You don’t usually think of your daily movement as exercise, nor do you see your food as nutrition. That only happens if you’re conscious about losing/gaining weight, or if you have a medical reason. Otherwise you’re just moving when you’re moving and you’re eating when you’re eating. But let’s take a moment to look at that from another perspective.
If you are very conscious about your physicality then you will spend less time self-talking with your ego and instead you’ll be fully in your body. When I help a hockey player improve his or her mental game, I’m getting him or her to stop thinking so they can start being. You don’t have to be deep in the playoffs to be in the zone, you can be in the zone when you’re vacuuming. Because that zone has nothing to do with the sport—it has to do with the state of mind of the participant. So yes, eat healthy and keep moving and in shape, but all of that means nothing if you’re not enjoying the life you’re trying to extend. Which is where the food analogy comes in.
Think of your thinking as eating. If you eat junk it might taste awesome, but you will pay for that if you continue to do it over time. There are no rights and wrongs, but there are definitely consequences. So you eat at home and you eat out. Home is your thoughts. You have virtually total control over what gets cooked and how it gets eaten. Away is outside ideas that you get exposed to. So watching your favourite TV show or reading a book or listening to the news, or having a conversation with a friend—all of these things are like dining out. And like food to a body, exposure to unhealthy thoughts will eventually construct an unhealthy psyche.
If you watch shows about crime all day long on TV, then you will definitely become more paranoid, suspicious, and frightened. If you watch COPS all the time you’ll view both the police and the black community differently than if you didn’t watch COPS. This is why psychologists often get depressed. Their job is to sit and listen to people’s worst days all day long. How could that not suck? Whatever you put into your consciousness will generate an immediate result, and over time that result will become a habit.
If your friends all bitch, you’ll start to bitch. If you stand around while people judge people, you’ll start to judge people more. If you watch the news every night you won’t be told the most useful things, or the most important. You’ll be told what will keep you in your seat until the next commercial, and that will overwhelmingly be things that frighten or anger you, and they’ll usually finish off with something to titillate or charm you. But that’s how the news gets chosen. By how likely the story is to keep you seated using primarily fear and anger. They want you to be scared or angry so you’ll keep watching. But over time, that pollutes your mind. It gets you to believe in a world that doesn’t exist. The crime rate’s gone down in my city for something like 37 straight years, and yet I’ve never seen the place more worried about bad things happening.
Pay attention to what your mind consumes. Because if you’re not conscious about the effects, you’ll end up inadvertently reprogramming your mind in ways you may not enjoy. Think of every conversation and every piece of media as a plate of someone else’s reality, and every moment you continue to be around it you are spooning more and more of that reality into yourself.
You are what you eat. Eat thoughts and ideas that expand your spirit and you will help the whole world be healthy.
Bon apetite. peas s
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.