We can't talk about habits without talking about beliefs. After last week's blog post on how everything is a habit... who's running the show?, I wanted to talk this week about beliefs. It's important to realize that beliefs were adopted by all of us as an act of love to stay in belonging with our people and that it takes an act of courage to change one. Why? Because we are afraid if we believe separately then we won't belong anymore and our whole survival mechanism is built around being part of the group so we can stay alive.
But that's survival, not our soul.
Our soul or creation mechanism is that we first need to be in belonging with our self, merged with the loving intelligence that's within us and all around us, and from here, we are the creators of our lives. Personal belonging is the most sincere and most honest way from which to live and love because it's the most inclusive of All That Is.
It takes a tremendous shift to know that you will be in far greater belonging when you let go of someone else's belief, a collective belief that you've adopted in order to fit in, and say yes to one that's more personally true for you.
Let go of fitting in, embrace fitting out, say yes to your self, merge with All That Is, create your destiny, experience deep belonging with life.
According to Oxford languages, to believe is:
1 accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of
According to Old English:
Be = next to, close to, make.
Lief = dear or valuable, beloved.
A belief is a thought or a feeling that you make dear or hold close to you as valuable. It's a thought and feeling that feels beloved to you so much so that you’re sure you're right.
From the standpoint of your survival mechanism, to be right means to live; to be wrong means to die. From your soul or creation mechanism, there is no right or wrong only what IS, it's all inclusive; everyone wins as pure consciousness, pure energy, pure love.
But here we are, we chose to incarnate into these human bodies and in doing so we've taken on an identity, commonly known as the ego. The beliefs we create and maintain are in allegiance to this identity, we hold them dear, we love them, our life depends on it - physically, psychologically or both.
To create or maintain a belief is an act of love.
Some beliefs we have hold less weight like “Autumn is the most beautiful time of year.” While other thoughts hold more weight like religious beliefs, collective beliefs and family beliefs that have been passed down like:
"You have to take care of everyone else first."
"There's a heaven and a hell and you are being judged."
"It's a dog eat dog world."
"You can do anything you put your mind to."
"You create your reality"
Beliefs give us a sense of validity, a sense of belonging. And because our experience is made up of our thoughts and feelings, and a belief is a hardwired thought and feeling, then our beliefs feed our experiences and our experiences reaffirm our beliefs.
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According to Psychology today, "Because the brain's selective filtering system, often referred to as priming, works on an activation/inhibition model, when the brain is primed by a certain belief to look for something, it shuts down competing neural networks, so you actually have a hard time seeing evidence to the contrary of an already existing belief."
Simply put, a belief becomes the lens through which you see and experience the world. Of all of the infinite potentials and possibilities that exist, your brain automatically filters the vast majority of them out to only select the experiences that confirm and affirm your beliefs.
It's just how our brain works. This tendency to search for, interpret, and remember experiences that confirm our beliefs allows us to reaffirm who we think we are. This has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with You. Hence, the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Until you choose something different to believe, you will surround yourself with relationships and experiences that continue to feed the loop of you being right according to what you're believing about yourself, others, and the world.
If you want to know what someone is believing, just look at what they’re experiencing.
This has nothing to do with what is actually true or factual, only what we believe, adopt and accept as true and factual. The positive intention behind this is that we get to be right! We get to live.
So what do you want to be right about? Is what you're proving yourself right about working for you at the soul level? Or could you use an upgrade?
If you believe that nice guys finish last then you will see everyone around you enjoying the fruits of their labor while your fruit is always out of reach. You will have the experience of not having it, or when you get it, you will get rid of it right away so that you can stay loyal to the belief that creates the YOU that you've invested in - that nice guys finish last.
If you believe that the world is a scary place then you might have 5 wonderful things happen to you but you will hone in, filter out, and focus your energy on what you read in the news, saw on tv, and heard about that proves that you're right. And you will convince yourself that you're the safest at home. That's survival.
But if your soul is yearning for travel, deep down believing that people are good, and you follow that curiosity about what's out there, now you're in creation mode. And if you muster up the courage to let go of the belief that the world, your parents, and you yourself have adopted that the world is a scary place, and you begin to feel alive from choosing something different, something more true for you, just you, and you follow your soul's desire to venture out into the world, what do you think you might experience? What would that feel like?
In a world of smoke and mirrors, more and more people are beginning to question, well, everything. How many times do you hear people say "I just don't know what to believe anymore?" I’m of the opinion that this is a good thing!
Maybe it's not a good idea to believe everything we think anymore.
Maybe it's a good idea to explore what we would rather experience and ask ourselves what we would need to believe in order to experience it.
If it takes an act of love to create a belief, then it takes an act of courage to change one.
Since beliefs are inextricably linked to our identities, might we have to give up a sense of perceived security about a group we belong to? About who we think we are according to others opinions? If our belonging is threatened, might it feel lonely at first if we have to let something or someone go that we hold dear or valuable so that we can move closer to our own truth?
