We tend to see what we are looking for, and what we hold in our focus grows or gets stronger in our reality. Although, on the surface, this sound ok and rather obvious, there’s a challenge embedded in the statement. The problem is that control of our scanning devices is often in the hands of our unconscious and subconscious. We in fact may not even be conscious of what it is we are programmed to seek out.
Our evolutionary history has resulted in our having a default survival setting, which programmes us to be on alert for, and sensitive to, things that could go wrong, be lacking, or cause us pain. It’s an inheritance from our ancestors, the ones who survived the wooly mamoth attacks. Designed to keep us from being eaten or starving.
Our challenge is to consciously train our brain and alter our neural structure, so that we are alert to, looking for, and paying attention to what it is we consciously choose to have in our now and future. The following practice may help you with that challenge.
A Practice: Identify the qualities that infuse your chosen future.
Think about the future you have choosen to hook on to. What is it that you desire, value, yearn for? When you have that, what will it give you or allow you to experience? And what will that give you or allow you to experience? Keep delving down until you reach the core qualities that underlie and thread through your chosen future.
You might want the relationship because you believe it will give you love, intimacy, belonging, a sense of being of value, being valued, of being seen and received, of contribution, and fun. What are the qualities that you are seeking? Maybe peace, joy, vitality, balance, harmony, boldness, courage, confidence, trust, compassion, optimism, audacity, or patience. Or maybe something else. The first step is to consciously apply curiosity and discover what it is you seek.
Notice – The next step is to train your brain to use its sensitivities to be attuned to, notice and recognize the presence of these qualities in your now – in you, in your experience, in others and in the wider world. The more you consciously direct your brain, the stronger the neural connections get and the more likely you will be to automatically be on the lookout and attuned to receive these qualities into your life.
Let it Land – When you notice the quality, see if you can counter any tendancy to flip off to the next distraction. Let yourself stay with the experience of the quality for 5,10,20 seconds or longer. Stay curious about how you experience the quality. Where in your body do you experience it, and how? What are the sensations? What images come with the quality?
Imagine the quality as some wonderful light or colour and let it fill every cell of your body and flow out from you into the world. Bathe in it, perhaps even using your imagination to intensifying the quality.
Recognize and acknowledge that the quality you seek is already here, alive in your reality, in you.
Even when you can’t touch into a quality, when it doesn’t seem to be present in your experience, you can align yourself with it by asking,
“ If this quality were present, what action would I take?”