ArchivesAwareness and Consciousness Podcast

#59 Self Mastery Interview with Eva

 

The website is called Pathway to Happiness, but the journey there isn’t always that pretty. It usually involves delving into the emotions and beliefs from our past and cleaning them up. The process can require a raw honesty with yourself, the lies you turned into beliefs earlier in your life, and the repressed emotions that you didn’t know how to release earlier. Eva Beronious shares her journey out of a life of regular panic attacks, depression, and career burn out.  Cause when you start there, going through that stuff mentioned above  is a step out of emotional hell. You are in it anyways, you might as well move through it.

#58: How to Relax

 

 

There are reasons that breathing techniques can help you relax. Breathing, when done properly, bypasses your intellect and directs your nervous system to switch off the flight or fight mode of hyper-vigilance. This is something that you can’t do by thinking better thoughts or trying to be positive. Good breathing techniques allow you to work directly with your body to reset your nervous system, change your brain wave patterns, and return you organs and cells to a restorative process. This helps with digestion, your immune system and other healthy processes in your body.

There are several keys to breathing to relax your whole body. When put together it will be simple, but be sure to include as many as you can. Here is a short list. More details are explained in the audio podcast.

  1. Focus your attention in your torso area. The heart area is the best, but the diaphragm where you will be moving most of the air is also helpful. They aren’t that far apart so you can have your awareness on both
  2. Make your breath consistent. Find a relaxing pace and count the rhythm of the inhale and exhale. Breathe according to that rhythm. Making your breath cycle consistent is the most important factor. It reduces your heart rate variability which then changes your brain waves from beta to a more relaxing alpha.
  3. Breathe down into your lower belly using your diaphragm.
  4. Breathe through your nose as much as possible.
  5. Close your eyes if you have that option. If you are driving, in a meeting, or around people you can do the breathing with eyes open.
  6. Once your breathing rhythm has been consistent for a while, you may find it easy to lengthen the count of the inhale and exhale. Do this if it is easy and comfortable. Then be consistent with your breath in the new rhythm.
  7. When your attention drifts off, simply bring it back to your heart/diaphragm area and continue the rhythm. Let pass any need to address what the mind offers. Don’t follow up on a thought, or “fix” anything during this time. This is a practice of letting that other stuff go for now.
  8. Notice any subtle changes and sensations in your body as different areas make small relaxations.
  9. The slower rhythm of breathing will allow you to notice different feelings and have different thoughts. Welcome these as a sign of good change.

#57: Critical voice in your head

 

 

The critical voice in your head telling you whether you are succeeding or failing at things is actually pretty stupid. It sounds smart, acts confident, and pretends to be an expert.  However, it hasn’t actually done any of the things it is criticizing you about. It has no expertise in learning the skill, or in coaching and guiding you to learning a skill. Sometimes it is just a fraud and you are better off not listening to it.

It behaves as a biased scorekeeper, always marking you down. It doesn’t apply how we really learn a skill, which is through a lot of trial and error repetition. It somehow expects perfection on the first try, even though that is not in reality how we get better. When you become aware of it’s impact you discover that it isn’t actually making you better. The result is that it acts more as a saboteur to demotivate you to continue learning and practicing. Your counter move to it’s antics is awareness and that will allow you to not believe what it says.

 

#56: Social anxiety from unconscious beliefs

 

 

Most of your emotions arise from unconscious beliefs. In this podcast I describe a process to dig into the layers of your unconscious beliefs, and release the emotional beliefs trapped there. A man shares what he discovers as the source of his social anxiety that  began when he was in 3rd grade. You can use this method to discover and change the source of negative thoughts, anxiety, and other emotional reactions.

Sometimes the cause of the negative chatter in your head is from repressed memories and emotions that generate internal thoughts long after the event happened. These memories form a kind of belief. You may not remember the event, but it can still cause you to have negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors years later.

Helpful methods to find and change these beliefs can be found in the Self Mastery Course, the Releasing Emotions Exercise, and the Recapitulation Series – see all online trainings here.

