Creating a Conscious Self-Image

Who we are seems to be the most important issue in our life. Our personality is how the world knows us. It was created from the habits we learned beginning as a very young child. We developed those habits by the way people related to us, especially the significant people in our family. Also, the habits formed by the way we related to the external   world helped teach us who we are. The personality is like the clothes we wear; it covers us so we are accepted

Our self-image is how we relate to ourselves. This also was primarily developed by habits from our personality, but it is our self- image that is connected to the Wisdom of the Body. A conscious self-image was from conscious habits, where you were in the moment with a positive perspective. A conditioned self-image came from your conditioned habits and is not connected to inner wisdom. A conditioned self-image is not bad, but it is a negative self-image because of its limitations in connecting to the moment. A conditioned or negative self-image makes your awareness stop at your habits. The conscious or positive self-image allows awareness to go beyond conditioning and connect to the Wisdom of the Body.

As an adult, we have a choice with what image we relate to: the one conditioned by our environment or a self-image consciously created connected to the Wisdom of the Body. When a person faces a challenge they were not taught to deal with, they will ideally create a conscious self-image. This is especially true when dealing with a chronic illness. The Wisdom of the Body has powerful inner resources to enable you to become an active partner with the doctor and not become a victim. This is also true in having a loving relationship, having a job that challenges you and having a quality life, regardless of what you do or own.

Most people are so identified with their conditioned self-image, they don’t put energy into developing a new self-image. This can happen in many ways, but you need to be open to submit yourself to a change. A positive self-image can be developed in a loving relationship, a rewarding job or with many types of recognition in any part of a successful life. Success isn’t limited to being wealthy, for many people who are wealthy do not live a quality life as a whole person.

It is possible to create a positive self-image when you are trapped in the world of your negative or conditioned self. If you look back in your past and identify with the most positive experience you remember, you will find a time where your body experienced the effect of a positive self-image. Unfortunately, that part of you wasn’t reinforced over time, so you didn’t create the habits needed for a positive self-image.

It is never too late to build on that experience and develop a new conscious self-image. In fact, sometimes it is essential to develop a positive one, even though your habits formed in the past may not reinforce this change. Having the new self-image to fit into your life, you need to consciously re-condition your sub-conscious mind. This can happen if you consciously connect to the new self-image before you go to sleep and upon awakening. This is when the doors to the sub-conscious are open and strong habits can be developed. It takes about ten days to develop a strong habit, so you have to do this conditioning in the morning and at night. To do this, recall the memory of that positive experience and feel it.

In my book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, I lead you through a technique that connects you directly to your positive self. There are many ways I show you to develop a strong habit. One way is to create a journal, where your negative self expresses itself to your positive self. This develops a habit of thoughts directed to your positive self and an openness to receive with your positive self. I show you techniques to switch quickly between your negative and positive self. I go more in depth on how to program your sub-conscious and how to connect to your positive self by just a word or a phrase. This book goes into depth with techniques using your positive self to develop qualities like confidence and the ability to complete unfinished business.

Here are the benefits of a conscious/positive self-image: In relationships, when the positive self of one person relates to the positive self of another person, there is a strong commitment. In a romantic relationship, the expression of the heart becomes very easy and the commitment becomes stronger. At work, you do your job more efficiently, more creatively and with a better attitude. In a spiritual sense, you have an easier time transcending to a depth beyond unfinished business and with a heartfelt approach connecting to God, or whatever you believe in. Basically, your conscious/positive self creates a high quality of life.

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Entering the Conscious Moment With Commitment

Imagine the conscious mind as a portal for consciousness to enter your life. In a conscious moment, where lovers share tenderness, that moment is charged with simple love. In a conscious moment, when you are alone, that moment is charged with a loving connection with God. When you are in a conscious moment without any leaks, you are connected to an unlimited consciousness.  Unfortunately that moment can have leaks, where consciousness leaks out. These leaks are thoughts or mental conditioning that grab your attention and too often become repetitive.

