I was talking to a friend the other day about the amazing studies on human consciousness which show that only 400 bits of information/second reach our conscious mind out of a staggering 2 million bits of information hitting our senses every second! Much of the rest we process unconsciously.
That means we are aware of 0.02% of reality every single moment of our lives! It also means we could potentially have access to the rest of 99,8%, if only we learnt how.
I found it brain bending to grasp the real implications of this. It is as if we were peeking through a keyhole at reality and we are not even aware of it. Moreover, most people live their lives convinced that their perception of reality IS reality. And they strive to convince everyone around them of the same thing.
The fact that the limitations of our conscious mind allow us to perceive a small portion of what actually lies in front of us is just the beginning. To this we add a host of limiting beliefs that plague our consciousness and make that keyhole even smaller than it actually is. Many of them come from education, others we simply adopted unconsciously along the way, as a response to life’s challenges.
Here are just a few of the most common limiting beliefs I have heard of or have or had myself:
– I am not good enough
– This is how things MUST be
– Life is unfair and there’s nothing you can do about it
– Every good thing in life comes with suffering and hardship – you can never separate them
– I simply am not as lucky as other people
– It’s too late to change anything
And, my favourite one: I don’t have time!
The list could go on and on. We all have limiting beliefs and most of us are seldom aware of them consciously. They distort our view of reality and what is truly possible, making our job of looking through the keyhole even more difficult than it already is.
Is this truly how things should be? Are we all forever condemned to spend our lives behind a wall filled with small holes, peeking at the beautiful world beyond and considering ourselves lucky if we are able, at one point or another, to switch to a different hole and finally glimpse a different angle of the bigger picture?
It is my belief that this is not our fate. Our unconscious mind, which is capable of storing amazing amounts of information, is not our enemy, as we often think it to be, but our ally. It’s job is to make sure we live as the best version of ourselves. The unconscious doesn’t hide things from us, unless we refuse to listen. It is here to serve us, to remind us that the wall and the keyholes are an illusion, that we are actually able to comprehend much more than we, due to our upbringing, think is possible.
The unconscious constantly nudges us, urges us to change what needs to be changed, to become aware of things we choose to ignore. It speaks to us in its own language – intuition, feelings, hunches, dreams, apparently random thoughts or images. When we refuse to listen to it for too long and its message is urgent it starts talking to us in the language of disease. There are now countless studies showing links between repressed emotions and illness. Few of us read or take them seriously.
Sadly we were not taught to listen to such “cryptical” messages. In a world governed by the tyranny of reason and linear analysis, in a world where we are taught to believe there is but one correct solution to a given problem, where the word “must” is all-powerful and “social success” is often considered equal with “happiness“, listening to the whispers of the unconscious has become very hard.
Those who have small children are given a second chance at getting in touch with the deepest part of themselves. If only they were open to see their children as teachers in the mysteries of the unconscious.
We all come into this world unencumbered by limiting beliefs and fully open to what our hidden side has to communicate. All small children have a magical outlook on life – dreams are real, nature is alive and they are fully connected with it, emotions run through them freely and they generally believe anything is possible. They have not hidden behind the wall yet. They run wild and free though the vastness of reality. Sadly there are always adults around them keen to “bring them with their feet back on the ground”.
Grown-ups are eager to impose their views of reality on their children, to teach them what “must” and “mustn’t” be done, what can or cannot be tried, what is or isn’t possible. Soon the young ones find themselves behind the wall, peeping through a hole as pointed out by their parents. And usually that hole is very close to the one the parent himself is peeping through – so both child and parent get to see the same small slice of what actually is out there. And when children rebel, they usually exchange one peeping hole with another, only to often return to the old one later on in life.
It often takes an earthquake in a person’s life to bring them out from behind the wall of illusion. It takes tragedy to wake us up. The loss of a loved one, serious illness, extreme hardship. Only when circumstances force us, we start realising there is more to life than what we thought. We discover we do have time for things that are truly important for us, that we CAN do whatever we set our minds to, that WE, and NOBODY ELSE, are responsible for our own lives and that we are FREE. We discover we don’t have limits only when life takes us overboard. We discover how truly magnificent we are only in the depth of despair.
What if we didn’t wait for tragedy to strike before finally waking up to the bigger reality?
What if we all decided, here and now, that we don’t have to spend our lives behind that wall, that our peeping hole is not all there is to life, that we have a strong ally inside of us – our unconscious mind – who can guide us to find our deeper purpose and help us live as the best version of ourselves?
What if, for once, opened up to what our deeper wisdom has to say and stopped taking our perceptions for granted and our limiting beliefs as universal truths?
These are just a few questions to get you started. More will follow. As always, I’m eager to hear your thoughts.