We enter this world with such joy, optimism and excitement glistening in our eyes as a newborn baby. The adults around us are in awe as they peer into our eyes; as they can see their own, divine self, gazing back at them.
A few years later, as the ego begins to take shape as a result of our interactions with our environment, that light begins to fade. We start to walk, talk and behave like everyone around us; this is what it means to become conditioned by our surroundings. We’re influenced so easily during the first seven years of our lives because the brain is much more impressionable during them. The average person’s brain is in Beta brainwaves for the majority of their day; children’s however, are locked in Theta brainwaves; which are hypnotic!
This means children become conditioned merely by observing their environment. The information decoded through their senses sets the foundation of their personality structure for the remainder of their lives. We must be careful of how we behave in front of children as they pick up on the smallest reactions and copy them; monkey see, monkey do.
“A third story concerns the plasticity of the youthful mind. I heard my mother remark occasionally: ‘A man who accepts a job under anyone is a slave.’ That impression became so indelibly fixed that even after my marriage I refused all positions. I met expenses by investing my family endowment in land. Moral: Good and positive suggestions should instruct the sensitive ears of children. Their early ideas long remain sharply etched.” – Sri Yukteswar (Autobiography of a Yogi)
By the time we reach adulthood, we have a host of habits, mental and emotional patterns and we have no clue how we’ve acquired them. Our reactions become just like those we spend the most our time with; probably our friends. I’ve noticed that most teenagers react to situations in the exact same way their friends do; why is this? It’s purely because they unconsciously believe, on some level, they need to fit in order to be accepted by everyone around them.
Humanity can be said to resemble a jigsaw puzzle, with each person representing a piece of the puzzle. We’re created by the divine to be a particular shape, size and colour so we can fit in with the rest of the pieces to form the picture. Many believe they’re fitting in by being just like everyone around them; but each piece is individualised, unique. Your true self is nothing like you’ve been told to believe it is. You can’t fit in if you’re trying to be a piece that you’re not by copying everyone around you; when you become your true self, you effortlessly click into the collective consciousness and inspire others to do the same. Trying to be a piece you’re not is the most painful existence there is; suffering is the end result.
Each piece, each person is of the same value because the picture would be incomplete without them; that’s how valuable you are; Humanity would be incomplete without you.
Your reactions are driven by your unconscious beliefs, and until you bring those beliefs into awareness then they’ll continue to control the way you perceive and react to the circumstances you manifest. When we were children, we absorbed the most dominant beliefs of those around us by observing their behaviour; this is because our beliefs are the basis of all our behaviour; yes, I said all.
Many believe that their habits aren’t a choice, but they are. The subconscious is the habit mind; when you were a child, your mother probably had to remind you for a couple of months every night before you went to bed to brush your teeth, eventually, it became second-nature; but that doesn’t mean you lost your ability to choose whether you should brush your teeth or not; you do so because you believe brushing your teeth serves you in a positive way, in which it does.
You’re still motivated, to this day (I hope), to brush your teeth because you know it benefits you. The same can be said with all your other habits too! You only keep choosing them because you believe they serve you more than the alternative does. So, if you have a bad habit that you wish to drop, you need to come to terms with why you believe the habit serves you; and ultimately why you’re choosing something you don’t prefer on a daily basis.
We always feel motivated to do what we believe serves us best, but if we’ve got a mind full to the brim of unconscious, fear-based belief systems then our motivations and behaviour will reflect those beliefs. You’ll avoid things, people and places you shouldn’t out of fear; you’ll also shun your passion and soul-driven excitement for the mediocre, the mundane and the familiar.
Bringing these beliefs into conscious awareness, and then realising how the belief is total nonsense is the key to dissolving them and changing your habits. I said realising for a very important reason. Realisations rewire the subconscious; once you see the truth about a situation, you can never go back to your old ways. Realising how these beliefs are illogical and just flat out lies is the best way of reprogramming your mind. The subconscious controls around 95% of your power, your energy, the other 5% is all you have left for your conscious mind to work with; but even the smallest touch of conscious awareness can pave the way for great change and transformation if done correctly.
