Prism Thinking – Design Your Mind

Posts tagged ‘beliefs’

Exodus, Freedom and Transcending What Enslaves Us

In the next week as we Jewish people everywhere prepare for the Passover holiday, it reminds us that it is not just a holiday of traditional ritual services.  Although regional traditions were handed down from generation to generation stemming from the Torah commandments, what we are constantly reminded is the primal message we received from the very Event that started this whole thing – which was the Exodus from Egypt and imposed slavery on our ancestors. And the message is one of perspective and of prism-thinking itself.

While we were given Divine instruction to hurry up and leave our enslaved existence of over 400 years as a people, along with whatever personal belongings we could gather within a very confined window of time, what we didn’t know at the time was that we were about to embark on a 40-year journey in the wilderness before we could get to where we were going. Metaphorically, does that seem to sound familiar?

Time and time again we argued, we complained, we feared, we rebelled, all the while being told to just trust and have faith. Well yes, wouldn’t you know – some did and some didn’t! In the meantime, we journeyed, we grew, we were nourished, we won battles along the way and were provided all sorts of clues and messages and yes, blatantly affirmative laws, explicit instruction on how-to everything!

So why then did the Israelites take 40 years to get to their destination? And why did it coincide with an entire generation dying out before we were awarded entry into the land of Israel? Symbolically and physically, the land of Israel represented a new mindset, that of freedom, responsibility, accountability, growth and development, all the attributes that come with being your own person. One cannot enter this state without a synchronous mentality. One cannot maintain such a state with the lingering mentality of slavery and bondage.

Likewise as we prepare to clean our homes of the unleavened, we prepare to shift our perspectives and renew our mental states towards freedom. As we remove our physical environment of all “chametz” (literal translation: leavened; root word: to ferment/sour); we also seek to remove our minds of emotional and spiritual chametz.  During our 7-day exodus commemorative journey we endeavor to transcend from the restraints of whatever holds us in bondage.

This is something my husband Jeff and I have been working on for quite a while.  As we are developing the Freedom Thought Project™, through our coaching work of helping many overcome their limitations, we have come to realize that while we live in a so-called free society, many do not even fathom what it means to be free or what true freedom feels like.  And it all stems within the constraints of our own minds!  What are you a slave to? Fear? Anxiety? Financial problems? Addictions? Uncertainty?  A Cause? What is it you had started out with the intention of having a result of happiness and fulfillment, that has all of a sudden, left you feeling confused, powerless and hopeless?

Here are a few steps to help identify and guide you through your own journey towards true freedom.

The Path from Enslavement to Freedom!

Enslavement holds a lifestyle racked between fear and danger of being physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually hurt.  Even those who physically live within some form of bondage may be spiritually, emotionally and mentally free.  Leave behind the victim mentality of how you deserve a current lifestyle.  This moment is nothing more than a moment in time.  Anything may happen in the next moment when you conduct yourself with flexibility.

  1. Do you feel you are a slave to something? Whom or what do you believe is keeping you there?
  2. A slave mentality holds many characteristics of remaining a victim. Answer the following questions to identity if you are living in emotional or physical bondage:

a)      Do you often have recurring thoughts of despair or hopelessness?

b)      Do you often find yourself thinking the worst in situations?

c)       Do you tend to blame others?

d)      Do you habitually blame yourself for your lot in life?

e)      Do you normally tend to feel you have the ability and resources to change your situation?

f)       Do you find yourself feeling stuck focusing on what others have and what you may not?

  1. When you become aware of your experience, without the specific ‘drama’ or ‘story’ of what you are going through, pay specific attention to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your experience.
  2. Notice how these recurring sensations begin.  Is it voices you hear, images you see or sensations you feel?  These are recurring patterns you may have created.

Voices 

a)      If these are recurring voices, are they that of your own or somebody else?

b)      Do they still say those things or are they from the past?

c)       Change them to something more pleasant.  Example: Whenever you hear these negative words, engage some of your favorite music that inspires you.

d)      In your mind, turn up the music, then turn down the voices.

Images

a)      Begin to collect images that best resonate your sensations of freedom .

b)      Clip them from magazines and create a wish or dream scrap-book.

c)       Recreate this scrap-book in your mind where you may never lose it and conjure them up when you need reminding

Sensations

a)      When you notice the feelings, get up and move!

b)      By going for a walk, a drive and by shifting your scenery and immediate environment, you will automatically shift your thoughts, images and feelings into something more useful.

Each or these steps will allow yourself to open a gap between your stuck thoughts of despair or victimhood.  Within this gap or thought-space, allow feelings of possibilities, hope and even joy.  The more you do this, the more these gaps will override your less useful thoughts that keep you stuck.

