Inherent to wishing our lives to be different is an acknowledgment of a future that diverges from the present. In other words, our lives are a certain way today and we want them to be different at some point in the future; whether tomorrow, next week, month, or year. However, we often find it difficult to change and manifest that desired future, coming back to the same New Year’s resolutions and goals; wanting a particular job, relationship, friends, and family. We imagine a future with so many different details. Yet, it eludes us and ends up looking very similar to the present. Why?
Old Habits Die Hard
If we move to the future with the same personality, we can’t realistically expect that future to look much different from our present and past. A future reality that looks different from the present demands a new mind. Some helpfully suggest that a positive mindset is required, or that we need to set goals and become disciplined in striving to meet those goals. However, why does this mindset prove difficult to ascertain and maintain? Maybe we can access that positivity and a new mode of being momentarily, but eventually our old habits and ways of thinking return. How can we make that mindset a permanent new fixture of our personalities?
In order to manifest the future, we need to change personalities. We need to become someone else who makes new choices. If we enter the future as the same person with the same thoughts and self-limiting beliefs, we will continually respond to our environment in the same ways, with the same habits of today and yesterday. In short, if we don’t change, today becomes tomorrow and the days that follow. However, in order to evolve into a new personality and manifest the future we desire, we must transcend the habits of the old self and become someone new. We must lose our minds and create new ones.
Manifest the Future
I was very skeptical when I first heard about the Law of Attraction. Granted, the initial explanation wasn’t expansive. How can a person change personalities and manifest a future into existence just by thinking positively? However; after learning more and eventually practicing the work required to manifest a future, I am completely convinced that it’s possible. However, I’m equally convinced that many of us don’t fully understand the extensive hard work required to change who we are in order to manifest a particular outcome. There is so much more to the Law of Attraction than just thinking positively. There is work.
It requires a combination of exploring the past, present, and future; to thoroughly understand who we have been and who we have become before moving to a desired future and who we would like to be. We need to know all the self-limiting beliefs and emotions that have been continually preventing our desired future. After all, there is a reason it hasn’t happened yet. We need to become intimately aware of all the thoughts and feelings that hold us to the past; it requires complete openness and acceptance of who we are and who you have been.
The process can be extremely emotional if we encounter the difficult self-limiting feelings of unworthiness, lovability, inadequacies, etc. Those internal beliefs about ourselves have likely been accompanied by mindless self-limiting thoughts; occurring for the past weeks, months, or years. Imagine the same mindless repetitious thoughts occurring in the background of your existence each day for decades and the resulting signature on the brain. The same neurons firing every time we have a particular thought or belief about ourselves. Each occurrence of the same thought re-enforces the same circuitry and hardwires the brain, creating a mode of habitual existence that operates on cruise control.
Losing Our Minds and Creating New Ones
We need to enter the mind and rewire it. We have to lose our minds before we can create a new one with new thoughts and beliefs. However, before moving to the future, we need to develop the mindfulness that allows us to catch the self-limiting and sabotaging thoughts as they occur in the present. These thoughts and beliefs about ourselves prevent us from the future that we desire. If the same thoughts and patterns continue, then our future will be equal to our past. There will be no change as long as the mind remains the same. We need to replace the old thoughts and emotions with ones that are congruent to our desired future.
Encouragingly, when we become conscious of a limiting thought just one time, we already take the positive step in rewiring the brain to fire neurons in a new way, as our awareness has stopped a habitual chain of thoughts at the first ring. Instead of the mind moving onto the next habitually trained sequence of ideas, the link in the chain brakes under the inherent nature of newfound consciousness. We become aware of the intrusion of the old self. Each time we repeat this process, we rewrite the signature of the brain, as we are quite literally changing our minds. Our awareness has interrupted the unconscious mind to prevent it from completing the negative chatter that limits our future to become a repeat of the past.
Mindfulness; a Pathway to Change
The process requires highly developed mindfulness; so that no self-limiting thought, belief, or behavior escapes our attention. One of the most highly effective methods for developing mindfulness is through practicing meditation; with the repetitive practice being the essential component. Through meditation, we can enter the mind to examine and notice its tendencies of thought and their accompanying emotions.
What we find can prove emotionally difficult; as we might discover previously buried parts of ourselves. However, if we can be brave and match our honesty with acceptance and love, we will better understand ourselves without the cruel arbiters of self-judgment. We will find our self-limiting thoughts and how they have impacted our lives; get to know them so well that they will no longer escape our notice.
