From the book and workbook, “Living In the Light,” by Shakti Gawain.

I have a believe that Guidance is everywhere. SARK does too.  That there are messages in everything, including the way the sun comes through the window, the music you hear or a passing comment.

Shakti is taking this a step further. That everything we see and experience in our lives is a reflection of what’s going on inside. A person who lives in an argumentative environment, will tend to have argumentative thoughts going on inside.  It’s sometimes hard to discern which came first, the chicken on the egg.  But it’s clearly easier to change the inside than the outside.

Shakti tells us that “The external world can teach us about aspects of ourselves that we cannot see directly.”  As a good friend can point out a pattern in our behavior that we never noticed.

As Shakti says, life becomes a much more fun adventure when viewed like this. Everything in our world can help us “. . . heal old emotional wounds and core beliefs that keep us stuck in the same limiting or self defeating patterns.”  Now that’s what I call freedom!

To me this brings so much light to what we’re supposed to be doing. We spend our time running around trying to achieve this, change that, find something. But there it all is.  Right in front of us.  The Universe truly does conspire for our best interest.

There is a down side to this.  This amazing tool was not put here to help us beat up on ourselves.  When you first start to realize that you are doing all these horrible things you see in others, it’s easy to feel badly about yourself.  When a child makes a mistake in learning, we don’t say it’s a reflection of the worth of the child.  We are learning about ourselves.  Mistakes and the revelations they bring help us to grow and find more happiness.   “Once we shed light on a process that has been unconscious, it will no longer run our lives without our knowledge.”  Let’s try to look at all of this as a positive, forward moving process, rather than a reason to berate ourselves.  Just think what we can do with this information!

Exercise 10
For this mirroring exercise, Shakti gives us two rules. #1) “Remember to assume that everything in your life is your reflection.” #2) “Avoid putting yourself down for the reflection you see.”  It’s a gift for you to use and grow from.

Focus on a particular incident in your life that is troubling you.  Describe it.  Then ask yourself how this mirrors how you feel about yourself.

I am finding recently that my friends are quieter than usual.  This could be because it’s summer, but maybe I’m not paying enough attention to myself. Do you see how this works?  One of Shakti’s examples is of your boss getting angry at you for being late several times.  The Mirror tells you that you really don’t like your job anymore and have been dreading going to work.  Maybe you’re angry at yourself for not doing something about it.

If we can learn to look at these situations in a creative way, seeing the gift in each one, the sign that tells us where to go and what to do next, life can become a much more exciting adventure.

Exercise 11
This one is to see “a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves and how others treat us.”  It is a 2 column exercise.  In the first column, write down all that you did for yourself in the past week.  All the ways you took good care of yourself or did something nurturing just for you.  Then, see if you can find, for the “Mirror” column, ways this was reflected in your life.  What good things came to you?  For me, I took a day off and got a new client!  It’s not necessarily going to be a direct result.  Like, I took a bath and my child did what I asked him to do without an argument.  But they can build up. It’s important to notice that when you do good things for yourself, the world can give back in kind.

Exercise 12
This one is a little more complicated. Shakti wants us to take a look at the different areas of our lives:
Work and Career
Sexuality and Passion
Home Environment

For each one write, in the “Mirror” column, “The major event or statement that reflects your attitude about each.” Then, in the “Belief” column, write the belief that the mirror of this event reflects.  Her example for Work and Career was “I have a job that I love to do, but I make a minimal income.”  The belief that is mirrored might be “I don’t believe I can make money doing what I love to do.”

The last step is to write an affirmation to turn that belief around. An affirmation, if you don’t know, is a positive statement, stated in the present tense.  Her choice for the above example was “I now make a good income doing what I love to do.”

There are conflicting thoughts on affirmations. Some ask, how you can you say it if it’s not true?  I believe the mind can be trained and this is just a training exercise.  The mind can’t always tell reality from fantasy.  So, you can fake it until you make it by repeating these positive statements to yourself.  The thinking is that if you can generate enough of the feeling, over time you will change your world.  Certainly, you can change what you believe that way.  We did it in school.

Have fun with this exercise.  Play with it. Take each area as it comes up.  Don’t rush it.

This one worked for me under Body. 
Mirror: I’m tired a lot and have a lot of minor physical symptoms.
Belief: I believe my worth hinges on how much I do, so I push myself all the time to do as much as possible. Resting and relaxing makes me feel guilty.
Affirmation: I deserve to rest, relax and nurture myself.  My body deserves to be loved and taken care of.  Just by being who I am, I am worthy and lovable. 
Who can’t believe that?

Shakti concludes this section by saying that it is a good practice to see this correlation between the situations in your life and your beliefs and add some affirmations to support you in changing the beliefs that don’t serve you.  But at some point, some of these issues may require more professional help.  If you’re feeling like you’re drowning in something, please, find a good therapist. Affirmations and awareness may not be enough in all cases.

Next week, we’ll look at the powers of male and female within each of us.