Every religion, self-help book, coach, therapist, or otherwise well-meaning friend is trying to help you answer one or all of these questions:
- Who are you?
- What are you choosing?
- Who are you being?
There are many successful workshops and tools to help anyone solve their dilemma whether it’s how to organize your home or how to improve your love life. I’ve delved into quite a bit in my life and learned that there’s an overwhelming amount of information, and it’s hard for people to actually absorb what is being taught and much less actually change their life with the information.
Personally, I found myself constantly back to my default thoughts and behaviors as time went by. I felt like I would get lost over and over again. I’d make some progress and then I’d slip back and would find myself completely frustrated or overwhelmed with a situation.
People who believe in the highest form of a life journey would say that there really isn’t true regression in our journey as we’re always learning with each step, but it sure did feel like regression many times. Other people might be thinking that those who are not able to sustain their results or new mentality or new habits simply didn’t dig deep enough into their subconscious or their limiting beliefs or perhaps they didn’t stick with the habit forming method long enough.
All of those things may be true, but what if you can learn all the great things, truly believe it, truly create habits on them, and then one day find yourself in a rut again. What then?
This is where I think my framework might help.
My theory is that in the moment of confusion or overwhelm is the moment we somehow fall back to the thoughts and habits we’ve practiced most in our lives. And for most of us, those are not the thoughts or beliefs that are going to help us evolve to the person we want to be.
For me, those moments felt like the hard-wiring in my brain just couldn’t see the bigger picture even though I knew it was there. I had the information in my head and the way out was within me, but it’s like I couldn’t find the right file in the file cabinet. It would be even more frustrating because I knew that I had the books and the notes and the journals and the practices, but somehow I couldn’t get out of my head.
I needed to create my own simple fallback plan: a way to refocus me and put me back on the right path. I hope it helps you with yours. I needed something to fall back on when I felt stuck or shitty.
So whether you use this to get some clarity on all things you currently know already or if you use this as a way to continue your journey or maybe start your journey, I hope you find some benefit to this framework.
Last note, you might recognize that some programs, books, or thought leaders will focus completely in one area. It’s amazing and very much needed to go deep. However, for me, it’s important to understand the big picture of what we are trying to achieve with each topic. It might be interesting to understand where your favorite book or teachings put you within this framework. It’s great to know where you are focusing mastery, and accept that not everyone will focus on the same things and that’s ok!
Without further or do, here it is.
Level 1: Know who you are.
This is the core of everything. This is where religion spends most of its time (although you can find your answer without religion).
When you identify this for yourself, this can have massive trickling effects of on your entire life. You can spend the rest of your life with this question or the answer and that is all you’ll ever need to explore really. Everything else we discuss is actually simply exploring this.
The catch is that you must decide and choose who you are for yourself. This is where I cannot give you an answer. I can tell you what the best of the best have said about this. But at the end of the day, only you can choose to accept what you believe.
Here’s what the best of the best have said:
- You are pure awareness/consciousness
- You are love
- You are pure energy
- You are a child of God
- You are source
- You are infinite
- You are divine/holy
- You are spirit/soul
There are many therapists and coaches working to help you believe that you are enough, you are worthy, you are a good person. These believes are built-ons to the core higher truths of who you believe you are and what’s really going on here. The highest truths are that there might be something else going on here that we cannot see. Because if you focus only on what you can see, it is obvious why you might feel less than, insuffiencient, powerless, or even ugly.
Well-intended parents and loved ones have even done damage in helping us understand the truth of who we are. Truth being that you might be divine, that you might be infinite, and that you might have all the power within you. Isn’t that the message of all the greatest teachers?
Once you know or are willing to know, here’s my first diagram for helping us really center around this knowing. Start in the center.
If you need a bit more, here’s a bit more context to help you find your way.
Level 2: Start Choosing
This is about knowing what you want. It’s about clarity on both where you are and where you want to go. A lot of coaches and motivational speakers spend time here. Here’s the diagram.
Again, for a bit more context and information, see the second diagram:
Level 3: Start Being
This is about not waiting on the circumstance to change, not waiting for someone else to change their behavior before you can feel the way you want to feel. This is about taking your power back. This is about not needing the new house, new job, better spouse or body to feel and live and demonstrate who you want to be.
This one is tough for most people because we live in a world where we feel justified to react or respond based on the situation or circumstance. We believe our emotions are reactions, not something that we can choose. But if you think about it, we know people who respond very differently to the same situation – whether it’s a long line at the grocery store or cancer. In small or large ways, people demonstrate who they are and then blame the situation for their reaction.
Again, here’s the framework with a bit more detail.
Putting it together
It’s important to understand this view of a personal journey because a coach will usually not try to get into your core beliefs because for many people those beliefs are tied to their religious beliefs and secular professionals just don’t want to go there. If they do go there, they’re not letting you know they’re going there or they’ll just build on whatever you currently believe. Then, you have the spiritual leaders who don’t really want to touch on the topic of money, career or lifestyle. So, everyone is staying in their lane, and you’re left to piece everything together. I hope this framework helps with some of the piecing together.
Secondly, it’s important to start with identifying who you are (level 1) as this drives whether you even believe you should be or have the power to be choosing anything at all (level 2). I also know that in order to go anywhere, you must have a vision. So, starting to focus on “letting go” (level 3) without having previously identified a potential destination (level 2) is like a boat at sea without a captain, crew, or a map.
Taking the process in the sequence I’ve laid out will ensure you’re grounded in your beliefs, clear about your destination, and at ease (in flow) and in control of your now experience.
The last thing I’ll point out is that once you reach Level 3, you go back to Level 1. It’s actually a repeating, never ending cycle. And here’s the catch, you’re going through this cycle now whether consciously or unconsciously. Who you are is what you’ve been choosing which is based on what you’ve been believing.
Life is a cycle in the grandest and smallest ways. If you pay attention, you’ll notice the cycle happening in seasons of your life and then you’ll see it happening all in one day, sometimes in an instant. It’s not one way or another, it’s both, and it’s all of it – all of your life.
So in that sense, these are not levels. But I numbered them for those starting a conscious journey now. I do believe it starts with “Level 1” and it is a sequence. But we will repeat it over and over and over again. It’s the game of life.
My hope is that you use this framework consciously – that you obtain clarity on something – whether it’s your current state, maybe an area to focus on, or maybe your next step. In the end, the journey is yours to play with, learn from, enjoy, and do with it what you please. Have fun with it.
For those trying to use this now or in the future to “fallback” on and center yourself or focus on what you might need in the moment, start with asking yourself these questions: