Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
– Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr
A couple of weeks ago I had a bizarre dream, in which, I was a serial killer! So there I was, knocking off the townsfolk one by one and then, when I got found out, I ran and jumped off of a cliff which was conveniently located within sprinting distance. The sensation of jumping off of the cliff felt so real to me that I actually woke up and I still remember how it felt to just be free-falling. Ignoring the inevitable end experienced in our world of form when jumping off of a cliff; it was an amazing feeling. I do believe that our dreams can relay us messages or insights about our lives and I have created a rather significant meaning for the events in that dream since my last Empowered for Purpose session.
Think of me, the serial killer, as my awareness, the townsfolk as my disempowering and limiting thoughts and beliefs. These ‘townsfolk’ one by one meet an unsavoury end, and then, being found out was exposure to one last, deeply-held belief which led me to take the life-changing plunge to destroy it and experience the weightlessness and freedom that came with it. Now, I woke up in the sensation of falling, not landing, so I am concluding that I am to experience this weightlessness and freedom eternally. Based on some new insight from George, this interpretation of my dream, I feel, serves as an indication of what is to come. The slaying of my deep-seated, invisible but ever-present, limiting thoughts and beliefs leading to personal freedom and empowerment.
We live what we believe because we cannot experience an environment separate from our interpretation of it.
– George Helou
Last week in the EP7 course we were introduced to Step 1, our Empowered Identity; our true identity, and we learnt how our biology is shaped by our perception of the environment, and our perception of the environment is influenced by our thoughts and beliefs. We interpret the environment as we interact with it and decide, consciously or unconsciously, what experience we are going to have in a particular moment. We have already heard how our billions of Neurons have the ability to connect and disconnect to create and reinforce habits, beliefs and behaviours so now, in the Personal Assessment, we aim to expose these learnt programmes, those that serve us and those that don’t.
Employing George’s Critical Thinking Process we analysed how we act, feel and think in the times that we were/are empowered to unearth our underlying positive beliefs. The same process is used to unearth our limiting beliefs by analysing the times when we are disempowered. This step is really about working out where you stand in relation to your true, empowered, identity, and provides practical skills to bridge the gap; becoming the responder in your interactions with your environment rather than the reactor.
The ‘Feedback Loop’
My first epiphany from the last session was how our infinitely complex neural connections, learnt programmes, effortlessly serve us when we feel empowered. This realisation came to me when following the critical thinking process for an empowerment question; the question was ‘What do you enjoy doing the most?’. With a bit of coaching through the process by George, a couple of beliefs I held and lived were uncovered which I was not consciously aware of. The eventual answer to the question ‘What do I enjoy the most?’ was ‘Arriving in a new city’.
Now, I tend not to do much planning when I head off to a new city, in fact, I barely plan anything at all! Depending on what time I will arrive, I may tentatively pre-arrange some accommodation in a hostel to ensure I am not out on the street too late at night, but besides from that, getting from the airport to the city centre, finding somewhere to sleep, food, a beer, etc is all part of the excitement…especially in non-english speaking countries. The sense of freedom felt when it is just me and my backpack with no itinerary, no destination brings me to the present to fully absorb my surroundings and enjoy the journey.
I can’t say I have ever really had a problem with this approach, if I have I obviously haven’t taken too much notice of it, but for most people I can understand this would drive them absolutely mad. Fortunately I travel alone. I can imagine most people will plan their arrival down to the last tiny detail but because of my deeply held beliefs I am able to experience something entirely different. I am able to fully surrender myself to the adventure and experience my environment free from fear or anxiety because I believe that my openness to possibilities gives me the ability to overcome potential difficulties and that when I approach people, for help or directions, as equals I can create quality experiences.
My epiphanic moment came when I realised that these beliefs aren’t conscious to me; I am not walking around saying to myself that I have to be open to possibilities so I have the ability to overcome obstacles, or I need to approach people as equals to create quality experiences, it just happens naturally, effortlessly. These beliefs are hard-wired in and have been for so long that when I arrive in a new city they just kick in and I can be present to enjoy the experience while my sub-conscious beliefs do the work of interpreting the environment for me.
Even just writing about this realisation is making my head explode all over again…
Epiphany two came immediately after re-assembling my scattered brain fragments from epiphany one; if my positive beliefs are so hardwired that they automatically create amazing experiences for me, what negative beliefs do I hold that are sub-consciously holding me back in other areas of my life? If it is possible to have positive beliefs that are so instilled serve me without me being aware, what negative beliefs are preventing me from thriving without me being aware? The shocking part about this possibility is that we can feel when we are disempowered; it usually hits us as a ‘bad’ feeling, an emotion we don’t necessarily like, in much the same way when we feel empowered and experience a good feeling. These ‘bad’ feelings are an indication of a limiting or disempowering belief but instead of acknowledging its presence as an opportunity for personal growth, George outlined 4 common ways we sever the feedback loop; denial, victimisation, excuses or blame.
What is even more shocking to me is that I thought I knew all this stuff! I thought I already lived it and was aware enough to overcome disempowering situations but actually all I was doing was acknowledging the bad emotion and accepting it deservedly. I suppose that some of the time I may actually overcome a disempowering situation consciously but perhaps only when it seemed convenient or inescapable. Even as I write this I am shaking my head at myself and asking why anyone would choose to accept the illusion of a limitation when we know we can change it?
“We’re all hypocrites because…” – George Helou
Sounds a bit harsh, I admit, but I have come to realise that it may be somewhat true. I can see from doing that one critical analysis of a time when I felt empowered that one of my beliefs is almost in direct conflict with a situation when I feel disempowered. I am pretty sure that this is the point George is trying to drive home but it seems like common sense…now! How can I, in one situation, believe that approaching someone with an open heart as an equal creates a rewarding experience but almost believe the opposite in another situation. This is nonsensical…but I would put what little money I have on the fact that we all do it! Imagine knowing that you held a particular belief in one area of your life that you really want to thrive in and then realising that you have the opposite belief in another area of your life you are already thriving in. Which of the two do you actually believe?
The Point of no Return
You can not solve a problem with the same mind that created it!
I have to confess that I didn’t expect to have my world rocked quite so much in just one evening…and this journey is still only just beginning! After the session, on the way home with George, seemingly out of nowhere, I suddenly felt a massive change come over me. I blame George and his wisdom entirely, but it was as if I collapsed a big internal wall allowing myself to see that there is room for improvement in some areas of my life, and that I was denying myself the opportunity to grow by simply ignoring them when confronted by them.
I moved from a place of resistance to a place of curiosity, curious to find out what is holding me back and what awaits me on the other side. It is like I have had a glimpse of a whole new possibility for my life which I could only see once the veil of my current conditioning was teasingly lifted. I can now see how I have been choosing the experiences that confirmed my beliefs in any given situation; I have been living my beliefs. I can now see how identifying my empowering beliefs and becoming aware of the conflict with my disempowering beliefs I can enrich the areas of my life that I feel have been lacking; giving birth to effortless achievement in all areas.
So now I stand at a fork in the road, at the point of no return. I have learnt too much to simply forget my ability to affect profound change. Now I have to choose either to travel the path of least resistance, continuing to live what I currently believe knowing I can change it, or do I take the path less travelled and embrace this opportunity to grow with courage and enhance all areas of my life? Strangely there is still some part of me resisting but I am taking the latter option, the path less travelled. In order to grow I need to get out of my own way!
If you missed week 1 read about it here > Biologically Infinite, Neurologically Limited – My Journey to Empowered Purpose Week 1