It was in the middle of the night and I was wearing my pyjamas. Together with my two older brothers, I was sitting in the dark living room in front of a ‘state-of-the-art’ Philips black-and-white television. I was four years old but I still remember feeling such an incredible excitement from both of my brothers as we huddled together even more closely to the small screen.
It was like a science fiction movie when we saw an astronaut descending the ladder of the Apollo 11 while a voice, full of excitement, came from the little speaker in the TV. The astronaut was of course Neil Armstrong and he was the first human in history to step onto the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969. We later heard him speak: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The world was ecstatic! Or?
Two weeks after this memorable night, I stayed with my grandma for the weekend. I loved these weekends because she lived in the countryside, close to the forest, it was always very quiet and our time together was special to me. Over dinner I started telling her all about my experience of witnessing the moon landing two weeks ago and how excited we all three were about seeing Neil Armstrong descending that ladder. Grandma suddenly stopped eating, slowly looked up at me and said: “That’s such a nonsense! Don’t believe everything you see on that television.” And that was basically the end of my exciting story and we moved on with our dinner, talking about the small things which had happened that day.
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain
That night in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about my grandmother’s reaction – how could she not believe this life changing discovery? I had seen it with my own eyes (and so had millions of other people around the world), and I intuitively felt that something big had just happened.
Was it her steadfast believe in God that kept her from accepting this historic moon landing because humans were messing with God’s plan? Or was it just too crazy for her to be real?
From my bed I could look through the window and caught a glimpse of the moon, high in the dark sky. I had to give her this – It was almost too crazy to imagine that a man had been walking on this beautiful moon I was just looking at… Even though I respected and loved my grandmother so much, this was something she couldn’t take away from me because I knew it was real.
Stuff that we believe
When you look at your own life, what is it that you believe? Are you more like my grandma, and will you feel uncomfortable when things might be different from what you think they are? Or are you comfortable to look at the origin of your beliefs, and are you open to new discoveries that can possibly compromise your current beliefs? There’s a good chance you never thought about it this way. Most of us don’t, but I like to share some modern science with you so that you better understand why I write this article in the first place.
The majority of the things that you believe in your life, are not your own. Yes, this might surprise you, but until you were six or seven years old you didn’t decide which beliefs were going to be yours. Your brains simply didn’t have that capacity — the cultural influence, the things your parents (or caregivers) and teachers at school told you, and all other experiences you were exposed to were simply absorbed by your subconscious mind, because that’s how we learn as a small child. The brain wave patterns in young children are relatively slow because the brain is not fully formed yet. By the time we are nine years old we begin to develop our critical and analytical mind and we start applying everything that is stored in our subconscious mind.
But now comes the big surprise (or maybe it’s a shocker for you) — This same subconscious mind controls 95% of how you experience and deal with your circumstances. So most of what you believe and think is “real”, was what you simply absorbed when you were a child. And these programs are still running your life today, maybe decades later, leading you to feel like a victim, being afraid to make mistakes, thinking that you’re not good enough and so on.
It is no surprise then, that at some point in your life you start wondering who you really are and what the purpose of life means to you (did I mention midlife crisis?). Or you wonder why you always react that same way to your mother, spouse or co-worker — the programs of your subconscious mind are running the show for 95% of your day and they are not even yours. Will these programs meet the needs of your deepest wishes and desires? Most likely not!
From Reacting to Creating
There are interesting and exciting ways to break your old patterns. When you become aware of how your mind, heart and nervous system work together, and how your beliefs and emotions shape you, you have allowed yourself to start learning to make lasting change, so that you can move from a reactive life, to start creating along the path of your soul. And this is exactly what I will be sharing with you in my upcoming events,
workfunshops and retreats. It’s my passion to inspire you, empower you and share really effective tools with you.
I also inspire and train individuals and organizations, by applying the wisdom, scientific tools, and techniques of accessing the power of our hearts. Feel free to browse dirkterpstra.com, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or share this story with your friends. I would love to hear from you.