Someday, sometime, one day I will make a shift to a better life
The adverbs ‘someday’ and ‘sometime’ express indefinite future time. Most people use these terms as they vow to change some of their harmful lifestyle habits that are damaging their health. They say they will start to eat better ‘tomorrow’ or perhaps the next day or on New year’s Eve, for example.
If you get stuck, delay or procrastinate in making a necessary lifestyle change (or any other behavioral shift), understand that no matter how sincere the desire, the real factors that determine whether or not you take action lie buried deep in the unconscious mind. They will eventually appear as external circumstances that arise seemingly from nowhere and can prevent you from moving forward.
We all have what I refer to as ‘cookies’ — psychological inhibitors that are huge personal ‘blocks’ that get the best of us time and time again.[Think of my cookie metaphor similar to the material that gets picked up on our computers as we surf the internet. These computer cookies are small files or pieces of information that becomes stored on our hard drive. In similar fashion, negative embedded ‘psychological cookies’ are accrued and lodged in the unconscious mind as we experience the things that happen to us and around us.]
Unhealed cookies in the unconscious mind allow your personal saboteur Babalui, whom I write about and speak of extensively, to have more influence over you. Babalui is active as you talk yourself into unresourceful behavior that will inevitably cause future problems. You can see the Saboteur in action when you eat a big piece of chocolate cake even though you have already gained 5 pounds in the last few weeks because your sweet tooth was out of control thanks to Babalui’s influence.
Despite your best efforts to overcome this little monster with willpower, the inner Saboteur rages on in your unconscious mind unless you use the right tools to subdue it. Babalui wants to give you a sense of being fulfilled or satisfied (it’s artificial and temporary relief) whenever you feel deprived, hence an addictive or craving pattern is set up. Again, a ‘cookie’ represents a totally different kind of self-limitation and is really the parent of Babalui.
‘Cookies’ are negative perceptions and unsupportive beliefs that lie beneath our waking consciousness. They are activated whenever we touch upon any area of our life that causes emotional discomfort. Cookies do not contain within them our highest values nor represent our best selves.
Think of the phrase that begins with, “I can’t, because…”
I can’t lose weight because…
I can’t stop drinking because…
I can’t begin exercising because…
I can’t eat more veggies because…
I can’t relax and meditate because…
I can’t stop my negative thinking because…
Our self-imposed limitations are often caused by a ‘cookie’ or two that has lodged deep in our unconscious mind that creates fear or doubt disguised as excuses or valid reasons. Think of a cookie as a land mine. Step on it and kaboom — the brain lights up like a neon sign and says ‘I can’t because…’
Cookies were implanted whenever we associated in our brain something negative, painful, or difficult with a behavior, person or an external object (or all three). For example, perhaps you were forced to eat your vegetables a child or a high schoolteacher pushed you beyond your limits in an exercise class, so exercise and veggies are now considered to be ‘cookies’ by your brain, triggers that cause resistance to things you want to achieve or have in your life.
The cause of inaction or indecision is always a false idea or belief
The information that is injected into the cookie(s) about the big issue(s) in your life becomes part of your self-image. It has become the ‘truth’ as you know it. Your entire self-concept is based on what you believe to be true about yourself and your capabilities. If you think you can, then you most likely can. If you think you can’t, well you won’t even try because it would be too painful to attempt to move beyond your self-imposed limitations and risk failure.
Is the magic bullet the answer?
We often search in vain for years for that ‘magic bullet’, the one cure that will deliver us from ourselves. We invest thousands of dollars and countless hours; unfortunately, all of our hopes for quick fix solutions disappear and we return to that old, familiar place of angst and inaction.
Addictions, chronic anxiety, jealousy, resentment, inferiority, selfishness, self-consciousness, social anxiety, depression, lack of discipline, lack of caring, laziness, lack of purpose, overeating, over sleeping and over indulging are only a part of the complex emotional patterns that result from embedded cookies laying dormant and waiting to be triggered moment by moment. These embedded cookies and their associated triggered emotions can haunt people for many decades and even a lifetime.
