This idea derived from reviewing several podcasts, interviews and other material relevant to the topic of beliefs and transformation. Through this exercise, several things have become clear:
If you aren’t happy with your life as it currently is, do a re-vision and trance-form it. Let your pen rip through the bonds of limiting beliefs, restor(y)ing the magical sense of possibility and wonder you had as a young child.
- Our beliefs structure the way we view the world.
- They form the basis of the stories we tell ourselves and others about the world and how we fit into it.
- The stories we tell ourselves subconsciously affect the way we interact with the world, subtly structuring events and results.
- We change our lives by changing our beliefs.
- Beliefs and stories are interchangeable, so we change our lives by revising the stories we tell ourselves.
Each of the dozen practitioners of personal change I considered has a unique slant on the process and teaches systems to guide you through the process of accessing your beliefs. In each case you become aware of current beliefs that form the walls of the rut you live in. You question those beliefs and discover alternatives. Your life changes in line with your new beliefs — if you put them into action.
Byron Katie and Marsha Wieder specifically use writing as an integral part of the review and restructuring process. That doesn’t mean their system is better, but the focus of this blog is on the value writing. You could use the questions of any system as writing prompts.
Although I can’t be sure without reading at least some of the piles of books Jean Houston has written, I’m not aware of a specific system she uses to surface beliefs. She does use freewriting in some of her exercises, and she is emphatic that when you yearn for change, you are realizing that you are “at the end of an old story and a new story is yearning for you as much as you are yearning for it.” Stories, new stories, cry out to be written.
Based on this highly compressed overview, it’s clear that any form of expressive writing that delves deeply into our psyches to surface old beliefs, challenge them, and restructure them to fit our evolving needs is going to result in new stories and new results. If it suits your current beliefs and personality style to use someone else’s system, there are plenty to choose from. The free spirits among us may do best following your inner guide.
Over the next few weeks or months, I’ll be posting suggestions on how to go about trance-forming your life with writing.
Write now: do some freewriting on the topic “I believe ... .” Write your belief at the top of the page, then write without stopping for at least thirteen minutes about your thoughts regarding that belief and the influence it’s had on your life. Set a timer if you wish, or just keep going. You can write longer, but keep your hand moving for at least that long.
Photo credit: Angela Marie