What is your Model of Reality

When I start sharing the tools to live a deeply fulfilling and happy life, I am often going to refer to your model of reality.  It is important to first understand what this is and the role it plays in your life.  I am finding that in my still early days of working the Wheel of Life, most of my time is spent here – cleaning up my model of reality.  I didn’t start here, I started with something superficial like having more confidence, when I realised that there is something limiting in my model of reality that needs to be worked on before I will gain confidence.  Your model of reality is everything you believe about yourself, your life, the people and things around you.  It is your perspective of life, your view of the world.  I’ll use two analogies for it.

1. Your model of reality is the glasses you look at the world through

See it as a pair of glasses that you wear to look at and see the world.  You may think that we all see the world as the same, but on further inspection you will find there is not one person that looks at the world the same way.  Unfortunately most of us have little chips and cracks and smudges on our glasses.  We may carry these chips with us from a time in our youth when someone did or said something and we took it on and personalised insecurities or baggage around it.  Most of our chips and cracks come from the years we grew up in.  We can blame our parents and the people that raised us as much as we like, but as Louise Hay says in Heal your Life – they also had chips and cracks and they did the best they could with what they have.  Cleaning up your model of reality is about fixing these chips and cracks and cleaning off the smudges so you can have a better view of the world.  Note that no matter how much cleaning and fixing you do – your view of the world will never be the same as someone else.  You may find similarities, but the glasses will never be exactly the same.  The best thing you can do with your glasses is to fix it up in such a way that it brings happiness and joy and fulfillment into your life.  Let me make this clear – there is no point in trying to keep up with the Jones’. There is only a point in cultivating a life that serves you and makes you happy. To test whether we all have different glasses – have a discussion, a deep intense discussion with someone you interact with on a daily basis about what respect means for them.  You may find that it is very different from what respect is for you.

2. The attic upstairs

I like the way John Kehoe teaches the model of reality.  See it as one of those attics in those old houses you always see in the movies, preferably a happy attic upstairs with some sunshine, not those scary horror movie type ones – although some of us may have an attic like that!  Like we all look through the world with our own glasses, we all have one of these attics in our lives.  Imagine yourself walking into the attic, looking around.  You may see some really old furniture that is completely falling apart and in no way would anyone be able to restore it.  These are beliefs we carry that doesn’t serve us at all.  But for some reason we feel we need to keep these beliefs in our attic and all it is, is baggage we are dragging with us that is taking up unnecessary space.  That belief that says that people will only accept me if I am thin or look like one of the models in a magazine (who are all photoshopped anyway and don’t look that way at all).  That belief that I don’t deserve to be successful or wealthy.  That belief that life and/or relationships are hard work.  That belief that I am not good enough – all of these beliefs are one of those chairs that has a hole all the way through the seat, paws rotting away and a back rest that no longer exists.  To make space for new furniture that serves us and brings us satisfaction and joy, we need to throw the old ones out first.  For as long as we are hanging onto these beliefs or perspectives, we cannot replace it with something better.

Then you may find an old couch that is in perfect working order but the cover is completely outdated and it doesn’t suit your new modern house anymore.  It is very easy to just refurbish it with new bright fabric and it will be a perfect fit.  We may just have not done it for all this time because it will either cost us money or take up some of our time and take some work.  These are things we carry with us that may serve us in some way or form, but it needs a bit of a polish and rework.  The easiest way for me to explain this one is my body issues.  I have done lot of work with it and have progressed a lot on it, but recently it cropped up in a completely different way – in my cycling – competing for podiums.  Although I no longer see myself as “not perfect”, all I’ve done is learned how to manage a belief.  So effectively I threw out that chair, but what I didn’t realise is that behind that chair was a couch – my body and how I treat it.  I beat my body up and don’t acknowledge its worth and its role in my life, and instead of thanking and honouring it, I compare it with someone else’s performance and think of my body as awesome, but not good enough to win.  So I have accepted my body, but now I need to revamp that couch and start giving it the love and nurturing it needs for it to start being colourful and bright in my house.  BUT, it is going to take time and work, and money too as I need to refuel my vitamin levels and heal from glandular fever – an illness that I believe has come from my body effectively saying it has had enough of me treating it like a doormat.  My body is happy to perform, that is what it is good at, but it wants acknowledgement, FROM ME.  I think in the last week this has been the most transforming realisation of my life – one that has taken me more than a year to get to.  My point, I have been doing the work, on an ongoing basis – it takes effort, it takes work, it takes time.  But for as long as you don’t do the work, you cannot brighten up that attic, or even move the couch into your house!

