Category Archives: Beloofs About Self

Beloofs about Meh…

I was sitting with a client the other day, and she was describing how her week was going. She had recently started a new and prestigious  job with a big name Fortune 500 company, was continuing in a  close relationship with a long-term partner, was forming a new and more realistic relationship with the members of her family of origin, was financially stable; all seeming to be good news.
In classic therapist fashion, I asked a critical question: “How are you feeling?”
She looked down at the floor and after a long pause said, “Meh.”

For those of you who know me well, I am a word and definition freak. As a hypnotherapist, I’ve learned well that words and how we define them hold the key to our experience of life. So, of course, I had to go to he dictionary right there during our session together.


1. expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm
“Meh. I’m not impressed so far”
2. uninspiring; unexceptional.
“a lot of his movies are…meh”

I asked her to tell me more.
She said, “I feel like I just don’t care anymore.”
The therapist in me had to ask, “Are you depressed?”
She said, “No, I just don’t care as much. I’m happy just to be doing the normal things in life, and doing my art.”

And then I asked, “Might you simply be more relaxed?”

Long pause…and then she said, “All I know is that it doesn’t feel ‘right’; like something is wrong.”

This person carries a great deal of intensity into her life. She likes to go 100 miles per hour, and lives on adrenaline. She possesses an Ego with a capital E; craving achievement and recognition. She was raised that way and it is deeply imbedded in her subconscious beloof system.

Here is the beloof system many of us carry from our early conditioning:

  • My value is in what I do and not who I am
  • My self-esteem is based on my achievements and acquisitions
  • My feelings and emotions are secondary in life
  • How things feel is unimportant
  • When I express my feelings and needs, I am showing weakness
  • I always must be on alert for danger

So I said to her, “Perhaps you are approaching life in a more relaxed fashion, and it seems like you just don’t care as much as you used to.  It could be you are learning new ways to create safety; real safety in your life. Maybe, just maybe, you are learning to love yourself just the way you are at any given moment. ”

She looked at me with even more puzzlement in her eyes. What I was proposing wasn’t quite computing yet. She was in-between where she had come from, and where she is going.

I know that place well…I have spent many days observing where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Fortunately, I spent enough time in those places and collected enough life tools and experiences to know that I am safe, and the universe is supplying me with everything I need and more during my change times.

I said to her, “Be patient with yourself as you travel. Everything you need is already inside of you, and you are not alone. You are safe when you stay connected to source energy.”

She looked perhaps even more puzzled…but I saw that she let my words go in anyway.

Here is the mantra to help you on your journey from here to there:

“The universe is the source of everything I need in my lifelong travels from here to there. I am safe in the arms of my creator.”

“The universe is the source of everything I need in my lifelong travels from here to there. I am safe in the arms of my creator.”

“The universe is the source of everything I need in my lifelong travels from here to there. I am safe in the arms of my creator.”

Aho! I love you…


Make Me Proud (Don’t Embarrass Me)

   Sorry that I’ve been gone for a while, but I received a brand new knee a few months ago, and the recovery has been quite a journey.

While I’ve been recuperating, I’ve been thinking about my beloofs about the “legacy” I am creating.  Maybe it has something to do with approaching 70 years of age (weird) or realizing I have adult children who are in their 30’s, or both.

I am also aware of a desire I feel to perhaps help or impart some wisdom or guidance to young parents – something I want to give back. It pains me to see them struggle with the job of raising their children as they absolutely wear themselves out (as we did for the first phase of raising our own children) seeing their children as a representation of their “legacy”. They seem to be working to have “perfect” children” (what an oxymoron), and literally that goal is killing them. As I’ve aged, my concept of my “legacy”, especially in regards to my children has dramatically changed.

So I realized I better know the dictionary definition of the word “legacy” to test my assumptions:

Definition of legacy
  1. 1:  a gift by will especially of money or other personal property :  bequest She left us a legacy of a million dollars.

  2. 2:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past: the legacy of the ancient philosophers: The war left a legacy of pain and suffering.

Hmmm…not what I was expecting.

I grew up in an era when my very life represented my parent’s “legacy”. I was an embodiment of my parent’s “beliefs” (beloofs?) and values and I was a living reflection of their value as human beings. I was expected never to bring shame or dishonor to our family’s name. I had to achieve professional recognition, honor, and financial achievement as a testament to their sacrifice and success as parents. It was not an option to bring dishonor or negative attention upon myself as it would reflect my bringing dishonor and negative attention to my parents. It would violate their “image”, their “standing” in the community. So the part of me that was different from them; the part of me that was an individual; that wanted to rebel, went underground and expressed itself in self-destructive ways; addiction, acting out, engaging in risky behavior, self-sabotage.

