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The Belief Closet Process - Brief Introduction v2

The Belief Closet Process - Brief Introduction v2

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The Belief Closet Process is a tool for transformation that allows you to change your beliefs as easily as you change clothes. This introduction to the process discusses beliefs - What are they? How do they function in our lives? How can they be changed? An exercise helps you examine your unconscious beliefs and bring them up to conscious choice.
The Belief Closet Process is a tool for transformation that allows you to change your beliefs as easily as you change clothes. This introduction to the process discusses beliefs - What are they? How do they function in our lives? How can they be changed? An exercise helps you examine your unconscious beliefs and bring them up to conscious choice.

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Published by: lionine on Jul 28, 2009
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The Belief Closet™ Process

Changing your beliefs is now as easy as changing your clothes.

The Belief Closet Process is an efficient method of removing old beliefs that interfere with your life, and replacing them with beliefs that support your progress, evolution, success and happiness.

Lion Goodman
Everyday Awakening
www.EverydayAwakening.com

Entire Contents © 2009 by Lion Goodman. This is a proprietary work product and may not be distributed or duplicated without express written permission. All rights reserved.

The Belief Closet™ Process
A Brief Introduction
The Belief Closet Process is an efficient method of removing old beliefs that interfere with your life, and replacing them with beliefs that support your progress, evolution, success and happiness.

About Consciousness and Beliefs
There are hundreds of theories, maps and explanations about the inner realm of the self, consciousness, psychology and spirituality, but no theory has ever been proven to be true. This is because Consciousness is a shape-shifter – it takes the shape of whatever it is aimed at. When it is aimed at itself, things get very slippery. Statistician George Box said, “All models are wrong. Some are useful.” A good model or map is useful to the extent that it helps you navigate the terrain you’re in, and enter new realms. However, the map is not the territory. Maps and models are useful only to the extent that they provide you with useful knowledge and direction. This includes maps of the inner landscape. John Lilly, M.D., an explorer and map-maker of consciousness, said, “In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true within certain limits. These limits are to be found experimentally and experientially. When found, these limits turn out to be further beliefs to be transcended. In the province of the mind there are no limits.” The Belief Closet Process is a useful methodology for creating internal change, healing, and transformation. The ideas and models are not true. Do not believe any of it. Instead, be a scientist exploring your own inner ecosystem. Experiment with these ideas, and discover their usefulness for yourself . If it works – great! Use it. If it doesn’t, discard it and find a better, more appropriate system for you in your life. The Belief Closet Process is a tool for improving your life. The goal is to free you – to free you to choose, adapt, and shift your own beliefs so your life works better than it does now. Beliefs (apparently) create our experience of reality. Therefore, the ability to choose your beliefs consciously provides you with true freedom and self-empowerment. Stewart Brand said, “We are as Gods, so we might as well get good at it.” Let’s start with a few useful models.

Model 1: Where everything came from
Most people believe that everything originated from God or Source. If you are scientifically minded, you may call it the Big Bang (or the Great Radiance, as Michael Dowd calls it). Our theory is that persons – you and I – emerged out of Source (humans were created “in the image of God’), and as part of Source, we have some or all of the qualities that Source/God has. In Hindu mythology, there are three Gods representing three aspects of life: The Creator is Brahma, the Sustainer is Vishnu, and the Destroyer is Shiva. We, too, have the ability to create, sustain, and destroy (which we call “discreate”). We don’t know for sure what tools God used to create the universe, but we do know what tool we use to create our own personal universe of experiences: beliefs. Perhaps God used the same tool. In the Bible, it is said that God called the Universe into being with the Word, which is logos in Greek. This could be another form of what we call belief. Talking about consciousness is always problematic. We’re not used to discussing the basic components of our own awareness. People use the term beliefs to mean a lot of different things. I’m using the term broadly as a label for the tool or device used to create experiences. I’ve searched for a better word to describe this mind-stuff, but haven’t found one. If this all sounds weird or difficult to understand, suspend your disbelief for awhile as I talk around the subject. At some point, it will all come together and make sense. To understand the power of the Belief Closet Process, we need to understand how it works – all the way down to the core, the underpinnings of reality. (Although the process works whether you have an understanding or not – just as you can drive a car without knowing how it works.)

