Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Know Your Mind

(This article was first published in Metta Center Newsletter, April 2005)

I would love to introduce you to the term "writing on the wall". Coined by Gary Craig, the founder of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), it refers to the sets of beliefs, shoulds, shouldn'ts, can, can'ts, etc. that we have agreed to, consciously or unconsciously, as "truths" in our individual consciousness.

How did the writing get on our wall? In childhood, we received numerous messages from our well-meaning parents, teachers, friends, leaders, media, etc. We often formed our self-image and hoped to make sense of the world based on these "truths". We consult the writing on our walls to determine whether something is appropriate or acceptable to us, whether it is a "good" or "bad" idea, etc.

The writing on the wall can be very positive and supportive in helping us achieve success in the world. At the same time, many of these "truths" limit not only our self-concept but also hold us back.

Perhaps, you remember the time at a young age when you heard someone you respected said something like "Susie is so rude!" or "That's a terrible shot!" in a disapproving tone, etc. The writing on your wall may look like this: "Perfect = safe, imperfect = not safe."

This type of writing on the wall may propel you to be determine to do your best, but it can also create a feeling of constantly insecure because you might just fail to be perfect at any given moment. That could lead to fear of making mistakes, fear of changes, procrastinating, feeling inadequate, fear of intimacy, etc. The accumulation of stress from these issues could create dis-ease in the physical realm.

So, when you find yourself feeling limited or stuck in a particular area in your life (feeling frustrated is usually a good clue that you are stuck), it is time to find what writing on your wall is holding you back. Do remember that you can always erase the writing on your wall, i.e. change your mind, anytime. Then, sit back, and notice how things shift and flow more effortlessly now that you have created more space by the mere act of changing your mind!

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