Probably the greatest lesson (legacy?) my children gave me was to refuse to become the embodiment of my “legacy”. They taught me early and completely that my level of influence with them was negligible and perhaps non-existent.  The more I tried to mold them into the image of my “legacy” the less interested they were in indulging me.

And so I gave up – I surrendered. And that is when the real understanding of my legacy started to come to me, and I hated it. My legacy to my children was to get the hell out of their way; to hand over the keys to their life as early as possible and to complete the process of my own individuation and maturation.

Yes, it was my responsibility to keep them safe, fed, clothed, and sheltered until they were able to do that for themselves. But the only true “legacy” I could leave them about life, was to get back to learning to live my own life from the place of highest consciousness possible; to take care of my self as best as I possibly can every day that I can.  And definitely not to steal their personal accomplishments from them by taking responsibility or credit for them, nor to judge or rescue them when they stumble so they learn to rise back up when life knocks them down.

We like to rescue our children from life’s hurts because they remind us of our own hurts that might still be unhealed. But it is precisely experiencing those hurts and learning how to heal and change that makes us who we are today. Let’s try to stay out of our children’s way by tending to our own life’s challenges and quietly watch them grow into who they are meant to be.

Here are my mantras that reflect the legacy I wish to bequeath to my children and all children everywhere:

I strive to come from a place of my highest good
I strive to come from a place of my highest good
I strive to come from a place of my highest good

I am an instrument of healing in the world
I am an instrument of healing in the world
I am an instrument of healing in the world

I humbly teach peace
I humbly teach peace
I humbly teach peace

I love you!

Beloofs about Shame

shame-600x320When I started second grade, I went to a new public school. I spent two years at a private school after I badgered my mother into sending me to school when I was five years old. She found a neat private school with two teachers for a class of around 20 kids. I loved it.

I spent kindergarten and first grade there and then switched to the public school for second grade. When I got to my new school, all the other kids were a year older than me and there were over 28 kids in the class with one teacher. No one really took the time to orient me to the school not knowing that I had just arrived that year. I really missed my old school.

On the very first day I was sitting in the back of the class nervous and self-conscious. As time passed, I really had to go to the bathroom, and had no idea what the rules were or where the bathroom was. I was frozen in the same shock I experienced in my drugged birth (see my previous post, “I’m not worthy…). Before I knew what was happening I felt warm liquid pooling in my seat that quickly turning into a soaking wet cold stain all over my pants.

My whole body went limp with shame. My stomach tied into knots, my hands flew up to cover my eyes and mouth. I didn’t want anyone to see me, and I didn’t want to see anyone else. I wanted to become invisible; to drop out of existence. I left my body so ashamed of how it had betrayed me.

I didn’t hear these words come out of my mouth, but here are the beloofs I must have said to myself:

“I can’t believe I’m so stupid”
“I must be broken”
“I am totally unlovable”
“I am not even likeable”

And although I never heard these beloofs said to me out loud by others, I was sure I could read their minds and know what they were thinking:

“Shame on you”
“I can’t believe you did that!”
“How could you have done such a thing”
“What is wrong with you
“You should be ashamed”
“I  can’t believe you’re so stupid”

Thank God my new teacher saw my distress and came back to my seat. She immediately saw what had happened and grabbed a towel to put on my seat. She whisked me off to the boys restroom and then off to the office to wait for my mother to pick me up. She tried to reassure me that I had done nothing wrong and should have alerted her to needing to go to the restroom.

But her words fell on a deaf spirit. My beloofs of shame had already been installed when I had accidents as a little kid. For little ones, beloofs of shame are inevitable.

Shame is the physical and emotional manifestation of wrong thinking; what I call “beloofs”. However, even though they are based in wrong thinking, beloofs “feel” just the same, and can be overwhelming. For those who have pets, we can see this automatic response in our animals – even the beautiful Polar Bear in the picture living out in the wild.

If I just look at my dog Reggie with a feeling of anger or frustration inside of me, his tail droops and his eyes drop to the floor. I can feel the shame he feels, and it’s heartbreaking. His total reason for being is to please me, and he has failed at his core.

Shame is a built in response, but is totally counterproductive if its only result is to cause us to feel badly about ourselves. In this case it has transformed from guilt, which helps us to improve, to shame which causes us to give up.

Shame feelings are a result of learned ideas and they are wrong, but the feelings are real and devastating. We have to heal on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological plane. I won’t pretend to heal anyone’s shame in a blog article – only to say that shame is a false feeling and does not have to control our lives.

