If you’re wondering how to reprogram the subconscious mind, you’ve probably been doing some shadow work.
Shadow work involves recognizing that most of us, like 97% or more, are living life unconsciously.
We are either stuck in the past, playing out old cycles, or projecting into the future, or both.
And almost all of it is in direct relation to our unhappiness with the present.
So how do we change those unconscious cycles? Well, we have to first figure out the why, then we can figure out the how.
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Why You Should Begin Reprogramming the Subconscious
The very first thing to understand about humans and our thoughts and behaviors is that every single thing we think, say, or do, we do because we think it will make us happier.
In one way or another, we are aiming for happiness.
It is our primary human drive.
Even altruism – the sacrificing of the self for others – is driven be the way it makes us feel.
We feel like heroes, martyrs, servants of one god or another – all of which makes us feel better.
The problem occurs when we act in a way we think will make us feel better as defined by our ego.
When we have not done our shadow work, we will engage in behaviors that are actually harmful to us and to others out of a sense of needing to feel better.
We will do drugs, drink excessively, engage in risky sexual behaviors, act in violent ways, lash out, overwork ourselves, work out excessively, eat too much, eat the wrong foods, and so on and so forth ad nauseam.
Next time you are out in the world, in a public place, look around you.
Take a second to realize that virtually everyone you see is hurting.
In one way or another, they are hurting and either numbing, escaping, or fighting the pain.
You can see it in their posture, in the way they talk to those around them, in the way they dress, eat, walk, move through life, look down, scroll on their screens as they walk mindlessly down the street.
It is a world of broken, shadow driven people.
And when we do not even acknowledge our shadows, much less do the work to integrate them and then do the work of reprogramming the subconscious.
Which is what is required to begin to move through life with ease, peace, and joy, rather than mindless numbing, frustrations, depression, anxiety, and/or anger.
So, our ultimate goal, yes, is to do what makes us feel good, what will make us feel better, but for the long term, healthy future, not a destructive one.
In essence, there is nothing wrong with the goal, nothing wrong with the natural drive of humans to reach for a better feeling. It is, after all, how we were designed.
The problem lies in how we reach for that goal, either from fear or from love.
When we do the shadow work, acknowledging that we have trauma from our past to work through and then work through it, the next step is to begin reprogramming the subconscious mind.
Once we do that, then we are doing the most important work humans can do – we break habits, we break cycles, and we build a better world just by building a better self.
What Is the Subconscious Mind?
Cellular biologist Bruce Lipton, PhD, says in his book The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, that we are all operating from the subconscious for 95% of our day.
We are, basically, on autopilot.
And that, once again, this autopilot is natural. It is not something we can fight, nor should we want to.
It is in fact the entire purpose of the subconscious mind, to allow us to function on autopilot while we do the important work of thinking.
We cannot both think and be present at the same time, so the idea that we can just “remain present” at all times is a nonstarter.
We can be present as much as possible, in the moments that really matter, like when we are triggered or when we hold space for ourselves or others, but most of our time must be spent thinking and moving through life relying on our subconscious.
Without that subconscious, we would be constantly exhausted.
A great example of this is a recent discussion I had with my husband.
I am a professional writer, and I get paid pretty well to do my job, but I only work about 20 hours a week.
So my husband comes to me with this great idea.
“If you increased your hours to 40 a week, I could quit my job (he makes good money, but much less than I do), and take care of the kids, so we can pursue other interests and investments as a family.”
My work is mentally taxing.
I love, love, love what I do.
I not only love writing, but I love the type of writing I get to do, like this blog, for instance.
It is perfect for me, and it shows in the responses I get from my readers.
But it is mentally draining.
Because I am thinking. I cannot “phone it in.”
I cannot write mindlessly.
I cannot write on autopilot.
I have to be fully engaged, in what we call a flow state, and fully committed to my work the entire time.
To do my work well, I have to be able to take breaks in between projects, take huge amounts of time alone or connecting with family, and refilling my vessel.
I also have to have a lot of time on autopilot to simply make up for all the time I am fully dialed in and present.
I could not work 40 hours a week writing if I wanted to. It would break me.
Sorry, honey. It’s a no go.
Lipton also tells us that the subconscious mind, our autopilot, is completely formed by the time we are 7 years old.
For those first 7 years, we are entirely on record during life, programming our subconscious.
Then, for the rest of our lives, we are on playback, playing out the cycles of behavior we learned and integrated for those first 7 years.
So we learned to be fighters or victims, lovers or abusers, kind or hurtful.
And we do not even realize we are acting from the subconscious.
If we do not like what we see when we do the shadow work and recognize our ego based behaviors, we must do the work of reprogramming the subconscious mind.
How to Do the Work of Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind
To begin, simply acknowledging that you have to do with work is huge.
That is really steps one and two – the shadow work.
You must acknowledge that you are operating on autopilot, recognize that you have major changes to make, and then dig in to where your programming comes from.
Then, you do the three steps of reprogramming of the subconscious mind.
If you want to reprogram it, you have to tap into it.
To tap into your subconscious mind, you must meditate.
Meditation allows you to quiet your mind, still your thoughts, and sink deep into your higher self, which supersedes your subconscious and unlocks it so you can start making changes.
Once you tap in the first time, it will be progressively easier.
To meditate, sit for 20 minutes in a clean, clear, safe space and visualize an energetic full body scan. From head to toe, picture each body part, and energetically cleanse and clear it out, working from your crown to your toes.
Then, imagine your whole body in the room you are in.
Finally, imagine your room in the house, the house in your city, and your city on the earth.
It is intensely humbling and uplifting.
When you have done that, allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper inside of yourself, surrendering to the Universe, which is a loving, gentle, all powerful force that is you, is in you, and wants only what is in your highest good.
Feel it come into your body, feel yourself surrender, and breathe with it.
When you have completed this mediation, have a journaling and divination ritual.
I like to pull tarot cards and oracle cards to communicate with the Universe and then journal on what I am changing about myself.
This step makes the process more concrete, like a record keeping of your progress.
Do Something Different
Now, the hardest part of reprogramming the subconscious mind is the action part.
Every single day you go out into the world, or stay home, do something different from habits you are hoping to change.
If you would sit, stand; if you would yell, keep your mouth closed; if you would go left, go right; if you would eat crappy food, eat a salad or some fruit; if you would spend all your money, give it to someone in need instead, or save it.
In the beginning, it does not really matter what you do, as long as it is different.
This process allows you to see how powerful you are, that your habits are not written irrevocably in stone, and that you can change for the better.
Over time, you will begin to make better and better choices, and you will build those new, healthier choices into your subconscious mind.
Remember, through it all, to love yourself, be patient, and be forgiving.