Expand the envelope! Move out of your comfort zone!  Phrases we’ve  heard many times. Sounds exciting. Open to new horizons. Realize your potential. What are we inviting when we declare this to the Universe? What must we be prepared for?

This is not an ominous thing, and these questions are not intended to elicit fear, but to facilitate contemplation. We are naive in our understandings of consciousness development and its requirements. We don’t know what The Journey will bring. It is an adventure into the Unknown, a Mystery.

The greatest preparation we can make for this journey is to release expectation, the tendency of our minds to formulate images and ideas about future events and processes. I have worked on my Consciousness now for 36 years. While I feel I have come to something for myself, I also know it is a forever process. I used to believe that if I became more conscious my faults and failings would disappear. What I have found is that they don’t disappear, but my relationship to them changes. So much for expectations.

Much of the resistance we have toward the present moment is that it often contains the unexpected. Our automatic programmed response to this is to resist, creating negativity. “What is the value of being in-the-moment when it fails to contain what I want, or planned?”, we may ask.

In the synchronicity of language, we find that the word “present” is also defined as “gift”. One of the things we learn in the process of inner growth is that the things we experience as “reality” are not accidental events. Thus, whatever shows up in my experience has purpose, and is related to my personal experience of The Mystery. Often what one viewpoint would define as my worst nightmare, is revealed as a priceless treasure when I shift perception. When I embrace What Is, my resistance disappears and a new reality emerges. This is the awesome power of choosing what shows up. Now I  realize I possess the ability to transform the negative emotions of resistance into the joy of learning.

Moving out of the self-assertive, cause and effect, linear mode of perception into an integrative, nonlinear, mode requires releasing our hold on rational thinking, and moving toward an intuitive thought process. Logic deduces linear conclusions from known facts and premises. The mind cycles information, perceiving itself to be the singular dominant force, and seeks to control the heart, which it doesn’t understand. In the integrative approach, the mind has to come to recognize that it’s true ability lies in listening to and translating the knowing of the heart. Teach it to learn the discipline of silence, a receptive silence that truly listens, without attempting to impose concept or structure.

Analysis of information is replaced with synthesis of emotional perception, thinking becomes holistic rather than reductionistic, and personal experience becomes the central focus. Truth, with a capital “T” gives way to a lower case, personal “t” that looks to no one but itself as an authority. Personal feelings, perceptions and experiences come to be recognized as the axis upon which personal reality turns.

With new thinking comes new value structures. The expansionist tendencies of personal self-assertion give way to an interest in conservation. Competitive, win-lose scenarios come to to be seen as less valuable than cooperation, where all contributions are valued, and win-win becomes the basic philosophy of human interaction. Then quality of life, working from the inside out, rises in value over quantity of production.

It is out of these new ways of thinking, through synthesis of new values, new belief structures, that our old ways of perceiving are transformed, and a whole new world emerges.