SGM Dec 2017 Weekly Message Three: How to Release From Limiting Beliefs

SGM Dec 2017 Weekly Message Three: How to Release From Limiting Beliefs

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Spiritual Growth Monthly. I’m Kevin Schoeninger. It’s great to have you with us here at SGM!

This month, we’ve been discussing material from Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book entitled “The Biology of Belief.” You’ll recall that in the first week we talked about the three forces that determine your life experience: Nature, Nurture, and Consciousness. Dr. Lipton shows us that, while our genetics give us an initial scope of possibilities, signals in our external and internal environment determine how these possibilities are actualized.

Some of the environmental signals that we receive include our cultural conditioning and family upbringing, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the images and messages we receive from the media and in our relationships. Our internal signals include our brain’s reading of biological information as well as the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that we entertain and hold onto.

While most of these signals affect us on a subconscious level, we have the power to become aware of the input we are receiving on all levels so that we can neutralize the negative input and accentuate the positive. Our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are a big part of that picture.

In week two, we reviewed several of Dr. Lipton’s astonishing stories about the power of our beliefs to influence the results we get in our lives. In some cases, our beliefs can mean the difference between life and death.

We are highly programmable, bio-energetic, information systems. To shift our life experience in a positive direction we need to know how to recognize our limiting beliefs, learn to release them, and re-program ourselves through positive input and growth-producing actions.

Dr. Lipton puts this to us in a simple choice:

“You can choose what to see. You can filter your life with rose-colored beliefs that will help your body grow or you can use a dark filter that turns everything black and makes your body/mind more susceptible to disease. You can live a life of fear or live a life of love. You have the choice! But I can tell you that if you choose to see a world full of love, your body will respond by growing in health. If you choose to believe that you live in a dark world full of fear, your body’s health will be compromised as you physiologically close yourself down in a protection response.” P.144

If we could keep our attention centered on this choice every moment, what a difference this would make. In fact, there may be no better way to describe our spiritual path than this:

Stay awake and aware in the present moment and choose love over fear.”

What makes it such a challenge to do this? First of all, it is a largely undeveloped skill in our culture. “Present moment awareness choosing love over fear” is a skill that can be nurtured. That is what meditation is all about.

The second challenge is our limiting beliefs, those little devils in our subconscious mind. We have an overabundance of programming that tells us that being present in love is a nice sentiment, but it’s not really possible. Nice thought, but doesn’t apply to the real world. After all, look at all the violence in the world. . .look at all the greed. . .look at all the disease. . .and on and on.

The bottom line is that the subconscious mind can rationalize its way into fear in countless ways. We are programmed to do that and it is reinforced virtually every time that we turn on any media. The dominant message is “Danger is everywhere. We have to protect ourselves.”

However, as Dr. Lipton has shown us, this protection response has become way overblown. While we do face some serious threats to our survival, much of what is threatening us is fear itself. And, for certain, what will insure our survival is love not fear.

So how do we shift from fear to love?

First we need to become aware of just how pervasive our fearful and limiting beliefs are in our lives. Recognition is step one. We did an exercise last week to become aware of some of our beliefs. As we talked about, you can use your strong feelings to cue you in on your strong beliefs. Whenever you have an immediate strong reaction to something (and there is no real imminent danger), you have touched on a strong belief. The belief could be fear-based or growth-producing. It could signal you to shut down or open up.

What are some of the beliefs that you uncovered in watching the current political discussion last week? Here are two of mine: “War is bad” and “We must take care of our planet.”

As I watch the political discussion, I see that I have a strong negative and fear-based reaction whenever I hear talk of war, continuing war, starting new wars, etc. Whoever is talking like that I have an instant aversion to. It puts me in a protection mode and I want to put a stop to them. My immediate reaction is to be angry.

On the other hand, when I see and hear someone talking about truly caring for the environment by developing clean energy or conserving resources, I am attracted to that. That puts me in a growth mode. I feed off of that. I want to help them.

