"The life you know is a thin layer of the events covering a deeper reality. In the deeper reality, you know absolutely who you and what your purpose is. There is no confusion or conflict with any other person on earth. Your purpose in life is to help creation expand and grow. When you look at yourself, you see only love." ~Deepak Chopra
Sunday is the Law of Pure Potentiality according to Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. This law is the heart of all the other laws – if you get this one right, you don’t have to worry about any of the other laws. This law is based on the fact that we are, in our central state, pure consciousness. Our essence is pure consciousness and knowing we are gives us the ability to fulfill our dreams and relationships. All relationships are the relationships with ourselves. The good news is that we are already enlightened and everybody is already perfect, the bad news is that we have forgotten and that is why we live these less than perfect lives.
This is the day I focus on self-referral instead of object referral. Self-referral means that the internal reference point is my own spirit, and not the objects of my experience. In object referral, I am influenced by objects outside of myself, constantly the seeking the approval of others. In object referral, I feel an intense need to control things and have an intense need for external power. When I have a need for approval, a need to control things and a need for external power - my needs are based on fear. But, when I experience self-referral, there is an absence of fear; there is no compulsion to control, and no struggle for approval or external power.
In object referral, the internal reference point is your ego. We must always remember that the ego is not who you really are. The ego is your self image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants to control. And it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear. Whenever you feel powerless or fearful, it’s because you are in a state of object-referral. You define yourself through objects, which include people, situations, titles, possessions, and accomplishments. In life, those objects will change – your roles, jobs and possessions change and therefore it is not wise to define your identity and self-worth on your roles and titles. In object-referral, you feel good when your investments are escalating, your boss gives you a positive review, or your companion is happy with you. But when the market plunges, your boss criticizes you, and your relationship is challenged, you feel insecure and worried.
Self-referral is identifying with your inner self – the unchanging essence of your soul. On Sunday’s you practice this state and have an internal sense of joy regardless of what is happening around you because you aren’t identified with objects or events. In self-referral, you experience your true being, which doesn’t fear any challenge, has respect for all people, and feels beneath no one. For this day you have no compulsion to control, don’t seek approval or external power. When you are true to yourself, you are immune to criticism and your soul recognizes at its deepest level that everyone else is the same Self in different disguises.
I practice this law through meditation, spending more time in nature, practicing non-judgment of my self and others, listening more intently and finding time to be silent. The mantra for The Law of Pure Potentiality is “Om Bhavam Namaha” which translates to “I am absolute existence.” The affirmations for success are:
Do you spend most of your life coming from a place of object-referral or self-referral?
How can you practice the Law of Pure Potentiality in your life?
“Everyone has a purpose in life… a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Saturday is the Law of Dharma according to Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. According to this law you have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it. There is something that you can do better than anyone else – and for every unique talent and unique expression of that talent, there are also unique needs. Dharma is a Sanskrit word for purpose. Our dharma shifts and changes over our lifetime as our awareness changes and it becomes the fabric of our life. When I examine my life over the years, I see that my dharma has changed many times during my life.
To begin to determine your dharma, you should make a list of all your talents and the things you like to do. This list is about what you believe about yourself and not what others like your parents, siblings, spouses and friends think is your purpose. Your dharma doesn’t have to be illustrious like Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Theresa. You can be a great cook, listener, musician, caregiver, teacher, gardener, artist, comedian, mechanic, photographer, parent, or whatever you love to do. Ask yourself. “What to you do where I lose track of time and am in the flow?” and this is probably your dharma. When I paint or make a lesson plan, I get lost in the creative endeavor and when I look at the time I realize that hours have gone by on the clock. Currently, my dharma is being an artist and meditation instructor. I also think that part of my dharma is to spread happiness, so I try to bring a smile to as many people as I can, even those I don’t know, when I am out in the world.
The key thing about expressing your dharma is that your ego is not involved. Asking “What’s in it for me” is the internal dialogue of the ego. Asking, “How can I help” is that internal dialogue of the spirit. In shifting your internal dialogue from what’s in it for me to how can I help you automatically go beyond the ego into the domain of your spirit.
When you are in your dharma, your actions are spontaneously right and everything just flows; it is simple and easy and effortless. You start to automatically know what to do in any situation.