(Courtesy of Freedom Thought Project™)

So with that, I close with a wish to all of you: That may your journey to peace, happiness and fulfillment rise above the enslavement of hopelessness and despair; may you truly have freedom in your life and may you have the wisdom, courage and determination to know the difference!

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Beyond the Fun-House Mirror: Putting This “Morphic” Thing Back in Order

with Jeff Schoener, the NLP Wordsmythe

While the medical PR community comes up with new disorders on a continuous basis, before we get sucked in to the new millennium’s version of hypochondria, remember this vital information given from an insider in the medical profession: These disorders are merely new names given for symptoms not yet deciphered by the medical community in order for pharmaceutical companies to sell their wares.  There are so many self-diagnosed disorders today that, much like the communities of wordsmiths, NLP and other brain language and belief experts, it would behoove us to make use of the etymology of language before we fall into the traps. Getting to the root of the language may actually also help us get to the root of our so-called disorders.

I would like to use as a newly common example, Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day.” Now, can you think of how this perceived disorder goes far beyond the physical? In fact it goes beyond how one sees themselves; it’s also what we tell ourselves – how we talk to ourselves, what we hear, how we feel.

Physical dysmorphia may not just be seeing ourselves in a warped view. How do we “see” ourselves?  In the physical – pretty, ugly, average, gorgeous, plain, nice but flawed? As a person – intelligent, stupid, kind, confident, shy, a success, a failure? How are we telling ourselves that we are these things? What and whose voices do we hear? Our own, a critical parent, sibling or other family member? Our old school-mates, friends, bullies, teachers? How do we feel when we do this? If it makes us feel crappy, why do we do this? Would you ever define yourself as a masochist? Most wouldn’t, yet if we break it down, sadly many of us are.

I still remember one of the very few Dr. Phil advice or techniques that I have ever agreed with. A guest on his show had issues with motivation, self-esteem and was constantly in bad relationships, come to find out her father was verbally abusive to her as a child. However her father had long been deceased, but she kept replaying his words in her head. Finally Dr. Phil said to her, “He’s been gone for many years and you are an adult woman; STOP continuing on his abuse for him!” Are we standing in our own way to well-being, success and the life we desire? Interestingly enough, I also remember many years ago, I found myself saying something negative about me, when my husband Jeff retorted to my surprise, “Hey! Nobody speaks to my wife that way! Not even you!” That woke me up and I began to pay closer attention to the conversations I was having with my Self!

When Jeff works with clients within this range of issues, he finds that,

“When perception and illusion are out of balance, attempting self control based upon internal perception leads individually to distress and depression cycles.  The more the individual attempts to either control the cycle or avoid the cycle the worse the symptoms seem to get.  Do not attempt to get a handle on this.  In many cases my clients are battling the emotions not the issues that begin the cycle.“

So what can we do consciously to become more aware of our unconscious self-talk and beliefs about ourselves, and what can we do to change that?

  • Regress in order to egress.  Taking note of what you do, see, hear or feel before you ‘see’ yourself in ‘that way’ will offer you greater insight into what this is truly about.
  • Pay attention.  Most of the processes that drive these behaviors and emotions begin just outside of your conscious awareness.  If you were to pay attention to how this cycle is triggered, the better chance you have of making it a thing of the past.
  • Have faith.  What occurs behind our eyes is far more important than what we think we see. Our eyes are designed to invert an image onto our retina.  There is a direct translation process that happens in our brain.  Seeing is not always believing, for many believing is seeing.
  • Stop the blame game.  If you or someone else caused this cycle, blaming will only serve to distract from the cycle and fed into the emotional drama that helps keep you stuck.
  • Be more forgiving and be kind to yourself.  The more anger, anxiety and frustration occur, the more one becomes locked into their emotional drama. This is not the source of the issue, only the result.
  • Gain perspective and release control.  By becoming more a friend to your Self, many of these issues become just a little less important.

Begin following these tips and you will start getting more accustomed to paying attention to the language used by you and by others. Using appropriate language and finding congruence between your mind, body and spirit becomes the basis of making better brain chemistry and resulting in making healthier decisions. It goes like this: The better things you tell yourself, the better your brain chemistry, the better decisions you make and the better things turn out – it’s a happier cycle! Doing the opposite will give you adverse results. So keep practicing, keep healthy and stay happy!

For your viewing pleasure…here’s a more direct and humorous approach!

