We Are What We Choose to Believe
“I am what I choose to believe” has become a new credo of mine – a combination of a Libyan saying (I saw this past summer on someone’s WC calendar) and the insights I’ve gained from Bryon Katie. Because of the latter I decided to add the concept of “choice”. Katie is a fascinating woman to say the least – I’ve seen her in action (one-on-one conversations) both live and on YouTube. She promotes in nearly everything she says the notion that everything we do AND think has to do with choices. We aren’t often aware of this. We go throughout each day doing a lot of reacting (to what we see, experience, hear), and often times our reactions are intertwined with the pointing of a finger. “He said that to me, and therefore I . . .” “She did this to me, and then I . . .” When I think of what I’ve learned from Katie, it boils down to a single little image of a giant finger pointing away and slowly turning inward to point solely at myself. She’s helped me to be far more aware of what my OWN role is in how I feel, act, react and that I can take a lot more responsibility. There are so many choices involved when I really think about it, and more often than not, the ones I’ve chosen are perfectly replaceable. With effort, I’ve been working on this particularly when negativity creeps in, or when I can tell I’ve landed in a less than ideal place within myself. What choices have I made in my thinking/feeling, and how can I make better choices so that I can move on towards a positive place? So much of this has to do with patterns from our past, automatic behavior, impulse thinking based more on what I’m feeling or choosing to believe rather than what I know.
Funny how when you open your mind to a new way of thinking, all kinds of reinforcements come out of the woodwork. For example, earlier this month, I read Frank van Marwijk’s article, “The effect of emotions on your decisions” (in Dutch at www.managersonline.nl). He stressed that with every decision, feelings play a role in one way or another. That means pure rational, logical thinking isn’t always solely what’s behind our decision-making. Interestingly, our emotions have influence over our long-term choices and behavior as well. Think about your own patterns and comfort zones that aren’t easily changeable. We may have a logical explanation for them, but emotions play as large if not a larger role.
Back to B. Katie – there’s no doubt about it, you have to be daring and open for change (especially allowing the finger point to yourself), but self-exploration and positive growth awaits when you answer a series of questions, which Katie has coined “The Work.” The questions are posted on the website – going through them with a coach and being open to self-confrontation is most likely going to be in order.