One night I was pondering about memes. What the heck is a meme? I know this word because of one of my favorite teachers, Wayne Dyer. I was watching him on one of his PBS talks and he used this word repeatedly. I look in my old dictionary, it’s not there.
I go into my bedroom and search for his book “Excuses Be Gone”, and yup, there it is. Excuses come from memes. Excuses are “deeply embedded thinking habits that prevent you from being the person you want to be” (p. 5). I search further and ah ha, there it is on page 10, Memetics: deals with the mind “a thought, belief or attitude in your mind that can spread to and from other people’s minds”.
You start out life with a mind free of memes. As you develop and learn, they come from your parents, teachers, ministers, friends, and encounters. When you grow up, if it works with your heart you keep it, if it doesn’t match, you throw it out.
My friend Helen Slomovitz was a gentle soul who planted memes through her inspired life. She followed her heart, which led her to follow her dreams with her love of life, music and nature. Even though my experiences with her were few in number, she shifted my memes and left a legacy for me and everyone she encountered of how to follow and live life from your heart.
Raised Catholic, there were many things in the philosophy that did not connect to my heart. All the “thou shalt nots” and “sinning” can make a person afraid of trying and making mistakes. No one wants to feel guilty or unworthy. Thanks to another wonderful teacher, Marianne Williamson and The Course In Miracles (CIM) in the late 1990s, I have personal experience with defragging my memes connected to my spirituality.
Marianne was a minister in Warren MI, and the church broadcast the service. This became my Sunday morning worship. According to the CIM, “only love is real. What is not love is fear.” Her ability to transform script from the bible so that its message resonated with my heart sent me into a spiritual crisis.
Over the course of several months, my memes shifted. I remember driving down the road and arguing with myself about guilt and letting it go. I was angry that I had been taught and was carrying beliefs about God that made me feel unworthy, and made Him sound like He could be judgmental and unloving. When my memes shifted, I found peace with my spirituality and respect for all religions teaching about love.
So now I know, and am passing along to you. Our initial memes may not be our choice, but memes can be defragged to match what is right for your heart, to stop excuses, and to find happiness and peace.
Words and Music (c) 2001 Helen Slomovits
River sounds, all around,
Inside and outside
Oh, wash me clean
Oh, wash me clean
May I ride your current
May I follow your flow
May I not go under
As I go where I must go