The large majority of human beings limit the greatest powers that we have - our minds, bodies and emotions.
We believe in their powers, even though we can’t see or touch them. We rely on them, too, but only partially. Take the brain. In developed cultures, our brains have become our most valued body part. We train it to do math, science, cooking, mechanics and such, but usually let it stop there, ignoring (and often denying) other areas it could be trained in.
We treat emotions much the same way. We believe in love and fear, though we can’t see or touch them, yet we’ll ignore intuition. We believe in our body’s ability to tell us when we’re hungry, tired or injured, but just as with our minds and feelings, we stop short of utilizing its full potential. We rarely follow our hearts.
Our minds and bodies, with all their associated feelings, are tools we have each been given to use, train and develop – so why do we not develop fully? Why don’t we train our brain to interpret all of the signals it receives? Why do we allow or believe only some input, but not all?
Our gifts are our birthright! We are each born into this world open and full of potential with phenomenal tools to support us through life. Yet it is here, at birth, that the limitations begin.
We believe what other people tell us, starting with our parents. We trust them. We then start school, gaining teachers and making friends, and we either ignore or incorporate what they tell us into our belief structure.
In the beginning, we don’t have the tools to examine and explore these beliefs, so we accept them as truth or lies. After all, our parents, friends and teachers usually love us and want the best for us. Sometimes, one of their rules or beliefs won’t feel right to us, and will in fact make us feel bad or ‘not right’. We rebel, only to be overruled.
This is my house/my clique/my classroom, so you do it my way because I know better. In our teens things begin to get really dicey; we begin to rebel against some of the beliefs with our growing logic, reasoning and life experience.
We’ve begun to explore some of these beliefs and found them false for us. But the key here is in the word ‘some’.
By our teens, many of the beliefs we’ve heard all our lives have become so ‘normal’ that they slip by our minds like shadows in the night. They’ve always been there. We’ve always believed it, or heard it and so it fades into the background of all the new things we’re learning and experiencing. Fades, but does not disappear.
Things slip into our subconscious, ‘buried alive’, and we now ‘know’ what’s right and wrong with us, that it is good to do our best, that if we don’t then something is wrong, that the world is round, that fire burns, that we should be perfect, that emotions aren’t to be trusted, that people die and feelings lie.
John Lily coined the term ‘human consensus reality’ to describe the phenomenon. Our families, religions and cultures have all developed sets of rules and beliefs given their particular human consensus reality ~ which means that a group of humans agrees (consensus) that something is correct, right, bad or true. Here the operative word is ‘agrees’, because while it may be true for one group, it might not be true for another.
So the actual truth becomes suspect, and at a minimum, changeable. There are quite a number of different consensus groups, too. We have our moral beliefs, our political beliefs, our health, financial, social, religious, spiritual, primary (acceptable) and secondary (radical) beliefs.
The interesting thing about human consensus realty, however, is that it isn’t necessarily the truth. It is what people believe is true based on religion, culture, past experiences or tradition because it’s ‘what we’ve always done’.
Think back through history to the beliefs that were held to be true - but weren’t. There are too many to touch on but a few, such as: the earth is flat, a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not the voting booth, using leeches to bleed patient is great, as are frontal lobotomies, white is a superior race, objects are solid, etc. Talk about a world in changes!
The other interesting thing is what happens to people who balk and no longer agree with the consensus. They are labeled misfits, rebels and radicals and are cast away (unless they jump ship on their own); excommunicated from their family, religion, friends or culture.
Our reaction to people who don’t think the way we do is extreme. After all, human consensus reality says that ‘we are right’ - and the acronym for ‘We Are Right’ is W.A.R. So, we go to war with the child, parent, friend, culture, country or religion by withholding affection, arguing, ignoring, manipulating and other acts of aggression. Then, they often fight back. War at the dinner table. War in the classroom. War in the market place. War on the temple steps.
To pull ourselves out of this rat race requires courage and determination. There’s a lot to unravel here, and the easiest (and sanest) place to start is with ourselves. After all, we’ve tried to change our parents, children, friend’s and culture’s mind, and usually failed. The truth is that their mind is their mind, their belief is their belief. Unexamined or not, it is theirs and not yours. It is their business what they want to believe, and your business is what you believe.
So it is that the beginning of change requires examining your beliefs to see if they’re even yours to start with! Once you look at what you actually believe, you can decide for yourself if it is true for you. Is it your truth, or your parent’s; your belief, or your religion’s? Did it come from the heart of you, or is it your husband’s, friend’s, employer’s or culture’s truth?
