What do you believe?

We all develop beliefs about ourselves, often from a very early age. Beliefs come from a variety of places and our experiences either validate or negate beliefs. The ones that are validated end up carrying forward through our lives until (and if) they are challenged.

In yoga, these sorts of beliefs are referred to as samskaras, and are described as the record player running on a loop in our minds. These samskaras can be very damaging to our ego and self-esteem. One of the beliefs I carried for a very long time came from when I was 10 years old. My father (biological that is) had stopped by my house to tell me he couldn’t see me anymore. He said “your mother is making me pay too much money, so I can’t see you anymore”. I remember that day, although I don’t have many recollections of my childhood. I can’t swear it, but in my mind this happened in my 10th birthday. Many, many years later I was taking a tapping course (EFT) that was around money. I finally uncovered this memory and related it to my feeling of having no value. Once uncovered, though, I didn’t work with it at all. I just kind of left it with that.

When we do uncover the beliefs that are limiting use some way, it’s important then to start challenging them. In neurolinguistic programming, certain questions are asked:

  • What is the evidence that this belief is true?
  • Is the belief always true?
  • Does the belief take into account the entirety of the situation?
  • Is this belief helpful to well-being?
  • Did I choose this belief?

The “evidence” I have of my value (or lack there of) is pretty slim. It likely isn’t at all what he was even thinking. The truth is, he was always trying to undermine my mother and this was likely a stab at her. I just happened to be quite unshakeable in my belief of her. And that answers the second question- my belief did not take into account the other crucial information. This belief is absolutely unhelpful. It has limited my earning potential, the amount I charge for work, the feeling of never being qualified enough. And finally, I didn’t choose the belief, I interpreted it.

After answering those questions, I need to remake the situation in my mind for what it really is. My father, a very active alcoholic, was in no way healthy enough to see the impact of his statements and behaviours. He wasn’t a reliable source even if he was trying to tell me I wasn’t worth it, which I always established was not likely. I need to look for evidence of my worth. I need to consider the people who have told me I’m not charging enough, that have told me how much I’ve helped them, those who have believed in me even when I haven’t believed in myself. I need to look at the situations in which my worth was proven: graduating with distinction or receiving accolades for a job well done. This all becomes the evidence to support the new belief.

The truth is, we all have beliefs that limit us in some way and when we take responsibility for them we can change them. What beliefs do you have that are holding you back? Are you ready to take responsibility? It is through taking responsibility that you’re u will be empowered to change your life for the better.

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It’s a date!

I got word today that the date of my kidney transplant is set. It’s in a very short two and a half weeks! Hard to believe after all this time of waiting and wondering that it’s going to happen. It’s been almost a year and a half since my donor/guardian angel first went in to be tested. It’s quite the process to make sure that she is healthy enough to do this and won’t be compromised by it. It’s a comfort to me that they take such care with living donors.

It was a bit emotional to hear the news today. I was on dialysis at the time and the transplant coordinator, who is a lovely person, came by to give me the letter. She seemed so pleased as did the nurse practitioner who I’ve been working with for about 15 years. The nurse practitioner will no longer be involved after the transplant but said she would come see me in the hospital if I gave her permission, which of course I did.

One of my first thoughts was to let my mom know. It’s funny because since she passed away a little over a year ago I haven’t once had a moment of I need to tell mom, or I have to call mom. Today was the first time. She would have been so happy and so proud that her niece was donating. She also would have been worried for both of us I’m sure. But she would remind me of the positive energy surrounding us both and would be sending us healing and more love than we could contain.

So now, we both need to work out the logistics. People are taking time off to be with us. Commitments need to be taken care of and arrangements made for kids and pets. And then the next chapter will begin. I have a feeling this will be one of those times in life that has a clear separation. Like when I quit drinking, I always think about before and after quitting. Now, will everything have a reference point to before and after transplant? It’s a pretty big event in life, so it likely will.

The countdown is on: there are only 2 more Thursday evening restora-Thai classes before; there are only 3 more Monday evening yoga-Pilates classes before; there are only 7 dialysis appointments before. And, of course, there are many moments of being present and to be grateful for this generous and loving gift I’m about to receive.

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