Why did millions of people in the Soviet Union choose to sit in the dark one evening in 1977?

The Soviet Union had decided to have a singing contest on TV called Intervision.

The producers of the show wanted viewers to vote for the songs they liked best. There was a problem though. Paper ballots would make voting too slow and few people had phones. So they came up with a rather unusual solution. Viewers would turn off their house lights during the program then turn them on when they heard a song they liked. The power company would then measure the power spike to see which song was the most popular.

The producers of Intervision discovered how to become aware of the popularity of each song so they could make the contest work. To make our lives work, we too need to develop awareness. We need to become aware of our occurrings so we can dissolve them and free ourselves from negative feelings.

What are occurrings?

Occurrings are the meanings you give to events moment to moment. You are reading this article now. Your mind may be saying “This seems like an intriguing idea” or “I know this already” or “Something good will come next.” Those are all meanings the mind has given to what is happening in this moment. And as such, they are all occurrings.

The mind creates occurrings all the time

Any time you have an emotion, you can be certain your mind has created an occurring. If you woke up feeling anxious, you may have the occurring “There’s far too much to do today.” If you’re annoyed when you see that a roommate or spouse made a mess in the kitchen, the mind might have decided “He’s inconsiderate.”  Occurrings have a powerful impact on our lives because they determine our feelings. We can dissolve them and when we do, our feelings change. However, we must first become aware of them.

Why is it hard to become aware of our occurrings?

Our minds are typically focused on externals. It’s morning. We need to get up, get on clothes, brush our teeth, eat breakfast. Rarely do we stop to think “What am I feeling?” and “What meanings cause these feelings?” We just do and do and do.

And this makes sense. To deal effectively with life, we do need to focus on externals, on what’s happening out there. However, when feelings get in our way, then it’s important to notice them and the meanings that cause them so you can get rid of them and see reality more clearly.

How to increase awareness of our occurrings

First, stop for a moment and notice what you’re feeling.

Right now I’m feeling pretty calm and relaxed as I type away.

Second, ask “What is happening right now? What events are taking place?”

I’m typing.

Third, you ask “What meaning am I giving to these events that produces my feelings?”

My occurring is that I’m safe and all is well in my world at the moment.

Yes, you can develop this awareness even when you’re feeling calm and relaxed.

Awareness of our occurrings has the greatest value when you’re not feeling so great

When my beloved husband Morty died in 2015, I felt overwhelmed with all that I needed to do to keep my business running while I was full of grief. The event was my husband dying and having responsibilities to run a business without him. The feeling was overwhelm. The meaning I gave was “This is too much for me.”

Fortunately, I had been a student in my husband’s Occurring Course (formerly the Lefkoe Freedom Course) many years before and so I was able to dissolve that occurring.

One morning I didn’t want to get out of bed

I had the occurrings “I’ll never be happy again” “I’ll never love and be loved again.” When I dissolved them I was able to get out of bed and go on with my day although there was still some sadness. On other days, I was lucky and the sadness completely disappeared for a time.

In the months that followed, I continued to dissolve many different occurrings which helped me to deal effectively with my new reality without my husband. Because of this, my staff and I were able to keep the business running and growing.

But we usually talk about beliefs and how you need to change them to change how you feel and behave, so how do beliefs fit into this discussion?

To answer this question, it’s useful to define beliefs and occurrings. An occurring is a meaning made up in the moment which mostly affects how you feel about a single event. A belief is a meaning made from a series of events in the past which tends to affect how you feel and behave on into the future.

When Jason’s girlfriend was late picking him up from the airport, he gave the meaning “She’s being inconsiderate again” which was an occurring that made him feel annoyed about that event.

Jason was also a financial advisor and was often afraid to speak in public. One belief contributing to that fear was “People aren’t interested in what I have to say” which he formed based on his parents often dismissing many of his ideas when he was growing up. He developed this belief when he was young but affected him even though the events leading to the belief were in his past. His occurring about his girlfriend picking him up late only affected his feelings at the moment and didn’t cause a larger pattern.

Both beliefs and occurrings affect how you feel and behave

However, beliefs are formed in the past and continue to affect you whereas occurrings are formed in the present and affect just the present. Of course, when you become aware of your occurrings, you will want to dissolve them as well. You can find out how to do that in this post How To Clear Inner Negativity In Four Steps.


Occurrings are meanings we create in the moment, which affects how we feel and behave in that moment as opposed to beliefs which are formed in the past

It’s difficult to become aware of our occurrings because we tend to focus on the external world

We can become aware of our occurrings by periodically asking ourselves what we are feeling and what meaning we are giving to events to produce those feelings

It’s easy to be a bit in the dark about the meanings our mind is making about events. Using just a few questions, we can switch on the light of awareness so that we can be free of occurrings that might otherwise limit us.

So what life-enriching activities do we have going on at the Lefkoe Institute?

Our New Book: Self Made

For the past few years, I’ve been working on a book with my friend Vahan Yapremian on how entrepreneurs can overcome limiting beliefs that hold them back. It’s titled Self Made: The Surprising Solution to Success. It should be out in several months. If you’re interested, you can let us know by adding your email address to the form at this link:


We’ll then give you updates as we make progress on the book and let you know when you can get it.

If you’ve read this far, you are awesome. Why not leave a comment? I’d love to hear your feedback.