Consciousness and The Thoughts we Think

I haven’t made frequent blog posts. I could list off a ton of excuses as to why, ranging from sort of true to downright ridiculous – I just don’t have enough time with everything else I have to do, Reece needs to be walked, it’s been sunny out, I have to paint the living room, Stephen Harper is our Prime Minister – but the real truth of the matter is – my brain gets in my way. Specifically, the thoughts running through my brain that stem from beliefs I have acquired about myself along life’s path. So, in order to help you with your consciousness I am offering up myself as a guinea pig and we are going to dissect my brain. (You’re welcome)

At the end of this experiment you will have learned:

Thoughts are NOT facts. They are merely waves of energy that arise from your brain, based on your experiences in life which have formed certain beliefs that may or may not be helpful to you.

  1. How your thoughts create your reality. Or at least how my thoughts create my reality.
  2. How to dissect your own brain, to begin letting go of unhelpful beliefs which can lead to negative thought patterns that limit your potential in life, and/or create a more negative reality.
  3. That doing this helps you to lead a more conscious, fulfilling happier life. Yay!
  4. About some of the squirrelly bits in my brain. (Again, you are welcome)

Alright. Back to my blog posting. When I push aside all the crazy excuses and begin to listen to the yapping that occurs when I consider sitting down to write a post, there are two main thoughts that send me out the front door with the dog, or to the garden store, or into a mind-numbing game of solitaire on my phone. These thoughts are:

  1. I’ll have nothing to say.
  2. Anything I could say will have already been said by another, and maybe in a better way, so why should I bother?

A and B are the two main reasons I rarely post, even though I love to write. When I buy into these thoughts, don’t challenge them and accept them as fact, what happens? I don’t post. I say nothing. And my thoughts create the reality that I have nothing to say. It’s kinda like magic! Icky magic, but magic none the less.

Next step in the dissection: Where do these thoughts come from for me? Why do I think I will have nothing to say or that what I have to say won’t be unique reflection of my own voice? Poke, poke, jab, prod. OW!

Well, as a kid I was extremely shy and introverted. I was born that way. I can see it in my baby pictures. I was the proverbial deer in the headlights. I think the whole being alive thing along with all the stimulation freaked me out big time. If the phrase WTF had been around back then and I’d been verbal, I’m sure it would have been my mantra. There was just so much to take in and figure out. But I didn’t have a mantra, or a way to communicate how overwhelmed I felt. So I became a quiet observer trying to take it all in and figure it all out. And because of that, because I was busy watching and listening, trying to take it all in, I wouldn’t talk much. And people would respond to that by saying “You don’t have much to say, do you?” or “You’re sure quiet.” or “Cat got your tongue?” etc, etc, etc. Life’s brainwashing had begun. With no ill intent, others were entrenching the belief in my head that I had nothing to say. Along with that, came the experience of being interrupted or cut off by more gregarious talkers, or the spotlight people – the people who had the funniest story and enjoyed being the center of attention. Anything I could say, they could say better. Belief B entrenchment.

The energy of our experiences shapes into beliefs (sometimes unhelpful, sometimes helpful) that arise as thoughts and transform into feelings (in my case fear and anxiety) and behaviors (minimal blogging).

My squirrelly bits henceforth dissected and laying on the table, what DO I DO WITH THEM NOW?

I ask myself some questions about them, answering thoughtfully and objectively.

What is true about these beliefs?

I am, on the whole, a quieter person. I’m not a chatter-box and I’m not a big fan of superficial chit chat. I can be very content with radio silence. There are times when I have little or nothing to contribute to a conversation, or to say, either because the conversation is of little interest, or I know little on the topic. And yes, there will always be people who know more about a subject or can relate a story better than me.

I sometimes wonder if I’m wired a bit differently than other people. You know how they say that if you take away one sense (like sight) all our other senses become heightened?  I feel like all of mine are heightened all of the time. Visual, auditory, smell, taste, feel-everything is always coming in at me full on. Put me in a party and it’s like Disneyland of the senses …and you expect me to talk? I’m enjoying looking at all the outfits,  overhearing my neighbors conversation, my mouth is watering because whatever is in the oven smells delicious, and my shoes are too tight.

What is untrue about these beliefs and what opposing evidence to them in my life is there?

There is a great deal that is untrue about these beliefs and if I look at my experiences over the years there is a great deal of opposing evidence to the beliefs that have unconsciously influenced me even to this day. I won’t bore you will all of that info, but I have been told by friends and teachers and professors that when I do open my mouth, I generally have something important or meaningful to say. Once people get to know me, their opinion of me begins to shift, and their judgement that someone who is quiet has nothing to say begins to change.

People who are interested in me and give space for my voice hear a lot more from me than the spotlight people do.

My writing voice is my other voice and I’ve written a thesis, a completed novel, reams of poetry and papers and other assorted not sure what to call it stuff over the years. And my writing is where my wise-ass sense of humor comes out the most. That is my unique voice.

So…there are some partial truths to my beliefs, but overall, they are not true and they are unhelpful to me. If I continue to let those beliefs unconsciously influence me, they will be doing me harm, as they limit my voice and my potential in the world.

After all that, what to do now? I think it’s time to wipe our dissection table clean and to toss those squirrelly bits in the bin where they belong. I have no need to hold on to them any longer.

I’m also going to write them down on a piece of paper and burn them. And I am going to transform them into positive declarations that work for me based on the alternative evidence I have come up with. And if it so happens that I didn’t get all teensy, tiny squirrelly bits out of my brain, I can utilize my positive declarations as silencing muzzles if needed.

Ahhh! It’s really satisfying to watch that old unneeded crap burn.

My new declarations:

  1. I have a lot to say.  (Because apparently I do. Look at how much I just wrote. Wow. I just created a new reality for myself. It is like magic. How cool is that?)
  2. I have a unique voice and when I do choose to say something, it is important, meaningful and worthwhile. Or funny. Or interesting. Or some combination thereof.

This has been an interesting experiment for me. In the midst of writing this I was taken aback at how it is that I, with these unhelpful core beliefs, chose a profession where I have to talk to people all the time. But way back when I entered the field, I think I felt safe doing so because counselling and therapy was supposed to be all about listening and I knew I was good at that. The field has evolved and so have I. People need and want tools and tips and techniques to utilize in moving forward in their life. Counselling isn’t just about listening. It’s about having something helpful to say.

Feel free to try this experiment on yourself.  You’ll learn a lot, have some interesting insights, and let go of some unhelpful stuff that has been holding you back while becoming more fully conscious. And maybe you’ll create a little magic.

Looks like the lab is all cleaned up. Class dismissed. J

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