We consume stories every day from traditional media to social media to shows to friends and from listening to our own self talk. In this episode we look at how stories can empower or disempower you. Learn to discern wisely, so you can live by stories that lead to a more fulfilling and productive life.
2:50 – Are we on the verge of a great renaissance in human evolution?
4:60– How Hollywood movies can program you for good or bad
10: 35– Television is also Tell-a-Vision – beware
14:15 – Your mind processes life in story form most of the time
MindStory Inner Coach Book – Free PDF download
MindStory Inner Coach Book – Amazon.com
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This is episode 79 – Choose the Stories You Consume Wisely. We consume stories every day from the traditional media, social media, shows we watch, friends and family, and from listening to our own self talk. Stories can program you for success and empowerment, or failure and entrapment. Learning to wisely discern can mean the difference between a life well lived or a life of quiet desperation. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the mind story speaker podcast.
Stories can alter how our minds works. That’s why you hear such phrases as “that’s just a story you tell yourself,” or “that media narrative is false”. I call them MindStories and once you understand how they work, you can take back control of your own destiny by focusing on stories that empower you and others. I actually think that’s one of the main purposes of life. Stories can make you think, feel and act a certain way which leads to specific results in your personal life and when a whole population buys into a story it can lead to entire world change.
I remember studying journalism in university and we were taught to be unbiased on the one hand, but to create news items in story form. Stories, told in a certain way, can bypass people’s innate ability to discern truth, because they are designed to trigger the survival brain response. Then you are cut off from your natural ability to discern with wisdom. Same with movies, TV shows, stories your friends, family and colleagues tell you. Although they sound, at times, like people are just giving you the facts. If it’s told in story form with a certain structure, tone and intent, it’s very hypnotizing to the subconscious mind.
I believe our greatest potential lies in unleashing your innate human creativity, but we are cut off from that when we allow our survival brains to be constantly triggered. We are born with the potential for highly ingenious ways of thinking, but then it often gets overlaid with bad MindStories we pick up from our culture, society, schooling, media. It doesn’t need to be that way. We are entering an era of profound empowerment as people are waking up to how limited they’ve let themselves be, and how much more free and empowered they could be by just taking back control of our personal and collective genious.
Most people think of creativity in a very limited way. You draw a picture or brainstorm on a solution…and that’s all that creativity is. But it’s so much more than that. Think about the last time you were doing something creative, that you loved. Whether it was art, music, craft, called playing a game, whatever invites whole brain functioning, usually it energizes you. It makes you feel good. That’s because you are more tapped into the true self when you do that, as opposed to all the limited personality structures.
People crave stories. Think about how much people watch movies, TV shows, read fiction, do role play video games. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, because we’re wired for stories. Before the printing press all wisdom passed down between humans through storytelling. Our soul growth happens through stories we tell ourselves and pick up from watching other people and characters in stories. That said, some people consume stories seeking freedom from the pain of living, but often those stories end up entrapping them more. It’s important to discern what kinds of stories help the mind truly unravel from its stuck places. Many Hollywood type shows can actually entrap people more. We write them off as simple entertainment and not realize what a profound affect they’re having.
I’ll choose a story that maybe you’re familiar with, The Little Mermaid, the one created by Disney. Although it’s for kids, many adults watched it, too. And of course as children we are most easily programmed by our external stimuli. It’s got some similar themes to stories you may have watched when you were a child like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.
So the Little Mermaid falls in love with a man rather than one of her own kind. In the story, you can tell she wants to get away from the reality she finds herself in. Just find a man, and all will be well. How many of us fell for that trap? Or just find the woman of your dreams. Something external to finally make you feel okay, feel happy, feel fulfilled. So she goes to her father, and asks if she can have him. Of course he says no. But she pursues her unattainable goal anyway, but she can’t do it herself. So, what does she do? She seeks out a dark being who beguiles and deceives the little mermaid into thinking she can have her unattainable goal. The witch of the sea promises to let her have her man if she gives the Witch her beautiful voice, because she can sing like an angel. So she gets the guy, but she can no longer speak. Metaphorically, many of us sell our soul, sell out on our gifts to get an external reality that ultimately never delivers on the promise. So, of course in most of these types of stories it all gets resolved and the heroine gets her voice back and gets the Prince, usually because the Prince or the King or an ally or a strange happenstance occurs to make it all right again. But it doesn’t usually work out like that in real life.
Now of course there are many ways to interpret a story, and the reason stories like this [with a mythic journey structure] appeal to a wide variety of people is that different people are at different stages of the journey. They will focus onto the part of the journey where they most need help.
Conversely, empowering stories show how to go inside and create the inner resources you need to meet the challenge. For example, in Slavic folklore there is a supernatural being named the Baba Yaga, who might seem like a witch to people from western upbringings, but the Baba Yaga is so much more than that. She may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out depending on the intention of the seeker. She may play a maternal role or create impossible obstacles or kill you – but it’s always in response to how YOU are being. Many of the stories focus on what she does to help the hero or heroine grow. For example, forcing them to think outside the box in order to solve a problem or save their own life, or save someone else. Work with her and you win in ways beyond your wildest dreams, work against her and you lose or die.
So, those who lead others, often speak in story form, sometimes without realizing it. Because of that, we need to create stories that actually bring lasting freedom, that empower. That involves looking more deeply into the universal themes underlying the story.