Model 2: Beliefs have no intrinsic truth value
Beliefs are not true or false. Beliefs are not right or wrong. Beliefs are not good or bad. No belief is better for you to believe than some other beliefs. Beliefs simply create different kinds of experiences. If you knew what you wanted to experience, you could easily choose what to believe. When you “walk a mile in another person’s shoes,” you build compassion for the other person, This means taking on their beliefs and experiencing their life through their eyes. Some shoes, and some experiences, are more comfortable (for you) than others. You can accept the ones you’ve been given, or you can choose new ones. You have to find the ones that fit you best, just like trying on shoes before you buy them.. You have the right to hold any belief you choose, and experience anything you choose (within the temporary limits of your society, culture, and body). Beliefs are “an inside job.” What would your life be like if your parents, teachers, priests, and elders said to you, “You are free to believe anything, and we will love you no matter what you believe.” If we knew that beliefs were simply experience-making machines, we would experiment, searching until we found the right ones for us. It would be a compassionate world, filled with wonder and awe. This is the world created through use of the Belief Closet Process. Inside your Belief Closet, you can try on any belief you want, see how it feels, and decide whether to keep it or discard it.

Model 3: Beliefs Have Form
Every belief creates a particular experience, and every experience has associated body sensations, feelings, and point-of-view. Thus, beliefs can be identified, held, felt, and imagined as a real thing, with its own edges and boundaries. Most beliefs are sub-conscious. They do their job below the conscious level, operating as tiny reality-creation machines. They do so invisibly, for the most part. We examine them only when they are causing us too much pain and suffering (and even then…). The Belief Closet Process allows our subconscious beliefs to appear as a form we can see, feel, examine, and change. The Imaginal Realm (where imagination, visions and dreams appear) is the territory where we work with our beliefs. We utilize the power of the subconscious to bring what is unconscious into consciousness. The Belief Closet is like your closet at home – with a few major differences. First, each belief is represented by a complete outfit of clothing. This makes sense to the subconscious, because every item of clothing we wear in the world gives us a particular experience. A smart business suit makes us feel powerful and competent. An evening gown or tuxedo makes us feel elegant and mature. Pajamas make us comfortable and ready for sleep. In the Belief Closet, we allow our imagination (or subconscious) to “paint” its own picture of each unique belief-experience. The part of us that paints our nightly dreams is the same part that creates images of each “belief-outfit.” And as in our dreams, they can be wild, creative, absurd, scary, or exciting. There are no limits to the imagination in the Belief Closet.

Model 4: How beliefs function
In the diagram below, the circle on the left represents the Source from which everything springs. We call it Source Awareness, but any word will do: Spirit, God, Love, Pure Beingness, the Void, etc.

Will God Source Awareness Spirit • Love Pure Beingness
ATTENTION

OBJECT OF ATTENTION

EXPERIENCE

Source Awareness is very generous. It is constantly giving its gift to the world: the gift of Attention. You could also say that Source has a function, which is to put Attention on the world. Our Will is the aspect of Source Awareness that places, removes and shifts the focus of our attention. Place your Attention on some Object. This object may be something in your outer

world (such as a person, thing, task, or relationship). Or it may be something in your internal world (such as an idea, belief, feeling, or sensation). When attention is placed on something, what you (and Source Awareness) get back is Experience. We experience whatever we place our attention on. If this described everything that existed in the world, we would always have a pure and direct experience of whatever we attended to. However, there is another element in the system – a powerful filter that stands between our awareness and the world. This filter acts in the same way as our sunglasses – it allows certain things in, and keeps other things out. We experience through this filter. It bends our attention toward specific things, draws particular experiences to us, and prevents us from seeing and experiencing other things that are not aligned with the filter. This is the filter of our “beliefs.”