The mantra for The Law of Dharma is “Om Varunam Namaha” which translates to “My life is in harmony with cosmic law.” The affirmations for success are:
What is your dharma?
How do you express your unique talents and serve others?
“I want to sing like the birds, not worrying about who listens or what they think.” ~ Rumi
Friday is my favorite of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – The Law of Detachment. It builds upon Thursday’s law of setting intentions; you set your intentions, but you detach from the outcome of how they come to fruition. Detachment is not apathy; it is a state of non-attachment. The goal is to live your life with passion, but don’t be passionate about the outcome. If you are attached to your desire, then you limit yourself. Have a desire and then release it to the Universe. I have found that when I release my intentions and desires to the Universe, the outcomes are far superior to what I imagined. When you detach, you are open to the infinite possibilities of life. When you relinquish your attachment to the known, you will experience the fun of life– the magic, the celebration, and the adventure.
Attachment is based on fear and insecurity and we experience this when we worry. Brene Brown shares, “the problem is, worrying about things that haven't happened doesn't protect us from pain. Ask anyone who has experienced a tragedy; they'll tell you there is no way to prepare.” Practicing the Law of Detachment has really helped me worry less and if I catch myself worrying, I stop and detach and tell myself that I will deal with the situation if it actually arises.
I saw how far I have come with detachment a few weeks ago. I went to a show and took a different purse. The next morning I got up to go to yoga and when I went to move my wallet back to my everyday purse it was not there. The old me (prior to a daily meditation practice and following these laws) would have freaked out and I would not have gone to yoga class. I did a quick check on my credit cards and there were no new purchases and I put a hold on my credit cards. I called and left a message at the restaurant. The restaurant didn’t open until 11:00 AM and Centennial Hall didn’t open until 10:00 AM. So, I could have stayed home for the next few hours and worried about what might happen. I have had my wallet stolen from my office at NAU, from my shopping cart and from the Cancun airport when the security machines were down. Therefore, I know the realities of having my wallet stolen, but I stopped the worrying in my mind and said to myself, “okay, if my wallet actually was stolen, then I will begin the process of canceling cards, getting a new license etc. when I know for certain this has happened.” Having done all I could at the present time, I went to yoga class. During class, I really worked on living in the present moment and focusing on the mind-body connection. Sure, thoughts about the wallet popped into my head from time to time, but when they did, I took a breath and came back to the present moment and said “nothing bad is happening in this moment.” After yoga, I went grocery shopping and while there my bank called. My first thought was that they were calling to say that there was unusual activity on my accounts (okay so I still need more practice on positive thinking and not catastrophizing), only to have the bank representative tell me the restaurant had found my wallet and I could pick it up at 11:00. Detaching from worrying really helped me enjoy my morning yoga workout and accomplish tasks before I went and picked up my wallet. It was a happy ending and because I detached I didn't spend hours worrying for no reason. Friday is a great day to let go of worrying about things that might happen or what others think.
The mantra for the Law of Intention and Desire is “Om Anandham Namaha” which translates to “My actions are blissfully free from attachment to outcome.” The affirmations for success are:
How can you detach from worrying?
How can you practice the Law of Detachment when you set intentions?
“Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment… intention and desire in the field of pure potentiality has infinite organizing power. And when we introduce an intention in the fertile ground of pure potentiality, we put this infinite organizing power to work for us.” Deepak Chopra
Thursday is the Law of Intention and Desire according to Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I focus on my intentions and desires every day prior to meditation, but on Thursday, I spend more focused time on my intentions and desires and I write them down. It is important to set intentions so we know who, how and what to spend our time and energy on in life. When I don’t have clear intentions, I am like a hamster running on the treadmill of life and getting nowhere fast. When we bring our attention to our intentions and desires, the energy flows and we are more at peace and consciously making decisions on what to say yes and no to in life.
Attention brings us in to the present moment where we plant the seed for future transformation. Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life. Whatever you take your attention away from will wither, disintegrate and disappear. It is important to acknowledge what is no longer serving you and let that go and don't give it any more attention. On Thursday we write our intentions and desires down. We look at the big picture and list the things we want materially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Make a list of your desires and review it regularly. Your list will change as you grow and evolve – that is why we do it every week.
