It doesn’t take long to realize that in life all things exist in relationship to each other. There’s really no such thing as an independent or solitary act. Everything comes as a result of something else, or as a synchronized series of events that play out over a period of time. While we can say that “no choice” is a choice, or that unconscious decisions that are seemingly made without awareness or in a deliberate manner, that are based primarily on feelings, emotions, or impulses of some sort, are still using your will because you’re willingly acting them out, this is passive use of the will that likewise creates in our life in an unconscious manner. Choice and will, like all faculties of the mind and soul, exist in both active and passive form based on awareness and deliberate action, or without direct awareness and in an automatic fashion.
Anytime we’re aware of choice, and we negotiate it in an intentional manner, it usually comes as a decision between a conditioned response and a conflict of some sort as a conscience or inner awareness that makes us hesitate and resist it, and so we look for other options. Whenever we make an “actual” and true decision in a fully aware and intentional manner, we naturally leave all other options we were previously debating behind and move forward to create the choice we’ve made as our reality. We remove our attention from all other ideas, become single-minded, focusing exclusively on the reality of our choice, and we direct all of our attention and actions into creating it. Once our mind is made up and all conflict dissolves, our only movement becomes directed by the imagined reality of our decision, and we act systematically to create it. This is why “choice and free will” are always presented together, because they’re different aspects of the same creative process.
If we experience the inability to do something that we believe we’ve chosen to do, it’s due to the fact that we haven’t truly made the decision for it, but are still bartering, debating, and negotiating it. It can be showing us that we still harbor inner conflict around it, still have attachments of some kind to what we’re deciding against, or we have conflicting beliefs and values of some sort that are holding us to indecision. Often our emotions and feelings are contradicting it or wanting something different than our rational, reasoning mind, and so our mind is divided. Anytime there’s a division between the subconscious and conscious mind, with one aspect of the mind acting to contradict or counteract the other one, we sit in limbo not knowing what to do, always going back and forth, sabotaging our own efforts, never actually able to settle on one or the other, until someone or something makes the decision for us and we no longer have a choice in the matter.
While there’s a tendency for society to tell you to pick “one over the other”, to follow your heart and not your mind (as if they’re different things), the fact is, it’s always about a balance between the two. An alignment that forms a single mind as a single goal, free of all conflict, that works dynamically in-sync with each other to create the reality of that choice. Anytime we pose one aspect against another, we’re doomed to failure or a seeming success that merely forms the foundation for inner turmoil and conflict to play out as a constant realization of betraying ourselves in some way. Thought and emotion, intellect and feeling, heart and head, are always unified, one producing and sustaining the other. There’s no such thing as a division in the true sense of the word. The masculine and feminine aspects are only capable of creating when forming union that produces an offspring that’s a combination of the two. They always act in unison as “one idea” that produces the material reality as a correspondence of that idea.
The Power of Emotions
Making a “true decision” where all aspects are aligned and agree, can often be quite difficult, and may actually come over a period of time while different aspects that negate the desired outcome in some way are played out and explored in greater depth, so that the necessary realizations can be obtained, which serves to confirm what you need to decide. Our subconscious, which is the seat of all of our conditioning as our mental paradigm, habitual tendencies, regular emotional states, and dynamics that are magnetic and compulsive in nature, seeks only to maintain the status quo as a form of self-preservation by continuing to play out the thematic dynamics that we’ve built our identity around, and need to keep playing out somehow in order to maintain our “sense of self”.
We keep casting ourselves in the roles we know how to play, and telling the story we know how to tell and do so in a natural, automatic, and compulsive fashion. We’re magnetically drawn to it even when intellectually and through reasoning we know we don’t want to be or shouldn’t. It works through our emotions, which are often gripping and intense, holding us captive to passions and intense emotional experiences that saturate our body with the chemistry and hormones of the emotions, satisfying a form of addiction. Emotions, being the motivating force of the subconscious mind and body, which is habitual and automatic in nature, are habit forming and we literally become addicted to them, even when we hate ourselves for doing it. Emotions, which are the driving force of instinct, are designed to produce automatic behavior that don’t require will, thought and decision, or self-awareness of any kind. We become addicted to pain just as easily as we do pleasure, because they’re both a drug produced internally that we become dependent on and use not only to create and maintain our state of mind, but also to create our reality out of, which is how we act in an indirect manner on ourselves to create ourselves.
Anytime emotions and passions go against reasoning and rational thought, they nearly always win, because they’re experience as a strong internal sensation that’s very compelling with a form of urgency, whereas clear thought is more neutral and something we seem to experience in more of a dissociated perspective of witnessing as being outside of or above the situation looking at it from the perspective of a “whole” rather than in it as a “part of it”. Once emotions take hold and grip us in some way, usually through memory of some kind that’s used to create in the present, it tends to cloud and control our thinking through a form of seductive persuasion, making it difficult to resist.
