Living in the Default Zone
Man, I love vacations. There I was, Sweet Cakes, after a long run on the beach, doing easy seated yoga poses in the hot, bubbling water in the garden tub, watching the Science channel, when Morgan Freeman started talking about the subconscious mind. I turned off the jets so I could hear better and he gave me the geek speak for what I have been calling your emotional home-base. This home base is the set point for your subconscious mind that interprets the world for you when you are not operating in your conscious or beta brain wave patterns (or 50%-80% of your waking day.) It’s from this default mode that your moods, emotions, temperament and thoughts arise. Why is this important? Well, for one, it proves me right, but more importantly, it lays the groundwork for how this default state keeps limiting patterns and beliefs in place, and also how changing those defaults can make your life hum along in a way that is much more beneficial to you.
The Inherent Limitation of a Default Life
The title above should be self-explanatory, but since I am absurdly loquacious, I will explain it more anyway. When not consciously choosing your every thought—which itself is influenced by your subconscious programs and only occurs at a maximum of 50% of your waking time—you are being ruled by hidden patterns, beliefs, values and such that may have been in place since before you were born. These hidden limitations screen the world around you and filter out the things that do not fit its beliefs and/or world view, which means that you miss opportunities for meeting people who can help you get where you think you want to go, miss finding more meaningful hobbies or work or relationships, miss all sorts of ways you might enjoy life more, because you cannot see what your mind filters out when it is in default mode.
Most Choices are Default Choices
Truly, Sweet Pea, even in conscious mind mode, most of your life choices are made from this default setting, not because you fail to wring your anxious hands as you weigh your choices, but because even the choices you have before you to consider have been pre-screened by your default settings. Now, if your default beliefs are things like, “I am deeply loved and supported by Life and those closest to me,” and, “I always find a way to make a great living doing work that nourishes me and the world,” then that’s great for you. But most of us, me included, have programs like, “It’s threatening to let people see the real me, because they may not like or support me,” and, “The value of my life is directly related to the amount of money I make.” You can see how the second set of beliefs might hinder meaningful relationships and bring an underlying anxiety to your work life. And you have tens of thousands of these beliefs, maybe more, many of them in conflict not only with one another, but with the life that you consciously want to create for yourself.
Changing Your Default Settings
Luckily, you can change your default settings in a way that is similar to changing the defaults on your computer. In theory it is as straightforward as removing one program and replacing it with another. Affirmations are one popular way to attempt this, but has the drawback of taking a long time when it does work (but does fit in nicely with the ol’ “effort and reward” Bizarro World value system) and entrenching the unwanted belief if your default system just can’t buy into what you are trying to change.
Things like hypnosis often work so well that people think it doesn’t work at all because there is no little to effort involved (that effort-reward belief at work in limiting the speed of change in your life.) It goes into your default mode and changes it so that you have a new default mode in operation, and since that new default mode is as hidden and natural-feeling as your old default mode, it can feel like nothing has changed unless you look at the patterns of your life and notice that you are doing things differently without having to try. My flowmations process works similar to hypnosis in using the emotional part of your default system to implant change. However you do it, default change occurs by working with the default level, not the conscious level, which is why goal setting and willpower so often don’t work (unless you manage to change your default settings along the way or your goal does not conflict with your default settings.)
Plays of the Day
So how do your change your default settings, especially if you have no idea what they are, because they are, duh, your hidden default? There are a few things you can begin to do to soften up your default settings so that they can begin to shift your life to your benefit in a general way—lower stress, widen your overall view, step you a bit closer to YOU, and such.
1) Practice deep appreciation for all of life, all that you have, and all that you are trying to bring into your life. Appreciation, if you have been living under a rock, is like a solvent for the stuckness of life. As a regular practice, appreciation and gratitude not only make you feel better, but bring more of the things you appreciate into your life.
2) Practice acts of kindness, which is like putting appreciation into practice. Kindness has been proven to not only physiologically and psychologically benefit the person receiving the kindness, but also the person offering kindness, and also any witnesses to the kindness. Sort of like a gift that keeps on giving. Choose to do at least one kind thing a day, more if you are inspired.
3) Practice this open affirmation, which is one of the better ones for generally improving your life in an undirected way: “Every day in every way my life is getting better and better.” Say this 10 times (with feeling) in the morning before you get out of bed and at night before you fall asleep. You can also use the flowmations versions, “Thank you that every day in every way my life is getting better and better,” and/or, “I love that every day in every way my life is getting better and better.” The key to all of these affirmations/flowmations is to let your emotions flow with the words, believing them to be true.
Then pay attention to see how your life shifts without having to “try.” Yumminess in action!