CORE Personal Mastery Part I

Navigating the Highway of Fog and Addiction

We are all on a journey of discovery. This article is vehicle to explore the first part of the CORE Personal Mastery program. We will look at the different components and the actual systems that you will use to facilitate the awareness and transformation of the addictive and compulsive mind. These vehicles will aid us as we navigate through our fog of illusion, where our distorted and fear based beliefs have constructed a barren colony that sucks the creativity from us and is unable to quench the thirst of our parched souls.
This construct we will venture into for our healing and recovery is made up of three stages. These stages are not linear and the ending of one stage does not mean that we enter into the next. These foundational stages are progressive; the development of one stage is dependent on the practice and implementation of another. These stages are congruent with a path of spiritual, emotional and psychological personal growth, redemption and enlightenment.
You will do well to understand that the process of recovery is the process of healing and the restoration of a primary relationship. This is the most important relationship in your life, the relationship with your truth and authenticity, your faith and spirit, the Artistic Self. True change and true healing in every other relationship in your lives is intrinsically linked to the transformational healing work that you do with yourself. As we begin the process of reconnecting to the authentic self, we journey through the three stages of personal development along the spiritual path of discovery. Let us look at these three stages of recovery.

The three stages are:
The Mastery of Awareness
The Mastery of Transformation
The Mastery of the Artistic Self

The Mastery of Awareness

Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore.
Dorothy...from The Wizard of Oz.

The first stage of reconnecting to the Artistic Self requires that we become aware of the dream we are living. This may be difficult at first because our minds do not know that they are dreaming. The mind thinks everything is real! Having the awareness that we are dreaming is vital to facilitate recovery and change.
Our dream is made up of a series of agreements and beliefs grouped together to create and maintain our personal view of reality. Our personal view is a reflection, manifested by the beliefs and agreements we subconsciously, and perhaps consciously, choose to carry. We think that our view is real, but it is only a reflection. It is just one perception of the world of shimmering energy through our filter system, our Canvas of Reflective Energy, our CORE Belief System.
Along our journey we have learned and been taught to make joint agreements with others, including groups such as: communities, religions, and political and social ideologies. These joint agreements create a group consciousness of like-minded people. Often group consciousness chooses an ideology over the individual vocation of the Artistic Self. Most people, and especially family and groups create agreements without the awareness that they are choosing to do so. Our primary caretakers, siblings, teachers, religious leaders, as well as community norms and media outlets have passed many of these agreements on to us as children. We have become indoctrinated into these beliefs and they are spun into the web, fibers and colors painted on the canvas of our lives. We also create our personal identity, based on how we compare ourselves to others through our filter system, our CORE Belief System.
We picked and chose agreements based upon our self-serving needs. Many of these needs were rooted in the desire to please other people and be accepted. We agreed to a punishment and reward system that perpetuates a deep ingrained paradigm of fear, shame and people pleasing. This CORE belief fuels co-dependency by constantly searching for acceptance from external sources.
Identifying our CORE Belief System is the first step to developing awareness. The only problem is that we have built a series of protective layers around our CORE. These layers are a natural protection or defense mechanism that has enabled us to survive in our own distorted dream or perspective of reality. These protective layers help maintain our denial mechanisms and the power of our distorted CORE. Awareness cannot truly begin until we become aware of these highly sophisticated mechanisms.
When we do develop awareness of our defense and denial mechanisms, the matrix of our CORE Belief System can begin to come into focus. This becomes our starting point for building deeper below the surface where we can break through the layers upon layers of denial. As this awareness unfolds we want to acknowledge that there different kinds of beliefs. One series of beliefs supports our personal growth, embraces our integrity and personal freedom. Those beliefs reverberate through the Artist Self and when we connect with them we feel like dancing. There is another series of beliefs that keep us stuck in distorted thinking and under the shadows of our defense mechanisms, all the while feeding the hunger of the addictive mind. These later beliefs are shame and fear based, and reflect outwardly through the Critic and Victim, masks and falseness, addictive and dependent relationships. These voices and behaviors restrict our connection to our Artistic Self and the spiritual ocean.
The Critic and the Victim focus on the illusion of our self-importance. Nothing restricts freedom and growth more then focusing on self-importance. Developing awareness of our self-importance is crucial to discovering and transforming our denial and defense mechanisms that have protected our distorted CORE. When living through the distorted beliefs we tend to rationalize, justify, minimize, blame and personalize everything. Being in denial protects us from seemingly threatening information by blocking it from our awareness. Healing resides in our ability to become aware of the nightmarish slumber that we unconsciously inhabit.
As your denial and defense mechanism fall to the way side, an amazing awareness will begin to unfold, the awareness that we can accept and experience your emotions and feelings without fear. We can and will begin to know our Artistic Self, and the power of empowering our truth
To further the creation of awareness, we will explain in the next part the components of the CORE Belief System as well as offer a series of tools that will aid in identifying your CORE Beliefs and the voices of The Victim, The Critic and The Artistic Self. These tools will help you become aware of what beliefs support your recovery and personal growth, allowing your reconnecting to the Artistic Self, and what beliefs perpetuate the distorted CORE and the addictive mind, keeping you stuck in the illusion of control and self-importance. Awareness is perpetual, and continual. The more that our lives change and growth, the deeper our awareness goes; we will journey through the light and shadow until we unite as one, transformed and healed.

