In the words of Joe Dispenza, “your personality creates your personal reality. So if you want to create a new personal reality, you have to change your personality.” But don’t we often love to grip and defend our perceived personality as if it is our truth? When in reality, as the Gabor Mate quote mentions… it is actually the furthest from our authentic truth.
So I had a major lightbulb 💡 moment this week! Our limbic systems can be tricky little things… I mean in nearly 16 months of brain retraining… I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was doing so great at catching and redirecting all of my POPs (pathways to the past) only to realize some time later that limby had been pulling a fast one on me for however long she could get away with it. Sometimes maybe a random new IT would show up and I didn’t connect the dots realizing it was an IT (an IT is a brain retraining term for a symptom created through limbic impairment). OR perhaps, I would have a thought pattern that I wasn’t catching and redirecting. Now don’t get me wrong - by all means I was doing great overall, as the goal is practice and progress, not perfection. Then every time I finally had my Ah-hah lightbulb moment all I could do really was laugh - damn she can be good (she is referring to limby which is a term of endearment we use to refer to our limbic system).
Ok…. let me explain for anyone new to the concept of brain retraining. The idea is that we are literally rewiring our brain to create new neuro-circuitry that supports the PERSONALITY that will support the PERSONAL REALITY we desire. So the goal is that we catch and redirect negative thought patterns, negativity bias, worry, rumination, OCD, fear, paranoia, and anything else that could keep us stuck in our impaired state (chronic state of fight/flight), as well as shifting our focus away from the ITs, therefore, reducing the power they have over our state of being, all the while focusing on elevating our mood. Now, our brain and ANS very much likes for us to stay in what is familiar and known - YES, even if what is familiar and known is pain and suffering… So the minute we make a commitment to change, our brain will do whatever it can to distract us and pull us back into the familiar, where it thinks it is keeping us SAFE. That’s always the goal of our primitive brain - safety.
So how do we overcome this resistance to change? Through committed awareness, observation and practice over and over and over again aka repetition.
Usually if limby pulled a fast one on me in the first 12 or so months of the brain retraining, it would be a matter of minutes, hours, or at most, days before I caught on, laughed it off, and redirected my focus.
HOWEVER, I am NOW realizing that Limby had a strong hold on me over the past several months - she “played” me good (OK… She isn’t actually sitting around in my brain trying to come up with ways to trick me per say, more like she is just running the programs (aka false belief systems) she has installed in her best effort to keep me in what she thinks is safety zone otherwise known as what is familiar to my past (hence the term POP) …. You see… for all the ways I have been thriving with brain retraining, and shifting my POPs, there was one way (partly pertinent to everything going on in the world) where I was completely blind to my own actions and thought process.
I want to share about the details of this situation here because it is something SO SO SO many of us do. What do we do? We cling. We cling to these ideas of who we are, we cling to these ideas of what we believe to be our personality, our self. Meanwhile, we are not genuinely happy or fulfilled in life, therefore not completely satisfied with our personal reality, yet we are unwilling to give up parts of our so called personality in exchange for a better personal reality. The worst part is these parts that we cling to aren’t even our authentic self… they are part of our conditioning/programming. At the end of the day we have to be willing to ask ourself, is this personality trait worth my peace, my joy, my fulfillment, my health, my well being, and living the life of my dreams? IF it is NOT, then what are we holding onto so damn tightly, right? Seems obvious enough… but so much easier said then done to let go…. why? Because the brain loves what is known and the minute you make a decision to change, you better bet your bottoms that you will be challenged and pulled back into that known over and over and you will have to keep redirecting and making new choices.
So why do I say all this… well because my epiphany the other day was this… for the past couple of months in some regards I was blind and naive to my truth, as so many of us often are. No worries though - this is not about guilt or shame or a beat myself up moment - there is no place in growth for that… this is about having an empowered moment where I had a major realization and now I get to decide how to respond to this realization. So while I had convinced myself that I was doing ALL the things brain retraining, the reality was I was in one sense sabotaging my progress, because in reality I was also doing a lot of research… research about a bunch of shit that realistically isn’t in my power to change… and it was weighing on me heavily.
What we are worrying about or thinking about is actually creating physiological shifts in our body whether it is realty or not. So my body was taking a beating from this research addiction, which led to a lot of wasted time and energy on disempowering thoughts, fears and beliefs. I convinced myself that I am a truth seeker, and that I love that part of who I am, and this justified the endless amount of time I was spending doing this research. However, after hours and hours and weeks of this research, did I feel even the slightest better? NO! Did I feel even the slightest empowered? HELL NO! Here I am hosting a podcast that inspires people to take their power back…and I was giving mine away in one regard. Again, it is all ok… I am human after all, and not perfect (nor do I want to be), and I, like you, am just learning as I go… I am simply sharing this to perhaps help inspire anyone reading to reflect deeply into their life to see where their actions or attachment to personality traits are NOT serving them. I love to ask myself “Is this an empowering thought or disempowering?” And I realized this week…that all the research and conclusions I was formulating lately were incredibly disempowering.
See when I became really honest with myself, I accepted that the drive to do all of this research was for more then seeking truth when I looked deeply enough…realizing that deep down it was driven by an element of fear, need for certainty, and the need to be right (which also provides certainty) These are ALL POPs. Yup…limby got me good…and you know what? It is OK!!! Because now I know… and NOW I GET to CHOOSE how I will RESPOND. I could make a couple choices from here: 1. I could feel guilty, ashamed, beat myself up, create a story that none of my efforts has been worth it and that I am back at square one in my healing and I sabotaged myself and on and on… (this might sound familiar). OR 2. I could laugh and say: HELL YA… so grateful I figured that one out - now what? and then I can choose one moment, one day, one week at a time to be more aware of these related POPs and actions, redirect myself when they show up, and celebrate the wins… yes even the small wins. Every day this week that I didn’t watch or read news or research stuff that I didn’t need to know I said “great job Chaz! You made it one day… two days… whoooo hooooo 5 days! you rock star! l’m so proud of you!”
So again, I share this story in hopes to inspire someone out there who might find themselves clinging, to begin to feel courageous enough to let go. A really good indicator if there are parts of your personality that are actually conditioning and not truly your authentic being is to notice if you find yourself defending those parts. For example, notice if you hear yourself saying these classic expressions: “well this is just how I am” or “well this is how I have always been like me or not”. What is authentic, real, and the truth of who we are never needs to be defended, it just is. It comes from pure love energy. It is the ego that seeks to defend and justify. So ask yourself, what have I been defending… or ask yourself what habit do I truly want to break but I keep telling myself it is just too hard? Because sometimes it is hard, but its ALWAYS WORTH IT. I promise!! In my opinion the two best questions we can ask ourselves all the time are “is this personality trait, or this habit, or this action worth me sacrificing my optimal well being and health in mind body and soul?”… I bet you the answer is often NO. I know it was for me!
So where am I at now? Well I am back at it … fully committed with a giant helpful tool box, and more ammo then ever before. This experience I had over the past few months and my recent epiphany has left me even MORE aware then before, and more capable of catching and redirecting, as well as feeling stronger and more motivated then ever. Yup!!! I’m back on track and all in, because I know that right now my purpose is to heal, and living my life on purpose everyday means staying committed to the process and the journey.
The other question is the same question I mentioned up above…”Is this an empowering thought or a disempowering thought? “ Now what? Well, that choice is yours, my friend…that is the beauty of personal agency. But my hope for you is that you choose the empowering ones! They look better on you :)
Remember when we heal ourself we heal the planet!
Happy rewiring friends. Thanks for being on this journey called LIFE with me! :)