Lesson 1: Gaining Clarity
This week we are looking to gain an understanding of 'the human condition'.
Once we have understood what forces are at play in shaping our lives, experiences and our reality, we can begin to observe objectively, like a scientist. We can start to identify what is no longer serving us from a place of curiosity. When we are entrenched in our experience it can be hard to see there are other possibilities and options. The purpose of this lesson is to learn to take a step back from 'being us' - and simply start to observe our experience, to notice.
Take your time to read and digest the following information. You should expect to spend 2-3 hours working through this and filling out the worksheets included at the bottom. Note down for yourself any new learnings or resistances to be discussed in our first in person session
“The real voyage of discovery is not in seeing new lands but in having new eyes”
Research has demonstrated that most conditioning is programmed very early in life (0-7 years) by parents, peers, teachers, siblings & caregivers. From your birth, as an innocent divine being, a creation of pure, unconditional love - you were perfect. There were no self-judgments. You were born with an instinctual desire for LOVE (a sense of oneness) and an instinctual fear of DANGER (separation) - your survival depended on an abundance of love and the omittance of danger.
SIMPLE WIRING OF THE BRAIN:
Seek Love = belonging, safety & life,
Avoid Pain= separation, rejection & death.
The socialisation process enveloped you with layer upon layer of conditioning. As you grew, learnt and absorbed, your survival depended on you staying part of the 'family'. You adapted your behaviour to ensure you belonged - to stay safe. The instinctual fear of being rejected and consequently abandoned, was perceived as certain death by the immature mind. And so the adaptive mind learnt different ways to 'stay safe'.
Perhaps you learnt you had to please people for their affection or that negative feelings got more attention than positive ones. Perhaps you didn't feel unconditional love and so you felt the need to prove your worth constantly, to be perfect or to do something 'more' than just being. Perhaps you took on certain responsibilities that you were incapable of fulfilling, such as 'saving' your parents or siblings, protecting people or making yourself smaller.
Often we take on our parents fears as our own, even if these weren’t overtly verbalised. Children are excellent sponges, absorbing not just what you say, but what you do and how you feel.
The immature mind has a wonderful ability to over-generalise in order to save time (See Alberts White Rabbit Experiment) which is valuable when our lives are in danger - not so great when we are left with irrational fears that do not serve us.
Children do not develop the capacity for critical conscious scrutiny until much later in life. Once “wired” within our mind, these beliefs, behaviours and attitudes become entrenched as our ‘programming’, like an automatic processing system. A lens through which we see the world.
Which is why any type of 'not being good enough' can often feel like an actual threat to your life. The childhood fear of being rejected remains with you despite there being no real danger! This is a simple and powerful system to ensure your survival. However, as we mature we begin to associate anything that threatens our sense of self-worth, as dangerous. These 'danger' alerts can get hyper stimulated - so we see danger & threat everywhere.
The pursuit of external approval & expectations of perfection, persist as ways for us to ensure 'safety'. Enter Anxiety, Stress, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Overwhelm, Hyper-sensitivity and a multitude of other maladaptive survival mechanisms!
As adults, this can show up as self-sabotage. Because we have a negative association with something positive i.e. if I'm confident/successful/ wealthy/beautiful/ happy I'll be rejected. So our unconscious programming may push away what we also crave and desire as an adult. Our wires are crossed!
To summarise, our conditioning and consequent beliefs run our lives, even if our beliefs limit our potential, rob us of our freedom and are detrimental to our well-being.
FEAR & LOVE
Fear is an instinctual part of being human, but love is ultimately who we are. We are always seeking a return to Love.
When we can see beyond our ingrained survival mechanisms, we are able to reconnect with our birthright - UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
From here, we can decide which beliefs are serving us and which we are choosing to leave behind. We didn't have a choice about our childhood conditioning. BUT WE DO HAVE A CHOICE NOW!
It’s like being given a phone with loads of pre-installed apps in a hidden folder; you can't see them, they're riddled with viruses, draining your battery, taking up space and infiltrating your entire operating system! This is known as Psycho-cybernetics; the subconscious programming of identity.
The good news is, it is entirely possible to delete these apps!! It is possible to re-programme your sub-conscious beliefs. Neuro-plasticity means we can create NEW neural pathways in the brain. We can choose to re-wire for love and success! We can decide to return to unconditional love, which is where freedom lives.
And I'm going to guide you!
This isn't a magic pill - but it is a powerful formula.... once learnt and repeated we can create new neural pathways in your mind, literally creating new feedback loops and a new reality. Like any new habit, it doesn't have to take long, but it does require consistent and dedicated practice.
THE FEEDBACK LOOP
Now we have understood the role of childhood conditioning and the subconscious mind, it's time to look at how this shows up in our lives.
Subconscious programming shows up as an AUTOMATIC FEEDBACK LOOP. Thoughts - feelings - behaviours; Each of these impact and strengthen the other. The thoughts create a feeling and this leads to us taking certain action or exhibiting certain behaviours, which reinforces the feelings which instigates more thoughts and makes the feelings stronger.
If we are stuck on a negative loop without intercepting the cycle, our ‘reality’ is automatically created. Which is why it can feel like life is out of our control. A negative feedback loop has momentum and a gravity to it, so it feels like the downward spiral is inevitable. BUT IT ISN’T!
People often become very attached to their cycle as 'the truth'. They have built their identity/ ego around it. Ever felt like someone would prefer to be right (and suffer) than be wrong (and happy)? The first task is to understand that your version of reality is not necessarily 'the truth'. This feedback loop isn't reliable as there are many fundamental biases the brain works on (which we will explore in further detail later). For example, the brain will seek out danger as its number one priority. If we have the core belief that 'I am not safe' the feedback loop will always be on the lookout for danger. We experience what we seek and seek what we expect to experience - even if it is a negative experience! So you can see how we can fall victim to believing our perception of reality is the 'TRUTH'.
