Ep. 132: How I’m Overcoming My Subconscious Programming with Robyn Openshaw
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Today I am sharing with you some very personal thoughts and experiences that I’ve never shared with anyone before. After reading Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book The Biology of Belief and having the privilege of interviewing him on the show, it inspired me to do some deep personal introspection into understanding some of my early program scripts that I have allowed to play out in my life.
I wanted to look more closely and consciously at those to see how I can overcome and rewrite them to create more empowering scripts that help me live a higher-vibration life. My hope is that you, too, may feel empowered to take a look at your own subconscious programming and discover how to rewrite some damaging scripts that may have been playing out in your life.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Listen to Episode 124 with Dr. Lipton
Hey everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw. Welcome back to the Vibe show. Today is going to be kind of a personal episode and I’m going to share something that I’ve never actually said out loud before, something I’ve never even told my closest friends. In fact, I wasn’t even entirely aware of this. And the reason I’m sharing it is that I hope it shakes something loose for you because I have a feeling that you have a similar issue just waiting to be unearthed. All of this is really inspired by a recent episode that I did in the interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton. He’s the author of “The Biology of Belief” and we explored what’s in that book and sort of his quantum approach to biology in Episode 124. So make sure that you listen to that episode before you listen to this one. It’s fine to just pause this one and go back to Episode 124 if you’ve not listened to it yet.
We have a bunch of people telling us that they’ve listened to it two and three times and sometimes when you listen to a podcast more than once, it’s because it’s so intellectually or technically dense, but this episode wasn’t like that at all. The reason you’ll likely listen to it more than once is just that it’s going to have some light bulbs come on for you and it’s just going to be like huge light switches coming on. You might even be a little bit overwhelmed by how much light there is on some parts of your life that never made sense to you before and you just figured it out. Or at least that’s the experience that I had, even more than just reading his book did. Just the interview with him, really shined a flashlight on some stuff I needed to spend some time thinking about. And it also really made me want to read Doctor Lipton’s other books. And I have heard a comment from several that they’re having a similar reaction to it that I’ve had.
So Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor, but he has a real spiritual bent and it’s in a way that I can understand and accept because he brings it together with the why’s of biology. So for me it’s like he brings together Newton’s biology, where we’re talking about cells and cell membranes and the interaction of cells and we’re talking about structures and Organelles. You remember, basically high school biology. And he combines that to higher level thinking or Einsteinian or quantum biology, I think you would call it.
I love the spirituality and the mindfulness and meditation movements. I definitely resonate with them because I feel like the modern lifestyle has become super stressful. And in a world where there is pressure everywhere and there’s so much information, we’re all just looking for ways to stay grounded. I even go to a meditation class on the weekends here in Salt Lake City by a Buddhist teacher. And qualifier here, because anytime I post on Facebook, a Buddhist quote, I get into trouble as there are people who want to yell at me about it. Listen, Buddhism isn’t a church or religion, contrary to popular belief. People who don’t know much about it, will get upset with me when I post a Buddhist quote on Facebook. Some folks even seem to see it as a religion competing with Christianity. It’s really a practice, and I read this great quote recently about how Buddhism makes you a better Christian and how there’s nothing in the spiritual teachings or the practice of Buddhism that conflicts with Christianity or other religions. So there’s a lot to learn there.
I go to this event on the weekends, it’s held on late Sunday mornings, to learn more about mindfulness and meditative practice because these are practices that definitely have the potential to raise your vibration, which is what we come here to do, right? So I love those movements, but I know they can be a little woo woo sometimes. But what I love about Bruce Lipton is that probably due to his medical and science and research background, he can explain the why of the theory that it’s our response to our environment that dictates whether we’re happy and healthy or not. It’s literally dictating cell behavior. So probably more than any other thing, maybe even more than what we eat or whether we exercise, is that our response to stress and to everyday events, the way we respond emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally is very, very powerful. It may be the most powerful thing in determining our health and how much joy and love and happiness we are going to experience in life.
