Q: What is the key to breaking bad habits?

A: It depends upon what habit you’re trying to break.  If it’s an addiction, like smoking, drinking, overeating, shopping, it just about always has a nutritional deficiency/imbalance associated with it. Very often you’ll see hypoglycemia, adrenal/thyroid weaknesses, and serotonin deficiencies.  In order to deal with the addiction, these must be looked at.

When looking at any bad habit, one must also look at what payoff one thinks they get from the habit, which could take the form of attention, adrenaline rush, a temporary stress relief, etc.  Then one could imagine what feelings would come up if one did not partake in the bad habit.  What feelings does one not want to face?  These feelings must be allowed to be present fully, to be watched by the watcher, in order for the bad habit to be eventually broken.  In time, all bad feelings run their course if watched and not interacted with.

As a reminder, bad habits are often a learned behavior within the brain.  To break them also inhibits the release of certain feel-good neurotransmitters.  Therefore, when breaking a bad habit, one goes through a sort of neurotransmitter withdrawal.  This withdrawal response becomes weaker and weaker every time you do not partake in the particular habit.  In other words, with time, faith, and perseverance, bad habits may be broken.

And if you fall off the horse in breaking your bad habit, just get back on!  Berating yourself keeps the issue at arm’s length, keeping it in place.  Accepting your temporary failure humbles you.  It both breaks down your ego and allows the habit to be dealt with again in a loving, accepting manner.

Q: Is there a value to our vocations other than the obvious worldly things they provide?  If one is restless in his vocation, is it worth pursuing another vocation?

A: Above all else, it’s most important what your intent is at any job you have or take.  This is what really matters.  That being said, jobs that give you the opportunity to serve mankind, animals, or the environment offer a better opportunity to open the heart, better than jobs that just require you to put in your work and get a paycheck.

What you do in life is always a reflection of your intent, your true intent, and who you are, who you identify yourself to be.

When one is restless in their vocation, it could be the possibility that the vocation no longer represents who one really is.  This will come across as a general uneasiness, or anxiety to the ego.

It could also, however, be a natural state of the ego, that is, the ego is marked by fear, continual action, seeking, problem finding and solving, and so on.  Sometimes it will find problems in a job when there is no problem.  The ego is just projecting its own uneasiness that it feels at all times onto a job that there is no problem with.  This may be especially the case with jobs that are relatively peaceful and do not require a lot of tasks at once.  This lack of continual action is fear inducing to the ego.

So the question becomes, if one is restless in their vocation, is it just normal ego consciousness? Or is it a sign that one’s soul is ready to move on to something more fitting to it?

Only consciousness can answer this, this is not a decision for the ego to make.  Take a step back into witness consciousness, and ask for your answer.  And be totally open to whatever answer comes.

When one is looking to move from one vocation to another, use the same process: take a step back and ask what vocation would better suit one’s life purpose. Be patient, and wait for the answer, or answers, to come.

Q: How does one make quick and effective decisions?

A: The best way is to look at a situation, look at what actions may be taken, and weigh the pros and cons of all of the outcomes and actions.  Then be still, request an answer to your question, and it will come.

At first, this process takes time, patience and practice, but it becomes quicker and quicker over time. One also has to realize that questions rarely have yes/no answers, there is also the “it’s unclear right now,” and “now is not the right time to make a decision on this,” and “you really don’t need to make a decision at all,” and so on.

Since the ego deals in dualities, it expects a clear-cut yes or no answer, which is rarely the case.  In most cases, the ego demands a yes or no answer.  This is it acting out of its child persona. That’s also the reason why it seems to get stuck pondering a question; it doesn’t have enough information to make a yes or no decision, which makes it spin in circles.  It is also not typical for an ego to be patient and still, that is a mark of the witness consciousness.

So as you can see, decision making is very hard for the ego. It’s best to observe the question and all of the parameters surrounding it, and then let a decision come. The right decision is usually the most obvious one (even if we don’t want to admit it).

