Experience, Reflect, Reframe, Practice.
If you make this practice a habit, you can shed limiting habits that derail you and re-create a new future for yourself. It’s that simple, yet potent beyond belief.
Much of what we do, we imbibed before age 7 from our caregivers. Don’t blame yourself. You have enough other stuff to feel guilty about. Till 7, our mind operates at Theta brain wave level of 4 ~8 Hz. It’s highly influenceable. Our caregivers caution us not to do things and guide us to do things, for our good. Our mind embeds the don’ts, not so much the DOs. Unfortunately, it embeds the DO NOT, omitting the NOT, as DO. So, what remains anchored as a belief system in our unconscious mind impels many of us to do what we have been warned not to. Seems strange and eerie, but true. Many of us yearn to do what we have been warned not to do, as we grow into adolescence and adulthood. I know I did. Reflect back on your misspent youth and see how true it is.
The DOs that embed also create an unconscious belief system, perhaps less potent, yet powerful, if repeated often enough by many voices we respect and fear. In turn, these beliefs create actionable values in us. Values mirror beliefs. My father, his father and his grandfather had all been scholars or bureaucratic followers, not entrepreneurial leaders. So, I grew up conditioned and comfortable with an aspirational value to become a scholar and a follower. This would have been my natural karma, as it were, following the dharma of scholarship.
However, some experiences as I grew up provided me opportunities to exhibit my leadership skills and entrepreneurship. I was now in a dilemma. Do I follow my conditioned, but limiting belief-based value of a follower, or do I act on the exciting possibility of a leader that I enjoyed and others around me now appreciated? As it happened, I moved into leadership and entrepreneurial roles, and at a much later point became a scholar as well.
Beliefs and values can be reframed. They need to be reframed. If we pursue a value that does not align with embedded beliefs and values associated with these beliefs, our unconscious mind will block the new value systems we wish to espouse. This is the reason why we find ourselves addicted to past behaviour as limiting habits. We find ourselves disempowered. Quite often, we are blind to these limiting habits that derail us till others who care enough about us point them out as our blind spots. However, if we develop a habit of reflecting on whatever we experienced during the day, focusing on what we could have done better in an honest and vulnerable manner, our own inner voice would tell us where we screw up.
Sometimes an emotionally traumatic experience may create blocks in us not allowing us to risk such experiences again. These blocks can be dissolved through a somatic reflection of re-living these traumatic experiences, sensing where they are actually felt in your body, and labelling them as emotions, while at the same time breathing in and out deeply. You will find that in a few minutes you will find the sensations being relieved. If you are able to visualise the sensations in the body is colour, matter and shape, you will see that these too morph and become positive and healing. This re-living and the relieving process is very effective in loss, fear and grief, as well as associated emotions of regret, guilt and shame.
Start with a daily reflection. First, be grateful for the good that happened that day. Then, think about what you can do better, and how, without blaming yourself. Make this a prayer to your inner energy Self, ‘please help me do better in this way.’ Once you start doing this in a meditative, reflective manner, at the same time every day visualising how you wish to change, alone with yourself, unhurried, in acceptance of yourself and in gratitude for what the universe provided you, you will find yourself changing. To this add what challenges you may face, and you are there.
Reflect on what you experienced, reframe, practise and reframe again as you move on. You will get closer to where you wish to be, to do and to have in 2023.