There are things that you can do to strengthen your intention statements and make them more effective. Write them as if they have already happened and in a positive format, don’t use words like NO or NOT if you can avoid it. For some reason, the unconscious mind, which holds the mind-body connection and the power of manifestation doesn’t hear these negative words. Examples of positive statements would be “I am healthy.” “I am strong.” “I am kind and compassionate.” Some examples of intentions you might want to rephrase would be “I do not have allergies” – you could rephrase it to state, “I breathe clearly.” You could rephrase “I will be pain free” to “I am healthy.”
Intention is the real power behind desire. Intent alone is very powerful, because intent is desire without attachment to the outcome. Desire alone is week, because desire in most people is attention with attachment – you have a desire and you want to be in control of how it happens. One of the most powerful lessons that I have learned is to set my intentions, but detach from the outcome and how they come to fruition. Many times the Universe has a much better plan and the outcome far exceeds my expectation.
The mantra for the Law of Intention and Desire is “Om Ritam Namaha” which translates to “My intentions and desires are supported by cosmic intelligence.” The affirmations for success are:
Do you set your intentions and desires?
Do you detach from how your intentions and desires are achieved?
“Nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease… with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.” ~ Deepak Chopra
We practice the Law of Least Effort on Wednesdays. It is one of everyone’s favorite laws from the book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Deepak tells us, “Do less, accomplish more, do nothing and accomplish everything.” This is what happens when we meditate. When we meditate we do less. We can’t meditate effectively if we are putting a lot of effort into it. Meditation is the greatest tool we have to be effortless.
We have been conditioned all of our life to put as much effort into everything that we do to be successful. We hear the declarations of “No pain, No Gain.” However, through a yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice, I have learned that the complete opposite is true. I achieve so much more when I practice the yoga positions (asanas) by listening to my body and moving with strength, ease and grace. I have a more meaningful day when I go with the flow and don’t resist what is happening and practice acceptance.
This law reminds us to look at nature – nature doesn’t try, the sun doesn't try to shine, it shines and the flowers don’t try to bloom, they bloom – it is their intrinsic nature – it happens spontaneously. Just like your hair grows without you trying make it grow. Today is the day to enjoy the effortlessness flow of life. A life aligned with the laws of nature is not only easier; it brings love, creativity, and bliss into the forefront.
Wednesday is the day I pull back - it is the pattern interrupt day. I accept the moment as it is and surrender. On Wednesdays I don’t struggle - it is the day to I give myself a break and let go of negative self-talk. I don't impose my will on others. I don't prove myself right, defend my position, or assert myself on Wednesdays. I let go of the ego’s need to be right.
The mantra for the Law of Least Effort is “Om Daksham Namah” which translates to “My actions achieve maximal benefit with minimal effort .” The affirmations for success are:
Do you ever practice acceptance for the things that happen in life?
How can you practice the Law of Least Effort on Wednesdays?
“Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind… what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Tuesday is the day that I focus on taking responsibility for my actions. This is known as the Law of Responsibility – even if our choices are not conscious. On this day I realize that my actions have consequences, so I pay attention to what I eat, what I think, what I say, what I do, and what I don’t do. I accept responsibility for my actions. I understand that actions have consequences. So I have an awareness of what I am doing. The best way to maximize the Law of Karma is to become consciously aware of the choices we make in every moment. We make so many more choices each day than we realize - we just need to pay attention.
In the book, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra gives the example that if he insulted you, you could be offended and if he complimented you, you could be flattered. But each of those is a choice. The ego is involved. You want to get to a place where you are not dependent on what others think for your sense of self. He tells us that if someone insults us, it is usually more about them than us. So, on Tuesdays I really pay attention to my ego and not let it run the show and have anything to do with my sense of self. And the great thing is that after practicing this on Tuesdays for so long, it has transferred to other days of the week as well.
