Each person's journey is unique and there is no simple mechanism which can be prescribed for helping people bring change. Nevertheless Initiatives of Change offers some tools which can help in the process.
1. Take a good hard look in the mirror.
Honesty - not deceiving others or ourselves. Purity - freedom from being controlled by our desires or our fears and insecurities. Unselfishness - a commitment to fairness and justice and a willingness to share. Love - a quality of the heart which lies at the root of all the core values. A readiness to let go of hatred and jealousy. A commitment to forgiveness.
Why absolute? Because our nature is to always compare ourselves with other people in ways which just reinforce the beliefs we already have about ourselves. So, for example, we might say 'I am more honest than most people' or 'I am very selfish compared to my mother'. The point about these absolute values is that everyone falls short. They are like the North Star – nobody will ever reach it, but it can guide us on our way.
Take enough time to do this inventory – about an hour might be a good starting point, working alone in silence. And take something to write down the insights and revelations you gain. Look at each value in turn: Am I absolutely honest? When was the last time I deceived someone? What about my tax statements? Do I always pay what I should for the services I use? Do I always do the things I say I will do? Do I say what I really believe? How trustworthy am I?
Nobody need see what you write, so it is a question of how honest you can be with yourself. Don't forget to include the positives as well. You can celebrate the times when you have been honest, pure, unselfish or loving.
2. Act on what you find.
Are there people you need to forgive? Forgiveness is a process that can take time, but a willingness to go down this path is an important first step. Being honest about your own mistakes can help, as can stepping into another's shoes and trying to see things from their perspective while carrying their stresses and burdens. Often the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. Talking things over and praying with a trusted friend can help.
3. Take regular times in silence.
The practise which Frank Buchman taught was to start each day with a time of quiet inner searching, writing down each thought which came in order to free one's attention for the next thought.
In silence we also encounter the voice of the ego, and it is important to learn to distinguish ego from the inner voice of love. There are few more dangerous self-deceptions than an ego which believes it is speaks divine truth. Constantly referring back to the values of absolute honest, purity, unselfishness and love can help distinguish the two. Sharing the thoughts we write down with trusted friends can also help.
It is important to act on what is revealed through silence. A voice which is repeatedly ignored eventually becomes silent. This is certainly true of the inner voice, the voice of conscience.