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Lifestyle: Examining Your Habits

By Raymond Phelan

"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire." ~ Confucius

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.

By the time you reach adulthood, many people have contributed to the formation of your lifestyle; everyone except you, it seems. And, of course, you may even be getting by with this imposed behaviour. You may be popular in certain quarters of society, with certain work colleagues, at the bars or the nightclubs, when out with the lads or girls. But if you have not of your own conscious free will put that lifestyle in place by choice, then you've been hooked by some bait, corporate or otherwise. It's essential to take time out to question where exactly this bait is taking you. You need to reclaim your independence and your right to make your own decisions – to exercise your free will. You need to be free of the baited carrot and stick of imposed, subconscious, reactive thought patterns and repeatedly ask yourself, "Have I conscious control of my own life or am I being manipulated by societal leaders and greed gurus? Am I heeding my own intentionally imposed road signs or am I on auto to the middle of nowhere, to someone else's desired destination?"

You need to become aware of habitual activity and enquire from within yourself by asking, "Is the lifestyle in which I presently find myself growing the one I wish to carry into adulthood and maturity alongside my career? Is the standard that I'm setting and expressing, or that by which I'm being led, serving me spiritually, and would I be proud for my children to follow my example? Are my perceived choices my own or those of others?" In other words, you need to ask, "Have I, through unawareness, been programmed? Am I, in a seemingly popular and maybe even glamorous way, merely marking time to an imposed fantasy, an unsustainable existence of mimicking and ad-libbing a spurious and artificially created script, a naive congruence, in the hope that one day this 'not me' existence may justify itself and become the reality that they have chosen for me?"

You need to take stock of your mental landscape, examine and hold up to scrutiny who or what is pulling the strings in your mind, and ask, "On what fuel am I burning – my own natural motivational intention, or someone else's polluted vision?" Check with the "boss" – the real you – what's working and what's not, by asking, "What standard of lifestyle am I growing presently and to which destination is this present mind-set leading?" Be totally honest – forensic-like – in establishing if you're on your own course or performing like someone's puppet on a string. Be laser-like in this exercise, taking time out to mentally view the life station you're currently standing at and relate to it. Then you need to see if your destination looks similar or different to where you thought you were headed and check your bearings to see just where and when your intended goals may have changed tracks at a tricky junction; see if you've slipped off your desire radar screen. Lastly, you need to ask, "Is my lifestyle now empowering others, rather than myself?"

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. Buy his new book now from Amazon: Transforming Your Life - How to Be All That You Can Be.
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