A commitment is where you give your all in a relationship and share a conscious moment. In relationship with God, to give yourself 100%, you cannot have leaks that drain consciousness from the moment. Leaks like attachments, thoughts you cannot control like desires and emotions like anger or fear, drain consciousness and limit how much you give of yourself. That relationship would have a limited commitment and a limited quality of experience.

When the experience isn’t strong, theories fill in the blanks. Without a strong experience, commitments are weak and the whole relationship may be theoretical. Religious fanatics or people in story-book relationships may believe their relationship has a strong commitment, but their commitment is really to their mind. Even in that case, their love has that ability to break down theoretical walls and strong commitments can be developed.

This may sound like only yogis or high spiritual people can have strong commitments, but even if you limit leaks on the material level, leaks can easily happen; like the celibate desiring sex. That desire is a leak. My parents weren’t spiritual, but their commitment was incredibly strong. I feel no matter what your situation is, that conscious moment exists for you.

I think the purpose of life is to have your relationships to be 100% committed without any leaks. Be it with God or your lover, a conscious moment is amazing. Here is a simple 4 step process I teach for entering the moment:

  1. Realize that you can have a conscious moment and be willing to enter it.
  2. Get away from the idea, ‘I can’t do it.’
  3. Take a breath that is free from your thoughts; imagine breathing into silence
  4. Relax and a complete breath takes you into the conscious moment

If you practice this for about 5 minutes before you go to sleep and upon awakening for at least 10 days, this will become a habit. Then when you are in a loving moment or a deep communication with God, that conscious moment is there for you without you even having to think about it.

                I feel to live a complete life, you have to live in a conscious moment. I could feel disappointed in my life without health, wealth and my own children, but I feel fortunate to sometimes have conscious moments. I know people in my family that have them all. If I could have any of health, wealth or a conscious moment, I am glad my focus is on having a conscious moment and super happy to have someone to share it with-Amy.

Intrapersonal Communication and Healing

The human brain is an incredible creation and we have not yet scratched the surface of its real potential. The purpose of this article is to give you a framework for how to use your brain to perceive a broader view than we usually use. The majority of us have a constant focus on our thinking mind. This has been a necessity to advance society, science and personal interactions.  This new framework does not limit the potential of our mind, but it includes certain aspects of the brain that we overlook.

Start with the way we use our brain every day. This is the part of you that you identify as me; this is the way I am. This consists of all of our past conditioning, our intellect and our emotional patterns. When a person is satisfied with this, they have no desire to change it. When a person realizes they can go far beyond what is normal and better the quality of their life, they are very open to change. This article will not give you specific things to change, but it will teach you tools that will lead you into a different view of your life.

Let us look at how we interact with the world, which I call Interpersonal Communication. We do that with perceptions and conceptions, with thoughts and emotions, with goals and intellect, with hopes and dreams and all of the functions of the mind. This creates our personality and what we identify with. This group is where almost everyone focuses and thinks is reality. There is more that too often gets overlooked and that is what I call Intrapersonal Communications.

We all have the potential of developing Intrapersonal Communication. Because we are attached to our thinking mind, it is hard to connect to a beyond thought reality and experience higher states of consciousness. Our thoughts create a filter that limits our awareness. If you remove the filter, your awareness is not filtered and you can operate at a higher state of consciousness.   When we are open to that Intrapersonal Communication, the quality of life improves and we feel as though we are moved by a higher consciousness rather than our usual state of mind.

Most people have a dominant focus. Their focus is either primarily interpersonal or intrapersonal. To create a whole person, we have to harmonize these two perspectives, so that they work together. When we deal with issues of health, it is essential for us to be aware of how to use intra and interpersonal communication. A person who primarily uses interpersonal communication will look outside for the solution to their problem.  They will rely mostly on their doctor and medication. They will think about it, study it and feel prepared to meet that challenge. This is a very good way for a person with an interpersonal perspective to deal with it, but there are negative examples also.

For instance, if they are dealing with cancer and their grandmother and mother died from cancer, this will create worry and fear, which will inhibit the immune system. If they experience doubt in their doctor, they may not follow his directions wholeheartedly and may limit their ability to heal. You can see that there are positives and negatives to focusing on thoughts with interpersonal communication. No matter what you think, you have to go beyond your thoughts and be open to powerful inner resources to heal at your full potential. To do that you need to develop intrapersonal communications.