The intention is to step back and stop taking the 'feedback loop' so personally!
Circumstance: Your friend leaves the room.
Thought: They are angry with me, I've done something wrong, I'm going to be humiliated.
Feeling: Uneasy, scared, anxious, stressed.
Unhelpful Core Belief: I am not safe.
Our survival instinct kicks in and we become entrenched in this feedback loop. The more we believe our loop to be 'true', the more intense the emotions and the more traction it gains. Often we focus on trying to control the external situation (the symptom, for example, rush to check with the friend that we haven't upset them) rather than looking at the root cause- which is always just a BROKEN CORE BELIEF.
intercepting the loop
We CAN intercept this feedback loop on a conscious and unconscious level and turn it into an upward spiral, so that it starts to work in our favour, towards success!
Endless talking in therapy about your thoughts and problems can be of little actual help as we are often just reinforcing the feedback loop. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy looks at the external situation as the trigger and teaches coping mechanisms, which can be helpful. However, it does not address the subconscious core beliefs.
Trying to “talk” the subconscious into changing its mind is of limited use. It’s not enough to just ‘think positively’- it’s like putting a plaster on a gaping wound that needs to be operated on… if we haven’t addressed the underlying beliefs motivation can only last so long.
Your conscious mind is a 40bit data per second processor - responsible for about 5% of outcomes of your day. Your subconscious mind processes about 40,000,000 bit data per second, 95% of the outcomes you have in your day.
Switching to automatic pilot so the subconscious can take over is essential for our survival. For example, when driving a car, the subconscious mind kicks in and we've ended up at our destination without paying conscious attention! However, if we are caught in a destructive cycle, this automatic mechanism has become maladaptive.
WE NEED TO IDENTIFY AND CHANGE OUR INNER CORE BELIEFS so that we can intercept the negative feedback loop, right at the heart of it on a deep sub-conscious level!
This insight shows us how we can consciously intercept what is otherwise happening automatically; we have the power to instigate change!
By returning to the root cause of your limiting beliefs, acknowledging the impact they have had, how this shapes your thoughts, feelings and behaviour - we can decide if this belief is TRUE, is it SERVING YOU, and do you want it to run your life anymore. If not, we are ready to make NEW CHOICES IN LINE WITH YOUR NEW CHOSEN BELIEFS. We're never looking to lay blame to your up-bringing or conditioning. We're always looking to gain awareness so you have the ability to CHOOSE!
a powerful, holistic & integrative approach
The strategies I use and the tools I teach you will allow you to identify the root cause of your limiting beliefs and learn how to re-programme so you can make deep rooted and lasting changes. We will address every area of the feedback loop on a sub-conscious and conscious level.
Meditation, Embodiment and Hypnosis, guided or self-practice, Dancing, Taking Risks and Violent Action, Celebrating Wins and more, will literally work to change subconscious beliefs on a deep, psychological and physiological level.
However, these skills take dedicated practice. There is no magic pill. Programming happened over a number of years, so committing to change is the first step. The good news is, if you show up and do the work- you can literally write yourself a NEW NARRATIVE, CREATE A NEW FUTURE AND LIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS. Turn that feedback loop around so it becomes a positive momentum in your life: this is the secret to the Law of Attraction. We gain further success through behaviourally bypassing these old programs and adapting new behaviours; we challenge thoughts and beliefs by taking action against them. Combine with a burning DESIRE to break free and we are on a home run to re-programming from a place of unconditional love!
This isn’t about trying to become a whole new person (unless of course you want to!) It is about having insight, power and tools - so you get to choose.
You are enough just as you are - so let’s uncross those wires and get clear on who you were always meant to be!
FIND AN EXCUSE TO WIN!
As we are about to embark on intercepting our automatic feedback loops, the ego can show some resistance to CHANGE. It is now really important that we set a firm intention to show up and do the work that is necessary to create change. When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the discomfort of making changes, we are ready. This is how we can use pain as leverage. Get clear on how you can use your current discomfort as motivation to challenge the automatic habits, beliefs and behaviours of the past and how it is time to find an excuse to WIN! When you have had ENOUGH of the suffering - then you have all the incentive you need.
BE DO HAVE!
Our experience / reality is entirely dependent on our expectations. We expect it, we seek it, we find it. Therefore we can't look to solve our problems be focusing on the external symptoms - our experience. Or more specifically, by focusing on what we don't HAVE. This is like fire-fighting, without stopping the source of the fire. We need to move the focus onto our 'Internal' habitual patterns, the thoughts, feelings and behaviours we consume, feed and put out into the world. In this way we become EMPOWERED. We are no longer looking to lay blame, seek external validation or put our happiness in other peoples hands. Instead, we are taking responsibility for WHO WE ARE!
This video explains the model that underpins the TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMATION.
THE FIRST STEP...
How does it feel to be embarking on a journey of change, whereby you are reclaiming your power and taking charge of your life? Take a moment to acknowledge yourself. By showing up and being willing to heal, to face your broken beliefs and choose new ones, you one of the FEW who are really able to contribute positively to the world. As we heal and breakthrough, we are no longer a drain on others resources or energy.
We are a contribution.
A powerful force for good.
You can use the following worksheet to make notes about what you have understood so far about childhood conditioning & the feedback loop.
Congratulate yourself for showing up and doing the work! Being dedicated to growth is a gift, not only to yourself, but the world.