Marketing and sales uses stories all the time to sell their products and services. Sometimes again those stories are helpful and empowering, sometimes – not so much. For example, an ad for a soda might imply that you can be beautiful, popular and just live life playing on a beach if you drink their soda. When you drink it, and your life doesn’t seem to resemble the person in the ad, it should trigger wise discernment. But because people often watch TV or see social media ads in a triggered state, it bypasses the wise discernment and they start thinking maybe they should just drink more soda.
Now that’s an exaggerated example, but people do a lot of things that aren’t necessarily very good for them, and they know that at one level, but keep doing it, like overeat or overdrink. Partly it’s the addictive chemicals in the substance, but partly it’s because a subconscious part of us still believes the story, even though the result still hasn’t come true.
But the media shows people winning the lottery and having a magical life experience that somehow manifests all their dreams. They don’t really have to develop skills and overcome obstacles to reach their goals, which would be ultimately much more empowering than just being handed some money. So the media rarely shares stories about how to master life.
Often TV is tricking us through story into fantasies that don’t and cannot come true. Think about the word, tell a vision, it’s telling you a vision through story. When you’re watching TV, you enter into a brain state where we can be easily implanted with visions, that don’t go through our normal purification, gatekeeping system of wise discernment. It’s like you have no anti-virus on your computer. All manner of malware can just download. And what tends to happen is people’s capacity to imagine things degrades slowly over time, so that eventually it’s very difficult for you to imagine something that you want and then visualize it and pursue it.
Learning to create something out of nothing is one of the most important life skills to learn and keep enhancing, not degrading it. We do it all the time with simple things, but then don’t often apply them to the bigger goals in life. For example, you decide you’re doing to create guacamole. So you visualize it first, remembering the tastes you enjoy, visualizing what stores have what you want. Maybe seeing yourself cut up those avocados, onions, cilantro and adding lemon. You usually do all that first, and then THAT activates you to get into action. But maybe you go into action on that because a family member taught you, or in my case I learned how to create guacamole when I worked in a deli as a 17 year old. But what if you want to create something and you don’t know how. That’s where most people give up, or wait for someone to hopefully show them because that’s what disempowering MindStories do to us, rather than seek out the knowledge themselves.
Yet, if you know how to delete those biological virtual reality environments or personal narratives called MindStories that don’t serve and replace them, you’re way ahead of most people. Like the Matrix movie, everything in the our world is actually a piece of code created for our minds to interact with organized in story form. We observe life and people, but to remember what we experience, the subconscious organizes it all in story form with characters, motivations, themes, intentions, plot, etc. So we aren’t just recording the facts of a situation, we’re imbuing it all with empowering or disempowering meaning for moving forward in our lives. The good news is that you can assign new meanings, new values, new character traits, new plots to all objective events and people in your external reality. You see the traditional media do it all the time, taking the same world situation and creating a totally different narrative based on their bias. So we do that to ourselves and the media does that to the world, and on and on.
Think about how your mind works in storyform. If you want to remember something, like what you ate for breakfast yesterday. It’s like you play the movie on the Netflix of your mind, the recorded database of your mind. And then you have to sit there and watch and wait for that part and be like, Oh, pause. Okay, let me watch what happened over the next three minutes. Oh yeah. I was eating yogurt and berries.
As a small child you were insatiably curious touching, hearing, seeing and even tasting anything you could get your hands on. That’s because you’re mapping things out in your mind, you’re trying to figure out all the possible properties that each thing has and all the ways it could be used. And once that object has been defined, you subconsciously create a meaning, usually based on the meaning others around you chose. It’s then like an instruction set in your brain for this object that gets triggered every time you encounter it again. For example, brussel sprouts. I remember experiencing them as a child when we went for a Thanksgiving event, but noticed my mother didn’t like them, so I decided they don’t taste good and so they didn’t. When I learned to reformulate the mapping about different objects, and turn them first to neutral with no meaning, and then try them again from a neutral point of view, I found I liked them.
So when it comes to the media, TV, social media, stories people tell you remember that you can learn to separate the facts from the opinions, the building blocks of the story from the meaning assigned to it, and neutralize it. Once neutral, you can choose an opinion, a meaning, that will serve your life and the life of others moving forward. That’s the place to make decisions from. That way it funnels the story away from the amygdala, the fight or fright brain, up to the neocortex, which is the soul mind. And then you can better choose how to manage that situation.
If you’d like more tools like this you can get a free copy of our book MindStory Inner Coach. Or, if you get the book on Amazon and send us the receipt, you’ll get sent the 2 free neuro-blueprints. You can see how to get the book using the link in the shownotes below. Or, just go to MindStoryAcademy.com and you’ll see it there on the home page. Its free to get the PDF download, or you’ll also see how to buy it on Amazon.
Then when you get the book you also get access to download two free guided audios that are examples of some of the leading edge tools we developed at MindStory Coaching Academy, that are called neuro-blueprints. They are form of mental rehearsal that helps you build strong habits of mind to succeed. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.
That’s it for today. Do hit subscribe if you want to hear about other episodes coming up, which you can do on our website MindStoryAcademy.com\podcast. and you’ll see all the ways to subscribe or, if you’re listening on YouTube, just subscribe to our channel. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger. Thank you for listening.