"Our minds aren't passive observers, simply perceiving reality as it is. Our minds actually change reality,"
said Alia Crum, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Stanford Mind and Body Lab. This profound statement was made in June of 2018, yet the concept has not taken hold in mainstream psychology. Most therapists prescribe to a medical model for understanding the brain: essentially, we are a diagnosis and chemical imbalance. Therapists practice with this framework because it is what we have been taught, and it keeps clients coming back for more therapy or medications. I promise, no rant on the power of big pharma!
The power that lies beneath the statement made by Dr. Crum is this; we can create the reality we choose, which could include stepping out of our diagnosis. We can create realities of joy or suffering. As for the chemical imbalance thing: perhaps we affect the balance of our brain by how we create our reality. Could our perceptions of our world make us depressed, anxious, or addictive? Could our perceptions of how the world and others are supposed to be, have an impact on our mental and physical health?
"What you think about you bring about. Your whole life is a manifestation of the thoughts that go on in your head." Rhonda Byrne
When you consider this quote in the context of our ability to create reality, you begin to see the magnitude of power that lies beneath. Everything we perceive about our worlds is created in our heads! Every condition, judgment, expectation, or rule we have about everyone, and everybody begins in our mind.
Drilling this down one step deeper, consider the estranged mother who chooses to mourn the loss of her estranged daughter and believes that her daughter did something to her. She left her, stopped talking, cut herself off, didn't love back, was disrespectful of the implied mother/ daughter relationship, or is punishing her. This estranged mother is creating a reality that places her firmly as a victim of her daughter's actions. In exploring other options, what if the estrangement is because the mother had too many rules, judgments, expectations, or judgments? What if there were one too many opinions offered? What if their power dynamic made it impossible for the daughter to create the reality of her choice? What if the estrangement is nothing more than an effort to break free from others' reality to develop one's own reality and personal truth?
If you believe that you hold power to create the reality of your choosing, you can quickly shift from sorrow to a life of joy, peace, and purpose: to do so, you have to change how you perceive yourself and others.
On my journey of healing, I have discovered a few fundamental principles that have greatly helped.
1. I observe my thoughts, emotions, and actions in real-time. In this process, I evaluate every condition, judgment, or expectation I hold for the world and others, and ask myself, "Why do I believe this, and how does this belief make me feel safe in the world?"
2. I acknowledge that every condition, judgment, and expectation I hold for others reflects my self-imposed conditions, judgments, and expectations. I am the baseline! I cannot judge your appearance without judging mine against yours. I cannot judge your values or morals without evaluating my standards for ethics and morality. I cannot judge your spiritual or religious practices unless I reflect upon what I think is the "right way." When I impose my rules on others, I am caught in my stories of oppression. Every condition, judgment, and expectation serves as the oppression of my graceful soul.
3. In my interactions with others, I attempt to hold a loving, open, and accepting space where all my rules are suspended: this allows me to create beautiful and meaningful experiences in the present moment.
4. When I find myself feeling anxious or depressed, I go within and ask myself, "What story am I choosing to believe?" Our story is our reality. I then ask myself, "Why am I choosing to suffer?"
5. When I begin the day, I proclaim, "It is a beautiful day, and I am creating joy, peace, and purpose. "
6. I then create the reality I believe I deserve. I deserve a reality of calmness, abundance, connection, community, unconditionality, freedom, joy, and, most importantly, love. You deserve the same and so much more: you deserve anything you can imagine for your unique reality.
Creating a beautiful reality is ultimately about taking full responsibility for all your thoughts, emotions, and actions. If you have someone to blame for your sorrow, you have a reality influenced by victimhood. If you are angry because your wishes have been violated: your "wishes" are just veiled conditions and expectations you need to consider. If you are looking for an apology you think you deserve, you have given your power to create a reality of peace away to someone else.
You are already creating the reality you think you deserve, is it a joyful or oppressive reality?
You make a choice, you're in control, you can claim victory over the oppression, but you have to decide to do so.
If I can support you on the journey of creating a new reality, I would love to chat! BTW, check out our website for a host of webinars starting July 16th.