This is a transcript of one of my live FB blogs. To watch the whole blog click here.
Without our realizing, the culture around us enslaves us to its dictates, leaving us puppeteered without our awareness. Culture decides for us what we believe is a “good” person, parent or child. Without our conscious approval, we have bought into culture’s definitions of goodness, worth, and validity. When we abide by these constructs without conscious awareness, they create anxiety within us by placing an unbearable expectation on us. Its for this reason it behooves us to figure out our relationship with culture and what this means for each of our lives if we are to live free and empowered lives.
You and I are thoroughly enslaved by culture, and unless you as a parent and as a light bearer, who is seeking change at a deep elemental level, figure out your relationship with culture. You’re constantly going to be puppetered by strings that are invisible to you and constantly feel unhappy, distressed, tensed and fearful and not even know why. It was only in my personal life that I came to terms with my culture that I could extricate myself from it and create a new idea, a new vision, a new definition of how I wanted to be in the world.
When I became a parent, I found myself having to do this again. Wholly molly. Yet again, I’m in a culture called parenting and now there are values and ways of being that are now going to invisibly dictate my child, dictate my child’s well being, and dictate my well being as a parent. So now, I better deconstruct what this culture says I need to do or not need to do..
if I want to create the freedom that I so desire in my life, unless you figure out what this culture really is about in your life, you will be puppetered and enslaved by it.
When I ask my clients, “what is your greatest fear?” say, “in being overweight“, if it’s a client who wants to lose weight or “in being a single parent” for a client who is looking to break the contract with their partner or “what is your greatest fear?” if you lose your job, for the client who’s looking to change jobs and they will inevitably say, well, you know “I’m scared of what my parents will say and my friends will say, of what people will say” and then when I challenge them and I say..
“Okay, how many people is that?” and then they count on, they’re like “My mom, my aunt, my siblings, my friends, okay not that friend, okay this friend” and at the most, they come up with ten people.
Then I tell them and I offer to them the invitation. “Okay, so, for ten people, ten real people, you just told me that you didn’t want to make a change in your life because of culture but when I break it down, then you say it’s people, and when I break that down, you give me ten names? So for those ten people and then you tell me that it’s the ten people who love you the most? So then, you are living enslaved, subject to perceived judgement? So terrified of perceived rejection? By ten people who you say love you the most? So this is why you don’t wanna change your life?”
And when clients hear it in that way, and when I truly nailed them down to “but who, but who, but who are you so afraid of? Who?”
Then they really take a pause, take a deep sigh and go “Yeah, I’m not changing my life because of two people and ultimately, those two people are the only two people who technically should love me unconditionally. So why am I living an enslaved life for the big culture out there?”
Culture has a huge hold on us. We see it playing out on our political stage in America these days. We immediately, you know, find ourselves taking sides, right? We say what “I’m democratic” or “I’m republican” or “I like Hilary“, “But I don’t like Hilary“, “I like Hilary if she was my perfect Hilary” or you know, “I love Ivanka but I don’t like Donald“.. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Whatever is playing out in the external world is first, just a perception that you have. You don’t know the real Hilary. You don’t know what she went through. You don’t know even the real Donald. You really don’t know how people are motivated. So, first, understand that whatever you are seeing on the political arena or in the external world, be it in your life, with your boss, with your friends and with your children is only your perception, number one.
Number two, it is a perception that is immediately created out of separation.
Let’s talk about judgments and separation a bit…
So, the minute you have a perception, which is a judgement, right. “My child is behaving bad” and “Why is my child being so bad?“, “Why is my boss being so mean?“, “Why is my friend being so judgmental?” All these perceptions of badness, of the other being bad, these are first perceptions as I said, and then second, these judgements of the other now have created separation, right? They’ve created separation between you and the other, whether you’re democrat or republican, or if it’s your boss, if it’s your child, if it’s your husband. Any judgement that you’ve created now has created a separation within you. The reason we create separation as our first go-to, the reason we first judge, do you know why we first judge someone? Because it creates safety. It comes from that inner child within us that feels scared and so needs safety. Safety in our thoughts. So, we box people up and of course, we have to be the good ones. So, therefore, the other has to be bad. There’s no choice.
How does this affect our children?