It is healable.

Here are my mantras for healing shame:

“I am a child of the Creator
I am a child of the Creator
I am a child of the Creator”

“I am whole and pure
I am whole and pure
I am whole and pure”

“I love myself unconditionally
I love myself unconditionally
I love myself unconditionally”

“I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity
I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity
I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity”

Let’s all become teachers of peace, and healers of shame.

I love you,


You’re Not the Boss of Me!

QuestionAuthority-640x199Driving home from work the other day, I looked up to see flashing police lights in my rear view mirror. I thought I had seen the dark shadow of one of those new urban assault style police SUV’s lurking down the street when I made my stop at the four way intersection a few blocks from my office. I knew quite well that I had made a “legal” stop at the corner. There had been no other cars at any of the other stop signs, and after stopping I proceeded through the intersection in a completely safe manner. At 66 years of age, I drive much more like the old man that I am rather than the Mario Andretti shadow of my youth, so I was sure the young officer approaching my car was stopping me for my broken turn signal that I had not fixed yet.

Of course, his opening gambit was, “Do you know why I am stopping you sir?” His attitude and energy was cold and disinterested.  “I have no idea, officer” I replied. “Why don’t you tell me”.

“You made a rolling stop at the four-way” he informed me. My stomach turned. I knew I had made a perfectly adequate stop at the intersection. “How do you determine that is was a ‘rolling stop’?” I queried. “I keep looking at the front wheel of your car.” he replied. ” If it moves even a half-inch during your stop, it is a rolling stop. I can show you on the dash-cam if you like.”

I was sure the video replay would show that my front wheel travelled the requisite one-half inch requirement to qualify as a “rolling stop”, and that I was screwed. As he handed me a ticket for $136, I knew he was one ticket closer to his quota for the day. I think I said something like, “I feel so much better knowing that officers like you are keeping me safe from scofflaws like me.” As I said it, I knew I had descended into my own shadow of authority represented by the cartoon above.

I drove away feeling angry and defiant and began planning my response. I would contest the ticket pulling the offending officer into the courtroom to explain his overreaching behavior. I was an outraged victim turned persecutor looking for judge to rescue me from an obvious abuse of power. My beloofs about my relationship to authorities were raging – I was both 2 and 16 years old again.

“You’re not the boss of me!”
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“I’ll do anything I want!”
“Who says so?”
“Why me?”

As I drove on continuing to create my story of police abuse, the energy in my body was nauseating me…until I remembered to breathe. I took several slow deep breaths and felt my body relax. And as I started to come out of shock, I suddenly remembered that I had decided years ago that the police issue unnecessary tickets as a way to raise additional income for the city – not just to correct my bad driving behavior or to protect the citizens of our community from me. It’s simply a mechanism for the city to reduce its deficit and has nothing to do with me as an individual. Understanding it this way reduces my reactivity (and stomach acid) and allows me to be happy about helping out our city as a responsible citizen or the community. I decided to pay the ticket as soon as I got home with the city’s convenient online ticket payment system. It was already posted on the court site by the time I arrived.

But what about “real” abuses of authority; a 13 year old student sexually abused by a trusted teacher; a young black male shot in the back after shoplifting cigars, a woman stoned to death for being raped; these are real and outrageous abuses that must be confronted and stopped by the laws of humans and nature. Victims must take responsibility for recovering from abuses in a healthy way, and those who abuse authority must be held accountable and take responsibility for their actions. Confronting abuse of authority is the responsibility of every member of a society. But that’s not what this article is about.

What about the struggle for authority that rages inside of me – the battle deep inside my psyche that no one ever sees – who will prevail? The part of me that resists authority and rebels? Or the part of me that surrenders to authority and accepts its teaching.

The universe sent me that cop as a teacher, just as the universe sends everything my way with an important teaching. Whether I like it or not is my choice. I can listen consciously and learn an important universal lesson, or let the battle rage on and chew up antacids.

So here is my mantra that brings me peace and safety when I experience the bite of authority, even when I judge it to be abusive:

“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”
“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”
“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”

I send peace and love to you especially in times when authority battles rage within.



Are the Beloofs I Have About You, Perhaps the Beloofs I Have About Me?

Buddah picture and quoteI believe we are at crucial moment in our development as a species. I suppose I believe that every moment is a crucial moment in my own personal development as a human being, so of course it follows that I believe every moment is crucial in our development as human inhabitants of the planet. We have been at this moment innumerable times before.

