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Examining Your Habits

By Raymond Phelan

A meditator for over thirty years, Raymond Phelan has undergone intensive training in spiritual philosophy and mind technology in the USA, UK, and Ireland. He trained extensively under the guidance of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, in the TM-Sidhi Programme. Living in Dublin, Raymond practices as a life coach facilitator and teaches meditation. Here is an excerpt from his new book, Transforming Your Life...

An ancient sage once commented, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." It's the prime responsibility of each person to ensure that his or her life is being lived optimally, both physically and mentally. To achieve this standard, questions need to be asked and truthful examinations need to be made, particularly with regard to your lifestyle behaviour. You must establish precisely what are the dominant, reoccurring motivating factors in your life. You need to pinpoint exactly which operating agendas are propelling your life – which are working in your favour and which are working against you. You need to establish what your compulsive activity is and where your daily doings come from. Do you recognise your compulsive activity – are you aware of its source? You need to establish precisely what it is you're consciously allowing yourself to do, lifestyle-wise, as opposed to unconsciously doing, and to establish clearly why you're doing what you're doing.

The questions you need to ask yourself include "Is my present lifestyle – my social, behavioural mind-set – actually serving my bigger picture, my own, consciously chosen intentions? Is my lifestyle serving or reflective of my overall life purpose? What exactly are my super goals? Do I have any – and what purpose will they serve when achieved? Are the networks of my deeper mind – my intuitive free-will mind – leading to the accomplishment of these desired goals?"

This bigger picture for your life, which may consist of a number of goals, needs to be vividly identifiable in your mind. It must be accepted as real by your deeper subjective mind, an unconscious conviction on your inner radar – a missile-to-target set of goals, cybernetically guided. Merely plodding along on the daily conveyor belt of societal or peer expectation in a blind, haphazard, robotic-like manner is an abdication of personal responsibility and consciousness development through undisciplined behaviour. Abdication is when peace, harmony, and love, through natural means, are not being sought and established in your daily life.

Lifestyle is not simply about a full social calendar, parties, or a perceived popularity image. It's linked rather to the submerged mental state which is driving that lifestyle, that which you're looking through – the mental nuances that are on auto-setting and out of conscious control. You need to be aware of the submerged dynamics that are motivating you and the mind-set, coloured glasses through which you are looking, in order to maintain your lifestyle, and then ask yourself how, in fact, did this lifestyle come into being in the first place? Have you just settled for it, or do you really have a strategy to accomplish your bigger picture end product – your life's ambition? And are you drifting on a social high towards an outcome where whatever happens is okay? In other words, are you on a self-destruct course while seemingly living a noble lifestyle, in pursuit of your intentional goals? You also need to ask if there is a programmed anti-goal agenda simultaneously at play, deep in your unconscious. Knowing the answers to these questions is pivotal to your future happiness, success, and peace of mind.

The next question for you is: How do you know or evaluate that you're happy? For example, first thing in the morning, do you check your present feeling against a previous or comparable situation and make an assessment based on that evaluation? Or is the prevailing weather the determinant?

To know the answer to these crucial questions you must ask yourself, "Are my social activities and my lifestyle a re-enactment of unconscious programming, an automated mental image loop, replaying reactive patterns of addiction conditioning? Do I really have full, conscious freedom of choice in all areas of my life?" You may think you know what you want or where you're headed in life, but this can be totally sabotaged by a previously inserted loop, a negative self-image – an unconscious, addiction-sustaining programme. This self-defeating, imposed self-image – the repetitive mental loop (being loopy) – can come from family, overly strict parenting, a lack of self-expression, being put down and constantly criticised, favouritism among siblings, societal brain-washing, or advertisements carrying addiction-forming habits relating to so-called social, image-boosting products such as alcohol, depression remedies, and the constant glamorising of gambling and being fashionable.

You need to know where you stand in all such potentially addictive areas of life. Start by asking just how you arrived at what you're doing socially. Ask yourself, "How did it come about and when did I give conscious permission for this potentially addictive lifestyle?" You need to clarify whether all of your lifestyle behaviour – nasty or otherwise – is of your own choosing and whether you really did choose to be living your life as you are doing.

An addiction lifestyle – a programmed pattern – is like a crucifixion to your potential to achieve your bigger picture in life. When addiction sets in, you are limited as to what road ahead you can take. It becomes poison to the spirit – compulsory baggage for a direction not of your choosing, a road that drains your natural enthusiasm for life and adventure. I know this because I've personally been down this road, during my early twenties, and it's not a scenic route. I would not wish it for anyone. It was a compulsory, choiceless road, leading to nowhere in particular, except deeper into the mire of prescription drugs and bar-stool addiction, a lifestyle blueprint to suffering and hardship, a tormenting journey of self-destruction, not of my own choosing, but from which, thankfully, I've recovered (with lots of dedicated help).

Addiction has a numbing effect on your creative aspect, with the daily journey-vision always seeming dimmed and pointless. And with no real substance or structure to your desires, the core of your reality goes out of focus and becomes an illusion, with depression now looming more and more.

The natural harmonious unfoldment of life's natural skills, your God-given talents, becomes smothered, primarily through your own ignorance, but also by corporate greed, so that they profit from your ignorance. This greed can include that of the local GP too. It's where my own prescription addiction started so innocently. My GP prescribed Valium for my mild anxiety. It was my first introduction to prescription medicine. The GP did not suggest meditation to me as the cure for mild anxiety, which became part of my eventual recovery, but instead chose benzodiazepines. Isn't it ironic that nearly forty years later – and after many self-development and meditation seminars – I've since taught meditation to a GP after he casually remarked that he was suffering mild anxiety due to pressures of work. Meditation – which I still practice twice daily – and the spiritual healing approach to life was for me the catalyst to recovery, the remedy to life's stressors and pressures, and it can be for you too, if you so desire.

An addictive lifestyle affects families, society, employers, and so many others, resulting in untold misery, disruption, and confusion for all those affected. Our once great intentional goal of doing something amazing with our life has, for many, been ravaged by premeditated, subliminally inserted, addictive programming of certain products into our deeper minds, which later leads to dependency – through either the same repetitive advertising or GP prescriptions. The programming of minds – a form of mass, socially acceptable hypnosis – is the most serious. The daily repetitive suggestion through all media channels is taken into your unconscious and then becomes a goal in itself, an anti- force against your own intended life goals. Gradually, it takes away your health and well-being. Such anti-health hypnotic suggestions thus become rooted in your subjective mind and begin to impact your self- image and lifestyle. Sadly, this is how it is for so many; they take on robotic behaviour through hypnotic suggestion, and thus, unwittingly, their minds are programmed.

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