In the previous article, we covered the neuro science behind a sanskar formation. Now let’s explore how to transform it.
How to overcome a sanskar?
Don’t get disheartened
After repeated trials you get disheartened and tell yourself ‘I am like this only’. Don’t get scared. Tell yourself that you can overcome it. A few take weeks to overcome and a few take months and some others take few years. But you can overcome it. Because the minute you get disheartened or scared what happens? You become powerless. When you become powerless the sanskar overpowers you and then you give up.
Don’t give up. It requires energy. It requires a lot of self-belief and more importantly self-love. We don’t seem to love ourselves as much as we should or we can.
Disown the sanksar
Sanskar is coming through you, not from you. You are different, your sanskar is different. Originally, you would not get angry, you learned it as a protective mechanism or to assert your own ego. Here in Brahma Kumaris, we keep talking about original sanskars/virtues. Peace, purity, happiness etc are the original sanskars. Anger, hatred, jealousy etc are the learned and borrowed sanskars. Unless you disown it will always be a part of you. If you give a kitten a few biscuits it comes to you the next day because you are feeding it. You cannot feed yourself by telling yourself that ‘you are like this only’ and then think of transforming. Unless you disown it, you are not creating any space.
Visualize yourself as a divine being
Visualise yourself as somebody, who is a divine being and not this body. That’s where, we differentiate in Brahma Kumaris, between body consciousness and soul consciousness. When I accept that I am a soul, I am a bundle of virtues, it becomes easy for me to express them. This key change in mindset and perspective, is the first step towards this transformation. It’s simple but very profound. You start asking yourself who am I? What am I endowed with? What were my original qualities? And once you accept your original qualities transformation becomes a lot easier.
Let go of the inferior attainment
There is something you are getting by succumbing to that sanskar. It is an inferior attainment (praapti) which later on leads to repentance. You have a sanskar of getting up late. As long as you enjoy the warmth of your blanket you will never be able to overcome the sanskar. You need to let go of that inferior attainment for those few minutes. It’s an inferior attainment which is going to cause a lot of pain later. When you shout and become angry you are asserting your superiority and that strokes your ego. This is an inferior attainment I am resorting to feel good. However, later on you repent. Check any Sanskar you want to overcome, you will have an inferior attainment behind it.
Stop the Trigger, Starve the Sanskar
In the previous article I mentioned that the car can be stopped only before it gets on to road. Also there is a trigger for every sanskar. You need to be aware of what triggers the sanskar and then stop the trigger. Using the sanskar is maintaining it. Stop using the sanskar then it becomes useless. It surely takes time but it happens. So instead of focusing on overcoming the powerful sanskar, your effort is now limited to stopping yourself from the trigger. Later is definitely easier than the former, provided you have spent time in reflecting what your triggers are.
Take a paper & pen and do this exercise now. Take an empty page, divide it vertically in to 2 sections, on the left list the sanskar you are trying to overcome, and to the right list ALL the triggers that trigger that sanskar. Spend sometime in deep reflection and be Honest with yourself while you do this exercise.
Now, create a plan to become aware of your trigger and stop that trigger even before it triggers your sanskar. Be Patient and Persistent and you will Win over the Sanskar. A Sanskar does not live long if its not invoked; Stop the Trigger, Starve the Sanskar.
20 second rule
There is a very simple 20-second rule. When you want to inculcate new things eg you want to jog. But you have a sanskar of sleeping a little more. You wear your tracksuit, socks and maybe even your shoes and sleep. Now there is no excuse. You saved those 20 seconds of yours. Jump out of the bed and you are ready to rush. This is how you need to create strategies. Because that 20 seconds is the key. It breaks the pattern of going back to bed. Stop the trigger starve the sanskar.
It’s going to be very painful but this is the only way out. Otherwise, you will fall back to it.
Renew the promises
Whatever promises you have made, keep renewing them. This is your journey. Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. That’s fine. that’s life. Renewing the promises gives you the required focus. Recalling the Promises regularly makes them register inside the brain more strongly and help you to overcome your sanskars more quickly.
- Don’t get scared with the sanskar.
- Disown the sanskar.
- Note the triggers
- Stop the triggers, starve the sanskar.
- Renew the pledge.
- Create the (new) sanskar.
By doing this instead of making the car get onto the road of old sanksar you are creating an alternate path for the new sanskar. It all depends on what you feed the brain with. You fed it with something negative so negative sanskars were formed. Now you feed something positive then positive sanskars will be formed. The mechanism is exactly the same.
Let’s close with a short exercise
- Pick any sanskar of yours you want to get rid of.
- Identify the trigger.
- Visualise in as much detail as possible the trigger actually coming in front of you.
- In that situation consciously create a different response how you want to handle it here after.
- Consciously create the alternate response you like.
- Relive that situation but playing it in a different manner with a different response and not your regular reaction.
- Gently bring that trigger in front of you again and relive the situation with this alternate response.