This quote by an unknown author begins with a perfectly reasonable statement, and ends with one that seems confusing and non-sensical. First, “I am not what you think I am.” How many times have I felt misjudged by another. When my father called me “unpatriotic” in my objections to the Vietnam war, I knew I was not what he thought I was. But It still hurt me deeply that he held such a beloof about who I was at my core.

But then, “You are what you think I am.” What? Is that even grammatically correct? Was my father being “unpatriotic’ when he judged me as unpatriotic? Perhaps; at the time, I found his judgment of me to be closed-minded and rigid. And I suppose one might judge being closed-minded and rigid as being unpatriotic. But was I not practicing the same process of “you are what you think I am”  with my father? Were we not projecting onto each other?

I heard one of our candidates who wishes to lead our nation utter the words, “he is a horrible human being” speaking about one of the other candidates. “You are what you think I am.” Hmmm. So the speaker of the phrase is a horrible human being? Or does the speaker unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being? Only he knows, and now I am more confused than ever.

The truth about projection cannot be summed up or understood in two simple sentences. Hell, Carl Jung and others have written volumes on the subject. Here are two quotes from Jung that I find helpful in trying to understand our unknown author from the quote in the picture:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
― C.G. Jung

My father passed away in 1992 at the age of 80. We had been two volatile chemical substances; he a lifelong civilian employee of the Air Force who designed weaponry for three different wars, and me a hippie anti-war protestor and pacifist growing up in a post holocaust era. Before my father died, the chemical reaction between us had transformed us. We stopped defining each other and returned to just loving each other.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung

So the politician who said, “he is a horrible human being” is obviously irritated by his rival. If we apply “you are what you think I am” to his judgment, he may or may not a horrible human being himself, or even unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being. Jung would say that if the politician were to examine his judgment about his rival at a deeper level, he could reach a deeper understanding about himself. Unfortunately, I believe his intent is to win an election, and not reach a deeper understanding about himself.

So here are my thoughts on the quote: I don’t care what you think I am – as long as I know who I am. That’s the hard part – being who I am and showing my authentic self. What you think of me is none of my business. And furthermore, I don’t know who you are behind your mask of projection unless you take it off and show me your authentic self. When we are being our authentic selves without judgment, the reaction between the two chemical substances is predictable; it is love.

Can you imagine a moment in time when each and every one of us ceases to hold judgments of others, whether spoken or in thought? A time when people stop defining each other and accept each other at face value? Sure, we need to discern when we are unsafe and someone seeks to do us harm. But that’s a process of discernment, not judgment.

Here is the mantra I choose to repeat to my self whenever I feel I am being defined by another, or acting in a way that defines another:

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In loving memory of my father, Jacob, who passed from this world on February 21, 1992.

I’m not worthy…

Garth and Wayne probably spoofed the “we’re not worthy” beloof better than anyone. But for most of us, it can represent a core beloof that remains intransigent and chronic, and perhaps the most painful beloof we carry.

For me personally, the birth of my “I’m not worthy” beloof came about when my mother and I were given heavy sedation drugs throughout the late stages of labor and delivery. Both of us went into a “twilight” state of consciousness and I was pulled out of the womb with hands and forceps. I was weak and unable to participate in my own birth; not “worthy” of a natural life.

This beloof comes in many forms: for many of us it arrives as “I’m worthless”, or “I’m unable.” Sometimes as violent as “I am garbage”, or “I’m a loser,”or worse. It can pervade our conscious thinking, or reside subtly in our subconscious mind. Take a moment to breathe in deeply and sense whether this beloof operates in your belief system about yourself. Breath in a little deeper and close your eyes for a moment to discover the source of this self-destructive beloof; perhaps in the womb from your mother, or after your birth when you were harshly disciplined. Maybe in school when you didn’t understand an assignment, or when you were abused by a family member or neighborhood bully.

This is a core beloof that must be discovered and transformed. It serves no one else and certainly does not serve you. The only way to release it, is to develop a deep understanding that it is an acquired beloof and not reality. Remember the definition of beloof:

beloof: A mistaken personal belief, usually about oneself, that was created during a time of trauma, resulting in self-limiting behavior.

Define the source of the beloof, remind yourself that it is “mistaken”, and form a new belief that serves you better. Here are some suggestions:

  • I am worthy and worthwhile.
  • God does not make junk
  • I am a precious child of God
  • I am innocent
  • I am part of the divine

Repeat these affirmations many times throughout your day. Say them as soon as you wake up, and as you fall asleep at night. You are a precious child of God.

Please take a moment to comment on your own experience.