With interpersonal communication, your focus is external and with intrapersonal communication, your focus turns within. With an external focus, we are in a “doer” state of mind. With an internal focus, we have to develop a “receiver” state of mind. Instead of thinking and doing, you have to be open and receive powerful inner resources or the input of others. This is where the Wisdom of the Body actively participates in healing. If you are focused on thinking, inner wisdom gets a busy signal when it calls and inner resources get ignored.

Here is an example of not being receptive to another’s input. You go to the doctor with intense pain and fear of what is happening to you. When you share what is wrong with the doctor and you constantly focus on those thoughts, it is hard to hear what the doctor has to say. To be receptive, you have to develop intrapersonal communication, where the Wisdom of the Body receives what is said. If you are constantly thinking while talking to the doctor, it is hard to receive his advice without putting it into the folders you already believe in.  You have to develop intrapersonal communication, so it becomes a habit. Being receptive is not an on/off switch. You do not think, ’I am going to be receptive.’ It has to happen naturally after intrapersonal communication is developed.

Healing is a good example for having inter and intra communications work as a team. A life and death situation demands that teamwork, but it is also needed in most of the actions we do. Communication is a good example. When the focus is mostly on interpersonal communications, you will be conscious on what you say and how you act. Of course that is important, but there is more. Intrapersonal communications may determine how you listen and receive new ideas.

To be a whole person, you have to use every part of your body harmoniously working as a team. This article deals with a major part of this, but actually, it only scratches the surface.  Making discoveries like this creates an awe to this incredible mystery…keep going because this is an endless journey.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

How Accepting Death Empowers You in the Moment

We all carry a lot of unfinished business along with us all the time. The more we accept death, the more in the moment we are.  Accepting death is possible, for it makes us reject the parts of us not living in the moment. That is a spiritual gift. If you looked at your life imagining you are going to die soon, unimportant things would fall from your character. Just do the following things and allow your imagination to be real to you.

  • Sit and become deeply relaxed. The deeper you go, death is more than an idea to you.
  • Imagine a realistic situation that brings you closer to death.
  • Identify people, work situations and philosophical questions that are incomplete within you.
  • Realize that a conscious approach to death completes your unfinished business, so death is simply the next step for you in life. Make your breath flow easily and smoothly. Your mind becomes empty the closer you get to death.
  • Here is a technique that teaches you The Easy Breath; Take 3 deep breaths and stop breathing after the third one. If you are relaxed, the Wisdom of your Body breathes you. Notice how easy that breath flows through you; that is The Easy Breath.
  • Now imagine the unfinished business you have and ask yourself “Do I want to hold onto this as my last possession?”
  • Go deep again and breathe the Easy Breath. Let this experience sink deep into you.

When you return to your normal state of mind, be grateful for the experience you just had. Capture this experience in a trigger (a word or a phrase). Say that trigger whenever you deal with that unfinished business. This doesn’t complete your unfinished business; it just puts you in the best state of mind to work on it.

For instance if you owe money; you still owe it, but working on completing this unfinished business from a conscious state of mind makes it much easier to deal with. The same is true for unfinished business with another person. In other words, you still have to work on it, but from a conscious state of mind.

There is no reason you have to carry your unfinished business around with you as a weight around your neck. Complete it while being more conscious. There is no magic in life; get to the point where you face death consciously and watch the unimportant burdens fall away. Facing death consciously can be a new beginning for you. Just trust your deepest wisdom to change you and don’t resist. You will be more conscious in the moment.

 

© 2015 Marc Lerner


Go to Amazon/Kindle.com to find all of Marc Lerner’s books: The End, A Creative Way to Approach Death, A Poetic View of Hospice, A Healthy Way to be Sick, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life. Go to marclerner.com to read Marc’s blog and articles.

What Part of You Listens to Your Thoughts

The part of you that listens to your thoughts is the subtle consciousness which is the essence of life. Most people think life is represented by their thoughts, but this essence is beyond thoughts. From this consciousness, you interpret your thoughts and the imagery can communicate to your body. Most people think about their mind simply using their thoughts.

