Q: "How to believe we can get well when we deep- down really don't believe this is possible, having been unwell so severely and for so long?"
Please listen to Col's answer in audio format or read the transcript below.
Hello, my beautiful friend. Thank you for this question. I'm going to kind of move around the question and just talk it out and see where we go with it. Want to join me? Yes, let's go. So, how to believe we can get well, when we deep down really don't believe this is possible...
A couple things: One thing is that it's important to ease up on ourselves and give ourselves the most calm, peaceful experience possible. So, I wonder, could you let go of that desire to believe or the need to believe? Release your focus on that. Can you drop the thought, "I do believe, or I don't believe"? And instead, just focus on having a calm, peaceful experience.
That, in and of itself, will ride you through to the end. Actually I don't know if there is an end. There's a journey, right? It will ride you through to your next experience, and your next experience, and your next experience, whatever that may be.
Can you just focus on the joy, the moments of joy, that you find in each day? And then focus also on calming your nervous system and the pieces of the program that you can grab hold of and run with so, to speak. And really, really amp those up.
That I think would be the best thing. I'm going to still talk around the subject you asked about, so there are other things that I'll kind of throw into our little bowl of salad that we're making here with this conversation.
I feel sometimes like there are degrees of belief. Just say you did want to believe, but you didn't find yourself to be there. You may want to explore this idea.
By the way, if what I'm about to say causes you any sort of stress, then just drop it. Drop it and don't even think about it. Just go back to what I said in the beginning and focus on peace and joy and don't worry about this idea of belief.
But if you do want to explore the idea of belief, here are some thoughts:
I feel like sometimes we sneak up on belief gradually along a spectrum. The spectrum contains various levels or degrees of belief.
Level one: We could fully believe. We may be able to picture it in front of us and we know that it's going to happen. There's that degree... a knowing. Sometimes people just have an inner knowing.
Other people can't picture it, but they do feel it's possible. They don't know how it's going to happen, but they do believe in that for themselves.
Then there are people who think, "Maybe it's possible" but they're not sure. They think it might be possible. They may or they may not get better... They're not sure.
And then there are people who think it's possible to get a little bit better but not fully better.
Or maybe you believe it's possible for other people. That's another level.
Sometimes I sneak up on things, gradually along the spectrum. Again though, only if it feels lighthearted. If it feels like work or trouble or stressful, don't even bother with it, don't even worry about it.
Is there anywhere along this spectrum that you can get a toehold, that you could place yourself? Can you place yourself there and nurture the experience of being there?
I feel like it's great to believe that you could get better. I think that's fantastic. And... I also think you could still get better even if you don't believe, as long as you're not focusing on the "don't." As long as you're just putting that off to the side. Put it in a cubbyhole. Say, "I'm going to visit that cubbyhole in six months" or a year, or whenever. Put that cubbyhole somewhere off to the side and then don't even think about it until then.
Then, any time the thought appears, "Oh, I don't believe," here's a good thing to do... Any time you think about the question of whether you believe or not, like just say the thought, "I don't believe I could get well" comes into your world... In the moment that it pops up, can you do your brain retraining on that thought?
See, I think that you can get better if you don't focus on whether or not you believe you can get better.
This is for people who have trouble believing that they can get better. If someone believes that they can get better, then definitely immerse yourself in those thoughts, in those visions. Definitely. Definitely. Definitely.
And if you don't believe, then maybe you could just put that thought, "I don't believe" aside. And if the thought comes up, do your brain retraining on that thought.
Then immerse yourself in the vision of someone else doing the things that would be in quotation marks "better." Or a time in the past, when you did do those things. Or a fictitious version of yourself doing those things, like you're reading about a character in a story book. Whether you believe or not. Just put that "don't believe" thought aside.
Another element is this: When I had a hyper-focus on getting better, I noticed... if you don't hold it with a very light touch, if you're feeling a little bit obsessed about getting better, that can lead to a certain kind of stress that sort of cements things in place. Do you know what I mean? When you're too attached to something, to a particular result, it can trip you up.
When I do my meditation, a big part of the meditation is the idea that, while relief is great, I'm not attached to the relief. Maybe I'll feel relief afterwards and maybe I won't. Either way, the important thing is that I did the meditation. And the important thing is that I did the brain retraining, regardless of the results. Because we can't really assess the results until down the road.
So now I'm getting off the beaten path here as far as your question. Let me reel it back in.
I think that all of this brain retraining needs to be done with a light touch, with a lighthearted spirit. And it's okay if you don't believe you can get better, in this moment. You could grow into the belief or you could let go of the need to have that belief.
Either way, we want it to be a very, very gentle, gentle process for you. So I don't want you to be too concerned about whether or not you believe, in this red hot minute. It will come.
I hope something in here helps. A little piece, a little nugget. Or if there's not a nugget, maybe there will be another question or an opening to a new part of the conversation, which I will gladly engage in with you or indulge in or play in.
And as I always say, you're doing great. You're perfect exactly where you are. You're moving to beautiful new things. And I have faith in you. So thank you for being on this journey with me. Lots of love to you, my friend.
Col always says, “Gupta saved my life!”
The decline in Col’s health began with serious lifelong medical illnesses not under the Gupta umbrella. Her stress over these experiences fed right into the cycle Ashok speaks of, creating what she describes as a sort of chronic health PTSD, leading her to develop a number of the conditions that Gupta addresses. She found herself each day for years waking in a state of anxiety and physical pain and then struggling all day long.
Upon beginning Gupta Program, Col realized how many of her thoughts were related to the severity of her health challenges, a virtually constant perseveration. She is now gradually healing layer by layer, one by one removing the Gupta-addressable conditions that had piled on top of her original medical illnesses. She considers this a tremendous blessing!
When anxiety hits, she now has tools to quickly ease it rather than struggling all day long. When symptoms arise, she has learned to float through them without getting upset about it. When thoughts about her condition appear, she addresses them in the moment, rather than allowing them to pile up and intensify into a whirling dervish.
Through daily Gupta retraining and weekly webinars, she continues to learn more and more about how to navigate illness and improve her quality of life. Friends are amazed at how well she now copes with the difficulties she faces and how readily she sees beauty and tunes into peace in tough times. Inspired by her progress, some of them have even joined Gupta Program themselves!
Rather than viewing illness as an enemy, Col sees it as something which is taking her on a journey into the unknown, teaching her essential lessons and bringing her down unexpected new pathways. Despite the daily challenges it brings, it’s led her to rediscover her joy in painting and to practice tapping into inner peace. More than anything, she loves connecting with people on tandem health adventures and finding ways to uplift and inspire each other.
For more about Col and her art, visit: SoulCenteredArt.com With immense love & gratitude, all proceeds from Col’s art go to her ongoing medical treatment fund.