Understanding your mind power is an essential part of the journey to Reclaim Your Life. A healthy mind is important for our emotional wellness, and we all know the enormous part our emotions play in our life.
So lets start with something not many people bother with when talking about the mind, and that is to define what the MIND actually is. We'll use the definition given by Dr. Dan Siegel - a UCLA Psychotherapist:
"The human mind is a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information."
So to clarify - it's a process, an activity that occurs throughout the body, and not just in the brain as a lot of people may assume. It's also "relational" - exists in the way in which two or more people or things are connected, and can only be understood in terms of interactions. Note that the mind is not a solid material, in fact it's invisible, and it expresses itself in our material domain. In saying that...
"The mind is real, and ignoring it does not make it go away."
And a bit more from Dr. Siegel's book "Mindsight" (which you are encouraged to read for yourself of course):
"Each of us has a unique mind: unique thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories, beliefs, and attitudes, and a unique set of regulatory patterns. These patterns shape the flow of energy and information inside us, and we also share them with other minds"
This gives a clear picture of essentially what the mind is, and now we're ready to further explore your mind power.
So let's go into some powerful information that would help you become more aware of your mind power and how it affects your life. This information is inspired by two wonderful teachers who offer great value to the world - Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle, and you are very much encouraged to go deeper into their teachings. Two other sources of inspiration here are Zen and the Tao Te Ching.
To simplify things we'll go with the mind represented as the things we're all very familiar with and can easily relate to - our "thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories, beliefs, and attitudes". This makes it easy to see that in essence - we are all "mind-made entities" (Tolle). Essentially it's our thoughts, feelings, perception, memories, beliefs, and attitudes that create our world and in reality - define us.
Our mind power is so great that it literally determines what we can (or cannot) see, and it's clearly illustrated by this story taken from the book "Thinkertoys" by Michael Michalko:
"Years back, a group of scientists visited a tribe in New Guinea that believed their world ended at a nearby river. After several months, one of the scientists had to leave, which involved crossing the river. Safely across the river, he turned around and waved. The tribesmen did not respond because, they said they didn't see him. Their entrenched beliefs about the world had distorted their perception of reality."
So the key to your mind power lies in your own beliefs, perceptions, memories, feelings, thoughts and attitudes. Verse 43 in the Tao Te Ching says: “The gentlest thing in the world overcomes the hardest thing in the world." "The gentlest thing in the world is an open mind... Even the hardest thing in the world - a closed mind - can't resist the power of openness." (Byron Katie)
Now we're really getting to the bottom of things - an open mind is where it all begins! So what is an open mind?
When looking closer at our beliefs, perceptions, memories, feelings, thoughts and attitudes that are in fact our mind, we can see that our thoughts are a good point of access here. To a large extent it's where our beliefs, perceptions, memories, feelings, and attitudes manifest.
All our challenges in life begin when we believe our thoughts. When we question our thoughts - we open our mind. When we do that - we can clearly see our mind power.
You see - our beliefs, perceptions, memories, feelings, and attitudes - they are all programming; mental conditioning that is being passed from one generation to the next, and to a large extent - dominating our thought processes. And it's likely that your stressful thoughts are the motivation behind reading these words here in the first place - they are the ones that create every challenge in your life. So you'll want to know this:
"There are no new stressful thoughts, they're all recycled... Thoughts are no more individual than the television program that everyone watches. All over the world, in every language and culture, people suffer because they believe the same stressful thoughts. "My mother doesn't love me..." / "I'm not good enough..." / "I'm fat..." / "I need more money..." / "My husband should understand me..." / "My wife shouldn't have left me..." / "The world needs to be saved...". It's impossible for people not to believe what they believe. We can't help believing our thoughts until we question them." (Byron Katie)
"A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering." "No one has ever been able to control his thinking, although people may tell the story of how they have. I don't let go of my thoughts - I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me."
"So our thought processes (and the emotions that go with them) are conditioned, and there is dysfunction built into the very structure of our thought processes." (Tolle) and what's now happening in human consciousness is a movement out of identification with thought.
Identification with thoughts was an evolutionary stage that humanity had to go through. As this evolutionary stage reaches its end - the dysfunction increases, it's coming to an end and there's a certain amount of resistance to change. But it doesn't work anymore for survival. For a long time - it helped humans to survive. It served its purpose, it becomes dysfunctional, just as the caterpillar becomes dysfunctional before it becomes a butterfly - life doesn't work anymore as a caterpillar.
We sincerely hope that you are now sufficiently equipped to make the best of your wonderful mind power.