No matter what our beliefs, they are highly influential in our lives.
Many beliefs are so ingrained in our systems that we come to see them as truths rather than beliefs. These underlying assumptions affect the understanding of any experience, whether it be a scientific experiment or the memory of an event. We each have a completely unique blend of beliefs and attitudes that affect every aspect of life, including our physical health.
Our beliefs can sometimes limit our experience, and act as blinders or filters that prevent us from seeing alternate theories or possibilities for living and experiencing life. The leading edge of science now urges us to remove, suspend, or at least question the beliefs we may have been taught by well-meaning teachers, parents or others in years past.
It is incumbent on each of us to examine where our beliefs came from and how they affect us. Often, we are not aware of the underlying beliefs that might influence a given decision or situation, and many of them limit our ability to grow or succeed. Such limiting beliefs can become so ingrained that they often seem to be facts that cannot be altered. These are not always clearly apparent, but it is possible to uncover them. After careful evaluation, we may choose to change such limiting beliefs.
Through sincere soul-searching, we may be able to identify habitual ways of thinking. Again, by developing the ability to sense the neutral inner observer this useful part of us can consciously notice our thoughts and underlying motivations, so that we begin to recognize limiting beliefs. Then, from a non-threatening perspective, we can strive to change those that do not serve us well.
Write a list of your core beliefs, including the source that inspired that belief. Pay close attention to the language you regularly use from the perspective of your neutral observer. How do you approach or think about a project or new idea? How do you interact and converse with others. What reactions do you automatically have when you are confronted by a different idea or suggestion, and why? Become aware of limiting beliefs you wish to change.
Some of the beliefs seem to have been around for a long time and I think originated with my parents or as a function of early experience – many have been re-decided partially to one degree or another – as in:
* I am not worthy of praise, love or recognition (this is very old and has been partially re-decided)
* I am forgetful and not reliable
* Life is tough and the world is hard and gray and too much laughter is not right not trustworthy, wrong
* Be a hard worker – don’t be lazy – you get what you work for – nothing is free –
* tell the truth – do not trust a liar
* Some people are bad and will hurt me so watch out
* Most people have an agenda or want something from me
* there isn’t enough time – and, it seems to work out that way or I make it seem so
* People will like me more based on what stuff I have, what I have done, how I look
Some of my beliefs have come from me as an observation or conclusion (right or wrong) as in:
* I don’t know everything but I can find out what I want to know
* Good work will come back to me (recognition, more work, etc)
* My ideas/beliefs are usually the correct ones and I usually am defensive when confronted with another one esp if face to face – even if I don’t show it
* I am pretty decent looking/attractive – I used to not think this at all – the opposite
* I am brighter than many but not all – clearly
* A person that believes or follows an obvious lie isn’t worth my time or effort
And some have come from others like my just passed dearest Cindy a clear inspiration on my life going forward:
* Be a gentle/loving with people even those with whom I disagree
* Be a gentle/loving/respectful person with animals of any sort
* Honor the work I do and the work of others
* Respect and support another person’s faith no matter the source – even if it seems non-sensible
* Smile and lighten someone else’s load a bit via the personal recognition that the smile implies
* It is better and for damn sure more fun to make play out of work instead of the opposite which I have done all my life and still do to a large extent – am
seemingly a master at it
this is a great list. I think I will copy it and give it to my grief counselor to use as ammo at out next zoom meeting
thanks again for this freebie 33 Day exercise… I am also reading Dr. Lipton’s book as you recommended. Fabulous so far and at that point about half way through he seems to still think that consciousness is a function/product of the brain… ve shall see
I believe in breakfast after 11 AM to loose weight. That would enable me to slim down my core. Then I could reduce from 2XL average to XL Average. Is there a Master List?
What about unconscious beliefs?
My beliefs are those of the Buddha w four noble truths and Jesus of Nazareth w love your neighbor forgive your enemies
Hi Karen. Everything you said was so true.
I know I’m attractive but, now only once in awhile. My husband that passed on Sept 12th isn’t here to reinforce and to say how beautiful I look. Well, I know there have been days I’ve stayed inside, hiding away from the world because I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I’m trying to emerge and engage more. Sometimes I think you have to take the action and that will boost the belief system.
Want so desperately to believe I’ll see my loving husband again as well.
Thank you, Karen and Eben
I used to teach a class on perspicacity or clear thinking. One of the mistakes many people make is called reification: treating or believing abstract ideas as real or concrete. I liked to use the concept of average or normal as an example. It was sometimes very revealing to see people, some for the first time, I’m sure, realize that normal existed nowhere but in the realm of mathematics. Average person? I haven’t met one yet.
