In my last article, I talked about how our illusive subconscious mind is responsible for a startling 95% our actions and behaviors. And, that this mysterious database is formed from the beliefs that were taken on in our earliest years on the planet. These unconscious edicts then become our drivers in life – just outside of our awareness. Kind of creepy. But they do serve a good purpose. This amazing powerhouse prevents the conscious mind from having to learn things over and over. For example, once we learn to ride a bike, that ability is stored in the subconscious mind, and voila, we can ride that bike while also thinking about a conversation from earlier that day. We no longer have to think, “Pedal and steer.” It allows us to do all sorts of things without having to think about them.
While automatic pilot is certainly necessary to navigate our way through the daily bombardment of stimulus, it can be quite limiting if we don’t get to know how it works. Our subconscious beliefs were formed from the environment around us: from parents, teachers, religion, friends, cultural norms, television, etc. For example, we may have been told that children are to be seen and not heard or better to be safe than sorry. On the surface, these seem like harmless adages to help children learn about life. But to a young sponge-like mind, with little life experience, these become guiding beacons that the subconscious mind uses to navigate the world. And don’t even get me started about the not-so-harmless messages that we continue to be bombarded with through advertising, Hollywood movies, and news media (to name a few). Even as adults, the subconscious mind is recording these messages in ways that we are, for the most part, completely unaware of. I know, sounds Brave New World-ish.
Just like a computer, these beliefs become downloaded and embedded in our perception of the world. They’re the program running in the background. And unless we become aware of these beliefs, and change the program to one that is better aligned with our present values and desires, they will continue to influence every aspect of our lives – everything from taking risks, to making decisions, to choosing the right partner, to stepping into an aligned, empowered life where we can really make a difference.
The current consensus on how this works seems to be the “law of attraction” which was born out of the New Thought Movement in the mid-19th century and has begun to saturate mainstream culture (whose roots can be traced to ancient wisdom traditions such as Kabbalah). The premise is that “like energy attracts like energy” and that focusing on positive or negative thoughts influences our experience. What’s missing from this emerging meme is the role of the subconscious mind. Positive thinking and affirmations are only effective to the extent that they do not contradict the program that’s really running the show.
For example, we might say, “The world is a safe and beautiful place” until we’re blue in the face, but if the subconscious mind believes that “The world is a scary, dangerous place,” it will win every time. Remember, these beliefs are unconscious - beyond the logic of the rational mind. We’re not walking around actively thinking that we’re going to be attacked every time we walk out the door (unless we literally are in a dangerous situation).
If we unconsciously believe the world is not safe, then even when we're not actually under attack, our unconscious mind will attempt to protect us, making it difficult to put ourselves out there and takes risks. We'll resist speaking up or authentically sharing who we are because the program running the show is saying, “Be careful. Hide. Don’t risk being laughed at, criticized or alienated.” Then, we’re stumped as to why, despite our best efforts, we keep bumping into obstacles when we try to more visibly express ourselves creatively, or attract the right partner, or make a professional move that is more aligned with our heart’s desire.
The question then remains, how can we manifest a life of personal fulfillment and positive contribution to the world if we’re not aware of what it is we are really attracting and creating from our subconscious mind? One word: consciousness. We must bring the shadow to the light. How the heck do we do that?
1) Become Aware:
Pay attention to the things you find yourself reacting to (versus responding from a place of clarity). As they say in the biz, “What triggers you?” Start with something current from earlier today, yesterday or last week. What tripped you up? (Even the seemingly small stuff will show you to where you need to point your flashlight).
2) Clear the Subconscious Pattern:
Here’s where cutting edge consciousness tools such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Matrix Reimprinting come into the picture. By moving beyond talk therapy and engaging the body’s energy system (where information is stored and communicated), we exponentially increase our ability to successfully clear the old programs that no longer serve us. This allows us to see options and possibilities that were previously out of reach. It’s like removing the debris so the river can flow with greater ease.
3) Change the Program:
Like apps running in the background on your phone, we not only need to actively close the apps we no longer want to run, but we need to download the ones we DO want. Matrix Reimprinting is an advanced form of EFT that allows us to do just that. “Matrix” simply refers to the field of energy around our bodies (kind of like our own personal WI-FI connection - what Lynne McTaggart refers to as the field of energy that connects all living things). By understanding how and when we downloaded our core beliefs, we can access our power to change them.
The truth is we are far more powerful than we realize. And the world needs each of us to use that power to turn the tides toward our highest collective potential. The time is now to live outside the program and become masters at changing the channel within us and around us.
Bernadette Wesley works with clients in the U.S. and Europe via skype, phone and in-person. Want to live outside the program? Book a free consultation.