How heavy are your thoughts?

Do you think about your problems a lot?  Of course you do, and by doing so you are changing them and probably making them worse. 

Every time we access a memory, we change it.  In numerous studies it has been found that the act of recalling a memory has the effect of distorting it in some way.

Over time, with sustained attention, the problems, pains and fears we suffer do tend to get worse.

Be aware of your thoughts, be aware of the feelings that your thoughts generate - are they positive or negative.

If your thoughts feel heavy, put them down for a while:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.
— Unknown

Trance Culture

It always makes me smile when I meet someone who says to me 'I can't be hypnotised, you could never put me into trance.'

The truth is, whether we know it or not, we are all constantly being hypnotised and moving into and out of trance everyday of our lives.

We've all experienced the feeling of having a bad day and having our mood lifted by a friend or loved one who has said or done something to cheer us up.

Maybe you can remember being dazzled by an advert for the latest must have gadget or pair of shoes and you've rushed out to buy them.

In both instances, even if you didn't recognise it as such, you were being hypnotised, you responded subconsciously to an idea placed by somebody else.

Sometimes this 'cultural trance' is a good thing, sometimes it can work against you and have negative implications.

How other people behave towards us can lead to a cascade of either positive or negative feelings running through us.

We assume we know exactly what the intended message is behind another person's behaviours, but the truth is we can never really know what is going on inside another person's mind.

Let's look at a couple of examples:

Imagine you see a friend and you call out "hi" to them, and they ignore you.  How does that make you feel - rejected? sad? angry?

You see someone at a bar who you find very attractive, they make eye contact and smile at you.  How good does that feel?

In both instances, your state of mind changed based on the implied message behind someone's non-verbal communication.  This is hypnosis.

Let's quickly review those examples, with some additional 'inside' information.

Your friend was pre-occupied having just received some bad news, she genuinely didn't hear you.  How do you feelabout the situation now?

The good looking guy/girl at the bar was smiling at the person behind you, you hadn't even registered on their radar.  Does it still feel good?

There is subtle unintentional hypnosis happening all the time.  Many people live their lives constantly being buffeted around by ill-informed guesses as to what others think of them.

They receive a compliment, they cheer up.  Someone is rude to them, they get depressed.  Their moods moving up or down at the whim of the people and circumstances around them.

In an effort to control the ups and downs, people try to surround themselves with positive people and to be in positive, interesting environments, but there is a limit to the amount of control you have on the world around you.

The world within you however is completely under your control.

It all starts with your thoughts.  The way you think affects the way you behave, and the way you behave affects the world around you.

Thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions and actions create outcomes.

Become aware of your thoughts, choose them wisely, choose the ones that make you feel good.

Stop being hypnotised without your knowledge by the people and world around you.

You have an innate clarity, an innate well-being and an innate knowing.  Sometimes your thoughts get in the way. 

Here's the thing, you are only ever one different thought away from being ok.

"You cannot let go of a thought, but when you see it for what it is, the thought will let go of you."  Byron Katie

Gardener of the Mind

Where I live now, I'm fortunate to have a large garden.  I am not a keen gardener, nor do I have 'green fingers', but I do like to be surrounded by nature.  For me, having a large garden is like having my own little piece of countryside right on my doorstep.  I can just step out and imagine that I am far away from all the hustle and bustle, surrounded by greenery, listening to the birds singing.  I can even hear the insects, bees busily buzzing.  It's wonderfully peaceful and calming.  Just 10 -15mins here calms my mind and boosts my energy.

Now, as I mentioned, I'm not a keen gardener, I couldn't tell you one plant from another and it really isn't important to me to be able to do so in order to enjoy my garden.  Even when it comes to weeds...when I first moved in, the garden was a little neglected, not overly so, but some weeds had taken hold.  The thing is, I was so content at having my own little piece of countryside that I didn't even notice, it made no difference to my enjoyment of having this space.

Then the weeds were pointed out to me by other people, friends & family, they were brought to my attention.

At first I responded philosophically - one man's weed is another man's flower.  The seed heads of the dandelions brought back childhood memories of blowing the seeds away and making a wish.  After a while though, because they had been left, because I had done nothing to stop them, the weeds spread and began to take over the garden.

It was no longer an option to ignore them, so I began cutting them back.  I cleared the garden of every visible weed and felt good about it.  It seemed like only a short time however before they were back...and in force!  I cut them back again and again, only for them to come back each time stronger than before.

Finally I realised that to be rid of them altogether I would need to get to the roots, to dig them out completely.  The roots had had a long time to establish themselves and were not easy to remove, but remove them I did, with help from friends and family, together we dug out all the root systems of the weeds.

Now when I sit in my little piece of countryside, my sanctuary, I am quick to notice any weed and I remove it immediately, before it takes root and becomes a more serious problem.  Any plant that I am not sure of, I ask somebody who is.

I can sit in my garden and know that everything there is in harmony and I can enjoy the peacefulness and allow it to wash over and through me.

Our minds are like a garden.  Thoughts are like seeds blowing in on the wind.  Some of these thoughts will blow straight on through, some will land, take root and sprout forming our ideas and beliefs.  We need to pay attention to these thoughts that have taken root - are they positive (nice plants and flowers that we are happy to have in our garden) or are they negative (the weeds that we must uproot and remove before they take over).  Sometimes it is hard to tell a weed from a flower when they first sprout.  With your thoughts, you can pay attention to how they make you feel.  If the thought makes you feel uptight, anxious, angry or tense then that is a good sign that it is a weed and needs uprooting and removing.  We will all feel these things from time to time, it's a part of life and perfectly natural.  The only time it is a problem is when you ignore them, allow them to take root and allow them to shape your ideas and beliefs.

When you have removed the roots of negative thoughts, either on your own or with help, you can sit in the garden of your mind and experience peace, tranquillity and clarity.  You can watch your thoughts come and go and choose which ones you would like to take root and which ones you would like to float on by.

My skill is in helping you to identify and remove the negative, disabling thoughts and to prepare the ground and implant positive, empowering thoughts.  In that respect I am a 'Gardener of the Mind'.