Step two: Evaluate why he/she/it is creating this situation
A good way to do this is to become the person involved. Assume that they are not intentionally creating the situation. While being the person, identify the problem that underlies the current situation or symptoms. My boss easily gets irritated in meetings and I realize that he's under much pressure which has nothing to do with us or our job performance.
Be sure to identify other symptoms or behaviors which stem from this problem. As best you can, document the problem as you now see it.
Step three: Identify why the problem exists.
A simple way to do this is by asking the question: Why does this problem exist? Now, ask Why again to this answer and again at least three to five times until you can identify and document the driving influences which create the existing problem. This identifies the underlying causes of the current problem which creates the current situation.
In our example, this could be as simple as my boss was hired to improve our department's performance and little has changed yet. The cause could be that he cannot produce the changes himself, but needs help. For the holiday season cold, it can be that our partner’s parents continue to treat she/he like an adolescent, nagging and criticizing much of his/her life.
Step four: Define a resolution to the problem and what you can do to change the underlying causes.
This is the tough part. It may be fairly easy to identify a way to solve the problem. So, do so and gain agreement from those involved on how to move forward. But the key here is to identify what changes you can make in yourself or in the situation that will remove or transform the underlying causes.
In our examples, this could be to define what you can do to improve your job performance while providing suggestions to your boss on how to improve the overall department’s performance and job results. Similarly, you can define how you can make the holiday season more joyful and loving for your partner while also doing what you can to help validate your partner’s self-esteem and value in your relationship. You could also suggest ways in which you both can lovingly confront the parents regarding their continuing behavior based on unfulfilled past expectations.
Getting to the root causes and driving influences of our life difficulties, especially those within us, is a powerful way to bring spiritual transformation in our life. It does require looking deeply at ourselves and others with the willingness to make changes in how we live and relate.
4th Spiritualizing Habit:
Solve Problems While Changing Causes
by Jef Bartow
With our first three spiritualizing habits, we are now able to work smarter and more effectively. In addition, we have learned how to stop the mind chatter and become more aware of our present psychic state and issues that tend to dominate our normal thinking and feeling. By becoming Mindful, we have also created a substantial amount of time and focus to deal with our issues, environment and growth needs.
Through our formal education process, everyone learns how to identify a problem and take simple steps to solve it. Much of the time, this is recognizing a symptom of a problem and taking steps to eliminate the symptom. We have a cold, so we take some medicine to get rid of the symptoms. Unfortunately, unless we determine why we have the cold, we will continue to get periodically sick with similar or slightly different symptoms and never get to the root of our sicknesses. Spiritually, 90% of all sickness is not physically based, but rooted in deeper problems throughout our Personality.
Our fourth spiritualizing habit is a way of getting to the real problems and transforming the influences which put them in our lives. First, we need to realize that any problem has three levels. The first level is the symptoms that we observe. Underlying or behind these symptoms is the problem which creates the various symptoms we experience.
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Thirdly, behind our problems are the causes which create the problems in the first place. If we do not change or transform the causes in our life, we may solve problems and illuminate symptoms for today, but they will return in one form or another again and again.
Let's look at a couple of examples to better understand this three level process. Through our mindfulness, we can identify recurring issues that seem to come up over and over again in our relationships. A simple one is that of arguing over money or family. Our partner tends to be overly concerned about money. This is the symptom. An underlying problem of this worry is that we have not worked out and stuck to a monetary budget and basis to use our money wisely. The cause or underlining why of this problem can easily be how our parents dealt with money while we were growing up and conditioned our orientation to money.
Spiritual transformation is about using the symptoms or circumstances of our life to identify underlying problems which we can solve. Behind these problems are our conditioned dynamics and unresolved issues within our Personality and even soul. So simply, we need to focus our mindfulness on solving our problems while remembering that we need to get to the causes and eliminate them within our life. So let's learn how to do this with a specific technique.
Step one: Identify what I think the problem is?
Our first step in this transformative technique is to identify and describe the current situation. A key part of this is to use our mindfulness to identify and express our feelings that are triggered by this symptomatic situation. But remember, instead of expressing the feelings at someone, we need to release our feelings realizing we've only begun our process of transformation.