Above all else, when asking a question, one must be patient and wait for an answer, hurrying and impatience is a mark of the ego, which cannot make good decisions.  Good decisions are made for the ego, come to the ego from consciousness.  The ego then tries to take ownership of the decision-making process, inflating itself, which then sets it up for more pain and disappointment in the future, when the next decision has to be made and it can’t make it again.

Q: What is “manifestation”?

A: Manifestation is the ego’s word for recognizing what is already happening in the flow of life, and then trying to take ownership for it happening.

The true secret to “manifesting” is to step back into witness consciousness and see what is happening.  This is what people call being “psychic”.  A psychic sees what is happening, and what is most likely to happen in the near or distant future by observing the currents in life that are already happening, taking into account that things are interdependent on each other, and life tends to unfold in a cause and effect straight line appearance (more or less).

One thing leads to another, to another, and so on.  If one is more identified with the witness, who just watches things unfold, one gets totally into life, and the person seems to be manifesting things like crazy because what one wants and what is happening are one and the same.

In contrast, the ego is totally out of the flow of life, so to speak, and wants what it wants, and is in a way opposing life, or God, so to speak.  Therefore, it has trouble manifesting. If you want to manifest better, take a step back, look at what is happening, and be impartial.  You’ll realize that what you want is what is happening, and is what is manifesting.

Q: Why do I feel so helpless?

A: When we look at the nature of the ego, we see that it is always in motion, trying to fix problems that it perceives.  When we feel helpless, we feel that way because we can’t “fix” the supposed problem.

The way out of this is to step back and observe.  See what you can do right now in this moment, and do it.  Leave the uncontrollable variables up to God, the universe, whatever you want to call it.  Helplessness, which is a form of fear, is present because we lack trust in the process — the perfection — of our life unfolding.

In any situation, there are things we can, and things we can’t, control.  Fear and helplessness is the ego’s attempt to usurp God in his control of the situation.  It is basically a lack of trust and faith.  Replace fear and helplessness with trust in God’s perfection and you’ll be at peace.

Another way of looking at it is to realize that the ego thinks it exists, when really it is just a collection of thoughts, ideas, prejudices, judgments, and so on.  Really, it has no power; the real power comes from consciousness.  When one feels helpless, it is in touch with its own fear of non-existence.

The way out of this is to step back, observe the ego and its true nature, and have faith in God and the process of consciousness unfolding.

Q: What is the value of prayer?

A: Prayer sets intention.  It sets up the m-field to help you recognize, choose, and manifest things that go along harmoniously with that intention.

By the way, if you ask for something in your prayers, what you’re really saying is that you don’t have something, and you’ll manifest more of a want for that thing rather than the getting.  For example, if you say “God, please give me money, I want more money,” you’ll experience the experience of wanting more money, but not necessarily getting it.

On the other hand, if you say “I intend to live my life in abundance,” what you’re really saying is that you want to share your abundance with the world, which then recognizes this condition, and reflects if back on you. Therefore, everyone is enlisted in helping you live your life in abundance, since you are asking and intending to already be a blessing to them.

As an added benefit, in this case, even if you don’t experience a great deal of financial abundance, you will experience the experience of abundance of love, which is, in and of itself, its own reward.

The most powerful prayers are prayers that you use to set up the intention of serving and loving God and others, rather than asking God and others to serve you.  When you ask to serve God and others, you align yourself with God, love, and witness conscious, not the ego.

When you’re asking God for things, you are aligning yourself with your egoic consciousness rather than your higher self.  Everything in egoic consciousness eventually leads to pain, in some way or another.

So ask to give, rather than to get, and you’ll be happy.  The trick is to really mean it, recognize, and let go of your wants of the ego, and live life persistently serving.  Then you’ll be happy.

Q: What is my obligation to my family, friends, coworkers, and such?

A: You don’t really have “obligations” to them. All relationships are lived through on this earth so that we may better experience what we want to experience here on earth.  In other words, if you want to learn about love, then we have loving relationships.  If we want to learn about fear, then fear is a predominating factor in our relationships.  We use relationships to learn about ourselves, and express what we want to express.

