BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Is your mind playing a trick on you?


(Approximate read time: 6 minutes)

My BFF recently nudged me to write this post.  She said, “Can you just please explain the basics of beliefs and why they are so important?”

Yes! With pleasure.


According to the dictionary a belief is “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.”  Just because we believe something does not mean it actually is a universal truth; key words in that definition being “an acceptance”.


What if I told you that life is actually an optical illusion?  

Reality is a creative hallucinatory process that people are completely in the dark about, leaving most of us to assume that everything we perceive is subjective and what we are watching represents is a ceiling of sorts to what’s possible. Most people think, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  

How could things change for you if I told you that the reality you’re seeing is a distorted image, more like a colorful mural with a black and white film projected on to it. We all project a different reel on to the same mural resulting in each of us watching a different film. Our stories overwhelm the beauty of what lies underneath. Many of us have missed the awe-inspiring nature of what is because of what we bring that colludes the screen.

Let me explain further…


Take this below amazing image called ‘Message d’Amour des Dauphins’ from artist Sandro del Prete to illustrate how we come to an understanding of what’s in front of us.  When children were asked to say what they see in this image they said 9 dolphins.

Do you see something different?!  It’s likely your sex-obsessed mind is at it again. 😉 By comparison, children can not recognize the erotic scenes simply because they do not have the experience to reference.  (Most) adults on the other hand have a larger breadth of experience so they see a different version of the same image. Experience is a filter.  Our mind chooses to see sex in the above mentioned illustration because most of us prefer seeing an image of procreation and pleasure over a bunch of dolphins leaping around.  In other words, we see what we want to see and what we want to see is often what is in our best interest in terms of personal survival.  More on that in a minute!

When it comes to individuals, beliefs are varied and random, especially when it comes to our perception of ourselves in relation to others.  In my healing practice, I help people identify beliefs that may be limiting their growth and subjecting them to a reality that is less than desirable.  One person might have the belief “I need to work hard to make money.” In this scenario, the person codes any given situation as the same notes playing over and over; all they do is see the same pattern so they can applaud themselves for being right:  just as I suspected, money arrived because I put my blood, sweat and tears into making it!  Because we only believe what we see, we stay in the same loop of creating for the future a regurgitation of the past.


Are the chess board squares A and B the same shade? It appears they are NOT the same shade, right?

What about these dogs, are they the same color? No, right?

Guess what? Your brain has lead you astray.  In both cases, the squares and the dogs are the same.

Hmm. Interesting, right?

You believed something was true in these above examples because you brought your past experience in to influence the current reality.

You’re not seeing things as they are, you’re seeing things as you expect them to be.

This may be a good time to check in on what other things you believe to be true that may just be a distorted version of the present!  


Look at the way you judge yourself and the people and scenarios around you, these are your beliefs and these predetermined notions maybe dictating your behavior.  Specifically look at patterns. The types of scenarios that keep cropping up and “happening to you.”

Do you believe that you can never count on anyone for support? Do you believe you have to do things for others to be lovable? Do you believe that it is unattractive to express emotions like sadness and anger?  Do you believe that the true measure of your value is your looks?

Would you like to know that these are not true?  Good. Because they are not. Let’s dig in a bit more.


The fact is… beliefs that we hold serve us otherwise we wouldn’t refer to them. We are all just trying to stay safe. No one wants to get eaten by a lion so we better recognize at a moments notice that that furry thing over there is a lion! As Michael Pollan explains in his new book, our consciousness functions using the Default Mode Network (DMN): A set of interacting brain structures that link parts of the cerebral cortex with deeper and evolutionarily older structures of the brain involved in emotion and memory so we can rapidly understand any given environment, at a moment’s notice. Yes it’s true, through our DNA, ancestral experience stored in our cells, and with the impactful experiences of this lifetime we have collected valuable (life saving!) information.  The last thing we want to do is knock our highly advanced technology for safe navigation, especially if we want to keep our limbs. That said, our involuntary impulse for “safety first” is best understood now with the idiom “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” which means do not let your overreaction lead to self-harm. It is especially clear that in matters of relationships, happiness, fulfillment, and even simply being present to what is, our DMN is not serving us.


