What is your "baseline level"? How do you usually feel about yourself?
What is Inner Transformation and should we focus on it?
On Letting Go and Transforming From Within — Part 1:
This is the start of a new series featuring my learnings from completing Julien Blanc’s “Transformation Mastery”, a course for understanding yourself on a deep level and removing emotional and mental obstacles.
The main purpose is to provide a clearer understanding of what influences in the past have shaped our self-image, self-esteem and are responsible for feelings of lack, inadequacy and directionlessness.
Some of the concepts will be of rather advanced spiritual nature. Try to suspense judgment and be open to the ideas. They will certainly improve the quality of your days and of your life in general.
How does it feel to be you?
Why would we even want to let go and transform from within?
To answer that take a short moment and reflect on how you feel about yourself. Imagine another person stepping into your body. How would that person feel?
Tune into the feeling you have right now and also think about how you regularly feel about yourself in the past weeks and months.
How does it feel to be you? Try to rate it on a scale from 1 to 10.
This is where the idea of the baseline comes into play. This baseline feeling you have about yourself is like a background noise, like an airconditioning in the room. You only become aware of it when you fully focus on it.
The same is true with the baseline we have about ourselves. If you block out all the distractions, just sit with yourself and focus how you feel about being you, you get to your baseline feeling.
What is that baseline feeling for many of us?
For the vast majority, this baseline level is likely to receive a low rating.
How many people are really fulfilled, radiating positivity in the street, feeling good about themselves?
Very often there is an underlying need for coping and trying to escape their life situation by numbing and distracting oneself with social media, movies, food or drugs.
Can self-improvement be the answer?
The problem with self-improvement is that it is likely to only tweak the surface but never gets to the baseline, to our deep core and personality.
All the things we hope to get from developing ourselves, better relationships, more money, a better body, do not really change the background feeling, because it’s dealing with externals.
Just like getting a purpose, pursuing these things can also be seen as escapism if they are not authentic to you, stem from a feeling of lack and trying to escape the feeling of not being enough.
What is the desired state?
If you follow the trail of why, asking why you do what you do or desire what you do, it always leads to the desire to have a baseline level of feeling 10/10 about being yourself.
This is having a constant feeling of being good enough, loving oneself, enjoying life and being, while there is no more addiction to approval and validation and no feeling of void inside.
Understanding The Cause — Paradigms
To understand where this baseline level is coming from, we have to look at the concept of Paradigms.
Paradigms are like filters, lenses or glasses through which we experience the world.
We don’t see the world objectively, but how we are conditioned to see it, from our subjective perspective.
Paradigms, therefore, are similar to beliefs, they are influenced by our upbringing, education, social conditioning and in general all external influences.
Paradigms are built on false assumptions about our true nature. If we experience lack and rejection during our upbringing, we tend to develop the paradigm of scarcity, of not being enough, of needing the approval of others.
And because it’s always been this way, we don’t know that we are conditioned, we are not aware of it.
We think these lower level paradigms are the truth, even though they are only false belief systems we have about ourselves and the world.
What is the highest and most helpful paradigm?
It is the paradigm of abundance, the 10/10 baseline, the feeling of being enough as opposed to a feeling of lack and scarcity at lower baselines levels.
If we do nothing, we mostly fall back and remain stuck in the paradigms of scarcity, where self-sabotage and ego are born.
An important realization, however, is that when you are in the paradigm of scarcity, you cannot escape it to get to abundance.
A good example is when you are in a new city, but have the wrong map. No matter how you twist and turn the map, things cannot work, because the map is wrong.
The same thing happens with the scarcity paradigm. No matter what you do in that paradigm, you won’t be able to escape it.
Even if someone told you that you have the wrong map, you would not let go because there are ego and investment involved. You become addicted to it, start to seek out evidence to reinforce the paradigm and ignore evidence of the contrary. This will draw you back into the paradigm like quicksand.
Note the similarities to self-image psychology and the concept of the confirmation bias.
What is the solution?
The only solution is to drop the paradigm, to get a new map.
It is our internal models that create our external reality. So get to the cause of that paradigm, become aware of it and take of the unhelpful “glasses” that shape your worldview.
Scarcity vs. Abundance
To further understand the scarcity and the abundance paradigms, it is helpful to have a look at the concepts of “Inspiration” vs. “Desperation”.
To understand paradigms, realize that it’s not about the things you do but rather from the place that it’s coming from.
If you are in a scarcity paradigm, you come from a place of desperation and act out of it.
It is running away from the current situations, trying to escape towards salvation. In this paradigm, we tend to think we would stop evolving if we stopped running away and running towards.
However, if you realize the abundance paradigm, you come from a place of inspiration.
If you had all the money in the world, would you do nothing? Maybe initially, but after some time you would pursue the things that you are inspired to do, without having the need to do them. You would act out of inspiration and still evolve and do new things.
You work with yourself instead of against yourself, your experience is different. It is a feeling of authenticity, of being effortless and not compulsive.
A strong sign of acting out of desperation and being in the scarcity paradigm is when we often cannot be with ourselves and doing nothing.
We need constant consumption of information, running away from being with ourselves for example by compulsively checking our smartphone.
In order to become aware of all the addictions we all carry with us, spend some time in a distraction-free environment where you are confronted with nothing but own thoughts, for example in a sensory deprivation tank or during meditation at a quiet spot.
This is where you can get to the cause and ask yourself what you are running away from.
By eliminating the desperation and focusing on what delivers inspiration, what comes from authenticity, what you resonate with, you will feel empowered instead of having to force it.
Is that enlightenment?
There might be different definitions of enlightenment.
One could be that enlightenment is coming from a place of inspiration, experiencing life from a 10/10 baseline, having the feeling of already being good enough while being happy in the moment.
This is the abundance paradigm.
In this paradigm, there will not only be positivity, negative emotions as well as ups and downs will still be there.
But you experience it differently because you practice what Eckhart Tolle calls “non-resistance to whatever is” or “surrender to the present moment”.
Take the example of a video game.
By acting out of desperation, you identify with the character in the video game, you take on the 1st person perspective and go through all the ups and downs.
By acting out if inspiration you realize that you are the player of the game, not the character in the game and tune out into the 3rd person perspective.
The big difference is that you are engaged, but not identified with the character. You don’t resist what happens to the character and are therefore not affected by it.
And this is the foundation for Letting Go and Transforming From Within.
This concludes the first part of this series.
Head over to the second part, where we will look what abundance and letting go really means and how it fits into the overall journey of personal development.