Each one of us has a dominant cookie, a Master Cookie if you will, that once healed will release the negative charge of other less significant cookies similar to the first domino piece that gets knocked over, causing a cascading effect in the others. Because too much clutter in the unconscious mind creates a complicated mess, it’s always best to find the ‘big daddy’, your Master Cookie and work on resolving that one first.
I developed a technique I call Seikon-Chikara (from a Japanese phrase that means mental focus and energy that influences behavior) that helps people locate their Master Cookie and and points them to their fundamental missing psychological or spiritual need. The vacuum created by that missing universal human need allowed a cookie to embed itself in that area of the psyche. There are 12 sectors of human experience that are potential problem areas: 6 are personal and 6 are trans-personal. More on this technique in a few weeks.
Again, we expect the magic bullet to change us — self-help books, seminars and gurus — all to no avail, so we give up. ”I can’t because…” becomes our fall-back position as we start to develop chronic ‘excusitis’ to deflect the perceived insult to our self-esteem.
Then, if we decide to try again, the existing cookie sets us up for inevitable failure unless we can identify it, witness the behavior in action and do something about. If we expect to fail, we will. Our inner thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Our inner thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In spite of our misery, we are not convinced that we really want to change, so we don’t commit despite the frustrations of not following through with what we want to accomplish. We can’t change our behavior because we make impossible bargains with life: “I’ll do anything to avoid dealing with my past and my feelings (which makes me vulnerable), making commitments and giving up my indulgences and lazy behavior.” And so on.
As a result of these decisions, albeit unconscious, we tend to approach our most important issues with our internal GPS set to failure. Problems stick to us like glue because we are attached to our rationalizations for them.
Some ideas to help you in the short term
1. When you think, the universe moves. When you put an idea – positive or negative – into your world, people and circumstances show up to reinforce the idea, especially one that is emotionally charged and imbued with a tremendous amount of feeling. ‘Believe it and you will see it.’
2. Go through the back door. Never confront yourself directly with a self-command that you have to do something. You don’t. You always have choices and alternatives to consider. You will resist pressure to follow through with a forced directive whether coming from you or someone else. Cookies in your unconscious have survived for years in spite of your desire to ‘delete’ them. In fact, they may strengthen as they resist being eliminated by previous attempts to resolve them. Instead, think about all the benefits that will accrue once you have taken steps toward reaching your goal and what you will lose if you don’t. Put some feeling into this exercise. Walk softly toward the changes you desire.
3. Realize that resistance to change can be your friend and teacher. Your inaction, resistance and procrastination concerning a specific problem can lead you to the responsible ‘cookie’ that is embedded within your consciousness. Once you clean out this ‘cookie’, you lay to rest other painful or disquieting emotions that may have emanated from this one source alone.
4. Stop looking for magic bullets. Interestingly, in an effort to prove how much effort they have put into solving their problems and taking positive action, some people like to list how many magic bullets have failed to fix them, as if this were evidence that they have given it their all. Seeking magic bullets is not evidence that you are trying to solve your problem. If you think about it, seeking quick fix solutions shows a lack of commitment to doing the necessary real work.
5. Ask yourself why you are (relatively) comfortable with not following through with a worthy and healthy lifestyle goal. What are you getting out of smoking or eating lots of chocolate? The brain creates any behavior with a positive intent. For example, smoking and chocolate are ways we can blunt feelings of deprivation and anxiety, 2 emotions the brain does not want to feel. As you can see, there is always a payoff behind every behavior, even the negative ones. Therefore, substituting a healthy behavior for a negative one still gives you the feeling your brain originally wanted you to experience.
The key to any behavioral change is to self-generate empowering personal and positive emotions as you begin taking steps toward your goals and visualize yourself having accomplished your goals in your mind’s eye.
Then ‘One Day’ will become ‘Today’ instead of tomorrow.
For long term behavioral changes, there are other special techniques that will be discussed in future posts. One is called, ‘Convincing the Colonel‘ and the other is called Seikon-Chikara as briefly described above. Powerful stuff. Stay tuned…
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~ Pema Chodron
Come on folks, give me your thoughts. I don’t bite, really! Please comment below: