The Art of Self-Creation and the Power of an “Ideal”

In order to “create” something in a deliberate and intentional manner, we have to start by formulating an idea of what it is we’re creating and reason we’re creating it. As with any creative process, we have to start with an idea as an “ideal” of what we’re aspiring towards that moves us from a current condition or character, to a more desired one, that requires us to “transform” it. We have to create a firm idea of what we’re “acting on ourselves” to create. So in recognizing an undesirable trait or tendency, one that we don’t like and want to change, we have to simultaneously formulate in our mind the trait we want to replace it with. We have to form a clear idea of where, how, and who we are now, in our present state, and also where, who, and how we’ll be in our desired state. In this way, we take a common idea of ourselves and we evolve it into a higher state as a perfected and fully developed idea.

Many people have been taught to take a negative attitude towards the idea of “perfection”, usually interpreting it to mean someone else’s idea for us, or some kind of standard set by others or society in an attempt to make us “feel as if we’re never good enough” and keeping us always trying to become what others (people, organizations, society) want us to be in order to fit in and conform, while of course, never really “measuring up”. But perfection in its positive use is a standard we create and set for ourselves, and use to hold ourselves to as a means of developing ourselves in very direct ways. In order to become the person we aspire to be, we have to become self-determined and discipline ourselves to refrain from old behaviors while employing new ones in their place. In order to grow and develop ourselves into a higher and more mature state, we have to form an idea of what that state is, and what current beliefs, attitudes, traits, tendencies, habits, behaviors, etc., contradict it and therefore act to prevent it.

We then have to form an idea of how those traits need to be transformed by employing complementary and opposite traits in their stay. All transformation, which is really a process of equilibrating forces that are active in our life, is undertaken through an understanding of sympathy and antipathy. By realizing and deciding which characteristics we’re currently employing that prevent us from becoming who we desire to be and know, because of this innate desire, we can employ the lawful process for changing it in a conscious and deliberate way. So knowing this, we have to learn how to undergo a creative process of any kind by first designing a detailed idea of what we’re actually creating, as well as what aspects we’ll transform as a means of creating it. Then we can use each end of the equation as a form of feedback to evaluate our progress from one idea to another.

An ideal is where we take a basic idea and we develop it to be the best it can be in all aspects that are involved in composing it, so that it requires activation and use of our highest potential in order to achieve. It can also come as a process of removing all activity from a quality currently being expressed, and place our attention instead on latent potential, activating it, and bring it into expression by embodying it and using it in our life to create experiences that are of a new and different nature. But either way, what we’re talking about as a form of basic growth and development is a process of transformation from what is to what will be, as an evolutionary process that we initiate and undertake by way of will, imagination, and action. Anything that’s created in an intentional manner has to first be imagined. We’re only truly capable of doing what we can first imagine and see ourselves doing. By imagining it as a reality and an experience of it, we produce a kind of template for the subconscious that’s necessary for acting it out by “becoming it”.

All self-creation in the normal sense is a form of transformation because we’re always starting with or working out of our “self” as we’re already created, and simply continue the creative process of intentionally becoming. How we are created initially takes place as a natural, predominately unconscious process of formative conditioning, that’s sets the basis for what’s referred to as our “second birth” or “spiritual awakening”, where we pick up the unconscious process of self-creation, and produce  or undertake it with a sense of full self-awareness. This process requires us to become fully aware and use our will to become creative in situations where we were normally being created in an unconscious manner. Through this process of transformation from an unconscious state to one of self-awareness, where we realize how we’ve been shaped through various processes up to this point, we can work by way of the same processes while maintaining full awareness and exercising various forms of discipline to control what was previously operating in us as unconscious tendencies and employ conscious ones in their place.

Any idea that’s not turned into an “ideal”, requiring you to aspire towards it, kills the life-force within you as your creative will. In this same light, every idea that’s made into an ideal as the highest possibility for that idea, requires conscious use of your life-force and willpower in order to create it. In order to grow and develop ourselves in new ways, we have to awaken and make active what was up to this point latent within us as unused potential. If we choose not to, and simply keep living out of our “conditioned self”, created in a haphazard way by others through a form of default due to our upbringing, then these forces as latent potential remain dormant and eventually become inaccessible because our identity becomes so habituated and fixed, that we can’t imagine ourselves being any other way. We become so identified with our stories about things as a way of being, that we can’t (don’t want to) let go of them, because we won’t “know who we are” without them. At this point in our life, usually mid-life, change at the most fundamental level becomes an identity crisis that can throw us into a tail-spin that we never fully recover from.

As we develop ourselves through our spiritual consciousness of true self-awareness, we act to return our “fixed mindset” to a more fluid and creative state where we’re always in the process of becoming by systematically employing new perspectives and new behaviors that cultivate new aspects within us. Employing new ways of being makes us fluent, lean, and flexible, and able to readily adapt to new situations by employing the behaviors most appropriate for creating within that situation as a primary means of personal growth that increases our capacity for expression and maximizes our full potential.

So when becoming conscious and self-aware of your own life, and commanding your creative abilities to self-create, you must start by creating an ideal of yourself as perfected or as your “highest possibility” for utilizing your full potential. This ideal becomes a vision for your life as an image of yourself in terms of how you sense yourself and the identity you form by way of it. To create standards as a form of “moral code” that you hold yourself to without compromising, is the key to higher, intentional development that prevents you from cowering, giving in to weaknesses, or changing your mind mid-stream when maintaining the new standard becomes difficult or inconvenient.

Once this ideal of yourself is firmly formed in your mind it provides a template for designing a strategy for implementing and creating it. This strategy needs to be broken down into a step-by-step process of logical progression that’s implemented gradually and consistently in stages and by working with single aspects at a time that make up the whole, and setting a reasonable time-frame for accomplishing one before moving onto another. The accomplishment of one transformed trait lays the foundation necessary for the next as a synchronistic flow of growth that lays the foundation of an accumulative, building process.

Change that takes place gradually, is readily integrated and synthesized into your mental paradigm, and can be attained without an arduous struggle or heavy sense of suffering, which always accompanies change of our fundamental habits or ways of being. Because we become aware of what we previously engaged in without awareness, it acts to amplify or intensify the feelings involved. We can also gain an awareness of the forces at work that served to motivate and maintain the behavior, giving us a new form of self-awareness that can simultaneously produce a heightened sense of struggling to exercise direct control over them by abstaining or refraining, while simultaneously replacing them with new behaviors that take a while to grow accustomed to and fail in the most basic sense to satisfy the reasons we had for producing and maintaining the old behavior.  A new behavior has to be implemented willfully for a period of time, roughly forty days or six weeks, before it becomes natural, build into the muscle, and we begin doing it in an automatic fashion.

Anytime we look to transform a habitual attitude and behavior of some kind, we have to become aware of the reason we had for maintaining that behavior. What need or desire does it serve to satisfy? What kind of stimulation triggers it in us automatically? What attitudes in others appeal to it and bring it out in us? What is the behavior or attitude a natural response to? What is the reason we have for maintaining it? As we become clear on why we developed the tendency as a behavior, we can either transform the desire and need motivating it through the awareness itself, or we can find a different, more productive and beneficial behavior to satisfy the same need. As we choose a new quality and behavior to employ in its place, we can form a clear idea around the reason we’re choosing to employ it, what it will do for us, and how it will change the nature of our experiences as a result. We always have to become clear on the reasons we have for doing whatever it is we’re doing, and at the same time use this reason to gauge and evaluate the accuracy of the results it produces, making any necessary adjustments until we get it to where it produces consistent results.  We have to transform the “reason” for the change as well as the actual change itself.

Once the new idea, perspective, and behaviors become natural and easy to maintain, we’re ready to implement another step. We should not do more than one at a time, because concentrated thought is the key to manifesting physical realities as the expression of an idea, and we want to avoid creating a feeling of suffering, or missing and longing for what we’re giving up. One of the most notorious ways we sabotage ourselves right from the beginning, is by attempting to much change all at once, which makes it overwhelming and creates a feeling of constant struggle and suffering that makes the change seem ungratifying or somehow worse than the previous state.

