beliefs … a new perspective

More material to be in the book “Loving Awareness”.


In the self-help community, there is much emphasis on how you need to change your beliefs to change your life.? “Change your thoughts, change your life!” is a maxim of Wayne Dyer.? ?Beliefs are how we interpret the world – every one of our experiences is filtered through our beliefs.? This is why ten different people coming from different backgrounds can have fundamental differences of interpretation of the same event – the jury system in the courts gives regular examples of this!? So changing beliefs can indeed have a powerful impact on lives.? However, most people think of a belief simply as a pattern of thoughts, and it is far more than this.? So what are beliefs, if we look deeply at them?

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In the western cultural framework, we tend to think everything is intellectual.? We’re a society that usually values intellect above all.? So when we talk about “mind” we generally refer only to thoughts and leave the emotions and the body divorced from the equation.? Not so in many oriental traditions.? The word “mind” in those cultures encompasses all of the mental, emotional, and physical parts of ourselves. ?From these perspectives, we are a fully integrated system, with every part of ourselves affecting any other.? When there is recognition of this, there is more possibility of transformative changes occurring within ourselves.? Thinking it is only our thoughts that affect us and denying the real effect the body and the emotions have upon our thoughts and each other can easily lead to mind games, with no changes resulting, and thinking that all that it is needed is more effort in doing the same thing that hasn’t worked in the past.?

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Now, on this expanded field of who we are, beliefs exists everywhere in who we are, even outside thoughts.? In a real way, they are analogous to habits â???? a pattern that repeats in how we process information .? I liken them to rivers across the continent that is the Self.? Over time, trenches and canals appear that are the result of the water flowing in a certain pattern.? There is then a tendency to continue on the same course (whether in thoughts, body movements, or emotions), but any of them can be changed with consistent effort.? If dams have been constructed, blocking the flow, there will be alternate ways things flows.? Many of these can cause more harm than good, of course, but our bodies are quite adaptable – within reason.? There’s actually a lot of similarities between the “flows” of our emotions, thoughts, and body processes.? For instance, an emotional memory might cause someone to feel anger and disappointment when someone doesn’t look them in the eye.? This “gut reaction” occurs without thought.? Similarly, a sound of a traffic accident might cause adrenaline in someone and they’d jump up to run outside, without thought or much emotion.?


Because we’re a complete system, it’s all interrelated.? For example, a man may have fixed thoughts about how a woman “should behave” in a relationship.? These thoughts may be a protective layer around a core pain in the body relating to abuse by a mother-figure in childhood; in this abuse there would be both emotional pain and body memories.? Now, trying to change the thought patterns of this man will likely run up against a brick wall because it’s only addressing thoughts.? This wall of course, is perfect â???? the thoughts are self-protective, and there is definitely pain that needs protecting, for it isn’t appropriate to bring up just anywhere or with anyone.? This isn’t to say changing thoughts is pointless; it creates ripples which may create a domino effect in other parts of the system.? But thoughts aren’t the master control of it all, especially when there’s not much consciousness in them.? We’re a great tapestry of interweaving energies we call thoughts, emotions, and matter, and we become more adaptable and powerful when we work with this whole, rather than a smaller part of ourselves.

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So then how to do this work in this quagmire?? The answer – which will be familiar to regular readers – is via allowing.? We’re not like machines that break and then require a mechanic to go in and fix. We’re constantly healing and balancing simply by being who we are, in every moment of every day.? Most alternative healing recognizes this and tries to support the body’s natural strength instead of imposing harsh chemicals, for example.? If everything’s out on the table – and everything includes thoughts, emotions, and the body â???? it’s quite a change provoking event in itself.? Anyone who’s been a witness to a person being deeply vulnerable cannot help but be affected by the experience.? Once the full wholeness of self is brought forward, there is a space of creation in that present moment that literally enables new worlds to be created.? These are worlds forced on your body by ramming affirmations inwardly; this is a process of mutual creation, and thus, a process of Love.

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To put this in action, here’s an exercise I wrote:

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Exercise

 


This exercise is about being big about whatever process is going on in the moment, in ways that encompass the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of ourselves.? To be precise about being big, here is my definition:

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Being big is about bringing the full totality of who you are to the world.? It has nothing to do with being loud, or pushing others, or speaking inspired thoughts.? You can be big no matter what your experiences in the present moment are.

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For instance, someone desperately angry might be very loud and attempt others to change.? They would feel small to others, because they are not showing vulnerability about where this emotion is coming from.? On the other hand, others might be feeling worthless, full of condemning thoughts and not feel like they deserve to take any space around them.? They might be very shy and quiet.? Bringing that forward, in its totality, without any apology or protective face, would be big.? They might tell others they need to express this, then crawl into a corner, crunch themselves into fetal position, and mumble the thoughts they are having.? So long as they bring the full totality of who they are â???? which includes the knowing that this is only an experience and not defining in any way – they are big.? They are showing they are bigger than their own experience.? This is vastness.

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So the exercise is to be big.? Bring whatever it is going on in its totality and express it.? If you need to scream, scream.? If you need to crawl into a fetal position in the deepest corner of your garage, do so.? If you need to hit pillows, do that.? But do it from a space of allowing.? Allow emotions to flow, whether through written words on the page, wordless sounds, or through the voice.? Let it come through your body; place your body in a position that encapsulates your experience.? Let thoughts ramble forth from your mind.? But above all, allow all this from a place of play.? Be a child again.? This is through a choice to let it all come forward, laughing at yourself from the dual perspective of seeing how whole you truly are while allowing all the “imperfections” come forward. ?You know that this is not defining you, and yet it is just perfect the way it is. ?If you can’t inhabit that space, allow whatever you can.? The point isn’t to change anything in this moment, but to allow it and give full expression without judgment or control.

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The magic of fully allowing is that it transforms.? If you are fully you in one moment, there is no limit to what you can be in the next moment.? It’s amazing how someone’s experience changes by the end of the exercise, especially if there’s someone you trust watching, which is encouraged!?

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Beliefs permeate the being on every level.? Transformation can manifest through altering one level or another of perception, and it is possible to alter beliefs within the space of an eye blink, thereby creating irrevocable transformations that reverberate through all levels of the Self.? And it is true also that transformation within the Self will create transformation within a wider space known as a family, a community, a world, or a universe, or all of them – for they are all essentially the same.? For this, then, we can change the phrase into “change your thoughts, change the world”.

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