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Archive for January, 2010

snake_river,_grand_teton_national_park,_wyoming.jpg (JPEG Image, 1600×1200 pixels) - Scaled (46%)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

snake_river,_grand_teton_national_park,_wyoming.jpg (JPEG Image, 1600×1200 pixels) - Scaled (46%)

Is This True?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

Thoughts lie to us all the time. Surprised? Check it out for yourself. Pay attention to your mind for a few minutes. What is it saying? Cognitive scientists believe over 90% of our thoughts are negative.

Without being fully aware, we can be thinking global thoughts like “I’ll never get anywhere,” “Nobody cares,” “I’m unlucky”, etc. and not even realize that our biology has made it real easy to globalize one negative event or feeling without us even having to work at it!

Biologically, it may be that this was very helpful when we faced more immediate and environmental hazards during the hunt for food or in weathering the elements more directly. Our minds trap and ruminate thoughts of possible danger and make it a universal threat so we will hopefully avoid the same danger in the future. This might be good for survival in a physical sense, but is it good for us mentally and spiritually?

Because of the hard wiring of our brains, it might be a useful tool to check in periodically and make sure we are not believing every alarm that goes off in our bodies and minds. It might help to ask, “Is this true?” fairly often.

For example, if I am cut in front of on the highway and the other car gets too close for comfort, it is appropriate that I ‘come to attention’ in order to avoid a collision. If I am conscious of my thought process, however, I may notice fear and negative thinking long after it is needed or useful. Maybe my body is trying to keep me safe by staying alert to possible and future collisions, but that’s no way to spend the day!

Our stress cycles last at least 20 to 30 minutes once they are activated, but we can keep ourselves moving toward a more relaxed state of mind if we use our minds to check in with the emotions and see what beliefs are driving them. If I am aware that my thought is that I am in danger, I will feel fear and arousal. If I can ask myself if it is true that I am in danger and answer ‘no’, then I may relax and carry on with the rest of my day in a more peaceful and detached place.

Our minds are amazing. They can keep us safe, and they can keep us captive. It’s knowing when to be the observer and question those thoughts that may help us distinguish which is appropriate for the present moment. The sayer of “I think, therefore I am” may have been on to something, but it may be good to add “I think, therefore I need to be aware of what I think.” Doesn’t sound as eloquent, but it may help us lead more satisfying lives.