Quiet Beliefs

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I’m rereading The Power of Now. And by “rereading” I mean reading the first half again and getting through the second half for the first time. It’s a heavy book. Or at least, I made it that way. In starting the book again I realized that the first time around, I tried to integrate everything of the book into my life. I went page by page and made notes and tried to implement techniques and beliefs and behaviors. This time, things are different.

I commented in my last post that I try to take what works for me and leave the rest behind. It occurred to me that I’d not done this with The Power of Now. What I did was attempt to take on someone else’s beliefs as my own. Exactly what I coach my clients on not doing.

So this time around it’s different. I’m reading and then highlighting what makes sense to me. Highlighting the things that I already know to be true. Highlighting the things that don’t just seem like a good idea, but that I feel energetically drawn to.

I’ve been working with the BeliefCloset the past week, and it’s really helping me get in tune with my beliefs, versus the beliefs of [my parents, friends, family members, strangers, etc]. The BeliefCloset has been an amazing tool, but I’ll get into that in another post. What’s standing out for me right now as I type here is that I’m creating conscious awareness of what my beliefs are and what they are not. I’m making a choice as to what I believe and what I used to believe. I’m making a distinction between what used to work for me and what’s no longer serving me.

It goes a little like this:

It used to be important for me to stay quiet and be a wallflower. I’m not even sure when that understanding became clear to me, I only know that oftentimes it was better for me to just keep quiet and not disturb “the adults”. I was often told that I didn’t understand, that I would understand when I got older, that I’d be told on a “need to know basis” and right then I didn’t need to know.

And of course I have no recollection of what it was I was supposed to wait until I got older to understand. I only held on to the belief that it was better to not ask questions because I’d just get reprimanded or told to be quiet. So I spent years being quiet.

Now that I’m a real adult—real because I feel and say so, not because I reached a certain age or milestone—I’m tired of being quiet. See, this quiet thing has really taken hold of my life, even though I’d like to believe it hasn’t.

I’ve learned a lot of things on my own. I taught myself Word and Excel and Windows and Mac and the Internet and my BlackBerry. I’ve learned a lot of things by trial and error. Like how to interview for a job and lead a team and coach a client  beyond what I learned in training and raise/train a dog and be in a relationship and start a business.

And all that is great.

But what’s possible for me if I ask questions when I’m in my trial and error? What’s possible when I don’t expect people to say, “You’ll understand when you get older.”? What’s possible when I get out of my own way?

I feel like I’m rambling here, but there’s something in here dying to get out. Maybe this is one step in not being quiet. Maybe this is one step towards believing that being quiet is not the answer. Maybe this is one step towards believing that what I have to say is worth saying.

We all have an image we project to the world. I believe there’s a book out there about the three masks we all wear, but I can’t for the life of me find anything about it. (When I do, I’ll update this post.) There’s the first mask: what we want people to see of ourselves. The second mask: what we’re afraid people will see if we take off the first mask. And the third mask: who we really are underneath all our masks.

What I realized about my masks is that by not asking questions, by staying quiet, I want people to believe that I know what I’m doing. I don’t want people to see that I’m scared and sometimes have no clue, but am making it all up as I go along. And underneath it all, I’m just a person trying to make it in the world and live on purpose.

I don’t have all the answers, and am grateful that I never will; it keeps me learning. I just want to make some sense of myself and learn as I go.

So the highlights I’m focusing on right now in The Power of Now:

  • “…there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind.” ~p.119
    This reminds me that when I think too much, I’m blocking my link to the Universe. I’m much more creative and productive when I’m not thinking, when I’m just doing and Being. This doesn’t mean I need to wander aimlessly, just that when I’m stuck, it’s probably because my mind is thinking too much.
  • “…take the focus of your attention away from thinking and direct it into the body…” ~p.111
    This reminds me that my body is more honest with me than my mind is. When I’m feeling ill or anxious or upset, this is my body telling me what my mind—my ego—is trying to get me to avoid. This also reminds me that my mediation is not about thinking better thoughts, but about clearing my mind and creating awareness in my body and my surroundings.
  • “Many people are so imprisoned in their minds that the beauty of nature does not really exist for them.” ~p. 97
    This reminds me to look beyond what my mind tells me is “pretty”, and see the true beauty in what really exists. In this I see not just the beautiful flower with all its petals and colors, but I see the beauty of life and growth. I see the sky as an infinite, expansive space that my mind cannot possibly comprehend. I see the beauty in the structure of my home—not just in the architecture, but in the mere fact that wood and concrete and steel and drywall and paint and nails have all come together to provide us with shelter from whatever it is that we seek shelter from. This reminds me to look for the beauty in everything, because it will always be there.

