We have been discussing “stuckness” as a mental state, but there is always a mind body connection. You can have the best intentions, but if your brain is conditioned to react in some way, then you can’t achieve that intention without awareness to change your brains automatic reaction. It’s the same as ordering dessert at a restaurant when you are already full. You do this because that is what you are accustomed to do. When you dine out you have dessert after a meal. However, a small voice inside of you may say “Why am I doing this?” Afterwards you may say to yourself that wasn’t really me. It is accurate that it wasn’t your true self, but it was your brain. An old unwanted response has set itself in your brain and a default response is running the show. This awareness will be the beginning to take back control.
All creativity starts and stops in the brain. Old conditions can control your brain, but self-awareness is always an option. Our minds want to believe that change will happen to us, but everything that happens to you also happens for you. It is about shifting the way you feel your own essence and rising above conditioning.
Day 5 – Rising Above Your Old Conditioning
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden
I am in charge of my brain, not the other way around.
Aieem Namah (I am Nature’s creativity and intelligence)
This Mantra activates the creativity within pure awareness.
MESSAGE OF THE DAY
In today’s meditation, we learn that our old conditioning isn’t just mental, it’s also physical and shows itself as unconscious brain responses. If we let our conditioned brains be in charge, we remain stuck in old, predictable patterns. We become biological robots. To break free of this habitual behavior we need to cultivate self-awareness. In meditation we recognize our true self to be ever-present awareness, and in this self-knowing, we become free from the conditioned responses of our minds and bodies.
1. Old conditioning leads to automatic, robotic behavior. List three things you do or three ways you respond without thinking, such as defending yourself if you feel attacked, eating even when you don’t feel hungry, or feeling shy around strangers.
2. Think about the next time any of these conditioned responses will come up, and ask yourself in that scenario, “Why am I doing this? Do I really want to? Will it make me feel better?” Reflect in your journal on how different it makes you feel to become aware in this way rather than acting robotically.
3. Thinking about one undesirable habit or behavior, write about how you are now going to approach it with more awareness. For example, the next time you reach for a snack, you can stop, check in with your body, and ask yourself if you are reaching for the snack out of physical hunger or perhaps another reason – like boredom, anxiousness, or stress. Remind yourself of how much better it feels to act with awareness rather than being ruled by your old conditioning.
4. Reflect further on your experience today.
You’re in charge of your brain and not the other way around. We can train our consciousness to create and make choices from a place of freedom and all possibilities.