Then there is the little nook close to the window that you used to cherish for reading time.  The sun shines in there brightly, and it is the best place, specially in winter to get some me time and read your favourite book.  But you haven’t been there for over a year and it is covered with dust and cob webs.  All it needs is a good spring clean and it will be good as new.  These could be habits or beliefs that actually served you perfectly well, but for some reason we stopped doing them.  They just need a little cleaning and they can serve you again.  Maybe you have tried affirmations before and they worked for you very well, but then you had a child and had to re-adjust your routine, and never added this one back.  Or maybe you had a pretty good and fun training programme, but then you got an injury, or your training partner moved away and you didn’t do the effort to get back into it.  All you need is a new partner or getting back into your routine after recovering.

When you start doing the work, using the tools, you don’t necessarily have a view of what the depth of  things in your model of reality is.  You may know of a couple of things, but it is only through awareness and constant introspection that you may find things lurking in the dark that you weren’t aware of.  Working with your model of reality is very much like pealing an onion.  You start with the things you want to change or know you should let go of, but as you start working with them you realise there is something more behind them that you may need to work on first before you can change or let go of anything.  I knew that I had some insecurities around my confidence in my own ability and my confidence when having hard conversations with people.  I started doing my work here, when I realised that I don’t listen to or know how to trust my intuition.  So I changed to work here.  Then I realised that I don’t know how to listen to my body – because this is where your intuition comes from.  Even from here I went through a couple of steps before realising that my body is very happy to talk to me, and even perform when I race/train or put it through any physical adventure I wish to take on, but all it is asking for is acknowledgement.  Is this the deepest level of this particular onion?  I can comfortably say that it is – how do I know, because I now know how to listen to my body, and it is telling me that it is.

You may retaliate and say that you have no control over how successful or wealthy you are.  And this is exactly where you are wrong, or exactly where you are right, if this is what you choose to believe.  We have been placed on this earth to succeed.  Look at nature – everything in nature is here to succeed.  Trees grow strong and for long as they grow, they succeed.  Birds fly, build nests, sing, have babies, and for as long as that is what they are doing, they succeed.  Flowers grow and look beautiful – their success is just that, to be beautiful.  They don’t question it, they don’t wonder if they are beautiful, they just know that they are.  I read a good analogy in terms of competing – if you look at race horses.  When they stand in the start blocks, they don’t check out the other horses and compare the size of their muscles, or feel intimidated by their competitors.  They know they have done the training and they race to their utmost best of their ability.  And whether they win or loose, they have done their best, and it is good enough.  They don’t go into depression the next day because they came last or second.  Tomorrow they train again, to the best of their ability.  And for them, that is success.  Our success is based purely on what we repeat to our self day in and day out.  If you tell yourself 400 times a day that you are fat and ugly, even if you are not – you will be fat and ugly, whether it is physically, or whether it is that you cannot keep friends or lovers around because you push them away due to your beliefs – you will find a way to make that your reality.  Our reality is based purely on what we repeat to ourselves every single day.

I want to end off with a story John Kehoe tells.  John has made it a habit in his life to say “Just my luck” whenever something good happens to him, very much unlike normal people who would say that when something bad happens to them.  He truly believes, as a matter of fact, he knows that he is a very lucky person.  He tells of a concert he found out about last minute and phoned in to buy tickets.  The lady on the phone laughed at him as she said the tickets were sold out months ago, minutes within the ticket sales opening.  John held onto the line for a while having a good old chit chat with the lady as he always does.  Suddenly she said, that’s interesting two tickets in the front row just opened up.  She also said to him that he is very lucky.  His response – Yes I am!  This is one of a number of events that John has appear in his life.  His friends even have a saying, if they go anywhere were there are lucky draws or prizes to be handed out, they already know that John will be walking out with the prize.  And so be it – he does.

There is a further trick to creating a new model of reality.  We have many tools to change it, but we also need to thank it when it happens and affirm it when it happens.  Just like John says “Just my luck” every time he gets lucky.  If you are working on a change in your life to earn and make lots of money – every time you receive money, whether it is the 5 cents you pick up in the road, the free coffee you get on your loyalty card, or even your monthly salary – be grateful and thankful for it.  T. Harv Eker teaches that whenever you receive money, you repeat the words “Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am a money magnet!”

What is your model of reality?  One where the world is out to get you, or one where the world is there to support you.  I have a lot of work still to do in mine, and I think it is constant work.  It may just be that in the beginning it takes LOTS of work, and in time the work becomes less and we go into maintenance mode.  But even with the couple of months’ worth of work I have been doing, I have seen how accepting support from the world brings a flow into my life I would have never imagined can be possible.  Do I have struggles?  Yes I do, but when I take the time to reflect on them and see what they are teaching me, and if I take the lesson and work with it, things fall into place and the struggles don’t seem like struggles anymore, but rather a journey into healing.

