Is Life Just What Happens to us? – Food Pharmacy

Camilla Ahlqvist

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Your External Reality is a Reflection of Your Internal Reality

We are apt to believe that life just happens to us; that the events and moments that unfold as we go through our daily lives are things we react to and manage. Something happens at our job that makes us feel like we’ve succeeded (happiness), or someone we esteem says something critical about our performance (anxiety), or we expect something to come through and it doesn’t (disappointment).  All of these moments are things we navigate in our daily lives and we may manage them according to what we’ve been ‘modeled’ as the appropriate way to behave and how to think. 

This imprinting starts from the moment we are born and continues to evolve throughout our lives. We pick this up from our parents, our friends, our peers and culture at large, who have all played their part in teaching us who we are and what we believe.  This inner-reality shapes how we play out our lives through the choices we make and how we structure our daily selves and the many roles (mother/father, sister/brother, professional/personal, etc) we play. Neurologically, the brain likes to send signals via the path of least resistance. The signals for our physical and emotional reactions travel down these well-worn neural pathways. This is why habits are so difficult to break, and why we find ourselves repeating a lot of patterns of thought and belief. Our brain performs on auto-pilot and we are along for the ride. 

What we don’t get taught usually is that all the events and things that are unfolding around us are just things that happen: we apply meaning to them, we create the dramas and scenarios around them, and we experience them in a certain way – all based on our inner-reality. Our external reality is just a reflection of that inner-reality. This means that we have the power to curate our experience and we have the ability to cultivate a practice that brings our daily experience into a more profound realm than the mundane. 

We can devise new neural pathways for new ways of being, but it takes more energy and a consistent practice to stick with a new practice; this is neuroplasticity in action in our brains. We can create the practices and rituals in our life that allow us to be more connected to the greater parts of ourselves, the part that exhibits more patience and passion, desire and creativity, calm and bliss. For me, this means full embodiment, which I attain through physical practice, movement, meditation and creativity. Each of these practices help create new neural pathways, new habits and new ways of experiencing my life. I realize fully that I can craft my world, regardless of the circumstances of my life. Things will happen that will rock my world, that will make me emotional, that will cause reactions, but I understand deeply that how I choose to experience these moments and how I choose to handle them, rests solely within my power. 

As this year comes to a close, December beckons us to turn inwards, to explore the facets of our inner-makings to see what parts we want to dispel, to fully see what parts are more habit than our fully-realized Selves. This time of reflection allows us to realize what we want to shed in order to create space for new openings. We have the power and ability to create a more beautiful, profound, charged daily experience for ourselves.  I hope you will try on a new practice in 2021 that feeds and fuels you to design your most fulfilling reality. One that is based on your authentic self – the you that you have always envisioned yourself to be. And if you need a little help from me, I am here for you! 

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.
Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash.



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