What is a thought? It’s nothing, and it’s everything. It’s intangible, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can’t show it to anyone. But, your thoughts are the entire system you operate on. Every single thing you have, every situation you find yourself in, every action, behaviour or emotion is triggered by the way you think.
So, where do our thoughts come from? We spend the longest stint of time dependant on our parents, more than any other species. Human babies are entirely unable to care for themselves. We are not born with the same level of instincts available to us that other living beings are. Our thoughts are sold to us as beliefs from other peoples thinking. The thoughts of our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers etc … everything we think as a young person was planted there by another person, based on their perspectives. As adults, we have a responsibility to challenge our thinking, learn new ways of thinking when old thought patterns keep us trapped and stuck. We have the ability to change our minds.
Over our lives, we live in many bodies, from a tiny bald infant body to a toddler body, to a child body, awkward teen and finally adult. Depending on our age, our body has zero cells that we started with; these are all replaced and replenished. So to should our thoughts be. As we learn and expand our minds, our thoughts evolve. We are only stuck in negative thinking patterns if we allow ourselves to be.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”– Albert Einstein
The way we think affects our entire way of being. It affects our relationships, the way we take care of our own bodies, the way we manifest disease into ourselves and the way we can also expel it. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is “what you think you shall be”. If you think in lack, lack is what you will continue to receive and if you think in abundance, abundance is what you will continue to receive. You are the designer of your own life. When you change your thinking, your perspective changes, as does your experience of life.
When we think about other people and their behaviours, how they affect our lives we can either take their actions personally, we can concern ourselves with their behaviours or we can separate ourselves from it and move forward in our own journey. The notion that you can change another person, or that they even need changing is just ego. No matter how much you “wish” another person would be different, they never will be, unless they choose to be. The only choice you can make is about the way you think.
Stress is caused by our thinking. There is no stress that exists in the world, it is merely our perception of our experience and our thought cycles create stress reactions, behaviours, emotions and feelings. With practice, you can gain control of your thoughts. You aren’t a slave to them and they don’t need to leave you crying on the sideline every day wondering what the hell is going on?! Like anything, practice makes perfect. You can start by merely monitoring your thoughts using a journal. You can write down any thoughts that pop up, analyse them, where did they come from? Who put them there? Are they yours or a parents thoughts? Are they a grandparents thoughts? Are they true? Examine them all one by one and draw your own conclusions based on your real experiences rather than what you’ve been told. Of course, this isn’t an immediate process, these thoughts take years to sift through and examine but you are in the driver’s seat and you get to decide.
“If you believe it will work out you will see opportunity. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles”– Wayne Dyer
Prejudice, racism, sexism, extreme political views, and bigotry are all examples of ideas that are generational in a lot of people. No one is born racist, a bigot or homophobic. We are taught these hateful thinking patterns by people who have had influence over us at some point in our lives. A lot of these type of ideas are born of greed, fear and control. Born out of institutions, governments and religions to conform the masses to a single way of thinking. Why? Because people are easier to manage and control this way.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have a choice to change your life, change your community and change the world by getting authentic in your thinking. If you ever feel like your thoughts are playing a game of ping pong in your mind and you have no control, just know that you can take control. There is so much written about the subject that you will be inundated with the information once you get started researching. It takes practice and it takes starting small. The learning/thinking journey is endless, we constantly evolve over time and should always be open to new ways of thinking.
Change your thoughts, change your life.