Lett's Set A Spell
While attending journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill, I noticed a large poster on the wall that stated: “The best writing is rewriting.” It has been exactly 40 years since I started taking classes there, so in my writing career and in my life I have done a lot of rewriting.
Like most people … maybe like you … I am still struggling to figure out what script I have running in my brain every day, what experiences and memories determine my choices, what belief systems hold me hostage, what behaviors and actions prevent progress in this game of life.
Since learning to read in first grade at Broadway School and winning the award for reading the most books, I have found wisdom through the written word and quickly understood that the only way I could make sense of my life was to write. Poems effortlessly flowed through me … they seemed to express a deeper truth than my conscious mind could even conceive. When allowing my creativity to flow, I tapped into something bigger than me … always wiser.
Eventually, I bought a journal and started recording my thoughts and experiences, and now 50 years later, I still write reflections and print them out, punch holes and put them in notebooks. This creative process helps me to understand myself and comprehend others.
IN RECENT MONTHS, I have realized very clearly that I was not fulfilled in my career so I sought books from great thinkers filled with life-changing ideas. This week, I am reading “Why You’re Dumb, Sick and Broke ... And How to Get Smart, Healthy and Rich!,” published in 2006 and written by Randy Gage, a famous author and professional speaker.
In the first chapter, Memes and Manipulation: The Battle for Control of Your Mind, Gage defines a meme as a virus of the mind … like a computer virus that wipes out data … like a parasite that can grow and destroy a person’s health. A meme is an idea, behavior or belief that spreads from person to person within a culture and usually affects people negatively.
Gage credits British biological theorist Richard Dawkins, author of “The Selfish Gene,” a book published in 1976, with the term meme (rhymes with seem) based on a Greek word meaning something imitated. Dawkins says: “We are survival machines — robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.” He explains that we are like a chess computer program that has been programmed by its creator to play in its absence.
NEGATIVE MEMES mess up our minds, according to Gage. In “Why You’re Dumb, Sick and Broke ... And How to Get Smart, Healthy and Rich!” Gage says that memes infect our thinking and create belief systems that are not true, yet they often form our life scripts and eventually keep us from accepting what we really want in life.
Gage says the biggest casualty of negative programs is low self-esteem that causes us to feel unworthy of life’s greatest gifts. He states: “Memes are as real — and deadly — as biological viruses. Just like computer viruses, memes parasitize the host (your mind), replicate and spread to others.”
These memes are epidemic and are sweeping through society, according to Gage, and 90 percent of them show up as negative programming that sabotages us and repels health, happiness and success. Our parents and other people in our families, our teachers, our friends and even our spiritual leaders often focus on lack, fear and limitation and pass on their ideas. The media perpetuates negative thinking through crime reports, bad news, deceitful characters, damaging plots, etc.
Negating ideas often contaminate our brains and interfere with our authentic ability to attract our heart’s desire and make it hard to realize our deepest dreams. As I read, research, process and put into practice tools for releasing mind viruses and reprogramming our brains, I will share insights for moving forward.
AlexSandra Lett is a professional speaker and the author of “Natural Living, From Stress to Rest;” “A Timeless Place, Lett’s Set a Spell at the Country Store;” “Timeless Moons, Seasons of the Fields and Matters of the Heart;” “Timeless Recipes and Remedies, Country Cooking, Customs, and Cures;” and “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections about Work, Family, Health, and Spirit.” Lett can be reached at (919) 258-9299 or LettsSetaSpell@aol.com.