How to Break Out of a Rut

In every moment of our existence, we have access to an infinity of choices. As a result of conditioning, however, most of us tend to act in predictable, repetitious ways. The process is like driving a car down the same dirt road many times. Over time, the wheels carve out ruts in the dirt and the car automatically follows the path we’ve taken before. It’s the path of least resistance, and while it may serve us for a while, if we forget that we can always choose other roads, we may find ourselves stuck in a well-honed rut. In the ancient Vedic tradition, this is known as the Law of Karma.

How do we break free from repetitive thought-patterns and behaviors that limit our experience of freedom, happiness, and fulfillment?  The key is becoming consciously aware of the choices we make in every moment.

Step 1

Witness the choices you make in every moment. In the act of witnessing your choices, you bring the whole decision-making process from the unconscious realm into the conscious realm.

Step 2

When you make a choice, ask yourself two questions:
–What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?

–Will this choice bring happiness and fulfillment to me, as well as to those who are affected by my choice?

Step 3

Tune in to your body’s inner wisdom. As you consider the choice before you, pay attention to the sensations in your body and use the feelings of comfort or discomfort to guide you. Most people receive the message of comfort or discomfort in the area of the heart. Others receive the message in their solar plexus (the proverbial “gut feeling”).

Putting your attention on your heart or solar plexus, ask your body, “How do you feel about this choice?” If your body sends a feeling of comfort and eagerness, you can plunge ahead. If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, then it isn’t the appropriate choice. Pause and consider other possibilities until you find a choice that resonates with your heart’s guidance.

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