Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

I recently wrote about the way our tenacious holding onto a belief or story about ourselves determines how we create our reality. My perspective on this was coming from my observations as a therapist and a coach, and I was delighted to come upon some additional insight in Temple Grandin's book, Animals in Translation. She wrote, "Normal people have an interpreter in their left brain that takes all the random, contradictory details of whatever they are doing or remembering at the moment and smoothes everything out into one coherent story. If there are details that don't fit, a lot of times they get edited out or revised. Some left brain stories can be so far off from reality that they sound like confabulations."

She offers a conceptual picture of how, once we decide on our story, we unconsciously edit our experiences to prove that we are right, often with little regard to the consequences. In an example, a group of rats and a group of humans were set up in an experiment where they would be rewarded for pressing a bar when a dot appeared in the upper half of a TV screen. The dot appeared in the top half of the screen about 70 % of the time. The rats pressed the bar every time the screen changed and so got rewarded about 70% of the time. The humans on the other hand, tried to figure out a story about the dots and when they had one they tended to stick to it even when it was wrong. As the result of adhering to their stories, the humans received fewer rewards and did worse than the rats.

Given that we are biologically predisposed to interpret what we see as a coherent story, it requires an awareness of this human trait to gain freedom from reliving the stories that repetitively engineer our own suffering. In a sense, we are still living in the past when we view our present with the same lens and perspective that recreates the same experience. If we shift our point of view to emphasize what we can find to appreciate about the current situation instead of looking for how it confirms our story, we can also shift our creation pattern, and perhaps even change our biology in the process. Paying attention to breath is a good way to bring us into the present moment and offers us clues to what we might be feeling as breath mirrors our emotional process. When we are calm it tends to be slow and deep, and when we are upset or frightened, breath becomes rapid and shallow. Allowing ourselves to recognize a feeling as familiar gives us the opportunity to ask if it belongs in this moment or whether we are unconsciously re-living our story. By simply making this process conscious we change it, and afford ourselves the opportunity to step outside the story and edit the script, or maybe even write a new one. Including the practice of appreciation in the new script brings the power of gratitude to our conscious creation, and that in and of itself supports a positive manifestation.

May you be well,

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