In his latest book, The Future of God, Deepak Chopra asks, Can God be revived in a skeptical age? What would it take to give people a spiritual life more powerful than anything in the past? He tackles these issues with eloquence and insight and proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore, any person can find the God within that transforms everyday life.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re thrilled to share a series of spiritual practices from The Future of God. We’ll feature one exercise a week from November 11, 2014 to December 23, 2014. Be sure to come back every Tuesday for the next exercise!]
From The Future of God by Deepak Chopra
Below are seven strategies for processing the subtle world. Each one focuses on a different exercise to make you feel comfortable with your inner world. Be easy with each exercise, repeat them over a period of time, and you will witness a genuine and lasting change in your consciousness.
Day 1: Be Generous of Spirit
Day 2: Be Loving and Lovable (below)
Day 3: Let Go
Day 4: Find Your Fulfillment
Day 5: Enable Your Healing
Day 6: Raise Your Expectations (available on December 16, 2014)
Day 7: Let It Be (available on December 23, 2014)
Day 2: BE LOVING AND LOVABLE
Old pathway: Suppressing love
New pathway: Expressing love
Exercise: Today your goal is to turn repression into expression. Inside us all there are feelings and impulses that we resist. We don’t express them even when they are completely positive. It may be healthy or socially prudent not to express how hostile you feel at a given moment, but repressing something as positive and basic as love is self-destructive. Happiness consists of knowing what you need and gaining fulfillment from someone who wants to meet your need.
Since giving is easier than receiving for most people, show some aspect of love today that you would normally repress. This doesn’t mean that you suddenly come out of your shell and say “I love you” – although that is often a very welcome thing to say and hear. Instead, think of your mother or someone else who loved you in a very natural way. What did she do to express love? She looked after your needs, she put you ahead of herself, she didn’t judge or criticize, she helped heal your wounds, and she supported you when you were nervous, afraid, or insecure. Find a way today to enact that role for someone else.
It is impossible to turn “I am not lovable enough” into “I am perfectly lovable” overnight. A process is involved. What made you feel unlovable was a series of messages from other people; these negative messages became incorporated into your self-image. So let’s reverse the process. If others give you positive messages that you are lovable, your self-image will shift in that direction. Bit by bit, you will earn a new self-image.
Be aware of yourself today in terms of love. Watch to see if you push away other people’s positive messages. See if you fall into the groove of acting neutral, indifferent, or careless with others. If so, stop. All retraining requires that you stop doing what doesn’t work. If you simply stop, that is a step forward. But also add to the new pathway. Be someone who is worthy of love. A smile, a kind word, any act of bonding – these small daily things tell other people that you care. Most love isn’t romantic. It’s an expression of a warm heart, and the one thing that every warm-hearted person does is care. Instead of worrying if you will ever find the right one to love you, be the right one. The more you express love, the more your higher brain will automatically react in loving ways.
Excerpted from The Future of God by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2014 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.