What does it mean to trust? Is trust (ing yourself) necessary for a happy and fulfilled life? And if so, how can we re-member how to trust (ourselves and life)? This post is about the difference between our conscious minds and subconscious minds in terms of their capacity to process information. And about how most of us allow the conscious mind to limit our experiences in this life - habitually. You'll also learn an exercise later on that helps me re-member how to trust.
Learning to TRUST - this may be a request you haven’t expected. It probably doesn’t make much sense to you at first glance. It wouldn’t have made much sense to me a few years ago. Today it does. It makes perfect sense. Take it as a synonym for giving up control. The kind of control that our conscious minds exert. The kind of control that keeps us running in different versions of the same circle all our lives.
We are living in a society (in the Western world) that places the powers of the conscious mind above everything. It is true: the conscious mind is a powerful tool. Incredibly powerful. But it remains a tool. No less, but also no more.
The inspiration, the masterplan, if you will, is not part of the (conscious) mind’s realm.
Oh, I can hear your egos object this very moment. Mine did, too, when I started on this path. Be assured that this is a passing discomfort, and one well worth going through. “Who would I be without my mind? *I* am in charge.” Or as René Descartes said “Cogito ergo sum” - “I think, therefore I am.”
To give you a few numbers: the information processing capacity of the conscious mind has been found to be about 40 bits per second. That of the subconscious mind averages about 4 BILLION bits of information per second.
What does that make of our obsession with consciously being in control over those 5-10% of our existence? All the while happily ignoring the subconscious mind that clearly runs the show? I think we can safely call the insistence on decision-making with our conscious minds while disregarding the other 90+% of our toolkit “arrogance” and, even worse, “slowing ourselves down to snail pace.”
So, can we gradually release our tight grip and clenched teeth around this control issue? - Yes, the conscious mind can be incredibly helpful - when we use it to program the subconscious mind that serve our highest good. Most of us, however, never get around to this - because we tend to follow the herd when it comes to how we live our lives.
And the herd hardly ever stops to question our ways of thinking and our focus on the much smaller part of our decision-making apparatus.
Here’s a question for you:
Are you prone to worrying and beating yourself up with your thoughts? And this keeps happening no matter how much you work on your positive thinking skills?
Ah - now we’re on to something. If that sounds like you, chances are that you are running subconscious programs that keep you in the doldrums, tossing and turning at night, wondering how on earth you’ll get through your current challenges, how to raise your kids, how to make ends meet.
We’ve been trained for generations to ignore our hearts and guts, and to be “objective” in our decision making. And we never realize that we are missing out on the best of life because of this unquestioned limitation we place on ourselves.
The result is that our subconscious mind, the “heart brain” gets switched off. And that means that we lose connection with our true essence, with our soul and spirit.
This is why we are having such a hard time trusting anyone - especially ourselves and our innate capacity to create a life full of happiness and abundance for ourselves!
Let’s face it: most of us do not trust life.
Many deny the existence of a higher power - whatever you want to call it. While not believing seems to be the latest fashion, it is hurting us, big time.
Just think of the shooting in Connecticut in December 2012, or the Boston Marathon bombings in April, for instance and the ensuing heartbreak. Those are the pains of separation. Of not trusting. Of one hurt and totally disconnected human being feeling that he has to lash out at others to ease or stop his pain. And this kind of hurt goes much deeper than most of us like to imagine currently. It’s part of the subconscious programming of all of us. WE are allowing it.
I'll leave you to contemplate this for today. In my next post, I'll share an exercise with you that I routinely do in order to build my trust muscle.
Because really: Trust in NOT an option. TRUST IS A NECESSITY.