And it turns out it’s not actually our genetics that is the puppeteer governing us. We’ve definitely talked about this on a few episodes before, right? You’ve heard me say that I’m kind of alarmed at the response of functional medicine based on very early burgeoning information coming out about our genetic code and specifically information that we get from genetic testing. And in standard of care medicine, I’m equally alarmed at how many doctors didn’t get the memo that our heredity doesn’t dictate a whole lot really.
I was at tennis practice last week and a teammate of mine, who knows I do a lot of research on cancer, I didn’t know her very well, she’s even newer on the team than I am, but she was telling me that her husband had died of brain cancer a couple of years ago. And I had said to this teammate, what do you think his risk factors were. And she was explaining to me that was a paint contractor and she thinks he had a lot of toxic exposure from that and some other risk factors. And as she and I were chatting about that, another one of my teammates who is a recently retired medical doctor came up and said, :Oh, that doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s just heredity”. And I didn’t say anything because doctors don’t really like it when you disagree with them, especially in front of other people. But it was amazing to me that someone who had a 35 year medical career has not gotten the memo about epigenetics and how little of what happens to us actually has anything to do with our predetermined destiny of our genes.
I have said in the past that I’m concerned that people are sort of grabbing onto genetics as the latest sort of victim story. Like there’s something wrong with me. Oh, I know what it is. It’s that I have the MTHFR genetic SNP. Or there’s lots of other genetic SNP’s that you might be tested for and you might get the idea of, oh, there’s something wrong with me because I have this gene or that gene. And so when I hear that, I think, yeah, but what else do you have in your genetics that might back that system up? If you have one gene that’s expressing badly there any number of other backup systems that can do the job for you. I mean, we have tens of thousands of genes, right? And most genetic snips haven’t even been studied yet, which makes sense when you consider that there’s tens of thousands of them. An earthworm has tens of thousands of genes, so we don’t know that much about genetics yet.
But what we do know is you do have a lot of these backups systems, different components to your personal biology that even if you have one blocked detoxification pathway or one malfunctioning gene, others step in to help. And the lifestyle issues, the changes in your diet and your mindset, the way you approach life and approach stress. The things that we talk about here on this show. And today we’re talking about clearing our subconscious programming. And I’m going to talk to you about my own. You know what? You may be helping a certain genetic SNP that you have express better. But guess what? You’re also cleaning up the milieu or the environment that the rest of your genes have to function in. And so you’re causing potentially hundreds or thousands of genes to express in a more positive way when we do the work that I’m doing right now that I want to talk about to you today.
Dr. Lipton talked about this ancient concept that in the first seven years you program a human being. I believe he said it was an Ayurvedic ancient quote that has a rough translation in English to “show me the seven year old boy and I’ll show you the man”. You don’t hand a little kid a big fat book on how to do life and tell him to read it, right? He picks up, or let’s say she picks up a lot of clues from the environment she’s raised in. Those cues she receives from adults and from other children around her, especially older children, end up dictating 95% of what she thinks and does for the rest of her life. That is really powerful stuff, our beliefs. And it shows you how important it is to address our subconscious programming.
So your task after you listen to this episode is to ask yourself like I did after reading Lipton’s work and then interviewing him. What did you pick up in those first seven years that you don’t necessarily remember in great detail or think about consciously very much if you’re older than 30 how much of that still informs how you talk and think and act, now? The vast majority of every single day. I mean 95% you know when you hear that, you probably have the same reaction I did. Cause I hear that and I said, no, no, no, no, no. I am really fairly evolved. I’m fairly conscious and I think really for the most part, my conscious mind has overcome the subconscious mind. But have I really?
Doctor Lipton said that 95% of the time the subconscious scripts are playing, they’re driving the car. That’s obviously a lot of the time. And so it made me just get very introspective and I just think it’s everything to be mindful, to find our way out of what might potentially be a prison of our subconscious. The prison of being this victim to how you were programmed in your early years that maybe isn’t super useful anymore. Because remember what we learned in that episode is that your subconscious fights change. You didn’t make a decision to resist change, even good changes, it’s just what the subconscious does. It fights to maintain status quo and you are the same way. We all have a lot of subconscious scripts running that dictate our behavior and our thoughts and consequently our emotions that we live in, that we stew in, that create the functioning of our biology.
And so becoming mindful is absolutely key to living a more conscious life. So you hear mindfulness and meditation spoken of in the same sentence. I took a Great Courses, on mindfulness that I really liked. I can’t remember what that guy’s name, but he’s from one of the Ivy League Universities, I believe. And it was like 12 episodes and I think it costs me like 30 bucks or something like that. I loved listening to that and practicing. And I’ve done a fair amount of meditation and meditation training. But the thing is when we meditate, we become far more able to be mindful.
So let me share with you a script that I became aware of. I had never put words on it before. That I realized has been going on in my subconscious for most or all of 52 years. And I realized like this epiphany that really hit me upside the head is that I’m totally at odds with some of the subconscious scripts that play in my mind versus the conscious decisions I’ve made and the knowledge of who I am and what I’m here on this planet to do. So identifying the script that I wrote up and that I want to share with you has been really powerful in improving my mindfulness, my ability to step into my roles, to overcome the script, to accomplish my goals.
And if I wasn’t aware of the script, I wouldn’t be able to overcome it and to fully embrace the power that I have as a human being. That’s when Doctor Lipton says life starts to get really good, really happy, really purposeful, really focused on what matters, instead of a lot of idle chatter that’s under the surface of my consciousness. And that’s when instead of us being like an Amoeba or some simple organism just doing what our cell biology dictates, just filling the purpose of that blob of cells, you know, multiplying and replicating. That’s when we differentiate by becoming intentional, becoming enlightened, becoming mindful and truly far more spiritual and in touch with other living beings and all consciousness.
The more I understand the subconscious scripts that are playing and the more I overcome them with consciousness, the more compassion I develop towards everyone else. After all, everyone around me, and I do mean everyone is being driven by scripts as unhelpful as mine is that I wrote up here and in some cases even more toxic scripts are playing. So when I read this to you, this code that constantly plays in the background for me, it’s going to sound strange and it might even shock you a little bit, but I think that if you sat down and wrote up your scripts, which I highly recommend doing, by the way, you’ll find them shocking too when you put pen to paper.
My programming came from watching the adult women in my family and men too, but primarily my mother listening to her words and watching her actions. So here we go. Here is the script. Deep breath.
“Good women are homemakers. Good women do not work outside their home. They are not ambitious except in the arenas of mothering and homemaking. Good women are not leaders. They’re submissive. They accept the man as their leader. They may quietly express their wishes and thoughts to their leaders who are all male or to their husband, but a good woman does not tell a man what to do nor prick his ego or violate his authority in any way. If she steps outside her lane, other women should and will close ranks against her. They should shame her and not include her. If she has career ambitions or if she leaves her children in daycare to pursue other goals,, including the goal of providing for those children, which is a shameful and materialistic goal.
A good woman will subjugate her own needs to the needs of her family at all times and she is responsible for their health and happiness. A good woman always puts herself second to her family and to other people in general. Good women are never out in front, they’re behind a man. In and of themselves, women are nothing. We are only daughter of wife and mother of. This will be my success, wife and mother and without that, if I fail at that, I am nothing. When I speak up without permission, I am outside my lane and I should await social or relational or financial punishments because my behavior is inappropriate for my gender. The obedient and faithful woman does not pursue a career and that’s okay because it will be her husband’s responsibility to provide for her financial needs anyway.”
