Meet two friends, Megan and Beth. Megan and Beth are good friends and both in their early fifties. They live on the same street, share similar diet and lifestyle habits, and know many of the same people. Megan is happy, in superb health, has a great relationship with her husband, and has plenty of friends and money. On the other hand, Beth has a different sort of life. She battles poor health including chronic fatigue and debilitating pain, has a difficult relationship with her husband and her children, and struggles financially. Simply put, Megan thrives while Beth survives. Why does this happen? What causes the difference in the lives of these two women?
What if I told you the answer lies in what happened to these two women over forty years ago? Fascinatingly, this is indeed the case. Research has shown that the vast majority, up to 85 percent, of our beliefs are formed in early childhood. And, of course, the experiences we all have and the lives we lead reflect our beliefs - they are of paramount importance. Megan had a happy childhood with lots of love, play, and adoration from parents that loved each other, and her, immensely. She felt completely secure in a harmonious home life. Conversely, Beth had several events that were disturbing to her emotionally and physically at a very young age. Her parents fought, one parent had problems with alcohol, and the stressful jobs they held left little time or energy for reading and playing with the young Beth. The effect of this difference in earlier experiences is that Megan and Beth manifest very different lives as adults.
What we think matters, and the influence of childhood experiences on our subconscious thought as adults is tremendous. The Buddha taught that ‘all we are arises from the mind.’ Those who lecture of the power of positive thinking may or may not realize that the vast majority - some even say up to 90 percent - of our thoughts and beliefs are subconscious. We don’t even know most of what we are thinking, yet subconscious thought greatly affects our reality. Again, up to 85 percent of our beliefs are likely formed between birth and five years of age.
“Oh no,” you say…. “I had a very troubled childhood, and I know it is contributing to the challenges I am currently experiencing.”
And I respond… “Don’t worry. You’re in a position of power.”
The integration of new physics and Buddhist psychology has provided a way to recreate childhood experiences for ourselves, and this is wonderful news. Through a simple process, the particular childhood experience that has significant contributions to our current day problems can be identified. This is the first step in the process. The difficult emotions held in that experience can be addressed. Interestingly, they are often remarkably similar to what the person is experiencing in the present.
The second step in the process involves identification of the limiting beliefs the person formed based on the earlier experience. It is always amazing to watch as people start to disconnect from these limiting beliefs. Fascinatingly, the grip the limiting belief has on the person often begins to lessen immediately, just in response to the simple act of identification and stating the belief out loud. The person can even start to look a little differently, sometimes with a subtle glow, and have a much lighter countenance as their transformation begins to unfold.
In the third, and most enjoyable, step, the person gets to decide what they wish would’ve happened instead of the disturbing earlier experience. At this point, people are encouraged to think big, and to know that the sky’s the limit. As the disturbing experience happened long ago, all that is left now is an image that is recorded in their mind. The image is held arbitrarily and the person can choose to replace it with something else. So, they can choose an image of an experience that makes them feel good (and this is very important). Having this new image recorded in their minds will create altered neural pathways for positive responses to life situations. Going back to Megan and Beth, Beth’s life will improve and she can begin to thrive like Megan instead of simply survive. This becomes more and more the case as Beth transforms disturbing childhood experiences one by one. Simply put, Beth is setting herself free, and you can, too.
These three steps alone are extremely powerful, but not enough in and of themselves for the creation of altered neural pathways. The three steps have set the mind’s intention to replace one mental image with another, but the human mind needs an activity for accomplishing the replacement. The activity is often remarkably simple. Some examples include color therapy, breathwork, movement, cranial sacral therapy, polarity contacts, acupressure, and much more. If working alone, a person can simply do a modality that feels good in the moment. A few examples include dancing, stretching, or a warm bath. The power of intention cannot be understated.
Taken together, these steps can be used to overcome problems we face as adults. Some examples of problems include anxiety, health and weight challenges, addictions, depression, relationship issues, social challenges, and much more. We are all in positions of power. It’s awesome to know that the quality and events of our lives can be improved as we decide to recreate earlier experiences and make ourselves a new past. Go ahead, set yourself free.
Dr. Leigh Ann Lipscomb is a Certified Resonance Repatterning practitioner who works with people all over the world to reframe earlier painful experiences. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her websites are Chico Resonance Repatterning and Energy Work for Test Anxiety.