Our Story Superpower

I am delighted to welcome back LOA Brain Whisperer, Janette Dalgliesh, to the AffirmingSpirit blog with a follow-up post. (If you haven’t read Janette’s first post, read it here.)

Our story superpower

When we can stand outside our own brain for a moment, in a position of being self-aware and mindful, we can tell a new story and our brain will engage with it. But we need to make it a story that’s short and powerful, or rich and redolent with detail, so we can light up more than just the language centers. We become the narrator and we can choose a better story.

Click for free ebook during April 2014This juiciness doesn’t just light up those areas of the brain for a fuller and more rich engagement. It also helps memory. Remember memory?

We know that the brain uses its memory of the past to predict the future. We also know that memory is fluid and rewritable

We also know that when the brain is exposed to a story (reading, listening, watching), if there are rich sensory or emotional details included, our mirror neurons will activate and our brains will light up as though the story were happening to us, in that moment. If a story includes the word “cinnamon”, my olfactory system lights up. If I read Mr. Darcy’s passion for Elizabeth Bennet, my brain lights up with the thrill of a new love. And if I watch Meryl Streep eating Sole Meunière in Julie and Julia, I cannot help but salivate as my brain’s taste circuits light up.

It turns out that this quality of rich, redolent detail is a key factor in forming memory

Molecular biologist John Medina explains that when the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the Amygdala releases dopamine into the system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory and information processing, you could say it creates a Post It note that reads, ‘Remember this.’ 

This is why dry data is hard to remember. We need a juicy story in order to effectively form memories. We don’t remember the boring stuff.

So by telling a new story with lots of vivid detail, we are helping the brain write a new memory landscape from which to imagine a new future.

We even know that a very familiar phrase (for example “a rough day” or “raining cats and dogs”) can become so familiar and ordinary it loses its ability to light up other parts of the brain, as though it had become a single word. This is why authors avoid cliches if possible; they’ve lost their power.

And this brings me to the importance of having the RIGHT affirmations. The purpose of affirmations, like all good manifesting techniques, is to create change in the brain so it can deliver a new reality.

And we know from the research that two key things are required in order to make changes in the brain. 

One is that juicy rich engagement we’ve already mentioned. The other is consistent repetition. JanetteDalgliesh

So affirmations which are dry, or boring, or full of cliche, just won’t work. Similarly, affirmations which trigger painful memories won’t work. The key to powerful affirmations is to make them rich and redolent and pleasurable; and to use them daily in a way we enjoy. 

And to do that means you have to get self-aware. What lights YOU up? What words get you excited? What rituals will help you do this work daily?

In other words – YOU need to become the authority here~be willing to experiment and play! Give up judgement, embrace a spirit of curiosity, and explore different wording and language, different rituals and practices. Please make sure you’re taking advantage of Nancy’s great expertise.

You’re telling the new story of your life. And your brain is listening. Make sure your story is a good one!

We know the high value of self-love, and Janette isn’t just an expert on the brain science of story – she has some fascinating details to share on how self-love works in the brain, why it’s such a key part of any deliberate creation practice, and the huge myth that holds many back. Treat yourself to Janette’s free video, The Science of Self-Love

* * * * * * * * * *

Janette Dalgliesh is the LOA Brain Whisperer, also knows as the Sweet Relief Coach. She’s a Law of Attraction coach and author, but also a self-confessed science geek who is especially lit up about the brain science because she believes it’s the biological mechanism by which we can consciously create the reality we want. Her books in the “Your Everyday Superpower” series ask the question “can the new brain science open the door to creating a new reality?” – and they answer a resounding YES.

 

Our Stories Create Our Beliefs Which Drive Our Actions

You probably have noticed that I have written a lot about how our stories affect us. Last night, I was watching Oprah’s LIfe Class (episode 3, with Cheryl Richardson) where she talks about how we don’t get what we want, we get what we believe. Our beliefs are formed by the stories we tell ourselves, based on what we have perceived through our lifetime.

Stories Beliefs ActionsMost of the stories we carry with us as adults were developed between birth and 6 years old. When experience meets emotions, we create a meaning around that experience that becomes a story – and a story we tell ourselves long enough becomes a belief. If we witness our father being unkind to our mother, we create the meaning that this is how men treat women. When we grow up, we come to expect that behavior from men and will seek relationships that will make us right about our story…even though that story isn’t true for everyone, and it doesn’t even have to be true for you if you decide to drop the story!

Our stories become our beliefs which drive our actions. If you want to know what stories and beliefs you are carrying, take a look at your actions.

I was personally reminded of the power of our beliefs and stories last week when a gunman in my area killed 3 co-workers, wounded 7 others (6 of them co-workers), and eventually killed himself when law enforcement caught up with him. During the first day that he was loose in my neighborhood, we were not allowed to leave the house as SWAT teams with search dogs scoured the area. I work from home, so it really didn’t impact me as it may have impacted others. The whole time I felt safe and knew we were going to be fine.

As news reports came in about the suspect, his co-workers and friends began expressing astonishment that such a nice, happy person – a single dad who was considered to be an upstanding member of his community – could commit such a series of crimes. Most of the people interviewed could not have conceived this was even possible!

I know that beliefs and stories drive our actions, so when I heard about the disconnect between how this man was perceived by others and how he acted, I knew this man was being driven by stories and beliefs that made him feel justified in his behavior.

When you think about it, this is yet another perfect example of how Law of Attraction is ALWAYS working – whether you believe in it or not – and it’s always lining you up with experiences that prove you right. When you harbor thoughts that feel bad, you attract experiences that feel bad, which causes you to focus more thoughts that feel bad, and attracts even worse feeling experiences. The Universe is responding to the energy you are sending out through thoughts and emotions. It doesn’t matter if you are remembering the past, living in the moment, or imagining the future ~ whatever energy you are sending out is what you will attract back into your experience.

