by John and Micki Baumann
Continue to section on Using Stones for Personal Growth
Just as the Nautilus grows by adding to its spiral shaped shell in ever-expanding increments, a person grows by adding to his or her Inner Being in a way that continuously expands who he or she is as a person. This is done by changing attitudes in ways that increase the energies of the Inner Being and makes them stronger and better. The results of growing can also be seen as an ever-expanding spiral, since there is no upper limit to growth.
Steps in Making an Attitude Change
Step 1. Willingness
You notice that every time you are in a certain kind of situation, and respond in your normal way, the outcome is consistent but not to your liking. You experience some kind of dissatisfaction with how a particular type of thing continually seems to work out. You don't like it and want to change it, but you are afraid of changing anything in your attitudes because the result is unknown and therefore scary. After some more unpleasant experiences in this same area, you eventually get to the point where you will do ANYTHING to change this pattern of events that causes you so much unhappiness. In order to be able to make your first attitude change, it is usually necessary to get to the point where you are willing to go through WHATEVER it takes to change this thing. If you are not yet at that point, you may not have what it takes to complete the change. This is the first step in making changes.
Step 2. Insight
You search your mind for what attitude you need to change. You do this by looking at the cause-and-effect pattern you dislike so much, and you ask yourself why this pattern happens. You will nearly always come up with at least some possible answers. Many of these answers are only partial, in that they, in turn, require you to ask why THAT happens. In this way, you may go 3 or 4 levels into it, asking WHY at each level. Eventually, you get to a place where there are no more why's to ask, and this is where you stop asking questions. You now have what you consider the most likely answer, that is, you now know what you have to do in terms of changing your mental attitude, although you haven't done it yet. This process of searching, introspection and self-interrogation can be emotionally very difficult, and this is the reason that you have to want the change very badly. If you don't want the change badly enough, you won't make it through this part of it. This is the second and most difficult step in making changes.
Step 3. Decision
You make a firm decision to change to the new attitude for at least long enough that you can see the difference in the results it produces. To do this, you plant the mental attitude firmly in your mind by focusing on it and thinking of it as intensely as you can. You also write it down so you can look at it in a concrete way when you need to, as a reminder of your level of commitment to yourself to make this change. You review the new attitude by consciously thinking about it every day for a time, until its concept is firmly in your mind. This is the third step.
Step 4. Practice
You practice using the new attitude at every opportunity, and you notice the difference in cause-and-effect pattern from before. At this point, you are developing an awareness and skill through USING the attitude to get experience and feedback. After a few weeks of this, the new attitude will start to operate in an automatic and almost subconscious way, and you won't have to think about it consciously anymore.
Growth is the expansion of personal truth in the direction of spiritual reality. It is a process of becoming more than we were before, becoming a stronger and better being. It is the process of moving closer to being able to love unconditionally, which is the basic reason all of us are here. It is every person's ultimate goal to learn to love unconditionally. A difficult task at best, but one that everyone must learn in the end. Living on this planet is a great opportunity to experience and practice some of the lessons necessary to love unconditionally. This opportunity for learning and growth is part of the reason that we tend to hook up with people of the opposite sex and do things in couples.
Love is not something that happens TO us, but instead it is something that we actively DO. Loving unconditionally produces a powerful form of internal subtle energy that we can learn to send out from the energy centers of the Inner Being. This Love Energy emanates from us when we consciously send it out to others, and it vibrates within us to strengthen our own Inner Being. Before we can learn to send out Love Energy, however, it is necessary to learn to BE some of the things that it takes to love unconditionally. This includes learning to accept, trust, need and be needed, commit, be kind, compassionate, patient, open, etc. It takes the pursuit of love to make growth changes. If you are not interested in becoming a loving person as part of your goal in growing, then it is very difficult to take steps toward personal growth.
Incentives for Growth
The rewards of growing are enough to inspire anyone to want to make growth changes. With each growth step, there is a very noticeable lessening of the negative emotions that relate to fear and anger. And on the positive side, you get to FEEL things. Over time, you get to feel people's emotions, to know what they are, because you can feel them by tuning into them. The more you grow, the better your life becomes. You have more serenity, and less stress. Relationships with other people go more smoothly because you know how to choose relationships that are good for you. You don't make so many mistakes, such as becoming involved with the wrong people. On the more cerebral side, you get better at thinking clearly, and knowing what to expect in particular situations.