Will God Source Awareness Spirit • Love Pure Beingness
ATTENTION

EXPERIENCE

OBJECT OF ATTENTION

BELIEFS
In a newborn baby, the belief filter starts off as very small and light. It is a biological filter for the senses. We see and hear a specific range of light and sound frequencies. Parts of the filter are built-in instincts for survival, such as the instincts of seeking food, protection, warmth, etc. We also have the built-in instinct to learn. The filter is thus open to programming from the outside. We learn from our parents, betters, and elders. Because our infantile mind has no inherent ability to discern true information from false, the filter absorbs every belief it can, trying to optimize its survival in the social environment of family and community. We accumulate layer upon layer of beliefs. From our parents we learn: “This is right and acceptable. This is wrong and unacceptable. This behavior gets you attention and love. This behavior leads to abandonment and terror. “ The filter accumulates weight, and becomes colored and shaped in a particular way. We act in accordance with the beliefs, and our personality and behavior are shaped by it. Our siblings, relatives, priests and friends indoctrinate us further with their beliefs. We rarely question the beliefs we’ve accumulated. They seem to work, so why bother? We may question or even change a belief or two, especially if something is really not working. We figure some things out on our own. But for the most part, by the age of 5, our “precognitive fix” has become more or less permanent. Our basic belief foundation – and our personality – is pretty well set for the rest of our lives.

Once we enter school, more beliefs are added on by our teachers, the media, and the culture around us. The filter thickens, and like a cataract in the eye, interferes with the flow of light (attention) through it. Ultimately, we become blinded by our own belief structures. You certainly know some people whose view of the world is so fixed that all they are able to see is what their beliefs allow them to see. Religious intolerance is made of this. Everywhere they look, they see evidence and proof that their beliefs are true. This is another key concept: Beliefs always prove themselves to be true. Mom says, “Strangers are dangerous. Don’t talk to them.” Every stranger you see looks dangerous, ominous, someone to be avoided. You never talk to them, so you never prove the belief to be false. Most of our underlying beliefs are transparent to us. We see through them and we experience the world through them. We don’t know that we are getting a filtered view of reality. “That’s just how the world is.” “That’s how people are.” Whenever you hear yourself saying that, consider it a clue that there are transparent beliefs just beneath the surface. The leverage point for change and for personal development is here, in your belief filter. Because our belief filters also attract experiences to us, when you change your beliefs, you both see things differently (new opportunities appear, for example) and you attract a different set of experiences to you. When you discard (dis-create) an old belief, space is created, allowing new options to emerge that never could have made their way through your old belief filter. Strangers no longer look dangerous, and you meet some really nice people. A changed belief not only alters your experience of the world, it also alters your view of yourself. “I feel like a different person.” And so you are. When you question your long-held beliefs, the possibility for real change opens up in your life. Anything that troubles you or is painful in your life is an opportunity knocking – inviting you to examine your beliefs about whatever is causing the pain. When you take the time to look within, examine your old beliefs, and trade them in for new, improved beliefs, you open your life up – step by step – to your essential, joyful nature. Each layer you discreate frees you and opens possibilities, until fewer hindrances and fewer barriers stand between you and what you want to accomplish. Beliefs, as reality-creation machines, have one problem: once they are created, they continue to operate, regardless of changing circumstances. Your childhood beliefs are still operating inside you even though you are a competent adult. The voices of criticism and doubt and fear you hear inside your head are old beliefs still doing their original job – most often to keep you safe. We have a lot of conflicting beliefs inside us, so we can’t decide, or can’t get motivated. Most of us experience a “mixed” reality because of this – sometimes we get what we want, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. If you want to create a “clean” reality, remove all your old beliefs and create clear space. Then, install new beliefs. They will create that reality, with no conflict. If you’re not the reality you want to experience, you’ve got some beliefs to discreate. When you look at all of the beliefs you have, both positive and negative, and imagine all of them create reality at once, you will understand why your life is messy. When you take full responsibility for your reality, you can change your life, belief by belief.

The Belief Self-Diagnosis exercise is used to help you expose your own subconscious beliefs to your conscious mind. When you begin your work in the Belief Closet, you can pick some of these beliefs to explore and change.

