Creating Reality vs Controlling Reality

In my experience, there isn’t a phrase that elicits more feelings of empowerment, hope, confusion and pain than the phrase, “Your thoughts create your reality.”

To the uninitiated, this phrase is at best accepted as an obvious truth – after all, one can see the glass as half full or half empty. But for many walking the metaphysical and spiritual path, this concept is often taken as a literal truth.

The idea that your thoughts create your reality can be very empowering to someone who feels stuck or trapped by Life. If we define our “reality” as our life circumstances and come to learn that our reality is simply the result of our thinking, we suddenly believe that we have the power to change our circumstances simply by changing our thoughts.

But it is not the circumstances of our reality that we affect by our thoughts. It is the experience of our reality that can change. And yes, sometimes a change in experience does indeed lead to a change in a circumstance. But the pain that so many of us continue to experience – despite “thinking happy thoughts” and saying affirmations and doing all the “right” things to “create our reality” – comes from the belief that in controlling our thoughts we can control our circumstances. And that is simply not true.

The fact that we create our reality does not mean that we can control it. The only thing we have the power to control is our experience of our reality.

This is a very significant point with respect to weight-loss. I’ve discussed at length that one of the fundamental problems of the traditional diet and exercise model is that it reduces the magnificence of the body to a balance sheet of calories in and calories out, thereby creating a false sense of control. Many of us stay lost in this paradigm, forever trying to determine that magical combination of food, exercise, and will power that can create the results we seek. We believe that if we just eat the “right” food and exercise in the “right” way, we can control our body’s shape and size. We believe this because that is what the traditional weight-loss model (and therefore, our culture) teaches.

Some of us, after weathering tremendous amounts of pain, finally look for a “better” way. We start to address the non-physical. We read up on metaphysics and spirituality and try to incorporate these practices into our lives. We learn that our thoughts create our reality and make a practice of saying affirmations and looking on the bright side. But what we fail to realize is that the metaphysical and spiritual models contain the same trap as the traditional diet and exercise approach.

We shift from trying to control our bodies through diet and exercise to trying to control our bodies through the “right” affirmation or happy point of view.

Both paradigms give the illusion of control, leaving many seekers in pain. The pain is a result of trying to control the uncontrollable.

With the Alignment model of Happy Calories Don’t Count, there is no illusion of control. And since there is no illusion of control, there is no pain and associated feelings of failure. Happy Calories Don’t Count recognizes that you can only control your thoughts and your actions – never your circumstances. But in controlling your thoughts and actions, you have great power over your experience of your circumstances. And the irony is – the quality of the experience is the control we truly seek.