“As soon as you’re born, you’re given a name, an identity, a religion, a nationality, and an economic status, and that becomes your belief system, and you think that’s who you are,” says Dr. Chopra, “when in fact, at the level of our awareness and our consciousness, all of us have infinite potential; all of us have infinite creativity; and all of us have infinite love, insight, intuition, and inspiration.”
But why doesn’t it often feel this way? Dr. Chopra cites the rigid societal box created by information overload and the natural rush to conform that follows. While it might sound esoteric at first blush, consider this: Thinking outside of that box essentially requires getting rid of it entirely—and turning your attention inward instead, toward your true self. In his new podcast, Deepak Chopra's Mind-Body Zone: Thinking Outside the Box, Dr. Chopra speaks to a set of inspirational people who’ve done just that, leading lives directed by a deep awareness of individual purpose, rather than confined by societal norms.
“At the level of our awareness and our consciousness, all of us have infinite potential; all of us have infinite creativity; and all of us have infinite love, insight, intuition, and inspiration.” —Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP
Among the star lineup of guests is Oprah Winfrey, who speaks to finding power in vulnerability; yoga activist Jessamyn Stanley, who shares her pathway toward radical self-acceptance; and musician Jon Baptiste, who speaks about making mental space for the subconscious well of inspiration to bubble to the surface. “These people were able to not only get rid of the box altogether,” says Dr. Chopra, “but as far as they were concerned, there were no limitations to their calling or to their imagination or creativity.”
To help listeners access that same level of potential, Dr. Chopra follows each guest interview with a meditation based on the theme of the conversation. And each of them is designed to move you closer, again, to that sense of self-awareness—to take you “beyond your habitual mode of thinking so you can access something that you knew but didn’t realize that you knew,” says Dr. Chopra, “simply because it's been camouflaged by culture and education and opinion and prejudice and bias, and so on.”
Meditation can quiet that external noise and turn up the volume on your internal voice. What you’ll learn through this kind of self-inquiry reveals what Dr. Chopra calls the true self and the natural source of your creativity—as well as the root cause of your conditioning, your mental distress, or your health, he says. And this kind of self-awareness is key to understanding and addressing whatever that root cause may be with clarity and insight, so it doesn’t stand in the way of your potential.
If this mental zone is new territory for you, Dr. Chopra suggests using something he calls the S.T.O.P. formula: S stands for Stop what you’re doing; T stands for Take three deep breaths; O stands for Observe the sensation in your body; and P stands for Proceed with awareness. Essentially, awareness places both mind and body in the present moment—that is, not in the societal rush but in your current consciousness, where Dr. Chopra says creativity can truly flow.
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