Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Energy of Belief: Poison or Power? Fundamentally Upgrade Your Belief System

Part One 

Are you Brave enough to examine the Beliefs that drive your life?

Sadly, not everything in life is unicorns, rainbows and endless good cheer. Sometimes, to create more light in our lives, we have look into our own darkness and love the lurkers in our own shadows. To do that, let's take a closer look at the energy of belief. 

Can you remember a time, when you saw a child (or were the child) bursting with excitement, literally jumping up and down over some little something. The child runs up to an adult, who feeling the stresses of life, inadvertently squashes the child’s enthusiasm? Can you think of a time something really exciting happened and you couldn’t wait to tell your special someone, who feeling the stresses of life, inadvertently brushed you off? In a second, your excitement got hammered and squished into something negative. Maybe it was hurt or sadness, annoyance or anger, shame or embarrassment, but whatever the evil butterfly moment (see prev. post), it rose out of a belief.

Every belief has a set of emotions it champions and sends out to battle against anything not itself. Every belief has a favored group of thoughts that it orders to crowd out all other thoughts that might oppose it. Our thoughts and feelings arise out of our beliefs.

Every belief has an energy field that we step into anytime we feed attention to that belief. This energy field snaps into existence any time a belief is triggered by circumstance or association; additionally, the more energy (in the form of attention) that a belief has been fed over the course of its parasitic lifetime, the more the belief bleeds its own energy into our soul, our heart and our mind. Think about radiation poisoning. Our beliefs constantly leak, poisoning the groundwater of our life. Can you see how dark some of our beliefs are; can you grasp the volume of vile junk those beliefs are vomiting into our experiences --- even when we are not noticing them or consciously attending to them?

The most basic and the most damaging of these beliefs always centers on our own worthiness or capacity. You know these thoughts:

I’m not good enough.
I don’t deserve it.
That might work for you, but it could never work for me.
I can’t do it.
I am bad, so I deserve what I get.
I never had a chance.
I am not able.
I’m not pretty enough, or thin enough, or smart enough.
I can’t --- I’m not --- I don’t.

Life plain sucks in the energy of these thoughts. And that energy comes from all the underlying beliefs that vomit up the thoughts and feelings that are constantly distorting, denaturing, or darkening our perception of the circumstances unfolding around us. 

Spiritual teachers and philosophers tell us that all circumstances are completely neutral. We are the ones who project meaning upon whatever we experience. Things are not positive or negative until we decide to see them that way. The way we see them, the way we assign meaning to experience is largely (if not completely) based upon our belief system. 

Our NOT thoughts will always poison our circumstances with their negative bias. For example, we can be with a wonderful person that loves and supports us, but our NOT thoughts will gobble up their goodness until we hardly even notice it. But by god, we’ll notice EVERY little way in which they are NOT what we think we want or what we think they ought to be. If we are not finding enough NOTS, our NOT thoughts will happily make up some shit to fill the gaps. The NOT thoughts will spew out confusion and doubt at every turn until new relationship opportunities are poisoned and pushed away; while older relationships are damaged, sometimes beyond repair. 

Worse, it was never the person. It was the energy of the NOT thoughts pooling around us, the belief in NOT filling up our space until the other person had no choice but to step into the energy of our NOT  thoughts. This calls out the energy of their own NOT thoughts; it activates or triggers their own negative beliefs. Then their negative beliefs and your negative beliefs happily occupy themselves fighting, complaining, competing and generally reinforcing themselves, getting bloated and fat on your attention. “See,” the NOT thought says, “See how she doesn’t appreciate all the work I do to provide for us?” or “See,” the NOT thought says, “See, all he ever does is complain and criticize.

Like a slasher flick, we stab ourselves the same way. We go into the basement of the creepy house. No wonder we end up metaphorically screaming when the chainsaw roar of our NOT thoughts massacres our self-esteem. The basement is our own darkness and NOT thoughts drive us down there over and over again despite how the chainsaw guy splatters our well-being all over the walls. 

Like we did with other people, we do to ourselves. We can be practically a saint, but our NOT thoughts will gobble up our goodness until we hardly even notice it. Sadly, we’ll notice EVERY little way in which we are NOT what we think we ought to be. If we are not finding enough NOTS, our NOT thoughts will happily make up some shit to fill the gaps. The NOT thoughts will spew out confusion and doubt at every turn while the chainsaw guy laughs and slashes away until we feel smaller and smaller. We forget that our diminished state is an act of self-directed violence. 

Take a breath. . .

When we are outside the energy of our NOT thoughts, we naturally see ourselves as bright, beautiful, capable, strong, confident superstars. We know we are the triumphant hero of our own tale, vanquishing the chainsaw guy with such love and goodness that he gives up his violent tendencies and becomes a gardener, tending the flowerbeds of our soul.  

