As children we learn values and the beliefs our families hold through intentional instruction, or domestication, and others we learn by observing the world around us. Most of this happens before we are seven and are not things we have consciously chosen for ourselves. We learn most of them from our parents, who learned them from their parents, and so on. We tend to follow these guidelines for decades without questioning what we really do believe.
Living by the “Rules”
Many people go through life living by the rules they were taught, never questioning what they actually believe for themselves. It does take some inward reflection and thought. Once you have taken this time, it can be a life changer! I teach a course on this several times a year, for it is that important!
The author of the book “UnLearn” tackles 101 beliefs or areas that we might need to revise, or “UnLearn” in order to live a calmer, happier life. Written with humor and insight, he has found simple ways to help us declutter our thought processes, our accumulation of guilt gathered through not living up to all of our previously learned values or beliefs, or just a new perspective that will help. He states that we stick to a script that hasn’t been edited in decades, (if ever) and serve as both prisoner and guard to keeping things “status quo”.
Is it What You Say, or How You Say It?
As a former elementary school teacher, he came to understand that it wasn’t always what he said, but the way he said things to his students that mattered. For instance, it made a huge difference whether he told his six-year-olds to put on their boots and snowsuits, or told them to put their snowsuits on first, and then their boots. He compares the ease with which we can let go to knowing which thing to do first, (the order of things) or knowing when we must totally revise the outdated script of our lives that we were taught to follow.
This is a great book for examining life in a nonpainful way to enhance your life and unlearn some of the rigid thinking picked up along the way and unconsciously followed. Enjoy!