How to review the last year, so you can effect significant and transformational change in the next year.
2021 was (and still is) an interesting year, who would have thought?
And how was it for you? In this end-of-year series, we are going to look at three steps for change:
Where am I now? What was the year like in all aspects?
Where do I want to go? What is my vision, my dreams, my internal drive, my purpose?
How do I get there? What actions do I need to take?
These three steps are the basis for all movement, whether it is to sail from one port to another, or to move from one way of experiencing the world, to another.
How we experience the world right now—our geography, work, relationships, finances—depends on many unseen factors, some of which seem beyond our control, and some which we can control.
Two factors we can control are the filters by which we see and “create” the world, and how we respond to it.
Are your glasses rose-tinted? The RAS
According to biologists, we have a network in the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It is a heavy duty filter of what we receive through our senses. Apparently, we have 8 million bits of information coming in through our sense organs every second, which are stored somewhere in the subconscious brain.
But our conscious mind can only be aware of about 4,000 bits of information per second! We are not aware of 99% of what we perceive!
This means we can only be see a part of reality, a very small part. There is a much bigger part that we simply do not see.
It has been said that when Columbus’ fleet arrived in the Caribbean, the islanders could not see the ships. Only the shamans, with expanded consciousness, could. The people had never seen ships, therefore they could not yet bring them into their awareness.
Through what we see, what our RAS has filtered through every second, we “create” our version of the world.
This is really important to understand. Our RAS can filter a world of scarcity or abundance, peace or violence, ease or struggle, deprivation or opportunities, isolation or love.
What we take to be our reality, is only a tiny version from the enormous range of possibilities.
Once we truly understand this, we can then take the responsibility to expand our consciousness and change the way we filter the Greater Reality.
The power of beliefs
How does the RAS filter our sense perceptions? How do we experience our version of events?
The scientists believe the filter is affected by our beliefs and expectations. In short we experience what we “know” will happen, what we believe will happen, and what we expect to happen. In this way we create a world that is consistent and manageable. But it also creates a world you may not really have wanted.
If you believe, for example, “I am not a technical person,” you will look at some software on your computer screen, and see a confused jumble. If you don’t have that belief, and just have a curious approach, you will see order, you will perceive the functions of various elements, and you will see the signs left by the software designers—just like big directional signs on the highway.
This is why many young people learn so quickly: they have not yet created limiting beliefs. They blaze through learning new languages, new motor skills, new technology, and new software.
Your life will not change until you start eliminating your limiting beliefs.
Back to the year 2021, let’s look at a “Wheel of Life” and rate how the various aspects turned out, on a scale of 1 to 10. I suggest you draw the illustration and write the numbers down in each segment.
How did each segment feel for you?
What were your beliefs and expectations around each segment? Were there some beliefs that may have held you back?
What were your “wins,” segments that you feel you succeeded in, handled well, excelled in, or you created a better reality in?
How do I respond?
How did you respond to events, especially “adverse” ones? How did you feel about the attacks and abuses, the bad luck, the losses, the restrictions, the betrayals? Or as Shakespeare wrote, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”?
If we are to change our world, we need to take responsibility for our responses (did you spot the repetition?). We need to stop projecting the origin of how we feel onto the external world and people. We really must take ownership of how we feel. This is a major step towards self-mastery.
We can change how we feel by neutralising the emotional charge. There are many ways to do this:
Breathe deeply and comfortably until the emotional energy subsides.
Do Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping while reliving the emotion. You can get free instructions online. EFT has been used successfully for a wide range of traumas in various crisis-stricken countries.
Perform a ritual such as writing those events, feelings, and beliefs on a piece of paper, and burning it.
Simply having awareness (mindfulness) around how we feel as we experience situations will change the intensity and quality of those feelings.
Awareness broadens our filter. As we take the second stage in our journey—clarifying where we want to go—we become aware of how certain beliefs of ours have made some of us live a life of compromise and of resignation.
As we envision new destinations, the RAS will open up, and we will start seeing opportunities to make those journeys feasible. We will then need to take action to start the movement, the life journey. We will talk about those stages in the next articles.
Gerald gained a law degree in London, and has been a photographer, writer, natural health practitioner, yoga and aikido instructor, and digital media consultant. His passions are photographing the beauty of New Zealand, and how the Blockchain could offer wealth for every human.