Identifying and categorizing “thoughts” helped me improve my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. I discovered the freedom to be me after I learned to discriminate between the thoughts/beliefs perpetuated on me by my family, community, society and then by my rebellion against those rules and regulations. I hope you will give this exercise a try and find it useful.
Part 1 of today’s exercise is to list 500 thoughts/beliefs you held before the age of 14. That’s easier than it sounds and the task probably takes a couple of hours.
Part 2 of today’s exercise is harder. This is helpful in learning to discriminate the beliefs that weigh us down as in “The Map of Consciousness” my most popular lecture. Here you take the effort to categorize the thoughts that were involved in ego (false-ego) building. Briefly there are three categories here:
- Abusive (master-slave) beliefs where someone is going to win and be considered superior and where someone is going to lose and be considered inferior.
- Societally proper beliefs where we all agree to bend to make society work.
- And then the rebelliously boastful-“I’ll do it my way” beliefs where we begin to shed older erroneous beliefs and wade through the restrictions that have weighed us down and hurt our health in all areas.
Two strange beliefs that always puzzled me follow:
After teaching in school systems where men and women were paid equally to get to a job where I was informed: “Inquiring about the salary of someone else or sharing the amount of your salary could result in your being fired.” This could be considered a societal/employment belief. It is a master-slave belief.
“Good girls do not chew gum.” At eight years of age, this societal belief definitely didn’t make sense to me.
I gained some freedom when I stopped being the good little girl who ate cake at every birthday party when allowing myself to think: “I don’t really have to indulge in goopy birthday cake I dislike, to celebrate …’s birthday.”
When we reach objectivity regarding beliefs and can substitute values of respect for all we automatically increase our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Happy aging!