It seems that much of what is streamed into our homes via the TV, internet, newspapers or friends and family, is designed to create an opinion of some sort.
But what if we have got it all mixed up?
How would it be to start an unravelling process and look at how much we have taken on as our own opinions only to discover that it was Sid down the road who said it, or that clever woman in the paper, or my father's father's father that passed this 'fact' down the generations... It doesn't even have to be about the world out there, it can be about ourselves... "I am not [fill in the blank] enough" is one we have pretty much always picked up from someone else's judgement of us, usually at a very young age.
I have been watching such myths unfold all my life and one example, since the dreaded Brexit, is how the news and the current political leaders have been making things up about immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. We all know there has been a rise in racism and the fear that keep us separated. How many people are stuck in a fabricated mesh of false opinions and fears that they can't see out of? Well, to some degree, every one of us is and it is in allowing our mind to release its hold that can support the process of unlearning and finding our true self.
To stick with the refugee theme for a moment - to be White British is a debatable concept. We only have to consider the collection of cultures and races that created the residents of the British Isles to watch the concept unravel. Digesting the most recent discoveries showing the DNA analysis of Briton's oldest complete skeleton to have 'dark to black skin colour' serves to reiterate the shakiness of the ground, never mind the 'Out of Africa' theory - the dominant model of geographic origin of early humans. (Read Stephen Oppenheimer's Out of Eden for more on this).
And yet, racism persists in a very real way because facts are not enough, we pick and choose what we hear and believe. We have beliefs that have been handed down to us and picked up over the years that are stronger and more compelling than the whole picture. It's dangerous stuff, and we can all think of historical people and times when a strong belief took over with disastrous consequences.
The basis for all of our damaging beliefs is fear. And one way to allow that fear to dissipate and our minds to find peace is to pull the fear out at its root.
It is our responsibility, as people with the capacity for reflection and thought, to sort through these beliefs and throw out many (or most) of them. In fact, the more time I spend doing this, the less interested I am in opinions, my own or other peoples. I am interested in how you and I feel in the moment, in integrity, in willingness to be vulnerable, to shed the past and grow in to a more authentic being. This is where the truth is found and this is where damaging beliefs are lovingly seen and released.
These beliefs can be individual, family based, societal, cultural or bigger. Looking at some of the areas we are communally blindfolded and bamboozled, there are a few that stand out to me:
Anything / anyone 'different' is dangerous
There isn't enough to go round
We need more possessions / money / status to make us happy
We don't have responsibility or creative power over our own lives
There is an acceptable body image that you either have or you don't
Age is a linear process of decline
Ok, so let's take the last one - "age is a linear process of decline". Yes, it's true that we get older, chronologically. Day by day the moments we have lived on this planet stack up and increase. What I would like to bring to question is whether that process is a linear passage towards declining health, attractiveness, vitality and strength as we are led to believe.
I am now 41. Being 40-ish is something I have been thinking about for a while and a few years ago I thought it might bring an emotional backlash with it. But now I am here, the strange thing is, I am stronger, fitter, more embodied and healthier than I was 5 years ago. In fact, in many ways, I am younger than I was five years ago. Many of the ailments I had when thirty five are now gone... yep, gone.
We know we can do this by exercising, eating well, stopping smoking and drinking in large amounts... and yes, I do eat more healthily, and exercise more than I did five years ago. But that's not where the main shift came for me. The main shift was through emotional and energy work. And it's the emotional and energy work that brought me to a place where I actually wanted to eat better and exercise more.
Don't get me wrong, I am no gym bunny and I like chocolate much more than I like cabbage (and I definitely still eat more chocolate than cabbage) but the myth of ageing shows us only the external way to youth - exercise and diet, which is very difficult to maintain if you still have lots of emotional baggage and your energetic body is a mess.
In fact, we can apply this premise to all our skewed beliefs, whether individual or collective, and start to see shifts.
When we shift our energetic body, we shift our mental and emotional body which in turn can shift our physical body. We all know that if we consistently think damaging thoughts about ourselves and others we feel worse and our face and body will eventually reflect the dominant thoughts through the lines that form and through the look in our eyes... How many of us consider the effect that the energetic body can have on our health, our well being and our capacity to let go of destructive thought patterns?
To explore this further, we need to get a feel for the energetic body. Many of us have not consciously felt it, most don't even believe it exists, and some will hold onto that belief like Teresa May holds onto her job - doggedly, despite proof that an alternative is healthier.
There are many ways to feel energy and here is a very simple one - take some deep breaths and allow yourself to settle into your seat, feeling how you are held by the earth, by gravity, by your chair... sinking into the moment and letting thoughts subside. Now bring your hands in front of you, palms facing each other, as though you are holding a medium sized ball. Take a moment to feel into the space between your hands and allow them to move a little closer until you can feel a slight resistance before they touch. This may be very close or further apart, depending on your energy field in this moment. Allow yourself to play with the sensations... notice how they feel. You may feel a warmth, a coolness, a bouncy feeling, a tingling... whatever you feel just notice it with curiosity and playfulness. If you do this each day for a week or longer, you will start to sense it more strongly.
This is your energy field, and when you are willing to work with it, you can begin to allow healing in on a much deeper level, transforming health issues, destructive patterns and beliefs about yourself and the world that are harming us and those around us. This, I believe, is the medicine of our time. It is also the medicine of old. The medical paradigm is a wonderful resource but it is time for the physical and the energetic paradigms to work together as much greater healing will come about. Sometimes, if we catch something at the energetic, it doesn't even need to manifest in the physical.
It may seem far fetched, if this idea is new to you, or perhaps you are well versed in the different levels of our being, either way there is much more to explore. There is an aspect of yourself that is waiting to take you on a journey of unlearning, of reconnecting and of greater love and impact in the world.
If you would like to explore your energetic body more deeply and how it can support you, there are many people who can guide you on that journey. Find someone you trust, that you sense can lead to back to your own intuition and empower you to empower yourself. Each one of us has gifts that we are here to share and the more people that embody their gifts, the more balanced the world will become.