Some key epiphanies have come to me in my daily meditations, especially over the last 3 years during this sacred time of learning, that have changed my life completely!
Most of them are around who I believe myself to be.
It’s funny how many invisible beliefs we have about who we are, I’m sure they start from the moment we are conceived and start experiencing life.
I once heard a speaker telling that the reason babies cry so much is that every moment is new and possibly the worst thing that has ever happened to them. That from the time you are conceived you live in a very consistent environment surrounded by soft fluid and tissues, temperature controlled, noises are buffered and the regular beat of your mother’s heart soothes you.
Suddenly things move fast and you find yourself in bright lights, naked, cold and being squeezed and pricked by a needle (if in a hospital), where everything is loud and uncomfortable.
So, it occurs to me that something like this happens to us constantly. It’s pretty much how life is, right?
Every new experience is bright and loud and uncomfortable but as we get older, we have new information to help us interpret new situations and who we are. Who we are dictates how we interact in every moment.
For example, when you wake up in the morning and it’s cold, you know that you should put on some clothes to warm you up, right? It is no longer the worst thing that’s happened to you, not only because you’ve probably been cold before but also because now you know that you have the ability to warm yourself with clothes and turning on some heat. But what if you didn’t?
What if you never learned that lesson or were taught that you that you aren’t capable of dressing yourself?
It may sound ludicrous but there are many situations just like that in your minds that we aren’t even aware of.
For instance, I work with a lady who is an accountant, has been for 40 years and is good at it. Let’s call her Peg. She knows numbers! But, when I found a problem with some investments that weren’t tracking right, she told me she wasn’t capable of figuring it out because she didn’t know anything about investments and let her husband handle hers so she’d ask him about it…
I was floored! This wasn’t about picking a good investment, they were already chosen. The problem was that the numbers weren’t adding up right. That was her job for 40 years – to make sure the numbers added up right but because these numbers were named “investments” her belief that she didn’t know anything about that topic precluded her from doing her job.
For 40 years she knew that 1 apple +1 apple = 2 apples but when it was called 1 security + 1 security = -32 she couldn’t see that it was incorrect because somewhere she picked up the notion that she was incapable of it. Just like if you only thought that you knew how to put on blue t-shirts but not red ones.
Can you imagine?
But, it happens to all of us every day.
When you believe that you can’t cook a good meal, or you’re not the type of person who can take a walk every day at lunch or turn your phone off at night for a few minutes. When you think you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, loveable enough or valuable enough to have the life you want and deserve.
Those thoughts are all false, just like if you still believed that you couldn’t dress yourself.
So, my invitation to you today is to start to become aware of those self-defeating thoughts. These aren’t thoughts that you can identify by thinking about it, they are things that you have to challenge when they come up through the day or will surface in meditation.
How do you become aware of them, then? By asking questions every time you hear yourself saying “I can’t.”
When you think or say, “I can’t” or “I’m not capable”, ask yourself:
Is that true?
Why or why not?
If anything in the world was at my disposal, how could I?
If I had more money, tools, people to help or a magic wand, what would I command them to do?
I’ll use my previous example of Peg again. She believes that she can’t handle anything related to investments. What if when she noticed that belief come out of her mouth, she stopped and asked: Why can’t I figure this out? What if I had to, to keep from being fired?
She may start to think about the things she would require to be more comfortable addressing them. Perhaps she could visit with an investment adviser, take a class on it or even use professor Google to get a short and simple explanation of the basic jargon, which would make it less intimidating.
In the process she would probably see that it is no different than what she’s already good at – just uses a little different language.
At that point, her belief would change into being someone who knows something about investments!
That’s a huge shift.
Another example, what if you think “I can’t lose weight”. Even though you know it would improve your health or maybe your doctor has advised you to lose a certain amount. First, I invite you to ask yourself “Why?”, five times. It might go something like this:
1Q: Why can’t I lose weight? A: Because obesity runs in my family and I don’t have time to work out.
2Q: Why don’t I have time to work out? A: Because I have a demanding job and family to take care of.
3Q: Why do I have to work out to lose weight? A: I don’t. I could eat healthier instead.
4Q: Why don’t I eat healthier instead? A: Because I don’t have time and don’t know how to cook.
5Q: Why don’t I have time and know how to cook? A: Because I have a demanding job and family to take care of and no one taught me how to cook.
At this point, you may not have gotten to the root of the issue but you have 2 clear barriers to entry to examine: Your job and your family.
You can start to ask things like: What if you had every tool, support system and resources you needed to have more time? What would they be?
Perhaps you need a time management class in order to manage your work more effectively, delegate responsibilities or reevaluate priorities.
Obviously, your family is important – why not include having a healthy meal together instead of some other activity that isn’t as beneficial? How could you make that happen? Could you pay someone to make a healthy meal for you? Could you take a cooking class and learn a few simple meals? Maybe you could find a couple youtube videos to teach you (like this one!).
This is really just the tip of the iceberg but the point is that if you believe you are the type of person who cannot lose weight – then that is the truth! But, if you examine that belief a little you can change it!
You can literally be the person you want to be right this very moment just by asking yourself if that belief is true and moving toward who you’d rather be with a little step.
Now I’d really love to hear more from you in the comments! Let me know what beliefs you have about yourself, whether is something you’d like to change or something you love, so I can support you personally. It’s pretty important to the grateful for the ways you are that you love instead of always trying to change yourself too! So, tell me something about yourself you wouldn’t change, as well.