you cannot fix something if you don’t know it’s broken
Each and every one of us is programmed ~ what we think, what we believe, how we behave, what we like and what we dislike are automatic responses, programmed reactions and actions buried deep in our subconscious. Our conscious minds only govern what we do about 10% of the time, and most of the time what our conscious minds do, think, and feel is based on all that stuff way down in our unconsciousness. So, if you are scared of snakes, it isn’t a conscious thing, it’s actually a primeval race-memory so far down in your subconscious you don’t even know it’s there until the first time you come across a serpent.
If you have problems in your life, if you can’t handle certain situations, if you keep lurching from one disastrous relationship to another, then you are not consciously doing that on purpose. A string of dysfunctional relationships in your past, and the likelihood that you will repeat the same mistakes over and over again in the future, means that there is something dysfunctional with the tapes in your unconscious mind.
The scary thing is that all that programming, all of your beliefs, behaviors, and opinions were put there before you were seven years old. The adults in your life; your parents, your wider family, older siblings, teachers impressed their thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, habits, and prejudices upon your unformed mind while you were still a child. And there was nothing whatsoever you could do about it. Ergo, if you are a borderline alcoholic, drug addict, a heavy smoker, or obese ~ it’s not all your own fault. If you’re promiscuous, dishonest, and continually finding yourself in toxic relationships, then that’s not completely your fault either. It’s because you were taught all those things when you didn’t know any better.
Before I was five years old I was taught that women are lying bitches, and that men who have anything to do with women are bad. I was taught that sex is nasty, dirty, and wrong. I was taught that love is meaningless, that interpersonal relationships are always toxic, and that sex outside of marriage is a sin that will send me to hell. I know who did that to me.
It took me right up until a few days ago to realise this, to truly know what was broken in me. Right up until a few days ago my life was dysfunctional, I was unable to have a stable relationship, I couldn’t ever be truly open, honest, trusting, or loving. My life was toxic. I drank to much to escape the way I always acted and reacted.
If that is anything like you, then look deep within to find out what is broken in you. Then, when you know what’s broken you might have some chance of fixing it. Be like me and kill the snake in your mind.
it wasn’t all her own fault that Red Riding Hood liked wolves just a little too much
at dawn, at the morning of the day, all things become clear
Conscious thinking is what we do when we don’t know what to do. When you don’t really know how to drive a car, you have to think about it. When you can drive your subconscious mind takes over and leaves your consciousness free to do other things ~ like try to work out WTF you’re lost. For 95% of the time your subconscious mind is running your life.
Yesterday, while I was out taking my meditative walk, my subconscious mind came up with an idea ~ a plan for living the rest of my life. Except it wasn’t just an idea, it was the whole plan, almost fully formed.
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life ~ think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is the way great spiritual giants are produced. ~ Swami Vivekananda
This plan is simple, complete, integrated, mindful, and self-contained. There are only 5 parts and each one is important to the whole;
- Live a Healthy Life. It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver. Gandi. For most of my years my lifestyle was unhealthy: too much work, too much stress, too much booze, not enough sleep, not enough exercise, and no spirituality whatsoever. Now I have an eating plan in a Paleo Diet, I walk 10,000 steps a day and do a little yoga, have a good sleep routine, and I am sober.
- Travel Far and Wide. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine. I have travelled the world, but mostly I have done it with my eyes and heart closed, and mostly I have travelled alone.
- Enjoy Time with my Friends. ‘Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. Charles Lamb. For most of my years I pushed people away, now I hope I can welcome new friends into my life. And what better way to travel the world than with a special friend.
- Words and Pictures. Write what should not be forgotten. Isabel Allende. I do not need to work but I need to be creative. Reading, writing, photography ~ hell I may even learn to paint ~ people, places, things, ideas, beliefs…..
- Spirituality. A healthy mind in a healthy body ~ Juvenal. And this is the crux of the whole plan. I lived in a straight-line, goal-oriented, competitive existence, and I was wealthy in money, miserable, sick, and suicidally depressed. I cannot learn spirituality, I need to live it.
I believe in this plan, that it will work for me. Thinking about it, my plan doesn’t work without integrating all of these 5 elements, but I don’t need to add a number 6. Even Love is encompassed and runs through the whole of it
Some say that no plan survives contact with reality. And that they could live happily if only….. All I know is that tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
evening, a time of rest and reflection
Don’t practice until you get it right; practice until you can’t get it wrong.