The Mastery of Transformation
The next stage is Transformation of the CORE. Here we begin to put into practice the concept of change. For many, transforming their lives means changing most aspects of their daily dream. It has been said that, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” This means that having awareness of a behavior or belief is the ‘booby prize.’ If we have awareness of a problem and we do not change it, we continue to perpetuate a dysfunctional agreement. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” This is the foundation of transformation of the CORE. If we become aware of distorted and destructive CORE beliefs and continue to choose to stay stuck in them, what is the point of becoming aware? We must consciously engage in changing our agreements. We must challenge our CORE Belief System to regain our connection to our higher power. If we stay stuck in a belief that we know does not support our recovery or personal growth, we continue to feed the wolf of addiction.
The problem is that we have created a formidable enemy of change in our Distorted CORE. Neither the Victim nor the Critic, who work for the Distorted CORE, is very enthusiastic about changing our CORE Belief System. A battle will ensue because in the past we continually empowered this destructive duo with old restrictive agreements. The Distorted CORE has purposely kept us stuck and comfortable in the fear of our distorted thinking, which at times can seem like a very smoky cocoon. It has worked brilliantly for the Critic and the Victim to live in this dream of addiction to suffering and pain, but it does not work for recovering the Artistic Self. We have unconsciously mastered the Critic and Victim and placed them in power. Their purpose and intent is to keep us in our self-shackled chains, lost in shadows of our addictions. The Victim’s purpose is to accept the punishment doled out by the Distorted CORE, you can hear the victim saying, “poor me, woe is me.”
As Artists of the Spirit, we seek freedom and spiritual connectedness. The Artistic Self naturally longs to reunite with its source, the miraculous spiritual ocean. The authentic self is like a fish out of water when the distorted CORE Belief System restricts its link to the spiritual ocean. The Artist lives through truth and acceptance, forgiveness and love. The Distorted CORE, on the other hand, lies, cheats and victimizes our awareness. It is one thing to be aware of the Distorted CORE’s agreements that shut us off from our authentic self; it is another to change them. The process of transformation requires that we put into practice the instruments of change and stop believing the lies of the Distorted CORE.
Identifying changes that need to take place for transformation of the CORE begin in the first stage of recovery, Awareness. The tools that we used to become aware of our beliefs and choices are the same tools, which will build a path toward transformation, freedom, impeccability and love.
Transformation requires patience and acceptance. Patience for us is very important as begin to implement our new beliefs system. Acceptance is a vital to our transformation for we will be challenged by old agreements along this path. To transform our old agreements we will need to accept our humanness and our capacity to make mistakes or stumble about during this process. Transformation is not a necessarily clean and tidy operation. If fact it can be down right messy as we go through the shadows of our distorted CORE Belief System and meet the voice and heart of our Artistic. Reconnecting to our Artistic Self is like childbirth; it can be painful, exciting, messy, transformational, blissful, taxing and beautiful. Most importantly, childbirth changes our lives forever.
The process of transformation is the ability to continually make choices that support our personal growth and integrity. It is this ability to choose a healing path, moment to moment, which directs our intent toward sobriety of the heart and the mind. We make the commitment to change our beliefs and agreements on the cellular level. We become aware of our addiction to emotions and feelings. Our consciousness and awareness begin to transform the way our mind body network creates our dreams. We change from the inside out. As we change — the whole world around us changes, for everything that we see, feel, touch, taste and hear is a reflection of our CORE Belief System. The world begins to look new. At times we may wonder where all the miraculous nature of existence came from. It was always here, we were just stuck in our distorted dream, living in the illusion of our fog, our slumber.
As we transform the addictive mind, we take full responsibility for our lives, our reality and our dream. We consciously create our dream, our personal reality every moment. We begin to consciously intent each moment with clarity and purpose. We begin to self-actualize our recovery and personal well- being.
The Art of Recovery offers a roadmap for creating change, which supports our personal growth and transformation toward freedom. The Transformation stage is integrated with the Awareness Stage. This means that we continue to build awareness throughout the transformation stage. When we develop enough self-awareness through the transformation process, we begin to spontaneously transform. Alchemists call this transmutation. Our transformation process becomes regenerative and we develop awareness exponentially as our consciousness expands to greater heights. We have truly entered an extraordinary state of being. At this point we begin to experience the Mastery of Artistic Self.

