For a long time I’ve contemplated the development of self and all the subtle intricacies that play a role in shaping us to who we are now. I love the work of Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and Alan Watts for example, but the area of self development I’ve been more fascinated by is core beliefs and how I’ve learned to use them to experience pure joy in everything I do.
Managing core beliefs is not only about shifting perspective, it helps shape how energy flows in our body. I notice how the more I tweak my beliefs, the ones that are at a discord with my integral self, the more I am able to flow my vital energy (chi) easily and as a result, my yoga and meditations are deeper. Anytime we feel depressed, down, or off about something, just ask “what would I have to believe is true in order to be feeling this way about this thing.” The answer comes more easily to me when I ask this in meditation. Usually, upon revelation of a negative core belief, it immediately appears nonsensical and I replace it with a new one, one that is more in alignment with my true self, I believe the core expression of everyone’s true self to be pure joy, so that is what I am aiming toward.
By paying attention to and tweaking the core beliefs that are out of alignment with our true self, we can give our body the energy and clarity it needs to sustain greater levels of joy and happiness. It’s only part of the overall picture though. I think sleep, exercise, and diet will trump any self help tools, but once we’ve got that down we can start refining the subtle aspects of our existence like core beliefs to help reach more of our human potential.
Core beliefs can be stubborn when they perpetuate bad habits or make it really hard to get our basic needs met. I know from personal experience when switching to more healthy foods in my diet, it involved examining my core beliefs and asking why I would be attracted to junk food, am I eating to fill a void or am I eating to bring out the best qualities in myself? So the question is what do we work on first, core beliefs or getting our basic needs met? I think it’s both, it’s a delicate process that involves a holistic approach, not working on one or the other first but seeing how intimately connected one is to the other and starting from there.
If I’m having trouble with sleep, working with core beliefs is not enough, I also have to train my body to adapt to a new sleeping cycle. Same goes with food, I have to train my brain to let go of the stimulation it gets from junk food; working with our core beliefs helps us through this process significantly.