Most of the time we do what we do without even thinking about it ~ and maybe the best example is driving. We get in the car, turn on the engine, buckle up, put it in gear, and head out into traffic, towards our destination ~ and the whole process is automatic. It wasn’t always like that. When we were first learning to drive we consciously thought about every movement of our hands, feet, eyes….. However, once we could actually drive, had our licence and everything, the process of driving was handed over to our subconscious mind ~ we drive without conscious thought.
In fact, 95% of everything we do we do automatically, without conscious thought, relying on our subconscious mind to run our lives. Living consciously, living mindfully, is actually an effort. Our subconscious mind is far more powerful than our consciousness will ever be.
The snag is, all our subconscious mind is made up of is a set of programs, and when we drive we play the ‘driving program’. If we can play a sport well; say golf, then when we hit a golf ball we are using the ‘golf program’. And, if we are addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, casual sex, then when we engage in those self-destructive activities we are merely using the automatic ‘alcoholic / addict / gambler program’. Remember 95% of everything we do is controlled by our subconscious mind which is merely using a set of pre-programmed routines.
The bigger snag is that most of the programs in our subconsciousness were put there before we were about seven years of age ~ some of them while we were still in the womb. The young mind is like a sponge, it will soak up everything, without having the ability to differentiate between good, bad, and useless. This is why we often act like our parents, older siblings, teachers, and other carers ~ no matter if that’s good, bad, or useless.
The adult mind is not like a sponge ~ it’s more like a fortress. To get a new belief in there is incredibly difficult. I have a drink problem. Consciously I can easily stay away from booze, but when my subconscious mind is in control I want to get blasted. And, it’s no use my saying to myself; ‘stay sober….’ because I’m trying to talk to my subconscious mind ~ and there’s nobody there. My subconsciousness is just a set of programs ~ I may as well try and talk to a bottle of booze.
There are only two ways to connect to my subconscious mind, and both are fairly difficult.
The first is to go back to the childhood mind-state, and in an adult that means entering the Theta State, which only happens naturally twice a day ~ when we are almost asleep at night, and when we are almost awake in the morning. If you know how, then you can use self-hypnosis at those times to connect to your subconscious mind and change the programs in there.
The second way to change the programs in my subconscious mind is through what Dr. Bruce Lipton calls ‘habituation’, which is just a posh way of saying a lot of practice. Remember learning to drive? You did it over and over again until you didn’t ever get it wrong. If you want a new subconscious program, then you have to consciously practice that new program, over and over again until you don’t ever get it wrong.
How long did it take you to really learn to drive? In Europe, where it’s really hard to be a driver, months maybe. Or how long before you got good at your chosen sport? Years maybe.
And they are easy programs. Something complicated like changing a complex subconscious behaviour such as an addiction ~ well it will take a while. Reprogramming yourself isn’t ever going to be easy.
In 12-step programs they have a mantra; ‘fake it to make it’. Try your desired behaviours for a year or so and see what you can really do to change your mind.
just thinking is mostly pointless
we have to get off our arse and do something
we are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think and believe
Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to rewire and restructure itself according to usage and needs. The more we use certain parts of our brain, the stronger they get. Conversely, the less we use certain parts of our brain the weaker they get. So, if your brain spends a lot of its time being depressed, then the part of your brain / body that is depressed, that creates sadness, melancholy, and hopelessness in you, will become stronger and larger. You will get better and better at being depressed.
Whereas, if you fill your life with joy, companionship, and happiness, then the part of your brain / body that deals with those things will become stronger and larger ~ you will become better and better at pleasure, satisfaction, and elation.
Weird, but that’s the way it really works.
If you learn a new and difficult skill, particularly one which involves both the mind and body; golf, tennis, touch typing, knitting, carpentry, learning to drive….. then your brain will change, enlarge, and strengthen to allow you to get good at your chosen pastime or occupation.
Because of the power of neuroplasticity, you can, in fact, reframe your world and rewire your brain so that you are more objective. You have the power to see things as they are so that you can respond thoughtfully, deliberately, and effectively to everything you experience. ~ Elizabeth Thornton.
The really interesting part is that we can use neuroplasticity on purpose to create and reinforce a change in ourselves. With each repetition of thought or feeling we reinforce a particular set of neural pathways. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work. Neuroplasticity offers us the opportunity to make real and lasting psychological changes in the way our brain / body works.
