You are not your brain. You have a brain.
Consciously use it.
What are you thinking about? People usually ask us this question in moments of silence while driving down the highway. Typically, we respond with a one-word answer.
It’s never true. We have lots on our mind. At that moment, we were thinking of a project we needed to complete, that stupid billboard we can’t stand the sight of, the fact that we’re kind of hungry because we saw a McDonald’s a mile back, and now we have their “I’m lovin’ it” jingle stuck in our head.
Still, we answer, “Nothing.” Because, in reality, it wasn’t anything that important. We were letting our thoughts wander and someone just happened to catch us doing it. Somehow, responding with, “I want fries and a coke because I had the McDonald’s jingle on loop in my head,” doesn’t seem cool.
Most people, most of the time, are not consciously aware of what they are thinking about. And yet, your thoughts directly control how you are feeling at any given moment – regardless of whether you are consciously aware of it or not.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could better control what you are thinking so that you can change how you are feeling?
The good news is, you can!
Do you control your brain or does it control you?
First, you must understand who the “you” is in the above question. You are a Soul which is eternal. Your Soul is a field of infinite possibilities and infinite creativity. It is the awareness and consciousness of your Soul that watches the thoughts and the world pass before you.
You are a Soul. You HAVE a brain. You USE your brain.
Your brain is the most complex computer ever designed and has capabilities beyond your current imagination. It’s great at figuring out tasks like planning a month-long trip to Europe or winning a game of chess. Unfortunately, it sucks at figuring out your life. Your awareness, aligned with your Soul’s unlimited wisdom and intuition is best suited for this. Your brain can only take past experiences, both good and bad, and come up with a limited guess in choosing a life path or making a critical life decision.
Most likely, no one taught you when to use your brain for appropriate tasks and when NOT to use it. By default, you learned to use it for everything. Big mistake.
Think of your body as a plane; your brain as the COCKPIT. You can fly the plane in either Autopilot (subconscious directed) mode, or Manual (awareness directed) mode.
- In Manual Mode, YOU CONTROL YOUR BRAIN and your body and actions. It is most useful during takeoff, setting direction, landing and while flying through challenging conditions since you may have to alter your direction.
- In Autopilot Mode, YOUR BRAIN CONTROLS YOU and your actions (plane movement). Since the manual mode requires a great deal of mindfulness on the pilot, the plane is often switched to autopilot mode. Unfortunately, the pilot sometimes forgets to switch back.
When you react to your situations your brain is controlling you. And when you respond to situations YOU are controlling your brain. But, this is often easier said than done.
The key is clear intention (also referred to as will).
Clear Intention is a special force inside that is connected directly to the unlimited wisdom of your Soul and heart. It is not equal to your brain or personality’s desires and needs. Rather, Clear Intention is a force that is generated from your Soul’s desires and purpose.
Clear Intention is the ability to use your awareness and direct your mind. After all, it’s your mind. No one else is in your head.
But, I’m not going to lie. Using your awareness to change what you are thinking is a habit that takes practice. It’s most likely a muscle that hasn’t been used. But once you begin to do it, you’ll feel yourself becoming less and less of a slave to your thoughts and your emotions. You’ll take more control of your internal daily life and feel better about it.
Once you’ve differentiated your awareness with your thinking mind, you can begin to evaluate your thoughts and feelings from an objective place and decide which ones are helpful and which ones are hurtful.
It won’t take long to change those crazy and annoying thought patterns an here is why:
Imagine your brain is a tree, but instead of growing fruits, you grow synaptic connections between neurons to transmit information. But like any fruit tree, your brain can become overrun with dead branches. Enter “Glial cells”. These little magical cells reside in your central nervous system. While you sleep they are busy trimming branches, killing pests, and raking up dead leaves. They prune your synaptic connections (which are your thoughts). The question is, how do they know which branches to remove?
Simple. It gets rid of the ones you aren’t using. The ones you do use are the ones that get watered.
To take advantage of your brain’s natural pruning system, the first STEP is to use your awareness and remind yourself that you HAVE a mind. You are NOT your mind. It takes about thirty seconds of focusing on a thought for it to move into your deeper consciousness so move quickly. While you sleep, the positive connections will be strengthened and the negative ones will be pruned.
You won’t want to use your awareness to change a lot of thoughts and beliefs on your journey. But think of it this way: how confident can you be in your own beliefs if you’ve never challenged them? If you’ve never asked yourself, “Does this thought serve me? Do I want to keep thinking this thought?” This is what can happen when you forget that your mind is meant to be your servant. It begins to build up a cruising speed of 30 knots in the Atlantic heading straight for an iceberg.
If your mind is left unchallenged, then it implies something utterly insidious: that you are incapable of controlling your own fate. And that can be a disempowering assumption to live with.