If you pay careful attention to the simplicity of what I’m saying you will absolutely see significant changes in your life. Some of these changes will be visible to others, others will leave you feeling differently about your past, present and future. But the important thing is the simplicity.
If you read this blog then you know I explain some very straightforward things, the first of which is: experiences happen within your consciousness not in an outside world. Things you think and things you do are the same to the real you. It’s why you feel real emotions when you’re dreaming at night. So take a moment to really consider that. And I don’t mean, yeah I got it, I mean assume you don’t get it and look at it closely. Think of examples in your own life.
Next, remember that the experiences you reconsider most often will shape who you believe you are. They do this by becoming the most-repeated thought patterns you think. Your thoughts are like roads. The more you use them the wider and faster the road gets until you’re always taking the easy route–otherwise known as your personality. Always think fearful thoughts and you will become a fearful person.
Critical is remembering that your thoughts are always subject to change. Changing your thoughts is changing your Self. You are literally widening a different road. The nice thing is, when you stop using the old road it deteriorates and eventually it’s a donkey path you barely if-ever use. After about a month of thinking in some new pattern your brain has physically rewired you into a new identity that includes the ability you’ve been practicing, whether that’s juggling or not losing your temper.
Now remember that first point: to our true selves psychological experiences are equal to what we perceive as material experiences. That means it is possible for us to live out an experience in our imaginations and our brains will wire us up accordingly, as though we’ve actually already done the thing and done it as well as we’ve imagined. That’s why the kids in that famous study who thought about free-throws ended up improving more than the kids who spent an equal amount of time in the gym actually shooting free throws.
Explaining the above; if we do think something through regularly it allows us to feel more comfortable when we’re going through an actual experience. Whether it’s the feeling of being loved, the death of a loved one, or even going to an audition, if you’ve thought of yourself successfully being in that situation than you will literally have wired your brain up as though it’s already actually been there. It’s done that and it can relax. Because if you’ve been thinking about it, then as far as your true self goes you’ve literally been there before and you survived.
Do you see how this means you don’t heal from a broken heart, or from grief, or other suffering? There is no healing. There is only being the healthier version of ourselves. It’s not that we heal in suffering and then suddenly walk away in health. Mental health is when we make healthier use of our minds. If we haven’t practiced that then we have no new wiring to use. No, you don’t wait to get healthy and then start your life. You see yourself as already healthy and then you act that way.
Kids don’t fight illness when they’re little because they don’t know what that is yet. Instead of hoping to be healthy they are excited to live. And they do that until they start to get defeated by the thoughts we teach them. A head cold will last seven days. In relationship breakups it takes three months to recover for every year you’ve dated. This cancer will kill you. We get told all kinds of things in life and yet there’s no shortage of people who didn’t follow those recommendations.
You can’t be and act like a sick person and then just wish and want for health. Nope. You’re in charge. Sorry. No one to hand it off to. But that’s okay. You were given this little spaceship to drive through the universe because the universe knows what it’s doing. Just stop thinking about all the things you can’t do, struggle with, and are worried about, and instead think of your strengths, your victories and what you’re excited about in your future.
Do not say, I’ll go back to playing basketball when I quit smoking. Say instead: I’m going to start playing basketball so that I have something fun that helps me remember I’m not really a smoker. The only step after that miraculous one is when you realize that you don’t need words and language to feel strong like that.
Please, there’s no need to sit still and heal unless your injuries have you in traction at the hospital and even then you can use your thoughts to help mend you. Enact as much health as you can. When you see some 100 year old lady dancing at her birthday party, her legs might really hurt if she thought about it. But she’s not. She’s excitedly thinking about how fortunate it is that she can dance at her 100th birthday party. Because it’s probably something she had been thinking of doing for most of her life. 😉
If you had any idea of how huge and powerful this ability was you would laugh at how silly many of your problems appear in comparison. You actually are that capability, so it’s time to stop telling yourself that you’re a much more limited being than you really are. Instead go create a great day being the giant capable self that lives within you.
Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.