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This article is published in El Ojo Del Lago January 2015 issue,

Mexico's premier English magazine in Lake Chapala, Jalisco

BELIEFS - Self Evolvement Series

By Anna Elena Berlin

Certified Professional Coach, Experience of Life Researcher.

For most of my life I believed that “I”, the conscious part of my mind that I identify as me, was the only one in control of my actions and every part of my life.  I discovered that not only- no, “I” wasn’t the only one in control, but heck no, “I” wasn’t the only one in control, much to my dismay.  The research literature revealed that the energetic quality of humans that is the conscious mind is dwarfed by the 95% of the mind run by the subconscious mind’s autopilot.  Our subconscious mind is at least partly involved in practically everything we do, and sometimes it’s the only one driving.  

Do you remember each thing  you did the last time you drove from your home to the store?  Probably not, yet you got there safely anyway.  In fact you may have felt like you were teleported there because you couldn’t remember your experience of driving the car at all.  Your conscious mind made the decision to drive to the store, then your subconscious mind took over so you could happily ponder your leisure time on the way.  

You trained your body to do the movements required to drive the car, and your subconscious mind to supervise it, by imprinting your neural pathways through conscious repetition.  This effectively frees up your valuable conscious mind time, you are asleep for a third of your life after all, to use as you need to instead of it having to be involved in every one of your life’s details.

Nevertheless, the subconscious mind’s primary function is to keep us alive, otherwise it loses its other job which is to keep our mind, emotions, and bodily functions operating.  It’s machine like in its dedication to keeping us safe, using fear as its main motivator to get our cooperation.  The fear it creates for its purposes can stifle our efforts to actualize the experience of life and destiny goals we long for.

Most negative feelings are easily attributed to subconscious fear.  Doubt, envy, anger, hatred, loss, and unquenchable want are all the offspring of fear.  Want seems inoffensive until you understand that it’s the vehicle for the “not enoughs”.  “Not having enough” and it’s ugly sibling “not being enough” only serve to keep you from a satisfying experience of life.  The point is, that focusing on what you want instead what your core self needs keeps you from this fulfillment.

What you believe you want can be opposed to your core needs causing self conflict issues. The most insidious part of self conflict issues is the chronic stress that causes pain, decline, and premature death. Maybe you’ve experienced it as a feeling of deep distress that eats away at your insides, or an uneasy feeling that something’s not quite right, but you can’t put your finger on it.

Negative self stories compel stress.  I used to tell myself I was old, ailing, and powerless to get the experience of life that best suited me.  I accumulated things that I wanted, thinking they would fill the void these stories created and make me happy.  When they did not, I dulled my unquenched longing and pain with all manner of things that numbed me.  The misery causing subconscious stories we tell ourselves may as well be true for all of the power they have over the way we experience our lives.  If you believe a victim story, it’s time to get better beliefs and rewrite the story of you.  Understanding that you are not your past or the situation you are in is a good place to start.

Through innate neuroplasticity you can retrain facets of your subconscious mind to make better use of its expansive energy, so you can make the most of your finite life.  There are many books that focus on helping you to do just that.  Changing your beliefs to better truths that support the way you need to experience your life is beyond beneficial.  No other human quality is more potent in directing us, defining us, fulfilling us, or wrecking us than our beliefs.

As misguided as the subconscious mind seems at times, I can’t help but wonder at it and be grateful for its effectiveness, since my daughter and I are the result of a continuous lineage that spans eons of time.  The subconscious mind is the reason you and your loved ones are still breathing.  You can learn skills to attend to your subconscious needs and pass down a worthy new legacy to your descendents. However, more than education or skills, what determines how much success you have in your life and how good those experiences are, is how worthy you believe you are of them.  The power to improve your life is yours, believing it is the key.


This article is published in El Ojo Del Lago December 2014 issue,

Mexico's premier English magazine in Lake Chapala, Jalisco

Self Perception - Self Evolvement Series

by Anna Elena Berlin

Certified Professional Coach ~ Experience of Life Researcher

Whether you know it or not, stress from self judging, blaming, and condemning activates your sympathetic nervous system.  It initiates your fight or flight response by producing stress hormones, shifting blood flow, and redirecting energy from your digestive system.  Your parasympathetic nervous system is prevented from doing its rest, digest, and repair job.  Without this vital function your health declines without your knowledge.  

With your parasympathetic nervous system suppressed developing leaky gut is likely.  This weakens your immune system, 80% of which is in your gut.  Toxin overload adds more stress making leaky gut worse.  And, you feel awful because it makes your feel good hormones decline.  

The research literature indicates that leaky gut is a rampant modern health problem.  Many researchers believe it’s the source of Autoimmune Disease and most other human ailments.  They found that leaky gut stifles nutrient absorption, causing deficiency, and lets toxins escape into the bloodstream.  Deficiency and toxicity are the two main sources of most diseases and disorders that plague us today.  

Your subconscious mind doesn’t differentiate between stress from a life threatening situation and stress from self imposed anxiety.  Developing personal protocols to protect yourself from your own unconscious tendencies will improve your experience of life.

So, how do you transform your subconscious reaction habit into a conscious response habit.  Well, as I learned from my wise daughter, Lacy- you have to replace a bad habit with a good habit or you leave an empty space that the bad habit can slide back into.  

The good habit of self compassion provides more benefits than are immediately apparent.  It reduces anxiety, increases courage, and makes you less judgemental and more accepting.  These reset your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Compassionately perceiving your thoughts, feelings, and emotions enables you to:

  • keep from playing the shame / blame game with yourself

  • be okay with being human and all it entails

  • respond consciously instead of react unconsciously

  • enjoy calm and peace instead of struggling with angst and agitation

  • promote the health of your body, mind, emotions, and spirit

  • improve your experience of life

Your self perceptions have incredible power to affect your experience of life.  By focusing your attention to this one personal change you can save yourself mental and emotional turmoil, and physical suffering.  Self compassion improves your relationship with others, because the way you see, relate to, and feel about them is a reflection of how you see, relate to, and feel about yourself.  Making peace with yourself enables you to make peace with others, benefiting your family, friends, and co workers.  

Using a trigger recognition strategy when self judging, blaming, or condemning first appear brings the unconscious reaction into your awareness where you can replace it with a self compassion response.  Remind yourself that, “This reaction makes you feel bad and ruins your health.”

This phrase gives you a bit of time to apply self compassion and self acceptance.  Self acceptance meaning that you are okay with being human, and even though you are not perfect you can still develop a life that’s perfect for you.

Keep in mind that you are proactively improving your experience of life.  Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend to help them feel better.  Tell yourself things like: “give yourself a break, we all make mistakes”; “it’s okay that it didn’t turn out the way you wanted, it isn’t stealing your life away and you are fine”; “you’re doing your best and that’s all any of us can do”.  

Most importantly ask, “What are you supposed to be learning about yourself from this experience?”  Then gently remind yourself to be patient, especially with you.  Don’t push for understanding, the wisdom of your learning will filter up into your conscious mind, as Albert Einstein says, in between your thoughts.

Lifelong brain plasticity makes this transformation possible.  A new neural pathway is forged by consciously repeating your new good habit at the first sign of your old bad habit.  Each time you repeat it the new neural pathway gets more established.  After a while no conscious response is needed.  The old habit’s neural pathway will fade away leaving the new habit in charge.

Improving your self perception is ultimately about having your best experience of life.  There are many books available to help you overcome your specific self limiting emotional and mental challenges.  

Self knowledge is the best knowledge and self help is the best help.  Both lead to your self evolvement.