A part of us might actually have to die. And the survival mechanism that's in tact is to keep us alive so we're going to have to go head to head with ourselves on this one. We're going to come right up against ourselves, have to look ourselves in the eyes and get brutally honest, become impeccably conscious of where we've been sleeping and numbing out.
Most people don't go here because it's too uncomfortable. So we stay addicted to our emotions, stay in belonging to beliefs that aren't even ours and maybe we don't even really believe, and continue to numb out our feelings through our distractions.
But aren't the symptoms of a nervous system that's in constant flight or fight getting pretty uncomfortable, too? Isn't it uncomfortable denying the part of us that's wanting to come alive? Wanting to fully express? The part of us that's curious, waiting for us to pay attention to it; the part that surfaces when the drug wears off or when we're so worn out from distractions?
Changing, transforming, and letting go of an old belief that's tied to an older version of you, in order to say yes to a new and loving, updated belief, one that matches a dream, your dream, is a courageous and loving act.
It's called transformation for a reason. The caterpillar has to die to become a butterfly.
I know this from experience. I've done this many, many times. I have sleighed belief dragons and gone head to head with myself, rebelled against myself, fought, kicked, and screamed against my own identity, invested more in my addictions than my self, swam in the dark waters of confusion, fear and craziness, been so uncomfortable I thought I was dying... and I was.
And then it cleared and I became a little more honest and a little more relaxed.
And then another aspect reared it's head and I did it all over again. And I became a little more authentic and a little more relaxed.
And so it goes and continues to go as I keep coming home to my self, relaxing even more. And today, I can honestly say I am the happiest, healthiest, least anxious, least fearful, most loving, most grateful, most present, least dense, most energetic version of myself because I've done and am always doing the work. It's getting easier, too. Like a skill, I'm getting better at it. I'm getting better at being me. And my experience of life is reflecting back to me my efforts which is reaffirming my belief in my self.
By becoming nobody, I see myself in everybody. And now I'm in belonging with it all, grateful for it all, learning from it all because everyone is another self or "an other self."
So how do we do it? We've got to ask ourselves the hard questions, be willing to go down the rabbit hole with a willingness to unlearn and relearn. We have to become our own caregivers, explore the peaks and valleys of our heart's desires, become our best friend, give ourselves the gift of attention, take the time to get clear on what we've been believing and what we would rather believe.
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It takes energy to do this. So we have to stop leaking it, throwing it down the proverbial drain.
We have to stop pointing the finger, stop blaming the partner that won't change, stop using your childhood as a cop out, stop complaining, stop giving your power away, stop letting yourself be distracted, stop not having enough time and energy, stop your story and tell your ego to take a back seat for a minute.
Reclaim your energy by giving your attention to the keystone relationship from which everything else stems, your relationship with You and the loving intelligence within you. Go within, she's waiting.
Meditation means "to get to know yourself." So who are you?
A lot of people don't really know who they are. They've simply been playing a role or have done what their parents did, or the exact opposite of what their parents did, or what they think they "should" do or are supposed to do adopted by some belief that they have to do x and y to get to z.
Whose voice is that anyway?
A simple yet powerful exercise to try today is to:
Think of something that you would like to experience. For example - more money, greater health, more travel, more free time, more fulfilling relationships, more energy.
Write it down.
If beliefs feed our experiences, ask yourself "What would I have to believe to be true in order to have what I want, to experience what I’d like to experience?”
Write it down.
Then close you eyes and try it on. Like a little kid playing make believe who becomes completely absorbed in their inner world, create your avatar and then step into it, walk around as it. What would that feel like as you walk around and go through one day as the you that is already believing and experiencing the life of their dreams.
Because if your brain is "primed" by a certain belief to look for something to prove it right, can you "prime" your brain to a different belief? Pretending to run yourself through the experience that those thoughts and feelings would give you primes your brain to a new way of being.
Neuroplasticity tells us that our brain can make new synaptic connections and prune old synaptic connections in response to learning, whether intrinsically (inner world) or extrinsically (outer experience). It can learn and reorganize to function in new ways different from old ways.
This means there is no predetermined destiny so you can't pass the buck. Epigentics says our genes respond to our environment so we can longer blame our genes either. In fact if you believe that, then you will experience that. But science has proven now through epigenetics that genes respond to our thinking, our food, our inner environment. There are so many studies and proving a where people have made genetic changes through meditation and visualization.
Like Neo in the Matrix who didn't like the idea that he wasn't in control of his own reality, you can unlearn and relearn, deprogram and recondition, create an inner environment to change your outer environment at any age, at any time. You get to choose what you believe and don't believe, what you hold dear and make valuable for yourself.. as an act of love.
As my husband would say when we'd have long conversations about God... "It's a mystery, that's the point. So why wouldn't you choose to believe something that makes you feel good?"
It's as simple as that. You are worthy to receive your creations. You are loved and you are safe to feel. Your suffering isn't helping anybody. Feeling good is a great reason. The ripple effect is mighty. Collective beliefs will change when we change at the core, personal level, not the other way around.