Recognition of belief is good. It brings a little consciousness into an otherwise reactive response. Yet it doesn’t in and of itself change my response. In fact, it can fire me up to feel even stronger about my reaction. That’s not necessarily bad, but I’d rather live my life from love than fear or reactivity, so I need to continue the process. Especially, if my belief is a negative or limiting one, I need to go farther.

The second step to releasing from limiting beliefs follows Dr. Lipton’s statement above: “You have the choice!” Realizing choice is the second necessary step to emotional freedom.

When you are in the grip of an automatic reaction generated by a subconscious belief, you have no freedom because you did not choose your reaction, it just happened to you. Once you recognize your beliefs, then you can advance to realizing that you have a choice about them. You can reframe them consciously.

Instead of instantly judging from a point of view of “war is bad,” I could define a more positive response such as “When there is conflict, we must do everything in our power to develop dialogue and foster cooperation.” I have defined a positive, love-based, alternative belief. I realize that I have a choice to take up this attitude rather than my “war is bad” attitude. These two are related, but very different, beliefs which lead to different courses of action. Rather than yelling at those “warmongers,” I will find a way to open dialogue. This brings into play a whole new set of choices and skills.

Although they were, for the most part, jeered and ridiculed, that was the impetus behind putting forward a governmental “Department of Peace” by some progressive lawmakers. It’s not always easy or popular to stand for love versus fear. The culture of fear is dominant. Yet it is killing us all, from a cellular to a planetary level. It is time to realize that we always have a choice.

Once we realize that we have choice, the final step to release from our limiting beliefs is to take action that reflects a growth response versus a protection response.

As Dr. Lipton says, “To thrive fully, we must not only eliminate the stressors but also actively seek joyful, loving, fulfilling lives that stimulate growth processes.” P.147

Step three, after recognizing your beliefs and realizing choice, is taking positive action, action that flows from love and a desire for growth. In defining your choices you are setting the stage for action. The way that you frame the choices that you have greatly determines the actions that you perceive as possible. To come from love rather than fear, to stimulate growth rather than accentuate protection, state your choice in a positive way. I did this in the example above with my positive belief statement “develop dialogue and foster cooperation.”

Once you have positively stated your chosen belief, put it into concrete action steps. For instance, when I come into contact with someone who is supportive of war efforts, the first step that I will take is to listen to their position. I will ask them what they hope to achieve from their strategy. I will attempt to understand their driving motivation for the belief they hold. I want to first put myself in their shoes.

When someone is first respected and honored, they are much more able to listen to another point of view. Once the other person feels understood, then I will suggest an alternative response from my point of view. It is most effective to model the behavior that I want to cultivate in the world.

If I do this once, it has an impact, if I make a habit of this new behavior it becomes a powerful force for positive change. Did I hear someone say daily practice? If we want to remodel our beliefs, we must take up this re-programming effort daily.

If you have a daily meditation practice, the end of that practice is an ideal time to reprogram your beliefs. Once you have relaxed your body, calmed your emotions, and allowed your mind to quiet in meditation you are in a positive state of energetic vibration. This is the ideal state from which to visualize and feel the new growth-oriented belief that you want to carry into your life.

A great way to do this is to imagine an interaction that you know is ahead of you. Mentally put yourself in that situation with all your senses. Perceive the environment and the participants in detail. Then visualize how you will think about that situation and the positive results you intend. See it and believe it. Feel it. Then take that feeling with you into your day. This is a great way to bridge your meditation experience into your life.

To finish, let me summarize this process for Releasing from Limiting Beliefs:

1. Recognize your subconscious beliefs by paying attention to your strong emotional reactions.
2. Realize that you can choose to believe in and live from love rather than fear.
3. Take positive daily actions that express your growth-producing or love-based chosen beliefs.

In the Comments section below this message, I would love to hear your stories about how you have recognized and reprogrammed some of your limiting beliefs.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing,