New beginning can have varied levels of meaning depending on where you are in life. It could be the start of a new job or a relationship; it may be a new beginning in an old relationship or career. It may be a new beginning of your life.
When looked at from the perspective of conscious living, new beginning is about unlearning all that you had learnt and learning your truth, living from it. It is when you start seeing life as it is, not as we perceive it. We all live in our reality map and this map is different from everyone else’s map. It is very different from the reality. Our map comprises of how we perceive our world, through what filters such as from love, fear, compassion, feeling of lack or abundance.
What is Reality Map? How is it different from Reality As It Is?
To explain the concept of reality map, suppose we are designing a map of a city. It has various features like parks, houses, commercial spaces, amusement parks with roller coasters, mountains and lake. In reality, we experience this world through our emotional connections to these places. If we find roller coaster and amusement park exciting and exhilarating, we write on the map – place of joy and fun. If we are afraid of water, we write a fearful feature in place of the lake on the map and so on.
This map may be very different from another person’s map as for them a lake may be very refreshing but an amusement park may be scary. But the fact is none of these maps actually mirror the reality. That is why for some people the world is a very scary and difficult place but at the same time for some people the world is a very safe and nurturing space.
What does this mean for you?
An experience that is comfortable for you may be uncomfortable for someone else for example, a relationship or social situation. But since we are seeing the world and interpreting it from our reality map, we may not be able to understand what the other person is saying or what he/she means. This is the biggest reason behind misunderstandings and communication gap.
Understanding this could mean the difference between a harmonious relationship and a separation.
The major complaint from couples is that my partner does not understand me. Which in reality means the partner does not understand my emotional reality map. So he takes me to a roller coaster because its fun for him but it may be scary for me. And he fails to understand this because he is only seeing the world from his reality map. For him a roller coaster cannot be scary and it is impossible for him to understand what you mean as long as he is working only from his reality map. No amount of persuasion, explanation or communication can explain this to him until he is ready to look at the roller coaster from your perspective or your reality map.
To really understand and communicate, we need to step out of our reality map and see things and people for what they really are and also have an idea of where they are coming from (i.e. what is their reality map.). When they talk about their problems or experiences, are they coming from love or fear, are they coming from abundance or lack and what do you feel about that problem and experience.
How Can You Step Out Of Your Reality Map?
To understand how to get out of your reality map or have more awareness of it, lets first look at how they are created.
How Reality maps are created?
What determines your outlook or perspective to the world is how you experienced your world as a kid and what you learnt about how your parents or caretakers experienced their world. This is why we talk about genetics and hereditary problems. Up to 7 years of age, the brain is in alpha state that means it is learning and absorbing every bit of information that is coming towards it – verbal, physical, emotional, energetic etc. And the child’s brain is using this information to create its reality map. But this is not all.
What binds you to your reality map is your emotional experience. Emotions act as anchors. The way you felt about people, things and situations and the way your parents (or caretakers) feel about the world (people, things or situations) determines how your reality map is being created.
On the positive side, this is a very useful tool because this is how learning happens. For example, you experienced pain when you burnt your hand so you learn to be cautious of fire. That emotion of pain creates an anchor to the memory of burning hand. Every time you are near fire, at a very subconscious level, you will be aware of it because that memory will keep the lesson alive. This is what we call “anchors”.
However, on the negative side, these anchors can also keep you from expanding your horizons, exploring the new and moving away from self-sabotaging behaviours or patterns.
This is how patterns are formed that create and re-enforce your reality map.
As a kid, when you did something and after that you experienced approval and attention from a parent who also disapproves of you a lot (in simple words you found a way to make your parent happy who usually is not easy to please); that attention and approval felt so good (the exact feeling of love) from that strict parent and it meant so much more than anything else.
However, your subconscious also learnt a pattern that when you try to please someone who is not easy to please, the love and attention you get from them gives you a high (produces happy chemicals and hormones in your body).
This pattern causes you to subconsciously seek out partners that are not easy to please. If by chance, you come across someone who reciprocates love easily, your subconscious or your reality map discards them as not your type or too boring because they wont give you the chemical highs in your body.
What is wrong with seeking these “highs”?
The problem is not in the “chemical high”. It is in the attachment to these emotional states. When you are attached to them, you would seek them out more and go into low emotional states when you don’t get it. This is what you call the roller coaster ride of relationships and emotions.
Another problem is that your reality map has associated this emotion of love or “high” emotional state to someone else outside of you. So being alone would be a very scary prospect. You would crave fro people and company. You would depend on them for your emotional state. In other words, you are addicted to people. This means your life and emotional state is in the hands of someone else. You are a mere puppet. Pull a few strings, press a few buttons and voila!! You can be manipulated – through guilt, anger, fear, withdrawal of love, attention and so on.
The Way Out
Since emotions are the glue that anchor you to particular memory, lessons and physical and mental states, first step is to learn to handle emotions.
Emotion is energy in motion. Its purpose is to bring you into present awareness. It also gives you the necessary energy to take an action if needed.
All you need to do when an emotion comes up is become aware of it and acknowledge it (for the message it brings).
If the emotion is over-whelming, you can use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to handle it effectively.
Emotion is a sign that something is important to you. If there is an emotion, that means something (memory, event (positive or negative) or survival fear) has been triggered. Emotions usually cloud our rational thinking and judgment capabilities. So it is best to heal the emotional layer first to understand what has really been triggered in my reality map.
Once the emotion has settled to quite an extent, we can clearly see what had triggered it in the first place i.e. what really happened. This is why we say the first thing we need to do is clear emotional anchors. When the emotional anchor is cleared, we can see the reality for what it is rather than from how we perceive it.
For example, a rope in the dark may seem like a snake. If we start panicking (emotional state) we lose our ability to take a rational decision. But once we can calm ourselves down, we may realize that it is a rope in reality.
“Like I said this ability of the mind to anchor has a positive aspect as well. It is a protection mechanism for our being. If the rope was not a rope but an actual snake, we need to react quickly to save our life. But most often in our today’s world, we are reacting to things that we don’t yet understand, haven’t yet understood and are too emotional to look at it. Most fears and phobias are a result of such emotional anchors.”
Once the event comes to light with clarity and we understand for what it really is, it begins to unravel the whole pattern just a necklace of pearls when broken. At this point, the healing comprises of the above-mentioned 2 steps – healing the emotion and understanding the difference between the reality and our reality map.
Constant practice of awareness and healing the emotional anchors is what sets us free from our reality map. It gives us a chance to see the world for what it is, not from our emotional experience of it. It opens up a whole lot of opportunities for adventure, expanding our boundaries, living life with joy and ease. It sets you free to achieve what you wanted with ease, it takes you to a point where you are not living from lack but from abundance.
It brings with it a new life, when you are not sleeping in your reality map but awake and conscious to the present as it is.