As a Holistic Health Coach, I help people discover their beliefs, especially about health and wellness, and make a conscious choice to continue only the beliefs that serve them. (not to mention balance the brain chemistry that clouds the perspective of their beliefs). Science tells us many of our sub-conscious beliefs are integrated into our perception and behavior by age 7 or 8. I get such a kick out of spending time with our grand-daughters and witnessing the formation of beliefs first hand. Beliefs are influenced by parental figures, friends, culture, government, religion, schools, TV, magazines, the internet and many other things. Our girls have 5 parents and 16 grand and great-grandparents-so there is a lot of influence for them to navigate!
We just spent two days with two of the girls-age 10 and 13. I asked “Mom” if there were any special dinner or activity requests or just things they had been talking about since they only come to the ranch about once a year. The 13 year old had apparently told her Mom the only thing was that she sometimes gets hungry when we “only serve salad.” We NEVER serve ONLY salad, but I got it-we eat more salad than any of the other grand’s. We certainly have the reputation of being….. “healthy” and whether that’s good or bad is up to your beliefs, right?
We mixed it up. Cooked some meals, went out for some meals. I was sure to make the shrimp and chorizo quesadillas they love so much….but I did go for brown rice tortillas and soy cheese.
Then, I made a crucial mistake…while I was chopping and Kirk was pan frying… I asked him if this cheese was melting well. THE RADAR WENT OFF! The girls instantly knew something was “different” about this cheese. Kirk tried to “cover” it by putting (I can already hear the gasps from some of you) American cheese slices on the top. In my defense, we have American slices to disguise our dog’s joint supplements and that is the only time we use it. (By the way-your response or lack of response to my American cheese confession is a sign of your belief).
The funny thing was the distinct interpretation by each of the girls:
The 10 year old ate the American cheese slice on top, but avoided the soy cheese inside the quesadilla.
The 13 year old discarded the American cheese, but ate the whole quesadilla-soy cheese and all.
Who was “right?”
That’s the point…depends on your beliefs.
Or it depends on your intention for eating cheese…to have good nutrients? to eat what tastes good? to please the cook?
Here’s something interesting that I encounter when I ask new clients to tell me about the health of their parents.
Answers have ranged from:
“good, but did pass away from Pancreatic Cancer”
“fairly good. She was diagnosed as bipolar and takes medication daily for that.”
“he is very active, but did have a heart attack at 55 and has very high cholesterol”
“Ok- she has issues that come with being overweight”
“Good- digestive problems, slightly overweight, low exercise”
In fact, in all of the programs delivered by One Whole Health, less than 2% of people have stated their parent’s health is bad. I’ll let you ponder all of the possible beliefs driving those responses.
Over the years, I’ve taken many approaches to guide a client to take another look at their beliefs. The most effective approach seems to be “prove me (or you or your parent or the media) wrong.”
If you believe one food tastes better than another…try the other. If you think one lifestyle choice serves you better than another, try the other and see. If you really look at a belief you may find that you don’t even know why you believe that. Be curious. Play. Find out for yourself.
I get really excited when a client redefines their own belief. Not because they have decided to believe what I believe, but because they have decided not to take pre-programmed beliefs as the only way to think. They have learned to explore their beliefs and they understand that they have conscious choice over their life…including their health.
I received this email from a client last week:
“I also wanted you to know that I got a bone scan last week, and my bones have improved over the last three years!! I have to attribute a good part of that to Juice Plus (as well as the fact that I am being pretty faithful with my exercises). Thanks so much for introducing me to Juice Plus!!”
This was a client who a couple years ago struggled to believe that dark, leafy greens are the best source of calcium as opposed to calcium supplements or dairy.
So…what went wrong with the girls? By suggesting something about the cheese was “different,” we influenced their behavior by inadvertently eliciting a “belief response” instead of leaving the door wide open for curiosity.
They didn’t have the chance to prove their beliefs wrong or be curious about all the different kinds of cheese.
You may have noticed, this isn’t a blog it’s my journal. Daily journaling is a beautiful way to practice. I invite you to join the journal conversation and meet yourself in the pages at:
You will receive a no cost course “Thoughts That Make You Feel Good.”