We are all courageous, universal creatures: navigating the new. Every moment is new. Every experience is new. Everything is new. Every moment of every day. But sometimes we can become stuck: our beliefs limiting our perspective, repeating the past. Our (often unconscious) beliefs, developed from childhood, underlie our conditioning. These samskaras, or impressions, created through repeated behaviours or habits, are the foundation of our thought biases and assumptions.
Let me give an example. A friend had a very difficult breakup. He was deeply in love with his partner and they had a very happy life together. After many years together, he had to move countries, but his partner just would not go with him. He felt rejected and grieved, his heart was broken, wounded, and slowly recovered, the scars slowly fading. Not long after, he met someone who offered him her love but he could not accept it. His assumptions were of love imposing limitations, his experience in love having been so painful, he found it hard to see the light through the dark. Perhaps his belief was that love had to involve much sacrifice and pain, which ultimately held him back from a direct experience of what love could be, what his life could be, how he could feel in the moment, with this woman, with this love. Stuck in old thought patterns, he found it impossible to be present and free from his conditioned beliefs.
Thankfully he discovered that meditation can allow us to find a space between action and reaction. In this gap we can observe ourselves, develop insight into ourselves, and create a space in which to make a different choice. Our behaviours: whether outward or inward (ie thoughts), are changeable, and over time repetition of these behaviours can create new habits.
Development of the observing self, with practice of techniques such as mindfulness, combined with psychotherapy, help us to identify thoughts and beliefs that do not serve us, and be present. When we recognize these beliefs, we have the power and ability to simply let them go. Unburdened from these counterproductive beliefs, we can surrender to the magic, beauty and newness of the journey of life. Namaste.
For a fascinating exercise to discover your core beliefs, explore this video. See here for a short mindfulness practice.
To learn more about being present in the moment and changing habits, see our website for information on our workshops for mental health. They incorporate meditation, breathing techniques and information from psychology, neuroscience and biomedicine, to empower you to take charge of your choices and live a life sparkling with curiosity, courage and freedom.