“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world” – Sydney Banks
We feel 100% of our thoughts, how many of them are you suffering from unnecessarily?
Thoughts are transient energy—they come and go—but they come prepackaged with an emotion. We have thousands of thoughts flowing through our minds every day. It is only when we focus in on one that we really feel it. We might spend time analysing a particular thought, or believing it is a problem we need to solve. The attention we give it creates momentum and more thoughts are generated. This can keep us stuck in low energy emotions.
When we’re stuck, our ability to find new ways of dealing with challenges is limited. In fact, if we have a goal we wish to achieve but “think” is impossible, we might inadvertently create obstacles! When you realise you don’t have to believe every thought you have, it helps you to move out of your own way as you find innovative and creative ways to achieve the success you are seeking.
Why do we all have different fears?
We often find it hard to understand why others don’t perceive or feel the same fears we do. For example, there are many people terrified to fly, they can only see the possibility of a disaster in their mind, and experience sensations of anxiety and panic at the very thought of flying.
Whereas others view flying as just another form of transport. They have a place to go and view flying as the fastest way to get there. There are others who enjoy flying and experience great excitement and joy. So what is the difference between them?
It is simply how we “think” about flying, and the feelings that come with that thinking. If the thinking is fearful, our brain triggers the stress response.
The stress response, or the fight/flight/freeze response, is our bodies emergency reaction system.
It includes physical and mental responses to our perception of various situations. When the stress response is triggered, our bodies release the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol, which give us extra strength and energy to respond and survive whatever we are facing. Our organs are programmed to respond in certain ways to situations that are deemed threatening or challenging. What’s amazing is that all of this happens automatically, regardless whether it is an imagined or real threat.
When we play out our thoughts in our mind and get stuck on troubling ones, we experience the emotional sensations they evoke in our body and get a rush of stress hormones we don’t actually need.
Being aware that our thoughts are formless energy, shaped to look and feel real by our imagination, means we no longer have to take them so seriously.
What is our sub-conscious mind?
Research has shown we spend 95% of our time in our sub-conscious mind, which psychology describes as the part of the mind that is not currently in focal awareness.
Our subconscious mind has what is called a homeostatic impulse, meaning it keeps your body temperature at 37 degrees Celsius, keeps you breathing regularly and keeps your heart beating at a certain rate.
All of which is amazing, however it also keeps you thinking and acting in a manner consistent with your conditioning.
Conditioning is what you have been taught, your cultural and societal beliefs, and any traumatic events you may have experienced in the past.
All of your habits of thinking and behaving are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorised your comfort zones and functions to keep you there, which is not conducive to growth and change.
Coming to understand that thoughts and long held beliefs can dissolve in an instant, means you no longer need to suffer them, or let them sabotage your hopes and dreams.
How often does your over-thinking get triggered by people or situations?
We all have stories we tell ourselves when dealing with someone we perceive as “difficult” or something we perceive as a “problem” or “obstacle” in our lives.
Our minds are very good at visualising worst case scenarios, especially when trying to figure out how an interaction with someone might go, or what the outcome of a situation that is troubling us might be.
These habitual stories we go over in our mind are usually based on our past experiences.
How many times have you tried to figure out how to manage or fix a person or situation and gotten caught up in a storm of thoughts and worries in your mind? You became certain of a particular outcome and trapped in a cycle of feelings—anxiety, despair, guilt, shame, fear or anger. Then, the situation turned out completely different to how you thought!
I experienced this many times until I finally realised my predictions of the future rarely turned out as I imagined. Since we can’t actually predict the future, why suffer trying to do so?
Now I’m able to catch myself in this cycle, I let my thinking settle, and in the quiet space that is left, I often have a clarifying insight that leads to the steps I need to take to help the situation, or the realisation that it was only my thinking causing me to believe there was a problem in the first place.
Are you hypnotised by your thinking?
Have you ever caught yourself in a thought storm, feeling like you’ve been suddenly woken from a hypnotic state?
This has happened to me many times, especially while driving. I often find myself nearing my destination with no recollection of the journey there.
In the past I would have berated myself when I’d get lost in negative thinking, annoyed that I could not keep control of my thoughts. Understanding that I don’t have a choice of which thoughts pop into my consciousness, only the ones I give my attention to, has brought me great relief.
Now I’m more aware and compassionate in my self-talk. I no longer try to control or monitor my thoughts or change the negative thoughts to positive ones as quickly as possible. Attempting to do so was draining my energy! Instead I’m able to allow myself the mental space to fall back into awareness, which always brings about more peaceful sensations.
How many hours a day are you at peace?
Our default state of mind is one of peace, with loving, light-hearted feelings. This state is the one before our intellect, before our experiences in life, before our learning and our belief systems and we have the capacity to return to it in any moment.
Our mind often becomes overactive with thinking that makes us “feel” fearful and insecure. Our capacity to imagine the worst possible outcome to any situation causes us to have a lot of unnecessary worry. Worrying doesn’t make us any safer, instead it keeps us locked in feelings of anxiety and robs us of our peace of mind.
When we let our thoughts flow, like clouds floating by in the sky, it instantly brings us back into our natural state of peace. Within this space we have greater access to our innate wisdom, which has the answer to any question we may be seeking.
As we are all unique in our thinking, no other person can fully understand what’s going on in our mind!
Our thoughts about life have been individually shaped by our childhood, culture, levels of learning and our life experiences, all of which leads us to our own unique version of how the world looks.
I am happy to say through my understanding of how my mind works, my world looks a lot brighter and a lot less scary than before. I now experience life with less fear, pessimism and turbulence. I am much more grateful and hopeful. I am more at ease and approach life in a more graceful, lighthearted way and enjoy a much more peaceful mind.
What I have learned most throughout this journey is no one else has the answer that is right for me. We must look within, as that is where the answers to all our questions lie.
Allowing our innate intelligence to flow expands our awareness, making it easier to drop back into our innate well-being at any moment throughout our day, no matter what the noise (be it from our inner turmoil or perception of our outer environment).
This leaves us with greater space for insight, inspiration and creativity for whatever we seek to experience in life.
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Namaste- I honour the place in you, in which the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you, of love, of light, of truth and of peace. And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.