When this happens, decisions usually come as a gradual process, where once the desire to change becomes persistent, and we continue playing out the emotional dramas preventing us from implementing them, we begin having realizations about them that start dissolving the illusion we’ve built around them, loosening their grip, and they begin disintegrating and falling away. Once we have a notion as the desire to change in some manner, breaking an established pattern, it tends to steadily grow until it reaches fruition as an actual decision that we begin acting on to make it an actual reality, leaving the old behind and starting something new.
The Power of Belief
In a like manner, we can appear to have made a decision, and started it in motion, while maintaining a belief of some kind that prevents it, causes a feeling of conflict somehow, or results in what seems like the inability to take action, or not knowing what to do. Beliefs can be quite difficult to identify because they form the very basis of our experience of reality, and we often mistake them as being “fact or true”. Belief and the reality formed from it is the most basic and prevalent demonstration of the “power of the mind to create reality”. We create the experience of our beliefs perfectly without realizing that it’s our own creation, and is not real or true at all in the objective sense. Because many of them come from actual experience in terms of how we “interpreted” the events of our life by telling ourselves a story about them, we don’t realize that we actually made them up using our imagination (will). Likewise, we’re also taught certain ideas that we accepted as being factual or true, and use as the foundation for building entire networks that are all based on the same belief system, and accepting the ideas of others that were given to us and willingly adopted by us as our own thoughts. Usually the only way to upsurge a belief and bring it back into a fluid and negotiable state, is by introducing contradictory evidence that proves it wrong, one-sided, or reveals it as a skewed version. While many choose instead to argue against, deny, or ignore altogether anything that serves to shine light on the validity of long held beliefs, this too is a decision that we willingly act out and employ as the means of creating the reality it implies.
When we always act to defend our beliefs instead of being willing to consider other possibilities, we condemn ourselves to the confinement of the reality of those beliefs. When we feel we’ve made a clear and conscious decision to change our life in some way, no longer running on memory and autopilot, and are confronted with what seems like the inability to act in order to create it, or the “path to take” in moving in the new direction, it’s usually due to a conflicting and limiting belief of some sort. We know when both aspects of our mind are in alignment with each other when we make a decision that lacks any kind of inner conflict, and we feel a sense of passion and urgency in acting to create it. We don’t have to figure anything out, we’re not stumped or confused, lacking motivation of the drive to do it, but instead, from that point on direct all of our attention and energy into actively moving forward on it and systematically producing it.
Knowing What to Do
The idea of being aware of the need or ability to make a decision puts us in the position of actually creating in a conscious and intentional manner. We create our decisions by focusing and concentrating our full attention on them, and consistently acting on them in whatever way is immediately apparent. We move forward with the attitude of being and doing. It’s very natural for us to not necessarily “know what to do” or how to be when we’re stepping into something new, because we don’t have memory or previous experience to go on. All new actions and creations come to us, not as a whole idea or plan laid out in detail for us to follow, but as a desire for what we’ve chosen, and a notion about how to start. If we simply act on what we know to do while remaining focused on our intention and desired outcome, it starts a process in motion that comes as an intuitive and synchronistic unfolding where one idea leads to another, and investigating or penetrating one aspect reveals the next aspect as the “next step”. We’re often required to have faith in the fact that if we simply act on what we do know and therefore step into it and start the process in motion, that the next step will become apparent.
Stepping into the Unknown
All well laid out “action plans”, so to speak, come as the result of rehashing and reformulating past memories to form what appears to be a new idea, yet in reality, is merely a new version of an old idea. When we form a truly new idea as a reality for creating, it usually comes through a part of us that’s always been there, urging us on to “become” who we truly are as our dream for our life that we negotiated away in an attempt to conform to the ideas of society imposed on us and the need to fit in, and we step into the flow of life by embracing an inspiration that comes to us seemingly from out of nowhere (though its often been there forever), that takes hold within us, becoming relentless and persistent. Once we receive it as an intimate connection that appeals to our true self, urging us on and encouraging us, it can almost become an obsession. An idea for our life that we can’t seem to let go of because it speaks to us with a vivid honesty as a form of promise that restores hope and the fulfillment of our true purpose and mission in life.
All truly inspired ideas come to us by resonating with our deepest parts, the ones that we remain unfamiliar with while having a deep longing for, crying out to be free, shrouded and suffocated by illusions that we blindly accept as our fate, surrendering our true destiny and condemning our soul to a wasted and meaningless life. These form the big, life-altering decisions. The ones that are truly difficult to make, because in doing so, our identity and who we’ve been up to that point becomes compromised, and is no longer validated and sustained. To follow it, make the decision to surrender to our higher calling, means our entire previous life situation and roles will change, sometimes drastically, and we’ll be left scrambling, faced with the unknown, new conditions and circumstances, a new way of being that requires trust and a belief in ourselves and our inherent ability to know what to do when faced with brand new options that only guarantee uncertainty.
