Our whole way of seeing must shift if we are to experience lasting transformation. We must shift our focus from the external world of form to the deeper internal focus. This shift of focus is absolutely necessary for higher consciousness, health and inner peace to prevail in our lives.
Here's an example:
Deborah is overweight and complains of feeling out of shape and tired all the time. Seen through an externally focused lens, the answer is obvious; Deborah needs to diet and start an exercise program. Her husband encourages Deborah to take action and so she joins a gym and goes regularly for the first few weeks. She also signs up in a weight loss program and manages to lose 10-15 pounds. She feels better in the beginning, but because there has been no real internal shift, Deborah gradually slides back into her old habits and regains the weight she lost. She feels more hopeless than ever about being able to enforce lasting change in her health and fitness.
Deborah, like most of us, believes that change is something that is done from the outside in. She sought outside solutions to change her internal state. She was looking for something to do (exercise, diet, take a pill, etc) that would fix her problems and was disappointed when those “fixes” were short-lived. Such an externally focused approach is one we are all familiar with. It is based on the idea that if we just come up with the right mixture of external ingredients, we can effect change for the better.
But let's explore a different approach. Let's say that Deborah was internally focused. How would her approach have varied from what we've described above? For starters, Deborah would see her weight and lack of fitness as symptoms of an internal imbalance. Rather than scurrying to find the best weight loss program “out there,” her first response would instead be to turn her attention inward. Knowing her answers lie within, Deborah would turn to her Inner Authority for the help she needs.
Rather than “ex-ercise,” Deborah would develop a practice of “inner-cise” – which may look like exercise, but is motivated by something totally different. Rather than begrudgingly imposing a series of regimented physical exercises and diet restrictions on herself, Deborah listen to her body and explores its messages. She comes into dialog with her body and allows herself to “be moved” by its intelligence from the inside out. She directs her awareness to the places where there is discomfort, stiffness and pain and instead of resisting or trying to block pain, she stays present as a witness and gently explores ways to relax and release those places. She brings her body and mind into right alignment with a “Force for Good” that brings healing energy into the body's places of pain and blockage. She allows herself to be aligned, stretched and opened. Over weeks and months her body re-establishes its natural balance and health is restored. Excess weight falls away without externally imposed diets. Her body takes on an appearance of health and fitness that radiates from the inside out.
Rather than following an outside protocol Deborah, surrendered to an internal authority that knew exactly what she needed. She let go of the need to impose external limits on herself through enforced diet etc and as a result was able to come into a balanced state of health that she then maintains through daily practice.
Our journey is about learning to live from the inside out rather than to continuously try to change our insides by manipulating the external world.