One easy way of identifying limiting beliefs is to be aware of one’s emotions throughout the day. When anxiety, fear, anger, etc.—any negative emotion arises, ask yourself, “What am I believing to make me feel that way?” As an example, I had a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach earlier. What caused it? The belief I would be too heartbroken to live if my son were to die. (He has something serious going on right now.) So, then, I asked myself: Is that belief true? Certainly I would be heartbroken with grief if he died. But would I really be unable to live? I can’t say I know that absolutely for certain. I do know firsthand we survive without our bodies. But I want to be able to hug him!! When I think the thought, “I would be unable to live if he died,” my life energy just implodes in on me. Who would I be without that belief? My energy expands and I feel focused to do my work. First of all, he may well make it through this. And if I have any influence on him, which mindset would help him the most? Me being expansive and focused, I think. Why, the belief “I would be unable to live” is actually all about me. It is self-pity. Wow! I wasn’t thinking about him at all, but about me! The point is that you can find your negative beliefs simply by noticing and questioning your emotions as you go along. Every belief generates emotions. The good feelings you don’t need to question, either. So this saves a lot of time.
I agree with you Linda. I also diligently do the practice suggestions and wrote down fairly to all those queries.
However much I try, I keep making excuses to procrastinate getting out of bed as it is the most comfortable place to do all I want, read emails, respond to social media and other msgs or play games, snooze a few times in between and then when I can find no more excuses I eventually get out of bed to start my routine of exercising, washing up, etc. And can still get distracted by doing other things which have now become a priority! I believe I want to break this cycle and no amount of self talk to visualize my day helps.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dr. Eben Alexander!
May all your wishes come true! You deserve all the love in the world 🙂
Thank you so much for all your help, you have changed my life for the better.
I am 82 years old and I think this is fantastic Karen. I have written down my core beliefs and actually noticed some that have changed, quite drastic, since we started these sessions, on this glorious journey. I was looking at the first email I sent you. I have changed a great deal in many ways, all for the better. I think they are all quite positive and now I feel open and free. Thank you, Karen, for the suggestions and kindness you passed along. You two are filled with unconditional love, and you share this deep love of the Creator with everyone. Reading your books and watching you on your videos has been a God-send to me. I am so grateful for the guidance You and Eben have passed onto us, with your truth and open heartedness. The glorious NDE you experienced and the willingness to pass God’s information to all. Karen and Eben, you are remarkable. Thank you for everything you’ve said and done to guide us on this journey. Blessings everyone, gratitude and love and light to all……..Sandie
Our deepest beliefs can indeed be a matter of life or death, they are that important. However, changing our beliefs is not quite as simple as going to a belief grocery store and picking out the ones that look most appetising at the time. This approach can lead to internal and external chaos.
Blind faith is a very dangerous thing and can lead people into very dark places. Therefore, for belief to be of any benefit it must attempt, however clumsily, to approach Truth (with a capital ‘T’), they are really 2 sides of the same coin. From this standpoint Belief becomes a life long evolving and growing process moving ever closer to Reality and Light and reinforced along the way by life’s individual, personal experiences – a gradual “awakening” and “knowing”. For some people this is a steady process and for others, like Eben, it involves quantum leaps. Eventually, God willing, we will all come to understand.
Perhaps a good place to start questioning our beliefs is right here and now within this “Journey into the Heart of Consciousness”. Presumably all of us on this course do indeed believe that Eben experienced what he claims to have experienced and also I guess we also assume/believe that he has come close to “God” through his NDE and therefore has something worthwhile to say. We also probably assume/believe that he is an honourable man and is telling everyone about these events through positive motives and not merely to gain attention and/or sell books. Karen is connected to him and therefore we believe in her and her motives too.
However a very wise man once said to me “To truly know a person, their motives and character, do not listen to what they say but rather watch what they do and how they behave in life”. Thus I feel that belief, especially in spiritual matters, should be approached with great caution – we must try to keep an open mind but not completely open our hearts and souls to anyone until they have shown over time that they will treat us with care, respect and sensitivity – until we know for sure that they have our long term best interests at heart. It is very healthy to be both open but also somewhat questioning and skeptical in todays topsy turvy world, I feel.
My Dear Fred: You don’t know me, but I feel like addressing you this way. 🙂 From what you’ve written above, obviously you’ve had a lot of life experience. I can deeply relate to this in my own personal journey. Young, totally trusting and naive, I gave my heart to someone who turned out to be a complete fraud. I’ve certainly learned a lot and in exactly the way you described. Forget the decorative package and ask: do they WALK the talk? I think this should be taught in kindergarten (at least!) Really enjoy reading your insights.
Amen. Been there, done that!
The question it boiled down to in my own experience is, how respectful are they toward my own internal compass?
If a teacher, leader, or healer wants me to disregard my internal guidance in favor of theirs, I now know to say, “No, thank you”.
Even if they are “right” and I am “wrong” in the matter at hand, a teacher with a true message will understand that I need to learn through my experience, and will trust that the truth will assert itself at the proper time and in the best way for me.
A trustworthy leader will understand that his /her role is to lead by example, it is not to get anyone to follow.
A healer of integrity will be aware that healing arises only from the healer within each person he/she treats, and only avoiding to that person’s own program of progression, not according to the healer’s script.
