Monday, August 07, 2017

Waking Up From the Dream

If we're lucky, each of us in our lives comes to the place where we have an epiphany, an ah ha! moment. From that time on, our lives are never quite "normal" again. Something fundamentally shifts in our consciousness, and we can never see things the same again. 

I have had three such moments in my life so far. The first was when I was a young child, no more than perhaps eight years old. Based upon experiences in my previous life, I had come to the conclusion that I was just not like my other family members. I did not think like them, did not believe the things they believed, and could not stand to immerse myself in the mindset they espoused. Most of the time my family operated out of fear, and this affected all their beliefs and life decisions. I couldn't see the point of living that way. One day when I was about eight, a thought welled up inside me. It was so clear and pure, and I immediately recognized it as truth. "No matter what happens to you, everything will always be all right." I believed this so strongly and so completely that I was never afraid of anything after that. And I always had confidence in my own inner wisdom and decisions. 

The second was when I was about 17. I was standing in front of my closet, trying to decide what to wear to school that day. Suddenly it was like a light bulb went on above my head. I suddenly saw things so clearly. The things which ordinary people stressed about every day, they just didn't seem real or important. It seemed like people's unhappiness was of their own making. And how to avoid it seemed so clear. I couldn't yet articulate all the steps to accomplishing this, at least not in a way that I could explain to others. But from that time on, I always felt incredibly happy.

Even when things happened that some people said were cause for sadness or grieving. Things like the death of my mother and grandmother, getting divorced, filing for bankruptcy, and other such occurrences. No matter what happened, I didn't seem to feel stressed or unhappy. 

Then the real epiphany came. I had started my website called The Center for Unhindered Living and this blog. I knew I wanted to be supportive to people who chose to honor and follow their own paths, whatever those might be. I kept the website going for quite a few years, supporting one cause and then another that seemed to be in alignment with my purpose. But always with strong opinions about certain issues. 

One year a friend and I attended a Celebrate Your Life Conference sponsored by Hay House. One of the speakers at that conference was Byron Katie. I only had a cursory exposure to her at that conference, as I was much more into the "manifesting your desires" part of the conference. But her work intrigued me and I kept it in the back of my mind. 

Several years would go by before I read her book "Loving What Is" and took a really close look at her work. When I did, I knew I had found the paradigm to explain my constant state of happiness and contentment. 

Though Katie has quantified the steps to reaching this happiness with her Four Questions and Turnarounds, I found I was already doing something similar to The Work without knowing the actual steps. Then, when I actually applied the Four Questions to everything I was doing, my world was blown apart. It was so simple, and so profound. 

The Four Questions can, and should, be applied to every thought you think. And when you do apply them, what you find out is that 99% of all the thoughts we think are not true. They are illusions. They make up this kind of dream that Katie calls "Your Story." When you believe your story, this only brings you stress and pain. When you realize your story is just imagination, and that you don't have to believe it, there is freedom. 

After applying the Four Questions to everything in my life, I have decided to erase everything on the Unhindered Living website and this blog, and start from scratch. Because almost every "opinion" I ever espoused and taught was not true, no longer necessary, unimportant. From now on, this blog will be devoted to REAL unhindered living - the kind that can only come from inquiry.

I encourage you to subscribe and read these regular blog posts as I walk you through my world, and what it's like to apply The Work to every aspect of your life. I hope you'll not only be entertained but inspired to try the Four Questions out on your own thoughts. And perhaps find peace. 

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