human form. But instead of looking outwards for the truth, I want to encourage you to refocus your intention inwards so you can reconnect to the spiritual source of knowledge and wisdom within you.
If, when working through this process, you recognise that you are holding onto inauthentic and harmful beliefs or thoughts, or you realise that your self-talk or the words you are using about yourself or others are coming from a place of fear rather than love, you’ll also know that you are knocking at the wrong doorway.
The good news is that you also have the power to change this situation, this is just temporary state, and that, no matter how misaligned your beliefs, thoughts, words or actions may be right now, and indeed, no matter how long it has been this way for you, this will never, ever, sever the energetic connection to your Shen and the wider Cosmos.
Yes, you may experience a whole lifetime of misalignment, imbalance and unhappiness if you CHOOSE to stubbornly hold onto inauthentic beliefs and thoughts and allow these to translate into harmful words and actions, but the eternal connection to your spiritual essence and source is NEVER lost. Fear will NEVER overcome love! …And you are love!
Verse two of the sacred Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, says:
‘life begins without words; no one can possess or own it’.
What this means is that although your current intention may be created by your misguided mindset and that this can strongly influence your life experiences, your human mind can never touch or affect your Shen or inner-spirit – this is the ‘life’ that is referred to here. This pristine and pure non-physical part of your consciousness will always be part of you and yet you do not own it. It existed before you were born and will go on after you die.
I find this truth about our human existence and capabilities both profound and extremely reassuring. Although it acknowledges the limitations of our physical consciousness it also points towards the infinite potential of our non-physical, spiritual self.
The only choice YOU have to make in this lifetime is whether to align or not align with this powerful, authentic part of you and who you REALLY ARE.
So how do you do this?
- Well, firstly you can begin by rejecting the harmful beliefs or lazy, misguided and self-sabotaging thoughts and words that confuse, over-complicate and limit your life.
- Start to say ‘NO’ every time a critical or judgment thought pops into your mind or when you start to hear yourself comparing or speaking harmful words about you or others.
- Don’t waste your precious energy making excuses for or trying to justify any inauthentic beliefs, thoughts, words and actions you hold onto as an adult. Remember: they belong to you and nobody else and you have the choice to keep them or reject them. Yes, the process of finding and weeding out that which does not serve you well may be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but you should never compromise your long-term self-worth for short term self-comfort!
- Don’t fall into the trap of searching for validation or reassurance from others in the hope that this will somehow make you feel better and allow you to keep your inauthentic beliefs and negative self-talk in place. This will NEVER work in the long term.
- And finally, never underestimate the power of loving and believing in yourself. Remember: you are love; you don’t have to earn or search for love. An ancient Taoist teaching says: ‘love and truth come from the same seed’, so why not practise being honest, truthful and acting with integrity.
All of these suggestions will guide you to a practice of what I call ‘compassionate self-discipline’. Once you learn to apply this on a day-to-day basis, it will stop the carousel of despair in its tracks, allowing you to hop off, move away from old self-harming habits, and move towards a life of emotional freedom, joy and abundance that is your birth-right.
I hope this teaching has given you fresh insight and clarity on why your beliefs, thoughts and words are so important, and that empowers you on your journey towards inner harmony, peace and fulfilment.
In my next and final teaching in this series, we’ll move onto the third spiritual lesson: the process of creating a deeper understanding of ‘who is talking and who is listening’, and how you may lovingly take back control of your self-talk and your mind.
So until we speak again, remember, don’t stop now you’re closer than you think!