In previous blogs I discussed how our conditioning from the past can cause us to disconnect from who we really are and allow our life to be run from our subconscious programs and beliefs. This can be very limiting to us and shows up in our life in the form of limiting emotions such as anxiety, frustration, anger and depression along with a busy mind. So how can we transform ourselves and become whole again or healed?
Well the good news is that no matter how difficult our childhood was or no matter how lost we may feel at the moment, there is present in us, at our core, an underlying wholeness and identity which is our true self. Our true self or soul is like a seed of potential that we come into the world with. The essence of who we really are.
A good analogy which Strom (2010, p.14) uses, is to imagine a carriage that is in need of repair, which is being pulled by horses that have a tendency to go wild. The driver is distracted and not focused and the passenger and owner of the carriage is fast asleep and dreaming.
The wild horses represent our emotions, the distracted driver represents our mind, the broken carriage represents our body, and the sleeping passenger represents our true self. All of our unhappiness in life stems from either our emotions, mind or body being out of balance, which means we are no longer connected with our true self. It means our life is directionless and ultimately heading towards unhappiness.
The key to personal transformation is to tame our emotions, quieten and focus our mind and tune into our body as we bring it back into balance. This is exactly what we do in the Know Thyself Program, which reawakens and reconnects us with our true self. Once this happens it allows us to stop habitually, subconsciously reacting in life from a place of limiting emotion and instead to start acting from a place of internal alignment where we feel balanced, where we are connected with our true self, with a quiet mind. It allows us to tune into our intuition and be guided towards our deepest wants and purpose.
For most of us our mind is very busy and full of limiting beliefs, thoughts and voices. In simple terms you could say a belief is just a thought you keep having over and over. If you listen to these voices and thoughts and think they are true, they will cause you a lot of stress, procrastination, anxiety and low self-worth.
Most of us are very busy caught up in the dramas of our outer world, however the reality of the situation is that our inner world creates our outer world. Or put another way, whatever we put out in life, we get back. You may have heard of this universal law which is sometimes called the law of attraction, or the law of resonance, or the law of cause and effect. Unless we turn our attention inwards, and come to grips with our beliefs, thoughts and emotions, we will continue repeating our cycles and keep sustaining the stress, anxiety and frustration, just as depicted in the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray has the same day over and over again.
So how do we quieten down and focus our mind? The answer is mindfulness. If we want to change something, first we have to increase our awareness of the way it is, and mindfulness does exactly that. Mindfulness allows us to change the relationship with ourselves and with our universe by developing attributes such as non-judging, acceptance, patience, curiosity, trust and kindness towards all parts of our self. This includes the parts of our self that we don’t like. Over time, we become conscious of what was previously subconscious and this allows us to gradually transform our inner world, which in turn transforms our outer world.
There is a deep connection between our emotions and our true self, and you will definitely feel it when you stray too far off, when you disconnect with who you really are. Our emotional pain can cause us a great deal of suffering, because pain is the way our body tells us we need to take care of something. If for example we break a finger, the body gives us pain to let us know there is something wrong that we need to give our attention to. After we have taken care of our finger and it heals itself, the pain goes away because it’s no longer needed. Most of us realise when we have physical pain, that we need to attend to it and get it healed, but when its emotional pain, we tend to want to sweep it under the carpet for as long as possible or dull the pain with drugs or alcohol or in some other addictive way. We tend to do this until the pain and our life become so unbearable that we can no longer turn a blind eye.
The emotional pain is simply telling us that we need to make some changes in our life, especially in the way we are perceiving things. The strategies and beliefs we formed as a child, may have helped us “survive” childhood, however when we automatically bring them into adulthood, they can be very limiting to us. They keep us away from the present moment, as if we are in a state of trance or a waking sleep.
As we grow up in a western culture, we are taught to trust our logical mind, hard facts and scientific evidence. We generally don’t place any value to what our body is trying to convey to us. It is likely that as children, we were not taught how to slow down, clear our head and connect with the sensations of our body as a source of intelligence far greater than our conscious thinking.
