I am so grateful for the comments on my blog on core beliefs. I read more than 100 notes from people who are also questioning inner and outer belief structures, from people who seek more balance or simplicity in their lives, and from people who experienced awakenings in their minds and hearts through practicing yoga, dance, or martial arts. Thank you so much for the kind encouragement and for letting me know you are in this process of reexamination too.
Some asked what my core beliefs are, and that is a good question. I am talking about core beliefs in relation to my unconscious psychology, some of those beliefs that I formed as a kid and that shaped the way I see and experience things. One is that I lack worth or a right to be myself, a perception fairly common in Westerners, from what I read. I have constructed whole stories about myself and who I am, what I can and cannot do, around this sense of being inferior. Stories like, I can’t have enduring good work or a decent salary, that I am an outsider. With an underlying assumption such as that, how could I ask for help, or envision myself in lucrative work, or join a community where I could be involved in mutually nourishing connections and endeavors?
But that core belief has slowly changed in me and has been replaced with the sense that I have the right to be here and to take up space. Mindfulness practice and yoga, as well as good relationships and time in nature have eroded my old beliefs. I observed them in action as a hakomi body-oriented psychotherapy student and client, as a yoga and Feldenkrais practitioner, as a wilderness walker, in meditation, and I have seen through them. The movement, mindfulness, and kind interaction with other people helped untie the knots around them, and they are loose now. I see them kick in quite often, but I am not defined by them, I do not always react through their lens.
I am in love, I have deep friendships, I have rewarding part-time work, and I am writing. I ask for help when I need it, and when I feel myself succumbing to the old core beliefs, I can often practice a little internal yoga, feel my feet on the ground, and release them.
Yesterday I watched this video discussion between a couple of people (Bari Tessler Linden and Ben Saltzman) examining how our core beliefs kick up around money issues: Enneagram Video.
Ben, a business and career coach, talks about how the Enneagram focuses on nine types defined by core beliefs formed in childhood. He says he began to examine his own core beliefs when he experienced the pain of mismanaging his money and energy and how he changed by observing and unraveling his beliefs and related behaviors. So whether it be money, relationships, work, illness, or other challenge that starts us on this path of examination, we end up in the same place: Learning about who we are and what we believe and how that serves or hinders us.
We’ve been through the age of psychotherapy, and it seems like we are now into the age of mindfulness and community building. Many of us are unraveling these beliefs and choosing new beliefs more consciously. People wrote to me and said they believe in love and interconnectedness, in simplicity, sustainability, and health, in practices like yoga and how they transform us, taking us closer to our true selves and leading us to more conscious living. Wow!