So, our poor children, especially, are subject to our perceptions and they are subject to our judgements of separation because as parents, because culture tells us that we are never wrong, that we as human beings need to preserve our sense of goodness. So we automatically, we create them as bad. I want you to know that both these steps that we undergo in our mind. A perception first, it’s only perception. Secondly, a perception of lack of negativity. This perception of negativity that the other is bad, that the other is separate from you. Who is it harming? It’s only harming you, because right there, when you create that separation between you and your child, between you and your boss, between you and a political party, what you’re failing to understand is that the other is a reflection of a possibility of your psyche. Not completely a mirror reflection, but a reflection of a possibility of your psyche but you have now just judged the other one as bad, you have lost the opportunity to go within yourself and say “Okay, I don’t agree with their behavior but let me understand it as a mirror to a possibility of my inner psyche” and when you just begin asking these questions, “How is my perception creating my outer reality?“, “How is my judgement creating my outer reality?” You will then begin to change the power culture has on you and now you will be in the driver seat to create your own relationship with culture. But until you’re willing to do this inner work, unless you’re willing to go within and say “I’m creating perception. All this perception is coming from me, culture is not doing this to me. Culture is not sitting here telling me I need to be republican or democratic or I need to yell at my kid or I need to judge my kid. I am perceiving culture as telling me these things, and secondly, when I judge the other, it is creating disharmony, it’s creating a lack of evolution within myself“.
So when my child is bad, I have to immediately stop and go “Ah, it’s my perception, my judgement is coming from me to create separation so that I keep myself good and make them bad. All of this is a movie, it’s an illusion we have created, which then, momentarily makes us feel safe, but ultimately stops us from evolving. So, you may not like a behavior of your child, you may not like a behavior of a friend, and certainly call them on it. If you’re brave enough, or if the relationship can hold it of it, if it’s worth it to you. I’ve done it in my life. When people have reneged on their contracts with me, when people have violated their word with me. I’ve had to weigh whether it’s worth it to me to step in and speak out against the behavior but always checking myself that I’m staying in love for the human spirit behind the behavior. The behavior I know is always a mirror of a possibility of my psyche, and because I know that, I know that I could very easily behave just like that person, if I was in their shoes, if I was in fear, if I had not done enough work on my evolution, because I know that, I may able to stay in love more and more with the spirit behind the behavior.
Now this is an essential lesson in parenting, unless you learn this lesson that all your judgments around your child come from your perception and come out of a desire to keep you safe and looking good, but actually create deep disharmony and actually stunt your evolution, you will simply be unable to evolve as an enlightened parent. You will eternally be subject to the situation outside of you, which we call culture. You will eternally be subject dependent, enslaved by your child, enslaved by the republicans, by the democrats, by your anger against them as an example, by your friends’ betrayal, by your spouses’ bad behavior, you will constantly be in trap. Momentarily, it feels lovely to judge. Momentarily, it feels lovely to punish your child, perhaps. You feel superior, you feel empowered, right, I said to you. Our judgements of the other come from a very primal place to keep us safe. To keep us good, so we make the other one bad, but every time we do so, momentarily, we feel powerful, but let me tell you, on a long term, evolution level, you’re actually regressing. You’re actually creating more karma. You’re actually creating more reverberation, more chaos, more tension, more negativity and therefore, you will not be able to manifest what you so desire. So, in order to manifest the long term goal of wanting peace and harmony and kinship and mutuality and reciprocity and cooperation and love and abundance. If you want that, sorry, you’re going to have to let go the momentary – that in-the-moment desire to react with a perception of lack, with a perception that you have been harmed, with a perception that you have been attacked, which then leads you to judge the other, you’re going to have to let it go. It’s only when you let it go that you have freedom, that you pause and you say, “Guess what, I’m not going to be enslaved by this moment. I’m not going to be enslaved by my child being bad because I now know it’s my perception. I know that I’m creating the judgement because I’m just preserving my own ego and I’m gonna make my kid bad and culture has told me that I’m allowed to do so. I’m not going to be enslaved by culture. I’m gonna take a pause and do it differently.
You have the power to cut the strings between you and all those people that you imagine are judging you, are going to reject you, are comparing you. You have the freedom to cut the strings. You have the freedom to become autonomous between the culture that you believe has a power over you and to your own desire to be seen as valid by that culture. You have the power to break the strings and say “I’m growing up. I don’t any longer invest in the part in me that wants to be approved by culture and I no longer will allow culture the power to have a puppet hold over my psyche. I take that power back” It is only when you decide to re-imagine your relationship with culture that you will change yourself and your parenting. You will not be able to change your parenting unless you understand that you are puppeteered by culture that pushes you to create distress for yourself by judging others. Judgement is the norm in our culture and that’s why when Michelle Obama said that when they go low, we go high.