So, whoa, that was heavy writing that. Trust me, I could have written pages, but that’s an excerpt or a summary of what I could have written. It’s enough so that you get the idea. I mean, as a baby or a toddler or a five year old and beyond, I collected thousands of data points in my environment, most notably my family of origin, including my extended family to support that programming. And I could if we had the time and you had the interest give you so many memories of those data points and how they were delivered. But this programming was also reinforced in the community I was raised in. Altogether, my first seven years, built that script very powerfully.
And as I sat there and wrote that, the experience of doing so was intense because I was hearing many, many voices from my past saying that to me. Primarily my mother, lots of words, but also lots of actions of other men and women around me during my formative years. You can imagine the potential harm if I never challenged that subconscious programming, my life would be filled with shame and a feeling of failure. Even though by almost any assessment, I’ve had a really rich and wonderful and successful life. So when I’m living in a place of full consciousness, I have purpose and I operate from completely different beliefs. I know who I am. I lead with that. I operate from my passion and talents and what I prepared academically and spiritually and physically to do.
But boy, that subconscious script really trips me up in a lot of ways too. So one of the things that this awareness gave me is some compassion for my mother. And I’ll tell you more about that in a minute. But first let me tell you something very curious that happened to me when I was 16 years old. In the religious tradition I grew up in, which was very, very rigorously religious, my parents were far more strict and dogmatic than most of the people I later encountered throughout my life from that religion. My parents were very extreme. They were mainstream in the church that I was raised in, that’s how they identified themselves. But if they’d taken a tiny step to the right, they would have been fundamentalists.
We had scripture study at 5:15 AM and then Seminary study at 6:00 AM before school. I wasn’t allowed to wear pants to school, only dresses. There was attending church twice a week and lots of responsibilities there for both me as a teenager and also for my parents who probably spent close to 20 hours a week in their volunteer church service assignments. Well, a rite of passage in this religion is to receive a blessing from an assigned elder. I went in for my blessing when I was 16. I was super excited about it. And some people in this faith think of it as a spiritual fortune telling of sorts, but it’s actually really cool and interesting. I was super excited about it because it would give me information about my future, about cautions God had for me and blessings he had in mind for me, usually predicated on something that I had to do to be worthy.
And I was really anticipating it. And in my adolescent mind I saw it as predicting my future. And this blessing I received, it was really long and I was given a transcript of it, which I still have. I still get it out and read it now and then. And the elder in the church who performed my blessing told me about all the usual stuff. I was definitely expecting that about how I would get married. I would have children, I would do all this great stuff to be a quality mother and wife. And then it said this one thing, this is the only sentence of that six page transcript that was burned into my brain word for word. And here it is. “You will make an impact on the world beyond your family and the church that you never dreamed possible”. Whoa. So you can imagine it was etched in my brain because remember what my subconscious script says that plays all the time.
I want you to think about what scripts you have playing. I think it helps to identify where they came from. Like for me it was primarily from my mom, but also my religion. And by that I mean the scripture, the women who taught me at church, the other women of that faith I was around a lot. All of my eight aunts were stay at home mothers and few of them got college degrees. None of them went to Grad school. None of them worked outside the home except for the one who was widowed at the age of 31. And I was told to “Shhhh. Be a support. Don’t be a leader. There are certain activities that are acceptable for you and others that are not. You exist to be a support to the men and children in your life. And you can express yourself only as the culture, dictated by men, says is okay for you”.
And yet a man, a very faithful member of this religion, a great leader just told me that I would if I lived right and in accordance with God’s commandments, I could or would make an impact beyond my family and the church community that I could never even dream up. I was completely astonished. I read it hundreds of times. I pondered a lot what that meant for me. I have always pondered on it. It was essentially the first time anybody had put words on who I was and what I could potentially go on to be and to do for others. And it had to be put into my consciousness because otherwise my subconscious would have held me back.
Now, I don’t want this to be about religion because I also think that I gained so many good things from my faith based upbringing and from that faith specifically, and I don’t think that the kind of programming I received in my early years is isolated at all to this faith that I was raised in. Many of my readers of my blog and readers of my books and listeners of this podcast are members of that faith and it produces an extraordinary percentage of its following as successful, loving, kind, amazing people. It’s an above average population if there ever was one, they are doing so many things right.
And I also don’t want this to be about being a working mom versus a stay at home mom. I mean, those are issues in my own background and things that I’ve wrestled with for decades now, but it’s not really what I’m talking about because what I’m talking about here is a lot bigger and more interesting than whether a woman has a career or not. It’s really about whether you have potential to do anything really to be anything. I was on the planning commission of the city I lived in when my kids were young. I organized neighborhood watch for the whole city, when there was some crime in my neighborhood. I wrote editorials about sociopolitical issues that got picked up in newspapers all over the country, about issues that I cared about.
That consciousness that the blessing gave me when I was 16 helped me overcome a lot of subconscious stuff that would have and still could if I let it undermine my potential here in this space and time I get to be alive. I always struggled with this feeling that all I get to do is be at home raising children and please don’t think I’m saying by that, that that’s less than another choice. This is about me, this is about what my talents were. I actually wanted to be a mother very much. I always wanted to be a mother.
But I’d feel some measure of despair when I thought about how I’d really love to be an attorney, I always thought about crafting an argument about something that I care about. I always loved doing that either verbally or in writing. And for a while I wanted to be a defense attorney for the poor. I imagined myself fighting for justice for people who couldn’t afford an expensive defense like a public defender, and then I would think, no, I can’t. I’m not really allowed to do stuff like that. When I do stuff like that, I feel like a fish out of water. I feel like I’m all wrong in my culture, in my family.
The thing is being a homemaker for life does work out really well for some women. Not focusing on any professional training to support your family and or pursue your own goals and instead putting your 100% focus on homemaking and raising a family that is so fulfilling for some women and some women are successful at it, not just good at it, but some women get to do that for life and they just totally love it. Not everybody goes through a divorce after 20 years of marriage and finds herself with no support from the other parent financially or in any other way where it becomes a necessity to have education and skills and get back to working to pay the bills.
But, I’ve had strong feelings about this because fully half of women do end up in that situation. Half of married women end up in a situation of being single in midlife and of the remaining half who do have a stable partner for life, it’s still a majority of them who have to work for some or all of those years that were raising children. So I’m pretty fierce with my own daughters that they have a responsibility to develop some earning power and to prepare for a professional career even if they step out of it for 20 years or even permanently to be a full time mom and wife. And I often have told my daughters, guess what? Becoming a more educated person and pursuing that goal and path, whatever you choose, also makes you a better mother.
So I feel really strongly about it since most of my closest friends are seriously struggling, single moms barely making ends meet. In fact, I’m actually going to have dinner with one of them tonight. It’s her birthday. A really struggling single mom of three, who is a hairdresser, so she works. But you know, we just were not acculturated to believe that we would ever have to do this on our own. You know, the number one predictor of poverty is if a woman had any children when she was 23 years old or younger. Did you know that? I assume that statistic can be explained because at that age she has not yet invested in her own future enough to have any earning power when she has to set her own ambitions aside to some extent to focus on raising the little ones.
But one of the most surprising things about my children coming of age is that they have told me how much watching me start a business from scratch a few times actually, and work really, really hard and even have to go out and travel and be on hundreds of stages in front of hundreds of people at a time for a number of years and author books, things I did beyond the walls of my own home. I was so amazed when my daughters in particular told me that this has benefited their life. And I hope that gives some comfort to any working mom listening to this, if you have any guilty feelings about it. I would have never imagined that my children would feel that my working benefited them in ways just beyond the obvious, the financial that I was able to pay for the things that they needed and give them opportunities.
In recent years, both of my daughters have repeatedly told me in detail how meaningful that has been in inspiring them in their own path and their own goals. And I hope and I believe that their subconscious programming was very different than mine. I’m sure I screwed them up in any number of ways and that’s why this conversation is important is that we don’t get through it without getting through it. And we all have some of this stuff I think.
