3 Ways to Move From Programmed Conditioning to the Freedom of Conscious Living
Enabling behavior and detachment are programmed, conditioned patterns and coping mechanisms born out of our early childhood programming and trauma. Non-Attachment and being able to hold space for others are practices of conscious living that take us closer to experiencing ultimate internal freedom and becoming the radical creators of our lives. But they are not mutually exclusive, and shifting out of the programmed conditioning of our world into the freedom of conscious living can be easier than you might think.
The challenge, and the opportunity, is our life
When we are little we are bombarded by programs. Programs of how to be, what to do/not do, what to wear, think, say, and how to interpret the world are largely embedded within us by the age of 7. The challenge is that we keep running the programs we were born into, and they end up being reinforced in life.
Everything from beliefs about money, to feeling like we can’t succeed no how hard we try, or that the world is against us, and even unhealthy relationship patterns and negative self-perception are all programmed at the cellular level and keep us away from conscious living.
The end result of constantly running all these familial, cultural, religious, and societal programs is exhaustion, unhappiness, stress, anxiety, depression, physical/mental illnesses, feeling disconnected, and getting caught in repeating trauma patterns with relationships, work, friends, and family.
And this is where the coping mechanisms come in. Self-soothing behaviors, addictions, attachment styles, codependency, and other looping negative relationship patterns, as well as self-limiting beliefs, are just a few of the wild and creative ways our mind/body systems have developed to keep us safe.
To our systems, safety is what is known. And the safest place for us to “be” is in known patterns that have already been experienced by our mind-body systems. Those experiences are the playbook our systems reach for any time we are in a limbic system response (fight, flight, freeze, fawn). And, unfortunately, with the 24-hr news cycle, social media’s influence on life, dysfunctional families of origin, and the affluenza of our consumer society, we are constantly soaking in low-grade states of fight, flight, freeze, fawn.
Because of this, we are literally in physiological survival mode 24/7. We are constantly grasping for something or someone outside of us to make things better or take the pain away, even if for a moment because we have been conditioned to believe that “the answer” is to be found somewhere out in the world.
The challenge is that our healed wholeness, peaceful presence, sense of self or purpose, fulfillment, confidence, and inspiration can only be found on the inside. And, it takes moving beyond all the programs and trappings of 3-dimensional life to get there.
So how do we do it? How do we get beyond the conditioned patterns and endless cycle 0f perpetually bouncing from triggered reaction to triggered reaction? How do we begin to experience conscious living?
1. Begin, or strengthen, a daily practice of playing “catch and release” with your system
What does “getting dropped into a reaction” mean? It’s when something happens and you don’t feel in control. You may feel like yelling or shutting down completely—those times when you feel like you can’t stop yourself from doing or saying something. You are “in it” and are not quite thinking straight or you go inward and totally silent. What is happening is that your prefrontal cortex has shut down and you are operating in the “lizard brain” – the amygdala. It’s like, “[Insert your name] isn’t here right now.”
Practicing Catch & Release with our internal systems: When the prefrontal cortex has shut down and you’re operating from your prehistoric lizard brain (fight, flight, freeze, fawn), nothing good will come of interactions with yourself or others.
Catch – The practice this week is to recognize when/if you’re in this place. You might feel your blood boiling, or that you’ve shut down in a way that you are not able to have a present, conscious conversation.
Release – Once you’ve caught the reaction, you have the opportunity to disrupt the negative energy pattern you just got “dropped into” (instead of stewing in it ; ).
There are a number of ways you can release the energy, including:
- Brain synchronization techniques
- breath work
- hand swipes over the crown of your head
- going for a walk
- rebounding, jumping jacks, jumping rope
- grounding in nature or water
Here are some visualized examples of ways to release energy and get back to balance: https://www.instagram.com/p/ChlQ42apHGo/
2. Start making transformative changes at the subconscious level.
I guarantee that you are carrying around subconscious beliefs that are acting counter to your desired state of being. We all are. These are beliefs born of the conditioned patterning and trauma loops of life and do not reflect our natural, balanced, peaceful, centered, present, non-attached state of existence.
If we aren’t transforming things at the subconscious level, we aren’t changing anything. Consciously spoken mantras or affirmations can’t work if our subconscious beliefs are acting counter to our conscious desires. This is because of how powerful our subconscious is. Hypnotherapy, parts/inner-child work, Family constellation, PSYCH-K, and the Emotion Code Method are all ways we can connect with, and transform things at, the subconscious level.
3. Incorporate the powerful practices of discernment and healthy boundaries into life.
Here it is. The two biggest factors that determine if we are experiencing conditioned patterns (Enabling or Detachment behaviors) or conscious living (Holding Space & Non-attachment) are internal discernment and practicing healthy boundaries.
Discernment – experiencing knowing what is “ours” and what isn’t. The practice of discernment is differentiating between the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual states of conditioned programming versus what is actually “ours”. Here’s a hint: none of it is ours! Letting people walk all over us, not standing up for ourselves, playing small, staying in an unhealthy relationship too long, trying to be a fixer or keep the peace in a family, doing what our family wants for a career, as well as expressions of narcissism and codependency, are all examples of conditioned subconscious patterns.
Healthy Boundaries – knowing what a “no” and what a “yes” are for us, and the ability to say no to things with peaceful alignment and without attachment or resistance (eg. the ability to say no to something or extract ourselves from a situation without an emotional or physiological reaction)
Being born into this life, we are conditioned to assimilate (or resist as we get older) other people’s stuff and toe the line of family, societal, and cultural behaviors and beliefs. But the more we do the inner, subconscious work, the less hold anyone else’s crap has on us, and the less resistance or attachment we experience. This is when we can really begin to see the chasm between what is and isn’t “ours”, and discern the thought patterns, behaviors, reactions, and beliefs that have been conditioned/programmed into us.
The more we clear and release from the subconscious level, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we will become aware of what isn’t ours because we aren’t experiencing those states of reactivity or attachment as frequently. So when we do experience them, we are experiencing a transformed relationship with the things that have plagued us in life, and recognize they don’t have as much of a hold on us as they once did.
It’s like the difference between feeling like we are always being battered around in a storm, vs. experiencing mostly calm sailing and then moving through rough weather with ease.
You have to choose your life, or someone else will choose it for you
When we make a choice to experience more peaceful presence, calm centeredness, and non-attachment more often, and incorporate the practices listed above, we can more easily move through the storms we encounter, instead of getting capsized by them.
If we stay the course and integrate these conscious practices into life, we will realize that NONE of the stuff we accumulate in life is ours, and we can catch ourselves in reaction more easily, returning ourselves to that peaceful place inside more effortlessly.
This is a place of experience much closer to our natural, “enlightened” state of being-ness. A place that is available for each and every one of us when we’re ready to truly let go of the conditioned, suppressive, sometimes painful past, and reconnect with who we truly are, and have truly always been.
Starting by playing catch and release with your system, and incorporating the practices of healthy boundaries and discernment into your life are two ways you can begin to shift out of the programmed conditioning of your world and into the freedom of conscious living right now.
Take one step today…. just one! That’s the only way a journey can begin. And then take another one tomorrow. If/when you are ready to make changes at the subconscious level, let’s talk! We have the tools to return you to the freedom, abundance, healed wholeness, and connection that has always been within you. 🙏