As Katie’s coaching usually does, her recent blog post got me thinking. We talk so often about the correlation between beliefs and manifestation. The idea of pronoia vs. paranoia. The belief that if anything can go well, it will, and if everything is uncertain anything is possible. We really believe and teach that at Holding Space. And while I may feel that my life right now is in a phase of transitory uncertainty (AKA growth), my vision of what I want the future to look like gets clearer and clearer by the day. Mulling through old habits and beliefs, examining what behaviors keep me stuck in patterns I don’t want to see any longer, literally clearing the clutter out of the way to make space for an entirely different energy about life. I am preparing; creating the lens through which I see my life.
I just came out of a meditation where a vision of a piece of paper I came across while decluttering popped into my head. It was an evaluation of my skills from my Gifted/Enrichment teacher in 5th grade. In my meditation the image highlighted my strengths in bold: Creative Thinking and Verbal Communication/Speaking. Out of a list of 12 skills and attributes, those were what I scored highest on. My eyes sprung open from the meditation and I thought, “I wish I’d saved that paper.” As I thought about how much I identified with those qualities, I quickly remembered the paper also had on it the areas where I needed most improvement: focus and following through. In the interest of not needing ‘things’ to feel content, I decided it was not the paper I needed, but the lessons, and I thought about how deeply rooted our habits and beliefs can be. Did I want to keep that paper to hold on to the idea that I am a creative and well-spoken person? Because if that’s the case then inevitably I would be simultaneously holding on to the idea that I am a person who has a hard time focusing and following through. Somewhere inside me I heard, let it go, Sarabeth. You get to choose who you want to be.
Here’s what that means: Every label you were ever given as a child became your inner voice; the story of who you are. Now that you’re an adult, you have the ability to create a whole new story. Do you want to take responsibility for who you are, or do you want to remain a victim to the labels you received from generations before you? You can stay stuck believing what you’ve always been told, or you can create all new beliefs. It’s not going to come easily. It’s going to take very real work, that starts with taking a good look in the mirror and being aware that you can’t heal what you aren’t willing to see. (That eye mask of resistance can be reallll cozy…) In Yoga we call this Svadhyaya, or Self-study. The direct translation is “one’s own reading” and for it to work, you have to be honest with yourself. So what comes next?
When you become aware of a habit or belief you wish to change, here are three things that may help:
- Use nerve-calming practices like Yoga Nidra and sound healing (using Insight Timer makes this super accessible) as often as possible. Studies have shown that when it comes to rewiring the brain, we are more likely to see a shift in habits and beliefs if we can access a more subconscious level of thinking. We do this by slowing down our brain waves. This is a good example of how and why hypnosis works.
- Remember opposites create balance. I know my inherent strengths and weaknesses, so I can choose which of those I want and believe to be true by inviting practices that strengthen my weaknesses on purpose. Example 1: I’ve been told my whole life I have trouble focusing. So every day I set a timer for 15 minutes and I meditate in silence, focusing solely on my breath and the mantra “I am centered and focused.” If I open my eyes, I have to start over. Example 2: I’ve been told I have a hard time following through. So every day I create small actionable moments that are easy to check off my list of things to accomplish, so that I get used to the rewarding feeling of following through; simple things like making my bed and completing my morning routine. I am literally parenting myself in these moments to heal my inner child and create new beliefs. Muscles don’t get stronger by sitting on the couch. Same with habits and beliefs.
- Know that for something to be true, it has to be true 100% of the time, and forgive yourself when you “fail” or fall off the wagon. (But let’s be real here, YOU create the wagon and decide if it’s even a thing.) So that ex-boyfriend, really mean boss, or toxic family member who keeps telling you you’re not good at something, it simply isn’t true. You just may not have strengthened that part of you as much as you’d like to yet. Remember that old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and build a new damn wagon.
So are you willing to believe in a future you haven’t manifested yet? You can’t manifest what you want if you’re still holding on to what you don’t want. I invite you to let go of the old to make room for the new, choose who you want to be and create small steps that will lead you to it. And keep using intentions in this new year instead of resolutions, which can feel punishing if you don’t complete them. We’re hard enough on ourselves already. Nobody needs any more reasons to punish ourselves for being human. Afterall, every single label we’ve ever chosen to believe and reiterate has two words in common: “I am.” And that’s a belief we can really can get behind. So please, every now and again allow yourself the knowing that you simply “are,” drop the labels and in the midst of all this work, just be.
Written by Sarabeth Jackson