Busting BeliefsNovember 4, 2011
As readers of this blog know, I often talk about “the story”. This is a conceptual structure we use to give meaning and relate to the world with. While this can aid us, the story can also get in the way of seeing what is actually here. This can prevent us from recognizing who we are and enjoying the fullness of our life.
Much of the meaning we give to life arises when we’re young children. At that point, we’re just guesstimating and tend to blame ourselves for the shortcomings our parents point out. Some of the resulting beliefs can be rather primitive and harsh. We also have the role of vasanas, unresolved tendencies carrying over from past lives. These colour our experience and encourage certain kinds of conclusions.
I first emphasize the value of an effortless meditation. This allows us to have the direct experience of who we are and also helps to clear much of the baggage we carry. What it doesn’t always cover is the stuff we’re more invested in, the stuff we keep reviving in our day-to-day life. These are sometimes called the sprouted seeds of karma.
Curiously, I’ve noticed that while we can remove the vasanas or tendencies automatically through deep meditation, the tendencies of those impressions may continue out of habit. These are of course the easiest to clear as they’re now just superficial habits. They just need to be noticed.
They key thing to remember about the story is that it’s not just what we’re telling ourselves but it’s also the emotions behind it that drive those ideas. A process must resolve both or they will continue to arise again.
Happily, this is not actually hard. It’s just a little subtle or unconscious so we may need a technique or two to see and release them. Because it is simple, the essence of any good technique is simplicity. Further, all healing is through awareness. We just need to be able to see the story or belief for us to have a new choice and let it go.
Recently, a friend forwarded me an email on the Lefkoe Method. Morty and Shelley Lefkoe offer a simple technique for becoming aware of and letting go of beliefs that don’t serve us. They’ve identified about 20 beliefs that are very common, each with their own similar routine to walk you through seeing and releasing the belief. They offer 3 of them for free. (I’d recommend “I’m not Good Enough” first as it has a bit more background)
It’s a useful process to walk through, differentiating between what happened and the meaning we gave it. It includes the belief, the feeling value, and the senses. It will give you a good sense of how to approach beliefs within yourself. If you want, you can purchase others belief busters individually or as a set. Sometimes our beliefs are simple but so intertwined, it’s good to have some help unraveling them. For this, you can arrange a phone session with them.
They observe that as children, we naturally give meaning to events that arise. If something “bad” happens repeatedly, we tend to blame ourselves and create a belief of deficiency. If those beliefs remain unexamined in adulthood, they can impede our enjoyment and success. Further, beliefs tend to beget more beliefs and thus a whole story is born.
“I create my beliefs
Beliefs determine what I do and feel.
Therefore, I create my life and I can change it.”
They observe that we tend to see ourselves as the sum total of our beliefs (the story) yet even if our beliefs change, we’re still here. We don’t eliminate our sense of self if we delete beliefs. (though the ego may fear this) They go on to observe that you need an interpreter to create an interpretation. That you are this interpretation creator, not the creation. “As the creator, what limitations do you have?” Interestingly, they talked about witnessing your creation and being consciousness.
1) change your creation by changing your beliefs.
2) see yourself as creator and transcend your own creation.
Morty has a blog with various articles on the subject. Here’s a “best of” post with links.
For a long time they didn’t have a solution for people with an eating disorder. They realized that overeating is not primarily belief-based. Rather, it’s driven by conditioning; what they describe as the emotional equivalent of belief.
Like beliefs, conditioning happens from repeated experience. They suggest 2 ways conditioning arises. The first happens when we make a connection between comfort or distraction from a bad experience and food. The second happens when we equate food with a reward. Both are of course common experiences in childhood. How many of us had parents that rewarded deeds with sweets or gave us dessert for eating our vegetables? Food is the easiest to condition as we eat 3 times a day and these routines went on for years.
These associations create “triggers” emotionally. When we experience certain emotions or feel we deserve a reward, the trigger is activated and we feel a compulsive need to eat. The solution is in removing the triggers (associations) and thus the unwanted behavior stops. They suggest it is as easy as removing beliefs, but as its emotional, it is more subtle and can be multi-layered. Rather than having an on-line or downloadable program this requires personal sessions. They claim high success rates. You can explore a free report that goes into this in more detail, outlining the process. If you follow a belief process first (above), this will be clearer.
I noticed Morty suggested a few times that this is the total solution for overeating. Overeating can often lead to bad food choice habits as well. This technique may solve the compulsions that lead to overeating, but there is great value in culturing healthy lifestyle habits afterward. This will be much easier with the triggers resolved but I would not describe it as the complete solution.
We will still need to process stress and give ourselves rewards. They suggest we find other pleasurable activities like meeting friends, movies, or a book. Don’t forget effortless meditation. Healthy escapes can be fun and free of guilt.
This article is not an endorsement of the method. I’ve not spoken with the Lefkoes nor purchased any products. But I’ve reviewed their on-line materials and saw some value here. They offer another perspective on ways we can lighten our load and enjoy life more fully.
And that’s a wonderful thing.
PS: Here’s a video where Morty walks through the process (with lots of explanation) with Joe Vitale (5 parts) Busting with Joe Vitale. (the free on-line tools are simpler)
In another clip, Joe talked about also ending his resistance to exercise this way.