From this consciousness, intuition guides us. Intuition is to know without reason. This is connected to The Wisdom of your Body and has the power to embrace the moment and love from a selfless perspective. You may not be able to control your thoughts, but you can control what part of you listens and interprets.

Most people have such a strong habit of focusing on their thoughts that they interpret their life simply by the way they have been conditioned to think. We think to our self-image and, though our self-image has been developed throughout our entire life, it is possible to create a self-image that is based on the most positive parts of your life. Most people’s self-image is a blend of everything they learned and interacted with during their life.

Imagine having your thoughts interpreted solely by a self-image that was created in your most conscious moments. Just think; if you are conscious in the moment, with a heart full of love, your thinking and interpretations would be ideal. You would be free from your past and your interpretations of the events in your life would be an expression of your deepest wisdom.

 

We have the ability to create a self-image like that and trigger it whenever a negative self-image appears. This is what I mean by ‘what part of you listens to your thoughts.’ You have the ability to control your self-image and interpret your life from a conscious perspective. Nobody else but you can control that.

The simple fact of controlling what part of you interprets your life is an essential key in creating a quality life. It is essential to have conscious interpretations when dealing with a chronic illness or disability. Simple problems, like falling down, having your body not respond to your mind and difficulties communicating with people are significantly influenced by the way you interpret what is going on.

Most people focus on their thoughts and the focus of their awareness naturally goes to the object of their thoughts. In our culture, the value of thinking is a precious gift. Inventions and technological progress solve problems, but sometimes our problem exists in how we interact with a challenge. Through past conditioning and habits, our character is defined. We are taught to believe that that is who we really are. Sometimes, though, during the most difficult times of our life, we are forced to explore the inner reality that exists beyond that conditioning.

 

People who live a comfortable life are not often forced to this depth. This depth, though, is available to every person and would benefit everyone’s life if they accepted this inner reality. It is from this depth that the expression of their heart is pure. It lacks the thoughts and conditioning of ego and is purely an expression of their deepest wisdom.  The quality of their love would be selfless, not compromised by their ego.

In loving moments, that inner reality is there.  Unfortunately, the habit of focusing on thinking blocks us from staying in that consciousness. Too often, we think that if we change our mind and think a certain way, our problems will be solved. When we venture beyond our thoughts and experience this reality, that state of mind would serve us in everything we do. We just need to learn how to get there when we need it.

 

In all my books, I deal with developing a positive self-image. In The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, I show how a conscious self-image can develop over twenty life skills needed for a quality life. In A Healthy Way to be Sick, I emphasize what part of you heals the best. In a health crisis, your positive self is connected to the Wisdom of your Body, which is a conscious link to what needs to be healed. In The End: A Creative Approach to Death, a conscious self-image takes away the fear and resistance, so you can rest in peace.  A conscious self-image does not change the challenge you face; it just faces how you deal with it. You will find these books at Amazon/Kindle.com.

 

© 2014 Marc Lerner

THE WHOLE BRAIN

Once we understand how the brain works, we can use it to manifest wisdom. We travel through life in three main states of consciousness. The first stage I call “Innocent.” As young children, we do not know right from wrong–we are innocent. Older, we learn to distinguish between right and wrong and we develop the second stage, which I call the “Doer.”

 

The “Doer” performs actions controlled by the conscious mind, doing right and avoiding wrong and the punishment wrong actions bring. The “Doer” is focused on thoughts within the mind. This is a natural and very important learning stage, but many of us get stuck in this stage and do not go on to the next.

 

I call the final stage the “Receiver.”  In this stage, we receive from our own wisdom and accept its lessons with real openness. Many who are aware of the difference between these stages feel that it is almost an “either/or” situation; either one performs actions as the Doer, or he meditates and goes deep within and receives deeper experiences. But instead of either/or, both states of mind can exist simultaneously. We can perform actions and attain this depth by learning how to “be,” as we simply live our lives.

 

In the healing process, we need to use our whole brain. We need to do things that are right, like eating healthy foods and taking the correct medicine. We need to be receptive and listen to the Wisdom of our Body. Sometimes, a person does not learn to use their whole brain until they face a crisis, like a chronic illness.

