Our human brain is naturally wired to extrapolate data, categorize, and label the experiences of our life. We make judgments, with awareness or not, that we file away in the archives of a massive database in our brains, and within our cellular memory.
We do this strategically as a powerful survival mechanism starting at the earliest of age. We arrange our world and our stories about ourselves, about others, and about the world at large, and about what we can or cannot do. We are influenced by the collective beliefs of our culture and religion. What initially may begin as a brilliant coping and assessment tool can often become a virus in our operating system as we get older.
We “make meaning” out of situations in our life when our logic brain assessment skill becomes confused, conflicted and wonky. This happens when someone you love mistreats you, this happens when you are chastised for something you felt free and happy about, this happens when you are called out for what you perceive as a shortcoming, or lauded for something you know is not truly yours. There are hundreds, even thousands of ways this happens to confuse and challenge us early in life, and when we don’t know which file to put the experience (data) in, we make it mean something about us.
This “meaning making” becomes buried deep down within our wiring and can leaden our world, suppress our joy, often outwardly control our life experience (with or without our awareness) or remains dormant until we are triggered. It causes us extreme pain and unrest. We start seeking and filing compatible data to support our limiting beliefs, cover up and sometimes suppress any experiences to the contrary. And this can be further weighed down by the stockpile of stories that we hold within our secret selves.
We carry this “meaning making” well into our adulthood. We can become blind to it, and so it becomes habitual. Because the logic mind is here to protect us and “get things done” we continue to make snap decisions and take actions based upon faulty pretenses and stories we’ve made up. Who else but us, we declare is more qualified to judge, assess, and decide about the people, places and experiences in our lives?
Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost. ~ Khalil Gibran
Have you ever taken a pause to examine your thoughts, beliefs and stories? If a thought, belief or story doesn’t feel good it’s usually a sign that it’s wonky and deserves exploration. You can ask yourself…
Does this thought serve me? Or does this help me?
Am I making meaning and assumptions about something that simply may not exist?
Am I imagining what someone else is doing, thinking, feeling, and seeing? How can I know for certain?
Do I know this judgment I am making about this person or situation is true? Who says?
In this fast-paced, technology driven world where taking a pause is not usually valued, we fill our lives with distractions of instant gratification, materialism and addictions, where taking a pause to examine our thinking is too scary, unfamiliar or contrary to the “doing” of life.
Questioning closely held beliefs and judgments of the past, present, and what is possible for the future might be the most powerful decision you make in place of New Year’s resolutions.
And, if sitting down to pause and muscle your logic brain into these questions let’s try something different to get you out of your head…
How can you begin to soften, break open and release some of the old, non-productive stories from your internal database vault? Here are just a few suggestions on how to “shake up” your thinking to slowly and gently begin to pry open and examine the assumptions, judgments or expectations you hold on how things should or should not be:
- Connect to nature on a regular basis….free from distractions or goals…just be present, wander in wonder and let your mind, body and spirit relax. Ramble aimlessly!
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way…As man is, so he sees. ~ William Blake
- We are all born creators! Start a creative pastime simply for your own pleasure, be it writing, dance, crafting, artwork, working with your hands, or music of some form …expand and enrich your spirit. Carve new positive beliefs into your brain. Create simply for the fun of it!
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Einstein
- Heal and release a closely held grievance that is unresolved within your heart through forgiveness and the intention of understanding a different perspective. *
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. ~ Socrates
Free your mind. Clean up your internal world. Wipe the slate clean. Expand your vision. Open your heart. Fuel your spirit…connect to joy…
Do you feel your energy rise as you read these words?
I wish you love, joy, and abundance in the New Year!