On the Path of Enlightenment: Expand Your Beliefs

Long Grass And Sky

Our guest today is Evita Ochel from Evolving Beings.

 

Perhaps from the day that we can communicate, we start to form beliefs. And as we go through life, we seem to accumulate more and more beliefs. Not only that, but in many ways our convictions also grow stronger as to what we believe.

 

In fact, the average person is mostly defined by what they believe or do not believe. We insist on holding so tightly to so many of our beliefs that they can cause us a lot of suffering. In fact they can destroy us, our communities, even whole countries. We see examples of this all around us in our world.

 

We fight for our beliefs. We will argue with loved ones and strangers alike, over our beliefs. Some even kill for their beliefs.

 

But have you ever stepped back, and consciously considered what it is that you believe, and why? That is what we are going to examine here today.

 

What We Believe

 

Allow me to throw out some common beliefs that are shared by many in our society. Perhaps you will find some of your own beliefs in the examples below…

 

We believe that there is a God. If we are part of one of the major religions, we believe it is the right one for our salvation.

 

We believe in science. We believe in gravity. We believe that the world is round. We believe that there is time.

 

We believe that meat is part of a healthy diet. We believe we must kill animals in order to survive.

 

We believe that some diseases can’t be avoided. We believe that some diseases can’t be cured.

 

We believe that terrorists are the cause of most of our political conflicts. We believe our countries are protecting us.

 

We believe that ghosts and spirits only exist in movies. We believe our physical existence is the most important aspect of ourselves.

 

We believe that if we only had more money, everything would be much better.

 

We believe… we believe… we believe… 

 

A Personal Exercise in Expanding Your Beliefs

 

The above are just, but a few examples of some of our common beliefs. On a personal level we have many more. But how sure are you about any of these things? I mean really, really sure…

 

Before we go any further, I hope you can take a few minute break from reading this, and  on a piece of paper or your computer, write down some items you strongly believe. If you have little time, perhaps just do 10 items. If you have lots of time, make the list as long as things are flowing from within you.

 

Okay, go ahead and write down your items.

 

Now look at the list. Read each point to yourself and try to trace the root of that belief. Often times, you will find that so many of the beliefs that we hold were influenced there by someone else, and that many really do not have a sound reason for being there.

 

Next, ask yourself the following question, as you look through your list again. How sure are you about each of your beliefs? Are you 100% sure that each of the beliefs you have is exactly as you believe it?

 

If you come across anything where you do not feel 100% sure (which for most of us, will be the majority of the list, if we are truly honest), allow that gap there to exist, as that gap provides space for growth.

 

We pick up our parents’ beliefs, and they their parents, and so on. We pick up beliefs from our governments, religions, friends, and the media. And while some of these beliefs may be serving our highest good, many of them do not.

 

Many people “believe” that one must have a set of beliefs, otherwise they do not know who they are, where they came from…. etc., etc.

 

But there will come a time for all of us, where we come to fully realize, that we are not our beliefs. That time can be now for so many of us, as we free ourselves from the confines of limiting beliefs.

 

Conclusion

 

So today, I am not telling you or asking you to give up your beliefs, only expand them. Expand them enough to let some light, clarity and most importantly awareness shine in there. Expand them, so that there may be room for growth.

 

Whether you are seeking a path of enlightenment, or simply want to live out your highest potential, have a happier, healthier and more peaceful life, an expansion of our personal beliefs is a necessary step for our growth and further evolution of our soul.

 

I look forward to hearing below, how you have moved through or already expanded some of your past beliefs, and the difference this has made on the quality of your life.

 

About the Author

 

Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the founder and editor of EvolvingBeings.com – an online publication to awaken and inspire people to grow in consciousness and connect with a heart-centered way of life. You can sign up for her RSS feed or follow Evita Ochel on Twitter.

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rob white September 20, 2010, 6:52 am

    Hi Evita,
    Very well articulated. Realizing we have the inexorable right to get rid of limiting beliefs and take on new beliefs is foreign concept to too many. I’ve expanded my beliefs to create myself to be a writer at a time in my life when most of my peers are getting ready to retire. We always have the choice to see as false those discouraging opinions we once considered true, and see as true those marvelous opinions we once considered false.

