What do we believe? And what is the power of belief? Is it what we read in textbooks, or what has been published that makes it "belief-worthy?" Perhaps we need to hear what an "expert" believes to make it our own. What do you believe and where, or what, is your source?
One of the challenges I face as a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist is unraveling, or even digging up, what fundamental beliefs a client has. Usually, it's a belief that is sabotaging a successful life; very often, they don't even realize they have this belief until I ask the right questions that they are able to uncover it in the answers.
Let's talk a little bit about beliefs. I had an ah-ha moment the other day. I was feeling rough--really rough. I lay there in bed after cancelling all my appointments. My fever was 101 and rising. I lay there in misery thinking, "I believe I have the flu." Then it dawned on me what I just thought. "I BELIEVED I had the flu." Oh my, I believed it. My thoughts stopped as realization dawned on me.
A Course in Miracles teaches that only illness is capable of growing in a split mind--one that thinks it's separate from God and from one another. Perfect health is our birthright, our God-given birthright as Sons or Daughters of God. So, if that's the case, I am whole, I am healthy and the flu doesn't belong in my belief system, or my experience, because it doesn't serve me as a Son of God.
As soon as I realized the truth of my 'wholeness,' my fever broke. I could actually feel my fever break and my body cooling. I also felt my sinuses drain and I could breathe through my nose, something I was unable to do just a few minutes earlier. I got out of bed. As the realization of the power of belief came over me, I got so jazzed, it's all I could think about. How powerful we are! How amazing our thoughts and our creative abilities! I was so excited, I did not sleep that night as the power, the magnificent power, played through my thoughts on what I could do to change this world for the better. What we all could do if we truly put our minds, and BELIEVED, we could.
I take this another step further now, in my practice. I often work with patients who believe they are chronically ill. By introducing this belief pattern into their life, I've witnessed what some would term miracles. The man who, for 30 years, suffered from a debilitating case of Crohns. He decided to not believe he had it. He literally told himself that Crohns was not in his life experience, he chose not to have it there and no longer believed he had the disease. Guess what? He just celebrated 6 months of painfree existence, enjoying food and drinks that would have previously landed him in the hospital.
This all takes faith, lots of faith. It involves not believing what you see on the X-rays or in tests that show you different results in the near-term. My client who had breast cancer who realized how much her beliefs have affected her health decided she didn't have tumors growing anymore that were resistant to treatment. The X-rays said she did until last week. The biggest one is now gone. No special treatment--just reflexology performed every two weeks and a visit to a chiropractor. Otherwise, it was picturing herself the way she wanted to be. The way she believed she should be. She's changed her belief system and cancer is no longer part of her experience. As her body catches up to her new belief system, I know I will hear about the X-rays coming up tumor-free!
The interesting thing about all of this is that we all have it--the power to change our life by changing our belief about something. Imagine our lives, our world, if we actively chose to believe what served us and disbelieve what didn't. Now, we would see a lot of changes. All the professions that made money off our fear, off our disease, would be looking for a new line of work. Is that so bad?
What do you believe? Does it serve a Son/Daughter of God? Does it serve you and who you want to become? We do have the power of choice. Exercise it and BELIEVE you can!
How many people do you know that live in the past? All they talk about is how great it was "back then," or "remember when." There is a time and place for everything and I have enjoyed some good laughs over memories shared, but when it takes over one's life so that their entire focus is backwards, then I believe it becomes a problem.
One of my greatest teachers in this lifetime is my mother. The woman who taught me how to tie my shoes, brush my teeth, cook and "the social graces," as she refers to them. She still continues to teach me in her 82nd year...but now it's the contrast of what I want in my life.
My mother is suffering from the early stages of dementia. Since my father died over 6 years ago, my mother has for all intents and purposes, died with him. All she does is look back. She has piles of pictures she thumbs through each day remembering the good and the bad, each person and their history. She tells me she lies in bed each morning remembering decades and if she gets it "right," she's proud of herself. I ask her why she doesn't start with the day right before her. She responds with a statement that basically says she is alone with two cats so what's there to feel good about. Oh, now she's in my territory!
I get excited as I tell her about the Senior Center and all the wonderful events and activities they do each and every day. Or the beautiful area she lives in and how exercise and fresh air would do her good. "Think of what you can do today that will create a wonderful tomorrow, Mom," I excitedly tell her. "Your power is in the now. Right now." I continue on with the same vein of thought because this stuff excites me. We are truly the creator of our reality, of our own destiny. As a lyric from a song that often repeats through my head from a CD from Jerry and Esther Hicks on Law of Attraction, "If you want it, you can have it. Just get out of the way."
I invite her for dinner and overnights. To spend time with me and my family. I drop off reading material and CD's that I feel are uplifting and positive in nature. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can heal herself. She can heal her mind if she surrounds herself with healing light and energy. With good stuff--good thoughts, good people, good feelings. And look forward. Feel good now and use her mind to create what she wants tomorrow. Yesterday is not coming back. Why look that way?
But no, not what she wants to hear or do at all. She rejects it. She refuses to participate. I try again. I get frustrated. I get angry. But why? It is her life. Why am I projecting my own thoughts and beliefs on her and then getting mad when she doesn't "fix" herself or allow me to help her?
