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Breaking Up with Our Brules

“Brules.” If you haven’t been introduced to this game-changing concept (thank you Dr. Cathleen King!), allow me to enlighten you. Brules is a term coined by Vishen Lakhiani (founder and CEO of Mindvalley), and it stands for “Bullshit Rules.” These are the unwritten codes of conduct and unconscious limiting beliefs that we were taught (or chose to buy into) in the past--and now they keep us stuck and playing small.  Here are some examples of some common Brules:

  • Once everything is perfect, then I can accept myself (my partner, my body, etc.)

  • To have success, you must struggle and work hard. 

  • You can only earn the right to play/rest after all the “work” is done.

  • My value is determined by my productivity/achievement. 

  • If I speak my truth/be myself, I won’t be accepted. 

  • I have to be in control to be safe. If I’m not in control, I am not safe.

I’m sure you get the idea. So what are some of the “Bullshit Rules” (Brules) that you allow to run your life? (Note: this is an excavation that requires courage, honesty, and the ability to be present with some uncomfortable truths!) When I started examining my own “Brules”, it was both terrifying and liberating. I realized some of them had been pushed on me by the media, others by my parents/teachers, and a good number of them had just been unconsciously “absorbed” into my psyche as a byproduct of living in modern western culture. 

A really helpful metaphor to use when working with Brules is that of a boulder. If you visualize a stream or river that is flowing toward your desired future, the Brules are the barriers that stop the flow and get you stuck. 

So what do you do when you realize you’ve run into a boulder (or Brule)? First, name it! “That’s just one of the old Brules kicking around in my mind.” See it, and call it out for what it is. (You might even say, “I call Bullshit!”) Second, recognize that this is just an old memory structure--it’s not who you really are--and you don’t have to choose to identify with it. Third, (this one might seem counterintuitive!), realize that you don’t have to change the Brule--you simply need to turn your focus to a different station, so to speak. You can remember that you have a choice when a boulder pops up. Do you

choose to blindly accept and believe the Brule, subsequently allowing it to color your thoughts, energy, and behavior moving forward? Or do you choose to reconnect with your True Self identity---who you really are--and move with that deep sense of certainty guiding you? 

For me, just having the awareness of the “Brule Concept” has been immensely helpful. When I started to really pay attention to all the unconscious Brules that were running my life, I could see these pesky little “boulders” as opportunities--to reconnect with my True Nature, to get clear on what I choose to believe, and to keep the stream of well-being flowing toward my desired future. 

What about you? What are some of the Brules in your life that you are ready to break up with? I’d love to hear! And if you want to learn more about Brules and the fabulous work of Dr. Cat King, be sure to check out her website:

Wishing you clarity, courage, and deep inner trust on this journey of inner exploration!


~Dr. Abby Ampuja


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Wow, all of the brules you listed had affected me at some point, and what an empowering treat to call bullshit on them! Thanks, Abby!

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