#55: Origin of ego and false beliefs of identity

 

 

What are the false beliefs that form our Ego?  Where do our false beliefs come from?  When did we begin to get these false beliefs o our identity and lose touch with our authentic self? What is our identity when we shed our mind’s version of who we are?

A critical step to getting back to an authentic self is that we have to dissolve the labels and stories (thoughts) that fill our mind with descriptions of our self. This version from the mind will always be a false version.

For practical steps on how to rid the mind of the chatter of thoughts beliefs and emotional reactions check out the Four Free Sessions of my Self Mastery course. Or my book MindWorks.

#54: How do you recognize the truth?

 

 

How can you tell if something is truthful or if it is a lie? From a consciousness perspective, even statements that are factual are still not the Truth. Words are what we use to describe a thing, or facts. But words are not the thing itself. The words used to describe a chair are not the chair itself.  The best words can do is to give you a factual description of the something that is true. But believing in the words, is not the same is believing in something that is true.

As Alan Watts describes, “The menu is not the meal”.  Don’t confuse a good description, or even facts with being the truth.  A description of what “Love” is, is not the same as love. A description of what “Beauty” is, is not the same as Beauty.

 

#53: Why lie to your self?

 

 

Lying to your self can cause a response in the reasoning part of your brain that makes you feel good. Sometimes people confuse this good feeling with being right, or feeling that they have just agreed with an explanation that is truthful. Sometimes people are relieved from their “need to know” or a feeling of uncomfortable confusion by believing something that isn’t true.  Often times our analytical mind, or what I call the reasoning part of the mind doesn’t care if an answer or explanation is true, it only wants to be satisfied with having an explanation.

For some reference reading you might pick up Noble Prize winner for Economics Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow.

 

#52: Self loathing

 

 

Self loathing is a strong hatred towards oneself.  You will also find with it a lot of internal thoughts of criticism and self judgment. Underneath that there will be a layer of beliefs relating to worthlessness. This layer of beliefs about being bad, unworthy, or inferior somehow justifies the emotional punishment of hate and anger one pours on themselves.  What makes this cycle perpetual is that the beliefs involved in the unworthiness and emotional punishment cycles don’t have enough awareness to look around and see if there are other options.  There is a kind of certainty that this is the best course of action and that the hate and anger are deserved.

I this podcast we explore the unconscious beliefs that can be behind self loathing and self hatred.  I also explore why getting rid of these habits can be accompanied with resistance, fears, and objections from our own mind. You can learn how to do this process through my Self Mastery Course or through my book MindWorks: A practical guide to changing thoughts, beliefs, and emotional reactions.

#51: Unconscious beliefs

 

 

Unconscious beliefs are agreements we have in our mind that we have no awareness we are holding. In spite of not having any intellectual knowledge of our own beliefs, they can still cause us to have emotional reactions and sabotaging behaviors.  Often these beliefs are formed early in our life, either through a strong emotional event, or through subtle repetition. In this audio I discuss a woman’s fear of flying that formed when she was 5 years old.

She avoided the issue for years, mostly by not flying or through taking medications.  When we took an inventory of the belief and when it was formed she discovered that her fear had nothing to do with flying. Beliefs in a powerless identity, feeling helpless, the world not being safe, and the fear of death, were all fused together when she was on her way to her grandmothers funeral. These unconscious beliefs can mask themselves for years or decades behind a smart intellect that makes excuses, a denial system that distracts and deflects the issue, or white knuckled under repressed emotions. The way to change the emotional reactions and sabotaging behaviors that these unconscious beliefs may be causing is through an honest inventory of beliefs and behaviors. You can learn how to do this process through my Self Mastery Course or through my book MindWorks: A practical guide to changing thoughts, beliefs, and emotional reactions.

#50: Personal power and responsibility

 

 

When you take responsibility for your life, you also accept a power over it. Taking responsibility for the good stuff is easy, it is the not so good stuff that feels uncomfortable. But this is what you want the power to change. When you are in the expression of blame, you personify a victim attitude that is powerless.  When you accept some responsibility for your half, and this does not mean blame your self, you begin to change your story.

