About 20 years ago I experienced financial challenges after leaving a corporate career to better align my activities with what I was beginning to see as my higher purpose. I was new to spiritual principles of prosperity at the time, but I was very committed to my spiritual study and practice. As I continued to move through the financial challenges, one morning I awoke suddenly at three or four o’clock with a very exciting thought: what I had previously believed about limitations on how I could make a living were not part of my conscious beliefs at any level.
I literally jumped out of bed and began celebrating as if I had won the lottery. In a way, I did, because when we completely transform limiting beliefs, a whole new world is opened to us. I felt a renewed sense of freedom even though the appearance was that I had not completely put the financial challenges behind me. My excitement was due to knowing that the thought patterns that created the challenges no longer existed, therefore the challenges could not continue for much longer.
In fact, a few short months later, the financial challenges were completely behind me.
Our breakthrough comes not when things change in the exterior, but when we have a revolution in our thinking and in our being. It is only a shift in our underlying beliefs and thought patterns that creates lasting external change. The slogan for Centers for Spiritual Living, the New Thought spiritual community of which I am part, at one time was “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.” It is as relevant today as it ever was.
Often there’s a tendency to exert our energies mainly on the external effects in an attempt to get our breakthrough. That is well and good as far as it goes, however, unless there is a shift on the interior of our being, we will usually end up creating the same or a similar challenge all over again. Lasting change comes from that deeper work that we do in prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, and through consciously aligning with higher intentions.
Some might ask, “How do I know what my underlying beliefs and thought patterns have been?” The simplest approach is to look at what has repeatedly shown up in our life. For example, if we have experienced multiple relationships where our potential mate is unavailable, a good place to start would be, where am I unavailable? Where do I have a set of beliefs and attitudes that represent unavailability?
The breakthrough comes when we interrupt existing thought patterns, when we introduce a new idea, release old ways of thinking and being, and make a new commitment to a higher choice.
Often the most challenging step is releasing the old. There can be a tendency to want to just add newness without releasing anything. Usually, this doesn’t work. Stepping into something new almost always involves letting go of something old. The scripture that admonishes not to pour new wine into old wine skins is right on point.
Five Common things to release are:
- A particular perspective or belief that is no longer serving us;
- Old hurts and wounds (by beginning the process of forgiveness);
- Attachment to something in the material world;
- Habitual ways of doing things;
- The idea that our current situation is “just the way life is.”
The most important thing to remember is that we are always at choice and our choices matter. When we decide to have a change, that is the beginning of a change occurring.
Enjoy the journey.