Start to ask, “Is that true now, today, for who I’ve grown to be?” Ask, “Is this who I want to be; who I am?” Begin to challenge the mind’s training and (now) habitual patterns of thought. This is a worthy job for the mind ~ have it help you examine your beliefs!
A beautiful aide to doing this is to train yourself to use all of the tools that are your birthright. Our reliance on our minds as our only source of information is crazy. We are born with body, emotions, too, yet our training and domestication is to ‘think before you act.” Imagine how different our world might be if we’d been trained to ‘love before you act’! We’d rely on an entirely different set of values.
The truth, though, is that we all run around feeling before we act ~ we just don’t realize it. Our mind’s trained dominance justifies our actions with logic, ignoring the underlying feelings. Behind most every thought there is an emotion or feeling if you dig down to look for it. Try it! Test all your thoughts and see if you find one that doesn’t come down to an underlying feeling or emotion.
We do everything in our lives to either avoid pain and suffering, or to feel good and right. And all of these arise from our beliefs about exactly what is good and bad, right and wrong, painful and joyful.
It is those feelings that need to come under inquiry.
If you are really feeling rotten, should you go to work anyway? Many people do. They ignore their body’s signals that they are stressed or sick because they should just ‘buck up’, be strong, get the job done – even at the expense of their health.
If you made a date to go out with friends but find yourself desperately needing a night to yourself, do you go? Many people do, ignoring their need for some down time until stress takes them down If you really want to be a dancer, but your parents tell you that you’ll never have a secure income, do you become a dancer? Many people don’t because they believe in scarcity rather than their true desire.
We do this all the time, with both the big and the small, out of an assortment of assumptions, fears, judgments and beliefs ~ that might not even be true! Who said that our jobs should come before our health? Who told us that our friends wouldn’t understand or that they wouldn’t be relieved at a ‘night in’ themselves? Who said that dancers couldn’t make money? Look at Baryshnikov!
“Yes, yes,” you are probably saying, “It all sounds good, but reality is something different.” That is the whole point! Reality IS different and…..You create your reality! You do, and not anyone else.
What is the difference between Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson, Columbus, Amelia Earhart, Einstein, Picasso - and you? Your belief in what is impossible. That’s it. That is the plain truth of it.
Belief in what is impossible limits every single one of us. Thank God nobody told them their dreams were impossible, huh? Oh, but wait a minute! I bet people did tell them…..they just refused to believe.
Why is something impossible? Where do you have self-limiting beliefs about what you cannot do? Where did they come from? This is why it is so critical to examine your judgments and beliefs.
Decide for yourself what is possible. Decide for yourself what will fulfill you best. Decide for yourself where you want to put your time and energy. Decide for yourself who you want to be and what you can do. Decide to open to the possible, and act from there. Act from a deep place of your inner knowing and truth, and no one else’s.
And then, don’t let anything stand in your way, for there is nothing we can dream that we can’t attain. Nothing. And history is full of examples to guide your steps.
Scared? Me, too, sometimes. Does it mean that your life will change? Dear God, that’s the point! Does it mean that you have to give everything up? No, it does not. You don’t have to give up anything you don’t want to. Do you have to compromise? Only if you want to.
Following our heart and understanding our truths is a process; one that we grow into. While some changes can be immediate, most are not. You are at choice every step of the way….just as you have always been.
Because it can feel scary to step out of our ruts and boxes, support is vital along the way. We listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ often enough (those in our heads and in person) and the noise can be deafening. We need someone on our side. We need a ‘yay-sayer’.
We need someone(s) that believes in us, in our ability to change and grow and learn new ways. We do not have to do this alone, because as life has shown, we didn’t get here on our own and it can be hard to get out on our own.
Finding support is easier than you think. The first step is listening to the feeling inside of you that life can be different, that what your heart wants matters, that what your body needs is important and that what your spirit craves is possible.
Once you cherish that awareness, once you understand that this is your birthright, the next step is to look around. Where in your world are there others doing the same? Where are there people facing fears and overcoming them? Where are the groups that promote individuality, self-awareness and growth? Where is the friend or relative who is supportive?
Living in a vacuum? That sometimes happens. If so, get on the web and search for your interests and see what’s available. Teleclasses are happening everywhere, so check them out. Bring in a teacher or organize an event yourself. Look for life coaches, because they aren’t dependent on geography. Help can be a phone call away, and all you have to do is want it.
All you have to do is believe in the possible. All you have to do is look up from ‘No’ to find the ‘Yes’.
It really is that simple.
Diana Adkins is an Author, Teacher, Coach and Minister in the Toltec traditions where awareness, transformation and intent are masteries to aspire to. Her mission is to support people towards self-awareness, self-respect, clarity and truth.