These are not the only highlights that make sense to me, just the ones I’m choosing to focus on right now. As I read on and finish the book, I hope there will be more. But I won’t be disappointed if that’s all I got from it.

As for keeping quiet, I’m taking a stab that my hiatus in posts is over with for the time being. I’m over my ego telling me that I have nothing to offer you. I’m over my ego telling me that I don’t understand what you’ll want to read. I’m over myself, and onto my authenticy.

And I’ll just trust that you’ll take what works for you and leave the rest here for others to do the same.

BeliefCloset is a Trademark of The BeliefCloset Process.
Touch to Believe image used courtesy Creative Commons License via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jsome1/ / CC BY 2.0

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Meg April.30.2010 at 12.07 am

Goodness, I could go on about The Power of Now and those observations for hours :^) Some real food for thought, darling. But what I most like here is that you note that common experience we all share – the need to appear as if we sort of know what we're doing while simultaneously needing to let that facade go. We want to be known and yet can be struck mute by the push-pull of needing to remain hidden. My experience is actually that of remaining silent because I'm frightened of making people think I'm smart. I've dumbed myself down for most of my life and have the act down pat. Sadly, it was easier than dealing with people's discomfort, their own silences, the looks they give each other, the singling out as being “different”… and being bullied at school. My husband's family are almost terminally afraid of anyone with an education – in fact, anyone who thinks. And a woman who thinks? Woah. She's considered nothing short of a nuisance unless she's silent. It has probably been the single biggest challenge in my primary relationship. Now that I'm in my 40th year, I admit to being a little testy about it. It's become a thorn in my side. And yes, it's the reason for the weird name of my tiny fledgling blog. P.S: My apologies for the long-ish comment, Dian. Feel free to cull it ;^)

brittneyweber27 April.30.2010 at 4.07 am

Where to start? I had to smile because this was my exact same experience with “The Power of Now.” I think I'll take another crack at it, too…

I can relate to so much of what you said aside from that, too, Dian. Even as I read this post, my ego, or one of my masks came out. When you said that you thought there was a book about our three masks, I jumped on Google to see what I could find. Even though I'm sure you have already done your own research on it, I felt like I had to offer you something on an intellectual level. That was a good reminder for me to stop feeling like bringing myself to the party, so to speak, is not enough.

I love how you tied everything together with your last sentence, too. It's a beautiful addition to a fantastic post.

Dian Reid May.3.2010 at 8.20 pm

I love that that's where “The Mouse Who Roared” came from! Awareness is tricky. We can be aware all we want to, but what do we DO with that? Do we notice ourselves, our tendencies, and then still behave in the same way? Do we become testy? Do we sit with it for a while and then make changes? And of course that always makes me wonder what the “breaking point” is….what caused the mouse to actually ROAR?

PS: I love long comments =)

Dian Reid May.3.2010 at 8.21 pm

Thanks Brittney. Oh, and I welcome you to find that book. I asked the guy who mentioned it to me months ago, and he can't remember the title, either. *sigh* =)

rebecca May.11.2010 at 2.37 pm

Dian, This really resonated with me. I, too, have felt that it's important to stay quiet and be a wallflower. For me, it was a self-imposed thing and it continues to this day. I don't know where it came from or why? Perhaps I should delve into it on a deeper level. Yes, I probably should.
“The Power of Now” was recommended to me about a year ago. I promptly bought a copy which has been collecting dust ever since. But after hearing your enthusiasm for it I do believe that the time is right, right now to take a stab at it. Thanks!

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