  • Davina Haisell September 20, 2010, 7:46 am

    Hi Tess & Evita.
    This reminds me of a quote from a book I read recently “Writing Alone and With Others” by Pat Schneider — “The problem isn’t discipline. It is belief.” This has me thinking that if we expand our beliefs our fears will proportionately reduce. There won’t be room for them 🙂

  • The Exception September 20, 2010, 8:12 am

    It is interesting to recognize how limiting our beliefs can become or are – and how our decisions based on those beliefs create the world in which we live – and how we impact others. My guess is that people find security in their different beliefs.

  • b September 20, 2010, 9:48 am

    This was a wonderful topic for reflection Evita. Your dis-belief or questioning of belief is quite liberating.

    We can believe anything……Belief takes us on a journey.

    Perhaps it is even a state where one leaves Being. (be-leave?)

    Believing is stepping into an idea and truly living such constructs through filtered eyes.

    However, we often get lost in our beliefs, because we begin to see them as the only truth when truth is infinite.

    Beliefs are costumes that colour our lives.

    If we forgive our beliefs….we learn to accept what is given and one then becomes gifted.

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 10:02 am

    Hi Rob,

    A writer – how awesome! Good for you, for stepping outside the limits or confines of previously built up beliefs and opening yourself up to a whole new experience!
    Beautiful insight and I thank you for sharing!

    Hi Davina,

    You got it! And thank you for sharing the title of that book.
    Our fears are deeply rooted in the beliefs we hold, if we change those beliefs, the fears naturally dissipate.

    Hi TE,

    You got it, people find LOTS of security in their personal beliefs. They define their whole state of being and who they are, by their beliefs! It is amazing on one hand, but completely paralyzing on another.

    When we allow ourselves to change our beliefs, change the way we think and look at things, all of a sudden we open ourselves up to an amazing new world for ourselves!

    Hi b,

    Love the line “Beliefs are costumes that colour our lives.” They can serve a great purpose, but they can also move one into an extremely limited state of being.

    And yes, may we never forget that there is no “one” truth. Truth is infinite! To box it up in anything, or try to define it through self-imposed beliefs is a disservice to truth itself.

    May we expand, forgive and then truly live 🙂
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Eric D. Greene September 20, 2010, 10:54 am

    Hi Evita – great topic for thought and discussion. Have you read Gregg Braden’s work? He has a couple of books out where he talks about the way our beliefs change the world we live in. It’s something along the lines of when Wayne Dyer says “Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.” Braden actually refers to scientific experiments showing how our thoughts and beliefs have an impact in the physical world! Really interesting stuff. It seems that the idea that beliefs can shape the world becomes a belief in itself. A pretty good belief to have if you ask me! 😀
    .-= Eric D. Greene´s last post…Oil Pastels – Homage to Diego Rivera =-.

  • Karl Staib - Work Happy Now September 20, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Beliefs can support our happiness, but they can also box us into a corner. We have to be able to think outside our normal routines, because like Evita said that’s where the growth is.

    I used to believe that I could never improve my happiness. I know. I know. I’m the work happy guy. I created a 30 day trial and felt happier. By working on my happiness I expanded my view of it. Now I’m much happier than 3 years ago before I started my blog.

    A simple daily focus on happiness has improved my life by 300%. I’m expanding my beliefs one at a time.

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 12:55 pm

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for your comment Eric and yes, I love Braden’s work. I have not read all of it, but have seen him live in a few lectures and videos, as well as read The Divine Matrix – all awesome stuff.

    We create our world with our beliefs, and that is exactly why if there is something we want to change, we need to look at our beliefs first. If there is nothing we think needs changing, it is also good to examine our beliefs, as we may have gotten to a place where we simply boxed ourselves in.

    Hi Karl,

    Well said and it is so, so wonderful to see you in such a great place today. Not only are you happy when it comes to your work, but you are also supporting and helping other people discover their own work happiness. Way to go!
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Tony Single September 20, 2010, 4:44 pm

    It’s a pleasure to meet you, Evita, and such a great guest post today! 🙂

    I have many beliefs about a lot of things. They have changed a lot over the years, and they will probably change even more as I grow older. I may even lose a few through natural attrition, and perhaps pick up some others without realising it. Everything always seems to be in a state of flux when it comes to this area of my life.

    It’s one reason why I don’t stand on a soapbox and tell others what to believe. I don’t feel it’s my place to act as someone else’s “thought police”. I have to own my own beliefs, and be prepared to be wrong about them (I have been). I also need to own them so that I don’t go carelessly swinging them about like a metaphorical club and end up hurting those around me. I used to do that in my youth; I’d like to believe that I’ve since learned a little more about not doing that (see what I did there? 😛 ).

  • Simon Hay September 20, 2010, 4:48 pm

    The process of belief creates and stifles potential/evolution. Believing something to be true doesn’t make it so. Ideas and creativity evolve, they’re not set processes. The consciousness of media and politics is molding our future and creating our belief systems. Be brave enough to say I’m wrong or I dont know and an answer will appear. Hi Evita and Tess, hug you soon, Simon.
    .-= Simon Hay´s last post…Angels Use Social Media Too =-.

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Hi Tony

    A pleasure to see you again here Tony and thank you so much for sharing your experience, especially those from your youth as your beliefs have changed over the years.

    I think as long as we stay open, a change in our beliefs can always happen and in fact I would say is a good thing to happen to keep us more conscious of things. It is also super humble of you to know how you have approached your own beliefs, what worked and what didn’t. It makes life and learning that much richer 🙂
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 4:54 pm

    Hi Simon,

    So awesome to hear from you and I know you have a personal passion where beliefs are concerned as well. And perfectly said “believing something does not make it true”.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and delighting us all with your energy! Hugs soon indeed 🙂
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Sandra Lee September 20, 2010, 5:03 pm

    Evita,

    This is a wonderful way to explore my beliefs and come to see how they might be limiting me. It can be hard to believe that it’s possible to live in the moment beyond the constraints of believes. Now and then, you meet a great spiritual teacher who embodies this possibility in such a wondrous and delightful way. Then you can see how it might actually be! Thanks for bringing our attention to the way we construct our world with beliefs.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last post…Sunday reflection- the dreamlike qualities of life =-.

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Hi Sandra Lee,

    Thanks Sandra. I have a real passion of trying to make people aware of how much what they believe is actually not helping them or serving their highest good. Too many of us get stuck, we define our lives around a particular set of beliefs and become rigid to life, growth, evolution and the human potential.

    And yes, we know it is possible to live beyond our beliefs, because we do see it in those few out there, who show us what is possible. I definitely strive for that myself, for it feels so good to be free of any limits or confines.
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Alex Blackwell September 20, 2010, 6:14 pm

    I’m learning a Belief System can also be a lot BS. From an early age, and perhaps rooted in our family or origin, we internalize things we believe to be true.

    But, as we grow older we see the world differently and begin to challenge what we thought to be true.

    The only true thing I believe today is I am a person of worth because He says I’m worthy. I try to extend this belief to everyone in my life.

    Thanks for a wonderful post Evita.

    Alex

  • Evita September 20, 2010, 7:09 pm

    Hi Alex

    I so second that. As children we pick up a lot and we are also “forced” into a lot of beliefs. Very few parents, parent consciously enough to allow their children to build inquisitive minds and be open to seeing the world in the most rich and diverse of ways.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and feedback – both are very much appreciated!
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Betsy at Zen Mama September 20, 2010, 7:12 pm

    I really enjoyed your post Evita! I loved the common beliefs that you point out. Each of us has our own mythology. It’s good to challenge it occasionally!

  • Lance September 20, 2010, 8:08 pm

    Evita,
    As I traverse through some of my so-called “beliefs”, I know that if I look hard enough I’ll find supporting evidence that this “belief” is true. Conversely…I can also find support for the exact opposite, too.