Most of us would rather disconnect from our breath and body. When we are in our cars, we listen to the radio. At home we are on the TV, phone or computer. When we are waiting at the train station or on public transport most of us are on our devices. Even when we exercise, a lot of us need the TV on or some sort of music in the background. This is called disconnecting and when we get into a habit of disconnecting from our breath, body and feelings, we are no longer receiving messages from the body and we find that we stray off course from our deepest wants. It seems that modern day living supports this disconnection of body and mind.
The body is like a bridge to the subconscious. Old memories and traumas are actually stored in the body. The body is more like a field of information and energy rather than just a hunk of meat and bones. After turning towards the sensations of the body, with the ability to stay with those sensations with mindfulness, we let go of what we already know and we connect with the present moment, we move into the unknown. Our body lets us know when it’s time to slow down, time to eat, time to exercise, time to stretch or time to meditate. The message that the body has been trying to tell us will be loud and clear. It’s about feeling more and thinking less.
Our True Self
Our true self is the seed of potential we come into the world with. The essence of who we really are. You may have noticed that your body, mind, emotions and true self do not operate independently of each other. They are deeply connected. When we are connected with our true self it means we are connected with the truth of who we really are and we feel expansive, we feel connected, we feel a sense of flow, we feel a sense of purpose and we feel happy. Our body is in balance, our mind is quiet and peaceful. This means that we are able to take action towards our deepest wants and dreams in life. We feel any fear without being overwhelmed by it and take action anyway.
When we lose connection with our true self we feel contraction, we feel tense, our breath is more labored, we feel disconnected, we feel like we are striving and efforting and we feel unhappy and fearful. Our body is in a state of stress and our mind is very busy, negative and judgmental, which leads to low self-esteem. We find ourselves automatically reacting in life and constantly getting triggered and we lose the ability to move towards our deepest wants and dreams.
The journey of transformation can be quite scary along the way, with all the uncertainties of change, but the alternative is even scarier, especially if we get to the end of our life and realise we have not been true to who we really are. I describe the turning point, as the point in our life when the pain of not changing and continuing to live with our limitations, becomes more painful than the uncertainties of change. The truth is that many of us are still not ready to transform until we go on experiencing more pain.
To transform means to “Know Thyself” at the deepest level. It takes courage, persistence, commitment, determination, patience and hard work. You have to be willing to let go of what you know about life and be open to looking at things in new ways. It means taking responsibility for your life and letting go of the security of the known and stepping into the unknown. It’s likely the greatest challenge we will face in life and the most important thing we can do in life in order to reconnect with our deepest wants and dreams.
If you’re interested in developing your mindfulness ability I will be running mindfulness meditation classes from the Perth Hills Mindfulness Space in Darlington on Tuesdays from 10 am to 11:15 am and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm. These classes start from the 9th of October 2018. Check www.PerthHillsMindfulnessSpace.com.au for details. If you would like to try guided mindfulness meditation from home, just send me an email at PerthHillsMindfulnessSpace@gmail.com and I will happily forward you a guided meditation free of charge. I wish you well on your journey of transformation.
Mischke Reeds, Manuela. (2015) 8 Keys to Practising Mindfulness: Practical Strategies for Emotional Health and Well-Being. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pert, Dr Candace (2000) Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind: DVD. Boulder CO: Sounds True.
Strom, Max (2012) A Life Worth Breathing. A Yoga Masters Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.
Author: GABRIEL PERGAMALIS
About Gabriel Pergamalis
Gabriel Pergamalis is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Self-Mastery Coach at the Perth Hills Mindfulness Space. He is passionate about helping people empower themselves to quieten their mind, tame their emotions and transform their limiting beliefs. He understands how the mind works, especially the influence of the subconscious mind. He is constantly upgrading his level of training to bring his clients the most simple, yet effective techniques to develop mindfulness, connect with their true self and overcome conditioning of the subconscious mind.
For more information on Gabriel’s “Know Thyself Program” visit the SELF MASTERY COACHING PAGE.
You can download Chapter 1 of the program for free including a 30 minute guided mindfulness meditation by Gabriel.