Our body, work, home, and circumstances, all comprise our external world. I am the energy that we call consciousness, or the soul. Everything else is outside us. Our outer world is important to us, but we need to understand how this world is created. Often, when a situation, health issue or a conflict in relationships arises, we think, ‘Why did this happen’? Then we think about what we need to do. We usually start looking around us to find a solution. We try to resolve the conflict, or heal the body, or sort out things at work; we want the outer world to be perfect.

But when things do not work out the way we want in spite of our efforts, we need to look at the connection between our outer and inner worlds.

We are conditioned from childhood to think that our feelings, memories and thoughts are dependent on the outer world. We can check if we have been conditioned this way. Some signs of it are thoughts such as, ‘I am upset because of what they said…’, ‘I am disturbed by what is happening to the planet…’.

Such thoughts strengthen our conditioning, which tells us that whatever is going on in the mind is the result of what is happening outside. Since things outside are not entirely in our control, we end up creating stress, worry, fear, depression, and panic. We tell ourselves that the world is in a mess, so obviously I cannot be happy. This is why, during the first two years of the Covid pandemic, which is a physical health issue, there was a marked rise in reported cases of mental health issues.

But when we change the equation, recognising how our outer world is being created by our thoughts, we gain control over our life. We can test this. Just create a thought and see if the thought just remains in the mind or does it affect my life. If we think, ‘It has been a beautiful day today’, we feel nice. But if we think, ‘The day has been terrible’, how do we feel? Our feelings are the first to be affected by our thoughts. But we tend to focus on our feelings, ‘I am feeling good today…’, ‘I am not feeling well…’. We do not recognise that our thoughts have created those feelings.

Our thoughts also radiate vibrations, which affect the body. Medical science tells us that the majority of diseases are psychosomatic — caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress. What we call lifestyle diseases are not caused just by our diet, level of physical activity, and sleep patterns. We may be eating the healthiest foods and exercising regularly, but if we create the wrong kind of thoughts, their effect on the body will eventually show in the form of an illness.

Then, our thoughts shape our relationships. We may be on our best behaviour with someone and say all the right things, but if we have critical or judgmental thoughts about them every day, they will catch that from our vibrations.

We also worry about people we love – ‘What if something happens to them…’. This will deplete our energy as well as theirs. It is much better to care for others, which nourishes and empowers them.

Our work gets similarly affected by our thoughts. I may be working sincerely and hard, but if I am jealous, comparing myself with others, trying to outdo them, I will not be happy.

The same applies to the environment, and the planet. Just as the atmosphere of a house is created by the vibes of those who live there, the current state of the planet is the result of the thinking of all those living on it.

So, to fix our outer world, we can start by putting our inner world in order.

B.K. Shivani is a well-known motivational speaker and Rajyoga teacher.