By Natalie Rivera
Our past experiences—from birth through yesterday—exist on another planet. Let’s call it Yesterday. Today, and every day, we begin life on a totally new planet called Today. The only aspects of Yesterday that exist on Today are a blueprint, or a grid structure, which contains the “isness” of now. For instance, when I awoke this morning some things simply “were.” I awoke in a house with some things: a cat, furniture, a car. My husband was next to me. There was food in my refrigerator. I had a bank account with money in it. I was in Clearwater, Florida. That is basically it—that’s the “grid”—a framework of my new life on Today.
By default, we humans are accustomed to immediately filling in our grids and blueprints with our past. The beliefs we hold about our commitments, obligations, plans, and agreements from Yesterday begin to fill in the empty spaces. Then beliefs about what we have to do today, who we must be, and those with whom we must spend our day come along too. We fill in the details with our identity: who we tell ourselves we are based on the story we tell about our past. We bring in our habits, our routines, our patterns of behavior and our habitual thoughts. All of these beliefs about our story are programmed into our subconscious mind. They are automatic and usually exist beneath our conscious awareness.
We unknowingly bring into Today all the limitations of Yesterday.
We do this because we believe we ARE our story. We believe our past defines our now and our future. We believe that the meaning of life exists in our story. We believe our past created our now—made us who we are. This is true to some degree; our past experiences and beliefs DID get us to where we are and are the foundation that created our current grid/blueprint. But, the story is ultimately only a story—one that can be rewritten—and who we are is so much greater than that.
We stand on the platform created in Yesterday.
But we all too often bring much more than the platform. We bring our agreements because we believe we have to. We bring our habits because they feel stuck to us. We bring our limitations because they’re part of our story. We bring our story because we believe it is who we are.
And so every day we wake up in our new Today, and we immediately fill it in with Yesterday’s details. And Yesterday contained residual details built up over a lifetime of Yesterdays…and so continues the march into our Tomorrow, a land we never reach—a series of yet-to-come Todays that quickly fade into Yesterdays, yet always look oddly familiar.
We awake where we ARE, among the stuff that IS in our vicinity, with the people who ARE in our proximity. We have money in our bank accounts and food in our fridge—or not. However, this is not the continuation of Yesterday. This is Today. This is our eternal launching point.
What we do with the stuff is up to us. Even the “isness” of our blueprint can quickly change when we recognize we have a choice what to do with what IS. From where we ARE, we have choice regarding where we go. We have choice around what to do with what we HAVE—how to spend our money, what to take with us or leave behind, whom to step forward with and whom to walk away from.
Only our stories of Yesterday keep us from choosing what to do differently with our NOW.
Of course, much of Yesterday may be wanted and desired in Today, and so in most cases we would chose to bring our loved ones (most of them), perhaps a beloved career (often not), a loveable pet, a few cherished items, and maybe a few dreams hatched in Yesterdays past. But, unfortunately we bring with us so much more because we feel we don’t have a choice. We don’t realize that our beliefs, such as:
“I have to”
“it’s what’s right”
“because I always did”
“because X happened to me”
“people will think”
“it made me who I am”
“I owe it to them”
“it’s what I know”
“It’s who I am”
… are all only beliefs, memories, thoughts—mind stuff. They’re not real. They’re just a habituated pattern in our subconscious. They aren’t part of the grid. You bring them with you only if you chose to, and most people chose to by default.
Most people also bring with them their problems, struggles, conflicts, and dysfunctions. They fill in their blueprint with their unfulfilling careers and toxic relationships. They string along their empty pastimes—the meaningless activities and addictions they use to avoid having to acknowledge the truth that they’ve recreated an unsatisfying Yesterday in their Today. Drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, over-eating, TV, Facebook, gossiping, and other avoidance mechanisms are rampant in a world of people who default to Yesterday. They cannot see how to create a new Today—one of hope and joy and the exhilaration of knowing we create our individual World—we have a choice.
Some people have a more structured blueprint than others. Their grid is more rigid and inflexible. Their Yesterdays were so filled with limitations and poor decisions and conflicts and heartaches, which were automatically carried forward into Today after Today after Today, because they didn’t know they could stop. Their troubled story is who they are—or so they think. The grid strengthened over time, became more persistent, solidified obstacles and made limitations feel more real.
But even within the most rigid and unbending framework their lies vast amounts of empty space.
We each have the freedom to fill in the details with something NEW—new beliefs, new choices, new dreams, new agreements and new commitments. No matter your grid, in order to choose new features in Today, you must decide NOT to fill it all in with Yesterday’s news. Every day you launch from where you are, but you have the choice to tell a new story. At first, it may be hard to step into the unknown. Your old story may have momentum. You may be attached to it—even the unwanted parts—because you still think it’s who you are. And, so you’ll bring it with you again and again. But as you become more and more aware of your CHOICE, every day you’ll leave behind more of what is no longer serving you.
You’ll learn to discern what beliefs and agreements you wish to carry forward and which have become too weighted down with obligation and old pain. Each Today will feel lighter and brighter than the last. One day you may even wake up and decide to do something completely different! You could eat your food differently, spend our money differently, look at your grid and where you can go from here and make a plan you’ve never made. You can make a choice for your future that for once isn’t limited by your story of Yesterday—your obligations, your pain, your fears. You will step forward knowing your Yesterdays do not define you.
Your true story is one of who you are NOW and what you chose to do with where you are and what you have.
Today is a world of possibility. It’s up to you to fill in the details however you wish. The decisions you make now will alter the grid for your Today tomorrow. No matter where you find yourself Today, with a rigid grid or a flexible one, small, daily choices to change lead to a future of infinite possibilities.
But it’s even better than that—there’s more—a third planet called Tomorrow. To be continued…(click here to read part 2)
Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit www.ignitelife.me.