That being said, if you say that you’re committed to doing XYZ, and if you welch on your agreement, there are psychic/karmic repercussions.  These repercussions are different in every single circumstance, and are not meant to be looked at as punishment, retribution, or God’s vengeance.  It’s just that we live in a world of duality, and every action has a reaction.

For instance, if you treat the people around you with love and respect, they will tend to treat you back with love and respect, even if they don’t show it all the time. And if they don’t show it, it’s because they are living out of their egoic consciousness, with some kind of attachment or aversion that prevents them from being loving.  We’re all like this.

Q: OK, so what’s the deal with past lives?  Do we have them?  How many? Do they matter?  What do I do with them?  Do I have to know about them to move on?

A: Yes, there is such a thing as past lives.  Also, when looking at “lives,” it’s important to see that the divine does not see lives in the same way that ego does.  What I mean by that, is that ego consciousness defines as a life as the time of one incarnation on this earth.  The divine, or enlightened beings, or consciousness, define a life as more of a unit of time in which one lesson, or life, is lived.

For instance, you’ve had two lives during the time that you’ve been on this earth during this incarnation.  There was before your wife died, then after, when your perspective of ‘what is life for’ drastically changed.  You had a spiritual awakening.  This happens to many people in many different ways.

So, different souls have many incarnations, and many lives.  A soul has hundreds, or even thousands of incarnations and lives.  In each life, there is a lesson, or more than one major lesson to be learned.  Each incarnation is defined as the length of time one body spends upon the earth.  So, one life may span more than one incarnation, or many incarnations, just as one incarnation may have one living out one or more lives.

Past life recall may help an ego gain understanding of the conditions one is living through, giving one clarity.  Clarity eases emotional pain and suffering, and may help quicken the rate at which one learns the lessons one wants to learn.  So, yes, it may be helpful.  But, just like many things the egoic personality gets involved with, it tends to go overboard.  It obsesses on knowing about past lives, fantasizes about them, not concentration on living the life of now, which is why one is alive in the first place!  So in order to be help rather than a distraction, use past life recall to help bring clarity to your understanding of an issue if you feel stuck, but focus on the lessons of learning your life practicing present mind consciousness. This will give you the best of both worlds, literally.

To the last part of your question, no, you do not have to know your past lives.  The most important thing in learning the lessons you want to learn is to live life as consciously and as non-judgmentally as possible, practicing witness consciousness diligently, and faithfully.  You only have to live your life consciously in order to learn the lessons you want to learn.  The more intent you put — or is put on — by consciousness itself on consciousness, the quicker you will learn, and probably the less pain you will endure.

To boil it down further, past lives only matter as much as how much you still have to learn from them, and what attachments your ego still has to the way of thinking that caused the problem in the past life.  What matters is the egoic attachments you still have to your past lives.

Q: Are my pursuits in trying to start my own business another attempt at my ego to survive and something I should surrender now, or are these pursuits necessary for me to continue in order to live a more spiritual life?

A: You already know the answer to your question; the ego is always trying to survive, that it’ll use any chance it gets.  But that it doesn’t matter near as much what you do, but rather, where your consciousness is concentrated.  Is it totally identified with your persona and its actions? Or is it gradually becoming more identified with the awareness that it is?  Events come and go, life flows through you. What matters is what you identify with.  This is the choice that we make in every second.

Q: How do I end the narrative of me, me, me?

A: The answer to this question is actually very simple — and easy — but takes time, dedication, and patience, like all things do.  One has to realize that the more emphasis one puts on the me, the me’s problems, its conquests, and its stories, the more the story of the me will grow.  The more one watches the me, without getting emotionally involved with the me, the more the me will unravel before its eyes.

The real question is, ‘how do I cultivate witness consciousness?’  The answer is also simple and straight forward, but once again requires time, dedication, practice, and faith.

Begin by watching how you go about your day.  What you do, what you think, what you say, how you feel, how you react to other people, to events in your life, and so on. Do this day in, day out.  Before you know it, you will realize that you are becoming more and more identified with that which is watching than that which is being watched.  Not only are you participating in your life, but you are also watching unidentified to what is going on.  This shift is subtle, but important.  The more dedication to it you give, the more complete it becomes.