One of my daughters is a college graduate right now doing a postgraduate internship in Panama City where she’s really reorganized the program and communicated at a high level with the administration at SUU where she graduated, to get them to fund the program, bringing interns or students to SUU. And she really advocated for the team that was on the ground in Panama City. She communicated with the University and they ended up asking her to take over as the program manager. They really wanted to hire her. She has different goals and she’s not choosing into that, but she’s seeing some great success there as they build a program to recruit students in Central America to university studies. She’s got her sights set on probably being a pilot or doing some postgraduate course of study going on to get an advanced degree.
And I’m really glad because looking for a husband isn’t not all by itself anyway, a career plan or even a life plan, which is how that was presented to me. And my younger daughter is a college student at the same University. She’s doing really well, after a few gap years of struggle and trying to figure out who she was and what she’s capable of. I could not be prouder of both my daughters. And I think that at least one of them wants to be a mother one day and the other is conflicted about it. And I support whatever path they choose as long as it’s law abiding and useful and challenging.
I think that this programming that I received, the script that I read you is at least as much generational or cultural as it is religious. I think many conservative communities, which is a lot of them in the United States from that generation had very similar beliefs. And you may have had very different programming than what I described.
Gosh, a colleague of mine grew up in a home where both her parents were PhD’s and her mom programmed her that if you don’t have a terminal degree in a very successful career, you’re all wrong. So kind of the opposite of my own programming. And this colleague of mine, she has huge reach as an influencer. She’s one of the biggest health and wellness bloggers and podcasters on the whole Internet. And she is also, wait for it, a homeschooling mom of six at the age of 30 years old. But she didn’t graduate college. That wasn’t her path. And I think she has a script running, if I read between the lines of her upbringing that could potentially say “not good enough, not good enough, not good enough” because of the messages during her most formative years that if she doesn’t have a PhD or an MD that she’s not doing well enough, even though by anybody’s standards, she’s been wildly successful career wise and she’s an incredible mom.
So growing up I had a lot of cognitive dissonance when I found myself being this square peg trying to fit in a round hole. My mom even taught me to sew and I absolutely loathed it. She made me take sewing in Home EC. I don’t even know if they have Home EC classes anymore, but I would rather do calculus or write a 10 page essay to submit to a writing contest than sew a dress. I did sew the dress required for that class, but oh my gosh, how I hated it. I hated the sewing and I hated the dress. Actually, I never even wore the dress.
And I was this kid who rounded up all the other neighbor kids and I made them write stories, in a weekly story club at the age of eight. I wanted to write and I wanted to do research and I wanted to read everything there was to read. In fifth grade I was writing 30 page papers. I was a leader in my family where I had six little brothers and a little sister. I was always planning something and leading something. I was always competing in competitions from athletics to scholastics to church. At church I was the scripture chasing champion at age 14 against all the 14 to 18 year olds in my faith who lived within about a hundred mile radius, just hundreds of kids.
Weirdly, I also won a regional typing competition. In the sixth grade, the Rotary Club put me on stage in front of 150 old guys, which was pretty cool and I gave a talk to a 150 old guys. And I was entering piano competitions against all those amazing Asian prodigies in northern Virginia at the time. Not sure what I was thinking there, I never won those. And I fought like heck to be first chair of the trumpet section in the band because then I was ahead of the 10 boys who were second and third chair. And my whole point in telling you that is that according to something that was below the level of my awareness, so it was below the level of my ability to do anything about it at that point. I was all wrong. It’s like I was born in the wrong body or something.
It’s not that I wanted to be a boy, I never had that. I just wanted to be a leader. I wanted to have a career. I wanted to write books. I wanted to think and teach and educate others. I did not want to be less because I was born a girl. My Dad loves to brag about the careers of my six brothers, to just strangers he meets out in public. It can be at the Costco, he can be on an airplane and he will be talking about the careers of my brothers. My career though is a bit of an embarrassment. We all just don’t talk about . I strayed outside my lane. I did not follow the script and I’m just all wrong in that family of origin.
