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If there’s anything we’ve learned about being human, it’s that none of us are perfect. Every day you wake up and make choices, from the moment you open your eyes until the minute you close them again at the end of the day. The choices you make and the actions you take are based on your past experiences and conditioning, your current level of awareness, and the myriad desires that fill the space between. The actions you take are what’s known as karma.
What kind of karma are you creating through your daily actions?
You’ve probably heard the word karma and may have learned to associate it with bad behavior coming back around to bite you (or someone else) in the back side. In truth, karma is a Sanskrit word that means “action.” The word karma doesn’t imply that the action is good or bad, or right or wrong—it’s simply action. The Universe doesn’t judge action one way or another in the way that you may. Instead, it merely circulates the energy and intention of the action that back around.
Karma is associated with the universal Law of Cause and Effect. In Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, he writes that every action generates a force of energy that returns to it in like kind. Therefore, what you sow is what you will reap. Sometimes immediately, and sometimes it takes time. You may not necessarily be around to witness the effects of cause, but you can rest assured that the effect will come back around because the Universe—and everything in it—operates in a cyclical way.
Your Choices and Actions Create Your Karma
The choices you make are the actions you take and, therefore, the karma you create—and so the cycle continues. Much of your early conditioning and the memories that have been imprinted as a result are what drives you to think, speak, and act in the ways you do today. If you’ve done some personal growth work on yourself, learned the lessons, and integrated the teachings from past experiences, you’ve likely become more aware of your triggers, and hopefully, you have adopted methods for responding differently now than you have in the past. As you grow and evolve as a human being, you experience deeper levels of awareness. When you realize you’re at cause for creating your reality, you can move from being “at effect,” also known as playing the victim, and into a space of awareness that invites you to take responsibility for the choices you make. If you’ve not yet gleaned the wisdom from the not-so-favorable events in your life, chances are you’re still emotionally reactive rather than consciously responsive.
Karma is the one thing in life that is constant. You cannot avoid it because it is the essence of every action you take, including your thoughts and your spoken or written word. You’ve probably said and done things you wish you could take back—the same way you’ve thought, said, and behaved in ways you felt were justified. What’s important to understand is that you cannot hide from what you put out there—in the past, in the now, or in the future. With greater levels of awareness comes the opportunity to choose what kind of karma you are creating every day.
Here are three practices to help you transcend past karma and begin leaving a more positive energetic imprint in the world you live in.
Meditation is the key to all wisdom, knowledge, and truth that you are seeking. When you meditate, you settle into the all that is. You connect up with Source (God, the Universe, Spirit—whatever you most resonate with), and every time you meditate, you are healed on some level.
You are never quite the same person you were before you sat in meditation. With time, you notice the following:
- You become more patient, kinder, and calmer.
- You begin to see your challenges as opportunities for growth.
- You learn to lean into your emotions rather than running away from them.
- You feel less irritable, more accepting, and more willing to take responsibility for the choices you make.
- Your physiology shifts, your lifestyle improves, and you’re more deeply connected with who you are at the core of your being.
In a relatively short amount of time, you become a different kind of person: one who operates from a place of love, compassion, and connection. The actions that stem from this are flavored with the very essence of unity.
2. Let Go of Your Baggage
To grow and evolve as a human being, you need to first be free of old beliefs and behavior patterns before you can begin to take new action. Baggage is anything that prevents you from being who you’re meant to be, from doing what you’re supposed to do, and from having the things you deserve to have. For example, here are some signs of baggage:
- Overwhelming anger that prevents you from trusting people.
- Heightened fear that keeps you from going after your dreams and goals.
- Debilitating sadness that makes it near impossible for you to see beyond the fog that shrouds you.
- Beliefs like, “It’s not safe to be myself,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m invisible,” and “I don’t have what it takes.”
Old baggage perpetuates negative thinking, harmful words (to yourself and others), and an inability to move forward in life. When you free yourself from past baggage, your thoughts, words, and actions generate positivity, reflect kindness, and ignite empowerment. From this space, the karma you create on a daily basis becomes more and more beneficial for you, others, and the world.
3. Take New Action
Once you have become aware of the choices you’re making on a daily basis, and you’ve done work to let go of the baggage from your past, you’re now able to see life through a new lens—one that is full of potential and possibility. The energy from Source is now able to flow freely through you, and you see that you have a choice in how you choose to respond to life’s challenges.
This isn’t to say it becomes easy to refrain from judgment, hold back your words in an argument, or avoid having negative thoughts. It’s about becoming more aware of your responses, creating a pattern interrupt, and making a different choice in the moment. It’s about treating yourself, one another, and the planet with love, respect, and compassion.
The way to redeem yourself for wrongdoings is to change your ways now. You need not fear the energetic return of your past-based karma, but rather work on becoming a better version of yourself so that you can navigate your circumstances with truth, integrity, and grace. Whatever action you are taking is the karma you’re creating. Knowing that everything you think, say, and do will have a ripple effect on the world you live in—and also that whatever you put out is what you will get back—how you show up in life now carries a more purpose-based and intentional awareness.
Discover Deepak Chopra’s simple, personalized style of meditation to expand your awareness (one of the best things you can do to make better choices every day) with our Primordial Sound Meditation Online Course. Learn More.