Lesson #3: Why the Universe Within You is So Important

Lesson #3: Why the Universe Within You is So Important Starfield with flaresIf a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it... does it make a sound? Sound waves are emitted, yes. But there's no actual sound. That's because sound is something that is heard by ears (or some other recording device). It's when a nervous system recognizes sound waves, that actual "sound" is real. Sound is something co-created by external sound waves out there, and a person's internal nervous system. It doesn't just come from out there; it comes from within you too. Reality comes from within you As we discussed last week, the brain-body co-creates reality. Something is only real to you when you can experience it through your physical senses. Reality isn't something that objectively exists "out there."
    Reality is created from within you.
Take color perception for example. Colors aren't "out there" in the world. It's light waves that exist out there. It's light waves that enter your eyes, to then stimulate cells in your brain to "see" certain colors depending on what wavelengths come through. It's the same principle as the tree falling in the empty forest. Sound doesn't come from the tree (only sound waves do). Sound is inseparable from the experience of the brain perceiving/hearing those sound waves. Color is inseparable from the experience of the brain perceiving/seeing those light waves. (By the way, if you want to read a fun and detailed account of the constructive nature of human vision, check out Eye and Brain by Richard L. Gregory. It was one of my favorite books in college.) Pay attention to how you co-create your reality from within When trying to lead happier and healthier lives, people get hung up on the reality "out there." They try to control their environment, control their future, control what others do, and what people around them think and feel. But they're looking to change their reality in the wrong way. To change your reality for the better, you have to pay attention to how you co-create your reality -- from within. You have to be mindful of your personal narrative, your beliefs and attitudes, all of your emotions, and your assumptions and expectations about the world and your place it it. Because first of all, you can't always change external things no matter how hard you try. You can only choose your responses to life. And secondly, if you ignore what's going on inside of you, you won't be able to choose your responses to life in sensible ways. Because what's going on inside of you -- guides how you behave. You have to know what's going on in your inner universe if you are to gain any bearings in life at all. If you are to even think about creating your life as a mindful construct.

The universe within you -- which is made up of your personal narrative, cognitive networks, personal constructs, and so on -- shapes the way you experience and they way you perceive and interpret that experience. Meaning it co-creates your life experience.

As we already touched on through the exercise at the end of the previous lesson, one way to be more mindful of your personal narrative, your beliefs and attitudes, all of your emotions, and your assumptions and expectations about the world and your place in it -- is to start capturing it through writing (audio recordings work too). Now, if you're really sharp at this, you can start to notice these things in your daily conversations just by paying closer attention to what you say to others and why. But that's big league stuff, it's easier to start out with just you alone. (In the next section we'll go over three ways to start this.) In capturing your "raw" thoughts and feelings through writing, you can look to them as clues for what's really going on inside your head. You can also view them in a concrete way, which is really important. 3 ways to start tending to your inner universe Below are three powerful ways to start tending to your inner universe. Pick the one that stands out to you most -- and stick with it for 28 days. It's a good length of time to program a new habit. If you're feeling ambitious, you can pick more than one. But the goal is to stick with at least one practice for 28 days. Gardens aren't grown in a day, but take lots of tending to over long periods of time. So it is too with tending to your inner universe. Here are the options:
    1. Journal every morning for at least twenty minutes before starting your day -- Before you do anything else after waking up -- brushing your teeth, checking your email, having breakfast, greeting your dog -- sit down with pen and paper and write about whatever is on your mind. Take at least twenty minutes to completely unleash your inner thoughts... so you can start to get in touch with what you really think and feel about the people in your life and where you feel you're headed. Julia Cameron provides wonderful instructions on how to write what she calls "morning pages" in The Artist's Way.
    2. Talk out loud to yourself each night before bed -- It may sound silly, but you'd be surprised what you learn about yourself when let yourself talk freely, without worrying about what other people think. This is a good exercise to do into a tape recorder and even better if also in front of a mirror (it could be a hand-held one). Just talk about whatever you want to. You can reflect on your day, talk about what was good, or gripe about what annoyed you. The point is to get comfortable hearing your inner conversations that are always there just below the surface.
    3. Keep a log of your negative thoughts -- This is an exercise I've recently come to cherish. It's a personal log or journal that's kept separate from your normal journal. This log needs to be specifically designated to recording your negative moods -- whenever they arise. Use it to write down complaints, voice upsets, seethe with jealousy, talk bad about someone you just can't stand anymore, or even record negative self-talk that's been drumming on in your head. The point is to acknowledge those raw, not-so-nice emotions rather than trying to stop them. The point is to let them flow through your writing, with mindfulness. The point is to let your ego roam free, and then to take response ability by figuring out how you can nurture it -- your wounded inner child. Once those gut feelings are out there on paper, you can go back to it later and figure out how to work with those emotions in constructive ways.
Of course, these are only a few ways to get started. There are tons more, and tending to your inner universe is a life-long process. Have other exercises that have worked wonders for you in getting you more in tune with your inner universe? Share them below! Next lesson I'll share eleven powerful books that have worked wonders for me over the years... All the best, signed, Melissa P.S. Amazon Affiliate links have been included in this lesson. Did you get here from a link from a friend? This is Lesson 3 of a 10-part free e-class that shows you how your life is your construct. Learn more about it and sign up here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelley Mitchell July 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I do journal most days, but not quite like you suggested which I may try, but I’m looking forward to starting a negativity journal. I especially like the part of going back to work out the emotions or to see if they even need further attention.