Belief Self-Diagnosis
Step One You will need your journal or a pad of paper. Each question below will be written on a separate sheet. Then, contemplate each question in turn and write down every belief you can think of in that category. Begin by saying to yourself (for example) “Something I believe about myself is…” Let the thoughts flow and keep your pen moving. Don’t judge your beliefs, argue with them, or censor them. Just allow whatever comes up to come out. Write them all down, even if they sound absurd on the surface. If your pen stops moving, go back to the statement, “Something I believe about myself is… “ and allow your thoughts to flow out the pen again. Stay in a deep, neutral and contemplative state. Give yourself a few minutes to write freely on each question. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What I believe about myself. What I believe about my abilities. What I believe about my limitations. What I believe about my attitudes. What I believe about my body. What I believe about my sexuality. What I believe about my soul, spirit or spiritual self. What I believe about money. What I believe about work. What I believe about health. What I believe about family. What I believe about relationships. What I believe about governments. What I believe about the world. What I believe about God. What I believe about good and evil. What I believe about truth. What I believe about life. What I believe about my circumstances. What I believe about the past. What I believe about the future. What I believe about my handicaps, injuries, and illnesses. What I believe about my beliefs.

Step Two Go through each belief on your list and analyze it using the following questions. Write down your answers next to each belief: a. Has this belief been beneficial to me or detrimental to me? b. Was this belief indoctrinated into me? If so, by whom? c. What has been the advantage of having this belief? How did it serve me in my life? What did I get by having this belief? What did I avoid by having this belief? d. Who would I be without this belief? e. What would be different in my life if I had a different belief? f. Would I be willing to try out a different belief? g. What belief could I replace it with that would be more beneficial in my life?

For Belief Closet sessions, information about The Belief Closet Process, or to obtain training to use the Belief Closet Process in your practice, contact:

Lion Goodman
Everyday Awakening
400 Upper Road, San Rafael, CA 94903 415.472.6500 lion@everydayawakening.com www.everydayawakening.com

Entire Contents © 2009 by Lion Goodman. This is a proprietary work product and may not be distributed or duplicated without express written permission. All rights reserved.

Feedback from The Belief Closet Process
I have been working with Lion Goodman's Belief Closet technique for the better part of a year. It has been exceedingly helpful to me on my internal journey, and is now one of the tools I reach for most frequently in my psychotherapy practice. Through the use of an elegant metaphor, the exercise efficiently leads to discovery, insight, and change, often with an element of lyricism and poignancy. I've found these explorations both gentle and profound. I have found rich material for reflection not only in the endlessly imaginative outfits to be found in belief closets. Learning the Belief Closet exercise from Lion has been a joy. He is a generous, empathic, and wise teacher, enthusiastically answering my questions and supporting me in my learning. I am grateful to him, and eager to continue my work with the Belief Closet. Martha Bear, MFT, Certified Belief Closet Practitioner Greene, Maine One of my clients, who teaches yoga and meditation, doubted whether the Belief Closet methodology would work for her. During her session, she explored some of her beliefs about God. She tried on the belief, "I am the Goddess embodied." The outfit that appeared was light. As she experienced it with her eyes closed, I watched her body begin to glow with light. At one point, I thought she was going to float up off the chair. It was an amazing experience for me to be in the presence of such divine grace. Later, said that it had been a very powerful experience, filled with joy and divine presence. She was thoroughly taken with the process. Virginia McKinnie, Certified Belief Closet Practitioner Malvern, Pennsylvania The belief closet journey was extremely powerful and shifted something very deep. That was very satisfying. I worked on my beliefs about money, such as "I can't make any money doing artwork and soul expression.” Right after the session, I sold a painting right out of my window display at the art center. He came back later with his wife, as he liked several pieces in my studio! R. B., Artist In the course of one hour, in a phone coaching session from a distance of more than 3,000 miles, Lion led me to the core of my issue and helped me clear away old deep-seated beliefs that had been preventing me from reaching my full potential. K.S., Award-winning documentary filmmaker I'm flying pretty high already. Wow! And that Magician's Outfit really looks good on me! I love it! Thanks for the good work. I'll keep sending you updates. H.H., Certified Coach What has really stuck with me is the phrase I received, "God has my back." I've “known this” forever, but something about this particular phrase was very comforting and sturdy for me in the Belief Closet. As I was leaving, another belief suddenly popped into my mind, closely related to the belief we explored ("I am completely responsible”): "I always have to be strong." This belief ties in with the idea that whenever I make a mistake, I'm not being impeccable (in the shamanic sense). Just knowing the Belief Closet helps these things to come out in the open all on their own. Many thanks! N.B., Business Consultant

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