In addition to evolutionary survival needs, another reason why we hold onto our current beliefs is to protect ourselves from emotional pain. We form our perceptions of reality more often than not to mitigate the loss of love.  Like the pup who does not want to be left out of the wolf pack, we instinctively collect data to understand what seems to keep us safely connected and seen for love. These ideas of what’s needed for love vary greatly since we are all raised by wildly different wolves!  As they say in AA, your best thinking got you here. Despite the fact that our individual beliefs were formed for good reason and at one time attracted the love we needed, the outdated view is too narrow and curbs so much more… so much more love!

Take the example of a woman who had a belief that she was “always left out”.  Early in her life this woman was painfully excluded by her peers which, lucky for her, lead to the loving attention of her elementary school teachers. As a result of this attention, a powerful imprint was left on her, essentially encoding her with the unconscious belief “if I am left out, I will be able to attract love from people who take care of me”.   Unconsciously, Lisa was attracting situations, and even creating situations to experience being left out so she could have an excuse to elicit more love from people like her husband. When Lisa’s husband didn’t show up to support her and lean in the way that she expected him to, the problem was exacerbated, driving Lisa to deeper states of sadness. Ultimately it was necessary for Lisa to identify and release the belief “being left out attracts love”, in order to stop the pattern.

Like a rock being knocked down a river, micro-traumas from our past polish us to the person we become. Our personalities are nothing more than the end result of the hurdles we’ve run into along the way.

Would you like to know a few powerful ways to release your limiting beliefs through a reprogram? (Who would say no, right?!)

Ways to get clear:

Energy Healing

Prolonged consistent meditation



and/or a dedication to mindful living.

While I highly recommend some serious “life-hacking” by considering all of the above, mindful living is one technique that can be done relatively easily, everyday.

Living mindfully is an approach to life where you are staying conscious to the food you’re eating and the sunsets you’re seeing plus with a Sherlock Holmes-esque eye you hold a magnifying glass up to yourself.  When I am approaching life mindfully, I am not “Tahra” I am the consciousness that is watching “Tahra”.  When we are present to ourselves, we can receive life more fully and can investigate our own personality like we are the primary suspect in a saliscious case.

Could you challenge yourself and your beliefs?

Can you get close to yourself and be wary, very wary… no matter how convincing your current experience is, can you ask yourself if what you’ve deduced is the full truth, and nothing but the truth?  Is there an entirely different perspective? Could it be possible that what you’re experiencing is part illusionary, like the optical illusions noted above?

It is important to note that as we dig into understanding ourselves with this investigation, we never forget to have heaps and heaps of reverence for why we have come to form beliefs or judgements so we can then gently coax ourselves to surrender, it’s time for you to turn yourself in. (Pun intended!)

Try what I like to call AWA the next time you are being judgemental or are frustrated by an anger inducing situation.

A – AWARENESS OF SELF ( What are your beliefs? Is this the full truth? Can you see different perspectives outside of your own? Is it possible that your (preconceived) beliefs are coloring the lens of this current situation, distorting the reality?)

W – WHY? (Could what you are experiencing and the beliefs, judgements and stories be an outcropping of with childhood abuse, trauma, fears, past life conflicts or trauma, inherited familial trauma? What “polishing” made you who you are?)

A – ACCEPTANCE OF SELF (Forgive! It’s no wonder you are who you are now and forgiving yourself is the key needed to uncover your true essence.)

It’s been my experience that when we finally concede to not knowing (you know, that moment when your mind gets blown and you finally say I give up!) we are presented with a series of precious gifts.  Living into the marvelous nature of what’s next comes with letting go of (most of) what beliefs and judgments have been collected.  Are you ready to concede and let the Universe share the throne?



Leave a Comment

  • Amie

    Beautifully said. Love the simplicity of how you broke this down. So good, so good. xx

  • Carolinne

    Excellent post. Love how you break it all down with such clarity and levity.

  • Jackie

    This post is insightful and incredible. I’m on the road and this is where I want to go. I am excited.