As that day progressed, when the media began interviewing the least-wounded, it became clear that the gunman perceived that his employer and all his co-workers were against him. Although he had been employed for 15 years at this company, he was convinced they were getting ready to fire him.

Now, many people lose jobs and…then they get another job. Sometimes even a better job with better pay and perks! So, in addition to feeling that everyone was against him and that he’d lose his job, the gunman last week also had to believe that he would NOT be able to get another job. Dwelling on those negative stories, stewing and festering in those growing negative beliefs, he felt compelled and justified in potentially killing all of his co-workers…which led to attempting a car-jacking (another victim) and eventually his suicide.

To top it off, his two children no longer have their father. My heart goes out to them!

Do you see how the Law of Attraction was lining this father up with more of what he was focusing upon? It really can be no other way – the Universe can only mirror back to us the same energy we are sending out based on what we focus upon and how it makes us feel!

In the end, like all of us, this man’s beliefs and stories drove experiences and his actions. Yes, this is a horrible and dramatic example, but this man would still be alive today – and his children would have their father – IF he had been willing to question his beliefs and stories! For that reason alone, I do not want this tragic series of events to be in vain.

Don’t let another day go by without questioning your stories and long-held beliefs—become aware of your actions, and follow the stories, beliefs, and thoughts that led up to those behaviors. Question the everything that feels bad (sad, mad, frustrated, irritated, etc.) to think. Those are the ones that will create actions you might someday truly regret.

Need help learning how to question your thoughts? Check out Byron Katie’s TheWork.com (watch the videos where she shows the process in action).

What beliefs, stories and thoughts are you willing to begin questioning?

Are You Stuck in Your Story?

Are you stuck in your story?Regardless of your employment, relationship, or financial status, there is one thing that can make or break your success: The stories you tell yourself about why your life is the way it is today.

We each create our own story, usually empahsized with facts such as where we grew up, what our family is like, where we went to school, and how we got into our current field of work. Our story is how we describe who we are to ourselves and others. It is how we internally define ourselves and the basis from which we vibrate energy out into the world and take action. They play out not only in how we speak about ourselves, but in the actions we take on our behalf. This is why the stories we tell matter in every aspect of our life.

Our stories are the information we tell the people we are just meeting, or friends we’ve known for a long time, and represents the way we feel about ourselves. If you see yourself as a winner, your story reflects that. If you see yourself as a loser or down-on-your-luck, your story reflects that. Which story do you want to reflect?

Your story keeps evolving all throughout your entire life. If you are breathing, right now, you are telling yourself and/or others some story…the question is: Is the story you are telling yourself serving you in a positive way?

Our stories, like most, are affirmations for who and where we are in life. They almost always start with, “I am…”, and contain some ‘neutral facts’:

I am self-employed, and my clients are…

I am so easy-going that I often attract…

I am organized and self-sufficient, which means I tend to…

I am in my current financial situation because…

After the facts are laid out, however, our stories often include generalizations and beliefs we have about ourselves and others that dramatically affect our life experiences. They become negative affirmations, if you will, for things we don’t like about ourselves. Often, these beliefs are not universally true, or even accurate, but we will speak them, think them, and *act on them* as if they are.

Have you ever stopped to look at the “story” you’ve created so far?

Do you tell yourself and others that your life is productive, successful, and happy? Do you include the many successes of your life and why you are a worthwhile human? Do you support your own success, health, and well-being?

Do you make excuses to yourself and others for your results and make those part of your story? Do you blame others for the experiences that you attracted? Do you justify your behaviors as reasons why you can never have what you want? Do you assume your needs cannot be met, so you stop asking? Do you sabotage any potential for success and happiness?

If we are not conscious, the stories we tell ourselves can morph into subtle forms of self-sabotage. By virtue of the Law of Attraction, we naturally attract more of what we think/speak/act upon. If we are telling the same story, over and over, we are attracting the same result repeatedly and that leaves us feeling stuck. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

For example, someone contacted me saying that they were shocked to find their general attitudes described in one of my articles, “Getting Out of the *How* Business”. They thanked me for the insight, and I responded that I was glad the article had been helpful. They responded back saying, “When you are an organized person it’s hard to get over the *how*” . The words they wrote stopped me in my tracks because I knew they did not have to be true. I also knew immediately: This was the story this person had been telling themselves to justify their current experiences. They justified their current struggles by saying it was hard for an organized person to be open to how their life unfolds.

Being a coach at heart, I couldn’t let that comment rest. I had to say something. (spot the story that makes me think that though?)

I responded back asking if it’s really true that being organized makes it hard to get over the *how*, or is this the story they had been telling themselves? If the latter, I suggested they create a new, improved story for themselves that supported their success and happiness.

By asking that question, and pointing out the story, the recipient was able to make a shift. They emailed right back to share how this was helping them move forward.

It can be incredibly liberating to look back over your life and weed out the parts of your story that no longer serve you. If you have been growing in consciousness, who you are today is much more evolved than who you were 10 – 20 – 30 (or more) years ago. You may not be able to physically change what happened, but you certainly don’t need to speak about it, to yourself or others, dredge up all the negative feelings and dwell in that same energy for the rest of your life. You have a choice in fact, LOTS of choices in how you tell your story!

Start where you are, and imagine new improved story about yourself that supports your own success, health, and well-being.

What are your thoughts about the stories you’ve been telling?

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