Change and Manifest the Future
However, knowing our past mind is just part of the process. We need to replace the old mind with a new one; with new thoughts and feelings that are equal to the future we desire. While still meditating, we need to imagine the future in our minds with as many details as possible. This is more than just saying to the universe what we want; whether it’s a certain job or relationship, or perhaps an open and compassionate heart. Whatever it is that we want, we must imagine it fully, live with it in our minds and allow ourselves to feel the emotions that embody that future.
How do you see yourself in this future? Who are you and what sort of actions are you taking? How are you treating people? Where are you living? We must fully embrace that future in our minds. In doing so, we might experience the cathartic release of emotions in imagining who we wish to be; as we picture all the details of the life we want. Our hearts might begin to open as we feel the joy of that future. As a result, in connecting with the future, we are literally transforming the present with a new neurological framework that descends from those new thoughts and emotions. The future is now impacting the present.
Change the Present Reality
When we arise from our meditation, we are no longer the same, as the brain doesn’t distinguish between an imagined event and a real one. In experiencing that future so fully, we have rewired our brains with a signature that looks like the future has already happened. We re-enter our present environment with the emotional and mental residue linked to our desired future, interacting with that environment in new ways. Perhaps, we go for a walk with a more vivid and vibrant awareness of the sights and sounds of the world we inhabit. Maybe when we leave our apartments and encounter any particular individual, we relate to them in new ways. These are examples of us interacting with the world with a new mind; a mind that we created from scratch.
We are accustom to viewing creation as an outer, rather than inner experience. However, take a moment to contemplate the sheer magnitude of being a creator through your awareness and focused attention; creating new neurological connections, not through physical action, but through a combination of stillness, sensory deprivation, and directed thought; changing the outer world after first transforming the inner.
Manifestation Changes the Present
The present and future are inextricably linked. If you have any doubts, consider how we impact our present through an imagined future on a daily basis. Emotions like excitement, concern, worry, and anxiety all portend to future possibilities. For example, when we are excited about a movie we are about to see, our attention is drawn to a future event. Imagining that future impacts our present emotional state (excitement). In turn, this influences the way we interact with our environment. For example, perhaps we are kinder to those we encounter or we tackle a daily chore with more gusto. It is no different with feelings of anxiety or concerns over a negative future possibility. Thoughts of that future experience give rise to emotions in the present, influencing our interactions; as perhaps we become more irritable or distant in our present human connections.
We tend to focus on how negative, instead of elevated, emotions impact our current reality. Perhaps this mindset descends from our biological heritage; a successful survival mode linked to enhanced abilities to sense and allude danger. However, if we fully accept without condition that imagining a negative future experience shapes our current reality, we must also accept, through logical congruency, that imagining a positive future would do the same. Why not train ourselves to direct thoughts toward positive instead of negative future outcomes and possibilities; not just to manifest that better future but to also change ourselves in the present?
Change is Hard Work
One obstacle lies in the immense power of the old habitual self. We have hardwired our minds with thoughts and beliefs that don’t serve us well. Eventually, the old personality and mind will return with those ideas that have been repeating like a broken record for years in the background of existence. They won’t simply just go away at the snap of a finger, never to return.
However, let us not fret or feel too disappointed. After all, if habits were easy to change, we would do it readily. Changing our minds requires repetition and hard work. It won’t happen overnight. A changed mind or positive outlook isn’t created by the flip of a switch, or by reading an article, blog post, or book. Each day, we need to work to rewire our minds; to replace the thoughts that link us to the past with new beliefs that will inevitably lead us to a desired future.
However, changing habits, behaviors, and mindsets will often prove difficult unless we can slow our minds through the meditation process. The brain operates at several different general levels of activity; known as Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta (listed from slow to fast).
From approximately age 8 and above, our waking moments are dominated by the more active Beta waves; associated with cognitive functions and problem-solving, as well as emotional states of excitement and anxiety. Most likely, while reading this post, your brain is operating in low range Beta; using your neocortex to process the information somewhat passively.
From about ages five to eight, the brain is operating at the slower Alpha levels; associated with beginning levels of observing and drawing conclusions from the external environment. In addition, an alpha state of mind corresponds with greater awareness of the now and present moment. At alpha levels, the imaginary world is often as real as the outer world. For example, if you ask a child to pretend that they are a bird, you may still find them an hour later still pretending to be a bird. On the other hand, adults have lost contact with the inner world of imagination; their realities connected to what is real in the outer world. However, adults can achieve Alpha levels in some meditative states.