    And the truth is…it is not for me to judge another on their beliefs and how they have gotten to that point. Understand them better, expand my own – yes. Judge theirs…no.

    So, my real belief is that there is so much that is possible…and when I remain open to that, I expand my own life…

    Wonderful words, Evita. Our world is such an amazing place…and there’s no way I can fully comprehend all of it…(in a good way…)
    .-= Lance´s last post…Life- Do It Now =-.

  • Angela Artemis September 20, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Beliefs. Such a wonderful and vast topic. I like the idea of listing your beliefs and then tracing their roots. I also like the idea that if we don’t resonate to that belief 100 percent that leaves a gap for us to grow. I’m going to do the exercise and find the areas within myself that are my potential growth spots. Thank you!
    .-= Angela Artemis´s last post…Change Your Life – Teach What You Most Need to Learn =-.

  • suzen September 21, 2010, 7:40 am

    Hi Evita! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I taught women’s journal writing for well over a decade – the class was called Renewal – and we did SO many exercises on “beliefs”. There really is power to writing it all out so wow, indeed, we NEED to do this.

    For example: We did an exercise call God of our Childhood. We wrote what we believed as a child about God/religion and then we wrote from the heart and soul what we believed NOW. It challenged so many and yet it was a tremendous leap of spiritual growth. We also did a five minute timed writing – the rule was you could not let your pen stop, keep pushing – and it was sentences that began “I believe….” Now THAT one was a real eye-opener!

    I so agree we need to check in with ourselves – what do we REALLY believe? It is more than cleansing, it is getting to really know ourselves. And what is so great? There are NO wrong answers!

    Hugs (and thanks Tess for featuring this!)
    suZen

  • Evita September 21, 2010, 9:41 am

    Hi Betsy,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I like the use of the word mythology, I think that is a great description of our personal beliefs in many aspects as well.

    Hi Lance,

    You bring up a great point and exactly! No matter what belief I think, there is just as much info for it, as against it.

    In the end, you also hit on an important point, to not judge, but focus on our own beliefs. This is a great key to happiness on its own. Focus on what the self is doing, being and feeling, and let others focus on their own beliefs. We don’t all need to believe in the same stuff to live in peace and harmony. Instead we need to learn to be open to the beautiful diversity and free will that we all have.

    Hi Angela,

    Thank you for your comment and feedback. Enjoy the exercises and any new growth they bring you 🙂

    Hi SuZen,

    Oh, thanks so much SuZen for the enthusiastic response! I love the exercise you speak of and did a personal version of something like that myself a few years ago, and yes, it was a HUGE eye opener!

    To beautiful potential and growth and no wrong answers 🙂
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Patricia September 21, 2010, 3:16 pm

    Thanks Tess again for such a great guest Hello Evita
    I like your words…and ideas…great clarity here.

    I wonder if it is an autumn rite of passage to examine one’s beliefs…The Essenes and Jewish traditions have the cleansing celebrations for examining and atoning for ones’ transgressions, which are formulated by our beliefs and then one is washed clean – made new….the rituals assist in opening the portals of expansion of ideas….they are also religious which hold up discussion and arguing of principles under each finds an understanding ( sometimes until one finds the “right” understanding…
    Then we move to Halloween and the burning of the fields to stave off the fear of ghouls and devils…but also to looks at the ghosts that ancestors left behind.

    I believe that autumn is an amazing time for self reflection, expanding the gaps so that in the darkness one can examine the core and spring forth into new light ….
    I am fascinated by all the blogs that are reflecting this journey of humankind into the heart work…and transition ….it is a time of great effort and preparation.
    The 80% would rather focus on the distractions of fall….and are driven to hold on even tighter and tighter….
    If we are as Dr. Brian Swimme says 98% energy…then moving the energy or giving it a stir seems mighty important in taming fear?