Growth and the Emotions
Your emotions continually show you who you are. They are a strong indicator of what is good for you, and what is not. Whenever you feel any form of emotion, it tells you something about how your Inner Being is operating. Your Inner Being is everything you are, EXCEPT for your physical body. Sometimes emotions can be almost overpowering in telling you how you are doing. This is particularly true of the negative emotions, which include the different varieties of fear and anger. These emotions indicate that certain aspects of your life are not going smoothly, and that there are changes you need to make. The negative things you feel most strongly emotionally, are also the things you will feel most compelled to deal with. These are the first things to concentrate on when you want to grow.
Each negative emotion has a connection to a particular way of being, and when you feel that emotion, you subconsciously know it is that particular way of being that is giving you problems. So when you are considering what attitudes you most need to change, the negative emotions are a strong clue. Emotions such as feeling intimidated, lonely, restricted, helpless, obligated, defensive, gloomy, pessimistic, regretful, remorseful, discouraged, disappointed, jealous, aggressive, frustrated, bitter, disapproving, resentful, and revengeful are prime candidates for attitude change.
Similarly, the positive emotions indicate the different aspects of your life that are going well. These function as a kind of reward for being able to make your life work well. If something feels good emotionally, it probably is good.
Growth and Attitude Change
In general, attitude can be defined as an overall mental orientation toward a person or type of situation. It is this overall mental orientation or attitude that others feel from you. Attitude is composed of thought patterns that make up your outlook, viewpoint, or approach to life. It is attitude that changes in a smooth and continuous way as you grow. Making attitude changes is a fundamental part of growth because it is attitudes that determine the strength of the subtle energy that operates the Inner Being.
In order to grow, it is necessary to change a mental attitude. When you change an attitude, and start to operate according to the new attitude, you expand your experience of life into new and different areas. It has been said that experience is the best teacher. This is because experience gives you feedback, and it is feedback that is your real teacher. Feedback from new experiences gives you a new mental awareness that helps you operate your life better.
If you want to make an attitude change, it is good to begin with an area of your life that upsets you on a fairly regular basis. This will show you how calming an attitude change can be. You will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Because quartz crystals amplify or strengthen the subtle energy that makes up the Inner Being, they are ideal tools for helping with growth. Carrying a quartz crystal in your pocket or purse while making an attitude change, will help make the change as easy as possible. It will not make the change for you. Only you can do that. But it will strengthen your resolve, help you gain the necessary insight, and make it easier for your energy centers to get to their new level.
Preparing to Make the First Attitude Change
If you are not familiar with the process of making attitude changes, you won't know what to expect the first time you do it. You may initially resist the idea because both the process and the outcome are unfamiliar to you, and it can be scary to enter such unfamiliar territory. It can be disturbing to face the possibility of changing how you operate when you have no idea what direction the change will take you in.
There is both comfort and discomfort in staying with an old and familiar viewpoint or attitude. There is a certain comfort in continuing to do what you have always done just because you KNOW what will happen. You know what outcome to expect, even though you sometimes don't like how you feel when it happens. There is also discomfort in continuing in your old ways, especially when those ways sometimes make you feel as if nothing is going the way the way you want, and everything is about to come crashing down on you. In addition, there is the uncomfortable prospect of changing to something unfamiliar, which automatically triggers your fear of the unknown. Sometimes things have to get so bad that you are less afraid of an attitude change, than of continuing in the previous direction. This is why the first attitude change is often a move of desperation, a last ditch effort to make your life work.
For these reasons, it usually takes a large step of faith before you feel ready to make the first attitude change. In taking this step, it helps to know you can expect your life to be truly better after the change. This is one of the main things that makes you willing to go through whatever is necessary to make the change happen. And you need to know that there is really nothing to be afraid of. In this case it is true that "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".
Practicing the New Attitude
As soon as you have made the decision (step 3 below) to adopt the new attitude, you immediately find that your life starts to work better. The benefits show themselves almost immediately. You feel very relieved and your fears diminish. Over the next few weeks you get used to the new attitude, and it becomes a part of who you are. When this happens you have truly gained the benefits of the change. Because you are less afraid, you feel stronger and more self-confident, and find that you have more energy to put into accomplishing things. And after seeing how much the first attitude change has improved the quality of your life, you are less leery of making further changes.
Making Subsequent Changes
While the first attitude change can be very difficult emotionally, the second is somewhat easier. You begin to realize that nothing terrible is going to happen to you in making these changes, and this encourages you. By the time you have experienced the third attitude change, you know you don't need to be afraid of what lies on the other side of an attitude change. Also, by this time your life is already so much better that you are almost eager to make more changes. This is because things FEEL so much better to you, especially because you no longer have the same strong negative emotional responses to things that used to bother you terribly. This is one way of knowing that you have grown. In addition, when you can suddenly look back on a particular experience and say "Now I know why I had to go through that", then you know that you have grown.