A Course in Miracles tells us we are all one and when we feel separated and angry at another for what we perceive as a grievance, we are really attacking ourselves. This is her road, her path, her experience. All I can do is love and accept her. I know she has bought the illusion of this world and the almighty ego. It's a good story and many have bought it at the expense of their peace of mind, and piece of mind (hello, Alzheimers & dementia).
This is her experience. When she is ready, she will re-member what really exists and what is true. Until then, I will learn from the contrast she provides me and continue moving forward. I don't want to go back. I love creating my tomorrow right now!
Lesson 10: My thoughts do not mean anything.
Wow, talk about a blow to the ego. My thoughts do not mean anything. If "I think therefore I am," so I am nothing? Nothing and everything. The yin and yang of existence. Everything out of nothing. I love it!!
By uncovering the lack of reality of what you think you think, and realizing that your mind is really a blank slate, you recognize nothingness when you think you see it (now that's a pretzel!). Yet it is the prerequisite for vision, for truth. This idea will help to release me from all that I now believe.
Bring it on!!
Lesson 4: These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place].
On the surface, this lesson seems pretty straightforward: it calls for awareness of our thoughts. We have so many and when we are aware of what they are, we often categorize them into "good" and "bad." Then it gets confusing and I feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole.
The lesson states, "None of them represents your real thoughts, which are being covered up by them. The 'good' ones are but shadows of what lies beyond, and shadows make sight difficult. The 'bad' ones are blocks to sight, and make seeing impossible. You do not want either."
What are my "real thoughts," and how do I discover them?
What is real? We've already discussed that nothing is "real" until we perceive it as such. By our perception, it becomes part of our reality. But the lesson discusses the "meaningful" and "meaningless" of these thoughts.
What is to be "meaningful?" Dictonary.com defines "meaningful" as being full of purpose, significance, or value. Therefore, meaningless is the opposite--no purpose, no significance, no value. So, thoughts that have purpose, significance or value are meaningful and the rest, not so much? I get that. If thoughts are of love, of value, and serve you, they are meaningful. Oh, but it goes deeper. (So Alice, how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?)
The goal of this lesson is to train the individual in separating their thoughts into meaningful and meaningless, and what is the same and what is different. Meaningless thoughts are outside of you; the meaningful, within. Huh? This is the part that I don't get. How do we separate the two? And should we? In a world where we are striving for unity, for commonality, why would we separate from within and without? Or am I totally missing the mark?
I reach out to readers, to the philosophers among you. What does this mean? And how do we apply it?
Lesson 3: I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place, etc.].
Oh, isn't that the truth?! How many times do we look at something or someone and say, "What the heck?" (Feel free to substitute other words if applicable.) I know I sure do. I don't understand anything I see or witness. I think I do but then the Universe decides to show me just how narrow-minded and misplaced that thought was.
William James stated it best when he said, "Thinking is what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." Lesson 3 follows the first two--the key is to remove emotional attachment, prejudices, from the item or people. By clearing our mind from all the past associations, to see things as they appear right now in this time and space, we begin to realize how little we really understand about them. This exercise serves to open our mind. To see our portion of the "big picture" and realize how small, and evolving, our perception really is, or should be.
I encourage you to work with me to separate ourselves and step back from the events and things around us. By not reacting, or labeling, it actually buys us some peace of mind. And for that fact alone, I am going to enjoy this exercise!
As I blog on these Lessons in "The Course in Miracles," I will discuss what thoughts and lessons I'm taking from it, but also ask a lot of questions. I am putting out these questions to the general population to answer. I honestly don't know the answer, nor challenging anyone. I am too looking for guidance in all of this.
Lesson 2: I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, this window, in this place, etc] all the meaning that it has for me.
Lesson 2 follows Lesson 1 in that by looking, recognizing and labeling objects, it gives them meaning. This is especially true as to the feeling it engenders. By giving something a feeling or emotion, I am giving it "meaning." Theoretically, it isn't until I note it as "X-Y-Z" does it serve anything in my reality, nor even exist, according to Quantum Physics. Some part of me must be aware.
Okay, I catch what they're throwing, but what about those times when out of the blue, something happens? Like you're hiking along and wham, you get bitten by a snake. People that know me realize that is my fear and probably not a good example. Because I fear snakes, they are in my reality. By that energy that fear produces, I bring them to me. Let's change the story to represent an entirely freaky accident--something that has everyone scratching their head wondering what the heck. If something comes totally out of the blue, and because you're not expecting nor acknowledging it in any way, why does it happen if it "doesn't exist?"
Neal Donald Walsch noted this phenomena in "Conversations with God." He said that we are all operating in a certain energy field and that energy field is individual but also a group creation. So, if the person and/or group believes that bad things happen to good people, or weird and crazy stuff goes down, then they put themselves at risk of it happening. Because a part of them believes this stuff can happen, it does. This opens up a bigger idea, a bigger thought....
....what if, because of 2012 and all of the "end-of-times" beliefs out there, that energy of belief is combining to create the natural disasters we are currently seeing more of? We are literally manifesting our beliefs! To change our reality, we need to think, say, and act. We think about the disasters, we talk about them, we predict more coming, and then the resultant energy waves respond with creating them. It verifies the process all over again. Group consciousness at work.
We are energy. That is verifiable. What we identify and give meaning to, makes it real. Like our very core of cells is made up of elements and atoms, we attract those elements in our frequency and repel those that are not. For the good of mother earth, and all of life as we know it, let's work on this core lesson. Heck, we might even save the planet!