"You believe the experience which reinforces the belief, change the belief, change the experience"
Jacqueline Mary Phillips
I am not anxious, I am not depressed, I am not agoraphobic, I am not claustrophobic, I am not any of these. What I am is a person that believes I am, a person that completely and wholly believes endless streams of thoughts such as ‘I don’t like small places’, ‘I don’t like it if I can’t get out’, ‘I am scared to go into a tunnel’, ‘I am….’ The list goes on. These are just some examples of thoughts a person who is too afraid to live, who has experienced the sensations of claustrophobia might buy into. So, YOU are not claustrophobic, what you are is a person that believes the thoughts that bring fearful feelings that perpetuates the belief, ‘I am claustrophobic’ and the experience of claustrophobia. There is a difference, a BIG difference.
There is something very beautiful that can be experienced when you sit with the truth given above, for you are able to let go of labels, labels that keep you trapped in a world of fear, a world that limits you. In this world your experience of life is limited and your personal world becomes smaller, as you begin to remove yourself from the perceived fearful situations, eventually staying away for that which invokes fear within you. Eventually the fear grows until you are consumed and no longer able to function as a whole person, the person you are in truth, the one that is limitless.
So, it is only ever believing our thoughts that limits us, and when we believe thoughts (not just ours but the thoughts given to us by others), for long enough they become our experiences. We then believe these experiences which simply serve to reinforce the thought believed, hence it becomes cyclical as a person continues to believe and experience something limiting about themselves.
I used to believe I was depressed, indeed the professionals told me so, and more so that I would be most likely to suffer with depression for the rest of my life. Such anger rose within me the day I heard that statement, I considered that they did not know me truly, who were they to say these things about me. I felt I had been condemned to a life of fear, a life where I would never function fully, I would always have to be ‘taken care of’ by someone. This was the beginning of the SEJ as you know it today, it was not a process then, it was an awareness of truth that I stumbled across, a truth that I was not what other people were saying, or rather believing about me (even though I was suffering the systems of depression); I, was not depressed, there was a fundamental difference.
This awareness showed me that I was not depressed, I was simply suffering from a depressed state of being. I questioned then that surely I was pure and whole, and could therefore experience something else. Could this be true? It was true, it was true for me then, true for me now and has become a truth for countless amounts of people. Once there is space between you, your thoughts and experiences you can begin to unravel the debilitating ‘story’ of you and your life situations, this is what the SEJ process will give you, freedom.
Once I had this realisation, I went on to see that I wasn’t even afraid of my thoughts, my thoughts simply triggered an emotional and physical reaction within me, this then caused me to act in a limiting way. Believing these limiting thoughts, in other words saying YES, these are true enabled them to trigger the emotions and physical sensations in my body.
So, let’s look at claustrophobia, 'I am afraid to go into small spaces' was a thought that triggered such fear in me, I felt paralysed by fear it was so intense, I even felt I was going mad. I kept trying to think positive and tell myself I wasn’t afraid of small spaces, but I didn’t believe the positive thought as my body, emotions and experiences told me otherwise. I realised ultimately that actually that was true, but unlike positive thinking which is limited in its application, this was a realisation deep within me, that I truly wasn’t afraid of small spaces, I was afraid of the feelings of fear that arose within me when I believed the thought ‘I am afraid of small spaces’. So, now I could see that my life need not be limited as nothing outside of me was actually frightening, only in believing it was, was I left with such fearful emotions inside of me that I kept avoiding outside situations to escape the feeling; which of course perpetuated the belief that the thing outside of me what the problem, as I was OK when I avoided it. However, I saw clearly that the problem was in me, being afraid of the emotion triggered from the thought believed, and believing the thought to be true.
I saw that as this emotion was inside of me, I had the power to change that, I could never change all the situations in life that evoked fearful thoughts and feelings within me, there were too many and my world kept getting smaller as I avoided more and more things. So, I could change the feeling, or could I? This is when I saw deeply that a thought believed conjured a feeling, I was saying to myself ‘be afraid this is scary’, so my body went ‘OK let’s get some adrenalin running and get ready to fight or take flight. My body was working beautifully based upon my instruction to it through a thought believed.
I questioned all my thoughts and more so, I sat with the feelings of fear that paralysed me, in other words I let them have a space within me, I stopped resisting and made friends* with them; as in all these situations I found I could not fight nor take flight, and indeed this is where claustrophobia can emerge; for it is a fear of not being able to escape. How could I run away or fight a busy room full of people, or toilet door that wouldn’t open, it was not possible, nor appropriate to the situation, but what I could do was see the truth, there was nothing to fear and so I was left only with the fear itself.
When you see clearly that there is nothing to fear you are free. And even in the fearful feeling there is still nothing to fear. It is just a feeling, you see even fear of the fear is a thought believed. Try it, if you are anxious, or feeling panicky just notice you will be saying to yourself ‘I don’t like this feeling’, or ‘this feeling scares me’…so even here we apply the principle of ‘make friends with the thought.’* You will then see that the fearful feelings are just energy moving through you, it is just the same energy as joy, it just presents itself in a different way. All feeling is the same one energy, just manifesting in a way that is relevant to the thought believed.
*‘Making friends with the thought’ is one aspect of the SEJ Process, it is a meditation which opens you up to see the truth of the situation. The deeper you go into truth at this stage the more powerful the realisation, so powerful in fact that you could wake up to Truth in its entirety in just one moment – in other words all limiting beliefs are dissolved within you. No experience of meditation is necessary as this happens naturally as you dedicate yourself to the practice of the SEJ Process in bringing freedom where there was once only fear.
Love Jacqueline x