Ep. 138: Meditation and Understanding Our Subconscious Power with Robyn Openshaw
Since my interview with Dr. Lipton on the “Biology of Belief,” I have been reflecting on the role of the subconscious and the damaging scripts of our childhood–specifically, in making the shift to eating a healthy diet. Today I have a meditation for you, to get you started on the path to loving yourself enough to accept and embrace meaningful change towards a mostly whole-foods, plant-based diet.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Watch the Free 12 Steps Video Masterclass
See the 12 Steps to Whole Foods Program Options
• [00:18] Your subconscious programming can undermine your life goals. Living a conscious life is key to being happy and joyful.
• [05:08] Are we only “Reward and Punishment” beings? We often continue with harmful or negative behavior despite receiving no rewards. Is there more to our psyche?
• [06:13] Fill in the gaps with Subconscious Programming. We operate on subconscious scripts learned from early, preverbal stages of childhood development. We have the power to make changes to our script, which can bring us more selflove and happiness.
• [07:17] What is this first meditation? This meditation is based in “12 Steps to Whole Foods” and designed to cause a shift in our fundamental consciousness alongside the whole-foods, plant-based dietary changes. Used together, you can harness your ability to change your script and grow.
• [09:09] Why meditate? To begin to love and value yourself, your body, and others; to be able to make meaningful, positive changes in your life.
• [09:48] Meditation Preparation. Sit comfortably, palms upwards. Focus on your breath; relax as you listen. Prepare your mind to be receptive, and listen many times if this speaks to you.
• [10:51] Meditation Begins.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Robyn: Well hey there, and welcome back to Vibe. I’m your host, Robyn Openshaw. And what’s been on my mind lately is (you’re probably gonna think I’m a little bit obsessed) my interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton from episode 124. I’ve already done a followup episode to that, [but] today’s another followup episode, because Doctor Lipton talked to us about how our subconscious programming can undermine our goals in life. He talked to us about how living a conscious life is a key to being happy and joyful.
He has talked to me a little bit, I think it was more privately before we got started with the interview, about how he has this amazing loving relationship with his wife of 25 years and how he just wakes up so excited to see her and that it’s just magical. And this is really inspiring to me because I got the sense from reading his book, and from our conversation, that his earlier relationship or relationships, were pretty fraught with struggle.
It wasn’t until his late forties when he met this woman that it wasn’t like, “Oh, I found the right woman” necessarily, or “The other one wasn’t so great and this one is amazing.” It was more a shift in his consciousness that allowed him to be in the kind of relationship that we all dream of. Probably inspiring to me because, as you know if you’ve been following me for any length of time — you may have been following me back when I was a married mother of four — I was married for 20 years, and divorced, and, like most divorced people, I’ve got some scars from that and sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine being married again because it was so very hard to get out of that.
But (I’m almost afraid to say this out loud because I don’t want to jinx it, I don’t talk about this publicly a whole lot, maybe some photos on Facebook now and then), I’ve been in a relationship for a year and a half. And I really want the inspiration of being around people who show how it’s done. Where, you know, you have the kind of thing that we’ve had for a year and a half that’s very, very special, and my relationship is very loving, deeply supportive. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s forgiving, it’s low conflict. And when we do have any kind of conflict, we have a sense of humor about it and we work through things really easily. We’re respectful of each other. It’s kind of everything that you want.
And because I have all that, you know, PTSD of most divorced people, I wonder all the time of when does this amazingness end? When do we hit that wall, and it’s not special anymore, and we’re not taking care of each other anymore?
I was really curious to dig deeper into what he does to have a thriving relationship literally two and a half decades after it started. That was really exciting to me, and I am committed to that idea. I believe that it’s the case [here], even if my subconscious programming was “marriage is struggle.” Because in my first seven years of life, I observed my parents deadlocked in a tremendous amount of conflict. And that actually never changed. It’s not like that ended after seven years.
But when I went to Grad school, I partly did that to… I wanted to go be a therapist, mostly to, you know, head shrink myself. And at some point in Grad school before you’re out there actually practicing on clients, you kind of are exposed to a lot of different schools of thought in therapy and I sort of aligned with the school of behavioral therapy.
So think Pavlov, one of the early researchers. Push a little lever and a pellet comes out, I get a reward. I’m going to push the lever more, right? Push a lever and get shocked, I’m going to avoid that lever. I’m going to stay away from that side of the cage. That’s sort of the rudimentary fundamentals of behaviorism. B.F. Skinner is probably the most famous behaviorist.
That’s the school of thought that made the most sense to me at least as I was getting started, and as I was in my late twenties at the time. And I resonated with that more than, for instance, the more subconscious programming models of Freud, and later Jung, probably just because I was young and it seemed like I could wrap my head around it [more] and I could build protocols around it.
The problem is that, I got out there as a therapist and I couldn’t figure out how some people were even rewarded by behavior that looked like it was giving my client nothing but negatives. And yet they would still do it. I thought, this doesn’t fit the model that I’ve bought into. And I became aware that there was more to human behavior than reward and punishment; whatever we’re getting rewarded for, we do more of, whatever we get punished for, we do less of. And I felt like the behavioral school of thought was failing me. I just kinda kept committing to it and I kept thinking, “I just have to think what the less obvious rewards are for this person who keeps doing this thing.”
That school of thought had its virtues, it was really useful to in some ways, but also had some limitations. This concept that we’ve been diving into, this fact of how we were programmed below the surface of our consciousness that we studied with Dr. Bruce Lipton, it has to be part of that equation.
As I started to realize that analyzing behavior patterns relative to reward and punishment was a limited model (subconscious programming definitely I was exposed to it, it was not new) this idea that we have these scripts from our pre-verbal stages of development, from our early childhood, really filled a lot of gaps for me. And I’d been getting a lot of feedback from our readers about how many times they’ve listened to the podcast. Somebody on Facebook said, “wow, wow, wow, wow, wow” in response to listening to the episode. So I feel like some of you are really deeply considering how you were programmed. And so I decided that today I want to share a meditation with you.
It’s one of 13 meditations that I wrote. I spent months and months on these, and I did this to help you make the consciousness shift that has to accompany a lifestyle change.
I wrote these meditations when I was developing my 12 Steps to Whole Foods course, which I started working on 13 years ago. After I put the Green Smoothie Girl site up, and the blog — the site itself, traffic on the site, the videos that I was making — were going totally viral, it became this full-time job to answer emails from people, mostly women. And they were asking, “Okay, so you got your family off the standard American Diet and you’ve got them onto a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet, but how did you do it?” So I was developing that course to answer it, like, “Here are the habits that I developed that were game changers.”
I mean, I obviously experimented with a bunch of things along the way that weren’t super useful to me, or they weren’t total needle movers, but in 12 Steps to Whole Foods it’s boiled down to the 12 things that I found were super, super useful. So there’s why I developed the meditations, to go along with all the education in the video demos in the recipes. Because as a therapist, I knew there would have to be a shift in our fundamental consciousness.
I’m going to share the very first meditation with you, which is very foundational. It’s not me who did this voiceover; I actually had a voice talent who was one of my closest friends as I was raising my little children. We both became mothers on the same day, August 6th, 1993. So we both have a child turning 26 this summer. Carolyn has an amazing voice, and she’s was a concert pianist. You’ll actually be hearing music that she did in the background along with her voice. But the writing and the intent behind it is mine.
The reason I wrote this meditation is to help you begin to love yourself. It has to start there. It might seem a strange concept; if you’re going to change your diet you have to start by loving yourself. But there are too many women, and actually men too, let’s face it (but 85% of the people who tune into me are women), who really do not love and value themselves. And we can’t love others fully and with appropriate boundaries until, and unless, we love ourselves. And we also can’t make meaningful, positive changes in our life until we care about ourselves enough to value the body that we’ve been given.
This is the first meditation, and if you’re not driving or working I hope you’ll sit down in whatever meditation position you prefer — I like to do it against a wall, or against the headboard of my bed — and get comfortable. Put your palms face up on your crossed legs, or however you do it, and do your breathing, in and out. Focus on your breath, relax as you listen. Prepare your mind to be receptive. Because this meditation is designed to remind you of who you are, and how you want to be, from this moment forward. And you might want to listen to this many times. If this speaks to you, and if your consciousness becomes aware as you listen to this that this is [something] that you need to drive deep into your subconscious, then please by all means, listen to it as many times as you want. Because as Dr Lipton said, consciousness is the key to living in total bliss and happiness.
