I would like to share some of my thoughts and observations on mindfulness. According to dictionary, mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. And today, I want to talk about being aware of what is holding us back in life.
Most of our efforts in life are geared towards getting from point A to point B. How bumpy or smooth the road will be, how long it will take, and just how much sweat and tears we will have to shed on the way to our desired point is largely predetermined by our deeply rooted beliefs or ‘truths’ about reality.
It is important to realize that each one of us has a very unique, individual set of perceptions and beliefs about this world, success, money, love or our self-worth. Each one of us goes through life making decisions, choices and expecting results based on those inner convictions about ourselves and about the world around us.
While we are driven by and pursue our conscious goals and objectives on the daily basis, it is equally (if not more) important to be ‘mindful’ of our subconscious beliefs and expectations in this regard. I have come to a point in my life where I accept the idea that everything that is part of my reality (as well as that which is missing in my life) is the direct outcome of my subconscious beliefs. Moreover, my life and reality is exactly as it should be, according to the wishes and expectations of my subconscious mind.
Accepting this paradigm proves to be difficult and challenging, particularly if you consider the most unpleasant or problematic situations and issues in your life. I myself resisted this logic, particularly looking at how “hard” I’ve been trying to resolve my job situation and get my career back on track. Surely I do not want to be unappreciated and ignored by recruiters and organizations… I most definitely want to finally have a job and be useful I thought.
However, after some critical analysis and self-reflection, I had to admit that there is ALWAYS an answer, on a deeper inner level, which reveals why we are stuck in certain situation, or suffer from lacks and limitations in certain areas of our lives. The eternal truth that all of the external is but a mere reflection/result of the inner content holds true, always!
Lets make a test. Take a one problem or goal in your life, which is occupying your mind and mental energy the most these days. The one problem which is most acute for you now.
First, ask yourself why do I not have this in my reality (yet)? Write down your answers, and note that most of them are attempting to provide convincing, logical justification for the status quo.
Now secondly, ask yourself, what for is this missing in my life? Why is it so important for me not to have this result in my reality? It may seem like you do not have a one single advantage or benefit from not having your goal fulfilled. However, if you trust the process and keep on scribbling the answers and be patient with yourself, then the answers that come to the surface from the depths of your mind will be quite revealing.
In essence, we do have a solid conviction on our subconscious level, that we are better off not having what we consciously desire, and we have exactly the kind of reality and results which our subconscious mind believes to be optimal, safe or possible. So the challenge in addressing this discrepancy between our conscious and subconscious desires is two fold:
A. How do we dig deeper and get access to our subconscious beliefs and desires that are holing us back and preventing us from attaining our conscious goals and results?
B. Once we do get access to those subconscious barriers, how do we transform them and convince our own subconscious about the opposite of what it believes to be true at the moment?
To me, this whole enterprise addresses the issue of mindfulness on much deeper and more fundamental level. For those of us who have read hundreds of self-help books, committed ourselves to doing our daily affirmations and mindfulness practices and who have repeatedly failed in getting the results they want through changing their mind and beliefs, I have good news!
Seven Golden Rules for building the bridge (of understanding?) between your conscious and subconscious mind and desires:
I. All the answers, to all the problems and keys to all the doors are within you. Your subconscious mind represents an ABSOLUTE POWER which is capable of transforming any situation and problem in your life. This power is pre-given and is ever present within each and every person. All you have to do is to commit yourself to getting access to the dominant beliefs and perceptions about yourself, life, and about the world around you.
II. There exists a number of methods and techniques in accessing your subconscious mind and transforming your deeply rooted beliefs and perceptions. I have observed a lot of frustration and fear due to the fact that so much of what is happening (or not happening) in our lives is attributed to the content of our subconscious, while most of us feel absolutely powerless and lack relevant knowledge on how to access, analyze and most importantly transform that.
III. Most importantly, if you can accept that you, and only you are fully responsible for everything in your life (which may not be easy), then you automatically shift yourself to another paradigm which dominates and rules in your reality. The one in which you, and only you have a POWER and ABILITY to transform everything that is happening.
IV. In this context, I must emphasize that many individuals immediately fall into the “guilt zone”, wondering how and why would they create such a terrible and limiting experience in their lives. I must warn you, that guilt, as such, is a dead end street. The feeling of guilt always prevents you from (a) being aware of your subconscious reasons to have status quo, as well as (b) denies your ability to transform those. This is so because your subconscious mind is all powerful, well-meaning servant which is designed to serve your highest good and keep you safe. While it may mistakenly believe that a bad job, bad relationship or some health problem are serving your good and are protecting you in some meaningful way, you will shut access to those reasons and deeply rooted beliefs if you operate on the level of guilt and blame.
V. Responsibility (and I mean, 100% responsibility) is the way forward here. Responsibility without any tint of guilt or anger boils down to the empowered state of awareness that we are all looking for. What this means is that if we accept that we are responsible for creating situation X according to our subconscious beliefs, then we must also accept that our obedient, well-meaning subconscious has a belief that this was a beneficial and necessary experience or situation for us. Following that, knowing that we ourselves have (as a result of social learning, wisdom and experience of our parents, observation of the reality around us) formed that belief and conviction gives us the power and authority to change, transform and essentially “re-write” those rules and formulas that rule our life.
VI. In this journey towards finally making the desired changes happen in your life, your number one task is to identify the inner subconscious reasons (justifications, benefits of) for NOT having, allowing or accepting your desired result. The most logical and crucial next step will be developing the skill that enables you to imprint and store new truths, new perceptions and new understandings that would be accepted and then operationalized by your almighty subconscious mind. Knowing how to identify your subconscious reasons not to have and knowing how to replace your beliefs by transforming them into new ones are most important skills that will empower you as an individual, and will enable you to take the concept of mindfulness to a next new (deeper or higher) level.
VII. Last but not least, it all boils down to loving, accepting and to being at peace with ourselves. If you are convinced that you desperately need to get/achieve/become something or someone in order to finally allow yourself to like yourself, then you are simply wrong. We are put here to love each other but we must start with ourselves. If your permission to finally feel good about who you are is linked to a list of requirements and conditions, you will inevitably fail. Life will have to show you that love that is dependent on all those externalities is just a bargain, not love at all. You have to first insist that you are good, lovable, enough, valid and have a right to be here and enjoy life no matter what. Your permission to have and experience all other good, as well as energy and motivation to pursue it with faith will stem from that inner loving decision of your own.