“Beware of the stories you read or tell;
subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness,
they are altering your world.”
~ Nigerian poet Ben Okri
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The story we began to tell ourselves about who we are, began when we were very little; too young to form perceptions through the reasoning capability experience and maturity might allow. Instead we made assumptions based on scraps of experience impressed by emotional intensity and confusion, usually resulting from being either chastised (or seeing others chastised), or rewarded, for reasons we could not comprehend. We adopted the lenses of our elders and authority figures and began to create the filters that would begin to modulate our perceptions.
Patterns formed through repetition, and our responses became reactions, automatic, unconscious and unquestioned. The story of who we think we are, began to run in the background, shaping our behavior and decision making process. Those early innocent and naïve weavings together of bits and pieces from this situation and that circumstance, from whatever attitude or approach or saying of this adult or that, became automatic and invisible to us eventually, thereafter posing as Real and True.
Snippets seamlessly knitted together into something seemingly solid and traceable, and we began to defend these automatic, unconscious conclusions as Truth or The Reality Out There, basing our actions from this apparently reliable resource. This is how we create Our Reality and this is how we get stuck.
The good news is through becoming alert to our thoughts, catching hold of such snippets as usually roam unhindered through our mindscape, and tracing them to the root, can help us to let go of the false assumptions we make from them. We bring them to light and once seen, they begin to lose power. The more we do it, the easier it becomes and transformation begins to accelerate.
With such concepts no longer running in the background, driving us into cul-de-sacs, the adult we now are, can begin to move into the drivers seat and take over the steering wheel from the little child driving the bumper car endlessly round and round.
Life is a mysterious and unpredictable adventure, so the challenges which stretch us won’t end, but the excitement will begin to return as we discover the more of ourselves; as we begin to see life with fresh eyes and notice what we’ve already achieved and succeeded at and hitherto unseen abilities, talents and opportunities reveal themselves. We become more discerning in what we allow to swim freely in our consciousness and reality is altered by the new and better stories we tell ourselves.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
A good way to begin to notice your thoughts, if you’re new to this, is to set an alarm on your phone (or watch) to beep every 30 minutes, or hour, it’s up to you. Everytime you hear that beep (you can set it so it isn’t obvious to others) notice what you were just thinking. See if it’s a negative or positive thought, i.e. whether it’s forming a story which will support or damage what you perceive and therefore whether it will affect your decision making process is a way which helps or hinders your progress.
I promise you – actually doing this exercise – will have a major effect on you, but only if you actually do it. Remember you are not your thoughts but if allowed to run unnoticed they will run your life round and round in circles.
If you’re someone who is familiar with this practice and has benefitted from it please comment below. I’d love to hear from you. If you’re just starting from reading this article – please come back in a few weeks and leave a comment. I also recommend you start a journal now – follow the articles I post, engage with the practices and notice the difference in your life.