 

When I began working with the combat veterans, they often thought I was “against” thinking. They told me that when they were in combat they had to think. My response to this was that thinking itself is not bad.  My own work obviously involves a lot of thinking. But thinking can take place in the Doer stage of consciousness, or we can learn to be receptive and receive thoughts from the deeper wisdom of being.

 

“Receptive thinking” is most likely the type of thinking that took place in a combat situation for the veterans. In those situations they were, by necessity, so connected to life that their thoughts had to come from a higher consciousness.

 

If we were to step back for a moment, we would see that the brain is the creator of every experience we have. Most of us  are conditioned to look first to external things for the experiences we want.  This happens automatically, but the external world can only activate the brain to create the desired experience. It is the brain itself that creates the experience. We can learn to use our brains to create experiences we want.

 

Once we enter the Receptive stage, we can learn a great deal from inner wisdom. The better we understand how the brain works, the easier it is to use it. Dr. Paul MacLean, a brain researcher, shows us that the brain is made of three main parts.   He calls the first part of the brain, the “Reptilian” brain. This part of the brain operates the bodily functions and is concerned with survival.

 

The next part of the brain is called the “Mammalian” brain. This is our emotional center. The third part of the brain, which is found in more evolved mammals, is called the “New” brain. The New brain is made up of two hemispheres. The Left hemisphere stores our thinking and speaking abilities. The Right hemisphere is the home of our creative and spatial awareness, as well as our connection to the Mammalian and Reptilian brains.

 

The New brain is the tool we use to adapt to society.  While these two hemispheres operate independently, they are both involved in many of the things we do.  When we speak, the Left hemisphere deals with the linear process of thinking and speaking, while the Right hemisphere can be involved with spatial awareness and creativity.  Each part of the brain is unique, but they cannot be separated into definite categories.  The fact that they work together means that analyzing the brain does not produce a “black and white” picture; rather, these two hemispheres work together.

 

In healing, we need to use the whole brain. The Left hemisphere is used to become a partner with your doctor. The Right hemisphere is a more receptive mind, which can creatively deal with uncomfortable situations. This part of the brain is connected to the Mammalian brain, which deals with emotions.

Many illnesses are affected by suppressing emotion. This makes the Mammalian brain ineffective and cuts down the connection to the Reptilian brain, which deals with the body’s functions. In a healthy brain, there is a natural flow between the New brain and the Reptilian brain and back again. This is where you communicate to your body and the Wisdom of the Body communicates to you.

 

Obviously, we do not think this way under normal conditions. When we face a challenge, like a serious illness, we have to understand this flow. It is easy to block the flow in our everyday life, simply by unconscious communications to the body and sensitivity to what the body gives back. Using the whole brain is essential in a health crisis, but it is also needed to live a quality life.

The two books I have written that will further explain this article are A Healthy Way to be Sick and The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life. (Amazon/Kindle)

How to Reduce Hospital Re-admissions Through Patient Participation

We have been brought up in a society that teaches us to rely on doctors, because they know the scientific approach to health. Doctors have gone to school for a long, intense education, but patients have not been taught how to be active and conscious patients.   I want to propose that the high recidivism rate of hospital admissions has a lot to do with not empowering patient participation.

When you look at the new health care law, it requires hospitals to reduce their readmissions of discharged patients. According to an article in the October, 2011, American Medical News, “Hospitals make almost no headway in cutting readmissions.” Researchers affiliated with Dartmouth Institute’s Atlas of Health Care examined the records of all 10.7 million Medicare patient hospital discharges from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2009 and found little progress. They concluded, “Irrespective of the cause, unnecessary hospital readmissions lead to more tests and treatments, more time away from home and family, and higher health care costs.”

Along with its report, Dartmouth released a tip sheet for patients when leaving the hospital. The guide advises patients to ask for post-discharge planning help while still in the hospital and write a plan that captures elements such as expected discharge date, scheduled follow-up appointments, medication list, needed medical equipment and how to respond to anticipated symptoms.