When we are outside the energy of our NOT thoughts, we see our partner's painful behaviors as a cry for love and validation expressed through an ineffective strategy, not as an attack. We see it as an opportunity to grow closer and deeper and better. This understanding is a very saintly perspective and a difficult response to offer others, precisely because our NOT thoughts are used to getting their way, used to distorting our perspective and casting their own interpretation on everything. The NOT thoughts rape and pillage and plunder our well-being. The NOT thoughts steal away our natural bliss; bliss that is an ocean of never-ending love and acceptance. The NOT thoughts hide not only the boat we use to power out into our bliss, but also the pier, the marina and even the whole ocean side town. We forget we have a boat, tied to the pier, anchored in the marina, located in the most desirable ocean side town we can imagine. We forget an ocean of bliss is RIGHT there in front of us.

Even as I say: All experiences are neutral and mean only what I think they mean. Even as I assert:  All experiences are neutral and ONLY I can assign meaning to them; even as I feel the vastness, beauty and empowerment of those words --- another part of me is screaming:  But what about… 

What about this or what about that? What about evil, or suffering, or taxes? What about starving children or politicians? This is not to say that there are no evil taxes or selfish politicians, clearly there are. It is to say that existence is not the same as meaning. We can choose to see suffering as a negative situation to be avoided or we can see it as an opportunity to look into the mirror of our experience and change. Only as we change ourselves can we hope to make a difference globally. I have to laugh, “but what about…” That’s just my negative beliefs, well fed and well cared for, panicking, crying out “Please, may I have some more?”

My hope and intention in adding another layer to our discussion on how beliefs operate in our lives, is to emphasize that beliefs broadcast energy and that energy affects both us and others around us. Positive beliefs broadcast positive energy, energy that feels good to be in and around. Negative beliefs broadcast poisonous and dark energy that sickens us and sucks away our life and attention, giving nothing in return but disease and depression and despair. Knowing this helps motivate us to marshal our most precious resource, our attention. It propels us to focus on learning how to watch our thoughts, so as to refuse the dark ones attention and to deny negative beliefs the opportunity to suck away our life and poison our perception of the events unfolding around us.

So what do we do with the negative beliefs leaking their poison into our lives? I’ve outlined the elementary answer in nearly all of my recent posts. Cultivate mindfulness, self-awareness, and the ability to watch your own thoughts. Use that awareness to cut off the juice feeding negative, unhelpful or ineffective thoughts in the very moment you become aware of them. This brings us back to where we started. The reason to cut off the juice from negative thoughts is because that thought arose from a triggered belief and every belief has an energy field that we step into anytime we feed attention to it. Its energy field affects us. Hanging out in an energy field has consequences. Most of us don’t like the consequences that arise from hanging out in negative energy fields.  

That alone is enough reason to stop feeding attention to negative thoughts.

I say this is the elementary answer, because watching your thoughts and being mindful of the contents of your mind is a cultivated response adopted to modulate your perspective and feeling space. It is an opportunity to shift your thoughts, to change the energy of your emotions, to choose how you will broadcast into the world and what the energy you transmit all around you will be. 

Are you going to embrace the light side of the force or stay mired in the dark side? Is it the saint or the chainsaw guy that represents your interactions with others? It’s your choice, chainsaw guy or saint. Which one steps forward is a natural, inescapable consequence based upon where you focus your attention. However, that being said, mindfulness cannot change your beliefs. Nothing can. All mindful awareness can do is shift your attention from unhelpful, unproductive chainsaw thought-types to more loving and beautiful ones.

Beliefs cannot be changed. They are or they are not. You cannot change a belief, only create a new one. Yet, while beliefs cannot be changed, they can be transcended, which is different than shifting your attention to more positive ideas. Transcendence is a much deeper practice, much harder to both understand and accept, but it offers a golden key to the kingdom of your own mind. It is Jacob's ladder, leading ever higher up your soul. This practice offers an end to the struggle against your own negative beliefs, if you have the self-love and tenacity to go all Gandhi on their ass, if you have the courage to go all the way down the rabbit hole. This will be the content of my next post. Like Gandhi changing a country, you can change your life. I mean deeply, fundamentally change your life. I’ve only just begun my journey down the rabbit hole, is it wrong of me to want your company?

You are worth it, you know. Your light is so bright, if you could but see it. What YOU have to offer is irreplaceable and necessary. You are needed. The potential product of your mind and heart is priceless. You are Awesome; you are Love; you are Beautiful! Believe it. Own it. Make it your skin and climb in. 

You can --- You are --- You do.

Let’s make our lives matter.

With love and aloha,

Click Here for Part Two: Getting Out by Giving In

P.S. My most sincere intention and hope, if my writing resonates with you, is that you will feel inspired to share this post with all your friends and social media. Together we can reach as many people as possible; Together we can all pump powerfully positive, loving, accepting, juicy energy into the world. Namaste. 

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