When I got married, I was told I had to change my name and I was sort of horrified because my last name was who I was. I did compromise with my husband who did not like my sort of mid-eighties feminist ideals. I compromised with him and I hyphenated my name because he was very unhappy with my feelings about wanting to keep my name in 1988 when nobody in Utah at least was doing that. Oh, the shame for that, being a woman who did not change her name when she got married in the 80s. Not at all what his family or mine actually had in mind for me and they let me know. My husband did, my mother in law did, my own father and brothers did. Many people, especially at church, refused to acknowledge my name, they just ignored that my name was hyphenated and would just call me by my husband’s last name anyway.
And I’m not sharing any of this with you to play the martyr. I’m sharing this with you to point out a few things. And the first thing I want to point out is we never stop wishing that we had the approval of our parents. That’s really tied up in this whole subconscious programming, is that wanting approval from our earliest mentors and authority figures and we want their approval because they’re really the ones who wrote the script that programmed us. Some scripts from some upbringings can be really restrictive. I work all the time, even now on letting go of worrying about whether my parents approve of me. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your parent’s approval, but when you know that you’re a disappointment to your parents, for your own health and happiness, I hope that if you take one thing from this conversation today, that would be really useful to become more conscious and mindful and peacefully let that go.
The second thing I want to highlight is that our children are going to take a path that is not what you would have chosen for them. And if we trust the process, and as I often say on this show, if you play the long game, we just might like the path they do take, even if some of the twists and turns scare us, and who knows their path might even be better than what we would have dreamed up for them.
And the third thing that I just want to comment on that I’m learning from this is the subconscious programming we got in our first seven years isn’t all bad, but some of it no longer serves us well, if it ever did. And with consciousness and with patience, we can live in a place that will make us happy and not internally at odds with ourselves. But the point is you have some subconscious programming. It might be very different than mine and you have the opportunity to become aware of it and figure out how some of it might be holding you back. And as Doctor Lipton said in episode 124 recently, we aren’t responsible for the ways that the past shaped us. We didn’t ask to be brought into that. We certainly weren’t aware of how we were being programmed.
But now that we are, now that I am aware of why I so very often feel uncomfortable being me or why I feel uncomfortable managing the many men who have worked for me over the years for instance. No woman in my past helped me get comfortable with that and step into my role. I often feel uncomfortable being a CEO because of that script. Now that I realize my subconscious is fighting with my conscious awareness of who I am and why I’m here, now I am responsible for it. I am responsible for making conscious decisions and being aware from this point forward.
So these new awarenesses since diving into Dr. Lipton’s work gave me some new compassion for my mother growing up. I realized that the programming I had, my mother had it as well. And you know what’s funny is that even though my mother passed on all those cultural beliefs and generational beliefs and religious beliefs, she didn’t actually act in accordance with them. I realized in all this awareness I’ve had, how deeply conflicted she was too. How much she too longed to have a voice longed to have responsibility and influence beyond her home and her children and her church. She longed to spread her wings. There were things she would have loved to do, but culturally, that time had not yet arrived. She did march in demonstrations. When I was a kid, she was a pro-life activist. She started small businesses. When she was about 70 she even wrote a book.
None of those efforts were ever financially successful, but they helped give her meaning and purpose and a voice. She was doing those things even after telling me clearly with words that women who work outside the home are an insult to God and family. So in my analysis at least, she kind of acted out. I can look back now and see that she acted out her rage against the system she was in too. She was just struggling and didn’t know why way before the consciousness and mindfulness movements.
One thing that’s helping me interrupt the script is to say to myself, I was put here to do this. Remembering that blessing from the church elder, it helped that he was from the same religious tradition I was. I certainly was not ready at the age of 16 overturn all of that programming. That statement that he made to me, like a mantra you might put on a yellow sticky note on your bathroom mirror and say it to yourself every single day, helps me feel confident and reminding myself, no, it’s okay. I’m not always supposed to be meek. My gender is no reason to not be powerful with my voice and my knowledge and my intuition.
