Four Ways To Weaken Conditioning

Unknowingly, most of us live under the unconscious influence of debilitating beliefs that we formed in childhood. We created these beliefs out of self-love, as a way to protect ourselves from scary people and situations. We may have suffered over an experience and innocently created conditioning or core beliefs to shield us from ever experiencing that hurt again.

When we were young, if a parent or classmate made fun of us, we might have decided to hang back and not to put ourselves out in the world. Why not avoid situations that could bring up uncomfortable shameful feelings? Whether we realize it or not, that conditioning has continued to dictate how we live, the risks we take or don’t take, who we approach for romance or friendship, the career choices we make or don’t make and on and on.

As adults, living constrained by our fear-based conditioning, creates a certain repression of life. There is a way in which we are not following our hearts because fear is blocking us from doing what is true for us in the moment. It is hard to be happy if you are not living aligned with your life purpose. And how can you align with your life purpose when unconscious fears are putting up roadblocks to doing and saying what is true for you? So where does this leave you? What do you do? Simple: you put one foot in front of the other and begin to uncover and heal your conditioning.*

Here are four ways you can heal conditioning:

 1     If our core beliefs are unconscious, ask for help to be able to see them. Ask that they bubble up to consciousness. Then pay attention. You may be in a restaurant and overhear someone saying something at the table next to you or be struck by a line in a song that triggers a memory or belief. Once you uncover a dormant belief, take it to inquiry. I love the inquiry from The Work by Byron Katie** that uses four questions and turnaround. Write down the belief and then ask yourself these questions about it:

1.      Is it true?

2.      Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

3.      How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

4.      Who would you be without the thought?

Then, turn around the concept you are questioning to its opposite, and be sure to find at least three genuine, specific examples of each turnaround.

2       When a feeling arises just let it be there. Drop any story you have about it and just focus on the sensation that is manifesting in your body. Don’t have an agenda for it to leave. Just let the feeling do it’s dance. Get very still and absorb yourself in the sensation. Then, notice the insights that arise. If the insights contain any stressful beliefs, take them to inquiry.

3    Notice a stressful thought and catch it before an emotion is created. You have to be quick for this one. Thoughts generate emotions, almost instantaneously. But it is possible to catch a thought before it creates a negative emotion and either:

o       ignore it or

o       debunk it through inquiry

4      Spending lots of time in Essence also weakens conditioning. This is the indirect path to healing conditioning and a great support to the process. The more time you spend in Essence aligned with your heart instead of the thinking mind, the less most thoughts hold any fascination for you. Conditioning is made up of thoughts. If you are ignoring stressful thoughts, then your conditioning crumbles and stops covering over your happiness.

The great news is using any or all of these four strategies can free you. You don’t need to live out the rest of your days in the prison of your conditioning. Even though we were all programmed to create conditioning, you came equipped with your very own “break out of jail card” in the form of consciousness. As soon as you ask for help, set the intention to live from a freer place, and put one of these four strategies into practice, you start the process of moving out of suffering and into a happier way of living.

 * A great book about healing conditioning is Getting Free: How To Move Beyond Conditioning And Be Happy by Gina Lake. www.radicalhappiness.com

**For more information, about Byron Katie and The Work, go to www.thework.com