Any attempt to override my internal integrity and guidance, is based in the energy of fear, not in the energy of love, and I can compassionately but firmly ignore it.
I agree that it is helpful to be mindful of the language we use when speaking to both ourselves as well as others. I try to avoid if I can, using words such as … I know, or It is this or that…. instead I find myself being selectful of using phrases such as…”it has been my experience….”
Or “At this point in time, my experience is that…”. This lets others know including myself that my so called beliefs are fluid and are also mostly based on my experiences and interpretations up until this point in time.
Beliefs can be a hindrance and a help. On one hand I started to learn to play celtic harp with 65 and play already simple little pieces and invent some myself. I am curious how far I can go. On the other hand I am very sure I dont make Mt. Everest although I would be very curious how cosmic energy feals up there. To practice TaiChi there would be an interesting experience. Let’s stay on the ground, maybe cosmic energy reaches anyway till the ground. Maybe the former skydiver nows something about that! What I wanted to add was: don’t teach a kangaroo to fly it’s a specialist for jumping, don’t ask a camel to sing mozart it’s a specialist for standing long walks in the dessert without water. You have to choose the right pair of shoos for your own feet, not for the others. I had to learn that with two big crash-landings in my life, so I know now. I was told – you have to belief in yourself, but I’m not going to make Mt. Everest, my harp is Everest enough.
Thank you for the reminder about writing down my core beliefs. Although often aware of some of them, and their source, writing them down is such a good discipline as it names the belief. In naming a belief you give it an identity which is easier to deal with. Although the belief/identity maybe false, you’re more objective in coming to terms with it..
First, I agree wit Patricio Bond, a book on spiritual thoughts for each day would be marvelous, like Jesus Today. I am a forever student, yearning for the next morsel of information to digest and process and to live. I have been reviewing my belief thoughts and have been peeling them back like an onion and getting rid of those that no longer service me. Such a joy to open your emails. I did share this with one of my Reiki clients today as I had been talking about this and as usual the divine works in sychronochies! Sending you both Blessings!
I am 77 years old and that has given me a lot of time to become aware that the thoughts we think and believe about ourselves,
including our physical condition, are highly influenced by our beliefs. An example: A few years ago I was up on a ladder on the
steep roof of our two story house, re-shingling the roof. I began feeling quite tired so I decided to back down to take a rest on the
scaffold on which the ladder was set. After resting for a few minutes I felt absolutely refreshed and I became silently aware that
it has been my thoughts and beliefs that were making me tired. Instead of returning to work I came down the rest of the way and
wrote down the experience as a spiritual experience in my journal on my computer. I finished the section I was working on later
that day. I am not saying that we can’t get tired, but we should be aware that our thoughts and beliefs often may be the immediate
cause, not the work we are doing.
thanks to you…pin pointing to things around me, we tend to forget!
This is so fascinating and I am beginning to understand the positive and negative effects of often unconscious or unexamined beliefs. But I always thought This is so mechanistic; change your beliefs, change your behaviour, yada yada, as in congnitive behaviour therapy. I would wonder Where is the Soul in that? I realize I have some quite crippling beliefs about my self and my worth, and so am starting to untangle these with professional help. But I am still trying to reconcile, or find the connection, between these two strands of Mind (Change your beliefs) and Soul. But if there are any people who know the answers, and go way beyond Mind, it’s Eben and Karen. Eben, your journey and your first book have had a profound and healing effect on my sister, for which I will be eternally grateful. And that is not tongue in cheek, I do mean eternally. Thank you with all my heart.
As a 75 year old woman, I thoroughly appreciated your comments, Margaret. Isn’t it wonderful that there is no age limit on growing and learning and appreciating and opening our minds each day. Each day a new day, yet an eternal day. Life is more interesting now than ever. Thanks to these wonderful people for taking us on this 33 day journey. A yearly book of days with food for thought each day would be nice. Can we look forward to that? .
My beliefs really stem from the many experiences I have included throughout my 77 years. It took me many decades to click on where the beliefs came from, how I re-acted to life having those beliefs. I think it must have been in my 50’s when I began to “wake up” and listen to my own SELF. Then in 2006 when I moved to my present address and met some very special people who could see my true soul and potential. I do not worry about anything now, I truly trust, I do not criticize and endeavour to express love to others, even though I might grit my teeth at what they might present to me. We are a rum lot at times, aren’t we?! A sense of humour is vital and do laugh at yourself. Much love to all, Margaret.
Story o my live
Yesterday is done and gone,
Tomorrow is yet to come,
Today is the Day if I could only stay into Day.
Living in 4 different countries Poland, Germany, Canada and the last 20 years in US I can say that many of my believes have changed. What was once believed
while living in Poland did not apply in Germany. I had to change them again in Canada and made some adjustments in US. One thing that did not changed for me
is the believe that tomorrow is a New Day.
As a former piano teacher I have met too many people who think they cannot learn or who gave it up when young and wish they had not. They can in maturity learn just as they learned any subject in school if they believe they can