Too often, when we look at empowering patient participation, we look at what the patient has to do to stay out of the hospital. I believe we need to focus on how a patient actively participates. We can do this by teaching practical life skills, like developing a positive self-image, self-trust and a way of consciously connecting to inner resources.

When a person has a positive self-image, they feel more worthy of healing. A person with a negative self-image too often has sub-conscious sabotaging programs that limit the healing process. Every time we think, our thoughts are directed to our self-image. If we have a positive self-image, we get positive responses. A negative self-image too often gives limiting responses.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, it stated that the attitude a patient walks into the doctor’s office with determines receptivity of the doctor’s treatment. A positive self-image has the ability to better receive the doctor’s treatments.

Another important life skill that needs to be developed to reduce recidivism is self-trust. If a patient trusts themself, they will be more able to tap inner resources to be an active partner with their doctor.  Without self-trust, a patient will naturally look outside to solve their problems. In the case of poor health, the hospital would be a normal place to go.

When a patient trusts themself, their experience sends them a clear and powerful message. When they share that with the doctor, that partnership becomes more effective.  This eliminates one-way communication from doctor to patient. The optimal communication between doctor and patient is where the patient can accurately articulate their problem and the doctor responds with his medical knowledge. In a conscious partnership, if the patient does not agree or has questions, they are more likely to confidently speak up.

A third important life skill is conscious breathing. We become more aware of what our breath breathes into; it is like our breath gives life to what we breathe into. If we breathe into anxious thoughts, we will give life to a limiting part of us. If we could breathe into the silence beyond our thoughts, we could give life to what I call ‘The Wisdom of the Body.’ This is where inner resources are found to make the patient’s role more powerful. When the patient’s inner resources partner with the doctor’s treatments, there are better healing results.

My book, “A Healthy Way to Be Sick,” helps you to be aware and conscious during a hospital stay. In the book, you develop several life skills that help you tap inner resources to become an active patient, instead of a victim.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

Communications When Disabled

 

Disability is like saying ‘no ability.’  A person locked into their thinking mind, who does not see that things can change and be new, can be more disabled than a blind person. Most people define disability as the inability to fit into society. Think about this. If there was a group of 100 people with significant disabilities and 1 or 2 healthy people, who would have a hard time fitting into the group. It depends on what group you are trying to fit into.

As a disabled person, I do not aspire to fit into a group. I aspire to become a whole person living a quality life. I define a whole person as someone whose heart, mind and body are harmonious with a higher consciousness. This has nothing to do with having a part of my body unable to function.

It is possible to aspire to become a whole person as a permanent aspiration. This means that you approach each challenge with your heart, mind and body, instead of feeling unable to be equal with other people. You might ask the question, ‘how can I do this?’ My feeling is that the first step is to accept yourself as a whole person. If you accept yourself that way, other people will tend to accept you that way. Unfortunately, the world is not this way and those who do not accept you simply are disabled themselves.

There are ways to make this change a permanent habit, which is naturally reinforced by the positive experience that happens with that change. A disabled person would welcome that change, because it could change the quality of their life simply by how they interpret things. It makes them proud and affects the quality of their life.

When you do not accept yourself, it has many ramifications. Disability is a great source of stress, which affects memory and clarity of thinking. Think of a radio signal. If there is static on the line, it is hard to receive what is being sent. This happens when you do not accept yourself. Stress can cause that. Static comes not from what is being said or what you have to deal with. It comes from how you  interpret it. We can focus on doctors and therapists to improve communication, but a person under stress might not be receptive.

We think to our self-image. If we feel a negative self-image, it amplifies the results of stress. We have a positive and negative self-image. A Negative self-image carries the burden of past conditioning and frustration. A Positive self-image listens without the stress and static on the line.

After 25 years working with the chronically ill and disabled and being disabled with a chronic illness myself, I have found the self-image is the key to conscious involvement. I have written a book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, available on Amazon/Kindle. In this book, I use a positive self-image to develop personal qualities, like confidence, releasing unexpressed emotions and stress-reduction. This is the cornerstone of my work and my life. When I deal from a positive self-image, I am empowered to deal with any challenge at my full potential.

© 2015 Marc Lerner