Most of us think we are excellent authorities on ourselves and what motivates us to behave the way we do. I’m sure you think you make good decisions based on sound logic. You probably also think you know what’s best for your body. Well, I’m here to tell you today that you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Our bodies and minds and how they are connected to the universe is one the biggest mysteries known to man and just to let you in on the vastness of this mystery, I am giving you a couple of samples. Enjoy.
Despite the fact that we like to think of ourselves as intellgent rational beings, the truth is that we don’t really make decisions based on rationality at all.
In fact, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig used brain scanners to investigate what happens in the human brain just before a decision is made and found that they could predict from brain signals which option participants would take up to seven seconds before they consciously made their decision.
And many neuroscientists such as Anthony Cashmore, Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, claim that the concept of free will is an illusion.
Sounds creepy? I thought you’d like that.
And here’s another kicker: by the time your conscious mind has made the decision (usually after hours of analysing and deliberation), your sub-conscious had already made it long before and tried to express it to you via your body and feelings. But you just weren’t listening stupid!
So if you are having trouble making decisions, there’s a good chance that you are being too rational. Slow down, do some meditation and contemplate how you feel about something rather than what you think about it. Do you feel drawn to one particular outcome or person? Then that’s the right one.
As you already know, your body experiences reality via the five physical senses with our brain (objective mind) acting as the control room for this. No surprises here, then. But wait! there’s more. We also have what is known as a subjective mind, which has absolute control over all of your internal functions. In fact, it knows exactly at what rate our heartbeat needs to be, when we need to sweat, sneeze and take part in all sorts of other nasty unpleasantries in order to maintain optimal health. It encompasses your whole body, and when not opposed in any way, (i.e. negative thoughts and beliefs about your body infiltrating your system), it regulates your whole body in complete harmony before you have even had time to think about it.
You have all experienced physical sensations such as sweaty palms, nervous twitches or tightness in the stomach when you were nervous about, say, going on a date or going for a job interview. Those were all physical changes that came in response to your emotions and triggered an appropriate physical reaction via your sub-conscious.
It’s really important to understand this as this also explains things like why a tumor starts to grow rapidly if the patient is always preoccupied with worry and fear about it.
So it’s not really the apple a day which keeps the doctor away. It’s more likely to be a good session of deep meditation that explains his or her absence.
When we started out life as a kid, it was kind of like driving a car on a windy road. When life threw us challenges that our child-brain wasn’t able to understand or deal with (by challenges, I mean things that simply felt bad), we had no other option but to try to avoid them. Sounds logical, doesn’t it, I mean what else is a 5-year old supposed to do?
But while we were avoiding these potholes, we inadvertently created neural pathways in our brains which provided the blueprint for how we were going to deal with the same problem in the future. But we have since grown up and now we process things via our logical thought process, right?
What we have collected over the years is a veritable treasure trove of judgements, opinions, avoidance strategies, and just plain unproductive thoughts and beliefs stored deep down in there which are no longer serving you. And just like the driver who likes to drive on autopilot, taking the path of least resistance, we keep finding ourselves continuing down the same well-worn pathways in our minds, which means we keep on running into the same problems and situations in our lives.
Have you ever thought about why you avoid doing things that you really want to do. Maybe you think that you won’t be good at them and this will attract criticism from others (wouldn’t have anything to do with the time your art teacher at school criticised you because your drawing wasn’t good enough, would it?). I could give you a whole bunch of examples here but I’m sure you get the picture.
So you think you’re not racist, sexist or prejudiced in any way? Would you be happy to put yourself to the test in order to find out? If so, click on this link to access what is called the ‘Project Implicit Association Test’
to find out how much hidden bias you have deep in your sub-conscious.
These tests were developed by psychologists at Harvard University, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington and their aim is to challenge the notion that most of us well-meaning, politically-correct people have of ourselves that we genuinely believe that everyone is the same in our eyes.
Now I’m not going to discuss my own results here because I’m a little embarrassed about them, but it does prove one thing to me; my sub-conscious does contain a whole lot of outmoded conditioning and I’m due for an operating system upgrade really soon.
So why do we have these nasty thoughts, anyway?
Again, this all comes back to things we learned as a child. If we grew up in families that operated under limited belief systems (and let’s face it, that’s nearly all of us), this affects our beliefs now. An even bigger culprit is media and television, which literally bombards us with subliminal messages. Just try to name all of the films you have seen (the Godfather ?) which portray very stereotypical images of certain ethnics groups. BTW. I actually love The Godfather.
I don’t just mean you and me especially. I mean you and literally everyone around you. How? through our unconscious minds of course….Ok, so you probably already were aware of that one. But just to remind you of this vitally important fact, I’m going to leave you here with a video. Watch and remember and catch you in the next post.
Linda is certified NLP practitioner and owner of the popular mindset blog http:subliminalmindprogram.com. You can download a free copy of her e-book, ‘How Your Sub-coscious Mind Works’ by clicking here: http://subliminalmindprogram.com/freedownload/