Every day we experience the world around us through the lens of our respective belief systems. Some of these beliefs are so ingrained in our minds that we’re no longer conscious of why or how they became part of our mental framework in the first place. Beliefs that our parents instilled in us as children, ideas about our own personalities or the world around us that we heard from friends or partners, or assumptions we absorbed into our psyches as a result of difficult life events.

 

But what happens when we challenge our deeply held beliefs? Do they still have meaning within the context of the lives we live, or the lives we want to be living?

 

EmPOWERed YOUth is a fabulous book by father and son, Jeffrey and Michael Eisen that demonstrates the impact of questioning our beliefs. It tells the story of their own personal struggles, their relationship, and the power of open communication and support between parents and children. There are many life lessons in this book, which offers moving narratives as well as powerful exercises for the reader to engage in. But what is readily apparent is that by examining their respective belief systems, both Jeffrey and Michael were able to consciously repair many areas of their (and each other’s) lives that were causing them pain.

 

It’s not always easy to explore your belief system, not to mention letting go of beliefs that you’ve held onto for decades. I’d liken it to getting rid of the most stubborn weeds in my garden. But as I’ve discovered over the last couple of months, (with much credit to Jeffrey Eisen) releasing certain patterns of thinking — or “belief habits” as I’ve come to call them – is extremely liberating.

 

This week, allow yourself to observe the lens through which you view the world. And ask yourself, what beliefs no longer serve you?

This week’s Monday meditation is about letting go. There are always things we hold onto tightly. We might have ideas or habits or relationships that we are scared to let go of because we think they define who we are. Opinions and beliefs that we are so invested in that we can’t see beyond them. Or we may simply have ways of thinking or doing things that we feel we can’t change because we don’t know any different.

 

From small choices or actions to deeply ingrained habits, there are always aspects of our lives that we can let go of. By recognizing – and letting go of – these behaviours, thought patterns, emotions, expectations and interactions that no longer serve us, we can adapt, change, and discover new perspectives.

 

Sometimes it’s painful to let go, sometimes it’s frustrating and difficult, but more often than not – when the letting go has happened – we feel a sense of freedom, ease and potential for positive growth.

 

This week, turn your thoughts to the idea of letting go. What do you feel is weighing you down, holding you back, or keeping you stuck? If you need a little help, here’s a mini guided meditation to get you started. Another activity that is extremely helpful is writing down daily things you’d like to let go of.

 

Here’s to letting go. May it be a freeing kind of week.