Stop Being Yourself

Stop being yourself. From birth, even from conception, the molecules that make up “who we are” connect and evolve to form our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us. On a biological level we can see this happen through a microscope and then outwardly in visible physical changes. This is more difficult to “see” on a psychological, social, or emotional level. Changes are constantly taking place in our minds that influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as how we relate to others. Yet it is widely accepted that our experiences from birth through some point in childhood, adolescence and even perhaps across the lifespan contribute significantly to who we think we have become, who we are, and who we will always be. But what if it isn’t true? This sounds strange. I know. Follow me.

What if we quieted the mind in such a way that we think, see, feel and perceive ourselves and the world differently? There is a concept called the Default Mode Network (DMN), a normal system based on survival, which consists of the familiar or patterned ways of communicating within the brain that blocks out distractions in order to optimize daily functioning. The DMN connects experiences from past, present and future in order to help us recognize “this is a screen”, “this is my hand”, “I can ride a bike”, “people are humans like me”, etc… When the DMN is interrupted in some way, opportunities arise to make new associations or think, feel, see, and understand oneself and the world differently. The renaissance happening in the field of psychedelic substances is shedding more light on this as in this article here: “Me, myself, bye: regional alterations in glutamate and the experience of ego dissolution with psilocybin”.

The suggestion of “Stop Being Yourself” refers to self-awareness. We may not be who we think we are or who we’ve recognized ourselves to have become. We are likely so much more than who we think we are. I believe we are. Peeling back the layers of who we think we are and becoming open to the more vast, intelligent, kind, and relational being we are is a journey we can all be on. Shedding old ideas, inviting transformation, discovering new realizations or epiphanies daily – these are not only worthwhile, they can become very “why” that brings meaning to life, death, and everything in between. Stop Being Yourself because you are so much more!

Published by Dr. Rick Barnett

Licensed Clinical Psychologist-Doctorate, Addiction/Recovery Specialist, among other things...

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