After fifteen painful and sweaty hours, the director finally proclaimed “that’s a wrap!” Immediately, my hands flew to my head, which was being squeezed in the vice-like grip of the 1,000 pound too-tight wig I was wearing for the music video shoot that we just finished.
“Can I take it off now?!”
We were all dressed in amazing costumes that consisted of multiple, heavy layers. The women had hoop skirts and corsets, with giant pillows strapped to our hips, followed by layers and layers of heavy, itchy, dress fabric, and topping each of our heads like a cherry were substantially-sized white wigs. The men had their layers too: socks, pants, undershirts, dressing shirts, vests, coats and wigs. Our faces had been powdered white, giving everyone’s teeth an eerie yellow glow.
Throughout the shoot we all marveled at these ensembles. They were beautiful. Amazing. Intricate and very detailed. Once everything was on, the person underneath it all became virtually unrecognizable. Even more curious was how uncomfortable this attire was to wear. No wonder the ladies carried fans—that was no fashion statement, that was for survival! This garb was hot. Heavy. Itchy. My wig might have been too small because it pressed on my head all day, giving me a doozie of a headache, making it hard for me to smile, laugh, or otherwise naturally react to what was going on around me. The way the neckline wrapped around my shoulders made it impossible for me to raise my arms up very high. And when I wanted to sit down, or relieve myself in the restroom…well..that was an adventure, to say the least.
I can’t help but think how this is a fantastic metaphor for what happens to all of us in our day to day living, and it bleeds into our relationships. In the first part of our series, I discussed how my relationships were playing out my subconscious stories that I had about myself and life.
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, from the time we are in the womb until age 7, our brain waves linger mostly in theta, which is a hypnotic, entranced kind of brain wave. The brain does this because this is the most efficient wave type for becoming a sponge and learning everything there is to know in order to be a functional human in society. During this time, so many “programs” are uploaded directly into our subconscious. We aren’t even really aware they are there, but as we go through our daily grind, it is estimated that we spend 95 percent of our time “being” in these “programs”; that is to say that we do things subconsciously, without really thinking about our actions and reactions. We are on autopilot and our subconscious is running the show.
I could really witness Dr. Lipton’s findings come to life during our video shoot. I wasn’t fully able to be myself. My clothing impeded me from full movement, and my pulsing headache caused this underlying pain that colored every single thing I did. I was unrecognizable even to myself. Sure, I was still “in there” somewhere deep down, deep inside. But every single thing that was coming “out”, being expressed, was tainted and changed by all of these layers that I had placed on me, and by this silent yet ever-present pain that I just had to “live with” during the shoot.
And so it is with life. Tenderly and sweetly, our parents put their layers on to us. Our siblings, babysitters, teachers, friends, everyone we encounter until we are 7 years old, added to our style and story, having a direct and profound effect on who we subconsciously believe we are, how we think the world works, and how we feel we should behave or show up. Things happen when we are young that we may or may not remember, and those things can cause unspeakable pain. While we might not consciously dwell on it, or even remember it, there could be this underlying unease—dis-ease—a depression, anxiety or anger, and it colors every interaction we have for 95 percent of our lives.
When someone asks you a question, or when you are trying to recall something, have you ever noticed what happens with your face, notably, your eyes? Where do they go, right before you come up with the answer? Do you notice that they fly upwards, perhaps to one corner, searching for something?
In fact, you are searching for something. And you are going into your mind to get the answer. When you are in thought, the conscious mind goes inward. You can see it physically happen. This could be dangerous for your survival, so your subconscious steps in and uses the programs it has installed to run your behavior while your mind is out to lunch. Our minds are going nonstop most of our waking hours. Thoughts fly in different directions all the time; while we are watching a movie, driving, cooking, even having sex. And so while our conscious mind is occupied, our subconscious dutifully steps in to protect us.
Do you remember a time when you were just falling in love…what did people say about you? Were you beaming, glowing, radiant? Did the sun seem brighter and the flowers more aromatic, and the food taste better? Now think about your lover. The first touch. The first kiss. Wasn’t the electricity undeniable? Didn’t you notice every little bit, every single detail from their musky scent to the soft, suppleness of their skin, the silky smoothness of their hair, the sparkle in their eyes and the warm feel of their breath on your neck?
Falling in love is one of the times when we are not typically allowing our subconscious programs to run the show. We aren’t trapped in our head, thinking incessant thoughts. When in love, you become acutely aware of every morsel of life, because you want to experience it. You are out of your head, out of your thoughts and instead your conscious mind is running the show. You are mindful. It’s like you have momentarily shed the layers and layers of heavy, itchy, restrictive, painful costuming and are standing there in your beautiful, authentic, powerful glory. You are free to move about, unencumbered, and you aren’t carrying the pain of the past because you are all wrapped up in the present moment. According to Dr. Lipton, the “honeymoon phase” is a time when your wishes and desires become instantly manifested…because you don’t have subconscious programs blocking you, because frankly, you aren’t using them. You are awake and aware and mindful of every new moment, open to experiencing new and exciting things.
So must one try to keep themselves in a continual state of falling in love in order to live the life of their dreams, to manifest their wishes and desires? In a sense…yes! You don’t have to be falling in love with another person, however you could be falling in love with LIFE. If you stay awake, mindful, aware of everything in front of you, using all six of your senses, and keep your thoughts from crowding out your dreams, you can keep your subconscious mind from running the show. It only ever jumps in when it sees you’re too busy in your head to “keep up” with life and be “safe.” When you are awake, aware and mindful of everything that is happening all around you, it is practically impossible to NOT fall in love with life. You feel peace, joy, ease and happiness. Gratitude.
But even better, when your subconscious mind is no longer in charge, you are FREE. You won’t be attracted to the psychopath, just because one of the layers that someone put on you early in life was that you weren’t worth anything. You won’t find yourself pulled towards situations and people that feel “familiar” and “comfortable” because they fit the same messed-up profiles as the people you grew up around. In fact, you will notice that what you thought was “comfortable” is actually very constrictive and restrictive. Once you’ve shed your layers, you’ll notice that when you try to cram yourself back into that costume, how uncomfortable it really is, and how maybe it just doesn’t fit your taste anymore.