Shift Your Mindset by accessing other ways of knowing
What is mindset? There’s a lot of ways to define it. One definition is mindset is a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines your behavior, outlook and mental attitude. Your mindset is like a pair of glasses you wear through which you view the world and which determines your sense of reality. Most of us are wearing habitual mindset glasses established from our younger personality and its adaptive survival strategies.
A mindset shift is when you take off those habitual glasses and see yourself and the world in a more expanded way. Although shifting your mindset is a lifelong process, you can take important small steps to widen your perspective and expand your reality.
You are more than you think you are, so much more. You are not one version of reality, not just one flavor of ice cream. You carry many selves within you. These inner selves are various parts of your personality and each has its own way of thinking, feeling, and being.
Like most of us, the roots of your wounded inner selves come from painful childhood experiences where you felt that your whole self was not welcome in your family system. To survive and fit in, you adapted who you were by creating identities that were smaller versions of yourself. You marginalized key inner parts and crafted a personality that was more acceptable to your family and culture systems.
Your wounded inner selves were created to keep you from being exiled or harmed and they carry limited mindsets (your adaptive childhood survival strategies). Your wounded inner selves continually rehearse their limited mindsets with the goal of keeping you small, safe and invisible because that’s their job.
They usually try to stop you with limiting self-talk, punitive inner mantras and dramatic fear stories. Their preferred territory of control is your strategic mind. The strategic mind constantly tracks your life experience in a “black and white” kind of way, assigning good and bad value judgments. It strategizes how to stay safe and how to be in control. We all have a strategic mind. Mindset trouble happens when the wounded inner selves and the strategic mind take over and reinforce their limiting mindsets. This creates disassociation from your body, emotions and imagination.
Now you are a multi-dimensional being. You can access wisdom and insight with faculties beyond your strategic mind (that you already carry within you). One way to expand your mindset is through the four Windows of Wisdom. These are four primary human modalities through which you learn about yourself and the world. The Windows of Wisdom come from the work of Eligio Stephen Gallegos (see his book). The four windows are Sensing, Feeling, Imagery and Thinking.
The Sensing Window connects to the wisdom of your body and senses.
The Feeling Window connects to the wisdom of your feelings and heart.
The Imagery Window connects to the wisdom of your deep imagination. Note that in our dominant culture, we’ve marginalized and discounted our imagination (“you’re just making it up, it’s just your imagination”).
The Thinking Window connects to your deep thinking. This is not the strategic mind, which is more of the superficial, constant black-white mental function. Deep thinking is the part of you that understands the bigger picture, tracks patterns and has deep insight. When you tap into your deep thinking, your heart centered thinking, it’s a very different place of wisdom as contrasted to the strategic mind that is constantly on overload.
An important small step to shift your mindset and access more of your innate wisdom is to cultivate access to all four Windows of Wisdom. You can do that with my free challenge course.
Sign up for my free Window of Wisdom 7-Day Challenge to use guided imagery to access your four windows of wisdom. Each day’s lesson takes less that ten minutes to complete.