Any challenging situation gives you two choices. You can see the situation as a problem and waste your life complaining about it, or you can recognize that it happened and ask, “How can I learn and grow from this?” If you see something as a problem, you can get drawn into lower energy, which recreates the same Karmic energy, and you make no progress. If we look at every situation as a problem and ask, “why is this happening to poor me? Then we have released the karma, but we are just recreating that karma over and over again and we are not making any progress. I have learned that the same thing keeps happening over and over until I learn the lesson. Again, after practicing this for years, when ever something I would, in the past, have typically labeled as “bad” happens, I stop and ask “what am I supposed to learn from this?” and proceed.
The mantra for the Law of Karma is “Om Kriyam Namaha” which translates to “ My actions are aligned with cosmic law.” The affirmations for success are:
On Tuesdays I make conscious choices – I look at the consequences and see how it will impact me and the other people involved.
Do you make conscious choices?
Do you take responsibility for your actions?
How do you deal with challenging situations?
“Giving engenders receiving, and receiving engenders giving. Reciprocal action keeps the flow of love alive. For so many of us, however, learning to give is difficult.” ~Deepak Chopra
According to Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the law for Monday is the Law of Giving and Receiving. This law is all about flow. One of the key lessons that I learned about this law is that it is just as important to give as it is to receive. I was very good at giving, but not always good at receiving. When someone gives you something, even something as simple as a compliment and you don't accept it, you are stopping the flow of energy. I know if someone told me I did a good job or they liked my outfit, I would minimize their compliment and say “oh it was nothing” or “this thing, I got it on sale at Kohls.” I have learned that they were offering me a gift and if I minimized it or denied it then it was as if I was saying they were wrong. After learning the importance of accepting a compliment and gifts, it was difficult for me to change that pattern. So, in the beginning, I would just say “thank you” and now that I understand this law, I fully accept their love and appreciation.
Monday is a great day to focus on gratitude. Start every Monday with gratitude and practice gratitude throughout the day, and at the end of the day with gratitude. The more time you spend being grateful, the more you gratitude you will find in your life. See the abundance in everything and be grateful, thank your body for all it does, thank your friends, thank nature and thank the universe. There is so much to be thankful for in life.
You might think that the Law of Giving and Receiving means that Monday will be an expensive day if you have to buy a lot of gifts, but, that is not the case. On Monday’s you can express appreciation, compliment others, send affection, give hugs (this is the true meaning of this law, for when you give a hug, you will also be receiving a hug –so give a lot of hugs on Monday), provide loving touch, truly listen to someone, shower the world with smiles, send gratitude emails, phone calls, or texts, offer prayers to those in need, find your passion and be of service to others, and be open to gifts from others. Do remember that the intention behind giving is to always bring happiness, otherwise it is not true.
The mantra for the Law of Giving and Receiving is “Om Vardhanam Namaha” which translates to “ I nourish the universe and the universe nourishes me.” The affirmations for success are:
Do you have more difficulty giving or receiving? Which do you prefer?
How can you practice the Law of Giving and Receiving on Monday’s?
“True success is ... the experience of the miraculous. It is the unfolding of the divinity within us.” ~Deepak Chopra
One of the teachings from the Chopra Center that has positively impacted my life is the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
Dr. Deepak Chopra wrote the book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams over 20 years ago, but the laws are just as pertinent now as they were when he wrote them. Deepak’s teachings are refined into seven simple, yet powerful, principles based on nature that can be implemented into your life with ease. When I learn something new, I usually want to try and implement everything in my life at once and it becomes overwhelming and then I lose focus. What I love about the Seven Spiritual Laws is that each day has a focus. For example, Monday is the Law of Giving and Receiving. So, on Monday’s I focus my attention on giving and receiving in all possible ways, but on Tuesday, my focus moves to The Law of Karma or cause and effect. Having practiced the laws for years now, there is a flow of the laws between all of the days, but having a focus on each day reminds me of the importance of each law. My favorite laws are The Law of Least Effort and the Law of Detachment because they have helped me to realize that I achieve the most with the least amount of effort and that I can set my intentions, but I need to detach from how they are achieved.
For the next seven weeks, I will share about each of the spiritual laws and my thoughts, feelings and experiences about them. I hope that you can begin or continue to implement these laws into your life. To give you a preview, here are the laws:
Prior to beginning this journey, there are several questions you should answer for yourself:
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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