Monday, February 8, 2016

Sowing and Reaping: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success - Week Three

Image result for free images of karma

The Third Spiritual Law of Success is the Law of Karma, or Cause and Effect.

We've all heard the expressions, "What you sow, you reap," or, "What goes around comes around." The Law of Karma tells us that for every action there is a reaction. Or, as the great teacher Swami Vivekananda teaches: "... Our thoughts, our words and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves."

When we are asked to make a choice, often the first thing we ask ourselves is, "What's in it for me?" We don't always stop and consider whether this is the best choice, not only for ourselves, but for any others who might also be affected by our decision. We also don't always listen to our intuition when we feel that little tug that is telling us we should stop and reconsider our choice. We let others, our culture, our peer group, tell us that to be one of the crowd we have to follow along with society's choices. Most of the time we are making our choices unconsciously. We've programmed ourselves to react like Pavlov's dog to the sound of the dinner bell. Then we wonder why we don't feel happy with the outcome, or find ourselves on the receiving end of a bad feeling or situation. Sometimes someone else is negatively affected by a choice that we have made without considering others in the decision making process.  This is the Law of Karma. For every choice we make, consciously or unconsciously, there is a result.

So, how can we make better choices? By taking the whole process from the unconscious to the conscious realm and becoming a witness to our choices. In this way we empower ourselves to make the best choices we possibly can and harm no one else as well.

The first thing we need to do when making a choice is to step back and actually witness our options. There is always more than one choice in any situation even when you think there is no way out. There is an infinity of choices available to us in every moment and we have only to slow down and be open to them. As you consider a choice, ask yourself: "What are the consequences for myself and others if I choose this action?" If the consequences bring no harm to you or others, move on to the second question: "Will this action bring happiness and/or fulfillment to me and others who may be affected by this choice?" Finally, check in with your body and ask yourself how this choice makes you feel. Do you feel happy, elated, content, peaceful? Or do you feel uncomfortable, unsure, agitated or have that knot-in-the-stomach reaction? At our very core is that place that knows what the right decision is in any given situation. Trust it. It's there for a reason, to guide and protect you.

In the beginning, you may find it difficult to catch yourself every time you make a choice. It took us a long time to allow ourselves to be on automatic pilot and it will take some time to take back control of the decision-making process, but if we make a commitment to train ourselves to be a witness to our choices,our lives will feel more peaceful and in harmony with the people and the world around us. Then we will find that the fruits of our karma are happiness and success.

And so it is.