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  • Writer's pictureRishika

Spring clean your subconscious

What does the energy of "worthlessness" look like?
What inhibiting subconscious beliefs do you hold about yourself or your abilities? Time to find out. (Painting: My mentor once challenged me to describe the "energy of worthlessness," so I painted this. "Worthless," acrylic/oil on canvas.)

One of the trickiest aspects of conscious manifestation -- regardless of how you practice it -- is that so much of what we ultimately experience is generated by the beliefs of our subconscious mind. It is the subconscious that is constantly communicating our expectations to the Vibrational Web, whether we're aware of them or not.

This is why things like verbal/written affirmation and vision boarding can be useful strategies -- they remind us over and over again of what we intend to create, until our subconscious mind finally "gets it," and starts to both believe and transmit those intentions with a sustained intensity.

The problem is, most of us don't know what we really believe at the subconscious level. Unless you're fully enlightened, to a certain extent you hold a habitual conceptual image of who "you" are -- and that image comprises ideas, descriptors and judgments that have been transmitted to you your entire life -- from your family, friends, society and other sources. Many, if not most, of them are mistaken. So when manifestation feels blocked, it's a good idea to start rooting around in the basement, as it were, to see what needs cleaning up.

The first place to look is "the closet of not good enough." It's waaaay back there behind the boiler of "Yes I can," and it's where old insults and insinuations about your identity and ability have been stashed out of sight.

Get quiet with yourself and sit with those old boxes of hurt and disempowerment for a while. Sort through them with a neutral mind, without engaging, and imagine yourself tossing out any and all variations on "not good enough." Keep in mind that these messages will often sound like something else -- things to do with the supposed characteristics of your gender, or (un)acceptable behaviors in your family of origin, or whether you're allowed to make too much noise or show off.

You may find old beliefs like "I'm not talented at X," or "I don't have enough time/money to learn that." It doesn't matter where they came from, but if you do recognize an origin -- try to forgive it, and forgive yourself for believing in it (for most of us, this will be a lifelong practice to be invoked whenever some new subconscious limitation becomes obvious).

Once you've got the obvious "not good enough" messages unearthed, go deeper and look for things that are less obviou,s but no less disempowering. A friend, therapist, or spiritual advisor can be very helpful in this regard, as can free-writing -- writing your uncensored stream-of-consciousness thoughts for a set period of time, to see what comes up from the depths.

As an example, I did some therapy work in my 20s to come to terms with certain dysfunctional dynamics in my family of origin. At some point it became apparent to me that I had internalized an idea that although my brother and I were expected to represent our family favorably at all times, we were never allowed to "outshine" our parents in any way. Not in career, academics, appearance, material possessions, or any other area. We were expected to keep ourselves silent, and small.

I don't remember such "rules" ever being stated out loud, nor do I know what the "punishment" might have been for succeeding more wildly than they found acceptable. Looking back, I can only assume that I assembled such a belief from their speech and behavior patterns over many years. We were frequently shamed for failure, but never encouraged or given resources that would help us do better. It was a pretty hopeless state of affairs from a child's perspective, but as an adult, once I saw how I'd bought into that false belief, it finally freed me up to disregard it.

That's not to say it's easy. This is pretty deep work, frankly, and it can be upsetting if you get into a root issue that you scarcely knew existed, so be gentle with yourself. But if you find that you consistently hear an internal voice saying things like "what's the point?" and "this can never work," then I encourage you to commit yourself to cleaning your psychological basement, and to approach it exactly that way. Just decide that it's time, that you're done living with that mess, and then drag all the old, musty messaging out out of the darkness and into the yard.

Douse it with the accelerant of your conscious awareness, and set the whole damn thing on fire. Do it in your imagination, or for real.

In fact, a literal fire -- particularly during the dark of a new moon as a symbol of endings and new beginnings -- can be a beautiful cleansing ceremony for such things. (I once burned a half-dozen journals in my backyard BBQ grill once I realized how much self-defeating nonsense I'd believed about myself.) Make it a sacred release: Write your outworn, outdated self-criticism on a piece of paper -- something fancy, if you've got it -- and thank it for having once served you. Offer whatever forgiveness is appropriate, including to yourself. Then enthusiastically incinerate it in a fireplace or an outdoor pit or some other safe place.

Watch the smoke rise, and see the ash collapse into dust. It was never real in the first place; like so much else, it only existed for as long as your subconscious believed it. Know that you're cleansed, unburdened, and absolutely open to receive everything and anything you once thought was unavailable to you. Look at all that fresh and welcoming new space, just waiting for something beautiful to arise!

Namaste. ~Rishika


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