There are a number of exercises we can use to enhance the interconnectedness of our neural pathways, and they are both intellectual and physical. For example, regularly only using your ‘wrong’ hand promotes left / right brain connectedness, while reading a good, difficult, and stimulating book promotes the efficiency of the intellectual and memory parts of the brain.
The key is repetition and keeping on practicing until whatever it that you want becomes a habit and your normal way of life. If you want to stop being jealous, then practice being tolerant, accepting, trusting and understanding. As they say in AA; ‘fake it to make it’.
Some say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. And that once a sinner, always a sinner. All I know is that the phenomenon of neuroplasticity allows us to be whoever and whatever we want to be.
you can change and strengthen your brain / body so you could build anything
Your memory is a monster it summons with a will of its own. You think you have a memory, but it has you. ~ John Irving
My strongest belief was that I was doing well, that I was making an escape from the dark demons that were haunting me.
I told myself that I was a cool guy, living a great life. Cool is not a good adjective to apply to myself. It excuses all kinds of previous negative actions, and on-going manipulation of others.
In doing my best to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder I was just making things much worse.
The Holidays and all through January have been very bad, and as you would expect, I had a complete alcohol-fueled breakdown last week. Since Sunday my body, mind, and spirit have just concentrated on my staying alive.
I will try to make amends to all those people I have hurt. Maybe I’ll die trying.
Alone in the darkness is a very bad place
They’ve all come to look for America…..
Four intensive days attending a self-awareness retreat. Because that’s what it was, self-awareness from the internal structure of human cells to the unconscious vibrations we put out into The Field that surrounds us all. Most of all it was about getting in touch with my inner voice, the subconscious programs that run 95% of my life.
Turns out that most of my life was being run by all the crap I soaked up like a sponge before I was seven years old, and that left me prey to the greatest terror of all young children ~ the fear of abandonment. Even the youngest child instinctively knows that if his or her primary care givers abandon them, then they will surely die. That fear has been ruling my life for all of my life.
And, WTF, I am a uniquely capable and able grown man, who is more than equipped to look after himself in just about any set of circumstances, up to and including being shipwrecked on a desert island ~ and I won’t need a basketball to talk to.
The one thing that always unconsciously terrified me was the ending of a relationship with a woman ~ due to this whole fear of abandonment thing that was ruling my subconscious mind.
But, I know that now, and I also know how to change the programs that were ruling, and will continue to rule most of my life. (You can Never get away from the fact that about 95% of what you do, think, and say comes from your subconscious.)
I have found the real me , I know the real me, and I have changed 2 big things about me. I am no longer a bad carbon copy of my parents, (especially my dad), and I now longer fear abandonment.
The real me, the true me, is now a very cool and very capable guy 100% of the time.
Some say we can Never get away from our upbringing. And, that we can never really change our innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, hopes, and fears. All I know is that if you are prepared to work hard enough to find the fulcrum, then you can move your whole world.
don’t just go through the motions
Live a Cool Life instead
What we think and believe, we become.
Here in New Mexico, yesterday I learned some powerful stuff, part of which was an exploration of how the brain works, specifically how the subconscious mind works. Starting with the hard science of up-to-the-minute biochemistry and the structure of the brain, and going right down to the way our subconscious mind controls our actions, I was shown some advanced tools to help me in my day to day life.
It seems that the influence of our subconscious mind (95%), far outweighs the control our conscious mind has over our actions (5%). Think about it, our subconscious mind runs walking, talking, driving, deciding how we get to where we are going, what we think about people, and all the other daily actions we take for granted. Our conscious mind does the creative stuff.
The snag is that a lot of what is in our subconscious got there before we were old enough to decide what was good, bad, or terrible – much of our unconsciousness was filled up with feelings, opinions, beliefs….. before we were 7 years old. A lot of what is in my subconscious are things I would really prefer not to be there – for example fear of abandonment.
I would really like to change some of the things in my subconscious, but that is a very long and difficult task – like learning to drive, truly changing my belief systems will take a lot of time and effort. If you play a sport, just think how long it took you to get good at it, that’s how long it takes an adult like me to implant something complex into my subconscious mind.
And you can’t just think it, you have to believe in it and do it – practice how you want your subconscious mind to be, don’t just think about it do it and believe in it.
Belief is more powerful than reality, but no matter how much you believe you can fly, you can’t.