An example would be the best way to illustrate the points I’m making:
When I was just eight weeks old, I had life-saving surgery on my aortic valve attached to my heart. I’ve been fine ever since, thankfully. Every couple of years I have an MRI scan done just to make sure everything is in working order. Growing up, my mother drilled the belief into my mind that I had something wrong with my heart (even though it wasn’t even my heart but my artery which was repaired).
Ignorance truly is bliss because for years I wasn’t even affected by this belief; I would go running, swimming, play football and not even worry about my heart. Yet, I would often have panic attacks and worry about my health all the time during these years. My spiritual awakening began in 2010 as a result of this awakening, I become aware of the belief that I believed something was wrong with my heart. This triggered me into fearing to raise my heart rate at all for a few years. I was scared to walk upstairs, walk uphill, go running, swimming, play football; all because I become conscious of the belief. Becoming aware of the belief wasn’t enough; because I saw that I had it but it was still controlling my behaviour; I was too afraid to go beyond it. Yet, one night I had a major epiphany…
I realised that the complete OPPOSITE is actually true. The heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle, if you don’t exercise then it gets weaker. I believed staying indoors and being less active was keeping me safe when in fact, the opposite is true; the safest thing someone with my medical history can do is be active, fit, healthy and strong. The doctors always encouraged me to exercise and I told him about my struggle and he was super sad to see me go through what I was; he told me that my mother shouldn’t have said those things to me but the past is the past; I don’t blame her for my beliefs as it was me who chose to buy into them. Upon having this realisation, however, the fear of exercising faded. I’m running again now, without fear and feel fantastic.
The majority of our beliefs are unconscious. I knew I had the belief that I had something wrong with my heart but I didn’t realise for a while that as a result of that belief I also believed not exercising would keep me safe and prolong my existence. Fear-based belief systems spawn others; these are known as schemas or core beliefs in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
“Until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” ─Carl Jung
The unconscious is like a dark tomb; until you shine the light of your conscious mind into it, then the fear-based beliefs will continue to hijack your windows of perception. This means you’ll be perceiving your reality through a lens or filter that you’re not even aware of! It’s like having rose coloured glasses on but not even seeing the rose; you believe everything is coloured normally when it’s not.
How do we become aware of our fear-based beliefs?
Your emotions are key. Any time you’re triggered into a fear-based state, it is an invitation into more of your true self. Working with your fears, your emotions, can help you identify the beliefs that pertain to them as you only feel any form of fear when you BELIEVE you’re in some form of danger.
People can turn on the stress response by thought alone; the moment you believe a disempowering thought, you’re triggered into a fear-based state. Being the observer to the conditioned self; to be able to watch your thoughts without allowing them to define you is the key to transcending the power you believe the past has over you.
In my book, The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind, there are a host of tools and examples which can help you become aware of, and transform your subconscious. I encourage you to check it out if you’ve found this particular blog helpful. (Link at the bottom).
“The ego and the mind are one and the same. The mind is an instrument we utilise to focus our consciousness in the physical realm. Many people’s instruments, however, have hijacked their consciousness. Their mind uses them, rather than them using their mind. The conditioned ego desires to control its experience of physical reality because of its deep innate fear of the unknown. This is a survival mechanism built into the ego to keep itself safe, to avoid any possible dangers to the self. Living a meditative life and gracefully embracing the unknown are synonymous. Almost impossible, it is, however, to be at peace in the present moment when your mind is full of mechanisms that prevent you from doing so!”
─Craig Woods: The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the Maze of your Mind
Our beliefs are what divides us as a civilisation; whether they be religious, political, sexual or some other form of dogma. The best way to transform our society is to transform yourself; your example alone will then touch the hearts of and transform thousands. We’re living in an age where collective belief systems are being burned in the fires of transformation and rebirth; from those ashes will arise a new society, a new civilisation, based on equality, and global unity while at the same time, acknowledging each culture, society and person for their individuality.
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