Upside Down

We were enjoying a Christmas cup of tea with a family friend when he was struck by a flash of insight. An author who has just published his latest book, he suddenly realised where the inspiration came for the name of his characters. My two younger daughters. They were the names he had given his leading ladies without ever realising where the inspiration came from. Even down to the spelling.

When he realised this I just smiled. After all, it’s no surprise to me how much information we take on without ever realising it. The most amazing part is that not all of it makes its way up to our conscious awareness. I’ll never forget what an aha moment it was for me when I realised that our conscious mind is actually the last part to know what’s really going on. If it ever truly does.

When I work with people I like to explain this bizarre reality by likening ourselves to upside kitchen funnels. You know, the type of funnel you might pour oil through into a bottle. Wide at the top with a narrow part to channel the liquid through so it doesn’t spill. Well if you turn one of these upside down it can really help to understand how we work as humans. At a deeper level, outside of our conscious awareness, we are taking everything in. Sucking up a whole range of bits and pieces of information and experience without realising it. For better or for worse. Occasionally some of this information channels up through the funnel to our conscious awareness. But there is so much more beneath the surface that we’re never even aware of. Stuff we’ve taken on board that can be effecting the way we think and feel without our conscious knowledge. Have you ever realised you know the words of a song but didn’t know you did?

A wise man once said to me that we are only wise because of our subconscious wisdom. Because there’s a part of me that knows every single aspect of my life before I (the conscious part of me) even has a chance to think, feel or understand what’s going on. It’s a strange thought isn’t it. We live in a world where we think consciousness is everything. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more beneath the surface. So many more resources that we can tap into and use to better our lives. Because when we take the time to think about it, we are so much more than we realise…

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