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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Shifting Your Paradigm


Changing the way we deal with our world, both inner and outer, can create overall improvement in life quality, ranging from the relatively minor to the spectacular.
  • You may believe that how you feel depends on outer circumstances (especially when they are not optimal).
  • You may believe that it is important to prove to others that you are right (on those occasions when you are, indeed, right).
  • You may believe that you are justified in listening to others criticize people who are obviously doing something you believe is wrong.
  • You may believe that when certain problems arise, there simply are no solutions.
Complacent

If you believe in any or all of these positions, might I suggest that you may have allowed your mindset to be lulled into complacency – not a comfortable complacency, mind you, but one that makes you believe you have no choice in the matter.

We are socialized into such a type of belief early on in our lives. Our parents, our school system, organized religion and most importantly, mass media all play a role in bringing us to such a place of complacency. What happens when you are complacent? What do you do? The question really is: what don’t you do?

Complacency is antithetical to being pro-active. In other words, when you are complacent, you’re not out there looking for solutions or new ways of doing things because you’re firmly mired in this belief that there are no solutions or other ways of doing things than the way you’ve always done them.
And that is precisely where shifting YOUR paradigm comes into the picture.

3-D Vision

If you had never been able to see in 3D (the way most of us see naturally), you would have a flat, two dimensional way of seeing. Nothing would be in stereo, in 3D. And if you did not know there was another way of seeing, you would accept your flat way as being the only way. Sound strange? This is exactly what happened to Susan Barry, who was born cross-eyed, had an operation to correct that, but the operation took place after she had already turned two, and that is too late to correct the eyes in such a way to be able to see in 3D. So to Susan, her ‘flat’ way was the only way. And she was already in her 20’s when she discovered there was another way: the 3D way most of us see. Now this was not an uneducated woman from some lost town who never read a newspaper. She is a professor of neuroscience and realized the truth about the glitch in her vision during a class in neurophysiology. From that point forward, until she was nearly 50, no one, not an ophthalmologist, not a neuroscientist, no one at all ever gave her any indication that she might do something about her vision. And she was convinced that it did not really make much of a difference.

Until one day she went to a cocktail party, ran into Oliver Sacks, physician, best-selling author of numerous books including The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, who asked her: “Do you think you can imagine what it’s like to see the world with two eyes?”

To make a long story short, she eventually was fortunate enough (after this conversation with Sacks) to have contact with vision therapist Dr. Theresa Ruggiero who helped Barry – through a series of exercises – gain stereovision or 3D – for the first time in her life at the age of 50. You can read about it and hear an audio with Barry herself here.

Radical Paradigm Shift
  
Back to our paradigm shift. Barry’s paradigm of complacency or false belief that nothing could be done to change her vision underwent a radical shift thanks to new information she received from Drs. Sacks and Ruggiero. And so it can be with all of us on the level of changing how we live within ourselves and with regards to what happens in our outer world. 
  • Our outer circumstances need not determine how we feel or react at any given point in time. Of course the new information we need in order to change that paradigm of complacency and that false belief (just as Barry exercised her eyes endlessly to gain 3D vision): 
    • Is that we need to exercise our intention and conscious awareness to be fully responsible for ourselves, i.e., responsible for the state of our inner well-being.
    • This means that what happens on the outside may not be great, or even may even be bad, but you know that you will be able to bring yourself to a state of inner harmony (with exercise, just as Barry), no matter what.
  • We need not prove to another that we are right (even when we truly are). Of course the new information we need in order to change that paradigm of complacency and that false belief:
    • Is that our ego is the part of us that needs to prove we are right, no matter what, but to what end? Does that make life better for us? Does it make us more valuable, of greater worth?
    • No. It’s the ego, because what the ego wants is to feel more than the other. More powerful, more intelligent, more knowledgeable, etc.
    • This also requires dedicated exercise. You no more silence the ego just by thinking you want to do so, than Barry saw 3D just by thinking she wanted to do so.
  • We need not believe that we are justified in listening to others criticize people who are obviously doing something we believe is wrong. Of course the new information we need in order to change that paradigm of complacency and that false belief:
    • Is that we feel infinitely better on all levels without resorting to such complacent behavior, that at best is smug and self-serving, and at worst is stooping to outright denigration and cruelty.
    • It brings to mind the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    • This – as all our other examples – requires awareness of the self and practice, or exercise. We will not stop doing this just by thinking we want to.
  • We need not believe that when certain problems arise, there simply are no solutions. Of course the new information we need in order to change that paradigm of complacency and that false belief:
    • Is that although a solution may not appear immediately, another, albeit not in the direction we may have initially desired, will appear.
    • This requires not only openness to something that is different from what we fervently want as a solution, but may also be helped along by bearing in mind the words of Krishnamurti, who said, with regards to his secret for happiness: “I don’t mind what happens”.
    • This takes you full circle to our first example. Whatever happens in the outside world, once you have begun this process of YOUR own paradigm shift, no longer has the power to bring you to a state of impotence, pain, stress or worry because you will have learned how to return to a state of equanimity and inner balance very quickly. But it requires practice with intention and awareness.
You are here to be happy. You are here to love yourself. You are here to reconnect with your inner divine self, and in so doing, you are here to be a shining light to all those who experience you.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

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