• Vika

On subconscious + unblocking PRACTICE

Subconscious. A chain of signifiers and representations in your behaviour, speech and body of which you utterly, wholeheartedly, bang clean to the core, and all the way unconscious! You might as well call your living a sleepwalking nonsense because in effect it’s what you do...every day. If this discovery of losing (ummm, never having, to be exact) any influence over your ways doesn’t stop you in your tracks with a sense of mild panic attack, I don’t know what will.

Subconscious, as a description of the brain’s processes that are not within conscious perception, is distributed through the majority of the brain or at least the large portion of it, perhaps our highly evolved cerebral cortex. None of the scientists know.

Underneath the cortex there’re subcortical structures to which limbic system belongs. The limbic system has its own regions in the cortex where the emotional information is recorded (read your beliefs formed). Hello, my very own definitions and spectrum of temper tantrums from romantic break-ups to broccoli mixed with mash potato misfortune. The limbic system has magical ability to record situations more powerfully than any other domain in our body based on what deemed more important. Emotional information is screened according to values of archaic threat detection and needs. The limbic brain is more of a relay system, a filter if you wish. In case you’re unfamiliar with a relay idea. Relay is an electromagnetic device for remote control that is actuated by variation in conditions of an electric circuit and that operates in turn other devices (such as switches) in the same or a different circuit. A very common reason for relay application is for voltage and current requirements, as machines and equipment use a higher voltage. To make it safer for the operators, they use a low voltage and current for controls. You wouldn’t want someone pushing a button with high voltage attached to it.

Inside Out by Richard Serra, weatherproof steel, 2013

By the same principle limbic system can switch on behavioural response that might be overlooked by a separate region, like prefrontal cortex, similar to relay system it can activate a different circuit. And by the same principle formation of our early belief algorithms happened to be supper low voltage; without any interpretation, rationale and complexity - face value. For example if your parents argued over money issues limbic brain lodged it as money equal fight and trouble. If your parents ended up separating and it made you feel sad your belief would be then that relationships are pain.

It’s like your first house that you’ve built using meanings of your play box. It was there, you saw it, you used it! You were totally in the flow designing it. Your expressed architectural ingenuity took its form in a dwelling that in a reality looks like a residence of a total weirdo who prefers to share bedroom with her parents, approaches wee-sprints to the basement as a teeny-weeny inconveniences, and more like a wetting-my-pants excitement of fun-race, and enters her kitchen from outside only...in the attic. Of course not everything is awful about limbic brain. Bright orange living room, oversized loo and lush landscape that trumps all laws of gravity, watering regiments and existence of botanical specimens in nature at large are kind of cool things. I don’t know you, but in a way I do, if I presumptuously state that like me, you will trade your prefrontal cortex in favour of limbic brain on any given day after a mind blowing sex because sexual arousal is limbic’s notorious domain. Say no more. Ummm...olfactory ability which is also governed by the limbic brain, kinda sealed the deal for me. And I’m pretty much in love with my Systema limbicus.

by Ralph Gibson, 1967, NGV, Melbourne

Then imagine as an adult, once your prefrontal cortex development was completed (around teenage) and you’ve claimed your rational human being title, you went on a quest to redecorate your own dwelling by following strict guidelines of your first original model. You’re dealing with life using beliefs scripted at ancient times of your babyhood and carefully curated by your own limbic brain. You do everything to fulfil your dream to build the house of your childhood deepest desires with the reverent understanding that it will bring you happiness. Yet your frustration and discontent grow by day, as you failed to find any degree of privacy in a doorless dwelling, wouldn’t mind to have shower and bedroom a bit less than a three storey flight apart and you absolutely had it with climbing the kitchen from the outdoor...to the attic. Yet you persevere. Dismantling any half decent idea suggested by your rational prefrontal cortex. Why? Because non of it is in the original mock-up. Relay, baby!

It explains not only why we choose to date (some might say attract) certain types of AH and be astonished WTF?! in aftermath of a nasty break-up (yet again), but also why we reject the best candidates we couldn’t even dream of (that is the exact reason, you guessed it) by getting ourselves into troubles at work, feeling overwhelmed, followed by the desperation to unload and simplify life by...saying I can’t be with anyone at the moment, my life is too complicated, - effectively sabotaging our own happiness.

Do you ever stop yourself from fully enjoying good things going your way out of fear it all might fall apart and you will suffer from that loss, - better not get too happy about good life. Or even unconsciously creating negative imagery in your head the moment you feel happy and successful. How your parents terribly miss you and you haven’t called them in ages, or how you probably were too pushy to a colleague this morning, or how you could’ve done better research purchasing new fridge, and now it’s too late, the damn thing is in your kitchen, or...sounds familiar?