Meditation: “Inside my physical form is my spirit, that is eternal.
My spirit is wise and strong; It is infinitely loving. It has known divinity, and It always has understood Its connection to Its divine and eternal source. My spirit is more beautiful than anything on the outside. My internal character, my spirit is unique. It has been shaped by the experiences I’ve had, experiences that are painful, or beautiful, or profound. Experiences that are challenging, or devastating, or consequential. Experiences that are intimately connected to those I have loved.
My spirit has recovered again and again from Its challenges. Each time, It regenerates and is stronger. My spirit cannot be broken, for It is eternal and It is divine. My body is the home of my spirit as such, regardless of any perceived flaws I have obsessed about over the years. My body too is beautiful. There can be nothing but beauty in the home for my unique and beautiful spirit. My body too has been shaped by its experiences. I now take a moment to consider the events of my life that have changed me. Events that have left lines or marks, spots or scars or shape changes. I will reflect on the ways my body is indelibly marked by my experience, like water etches marks in rock.
My body is a gift. It is one with my spirit. They cannot be separated. My body and spirit need each other like Yin and Yang, like a plant needs rain, like an organism needs air. My body and spirit need each other for their well-being. My Spirit can accomplish it’s divine destiny with a strong body giving it support.
Right now. I will think of the person I love best in this world. I will think of that person 10 feet in front of me, smiling at me. I will now let my heart swell with the feelings I have for this very dear person. I imagine my arms opening wide towards this person, my heart opening wide as well. I am focusing on that feeling of love. I feel for this person I love so much.
Now I will turn my thoughts to think of myself, my own body, my own smiling face. I will project that exact same feeling I had for my loved one onto myself and my body. I will feel that respect and love for myself. Every part of me, including the spots, and marks, and signs of experience my body has lived through that I was thinking of a few moments ago. The marks of how my body has served me for so many years. I love my body. It serves me well. I choose to give my body strength through the very best fuel, packaged in colorful whole, raw plant foods, fresh air, and opportunities to move my body vigorously every day. Eight glasses of clean water every day. Deep breathing and breaks from stresses. I am becoming my very best self in every way.”
Robyn: When I was building my 12 steps to whole foods course, I knew that information alone, with the recipes and tips and explanation of which foods would help your health and which foods would harm your health, I knew that information alone wouldn’t change your habits and ultimately your lifestyle and your overall health. I knew from my background with psychology and counseling that there had to be a fundamental shift in your consciousness for lasting change to happen. So please, feel free to listen to that meditation over and over if it serves you, because if you feel like it addresses some subconscious scripts that aren’t serving you very well, it takes more than once. We don’t hear something once and then it drives deep into our subconscious. It has to be penetrated over time.
I hope that it’s useful to you in developing more self love. You can also learn more in a free video series I did about the 12 steps I took to transform my family’s Diet and get our health back.
You can sign up for that free video masterclass at greensmoothiegirl.com/twelve steps. That’s numeral 12, steps.
If you haven’t joined us in this course, it’s transformed thousands of lives starting with my own and my family’s. Truly, I got my health back and my little boy’s health back after I had been diagnosed with 21 different chronic illnesses. I was on several different prescription drugs. My son was in and out of the hospital. It was learning these 12 different steps that I lay out in the course that really turned our life around. The lifetime members of the 12 Steps to Whole Foods course get a CD of these 13 meditations. And the one you just heard is the first one.
There’s a meditation that goes with each step of the course, which is a transition to a whole foods diet. So it’s getting off the standard American diet, and finding things that are good for you that are similar but easy to make and inexpensive to make. Things in the whole foods, plant based world. The point isn’t to ban all the bad foods. The point is to embrace how delicious whole foods are, to get clear on why we’re doing it, to love ourselves and our families enough to take a step at a time and ultimately to live our highest purpose. I will see you next time.