We are a myth-making species.
How you see yourself and the world around you is largely influenced by the myths you were told growing up ("Money doesn't grow on trees" or "Somedayyyy my prince will come" — sung in a Disney Princess voice).
These myths are the keys to understanding your conditioning — and the keys to de-conditioning yourself.
In my recent audio guide, I explore how to overcome the 3 biggest myths many of us face, with our relationships to money, love, and time.
If you haven't given it a listen yet, you can access it here & listen now for free.
The audio guide (a one-off podcast, if you will) goes in depth about some of the most common cultural hang-ups that sabotage your bank account, your love life, and how you feel about your time freedom & productivity.
In the guide I share 3 writing prompts to help rewrite some of these old, unhelpful narratives...
...because reframing your perceptions changes your behaviors, and leads to new outcomes & opportunities in your life. It's powerful stuff!
Here are the prompts that go along with the free recording. So take out a piece of paper & jot these bad boys down.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You are not answering these questions.
The questions themselves are the mantras, the doorways to rewire your thought patterns of scarcity, feeling stuck, and expecting the past to repeat itself in the future...
...so simply write these down and think them when you catch yourself getting caught up in an old story.
#1: REWRITE YOUR STORIES WITH MONEY
What if I didn’t have to work hard to earn a living?
What if money flowed to me with ease?
What if I could fulfill my passion and joyously receive compensation for it?
What if I valued myself more?
What if money was a tool for me to create positive change in the world?
And yes, it’s key to handwrite these out, and not just because I’m a former college English professor, and I'm old school like that.
Handwriting is shown to have powerful neurological effects: studies reveal that the words you scribe on paper get more concretely “imprinted” in your brain, so you'll retain the new stories faster than by merely reading them.This is especially helpful since we’re trying to “unlearn” old habitual thought patterns and rewire new ones...
...and it begins with a question: "What if?”
This opens up a door for you to imagine a new possibility, one from "I'm not good with finances" to "I AM good with finances: receiving wholeheartedly, spending wisely, and having enough." The question is the doorway, and compassion is the force that will get you through to the other side.
That's why compassion is the key ingredient to all Shadow Work: it's entirely unhelpful for you to judge yourself in the process, because the JUDGMENT has been what's been keeping you locked in the same patterns of guilt, resistance, and avoidance.
Being kind to yourself is critical as you consider where your money stories came from, and as you recite these money mantras.
#2: REWRITE THE LOVE STORIES THAT SABOTAGE YOU
Love, sweet love. What’s a cultural myth about love that has gotten into you?
It can be helpful to first examine a concept you used to believe that you’ve dropped, so you can see this process of un-conditioning in the clear light of retrospect. For example: There’s only one perfect soul mate out there for me. I have to look a certain way to be considered attractive and land a mate. I’ll only feel complete or validated when I’m in a relationship.
Let’s take a pervasive cultural myth and flip the script on it: “I’ll only feel complete when I’m in a relationship.”
So much of our language reflects this deeply ingrained belief: we say things like “this is my other half/better half” and we truly equate monogamous partnership (with a marriage license, two kids, a labrador, etc.) as the only viable option in the cultural collective.
This is why I believe so many of us are co-dependent, anxiety-riddled, insecure.…and petrified of being alone.
First, ask yourself if that’s really true, or if you’ve inherited that belief from society. Then ask yourself these 3 questions:
1) What if it were true that you are complete right now, in this very moment?
2) What if you knew in your bones, in your heart, in every fiber of your being that you were absolutely complete? What would that sensation feel like? How would your breath pattern be if that were true, that you were complete?
3) What if you felt a deep, abiding contentment within your center, regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship?
#3: REWRITE YOUR TIME STORY
Time governs our lives. For many of us, the “fight against time” rages day in and day out. It’s a race against time, because time flies, and damnit, there never seems to be enough of it. Oh, and time is money.
We’ve become consumed by what we do that we’ve forgotten how to just be.
We’ve identified with the tasks, and lost touch with the emotional energy beneath why we do what we do.
So take a piece of paper and write at the top To Be.
Just as you would enumerate your tasks, write out the qualities you need to be on any given day in order to feel good, whole, and happy. For example:
Then, next to or beneath your To Be List, write out which actions/tasks/activities will bring you to these emotional states. For example:
Grateful ~ Journal 5 things I’m grateful for with morning coffee
Awed ~ Go outside for 5 minutes and observe nature
Content ~ Practice yoga
Enthusiastic ~ Watch/read/listen to motivational video/book/podcast I love
Now, your day is not just about the crap you got done…because we all know the To Do List will never end.
You can reframe and refine your time so that you prioritize what you need to do to feel good, whole, and happy — not just like you checked some boxes off a list.
De-conditioning yourself & unlearning these limiting beliefs is a big part of Shadow Integration, a process that helps you embrace all of yourself (your "shadow" aspects you ignore and judge against yourself, as well as the aspects of yourself you celebrate and appreciate).
On the other side of Shadow Integration is FREEDOM. Shadow Integration helps you:
1. Uncover what's holding you back
2. Align with what you really want (not just what society has told you to want)
3. Unlock your full potential
If you're ready to dive deep, embrace your true self, & unlock your full potential, join me & Licensed Mental Health Counselor Ashley Sweet for our acclaimed online course SHADOW + LIGHT.