Clean up your thinking.
Okay, Matt. You've had some time to learn about the unified field, scalar waves, intention, and co-creation. It's time to clean up your thoughts.
A quick note: thoughts and thinking are not the same as knowing. Knowing comes from other sources. More on that later.
Thoughts are simply the activity of the mind. Thoughts can be consciously directed or unconsciously reactive.
Cleaning up your thoughts requires multiple steps and persistence. It's basically a matter of reprogramming yourself.
The first step is to realize you can think about your thoughts.
It's called "Metacognition". Metacognition occurs when the next thought analyzes the previous thought or prior thoughts. Metacognition is a necessary element in developing personal insight, self-regulation, and compassion.
The second step is to observe your thoughts without acting on them.
Just listen to the thoughts and let them pass without putting any additional energy or emotion into the story they tell. For instance, as I sit and write, my thoughts are jumping around from how my butt is getting numb to wondering what I'm going to eat for dinner, and I never once stopped thinking about this blog post. Those other thoughts just jump in, have their moment in the spotlight and pass through. It's only when I attend to them, reinforce them with intention and begin to play the story they tell in my consciousness, that I actually shift my mind away from what I was doing before those distracting thoughts came in. In one sense, the random thoughts that stream through my head are simply opportunities to change my conscious focus and go another way.
The third step is to notice your automatic thoughts.
Automatic thoughts happen in response to events and include an entire series of predetermined follow up thoughts. Automatic thoughts are like a computer program. Something hits go and all of a sudden a stream of thoughts come flying out. In my world, most of my automatic thoughts occur in response to external events. Examples include triggered emotional reactions like when someone cuts me off in traffic. My mind used to flip over into the emotion of indignation (anger - an ego function) and pull up a list of unpleasant words, actions, and possible problems that may arise if I don't get where I need to go in time. It took no time at all for my mind to do this.
In some cases, the reaction occurs before I had any chance to process the event. The emotion occurs and a pre-recorded stream of thoughts come after. These emotional reactions are often based on previously held personal beliefs or unconscious programs incorporated from external sources (parents, teachers, TV, culture).
The fourth step is to discover the beliefs that underlie your automatic thoughts.
If I go back to my traffic example, some guy cut me off and before I know it, I'm fuming and my physical state has gone from peace to fighting stance in an instance. How did this happen? It happens because I have an ego and my ego tells me that I just got screwed and nearly killed and I better do something about it. My ego is a dipshit, by the way.
Anyway, underlying my ego's response is a previously held belief that I deserve to be respected and that people should be courteous and generous and awesome all the time. Unfortunately, people, (me included) aren't always at their best in their cars and it is actually unreasonable for me to assume that everyone on the road will always be looking out for my best interests.
The fifth step is to analyze your beliefs and determine if they serve you.
This is the key step. Once I learned about this level of metacognition, I was able to clean up a great deal of my thinking and eliminate (or at least reduce the frequency of) many of my automatic thoughts. Nowadays, anytime I find myself getting upset (off-center), I try my best to find the underlying belief that has been triggered and ask myself the following questions.
I say "Self, do you want to keep feeling this way every time something like this happens?" If my self says "no", then I proceed with the interview.
I literally ask my beliefs - what do you believe about that situation?
Surprisingly, my mind usually comes up with the answer almost immediately, (it already knows because it's automatic). In the instance of the traffic situation, my beliefs answer with "that guy cut us off and we should never be cut off because it's rude and could cause an accident."
Take notice, there's often a fear buried alongside the belief (the fear of getting into an accident is a typical fear involving traffic.) And when I uncover a fear, I usually ask my fears, "Fears - what are you afraid of?" And you know what? My mind will list the fears...its the coolest thing (most fears can be reduced to the fear of death, If I don't get what I want I'll die - humans are binary creatures). I can literally have a conversation with my own mind.
So after I've identified the beliefs and the fears, I take the next step and ask my mind if the beliefs and fears are reasonable and if they serve my highest and best good.
Self-Do you know why you believe what you believe? Does believing what you believe serve you in every instance? Can you modify the belief to allow yourself more flexibility in situations where your beliefs become central? Do you need to have the belief at all or can you let go of it?
The sixth step is to "LET GO".
Yep. Simple. Keep the beliefs that serve you and let go of the thoughts that don't. Don't put any energy into unwanted thoughts. Let them pass.
As for automatic thoughts - rewrite the beliefs in such a way that the automatic thoughts now serve your highest and best goodness. In the traffic scenario - I no longer get pissed at people who cut me off. I've decided that my best belief is the one where I'm focused on safety and making sure I stay calm and focused on my driving. I tell myself I don't know what's going on in that other car so I'm best off making sure my driving is safe and reasonable and I let the other guy have his busy day. My favorite phrase for that is "not my circus, not my monkeys."
A couple of caveats -
I don't try to negate thoughts. My mind knows when I'm trying to contradict myself and it responds by reinforcing the original stream of thoughts.
As for emotional upsets, it all comes back to beliefs. Emotional upsets represent a reversal of the manifestation process. If I let outward events determine my thinking, then I'm letting other people and situations decide my reality.
This takes a long time to learn and gets better with practice. As a human, I can't get rid of my ego and I will never stop having beliefs or feelings or fears. My goal is to manage them so that they serve my highest and best goodness and I can make the most of my time in this world.
Never underestimate the addictive power of fear, anger, rage, and anxiety. The stress caused by fear and rage kicks out dopamine, endorphins, catecholamines, and cannabinoids - everything we need to get high. Rage reinforces rage. Fears beget fears. Anxiety feeds anxiety. Break the cycle and find a whole new level of cool when you can trigger the rest and relaxation aspects of your brain.
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Matthew H. Evenhouse, MD is a board-certified Emergency Physician, published author, private pilot and international educator.