Another kind of funny awareness that came from realizing I have this script running my software telling me to be quiet, to go along, to let the men be the leaders. What’s funny is when I was faculty at BYU, I was in the business school and fully 85 to 90% of my students every semester in every class were men. I also have six little brothers, six male employees at any given time, and I have two adult sons. It’s created a lot of funny situations as I’m constantly in positions to lead both genders. Even at church, I was asked twice to teach groups of hundreds of men about how to teach their children about sex and about sexual abuse. I stood in front of 200 men, twice, and I spoke up.
And experiences like that have helped my conscious brain rewrite the script. Every time I’ve had to mentor a man I manage in my business or my hundreds of university students, every time I’ve offered something that they need, something that helps them, this is more useful to both of us, I think, than the fact that I issue their paychecks. We’re probably rewriting the narrative for both of us. It’s a strange new world where in my generation, it has become socially and politically acceptable for the first time in the history of North America for women to be powerful. While the collective subconscious script I read for you, the one that was programmed into my DNA for my own personal subconscious to run, it’s also in the collective subconscious script.
Remember, we are not separate and distinct from each other. Gosh, couples end up having the same microbiome. We’re sharing billions of microbes with each other just by being in proximity with each other, living together, breathing each other’s air, kissing each other. We are in so many ways, one large collective organism too. So we have collective narratives and we can be part of changing the collective script over time too. And we do that with our awarenesses that become mindfulness and a new kind of consciousness. A quantum consciousness that raises the vibration of everyone we’re in contact with in any way.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, can we, women judge each other less harshly? Judgment is among our natural abilities. It’s a gift. We all judge every day, all day. People who say, I don’t judge aren’t really telling the truth. We have to judge constantly. We have to make choices every single day based on our judgments. But do we check our judgments and ask if we are being fair and take a look at the subconscious scripts that we’re running and using to judge others without even realizing it? It will absolutely enhance our ability to be compassionate and compassion and love resonate at the highest frequencies that human beings experience.
So, in closing, I really have come to the conclusion that we could all use a big software update. I hope that my personal reflection and awareness has helped you in some way today. I’ve loved sharing these really intimate thoughts with you. It’s a little scary. Usually we talk a little bit more academically on the Vibe show and more on the surface of things, but boy, we went deep today. We’re all just evolving and learning. We learn primarily from our traumas and our challenges interestingly enough.
And I love running into one of you, my dear podcast listeners, out in public, and I love hearing what is useful to you of what we talk about here on the Vibe show. It’s all very individual of course. I love reading your reviews on this show. If you haven’t done that yet, I would love it if you can rate and review this show on iTunes and leave me a comment. If there’s a show you really loved, I’d love to know more about it so I can do more content like that. It’s really a labor of love here, this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things that I do. And so thank you for just being here and for listening and for contributing to your own families and communities, which up-levels the vibe of everyone around you. I’ll see you next time.
One thought on “Ep. 132: How I’m Overcoming My Subconscious Programming with Robyn Openshaw”Leave a Comment
Robyn. This was so impressive! Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. I have very little recollection of my 0-7 yrs, but believed them to have been happy and with some good messages. I’m 51 but still fairly new to the whole meditation thing as I feel like I’ve had to shake off some religious ideas that were layed on me as a young adult that would not align with anything outside of just strict prayer/or meditation on scripture. You mentioned a course that you took in this podcast, 12 episodes, but you were struggling with the name. I’m hoping maybe you have remembered and I would be interested in knowing the course. And Im assuming it was that learning of that mindfulness technique that allowed you to hear the subconscious messages? Or how did that play out for you? While I dont believe I had hugely detrimental messages as a child, I would like to rewrite anything that is not serving me and ultimately the people around me. Thanks for all your work, you’re truly amazing!