Thanks!

Melissa Karnaze July 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

I’ve been keeping a bright pink negativity journal for over a year now. It does wonders for me. It helps clear out all anger, jealousy, envy, and fear that interferes with getting important things done. And it also draws attention to wounds that need to be tended to. Because underneath the negativity directed toward other people and things, is uncertainty or instability from within yourself.

Let loose with it! :)

jasray August 28, 2010 at 8:06 am

All sorts of online sites for journaling; I sort of like the idea of the second, but writing things in silence on paper always proves more effective–other than the slowness (which may be helpful for deeper thought).

I remember now one of the basic tenants of journaling, meditating, prayer, etc. (this comes from an instructor–not my own). In the process, we really aren’t changing the “out there”; we are changing the inner universe and, of course, its ability to respond the the “out there” more effectively for a more harmonious environment.

Another obvious, but totally forgotten concept that I ran into yesterday with some e-mail exchanges, was the reality that I was actually “assuming” the other side knew I was making a request for certain actions to be taken within two days; however, I never actually said this–it was clear as day in my head.

When I would receive replies such as, “Thank you” or “Thanks for the update,” I assumed (again the other side) was simply blowing me off. It was then that I remembered the two aspects of a request or goal: it must be measurable and it must be specific. Since I hadn’t made a request or a request with an expected time of completion, the other side was simply listening–no action.

I’ll see how things turn out later because I finally made the request–polite, succinct, and specific.

Writing a negativity journal–that’s a lot like–and I’ve done it before–writing the venting letter and then burning it. Again, I think it helps see where we and the construct or belief window may be part of the problem.

In “Life 101″ we can always choose to be “right” or to be “happy.” All these trivial arguments surround me nearly every day at work, but I started taking the “I would rather be happy” approach and refusing to grab all these ropes of negativity which were pulling me every which way.

At first, those very people who were pulling the strings became more hostile than ever because the ability to “not respond” or the ability to respond in new ways took them off guard. Now, they try and try–finally they give up and go to the next victim, and I refuse to play the victim.

http://writeforten.com/

http://beautifulpixels.com/web/ohlife/

Easy!

Melissa Karnaze August 28, 2010 at 11:24 am

jasray, thanks for sharing these resources and your personal example of how your inner universe co-created your experience of what was happening in your email exchanges.

“All sorts of online sites for journaling; I sort of like the idea of the second, but writing things in silence on paper always proves more effective–other than the slowness (which may be helpful for deeper thought).”

“Effectiveness” can have different angles. Writing something negative that you then burn has its merits in a particular situation. Writing something negative that you then keep and can look back on has its own merits in a different situation. And then, talking out loud in front of the mirror or in a tape recorders is a different experience that’s effective for different things. The important thing is to experiment and keep learning more about what works for you!

“I remember now one of the basic tenants of journaling, meditating, prayer, etc. (this comes from an instructor–not my own). In the process, we really aren’t changing the “out there”; we are changing the inner universe and, of course, its ability to respond the the “out there” more effectively for a more harmonious environment.”

James Pennebaker has done some fascinating research on how changing the “inner world” response to a traumatic event improves one’s physical health. It’s worth looking into.

“At first, those very people who were pulling the strings became more hostile than ever because the ability to “not respond” or the ability to respond in new ways took them off guard. Now, they try and try–finally they give up and go to the next victim, and I refuse to play the victim.”

This is wonderful to hear, thanks for sharing! It’s amazing how not responding or engaging in a defensive or argumentative way (the way they want you to respond) will throw their tactics off-course. Because not only is the new way of relating much healthier, but you can see how much you played a role in co-creating the old relationship of “instigator” and “victim.”

Sinei David November 5, 2010 at 4:38 am

Again,

Thank you.

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