Sometime in the last few days I heard a radio interview with a man who had served over forty years in solitary confinement in the US prison system, a man who still seemed to have all his marbles despite only leaving his tiny cell for an hour a day during that time. (Bear in mind that Amnesty International regard more than two weeks in ‘solitary’ as torture and likely to affect mental health). When asked how he managed to get through that unimaginable and inhumane period, the man first mentioned that being one of the Black Panther movement, seeing himself as a dedicated Black Panther activist, was key. Continue reading Got Any ID Mate?
When I was at school, we did a thing in maths called (at that point) “linear programming”. In this task we drew the axes of a graph and then had a problem to solve using lines that we produced on that graph. E.g. maybe we had to plan a birthday party where the budget, number of people, entertainments, catering etc. had to be planned on the graph so we could work out what was possible. Maybe the problem would tell us that we had to have an even number between 20 and 26 of party guests. Maybe the maximum budget was x amount. Maybe the clown cost £40 and if we wanted to add a musician it would be another £30. Each piece of information became a line on the graph, and then at the end, in the middle of the graph, would be an area fenced in by lines of what was possible.
Your beliefs are just like those lines.
Each belief you have – and remember, you may not even be consciously aware of all your beliefs – is like a line or a fence: one side represents what you regard as possible, the other side is impossible and therefore ignored.
EVERYTHING you do has beliefs attached, by the way: beliefs about the universe, about people in general and especially about how you fit into that picture with your own talents, values, identity… And so a person ends up looking at a small area, hemmed in by beliefs, of what is possible for them at that point in their lives.
You were NOT born with these beliefs. Not with any of them. You were unlimited.
And then, one by one, either borrowed from the significant adults around you, or from personal experiences, and most of all from the hero/heroine character that you developed for your story, these lines or fences appeared in your inner world and you accepted that the space inside the fences was where your life had to be lived.
(So many people come to me and say they feel “stuck” and all they can see are those fences hemming them in)
So, what would happen if you take back ownership of your fences, of your beliefs, and decided they are yours to place where you want?
Beliefs are changing all the time of course. Each time a sports feat is achieved, a new mountain ascent is managed, something previously thought impossible is conquered, then all the people in those fields move their internal fences a little further out and re-assess what they personally might be able to do. And suddenly there is a rush of achievement.
But it can be much much quicker than that. If there is a fence, a belief that was limiting you until now, simply re-write your hero’s characteristics to change that. You could do this easily by finding someone on this planet who has already moved back or removed entirely that particular internal fence, and borrow some of their characteristics, act just like them. Failing this, simply start to surf your imagination. Dream the dream of the person who no longer has that restricting belief. Make the dream bright, vivid, compelling. Water it daily as you trance out in the way you do on so many occasions.
I said above that you were born with no beliefs, but maybe there WAS one that informed that first period of rapid learning and exploration and maybe that belief was “anything is possible”
This message has been sponsored by Unlimited You! (Fence demolitions carried out, no job too large)
One thing you should know about your mind, one of its prime directives, is that it seeks out the familiar: the familiar in ideas, situations, peer groups, relationships and just about everything else. From those 2 million pieces of information coming through your senses every second, anything that is already known or recognised is seized upon. Which is a GREAT skill when you are first building your internal model as a young child and one to continually challenge, shake up or even discard as you get older.
(This week’s news happened to mention research showing that learning new things and challenging your mind vastly reduces chances of dementia) Continue reading “Once Upon A Time… They All Lived In Increasingly Unpredictable Ways”
There is a great story in First Nation US folklore about the origins of the crow. In the story, the crow was originally created in many beautiful colours and loved his colours deeply and how the light shone on them. But when he noticed his shadow, behind him, black as black, he became increasingly perturbed and started to peck at that shadow, to try and make it go away. Over time he became so obsessed with the shadow that he forgot about his colours entirely. All his attention was on the shadow and he pecked more and more… until the day that the shadow had had enough and pecked back, swallowing the crow up and leading to the black bird (with a shimmer of other colours) that we know today.
Spring has started springing and we all know what that means. An extra friskiness is in the air and many of us start to think about Mr/Ms Right (or Right Now) and the ol’ rollercoaster of ups and downs, of triumphs and heartbreaks is all poised to hit full speed once more. I know of several friends already well into the cycle, bless them!
Now there are two excellent ways to make sure that this is a ride you can thrill to, and after which you will remain injury free and tingling.
May I share them with you?
Strategy #1 is the simplest. Make a decision, just before you get on the ride, that you are going to enjoy every moment, even the moments you think you are going to die. If this seems like a tough thing to learn to do, fast forward in your mind to the last moment you spend here on Earth and think, as you look back, how beautiful and precious ALL those intense moments were. Seemingly good or seemingly bad, you LIVED those rollercoaster situations and the bitter and the sweet were all part of being so gloriously, feelingly, vulnerably ALIVE! With that perspective you can really treasure every part of whatever situation you get into.
Strategy #2 may be used in conjunction with #1, and it is about remembering, whatever role you choose in any given moment of the game, exactly who has the power and who is the worthwhile prize here! (Yes, it is you!) So… this strategy consists of first reminding yourself that “Perception is Projection”. Meaning it is impossible for you to notice anything great about your lover without that thing being already in you. In fact, you can go one step further and acknowledge that all those wonderful feelings that you experience(d) in any given relationship are feelings that YOU bring to the party, not gifts from that special someone. Feeling beautiful? Your lover is simply showing you the beauty of you, a beauty that stays there regardless of relationships.
At the same time, anything that you were particularly feeling had to come from someone else – approval and being “good enough” or “attractive enough” are the top faves in the perennial chart – can now be something that you consciously pour into yourself, rather than seeking them outside. Stand in front of the mirror, tell yourself how goddam sexy, wonderful, worthwhile you are. Cradle yourself gently. Treat yourself as the most precious person on the planet!
When you need nothing from your new playmate or partner, then you can really start to enjoy love (in all its forms) for the first time.