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FEATURE - December 2016 - Kansas City
Using the Bagua Map to Take a Complete Inventory
by Aneta Baranek
Often times, we get caught up in the web of our daily tasks and find ourselves literally and figuratively running on auto-pilot. Have you ever had a moment of realization of stopping and asking yourself, “How did I get here?” when marking off another birthday in the calendar? We often get swept away by the current of our lives and end up blaming the lack of time. We may drift through our lives for months or years until a profound event wakes us up and we start looking around for our purpose in life.
Instead of waiting for an external stimulus, it is more beneficial to deliberately seek deeper meaning in our lives by taking inventory, at minimum, every year; however, monthly and even weekly reviews are the most advantageous. Taking inventory means looking at ourselves and our lives from different angles, as if in a three hundred sixty degree mirror. It is examining all areas of our lives to see if we are on track with fulfilling our desires.
One of the tools that can be used to evaluate our progress in life is the Bagua Map from the Feng Shui tradition. It divides life into eight distinct areas: Wealth/Prosperity, Love/Relationships, Self/Wisdom, Career/Service, Health/Family, Mentors/Friends, Children/Creativity, and Fame/Reputation (see diagram). Taking the time to examine all eight sections helps us evaluate the areas where we prosper and where we need more support. This simple tool helps us to recognize the multiple dimensions to true fulfillment, allowing us to welcome more wholeness into our lives.
A very important realization in the process of taking inventory is that everything in our external experience is a reflection of our inner state. Once we realize this and accept its validity, we are able to then receive feedback from all our experiences and thus deepen our understanding of ourselves and others. While evaluating all the areas in our lives, it is best to not only focus on the final outcome but also on the effort exerted. For example, what price are we paying for our current status of wealth? Is it taking away from our family and health?
Examining our inner world helps us unravel our belief systems. Beliefs are thoughts that we think on a consistent basis. Those thoughts can be changed and updated. It is very crucial to know that, more often than not, the true cause of lack of accomplishment or lack of life satisfaction stems from our own beliefs. We inherit our beliefs from our family of origin and our environment in early childhood. By approximately age seven we have most of our predominant beliefs encoded into our inner, subconscious minds, our souls. Taking an inventory of all areas of our lives helps us to pinpoint our underlying beliefs so we can redefine them and improve our life experiences on a more complete level.
Taking inventory of our lives requires a lot of courage and honesty. Many times, we escape facing the truth of our affairs, thinking that avoidance is going to change the status quo. Frequently, we also go into defense mechanisms such as blame or anger to mask the root cause of our inner disappointment. Honestly looking into our inner world is the crucial stride toward making any improvements. The first step in transformation is the awareness of where we stand. The important fact to remember is that every day is a new beginning.
While taking inventory, we also must look into the eye of our fears. So many of us sell ourselves short due to our deep-seated fears and reservations including the fear of success. As Marianne Williamson puts it, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
As we evaluate our lives, we need to include our impact and influence on others. We are all connected, and our thoughts, words, and actions leave a blueprint on everyone and with everything we engage. Forgiveness comes into play as an important factor in the process of inner and outer evaluation. Forgiveness allows us to free ourselves from the past and the power the past has on us. Without forgiveness, we tend to recreate the same situations and bring the past into the present. When we do not forgive, we hold onto negative feelings that poison our mind, body, and spirit. Forgiveness is not equivalent to condoning what happened, it is a process of healing, of freeing ourselves from negative beliefs and feelings rooted in our past. It takes time to truly forgive and reprogram our subconscious beliefs. There is no need to rush through the process, and yet it is crucial to our self-development to consistently move through it.
After evaluation of our inner and outer states of being, and also cleansing areas needing healing, we are ready to foster the vision for our future. Lewis Carroll says, “Any road will get you there, if you don’t know where you are going.” Therefore, having a clear set of desires allows us to become creators of our own life. One of the great tools to help us foster our vision for the future is making a simple list of ten items that we desire to have fulfilled, starting with the most desired. We then review the list daily, spending some time on each item by visualizing exactly what we want in our lives. This activity engages our mind and activates the Law of Attraction. What we focus our attention on grows. It is extremely important to commit our desires and goals on paper rather than simply storing them in our memory. Studies show that writing these items down and reviewing them regularly gives us a ninety five percent higher chance of achieving the outcomes that we desire. And yet research shows that only three to five percent of people in the world have written goals. These three to five percent are the same people that achieve success in life, according to the research.
Our lives are our masterpieces—it is our responsibility to paint the ideal images. Taking inventory allows us to examine where we are now and propels us to move forward and live the most meaningful lives possible. Every night before going to bed let us ask ourselves “Did I live today up to my fullest potential?”
While pursuing her Doctorate of Divinity degree, Aneta Baranek continues her research and study of self-actualization and self-realization. She also holds a Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Computer Science. She has been serving as a spiritual teacher through the School of Metaphysics for the past seven years. She currently resides in Kansas City where she directs one of the branches of the School of Metaphysics. To learn more about Aneta, visit her website www.onwholeness.com. To find out more information about the School Metaphysics visit: www.som.org.