Have you ever changed your behavior, or made certain choices, because you were afraid of creating bad karma? If so, you are not alone — most of us have done this many times, and, if we are very spiritual or religious, this might even be a way of life.
I’ll confess, when my young kids were misbehaving, I would “threaten” them with karma – suggesting that their “bad behavior” would come back to bite them in the future. I must say that it worked, because the fear of some mysterious force made them think twice before they acted out. Although it may have been a helpful patenting strategy at the time, I knew as they got older I would have to correct this misleading misnomer, so by the time they were teenagers I told them the truth about karma — and now I want to share it with you, along with 3 effective steps release yourself from the karma loop.
Busting Loose from Karma
A key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Taoism, karma is derived from the Sanskrit word Karma meaning “action”, “act” or “deed”. The most well-accepted concept of karma is cause and effect, meaning that whatever we do comes back to us and we must pay the unavoidable price for harming others by experiencing that harm ourselves; and according to certain spiritual traditions, we carry this karma from lifetime to lifetime until we rectify our karmic-debts or break the cycle of reincarnation through enlightenment.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this approach to karma – after all, what’s the harm in being nice, and what’s to lose by doing the right thing? Well, probably much more than you can imagine, and, in fact, this old model of karma often contributes to disempowerment and loss of free-will, making it a hidden trap in disguise.
What’s the Harm in Karma?
The biggest problem with the traditional model of karma is that it is impossible to track all the consequences of our actions, and even a loving act can ripple out and hurt someone. For instance, let’s say, you find a stray dog and decide to adopt him, but, meanwhile the dog’s young owner is heartbroken and it sets him on a downward spiral in life – you helped the dog but hurt the boy, and, as a result, he grows up to hurt others. Does this mean that you are karmically responsible for hurting the young boy and all the people he eventually hurt as a result?
Moreover, genuinely good intentions could actually be harmful in the long-run; for example, staying in an unfulfilling relationship because you don’t want to hurt your partner may seem kind and loving, but your actions could keep your partner from finding an authentically loving relationship with someone else.
On the other side of the coin, let’s say that you behave unkindly toward someone, but your bad behavior propels him/her into making a powerful life changing decision, and, in fact, the impact of this decision ripples out to help the world.
The point is, there is no way to know how the ripple effect will impact others, and, in fact, if you trace the ripples outward, you will inevitably discover that every action results in both positive and negative consequences. So, taking all this into consideration, how is it even possible to discern the karmic consequences of your behavior, and if you cannot make this discernment, how can you realistically prevent negative karma?
When you consider all the potential effects of our actions, there is no possible way to avoid unwanted karma. Simply by virtue of living, we create karma with every choice, causing us to rack up more and more karma from one lifetime to the next. Therefore, there is no way to “get ahead” of cause and effect. In this old model of karma, the “karma cards” are stacked against us, and it’s a convoluted game we can never win!
However, once you understand the truth about karma, and its hidden purpose, it’s a game you can stop playing altogether – so, let’s go further down the rabbit hole until it all makes sense…
Karma is Feedback
The Universe is conspiring for our awakening, but in order to wake-up, we must become conscious — and this requires that we make the unconscious conscious, however, how can we know the unconscious if we are not conscious of it? Well, the best way to make the unconscious conscious is through feedback, and, this is why the Universe has created the perfect “feedback technology” in the form of life. In fact, the purpose of life is to demonstrate our conscious and unconscious beliefs, thoughts, emotions and intentions. So, even if we hide judgment and hostility by acting with love and kindness, life has no choice but to reflect our hostile judgment back to us in one form or another.
Actually, it’s even simpler than this, because when we look closely, it becomes apparent that our thoughts, emotions and intentions are all manifestations of our beliefs, and, therefore, it’s accurate to say that the purpose of life is to demonstrate our beliefs, and this demonstration is known as karma.
This understanding allows us to create a New Model of Karma, and according to this model, karma is a foolproof feedback system that operates by manifesting our beliefs as actual life experiences, with empowering beliefs manifesting as positive experiences, and resulting in joy and fulfillment, and disempowering beliefs manifesting as negative experiences, and resulting in challenges and emotional pain.
All disempowering beliefs funnel back to three core beliefs: unworthiness, powerlessness and victimhood. But these beliefs are universally false, so when we believe them, we experience emotional feedback in the form of pain and suffering. This is not to punish us, but rather, pain and suffering is intended to make us pay attention to the fact that we believe an inherently false belief, and if we don’t pay attention, the pain and suffering escalates until it reaches an unbearable threshold that forces us to seek relief. So, in order to find a permanent cure, we must ultimately identify and release the disempowering belief(s) that are responsible for the pain.
A New Understanding of Karma
The old model of karma tells us that it is best to forgive and forget because certain assertive actions can create bad karma; and as a result, we are taught to avoid these behaviors. But when we are afraid to speak our truth, take a stand or set boundaries, we disempower ourselves, thereby reinforcing the disempowering beliefs that keep us asleep. As an unfortunate result, for some, the fear of karma is a prime source of powerlessness and sometimes even victimhood.