#49: Anxiety – understanding it differently

 

 

Attempts to overcoming or at least reduce anxiety tend to fail. Perhaps our efforts fail because we are applying the wrong understanding, and therefore the wrong model for changing it.  Anxiety isn’t the kind of thing that responds to our intellect. That is why very intelligent and highly educated individuals often are susceptible to issues of anxiety, anxiety attacks, and panic attacks.  Their efforts to change are often intellectual or through a system of knowledge that they are familiar with. There may be a different way to understand anxiety that can help.

#48: Becoming the observer – mindfulness practice

 

 

Becoming the observer requires that we do it in a neutral witness manner. It is not enough to just think about our self, any egotistical person can do that. If this were the case, the narcissist would be very self-aware when this is actually furthest from the truth.  When the ego part of the mind thinks about our self it often does it with a sense of comparison. That part of the mind will compare us to someone else, or an idealized version we hold in our belief system.  It is evaluating how well or how poorly we did something. It might even judge us for not being very spiritually aware. It is an egotistical thought that says we are not meditating enough or not doing enough mindfulness practices. While these may seem like observations, they are not. They are criticisms with an agenda.  The result of which is that we feel worse.

When we act in the way of a neutral observer we notice different things. We notice when those thoughts are arising from parts of our ego and the emotions they produce. We can also notice the idealized version in the background of our mind being used as comparison. We might notice the idea that we could sit down and spend some time in quiet meditation, and then notice how our emotions, thoughts, and body reacts to that idea. As an observer we might notice negative thoughts rebut why it is not a good time, we are busy, or that we will be better served by exercising today. The Observer state of mind doesn’t see any of these rebuttals as a problem as that would have an agenda. It just notices these rebuttals as if it were a car driving by with an interesting paint job. If it were to think anything about them it would say, “I notice a rebuttal coming from other parts of my mind… interesting.”

Read this article for more on being the neutral witness observer

In the online training in the Self Mastery Course I guide you how to move into the observer state, step by step.

#47: Reality, projections and illusions

 

 

How much does our mind project into what we see and distort our perception of things? Is it possible to know the truth about things? What is reality? What is illusion? All these questions first require that we understand perception. When we begin to understand how we perceive the world, or our self, we become immediately aware that the mind has the capacity to distort and project on to what we see in ways that are difficult to spot.

Once you realize that the mind that is distorting things is at the beginning of our perception and interpretation of events, you become aware that perceiving reality is much more difficult. The mind affects and changes what we see before we get a chance to be consciously aware. Not only are the images we see with our brain processed by turning them upside down, but two 2D images are converted to one 3D image without us noticing. Who knows what else it might be adding or changing.

You can help your self untangle the stories of drama in your mind by applying the Self Mastery sessions. You can begin with the first four exercises as a free trial.

 

 

#46: Affirmations can backfire

 

 

Sometimes people get poor results with affirmations. When they say positive things about themselves the dialogue of thoughts in their head pushes back with harsh negative comments. Those harsh criticisms cause them to feel more negative emotions than were produced with the positive affirmations. The overall result of the affirmation process is to end up feeling worse than before one started. This is what I call pushback from our ego’s belief system. This is also known as the “Backfire Effect”.  The net effect of this affirmations attempt is that our self-image and self-esteem is pushed down instead of up.

The same kind of backfire effect, or pushback, happens when other people give us compliments. Often the automated response from our ego’s belief system is to dismiss or contradict the compliment. Our mind effectively minimizes or dismisses their kind uplifting words and expressions people give us about our self. In this unconscious manner of speaking, our ego does not allow to fully receive positive thoughts of our self that would improve our self-image and self-esteem. The first step to solving and changing this dynamic is to be aware and mindful. Before we can change this pattern of dismissing and countering positive thoughts and expressions we must first be aware of what we are doing. Once you are aware, you can then begin to intercede with a more positive response in that moment. Without that awareness you won’t notice the critical moment to change your response.