How do we manage to go from feeling great to manufacturing a stream of painful images in five seconds flat? What if I told you that you creating those negative pictures in your head because you were feeling good? That your tolerance to experience any positive feeling for extended period of time is preprogrammed and has its limit, upon reaching which you will deflate yourself by producing negative thoughts. Relay, baby!

Emotions Contained by Marie-Ange Guilleminot, 1995

Effectively we all looking for familiarity, not happiness. Relay will always insure to bring you back to most familiar level of not feeling so great. As species we have millennium of adversity and struggle, as a result we’re wired in our brain via neurological connections to register pain in all details, paired with a large part of our bodies devoted to process and act upon fear. That type of hardware makes it difficult for a poor old homo sapiens to simply chill and smell the roses without expectation of a saber-toothed tiger jumping out of the proverbial rose bush. We never had it good for long, only terrifying forever, therefor we can’t know how to have it good for long.

No one can escape relay. We all one way or the other deal with it. But the good news is it’s the only way we're all screwed up. And it's clearly not our fault that we're screwed up. But staying screwed up will be.

I know that it might sounds harsh but if our positions were reversed I would like you to be same harsh with me. To get to the level of openness and non-defensiveness towards life we need to practice diligently to identify and transcend our limiting beliefs. Bright beam of knowledge and awareness will be our instrument of practice. Mama said to pick up all the shit of the floor and back into the play box! And it’s just easier to tidy up with the light on.

Tin Ribbon by Carl Andre, 1969

How can we extend periods of contentment in our life? And if it’s our own behaviour that stops us, that perhaps we could illuminate, can we feel great all the time? Can we allow for thing to go well all the time?


First practice for you is to observe how you apply relay pattern in your own life. Maybe you’re good at starting arguments and criticising when things go wonderful with your partner. Or perhaps you’re marvellous at finding flaws and self-proving theories why your project has no future and how you suck only at everything which stops you from accomplishing only...well, anything, the very moment you feel you’ve made a progress at something. How about your addiction to worrying about things that are out of your control or simply irrelevant to your life directly? Study it. In which way do you cut your positive forward trajectory?

The practice is to know and be aware. Know how (step above) you're being a Drama Queen in your own life and be aware of how to dismantle it (step below) by shining the light of awareness.


The glass ceiling you probably even unaware of (I hope a bit more aware after practice number one) is neither true no real and is held in place by you. Once you understand this one problem and how to solve it you can do far more than date humans of your dreams and ask for a better pay check. You can make extraordinary shifts in the amount of love you feel and the amount of creativity you express.

Please consider that your negative beliefs are not as unique as you might think. More likely they fall under one of the following categories, or maybe a combination of two or three. I have three…it happened to be my favourite lucky number too, go figures!

Inside is not outside by Ulla von Brandenburg, 2013

1. Feeling fundamentally flawed.

That one will pop in your head every time you break through to a greater success, love or financial plane. A feeling that there’s something bad, wrong or flawed about you becomes an opposing thought to your current reality of being awesome, causing cognitive dissonance. Given that I am fundamentally flawed how can I be that creative, happy or rich? A resolution for that internal conflict for most of us is an old sabotage, a don’t-challenge-go-back script of bringing things to a familiar equation: my reality = my internal ‘understanding’ of who I am. Or (rarely picked as an option) to stabilise at the higher level by letting go of the old belief naming it as what it is – a relay’s glitch that prevents coherent operation of the entire system.

If you've been told you are just like your ____ (fill in the blank), - in a sense of incrimination of things you never done, more likely you have your personal version of fundamentally-flawed script.

“You're just like your father!”, still rattles in my head. Of course I am! I am half of my dad's DNA...unless there's something you would like to share with me. My parents' sides of the family were what Capulets were to Montagues, inculpated one another at any half decent opportunity in passive-aggressive and downright aggressive-aggressive ways, while my childhood was spent shuffling between those hostile forces. Accused at times for changing directions in my interests or forgetting to do some things (and that was a tiny percentage of my crimes, majority of them nobody could understand or name), I scripted my fundamentally-flawed belief that I am unreliable and can't stick to one act. In the reality I persisted and never ever deviated from my path of discovering who I truly am. And I forgot to do irrelevant (a lot of the time) stuff they told me to do, all while going on another discovery-of-me expedition in an eager manner. Ummm...I apologised, of course, for being absent, yet I remained on my path forward.

And besides, is it true that we should never forget things or let people down? What planet do they think we are on? Welcome to planet Earth! It's a wonderful place to drop by once we lay out some ground rules: people forget things, let others down, lie, cheat, rage, envy, desire someone else's wives, and eat pizzas with ham and pineapple...gross.

