Mindset Masters: Dr Joe Dispenza
I’m excited that it’s time for the third instalment of my blog series Mindset Masters. I hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far: it’s a pleasure to share with you the books that have inspired me most as a ‘Retirement Rebel’.
In this blog, I’m exploring Dr Joe Dispenza’s Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to lose your mind and create a new one.
Dr Dispenza, author of Evolve Your Brain, studied biochemistry with an emphasis on neuro-chemistry at Rutgers University and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in Atlanta Georgia.
In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dr Dispenza provides an entertaining and highly accessible manual for rewiring our mental and emotional circuitry, which offers a simple but potent message: what we think today determines how we live tomorrow.
In my podcast, I cover eight main ideas from Dr Dispenza’s book and, with reflection and questions, apply his thinking to how that impacts on life after retirement. Here, I’ve taken one of the ideas: the gap between how we appear to the world, and who you really are.
Our two separate identities
Dispenza writes, “On the day I recognised the core reason for my unhappiness, I also realised that I needed the external world to remember who I was”.
Human beings live in a duality of two separate identities. When we memorise addictive emotional states such as guilt, shame, anger, fear, anxiety, judgments, depression, self-importance, or hatred, we develop an ‘identity gap’ between the way we appear and the way we really are.
Early in life, we experienced defining events, the emotions of which contributed, layer by layer, to who we became. Staying busy keeps unwanted emotions at bay. It is intoxicating to make new friends, travel to new places, learn a new skill. We seldom suspect that many of these actions are motivated by feelings left over from certain earlier events in life.
In order to accomplish many things in our lifetimes, we have to push ourselves outside our comfort zones and go beyond the familiar feelings that once defined us. But when we never overcome our limitations and continue carrying the baggage from the past, it will always catch up with us.
The midlife crisis
In midlife, we apply a series of strategies to make buried feelings stay buried. This is the midlife crisis that most people know about. Some try really hard: they buy a new sports car, lease a new boat, or a plane, go on long vacations, some get plastic surgery, or redecorate their home. All these are futile efforts to try something new so they can feel better.
A different midlife would be a time to face feelings and let go of illusion.
– Who am I?
– What is my purpose in life?
– Do I love myself?
When we realise that nothing outside our environment can ever make us happy, we also recognise the enormous amount of energy it takes to keep up this projection of self as an image to the world and how exhausting it is to keep the mind and body constantly preoccupied.
The power of self-awareness
If this sounds familiar, one of the key skills you need to develop is self-awareness or self-observation. In so doing, you will recognise the primary state of your personality that drives your thoughts and behaviours so that you become intimately familiar with every nuance of them.
Over time, you’re going to use these powers of observation to help you ‘un-memorise’ the negative emotional state. By doing so, you will surrender that emotion to a greater mind, closing the gap between who we are and who you have presented to the world in the past.
You will become conscious of your unconscious self and when we close the gap, we release energy that was once used to produce it. With that energy, we now have the raw material we can use to create new life in retirement.
By moving out of the past, we can set our sights on the future. Imagine how much good you can do by converting any destructive energy to productive energy. Meditating will help you peel away some of the layers, remove some of the masks you’ve worn. Both of these things have blocked the flow of that grand intelligence within you.
As a result of shedding those layers, you will become transparent. As you remove the veils that block the flow of this intelligence within you, you will become more like it. You become more loving, more giving, more conscious, more wilful, because that is its mind. The gap closes. Nobody else and no event can make you feel that way. You are happy and feel inspired just because of who you are.
Has this resonated with you? You can hear further ideas from Dr Dispenza’’s book – and how they relate to retirement – in my podcast.