The New Model of Karma shows us that behaviors that support disempowering beliefs perpetuate ongoing karma because those beliefs will keep manifesting in our lives. So, instead of avoiding negative karma by being nice, you might be creating negative karma for yourself whenever you tolerate abuse and remain disempowered.
Let’s say that you are in a relationship with an aggressive person, but you are afraid to stand up for yourself – not because you are afraid of your partner, but, rather, because you believe the old model of karma and you are afraid to create bad karma for yourself. So, instead of asserting your power and setting boundaries, you choose to be kind and loving, and, consequently, your partner’s aggressive behavior does not change and you are locked in a cycle of disempowerment.
According to our New Model of Karma, the relationship is demonstrating your beliefs about powerlessness in order to draw your attention to this disempowering belief so that you can release it.
Firstly, this means that you must identify the belief as false, and, secondly, you must consciously choose to release the belief. This choice also requires a physical demonstration in the form of action, and, therefore, you must dispel the false belief of powerlessness by claiming your power and demonstrating it through empowering actions, such as speaking up for yourself and enforcing boundaries, and you must continue to do so for as long as it takes to experience improved feedback or a tangible shift in circumstances; this translates to a positive change in your partner’s behavior or the dissolution of the relationship.
When you no longer believe in powerlessness, you will stop manifesting disempowering relationships, because you no longer need people to act out this belief by disempowering you, and, consequently, all past negative karma associated with the belief will also be resolved – ultimately aligning you with mutually empowering relationships.
The 3 Steps to Releasing Karma
Step 1 – Take Full Responsibility
The first step to releasing karma is owning the responsibility for every experience in your life; whether you like it or not, you create your reality through your conscious and unconscious beliefs, and, therefore, no one, but you, is responsible for your life.
As long as you blame the world for your woes, you have no ability to receive informative feedback that comes in the form of experiences, and without the benefit of this fool-proof feedback system called karma, you inevitably lock yourself in a vicious karmic-cycle.
However, there is no need to worry because you have the power to free yourself. Once you own the full responsibility for your life and all its karmic-feedback, you will possess the golden key to emotional freedom, and you can use this key in steps 2 and 3 to consciously transcend karma, and when you do, you will be on the path to self-mastery.
Step 2 – Identify Disempowering Beliefs
Once you recognize life’s karmic-feedback, you can use that information to identifying your beliefs. It is fairly easy to identify any karma-causing beliefs because disempowering beliefs attract complementary experiences that reflect those beliefs, and, in turn, those experiences trigger the same beliefs, so you just need to identify the beliefs that surface during and after challenging experiences. Hint: disempowering beliefs always surface as negative thoughts, so if you consciously examine your thoughts, you will be able to identify your beliefs.
For example, if a situation causes you to feel unworthy, you can be sure that the pre-existing belief of unworthiness manifested the situation in the first place, and because the current situation makes you feel unworthy, you unconsciously perpetuate the belief of unworthiness, thereby manifesting future experiences that trigger feelings of unworthiness – the endless pattern continues until you break this karmic-cycle. In this case, getting off the karmic wheel of unworthiness requires you to address this false belief, release it and ultimately claim your unconditional worth.
Step 3 – Take Empowered Action
Once you choose to release the disempowering belief and accept its empowering counterpart, it is essential to take empowered actions that demonstrate the new empowering belief. For instance, if you are releasing the belief of powerlessness and accepting the belief that you are intrinsically powerful, your actions ideally support self-expression in such a way that they demonstrate your intrinsic power. Or, if you are releasing the belief of unworthiness and accepting your unconditional worth, your actions would align with worthiness – this might include nurturing yourself or developing positive self-talk for example.
Mind Your Own Karma
Despite how it sometimes feels, you are not responsible for another person’s experience or their emotions. The most loving thing you can do is allow everyone to have their own experience, feel their own emotions and grow in the way they choose – even if they don’t choose to grow.
If you find yourself reacting to another person’s predicament, instead of trying to help or change him, look inside yourself and locate the part of you that is emotionally triggered – maybe it is because you have a similar unhealed wound and it is time to heal.
Set Yourself Free!
By understanding this New Model of Karma, you have the knowledge to free yourself from past and future karma, but don’t just take my word for it – find out for yourself. You just might discover that the truth really can set you free!
Nanice Ellis has been a professional Life Coach for 20 years, successfully coaching women and men from all over the world. She is also an author, Theta Healer and Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.
Helping people to make quantum jumps in their lives, Nanice’s very unique coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect”. By using powerful and proven manifestation techniques, Nanice coaches people to tap into the power of the Universe and live their dreams, bridging the gap from the imagination to the realization of that dream. She works with leaders, coaches, healers and anyone who wants to live life to the fullest. You can learn more about the coaching programs offered at: Coaching Programs with Nanice.
Nanice is the author of several books, including the inspirational The Infinite Power of You! and Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad! She is also the host of radio show Chai with Nanice. Her books are available at: Nanice.com/6/Books and here on Amazon.