We all hold stories about ourselves, what we can do what we can’t do; our preferences, things we love and things we don’t like at all. These nifty shortcuts help our brains to sort things out – giving us the things that we deem important and ignoring the things that aren’t. It is almost unfathomable the amount of information and stimulus thrown at us on a daily basis and to assimilate or even try to process, it is only natural for our brain to use this filter. Excellent!
However, this filter, this gatekeeper to our world, holds enormous power for our unfolding life and continuing unchecked could be potentially dangerous.
Consider the story of the baby elephant who was tied with rope to a peg in the ground and no matter how hard they tried to escape the rope was too tight and the peg was too sturdy. Eventually, the baby elephant realised that there was to be no running away and that their life would unfold tied to the peg. Over time, the elephant grew to be ten times as big and ten times as strong, though the rope and peg were exactly the same. Now, this grown elephant could easily whisk itself away to freedom by quickly snapping the rope or pulling out the peg. It did not. The elephant stayed bound to the rope and peg because it believed that escape was not possible, they had tried it before and it didn’t work.
Now, imagine our own social, cultural and familial conditioning; our own beliefs that have been created and built over time. Maybe they were once relevant and important but how appropriate are they now? Have they ever been challenged? Do they deserve to be present at such a potent juncture? Do they honour and support the person we want to become?
One of the fabulous side effects of being a regular meditator is that our self-awareness grows and we begin to get clues, a sense for when things are no longer a relevant fit for us. This is when we get to choose, to edit, and to consciously create a new or updated belief that better serves who we really are.