On Monday, May 25, 2020.
At 7:30 in the morning I woke up and grabbed my phone to silence my alarm as I do most mornings, and did what Dr. Joe Dispenza has said not to do. I allowed my body to be my mind. I allowed myself to be conditioned by an unconscious response…a habit, the past, and I subsequently began to live a life I did not want to live.
This may seem strange to some of you and that is okay as I do not want to coerce anyone to believe something they don’t, but I am presenting this as anecdotal evidence of something that has happened to me that influenced my way of being. Call it what you will, but I would ask that you consider this brief essay as a possibility for change.
As Paul Harvey would say…this is, “the rest of the story.”
When my alarm went off I arose to the sight of the Google Icon on my phone. It was beckoning me to do what I have done on occasions in the past months. I unconsciously clicked the icon and began to read the first story. It was an article written by Michael D’Anotnio about our president’s Memorial Day Activity. While I gave up on politics many years ago, like many other Americans, the current state of our country and the medical crisis around the globe captured my attention…mistake number one!
As I spent several minutes reading, I found myself growing more and more intolerant of my own thoughts. I realized I was stewing about something I had no control over. As I read further my emotions began to tell me it was getting into the unhealthy range.
Recently, I have been working on ideas about what might be possible if I were able to change my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. That questioning led me to an acronym that seemed to be in alignment with other experts who have stated that in order to change our lives we must change our thinking. The acronym is SOUL. Seat Of Un-Learning.
I have a practice of collaboratively learning with others particularly in the area of self-examination, self-improvement, conscious thought, and peace. What I have struggled with over the past several months is the apparent (my projection) deepening of the divide among the peoples of our country and the global community in which we live. I have been disheartened by the prospects of a growing undercurrent of anger and the subsequent hatred it foments. The differing opinions portrayed in the media as to where we are in all of this, how we got here, and how we’ll proceed cause me to perceive a growing distrust for people who do not see things in life the way I do and vice versa.
I recently traveled 4,000 miles across the USA and back in an RV during the lockdown and I have to say that almost all of the people I met were friendly. I also noticed an underlying tension depending on whether people were or were not wearing masks or using some form of social distancing. I also noticed, as did my partner, signs that were provocatively promoting political views that I believe would cause further dissension, unrest, and fear. This was not the America in which I wanted to live.
So what this morning's events led me to conclude was that if I wanted to learn something new, to be someone different than who I was, I was first going to have to Un-Learn how I habitually felt, thought, and acted. Now was the time to re-enter living from my SOUL.
I don’t want to wake up in the morning reading articles that initiate a stream of thinking that promotes feelings of insecurity, fear, and unrest. I would much prefer that my waking hours be productive, spontaneously joyful, and beneficial to myself and all of humanity. I want to be able to smile at my neighbors without worry that, potentially, there will be a day where we are driven into conflict over meaningless trivialities prompted by the beliefs of others who are using us to perpetuate their own incivility.
I know that whenever I have difficulty with a relationship with anyone else that difficulty begins with me. So this morning I began to Un-Learn the conditioning of my past. I sensed my emotions, thought about the implications of my actions if I followed through with them, and I imagined how I might think, feel, and act differently.
I began to ask myself this question: What would happen if today, instead of following an unproductive speculative path of divisive rhetoric or commentary, some of which is conditioned by my past, I began to think in terms of something that I could do to support the kind of peaceful, unified community in which I wanted to live. What if I began to encourage, inspire, and empower others simply by being and doing something different myself? I wasn’t sure if it would work, but the intention seemed to be worth the effort.
So, here it is…that something different. The act of loving instead of hating. the act of unlearning what I had learned. I have witnessed dramatic changes in people who decided that the status quo was unacceptable. They created, as I did, new neural pathways. They chose to believe there was a new possibility for them, and those they loved.
Sometimes standing up for what I believe in might be counterproductive if what I believe in doesn’t serve the greater good. If what I believe in only serves me, it’s time to change. I have no desire to be a lemming. I choose instead to un-learn the habits of the past. I commit to examining what’s in my heart , visualizing its extension into the world and asking , does this invite — real peace, real freedom, real choice, and if so , am I willing to change?
So what must you Un-Learn? What is the good news in your life?