About Flip Your Brain

Judgments of the Non-Judgmental, the Spiritual and the Need to be Right

Have you ever heard someone make blanket statements about other people being judgmental while simultaneously insinuating their own judgmental attitude against “the Others” that aren’t like them?  In my experience these may be the very people who will tell you how wrong you are for being selfish, arrogant, stupid, greedy, rich, lazy, poor, unambitious, unloving, unspiritual and judgmental! All because you may not agree with their opinions or views.

I hear all too often from supposed non-judgmental people, “I’m spiritual, I don’t believe in organized religion like those religious nuts!” Or, “I care so much about people, not like those other kinds of people…”  While these are paradoxes, within the paradoxical labeling, lies the judgment. Frankly I don’t believe there is such a thing as being completely without judgment. If you have an opinion, you’re forming a judgment; if you have a strong opinion you may want to be careful about how you allow others to form theirs as well.

If I were to practice being non-judgmental, it would be to freely hear and understand all perspectives, in the hopes of learning something new so that I could form my own. Arguing would only lead to animosity and enforce the need to be right. I’d rather be educated and pay it forward. Folks can learn according their own merits and circumstances and are entitled to their views, whether or not I agree, I can at least respect.

So what of the self-proclaimed non-judgmental who are also usually the self-proclaimed spiritual, because for some reason these two go hand-in-hand.  There are those who are so uncannily threatened by opposing opinions, they become outright violent and abusive.  This of course, is a contradiction to their self-described character. Perhaps because they want to change the world to their perceived utopia and “the Others” get in the way. Perhaps it’s because they’re so non-judgmental that they want everyone to be so. Either way, it negates the commonly-accepted very quality of a non-judgment, doesn’t it?

Then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum. They say “live and let live”, often turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all kinds of, what “the Others” consider atrocities, injustice and sometimes even tragedies. But even that isn’t all conclusive, because by doing nothing, they form a judgment by default. Sure they can say live and let live on a global level and stay obliviously unaffected, but can they on a personal level?

So how do we all perceive of ourselves, and how do others on the outside perceive us? How do we perceive of others? Are we being fair in our assessment? Do we give others the personal right to express their opinions? And if we don’t share the same views, should we argue our point? Should we just shake our heads righteously and say, “Those poor things, not as enlightened as I am; not at my level; one day they will learn…” I’ve heard those sentiments quite often, but I can always tell the facial expression saying, “I’m not saying anything, but you’re wrong.”

I think the bottom line is we all have opinions, and it doesn’t matter what people say about being non-judgmental, I’ve found there is always underlying judgment somewhere in differences of views. Even when there is a visceral discord in the exchange of opinions, there will be judgment in the unspoken.  What we can do is to at least stay non-judgmental for the duration of the time it takes for us to form our own opinion. Whether something serves us or not, or whether it serves humanity or not, we can debate, we can stay on separate sides, we can change our minds about things, we can stay open. Above all we can gain perspective and we never stop learning.

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Is the “Family Curse” Nothing More Than an Unhealthy Belief Pattern?

I’ve often heard folks talk about habitual events, occurrences and other strange phenomena that run within families as a “family curse”.  From infertility to financial predicaments there are those who believe they are in the state they are because it runs in the family.  There is deep rooted belief that the “sins of the father” are attributed to a kind of family karma that now plagues the descendants as generational curses.  Parents and other family members even share in great detail about why certain things within their family are the way they are, and what can be expected in the future with great vindication.  While it is apparent that events may seem a certain way, do they stem from something supernaturally inexplicable, or are they self-fulfilling prophesies? What if these were merely beliefs that were held so strongly, they were passed down to generations as inevitable truths?

Depending upon the belief or “curse”, statements such as “…money doesn’t grow on trees; our family has always struggled” and “all her husbands died untimely deaths, she must be jinxed” to “cancer or heart disease is hereditary in our family” can have strong holds and powerful effects on those being handed this legacy.  Do we really grow up believing the doom and gloom inevitability and then fulfill them? What about inspirational stories we read and hear about someone rising above and against all odds and changed the path of their supposed destiny? That is a belief too. There is actually something to be said about polarity responders who are in the habit of reversing suggestions that seem forced upon them– “Our family is destined for mediocrity??? Not ME! I’ll show THEM!

When someone puts a suggestion into the mind of a youngster, they do grow up believing it.  People stuck in a negative belief will make decisions that are desperate and fear-based.  And while the repercussions of these decisions may seem random, adopting behaviors of our role-models merely continue the pattern, thus “running it within the family”.  When a child is told with equal conviction, “you can be anything you want” they usually grow up fulfilling their dreams.  There is this lovely lady who apparently is constantly winning prizes and lotteries and she believes she is extremely lucky.  Why is this? When she was a child she was constantly told what a lucky little girl she was because her parents were Holocaust survivors. So then good fortune also runs in families as “blessings” from healthy beliefs handed down in patterns – the antithesis of the “curse’.

So then, understanding this, why live our lives around the negative and damaging beliefs? Knowing that we not only change the odds through our actions, that we also can change them through personal belief and intention, breaking a destructive pattern could be as easy as believing that some ritual performed has broken a long-time curse.  Believing that things have now changed, we begin thinking and doing things differently because we believe the outcomes can now be to our favor. Very different from, “what’s the point? It’s only going to be the same anyway!” Changing a belief from negative to positive may be a bit more challenging without certain validation, but it can be done, usually with readiness, willingness and unequivocal intent.

When we begin to look at a situation or series of events which originally happened with someone other than ourselves and realize that we are not them and that we don’t have to adopt the same patterns, mentalities and attitudes we can begin to focus on who we are and what will make us happy, and then how to go about getting there.  Having a wish list doesn’t have to be mere fantasy that we believe we can never really achieve, it could be a to-do list for our goals in bringing about our true desires when we believe we can do them. We don’t have to feel like we’re bound to someone else’s version about how their lives took shape.  Each of us is a blank canvas just waiting for us to create the life we want.

About Flip Your Brain

Is Hollywoodland a Nexus of a Small World or a One-World?

Hollywood has always been a great part of my life. I went to college for 4 years, studying Broadcasting and Cinema. Before that I was singer from a very musical family where music had been much of a profession. Then I spent more than 15 years working in the Hollywood film industry where you might say that increasingly Hollywood became an entity far beyond a community, with its own language, politics, standards and immunities.

As a child I was also being influenced by my parents’ love of music and film, especially American movies and music.  You see, when Singapore was occupied by the Japanese during WWII, their lives were spared right at the very last moment when they had been ordered to dig their own graves to be executed the next.  The very next day heralded V-J Day when American, British and other Allied Forces won the war and it was over.  Therefore while Singapore was a British Colony, they were huge fans of everything American and rightly so.

I remember while growing up, to me as well as many others, Hollywood was America and America was Hollywood.  We learned all about American life, culture and society through American film, music and television.  We also had our equal share of entertainment from all other parts of the globe and frankly, they were never ever synonymous or indistinguishable from each other.  American movie greats, while some were of international fame, still considered the honor and privilege to be a part of an American studio production with its distinct American flair. If you were anyone at all, it all began and ended here.

Increasingly now I have come to a realization that it is becoming progressively more difficult to tell apart between an American production and an international production.  It’s not just a top billing international actor gracing our screens anymore, it’s more a strange blend of culture, tradition and philosophy, lacking in purity and changing in value a final product that would have lent a distinct flavor to further our appreciation.

I for one welcome every now and then, a multi-cultural effort in entertainment, I come from a multi-cultural country and society, but my love for American entertainment is waning as the Industry is watered down along with its influx of foreign talent, standards and ideologies, good and bad.  Has it become better or has it become muddy? It’s not just in Cinema.  American daytime television now has foreign hosts, American news has foreign news-casters, American commercials have foreign spokespersons with such thick accents they’re hardly articulate enough in their diction to actually sell a product in English! We have foreign judges for American musical talents.

There is a difference to me between importing a product and importing people.  Is it still a small world, like Walt Disney dreamed, or is it one world, one vision like Mao Tse Tung dreamed? Hollywoodland has long opened her borders and given away jobs that would belong to American talent just like any other outsourced product.  In essence it may be a beautiful thing.  In reality you lose your individualism and uniqueness when you cease to maintain defined borders.  Perhaps that’s what one-world means to some.  My personal perspective on this is really – one world, many differences. It’s what makes this diverse world a beautiful place – living together with our differences.  Not eliminating our core attributes. Not by displaying our similarities as a forced all-blended people, but finding harmony within our intrinsic core similarities and learning about our exceptionalism by highlighting our diversity – like many musical notes all distinctive on their own, coming together in a beautiful piece of music.

When John Lennon’s Imagine was first released in 1971, I was a mere child of nine and the lyrics always saddened me.  It saddened me to think even at that young age that the world would be a sad place without Heaven, without countries, without something to live for, without religion, without possessions. In my childlike mind those are the cherished things that stood out and I wondered how that in order to eliminate the negative, we had to also eliminate the positive, that the result could still be peace and sharing, brotherhood and living as one.  It was a song encouraging nothingness, and that was supposed to be everything.

Well we no longer have to “Imagine” the words of John Lennon; Hollywoodland has given us a flavor of it.

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Who’s Occupying Your Mind While You Occupy Wall Street?

The Occupy Wall Street protesters going into their fourth week, is more telling about them than about the situation they seem to be protesting.  Young people being swept away by the seduction of the concept of “Revolution” without really knowing who is pulling their strings.  You can hear it in their inarticulate lack of clarity, lack of coherence and lack of congruence when asked to explain what it is they seek. If you know the differences you can tell between heartfelt originality from core passion and parrot-phrasing sound-bite answers belonging to someone else.

Quoting madmen, murderers and dictators of the past like Che Guevara, Karl Marx, Mao and even George Bernard Shaw without understanding that these men who aimed to destroy individuality had ideologies far alien to core American values of individual pursuit of happiness. How does one allude to aligning themselves with ideologies that condemn individual rights to an abundant life while at the same time protesting for their individual rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, without noticing? While these youth fight for upholding their individual rights to their futures, they sadly cannot see it slipping away from them.

Social justice, they chant? Well I would wonder if they are aware that folks like George Bernard Shaw who was a Marxist-Socialist and believed in eugenics politics, believed and advocated that if one was too sick or old to be of any more use to society, society should kill them humanely. How’s that for social justice? So with that sentiment I would wonder if these impressionable youth have diligently done their homework to research exactly what the philosophies of the Movement’s ideology that they so passionately promote and so willingly succumbed to really indicate. Will they end up getting what they wish for or will they wish they didn’t? Either way they’ll get what they wish for, but we only hope that they understand what they are really wishing for.

While we all yearn to be a part of something greater than ourselves, it would be astute to remember that it is what we bring into the cause that is unique to our Self that sets us apart, yet fits perfectly into the mosaic of respectful diversity.  Participating in demonstrations for extended periods of time may get them to change others, but how have they changed in themselves? While they prevail in getting others to change, their lives remain at a standstill with only effort going into the act of protesting. Within this period, they cease to take responsibility for themselves and stop actively pursuing their own futures. A revolution about nothing.  Can forcing change on other people really better our own lives at the core? Will they have effected change through their own individual pursuit of happiness or will their lives only improve while remaining as victims, at the mercy of other people’s actions and change?

So as the movement draws more individuals, seemingly giving up their individuality, I end with a thought worth noting.  A whole lot of living has been done according to the concept of “going with the flow”. Being flexible and going with the flow is good, but remember that understanding whose flow, and the direction of the flow first, is more important. Sometimes we have to be like the salmon and swim upstream in order to spawn life and really extend ourselves to create something more.

In this instance, I’d rather be a salmon than a lemming.

“A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.”

Source: George Bernard Shaw, Lecture to the Eugenics Education Society, Reported in The Daily Express, March 4, 1910.

“We should not say that one man’s hour is worth another man’s hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most, time’s carcass.”

Source:  Karl Marx, Economic Manuscripts: Capital Vol. I – Chapter Twenty-Four

“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property. “

Source: Karl Marx. Marx & Engels, Library 1848, Manifesto of the Communist Party: Chapter 2

 “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Source: Mao Tse Tung, from The Tyrants: 2500 Years of Absolute Power and Corruption (2006) by Clive Foss

“A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!”

Source: Che Guevara, Cuba Archive. The Wall is a reference to the wall where Che’s enemies stood before his firing squads.

“The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.”

Source: Mao Tse Tung, The Little Red Book, Chapter 8, 1964

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To Thy ‘Known’ Self Be True?

Not myself, beside myself, losing (lost) myself, finding myself, beyond myself, outside of myself, within myself.

We seem to often get tangled up in these concepts.  Yet who is the Self? Do I actually know myself to make these frames of references? How about, I surprised myself? Well, I would actually have to know just about everything about myself in order to do that! Am I and myself the same entity then or something different?

How do I treat myself? With honor? Respect? Disdain? Love? Kindness? Punishment? If I can do all those things to myself, then is there a constant incongruence or separatism? Or is there ever such a thing as harmony or a merger? Are they just different aspects or facets of my Self? Our higher selves, our lower selves and those in-between. When we put them all together who do we actually get? I like myself, I don’t like myself – well does your Self like you?

When we can “see” and “hear” ourselves saying or doing something, is that another that we see? I can’t believe I did that! Why not and who then did? That’s me and that’s just the way I am! Really? Is that all that’s you?

So much to ponder, so much to realize. How often do we take inventory of the various attributes of Self, be it human nature or human nurture? We could do ourselves a favor and revisit our Selves from time to time to get reacquainted. I’m sure they just would love a visit from you!

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