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You have to do the work

Most of us know the feeling very well. We read a book, or go to a talk or even pay quite an extensive amount of money to do a course, and walk out of the course fired up, filled with many intentions of how we’re going to re-invent and transform our lives. Two weeks later, or as soon as the first difficult hurdle crosses our path, all that excitement and all our intentions start fading away and soon become a distant memory…

My measure of a good course, is one where you are given tools to use going forward in your day to day life when you leave the room or finish reading the book. My measure of a really good course is one where they work with you to devise a plan to implement these tools into your daily life. My measure of an exceptional course is one where they imprint and impress on you how critical it is to continue using these tools every day and the consequence if you don’t.

We are actually a strange species. If you think of everything in our lives, if we want to achieve any form of success in any endeavor we take on, we have some regular and/or daily activities we need to do to achieve them. To make money, you need to do some form of work regularly. To become good at any kind of sport you need to train regularly. To lose weight you need to watch what you eat and do some form of exercise regularly. To be in a solid loving relationship, you need to put some kind of effort in regularly – I use the word effort loosely, but you can’t do nothing. To be quite honest, just to live on a daily basis, even if we are happy to stay overweight, have no job and have no relationship – we have to eat, drink water and sleep regularly. The human life is not one where we can achieve anything without implementing some form of routine and habits. Life in general is about routine and habits – whether you are human, animal, plant, the earth…

It should therefore come as no surprise that if we want to follow a journey where our life becomes better and we become more successful, be it financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally, our relationships – we have to do some form of work to achieve this success. John Kehoe teaches a set of disciplines that we have to perform every single day of our lives to achieve success. I will dive into these principles in later blogs, there is only one thing I want to impress upon you in today’s blog – you have to do the work!

I have a list of 5 rules when it comes to applying whatever the tools are you have learnt in any course or book:

      1. Consistency is more important than anything else

    We repeat certain things in our lives every single day, the same things over and over. Brush our teeth, eat and drink, go to the toilet, clean ourselves. The practice of the tools you learn must become another one of those routines that you do every day. It is much better to meditate or journal your thoughts for only 2 minutes a day than to do it for 2 hours once a week or month. Think of exercise – you can go to gym for 4 hours once a week, and granted, you’ll probably be so stiff for the rest of the week that you wouldn’t be able to train, but you would make very little progress, if any. There is another reason why this approach doesn’t work – we are motivated by seeing results, and the smaller the benefits we reap from our efforts, the greater the chance that we’ll quit and give up. Inconsistency = very little to no results. Consistency = results. And the more we practice the better we become at it and the faster we start seeing results. Life work has a snowball effect if you are willing to commit to it.

      2. Keep it interesting and fun

    Mixing things up keeps us interested. Making it fun keeps us even more interested. It also gives us the opportunity to try different tools in different ways and in different scenarios, and we learn which works best for us in which situation. I have always struggled with visualisation. As a sport person I know pro athletes use it as a tool very effectively. When I close my eyes to visualise, I don’t see pictures, I see darkness. I used to try imagine the scene in my head, but I get hung up on the logistics – who will be in the race, how will the race tactics play out on the day, will I break away and win on my own or will I have to sprint in a group for the line. By practicing different tools for different things I have learnt that visualisation for me means that I close my eyes and feel how I would feel in a specific situation. When it comes to racing, I have learned that I have a lot of underlying work to do in terms of my belief in my ability, and also getting my mind to move out of the way. So for cycling most of my work lies in affirmations and replacing the voices that says I can’t with voices that tells me to only do my best and forget about the outcome. Maybe one day when I have mastered this self-talk I will be able to use visualisation to manifest a win, or maybe as a spin off from all the work I’m doing now I will be pleasantly surprised when I least expect it. So even though it is important to have a routine, mix it up a little. Some days I say my affirmations, some days I sing them, some days I write them and think about them to see what insights I get, some days I say them as a prayer. Our mind also gets bored easily, so changing it up a bit keeps our mind interested and wanting to do it again tomorrow. The idea is not only to practice these tools daily, but also to start learning how to personalise them based on how it works for you. Experiment and play with it and be curious about what results you get from each tool.