When we make a decision to be and do something different in our life, especially when we’re older and have an established lifestyle and habitual patterns that we’ve built our identity around, where we have no past memory to go off of, we realize that the path unfolds through the series of decisions we’re making moment by moment as we go. In this total newness comes true creativity. Every decision, no matter how minute, becomes about “who am I?” What do I want to create? Who am I going to be, here, now, in this moment? What am I going to do, how am I going to act, and what consequences will result? We start getting a true feeling for how we actually create our lives through our everyday choices and actions, often for the first time as an adult.
Once we’re cast into a life that we just sort of ended up in through an unconscious and natural process of growing up, where decisions seem to be made for us by our situation and responsibilities, and we fall into the habit of making decisions in an unconscious manner where they’re made for us or we simply accept them, and even when we maintain an awareness of what we want to do instead, we choose to give it up in favor of what we feel we need and should do. After a while we find ourselves living life in an automatic and habitual fashion where the only decisions we have to make is what to eat for dinner, or what to watch on TV, and even those decisions can be made for us by others. We can slowly fall into the reality of never having to make decisions and actually creating something new, and instead just act to maintain the habitual pattern already established and go with the flow by coasting through our life.
To make true decisions that bring about change and create in a conscious way requires a form of courage and willingness to create something new and unfamiliar. It can mean giving up security and established success, or a glorified self-image, and wiping the slate clean, starting all over with a brand new idea for yourself and your life. When we make one decision and actually act to create the reality of that decision, it naturally leads to the need to consistently make more decisions, because you’re the creator and they’re not being made for you by someone else. When this happens a new sense of freedom comes about, and you start getting a real sense of who you actually are. Anytime and unconscious process becomes conscious, we gain tremendous insights into unfamiliar aspects of ourselves that remained hidden, subdued, or just barely out of sight. Naturally with this awareness and freedom comes the true responsibility for what we create and who we become through our own volition. We can no longer dodge responsibility or blame our shortcomings on others. This realization alone can be as terrifying as it is empowering.
Many people go through their entire life with decisions that are being made for them by others, or simply complying with the general consensus and trained mindset of society. Many “fall into a situation” in what seems like a haphazard method of chance, because they were creating from an unaware state with no realization of the consequences or end results of the actions. Many start off not knowing for sure what they want to do, then as they go along just end up in situations that seem to dictate the course of their life for them, and they feel trapped, or something about it becomes more important than their freedom to decide, and so they choose it instead, going with it till the situation ends or drastically changes somehow, then, they’re right back where they started. Drifting aimlessly into an abyss with no sense of purpose or vision for their life, scared and filled with an unbearable sense of dread and insecurity. Having lived so long without the ability to create through active use of choice and will, they feel lost and confused, and as if they have no ability to move their life in a new direction. Usually, without even knowing what direction they want their life to move in. When this happens, they usually simply find a new situation that they can wrap themselves around, and continue on their way, choosing to remain unconscious in the most basic sense of the word.
All true creativity comes through a balanced and aligned mind, where feelings, emotions, and desire are the motivating force and formative factor of thought as an imagined idea. To decide on something is to choose an idea that you then act to willfully create. You direct all of your attention (undivided mind) and activities into the fulfillment of your decision. Choice gives us a vision as a firm idea that we’re then required to create. In this same way, an artist decides what feeling they want to capture and express by becoming one with it. They envision that idea as a sensory reality in a way that invokes a love for it, and then they go about doing what’s necessary to create it. They engage in whatever course of action is necessary to produce it. Naturally this requires great skill that only comes through constant practice and a sense of diligence.
So if you’re struggling with creating what you want, or making the necessary decisions in your life to better it somehow, and you’re always going back and forth, or never actually being able to bring yourself to do what seems like a “big move”, just allow yourself to reflect on and become aware of all that comes up in relation to it as a conflicting feeling or idea. Then, go into each conflicting idea in depth in order to gain whatever realization about it that you need in order to make a true decision as to whether or not to continue with it, tweak and reformulate it, or leave it behind and quit thinking about it altogether. As you gain insight into what it is that’s preventing you from making a decision, you’ll know what other decisions you need to make first. Because decisions for change require sacrifice of some kind, they can produce a lot of inner turmoil that will need resolving in order to reside peacefully in that decision.
We know when we’ve actually made a decision because we’re no longer debating it while considering other options, and we simply go about creating it. We hold an idea firmly in our mind with no inner conflict or anxiety around what we have to give up in achieving it, and we feel a sense of purpose and inspiration in regards to it. A feeling of devotion and dedication to it fills us, and we feel peaceful and content in the reality of it. All distractions fade away and focus all activity towards producing it. We move forward with a clear conscience and a feeling of certainty, and no longer look back or miss what we left behind. We’re filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation, alive with the true power to create the life we desire in an intentional and deliberate manner. We gain a new sense of ourselves that becomes a self-perpetuating force, and we fall in love with life as our own creation and ourselves as our own creator.
Consultant for Integrative Mind-Body Medicine and Spiritual Mentor