Get Naked This Summer: Strip Off Limiting Beliefs and Heavy Coats of Conditioning.
Summer in the mountains is a time of wild flowers and wild conversations.
Just as the river current subsides and white waters become swimming holes, the whirlwinds of ideas flare up. Overflowing and untamed, glowing with golden potential.
The blinding heat of the sun feeds these vines of consciousness, and they root deep and leap from trees to rooftops. The world appears lush right now, but this is also the dry season. For the next few months there will be no rain, so plants and ideas born in the wild need to set fruit quickly before the ground starts to crack.
That’s why I am writing them down. Once-whispered ideas are now finding their voices, ink on a page, words on the screen. Bold and unrestrained, foraged and wrangled into the basket of language. Ideas that are capable of stretching the boundaries of our consensual reality. The kind that are dangerous to the status quo and threatening to the slumber of complacency.
Today’s rogue topic, courtesy of spontaneous summer solstice conversations:
We limit our reality by the beliefs we choose.
The beliefs we adhere to, both individually and as a culture, can be changed, as they have been time and time again across human history. And when the beliefs change, reality shifts accordingly, revealing that the rules of the old reality were just an illusion. People used to think that the sun revolved around the earth, though many knew better. Change the story and the plot twists.
To consider some ideas is akin to eating wild mushrooms. You either already have years of experience hunting, or you have to trust the person who serves it to you. Or you can be bold, get a few books, and use your own judgment to discern what to harvest and consume.
So let’s take a closer look at this particular notion of how beliefs shape reality. This plays out on so many levels, from the macrocosm of culture to the microcosm of our peculiar inner worlds.
The easiest way to examine the building material of reality is to ask yourself if something you think you know is 100%, indisputable, irrefutable fact, as in, under no circumstances whatsoever could your being wrong be remotely possible.
If whatever you are thinking about passes this test, great, keep it. Rocks are hard. We can put that in our fact basket. But if we take the time to honestly and rigorously examine everything we think we know, we will start to see most things aren’t as solid as they appear. Rocks are hard, but then there is soapstone…
“There is a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen
Of course we believe whatever we think makes the most sense given the information we’ve been exposed to. We arrive at conclusions about the way the world works, and we use that to form our outlook on life.
But if we take a moment to realize that we are all doing this, something curious emerges. Everyone is choosing a collection of beliefs to form their concept of reality. And some of these ideas are shared across large groups of people, forming cultural and social conditioning.
But if we don’t take the time to question what we accept as truth, then we risk basing our understanding of life on handed-down bullshit, and for us, the sun revolves around the earth.
The issue is that some of the beliefs we co-opt from society, family, friends are not necessarily true. And others are even detrimental to our personal development. These hindering and limiting beliefs can severely interfere with your ability to create the life you want.
How to get rid of limiting beliefs
Take the time to audit your collection of beliefs. Go ahead and geek out, and make a list of them. What do you believe about life and how the world works? What do you believe about yourself?
As you make a note of your answers, ask yourself if these beliefs are really serving you. Then consider what it would be like to toss the ones that seem shitty, the ones with the funny smell, the ones that make it seem harder for you to live the life you want for yourself.
Here’s an example of how I caught myself applying a limiting belief
I’m certainly not immune to them, and I now find them somewhat amusing, like finding a cool insect in your house. Interesting, but you still want to get rid of it. Finding where limiting beliefs are exerting their lame and hindering effects is now one of my favorite hobbies.
On the summer solstice, as I walked through the streets of our old mining town with friends, I caught myself, in mid-sentence, limiting my own reality. While describing something that I really, oh -so-very-much, want to do, I said, “I don’t know how to [insert the thing I super wish I was doing here].”
Then it dawned on me: How can I possibly expect to make this happen if that is what I believe? What happens if I change the script?
Delete “I don’t know how to…”
Replace with “I am learning how to…”
And then as soon as I feel comfortable enough (my ego wants a moment to adapt, please), I can streamline the thought into simply: “I am…”
Will changing my inner dialogue spontaneously bestow the ability to do the thing I want to do? Perhaps not instantly, but I suspect it will do so eerily soon. That is precisely the exploration here.
What happens when we unsubscribe to something that was limiting us?
What belief can you lay down, unburden yourself of?
What stories are no longer serving you?
What game do you no longer want to play?
See you down the rabbit hole…
Magdalena Halford has an insatiable drive to help people discover their highest potential, design their own lives, and experience them to the fullest. A manic lover of life, she realizes the journey is different for everyone, and her wish is that we all find the strength to question the beliefs that limit our reality, to see the unseen, and to explore what is in the shadows. Magdalena lives in a small mountain town in Northern California, where she devotes time to writing, candid conversations over tea, walking in the woods, and lying on hot rocks by the river. You could follow her on Instagram and Facebook, and explore more of her work at Live Your Best Life.