Let’s get one thing straight.
You do not create your own reality.
Your thoughts do not create your reality either.
All the positive thinking and manifesting and vision boarding and dreaming is not going to get you what you want.
What you do create is your experience of your reality.
Your thoughts about your reality create your experience of that reality.
This distinction is critical, and far too often it’s glossed over, ignored or pushed aside in favor of the far more attractive idea of being completely in control of our reality via our thoughts.
All you need is The Secret, and you too can think your way into a bigger bank balance, a nicer car, a bigger house and a better partner.
Oh, it doesn’t work unless you get the feeling resonance behind it just right; you really need to feel what it would be like to have that bigger bank balance, drive that bigger car, living in that bigger house and have that better partner.
You need to emotionally-charge your positive thinking, manfiesting, vision-boarding, dreaming…
Now this has a smidgen of truth in it, but it’s still a corrupted way to sell books, DVDs, online courses and workshops that hook into people’s desire to live better lives, and people’s downright greed.
It also implies that if you don’t get the money, the car, the house, the man than there’s something wrong with you.
I’d wager that many people attracted to these kinds of promises are already afraid there’s something wrong with them. Working with manifesting tips and tricks—and failing—is just going to reinforce that fear even more.
So what is the real deal?
Our thoughts and emotions are intertwined. A thought can give rise to a feeling, and a feeling can give rise to a thought. Underlying beliefs, often unconscious, give rise to both thoughts and feelings.
Beliefs, thoughts and feelings are the filter through which we experience our life.
All the circumstances, everything that happens to us, all the people we come in contact with, everything… is experienced through the filter of our beliefs, thoughts and our feelings about the circumstances, the happenings, the people, the everything.
This combination of external reality and internal reality creates your ultimate reality.
Two things, intertwined, inseparable from each other.
What this means is that if your internal reality changes, i.e., your beliefs, thoughts and feelings, then the sum of your reality will change, but not the relative external reality. Because the sum of your reality has changed, the choices you make will change, and then the external reality will also change, because you’re steering your ship in a new direction.
I like math, love it in fact, always have. Math makes things make sense.
Here’s my math on this.
Beliefs (b) + Thoughts (t) + feelings (f) = Internal Reality (IR)
Circumstances (c) + people (p) = External Reality (ER)
BIR + ER = Ultimate Reality (UR) or, more complex (b+t+f)+(c+p)=UR
Change any input in these equations and you’ll change the end result—you’ll change UR.
Lets put this in a real world example.
Stupid Secret Thinking, envisioning the future:
- You want more money because you want to be rich.
- You positively think about receiving large sums of cash. You use various manifesting methods. You do a vision board with money on it. You dream about being rich.
- You feel what it would be like to have a lot of money in the bank.
- You wait patiently for the money to arrive, and when it doesn’t, you wonder what you did wrong. You feel, in your wanting, just how damn lacking you truly are.
Smarter Thinking, working with what is:
- You want more money because you want to be rich.
- You ask yourself why you want to be rich.
- You realize it’s because you feel you deserve some luxuries in your life because you’ve been working so hard.
- You take a look at your life to see where you’re already experiencing luxury. You look at where you could treat yourself even more. You ask yourself what luxuries are possible right now. You search out luxuries that are possible on your budget.
- You begin to treat yourself on a regular basis to things that make you feel good—like long hot baths with bath salts, afternoon walks in the sun by the beach, and a red rose once a week.
- You notice, in astonishment, that you feel rich, because you’re meeting your need to treat yourself ever now and then with a luxury.
- You’ve successfully inquired into your thoughts and feelings, using the knowledge gained to change the way you perceive your current reality, and made new choices which changed that reality and therefore changed the way you feel.
That is the big difference between creating your reality, and creating your experience of your reality.
The first is externally focused, hoping and wishing that using the right magical thoughts or feeling will make something happen ‘out there.’
The second is internally focused, making choices and actions that meet the underlying needs creating the desiring wants.
The first is future-focused, hoping and wishing that something will happen in the future.
The second is now-focused, working with what is right now.
Is this even true? I have no idea. This is just one way to look at reality to make some sense out of it and therefore chose how to be. The real question is, does it work?
For me, yes it does, as you can read about it in articles like this:
- How identifying with not being something also causes great misery
- There is nothing wrong with you. You don’t need fixing
- A tale of Mat Resistance, and practicing anyway
In all of these cases, I notice my misery, I notice the beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are giving rise to that misery, and I work directly with those beliefs, thoughts and feelings—not be attempting to change them, fix them or heal them. But simply by bringing awareness to them, and allowing that to create change, or not.
Every now and then, I too get side-tracked. I notice misery and begin to focus on changing my external reality as a way of shifting my ultimate reality. It’s subtle, but you can see this at work in this article:
Usually, I catch myself within a few weeks and turn towards the true source of my misery—that which lies inside me.
It’s easy to see how this process can be subverted—how easy it can be to think that our beliefs, thoughts and feelings create our reality; therefore, if we’re not rich, or successful, or thin or something, there’s something wrong with us. We begin to think that if we just had the right manifesting technique or tool, or thought the right things, we could fix ourselves and our life.
It’s a folly.
Our external reality, in this moment, is fixed.
Our response to that external reality is fluid.
Accept the fixed.
Work with the fluid.
See what arises in that space.
I dare you.
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Ed: B. Bemel