Hey everyone, I hope you had a great Labor Day! The vacation experience feels and looks very different this year, so I’ve personally opted to hike the local mountain trail. Boy, was it full of people wanting the same thing, as there were lots of people camping. It was a great day spent in nature. We were walking by the creek in the Georgia mountains, and we found a huge rock on the creek. We were able to take time to close our eyes and “listen” to nature. The sound of water on the creek coupled with birds chirping was all my mind needed to tune in. I knew in this moment that today I need to talk about leveraging the power of your mind to become the best version of yourself.
This year has been unpredictable and threw me for a loop. As I reflect on the course of events that unfolded in my life and business this year, I can’t help but to recognize how everything that happened was necessary and exactly what needed to happen. I learned that sometimes we need a breakdown to finally have a breakthrough. The messy middle can seem overwhelming. But, if you stay adaptable with a positive attitude, you can have a breakthrough that can bring clarity and focus to your life.
That pretty much sums up my life and business as we speak. But I have to say that during the times where my health or life seemed to fall apart, I was able to have breakthroughs that allowed me to rebuild my health and life better than it was before.
This time is no different. So for those of you still feeling overwhelmed by this chaotic year, stay the course, and I promise it’ll all be okay.
Understanding Our Minds
Today I want to talk to you about your mind in general: what it is, how it works, and why you should leverage it to improve your life and how you can do so.
Our minds are not tangible, but they are always working by generating thoughts over and over. It is said that we generate over 60,000 random thoughts per day. Our thoughts are habitual and based on conditioning from our past. But in our world today, our thoughts are constantly triggered by the input from information coming at us from all directions.
Thoughts are highly individual and contextual in nature. They are largely based on our experiences, memories and circumstances of our lives. It’s important to note that they are very subjective. Because of this, they can be very limiting. We think thoughts at a conscious level. Consciousness is really awareness of our surroundings, and it remains a mystery to many scientists.
Our thoughts are guided by our perceptions, which are ways of regarding, understanding or interpretation. It is a biased view of the world, so it’s really easy to be boxed into what we think is the social norm. We are, by nature, a tribal being. Humans are social beings, and it’s important to “belong” to our tribe. In the process, we tend to do what’s acceptable and expected of us versus standing out to be ostracized.
We are shaped by the beliefs of our caregivers and social surroundings. Beliefs are thoughts that are repeated over and over again until they are no longer questioned. Our thoughts ultimately become the beliefs that we hold.
Why does this matter? Because our beliefs tend to “limit” us and keep us from seeking our core truths.
Keeping Clear in Today’s Information Age
Humans have evolved from the Industrial Age into the Information Age. Information is now at our fingertips. The tendency for over-analysis not only makes our brains lazy, but it robs us of our ability to think for ourselves. Too much outward focus is creating sickness and disease in many of us. If you are like most, you are “feeling” the weight of this time.
It is not sustainable to continue this path of pings and dings every second of every day. Technology is wanting to keep us engaged 24/7, creating wired but tired zombies out of us. Tension is on the rise politically, which is creating polarity and conflict. It is necessity for us to all tune inward to access our true core nature, which is love, compassion and peace. The never-ending masses of information being thrown at you are stopping the leveraging the power of your mind.
Our minds are like an ocean. On the surface, they are turbulent and reactive, but deep in the ocean, there’s peace and quiet. In order for our minds to be free of judgement, hatred and anger, we must go deep within to “reset” and become connected to our true nature. By nature, we are full of love, compassion and peace. But the world has become so toxic that our minds on the surface have become very turbulent. Many of us feel this tension, so we are naturally drawn to the peaceful abiding practice of Yoga.
Healing of the mind is necessary for our lives to be whole. Our mind and body are experiencing a disconnect so much so that they are incapable of sensing their own signals. This fragmented state of being creates vibrations in our body that wrecks havoc in our health. Health is a state of mind.
Our Minds Control Our Being
It’s important that you all recognize that our minds create thoughts that trigger feelings. These feelings drive our behavior to create the results in our lives. The results we create are the validation of our thoughts. So, taking a good look at your life will help to determine your thoughts. Your actions will be a direct reflection of your feelings.
But when the actions that you take are not in alignment with your thoughts and feelings, they won’t be long-lasting. We can change our actions only for a short term because our actions are subject to our thoughts and feelings.
For example, we know that many people go on a diet without doing the inner work of changing their thoughts and feelings about their body. They subscribe to a diet simply to lose weight, only to be on a yo-yo train over and over again.
This phenomenon is witnessed in various aspects of health. Because health is a state of mind where the person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are intimately connected nothing long term can be achieved, unless they change the root cause of their driver: their mind.
Leveraging Your Mind for Transformation
So how do you leverage your mind for life transforming achievements in all areas of your life?
Routinely be a student of your mind, and do the thought work necessary to drive your life in the direction you want to go. Paradoxically, most of us would rather mindlessly follow the guidance of others than to think on our own. This comes back to the tribal nature of humans.
I recommend two things. First, for those who want to experience meditation, read Zen and the Brain by James H. Austin, which will help you tune inward to find your core truth. Simple yet so profound. Find the innocence in your being by detaching from what you “think” you know. This seems counterintuitive but so powerful.
Second is a process I call brain dump. Just like the Kondo method for decluttering your home, we need to declutter our mind. Dump all of your thoughts onto paper without censoring. Just write all the things out on paper every morning and be aware of what’s there. It’s important to not judge what’s there but to assess it and take it in.
Then and only then can we be “aware” so that we can move toward the process of Mindset Shift that involves you writing down the Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Results in your life.
Shifting Your Mindset
The most important thing to remember is that you must first become aware by doing the brain dump. Then, think about the feelings you constantly struggle with. It may be worry, anxiety, shame, guilt or fear. Whatever it is, think about the thought that precedes it. Then, when you can isolate one thought, you can see if that thought is true. Chances are that you choosing to think that thought is a habitual pattern. Is that thought really true? If it’s an old belief that you’re assuming to be true, that’s the work that you must do to begin leveraging the power of your mind.
When you shift your thoughts, you can then change your feelings to those that are in alignment with the actions you can take to create the result in your life. This is how to begin leveraging the power of your mind.
It’s important to understand that the circumstances in your life do not subject you to think or feel one way or the other. The thoughts and feelings that we choose are many times subconscious. It is a patterned process that is so habitual, it hasn’t been challenged or questioned. This is the work that’s available to all of us to be the creators of our lives versus being the victims of our lives.
By default, we are trained to react to life’s circumstances. But through meditative practice and choosing to become aware, we can choose better thoughts and feelings that are in complete alignment with the core truth of our being. The problem is that we aren’t taught to do this, but we taste a bit of this in the practice of Yoga.
Guidance to Achieve Your Mindset Shift
So no matter who you are or what work you do, rather than subjecting yourself and identifying yourself with the title of your job, the social norm, industry norm and who are you trained to be, start your self-healing journey. Become aligned with your true self and being leveraging the power of your mind so that you can then share this healing experience that sparks energy in the right direction–toward self-evolution, growth, creation and peace.
Thanks for reading. Did you know we have a free Facebook group called Functional Yoga Medicine that defies the status quo and dares to create a new movement, getting to the root of our programming to have a powerful healing experience that can be shared with your clients? We redefine all industry norms and individual norms to create a powerful future by integrating all the disciplines of Psychology, Nutrition, Physical Medicine and Functional Medicine, through the practice Yoga.
It’s self-healing on steroids that empowers and drastically alters the way we do what we do by utilizing our mind as the leverage to reset our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions to create the results we want. And, I go into further depth about leveraging the power of your mind. Join me by clicking HERE.