The Mastery of the Artistic Self

This next stage is where we return to our Artistic Self. We become present, existing in the moment with complete acceptance, love and compassion. We embrace the fullness of our being and in kind accept all of humanity and our place in it. We learn to recognize the common connection that exists. We no live through the differences, but our commonality. Living from the Artistic Self we experience the world as a living being, and we are one small cell of that whole being. The human species is just one organ of that being. We are fully aware of our connection to all things and that everything is connected. We make choices with clear intent. We are living in the second attention, our awareness and consciousness manifests into love and acceptance. We speak from the heart, the Artistic Self. We live without fear, deceit and self-importance. We have shattered the illusion of control and transcended our addictions and our compulsions. We understand and walk a path of love, abundance and freedom.
During the transition from the Transformation to Mastery of the Artist, we again experience overlapping. This means that we continue to transform our CORE and our awareness as we experience self-mastery and self-actualization. This is not an all or nothing deal. One day we do not suddenly experience total mastery of the Artistic Self and stop transforming. It is a constantly evolving and expanding process of awareness and transformation. As we detach from our limiting beliefs and agreements, which formed our distorted CORE, we experience deeper levels of awareness that transcend the human experience. As the Artistic Self blooms in all its brilliance, and our truth resonates unencumbered, creation begins to unfold in front of us. We live life through the heart, through love and in union with creation and spirit. We are truly living life on life’s terms.
This is a process as all Mastery is. It is a journey, which brings forth the impeccability of our creation and connection to the cosmos. Maintaining balance while on this path is important so that we do not find ourselves regressing too deeply into old behaviors and beliefs. Mastery requires patience and a commitment to personal freedom. Mastery of the Artistic Self is the re-channeling of our intent away from distorted addictions to living a life of sobriety and integrity. We become integrated into a new dream. A dream where anything becomes possible, and our intent manifests within the union of spirit and freedom. We truly become a Artist of Spirit. When living through the Artistic Self we emulate the attributes of Forgiveness, Acceptance, Compassion, Honesty, Accountability, Embrace Diversity, Tolerance and Empathy. We live through love, abundance and freedom.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Stiles Randak is the founder and co-owner of the Institute of Change, a holistic treatment center for substance abuse, chemical dependency and dual diagnosis conditions. Paul has a degree in social work from University of Utah and is currently completing a doctorate in psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Paul has a private Life Coaching and Spirit Counseling practice in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can contact