Do you live in a paradigm where people go to school, get into college, earn a degree to get a good job and work hard until retirement? The struggle paradigm. Or do you live in a paradigm that believes mermaids exist just in a different realm? The anything is possible paradigm. Have you ever thought about what your paradigm is? I know I live in a different paradigm than most people around me. I’m the weird one. The black sheep. The go against the mainstream-er. I’m comfortable in my paradigm but I see that others frequently can’t wrap their heads around it.

Paradigms are belief patterns that exist over and above family, cultural and religious beliefs. You can break free of family tradition, cultural expectations and religious dogmas but still be affected by a larger paradigm, and not even know it.

What we may see as magical experiences in another paradigm – those in that paradigm see as normal. Aborigines in Australia communicate across vast distances telepathically. Totally normal – to them. Because their paradigm believes it’s possible. It is.

The movie The Matrix was a good illustration of this. As soon as Neo joined the paradigm that saw the matrix as an illusion, he could bend a spoon with his mind and eventually he could even fly. But those in the matrix paradigm – could not.

I recently read one of Richard Rose’s books. He made the point that people really can’t switch paradigms very easily. Because everyone around you is in it – you have no other reference. You don’t realize you even should or can switch paradigms. You don’t realize that your reality is actually a paradigm.

The premise of The Law of Attraction is that we manifest our thoughts. Lots of self help books and inspirational speakers encourage us to change our thoughts to think more positively and learn to have an attitude of abundance. I do believe the Law of Attraction is real and a universal truth. What trips people up is that there is a paradigm that we each swim in that affects us on a deeper level than our thoughts. With some work – meditation and contemplation, we can become observers of our thoughts and in so doing, recognize when we are being negative and consciously change those thoughts. But I believe Richard Rose is right – until we step out of our paradigm – we won’t be entirely successful. If our paradigm says we need to struggle to be successful. Then struggle we will. If our paradigm says that people like us don’t become millionaires then, even if we win the lottery – we’ll soon spend it all and be back to square one.

So how do we change our paradigm? And how do we manifest our wildest dreams?

I believe it takes an experience of great extremes. To become aware of the paradigm you are in – if you are to have any chance at changing it. The best way I’ve found to experience a different paradigm is to read about them. To read about ancient civilizations. To read about people who have had near death experiences that shifted their paradigm to one described as heaven – even if only brief. To be radically open minded to other realities. To experience a mind shift or awakening through intense meditation. Some experience a new paradigm through drug experimentation – and I believe this can work but only if the individual is radically open minded otherwise they will believe the experience to be a non- reality caused by drugs. They will go right back to their original paradigm.

While in meditation I experienced myself as a mermaid. It was like a memory, a knowing from deep within. I was stone sober. It was on my 3rd full day of dyad meditation and it was powerful. That weekend I also experienced repressed childhood memories and sea sprites. This was a paradigm shift for me. It created a contrast for me with the reality I am used to – where people don’t have tails, breathe under water or have octopuses as best friends. Then, from there, I could see my paradigm.

My best friend has an opportunity right now to walk through a door I’ve opened for her. One that would move her to paradise and put her up in a beautiful house where she would no longer have to go to work every day and all her needs would be met. She is struggling with the decision. Everyone says it’s a no brainer but she might actually choose to keep renting in a yucky neighborhood, living paycheck to paycheck in a dead end job up to her ears in debt and without a pension. Because her paradigm is the struggle paradigm. She can choose to walk through the door of opportunity but she is stuck at the threshold.

I think this is related to Joseph Campbell’s work on mythology. I think people turn back from the opportunity the first time because it doesn’t fit in their paradigm. Some get a 2nd chance. Maybe having the time to think about it after the first opening is enough to help a person become open minded to a different paradigm – so the next time the opportunity comes around, they can wrap their head around it and actually shift into a new paradigm. I’m guessing that if I re-frame the opportunity for my friend into one with a little more struggle – she’ll have no problem. I’ll structure it more like a 9-5 job with a paycheck and limited benefits. Maybe then it will fit into her sense of normal and she’ll be able to get there.

Someone can open the door for you to walk into a new paradigm, hopefully a better one but when you become an observer of two different paradigms. When you can hold two different realities in your consciousness, as both possible. You’ve arrived. You’ve arrived at the frontier where you can manifest your wildest dreams. Where anything is possible.

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