Every weekday morning for the last few months, my sweet pit-bull wakes up shaking. You see, there is a construction site across the street from our apartment as they are building new condos in our neighborhood, and there is a bit of noise–metal hitting brick over and over. To us, this is a mere inconvenience. To Stella, this noise is signaling mortal danger. It’s not just construction. Thunder reduces her to a panting, shaking mess. As does the sound of wind. She hides in the bathtub, her head peeking out from behind the shower curtain. If she leaves the tub, she hides behind my legs everywhere I go, her eyes pleading with me to just make it stop. I hate to see her like this. I want to get through to her. “It’s outside! I promise it can’t hurt you! You are safe!” I try petting her, holding her very tightly (this is supposed to help). We even bought her a compression jacket to calm her down when she gets nervous but it is a mere band-aid and her fear is getting worse. I can see very clearly that Stella has formulated a belief-system about the danger of something that cannot hurt her and every day, it is intensifying. She wasn’t always been this way either. As a baby, nothing could phase her. She learned to be afraid over time.

This got me really thinking of all the belief-systems I have had in my life. All the patterns of thinking that were actually completely faulty and were actually hurting me. To me, they felt so incredibly real and they gave me a real sense of how the world works and who I was, so in some sense, they were comforting. To Stella, as well, it is comforting to hide in the shower. The thing is, this belief-system is not protecting her. It is actually hurting her. The amount of shaking and panting and physical stress that dog is under does is not good for her little system. It is directly affecting her quality of life. It might actually wind up shortening her life long before the thunder or construction does. I can see this clearly but she is incapable of understanding. I can’t reason with her, because….well, she IS a dog. But let me tell you, when it comes to belief-systems, it can be as hard to reason with a person as reason with a dog. We hold on to them so tightly, as if our survival depends on them. This begs the question…what belief systems are you holding on to that are actually creating your own suffering?

We create our belief-systems as a way of making sense of this world, of trying to gain control of something, that in the end, we have very limited control of. We create them to protect ourselves. Like, I said, they are a self-constructed survival mechanism. Some of them are helpful and based on fact…”If I touch fire, it will burn me.” Some others are not…”I have to suffer in the now to create the life I ultimately want.” The difference between these two belief-systems is this, one is based on fact, the other is based on emotional attachment to a personal experience (which can be extremely limiting). One is helpful in avoiding injury, one is actually holding the believer back from experiencing life. We have belief systems all over the place in our lives–our spiritual selves, our physical selves, what we are capable of, what we are incapable of, how we look to the world, how relationships work, how money works, what we deserve in life, who we are, what life is “supposed” to look like, how our jobs are “supposed” to be structured, how much money we need to be happy, what weight we need to do in order to be happy. Our actions become a product of our patterns of thinking, which many times, we are actually unaware of. They are unconscious. If we are operating under a belief-system that is faulty, it can spread into our daily actions, without us even realizing it, creating cyclical patterns, where we become static and stuck in our own self-created bubbles. If your system of beliefs is creating nothing but expansion and possibility in your life…rock on! If your beliefs are leaving you feeling stifled, stuck, anxious, overwhelmed and feeling very much like a pit-bull in the shower during the morning construction…it might be time to take a serious look.

When a client comes to me wanting to lose the last five to ten pounds on their frame, telling me that this is what will make them happy, I smile a little knowing smile. This belief system is very real to them. They believe if they lose these five pounds, that is the answer. Their life will be “okay.” They will be able to breathe. From my experience in working with clients, I have seen over and over, that this is actually not the case. Working from the outside in will not produce lasting results. The external results are only a reflection of the internal self and mindset is 95% of achieving weight-loss and optimum health. I will ask them to write WHY they feel these last five pounds will solve their problems and where they are feeling “hungry” in their lives. I ask them what these last five pounds represent in their lives and why they hold so much power over them. Through this investigation, they often learn, IT IS NEVER THE LAST FIVE POUNDS!!! Whew, it feels good to say that, for both of us. Those last five pounds are merely an excuse not to live in the moment, to dare to feel joy, to feel sexy, to feel unapologetic in the moment, even when they are not “perfect.” Undoubtedly, when alignment is coupled with knowledge, good things happen. When they implement this knowledge and approach their health and nutrition with ease, when they focus on aligning with themselves, what they want, when they dare to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with themselves, what their truth is, and break the binds of some of their limiting belief-system, start falling for themselves the way you would a kindred spirit, excess weight falls off. Their body aligns. We needed to shake the belief-system around because it was no longer serving them. This is where sustainable change begins.

So, take a look at your own life. Start with the areas that you feel especially “shaky pit-bull” in the shower about: your relationships, your career, money, your body, your health, your spirituality, your creativity, your intelligence, your happiness, your life. Make lists of your beliefs without judgement. Get it all out of you and onto some paper. Release your truth. Get it out of the unconscious and into the conscious. It starts with realization in the now. Write it all down. Then go through it and circle the beliefs that may actually be directly blocking your path to possibility, potential and abundance. It starts with shaking it out. Get in there and dig around. Then, try to rewrite that belief into a positive that still makes sense to you. As an actor, I had some pretty hardcore limiting beliefs because of my personal experience in the industry. Here is one. “I will never be able to have both passion and financial security in my life.” Well, if I truly believed that, my passions and financial security didn’t stand a fighting chance. The thing was, I didn’t even know I felt that way. It took some investigating and distilling. I changed it up to, “If I want passion and financial stability in my life, it’s time for me to get creative and start building.” That is how I found health-coaching. I never could have guessed I would have loved it so much, attained financial security and would still be working as an actor. I got creative.

This past year, I have slowly but surely started to unravel my belief-systems. I, by the way, still have a ways to go. Transformation is a continual series of “letting go.” I began to see how my patterns of thinking about money, about creativity, my body and the structure of my life were creating fear, anxiety and suffering. By clearing these out one by one, unparalleled abundance has entered into my life, that would have been blocked previously by my unconscious thinking and actions. As the New Year approaches, this is the perfect time to release the tension and the obligation to be anywhere other than where you are in the present moment. Wherever you are in your journey is okay. Approach your list with ease and love. You got this. Now, if only I could get through to my dog…

To my tribe–Which area of your life with you first investigate? Let’s keep the convo going….

Rock On and Be Well,

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