  • Joy September 22, 2010, 3:36 am

    Hi Evita,
    I *love* this!
    What I know now in life is that if it resonates within my heart, it is “true”..The more fully I allow my heart to open, the more rich are my experiences here on Earth..The ocean is my floor, the hills my walls, the sky my ceiling..beliefs stem from my mind..thought processes that can be fickle..But, Knowing is from deep within my heart..a truth that fills my space..I allow my foundation of life to be Love and Peace..and the rest unfolds accordingly..

  • Kaushik September 22, 2010, 6:45 am

    Hi Evita,

    Seng T’san, a patriarch of Zen, said in a poem, “Do not seek Truth; only cease to cherish opinion.”

    By opinion, of course he meant beliefs and ideas and thoughts. When we’re caught in the mind, it’s hard to see why attachment to beliefs is an obstacle to inner expansion. It has to be experienced.

    Great article, thanks!

  • Keith September 22, 2010, 8:13 am

    Hello Evita ( and Tess),

    Evita, you’ve dealt with this topic beautifully!

    I think that one of the most liberating things I have ever experienced was when I first began to expand my beliefs. For whatever reasons, by the time I had grown into a young adult, I saw the world in black & white. There was never any gray areas with me and as you would imagine, I experienced a lot of conflict in my life.

    Thankfully, a change began to take place and I have been evolving every since. I am so much happier and life is a grand journey. Now, I often see in others the same mindset I once had. It’s so suffocating and I just want to show them that there is a better way!

    Thanks for this great article Evita!

    Thank you Tess, for having Evita on your most awesome blog!

  • Brenda September 22, 2010, 9:07 am

    Evita,

    Beautiful post!!! YOur writing is so clear and lovely.

    I work so much in my practice with people’s beliefs…I always am thinking, “What do they believe about themselves? about other people? about the world?”

    Lately, I find so many people up to their neck in beliefs about a significant other or child that is hurting them. It is so empowering when we stop and get quiet and picture this person as a little innocent child who is has hurt and pain that causes them to act out in certain ways…when they see this…they begin to cry and we send them light and love…

    How wonderful to be spreading this kind of understanding in the world Evita!

    Love,
    Brenda

  • Evita September 22, 2010, 9:23 am

    Hi Patricia

    Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking comment. I have to be honest, as much as I love nature, I was never a fan of the fall season. I always felt it sad that it marked the end of all that I loved, the warm weather, lots of sun, green and richness of nature.

    But the way you described it as a time for personal introspection has opened me up to a whole new way of looking at this season. Yes, we are energy and thus what we give our energy to, our thoughts and words, etc. makes a big difference for the entire state of this planet.

    Hi Joy

    Deep truth from the heart can never be mistaken or misunderstood. What a beautiful place you have found and world with which you created for yourself!

    Hi Kaushik

    Thank you for sharing that. I have found in my life, that beliefs have greatly held me back, and as I continue to shed and open myself up to the internal truth within, I open myself up to a richer and more full version of myself as a being.

    Hi Keith

    Yes, I so resonate with your usage of the word suffocating. That is very much how I feel when I get stuck around energies that hold so tightly to their belief patters, some of which I have held before, with no room to breathe or grow or move….

    Shedding beliefs is so liberating, so freeing, so joyous. Fears keep us trapped in many of them, but if we trust to move past them, we awaken much deeper aspects of ourselves.

    Hi Brenda,

    Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience. It is liberating to release and amazing on so many levels to move through, all the pain associated with limiting beliefs to move into the light.
    .-= Evita´s last post…A Spiritual Growth Guide- From Trying to Just Being =-.

  • Mark Roberts Fairies September 23, 2010, 12:32 am

    Great article, this is certainly a very well articulated post. I completely agree with your views. Thanks for the share!

  • Nea | Self Improvement Saga September 27, 2010, 8:50 pm

    What a great article. I’m so happy to share it as I think it’s beneficial to many people. Personally, I love the freedom of thinking outside the box. I’ve learned over the years to let go of fear, thus giving myself permission to question those things that I’ve been encouraged not to question.
    .-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last post…Inspirational Words- Think Big =-.

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