Only years later I understood that it was nothing to do with me AT ALL. My family would have blamed any child that occupied that role. It just happened to be me. And I took it personally. Do you too?

Ask yourself were you convicted of a crime you could never understand or name? Have you subconsciously convicted yourself of that crime too? Do you still think that if they said so you must have done something wrong? Yet you don't know what exactly you've done.

It's nothing to do with me by Bruno Munari, 1963

2. Disloyalty and abandonment.

If you subconsciously stuck in this negative belief then your mantra is more likely to be in a vicinity of “I can't expand into my full success because it will cause me to be disloyal to my roots, leave behind people from my past and be lonely as a result.”

Ask yourself did I break spoken or unspoken rules to get where I am? Though I'm happy, loved and successful did I fail to meet expectations my caregivers had of me? If you answered yes to any of it, you're likely to experience guilt because subconsciously you're programmed to believe that success on your own terms comes at a cost of being disloyal to your roots and people. That guilt will make you put on the brakes and hold yourself back from achieving things you desire or fully enjoying success you already have. You go along with a break-through of success followed by a cold water bucket of self-flagellation and condemnation pattern.

It's easy to see how my first negative belief above (I am fundamentally flawed) is a river that feeds pool of my second negative belief of being disloyal to one side of my family.

3. Don't you dare to shine, Sunshine!

The subconscious self-talk is “I must not expand to my full potential and success because if I did I'll outshine_____(fill in the blank) and it will make her/him look or feel bad and humiliated.” Very common amongst gifted and talented of us, who got this strong concealed message from parents. “Don't shine too much!” Convicted of steeling attention from the other members of the family, gifted children subconsciously learn to turn down the volume on their genius, so that the others don't feel threatened by it. Or master to turn down the volume on their enjoyment of shine-brightly mode. If they can appear to be suffering they can “get away” with it and receive sympathy instead of envy.

Doing some unfortunate incidents of self-sabotage one after another? Including injuries and other events that at first glance look like irrelevant misfortune? You might, very much so, restricting yourself with a don't-outshine guilt driven, fearful pattern.

4. More success – more burden.

A belief that you're a burden will prevent you from expanding to your full capacity and ultimate enjoyment with a mantra “I can't expand to my highest potential because I'll be an even bigger burden.”

The perfect set up for this belief is any challenging circumstances your family faced at the time of your appearance, from economical misfortunes to family members death tragedies. Undesired pregnancies, early on break-ups of parents, abandoned by parents work or academical carries, parents' mental health instability, financial struggles and on, and on. Life happened to your parents. But maybe you've been accused of a crime being a burden to your poor parents. Perhaps you've been told so directly, or indirectly by a lack of care, or attention to your achievements, or even absent of regular simple conversations.

To understand that your unexpected appearance in their world was a challenge for your family is the key. This is nothing more than their perception of difficult times. And it's not surprising that they convicted you of a crime being a burden. And it's also not surprising that any of your success will be count as another burden upon them. If perception of you is being a burden, than perception of anything you produce NATURALLY will be a further burden.

The question is to which extend you have convinced yourself of that crime even, of course, you're innocent of the original projected transgression. Ask yourself do I look for a proof in my every day life that I am a burden indeed?

The great thing about the work you do on your limiting beliefs is that it doesn't take long to spot it. And once you figure it out when the first time the pattern got locked in the place things get so much easier.

Understand that most of the guilt you might feel is for the crimes you have never committed. Of course there will be a wagon of things you've done on your own to feel guilty about, and I can think of a few of those too. Even so, if we remove the guilt of crimes our parents and siblings convicted us before we walked into primary school, we will be rescued from main issues that triggers our unworthiness and limiting beliefs.

Here're a few points how to do the work...ummm, scratch that. How to be in-depth, real and positive BOSS at work on self. Kind and wise.

  • Find the present moment. That's your HERE & NOW Inc. office. You work from HERE & NOW and from here and now only.

  • Keep one promise to yourself every single day. Yet forgive yourself quickly if for any reason you couldn't stick to your promise. Tomorrow you will try again.

  • Observe rather than react.

  • Learn to sit in purposeful silence...in your office (see point 1 above).

  • Learn how to breathe.

  • Take full accountability for your emotions. No more they make me so mad madness. It’s you! And you are the boss.

  • Make you ego redundant: stop consulting stories it creates. Fire the charlatan. NO more job security for you! Out!

  • Employ set & hold boundaries specialist...it’s you. So get to work - set & hold.

  • Radical honesty with self is like end of year bonus. Give it to yourself. You deserve it.

  • Release childhood unresolved emotions...that’s another end of year bonus for the best employees. Like yourself.