Still slower are the low levels of Theta, often accompanied in children between ages two to five or six. Absent are the rational thoughts connected to problem-solving skills; replaced by an inner world of the abstract and imagination. At this age, children are likely to accept and believe whatever is told to them; imprinting beliefs and ideas that travel straight to the subconscious mind. Statements that refer girls to be more deferential to their male counterparts, or that boys shouldn’t show emotion will be embraced without nuance or critical thinking at this stage. In Theta, our senses withdraw from the external world; opening access to memories and intuition; a gateway to the subconscious.
Rewire the Brain
It is here, through deep meditation, where adults can access the internal operating system of the mind. The Tibetan word for meditation is Gom, which means to become familiar with one’s mind. At this level of meditation and Theta brain activity, we can learn about ourselves more fully; to become aware of our self-limiting beliefs; their origins and how they have impacted our lives. Before creating a new personality, we must know the old personality, so the mindless chatter and beliefs which have linked us to the past will never escape our attention again.
It is also in the Theta-wave state where we have a greater capacity to imagine a desired future in terrific detail, while also feeling the emotions connected to that future. In a Theta state, the barriers between the outer world and inner world dissolve. It is here where we can create our future. What do we want? What type of person do we want to be? How will we act? Where will we be? Here, we can feel the overwhelming emotions connected to that future reality. The connection to the inner world of feeling is vital to manifestation; as we want to return from our meditation session a different person; as someone who will have no choice but to interact with the environment in brand new ways; creating new habits and neurological connections.
1st Stage of Meditation
There are three main stages of the meditation. In total, the meditation might take over an hour with each stage lasting about twenty minutes. If you are a beginning meditator, it might feel a bit overwhelming to complete all three phases. If that’s the case, spend approximately one week on the first stage of the meditation which focuses on slowing down the brain waves from Beta to Theta through a focus on breath, body, and/or space.
Often a guided meditation will use drones to help facilitate this process and create a trance-like state of being. As we close our eyes in a quiet place, we reduce the sensory input that the neocortex must process; detaching from time and place. At first, it might take 20 to 30 minutes to slow the mind, but with practice, some can enter the Theta realm very quickly. With training, we can also make conscious choices to move from one brain wave state to another. However, at first, just focus on the practice of slowing the mind. In addition, it might prove helpful to attempt this meditation first thing in the morning can help facilitate this transition; as the mind may still be slow from sleeping.
2nd Stage of Meditation
Second, once we have calmed the mind, we will transition our practice to a meditation that explores the old personality. This is where we explore who we have been; becoming aware of the self-limiting habits and thoughts that we want to change. Focus on one belief about yourself that you want to transcend. Maybe you believe that you are unlovable or worthless, or perhaps you feel regret or anger. This can be an emotional, yet cathartic experience, as you release the emotions associated with this self-belief. Take all the time you need.
3rd Stage of Meditation
The third stage is where we move into the desired future without the self-limiting belief; imagining the world we want to inhabit and who we want to be. As we conjure the details of this future reality, we connect with what it feels like to be this person and to live in that world. In leaving the old personality behind and embracing this future reality, we become part of that future, as the brain doesn’t know the difference between an inner and outer experience; with the thoughts and emotions of the imagined future occurring in the present moment; creating new neural connections. Each time we think and feel that future, the stronger the circuitry becomes; eventually shedding the old self and releasing the new personality; the new you.
Manifestation takes Practice
It doesn’t happen overnight. We have all heard the adage that people don’t change. Shedding habits and beliefs that we have held closely for most of our lives would understandably be difficult. But with time, practice, and diligence, there is a path to a new personality and future reality. It requires hard work. And the old habits of the self will scream at us to return to our old personalities and habits. But the moment we do something different; we create a new neurological connection; whether it be trying a new food or taking a different route to work. The possibilities to create new connections is always available to us, and I find this to be a reassuring thought.
Do you normally go for a walk at this time? If not, go for a walk and create a new experience and thus a different mind. Or try new food and, consequently, fire a new set of neurons to form new connections. Or sit down to meditate. Merely making that decision sends our future in a new direction. The choice is always ours; to do what’s typical or try something new.
If you are interested, a free self-guided meditation on Youtube my Michael Sealey is a good free place to start. However, I recommend the guided meditation by Dr. Joe Dispenza, called Body Parts – Space Meditation, available for $9. I’m not affiliated with Dr. Dispenza in any way and this is a non-solicited recommendation, based on my experience with the material.