Change undertaken gradually allows for constant modifications to our paradigm, which then acts to naturally produce and maintain the change as a part of our normal consciousness. Trying to change too much to fast doesn’t properly establish the paradigm necessary to naturally produce and maintain a new way of being as a natural and automatic function. Once a paradigm shift takes place through the integration of the small change, it’s modified and able to support continued change as a natural growth process. The change itself can now be described, explained and defined by the paradigm creating it as being of the same nature and thereby naturally producing a consistent experience of reality as the actualization and outer perception of the change.

This transformative process operates according to law and is the case whether we’re talking about a person, relationship, situation, or business. Change that’s gradual is easily incorporated and goes unnoticed. It’s readily adapted and adjusted to as a form of equalization that reinstates harmony within the system, setting the foundation necessary for the next step of a larger process to be implemented. Small changes incorporated consistently produce slight modification as a synchronized movement that acts naturally to adjust the whole system to support it. If change is introduced without allowing time for adjustment and modification as a new function requiring the whole system, then as soon as it hits a point where it’s not supported, the system “acts on it” (the change) to transform it according to the system, and back into its original behavior.

All natural processes are produced by our paradigm and our capacity to create in a way that’s consistent and thoroughly maintained, which only comes by way of our paradigm. All “permanent change” requires modification and reformation of our mental paradigm. Without it, at some point, we relapse and fall back into the old behavior and way of doing things. All change should be designed by us, because it’s only us that have the true ability to act on ourselves to create ourselves. All change needs to work in harmony with existing natural tendencies already inherent in us in a congruent and harmonious manner of cooperation, by simply employing those same tendencies in a new manner and by way of new means. Change that goes against our nature and contradicts our values and beliefs, can’t actually be produced by us in a natural fashion, nor maintained for any extended period of time. So the “ideal” created as a “model” for self-creating, should always comply and be harmonious with our values and beliefs. We should approach all desired change by first addressing our values and beliefs regarding it by examining them thoroughly, identifying where the contradiction takes place, then adjust all aspects until they are congruent with one another and interact in a harmonious fashion to produce a consistent experience of reality.

We also have to notice what emotions play out in any situation and act to control not only our thought process, but also our automatic behaviors. If we have strong emotions that contradict and undermine what we’re attempting to implement, then the emotions tend to win out by sabotaging all conscious efforts through automatic behaviors. We have to instead identify our own emotional reactions to certain ideas, gaining awareness around them, and then forming new associations to our desired change, removing triggers around them that activate negative emotions in response to them, while intentionally associating positive emotions to our desired change. Making the idea compelling by infusing it with positive emotions and associations is crucial for producing change out of a strong desire for it while associating very positive and gratifying ideas or experiences with it. This also acts to create how we experience the change, which is the same feeling we infuse the reality of the change with, and its accomplishment or attainment will simply act to give us more of that same feeling.

The change desired should always be undertaken with a sense of enthusiasm and form of excitement that gives us a sense of joy and contentment around it. In this way, once the change is established as our reality, it serves to give us more of that same feeling. If we pursue something from an experience of stress, suffering, loss, or feeling overwhelmed, attaining it simply creates the experience that promotes that feeling and keeps it going through the attempt to maintain it. We have to not only serve to “create it”, but also act naturally and without thought or effort to “maintain it”. It has to become a natural part of our make-up that’s all done in a natural fashion.

The feeling we form around an idea, shapes how we experience that idea as a personal reality. So it’s important to gain awareness around the reason for the change. Form clarity as to what the change will give us, how we’ll benefit from it, and what will it allow us to do that we currently can’t, and so on. So if we decide, for example, to transform fear of some kind into courage, we have to identify how we’ll benefit from that and what it will produce in our life as a result. We have to cultivate the idea of courage in a way that makes us fall in love with ourselves for being that way. We have to focus all of our attention away from what made us feel afraid and onto how we’ll benefit by creating the experience of courage and what it’ll bring into our life as a result. We have to actively and intentionally choose courage in place of fear, and act it out in order to change our experience of ourselves and the nature of our reality.

Dr. Linda Gadbois

Spiritual Mentor, Personal Transformation Coach, and Integrative Mind-Body Consultant


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