      3. Find a routine that is easy to achieve and maintain

    I think the biggest reason we stop doing the work is because we find it hard to dedicate a specific amount of time to the work. Even when it comes to exercise, we need some amount of flexibility for when things don’t go according to plan or when we get sick, or our plan even changes if we need to recover for a big event coming up. Doing life work doesn’t need more than 30 minutes a day. I set aside time every night to do work, but what I have done is make little slots of time during the day where I also do my work. I find that this is actually more effective because it reminds me to be alert and aware during the day. I’ll give some practical examples. I do most of my affirmations in the shower, while I’m getting dressed and on the way to work. When I wash my hands I use that time to still my mind, take a couple of deep breaths and become present – like a mini meditation. I use my cycling time to learn how to listen to my body, become aware of my mind’s chatter and practice replacing the chatter with positive talk. When I eat I say a little prayer to bless my food and those who have worked hard to provide the food and prepare my meal. This means that if for some reason I don’t get to my work at night I would have done at least 60% of my work already.

      4. The work has to become a lifestyle

    How often have we heard that diets don’t work because when you go back to your old eating habits you will gain all the weight again? The tools we use are the same – they have to become what we eat, drink and sleep. There is no point in me saying an affirmation for 5 minutes every day that I make lots of money and then the rest of the day all I hear and say is how expensive everything is and how I cannot afford anything and how little money I have. This is another reason I like to implement small practices of the tools during the day. It keeps me on my toes, it keeps me aware and focused. There’s a very positive spin off as well – when I see those little successes it makes me extremely happy and excited, and because I’m aware all the time I see the little successes all the time. I also use them as a confirmation that my work is working.

      5. Don’t be too hard on yourself

    I have yet to meet someone who, when they didn’t stick to their plan or didn’t achieve something they wanted, is able to look at themself with the same empathy and compassion as they would a friend who fails. There are going to be days when you miss things, don’t get to all your practices or do them in a way you don’t believe is effective. It is ok. Here’s what you say to yourself: “That’s interesting.” And then let it go and try again. Our body, mind and psyche is very much like our friends, family and colleges. If they do something wrong and our response to them is a scowling, the probability that they will open up to us and/or tell us about it next time is small to slim to none. They will probably be too scared to open up and discuss it with us and ask for assistance. We are the same towards ourselves. When we scold ourself for not sticking to the plan, our body and mind starts hiding things from us out of fear. When we look at it from an approach of curiosity, we give our body and mind the opportunity to find solutions and insights we are not aware of. Maybe today you just needed to go to bed earlier to rest, or maybe there are slight changes in your routine that will make it easier to stick to it, or maybe for today you just didn’t get to it and that is ok.

I can write as many blogs as I like and you can read as many of them as you like. You may think each blog is insightful and valuable and something every person should read and/or learn from. But if you don’t take the lessons you learn from me, the next self help book you read, the next course you attend, all of what you think and feel is in vain and will be something you will forget in the next 48 hours, probably even sooner.

YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK!!

Blogging in 2015 – being an apprentice of The Wheel of Life

A New Year, a new angle on my blog. This year is my year for being an apprentice, of learning, listening, being aware and evolving my life. The best way to learn is to teach others, so this year I will use my blog for exactly that.

In the last two years I have been searching for something spiritual to believe in, something that will give me a feeling of direction, something I can integrate in my life with absolute faith. I went to a course called The Initiation last year November, and finally found a path that resonates with me and that I buy into 100%. The course is presented by John Kehoe, father and founder of Mind Power. Mind Power is the starting point, the further courses he presents, Awakening and Initiation go much deeper. Mind Power is only scraping the bottom of the barrel, or the tip of the iceberg. These two courses go deeper into the content of his book Quantum Warrior.

My intention this year is to not only take his literature and the lessons he taught me and write about them. I have made a commitment to study and actively integrate his teachings into my life. By integrating it into my life and contemplating it every day, doing practices every day I have gained new insights and perspectives on what I learned from John. I want to share my insights together with the fundamentals I have learned. I invite you to try it out, and give me feedback of your experiences. In John’s own words, maybe the daily rituals and practices he teaches and follows are crazy, but maybe there is a slight chance that it works, and it does no harm in doing them.

I believe it works, I have been applying it in my life and despite having gone through a pretty rough 2014, since I have been doing the work I am grounded and creating my own life. I hope you will join me in this journey, it is filled with beauty, joy, fun and magic. I am truly excited about it. I have done many personal growth courses, and the pattern is always the same – you leave on a high, feeling like you can take over the world, but after 2 weeks it is gone. I have felt that excitement every single day of my life since November, and as I start seeing things unfold and goals achieved, I am getting more and more excited every single day. I will do a blog about why we loose this excitement, but in summary it is because we need to do that work every single day of our life to maintain it.

I end off this first post on the first day of 2015 with a tribute and much love to John and Sylvia. They are both inspiring beautiful people and it is an honour for me to carry John’s teachings forward. I pray that I am given the insight to give his teachings justice.

A Ho!