For more insights you can read my book MindWorks.

#45: The Hero’s journey

 

 

The Hero’s Journey was outlined to me through the works of  Joseph Campbell years ago. It is the classic tale often told through movies and stories going back to The Odyssey by Homer and many modern versions including Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Matrix. It’s appeal is that it represents our journey to create peace and happiness within our self and our own mind. The “Dark Forces” that we are challenged by our our inner demons of false beliefs, false self images, unpleasant emotions, fears and those loud voices in our head that spew negative thoughts.

The challenge is to make a commitment to claim the kingdom of your mind and put order to all the contradicting voices and create peace and harmony in your mind, and in your heart. Until you do that, you will not find peace within.

#44: Persistence and resistance

 

 

Jamie is one of the most persistent people at doing personal change work that I know. She also resists change, happiness and unconditional love more than just about anyone I know. What does resistance look like and how do you navigate around it to make changes in your self? In this interview you have an opportunity to get a good look at it. There are also some clues on how to be aware of resistance so you can move through those fears and limiting beliefs faster.

Jamie’s approach to dealing with her resistance to unconditional love and being happy was and unrelenting and persistent drive for the Truth. In the process Jamie is completely re-writing the story of her life. It’s an inspiring story of change, and one that she is not finished telling yet.

It will be interesting to see where it goes.

#43: Overcoming insecurity and develop confidence

 

 

Attempts to develop confidence often fail because they revolve around projecting a positive self image or achieving success. Unfortunately these two things don’t eliminate other beliefs causing feelings of insecurity. To overcome the feeling of insecurity effectively it is necessary to identify and eliminate the beliefs that generate feelings of unworthiness, fear, and anxiety. It is not enough to just cover them up with positive self images. That won’t achieve a solid feeling of confidence as long as the beliefs connected to insecurity are still intact in our mind.

More on this topic on my article about Overcoming insecurity 

For practical steps to identify and change the core beliefs causing insecurity, use the exercises in my Self Mastery Course.

 

#42: Stop beating your self up

 

 

Due to an internal dialog of negative thoughts you can really beat your self up. If the self berating thoughts are strong enough it can induce feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and even depression. People often try to remedy this by willing their negative thoughts to stop. I’ve never seen this work, and with very good reason. To effectively change the thoughts and beliefs we beat our self up with it is important to look at the problem differently. That’s what I do in this free audio on what specifically happens when you are “beating yourself up”.

This audio helps clarify what is going on in your mind when you do this. Once you understand this situation better, you will see why trying to will it to stop is a set up for failure. You will also have other practical solutions available to you in the Self Mastery Course.

The reason you can’t stop the “beating your self up” with shear will power is that those negative thoughts aren’t being directed by you. They are being driven by a part of the mind that has taken on a life of it’s own and is not under your control. But you can get it under your control.

#41: Meditation for beginners

 

 

This simple meditation lets anyone begin to enter into a state of mindfulness using a very common sense practical approach. What our mind construes as a deeply mystical thing like meditation doesn’t have to be so esoteric.

This free audio explains a simple way to begin using meditation for relaxation and stress reduction. It also covers what to expect when you begin to meditate so that you can avoid being surprised and become disappointed or frustrated. This will help you continue with your practice and become more successful and mindful in the process. It also explains suggested guidelines and what they are for so you don’t become distracted by what rules to follow or not follow.

#40: Self awareness and mindfulness

 

 

Understanding how your mind creates emotional reactions is key to making personal change. This understanding of the mind is done through mindfulness, also know as self awareness. In a basic level of awareness you might notice how someone’s mood changes. A deeper level of awareness allows you notice your own mood, and how it affects your behavior and interactions. A deeper level of awareness will allow you to perceive the factors affecting your mood and change them.

Self awareness, also called mindfulness, is an important step to permanently changing your negative thoughts, emotional reactions, and self destructive behaviors.