Culture can tell you to discipline your kid. Culture can tell you that your kid is bad. Culture can tell you that you need to control your child. Culture can tell you that your kid needs to be busy every day. Culture can tell you that you need to do, do, do in order to be. Culture can tell you that, but you get to decide “I don’t go by culture’s ways, I go in different way. I’m going to go a different route.” That power lies in you. Not in me. I can just offer it to you but it really lies in you. So, do you uphold the commitment, the challenge to let go off culture’s hold on you?
There is no culture out there. You are part of the culture you create. The culture that you are talking about is the culture that you have created in your mind. It’s the culture that you have decided to be dependent on. You don’t have to be dependent on anyone. This is the freedom, this book, The Awakened Family will give you.
Create your own standards. Create your own family’s culture. Divest from it to become independent. Cut the chord from everything you perceive to be culture on the outside. There is no culture on the outside.
So, whatever you hate on the outside; your child, your spouse, your political parties behavior, whatever behavior you despise. Understand that that behavior is always a reflection of something that you could very easily have done yourself. So, cut the judgment. You’re no greater than the behavior you are judging and only when you cut the judgment can you then co-join, you can then meet the spirit behind the behavior. This is so important in parenting.
We must step away from the behavior by stepping away from our judgments. Understanding that we are exactly like the person we are judging, and then we meet the spirit of the person we are judging. Doesn’t mean that we don’t create boundaries around the behavior. It just means that we always keep connection with the spirit behind the behavior.
What is the culture of mandate? I’ll tell you.
The culture of mandate is this; be in control, always be right, be seen as good, the other one is bad, if the other, especially if it’s your child is bad, you get to punish, you get to discipline, you get to threaten, your child and you must constantly achieve, you get to puppeteer your child to be your achiever if you stop achieving in your life, be constantly busy, constantly do, constantly compare, constantly compete. Basically, you have to come out at top and the other comes out at bottom.
Do you want to examine these cultural mandates that you are unconsciously following? Because I’m here to tell you, they are the reason you feel stressed out in your parenting. You and your children are in conflict, arguments, tears and fights. This is the reason, because there’s a cultural mandate that you’re played into without realizing that it’s creating so much stress in your life because parenting.
So this is my message for today. I only covered two pages. 26 and 27. To lay the foundation that there’s this culture out there that is really a reflection of possibility of your own inner psyche. It’s not out there, it’s part of you. Better examine it, better ask yourself, “Who is this culture? What is this culture? What am I so afraid of? Why is this culture having such a hold on me? Why do I constantly fight with my child when I want to love my child?” It’s because you are being deeply enslaved unknowingly by culture. So, unless you sit with yourself and ask “Who is this culture? What is this culture? What am I following in culture that it’s actually causing stress in my life?” you will not create harmony and transformation in your family. So, I’m gonna end this with a personal concrete example of how you need to detach from culture.
Separate from culture. Leave those who you perceive will judge you behind. Enter into your deepest attunement to who you are and to who your child is. This is the birthplace for joy, this is why your children came to this life. Not to do and achieve according to culture, but to find that, which is uniquely their own. But to discover that, which is authentically their own spirit. This is why your children came to your life. This is what their soul desires and your role, as I talked about last week, your role is to take the soul toward wholeness. You can only take your soul and your children’s soul toward wholeness if you separate from culture. This is a culture that feeds on fear. It’s a culture call it conditioning, call it the ego, that feeds on fear. You’re seeing it in the political arena. It is representative of what happens within you. Separate from that and enter your deepest understanding of who your soul is and what it desires to manifest in this life. Take charge of your life. It is yours, it is your birth right to be joyful, to be loving, to be happy, to be grateful. This life is beautiful! Don’t waste it. Don’t waste it on what culture tells you you need to waste it on. Live it fully. Embody it. Only when you embody it will you allow your children to unfold into their soul’s destiny. So, that is my offering to you. Enjoy. Move forward. Next week we will continue with the book club. I will see you there. Thank you so much. See you soon.
Thank you for joining me here on my newsletter. Hope to see you at EVOLVE: THE CONSCIOUS WAY summit in NYC in October. More details on my website: www.DrShefali.com