Many times when a student asks me a question, one of my main responses are “Be carful of the questions you ask,” or “Do you really want to hear the answer?” For example, they ask me about my web domain http://discoverthought.com, which I have had for years… Basically, it frames my life purpose and is the foundation of all my work. My main goals as an educator is to help people, such as students, within the context of my classroom, learn the importance and power of their thought (Discover Thought). Please allow me to briefly explain that thoughts are things, happiness is a state of mind, emotions come from your thoughts, and there are many ways that you can discover your thought through meditation, mindfulness, brain entrainment, consciousness, the law of attraction, the four agreements, and the PAUSE technique.
Thoughts are energy that can be measured and calibrated in many ways. Those thoughts are things and thus are the seeds of creation of your reality, situation, and world. That said, thoughts are also a collective experience being formed from memories, society, and culture. Making thoughts a paramount construct for living and functioning at your highest potential. If you make happiness, the state of mind, a main life goal and not only the human emotion, awareness of thoughts will make that goal much more attainable. My goal is to help people learn about the importance of thoughts and the ability to be more aware of them, so they can discover the incredible power within.
Many people are not even aware of their own thoughts, but are somewhat aware of their emotions, and actions, which are both effected or created by thoughts. People label their emotions at any given time by judging the outside elements and situation and measure their relation to that, thus taking the outside in. More or less, blaming internal emotions on outside conditions, people, and the situation. This process might take place because we are never taught open awareness, but instead taught how to make ridged definitions and labels. For example, we spend years in traditional school learning about the world in terms of memorizing facts and information thorough defining, labeling, describing, and analyzing mostly through tangible methods of the senses, such as hearing and seeing. Interestingly, we are never taught how to use the brain it self, thoughts, or given any tools to better absorb and learn within the traditional method. Therefore, we should spend more time learning or discovering the seed and starts it all… our mind and thought.
Science and research has detailed and calibrated brain waves in regards to thoughts, words, and emotions. All of which are energy and vibration. On a more basic or rudimentary level, thought can be understood as being on a spectrum with one side being pinpointed, fine concentration and the other side full emersion and awareness of everything. There are many activities, games, and practices that address both concentration and awareness including meditation and mindfulness that can help with any endeavor, especially obtaining happiness. The main goals of most practices are to improve both skills and discover the power of equanimity. Even if you don’t meditate, or don’t want to, there are other methods such as brainwave entrainment to help balance the mind and even assist in reaching specific states of mind. Much of the time we wander through life, not paying attention and trying to label things as we were taught in school or find ourselves blaming our problems, a particular situation, or outside factors for where we find ourselves while overlooking the most important and basic cause, our thoughts.
Lets take a look at the practice of mindfulness, concentration and awareness, and how it can affect your life. Concentration is an important skill that helps us complete most tasks, which can also be called focus or attention. Awareness is understood as an open free wandering collection of as many elements, such as using all the senses and context of the environment with non-judgment, while including as many perspectives as possible. Life difficulties and problems normally arise when we mislabel or misinterpret both outside elements such as others, context, inside factors, and thoughts, which all influence emotion. The practice of mindfulness works on both concentration and awareness skills, but doing so through non-judgment and acceptance. Non-judgment is the act of open observation, taking everything, as it is, no right or wrong, no labeling, interpretation, analyzing, or rationalization about what is or why. Just take, what is, for what it is. Acceptance on the other hand, is not being attached to any one-thought or perspective, such as cognitive flexibility and open-mindedness. Acceptance is the active changing of the mind or thoughts from resisting, to willingness and active engagement to the present moment. Another tool within the practice of mindfulness to support and increase both non-judgment and acceptance is detachment (non-attachment) or separation, whether dealing with outside factors or the thoughts within. Some argue that detachment is the act of disengaging or not caring. It is just the opposite. Mindful detachment better allows someone to have better clarity, which increases non-judgment and acceptance in order to then actively engage and respond to life with more compassion verses reacting with judgment, close-mindedness, and entitlement.
Some tools I use to help guide my thoughts in everyday life and in conjunction with my meditation and mindfulness practices include the Map of Consciousness (Dr. David Hawkins) and the Emotional Guidance Scale (Abraham-Hicks). Both can be used to label or briefly describe a state of mind or emotions, but also offer the understanding that those states can be changed by putting your attention on what you want to see more of. However, beware both craving and aversions are not good or needed in any practice of equanimity. For example, in 2006 the book “The Secret” made public, in a very artful way, how the law of attraction works, but made many people just crave and want more. People wanted to change things, but started doing so by just wishing more and harder. This perpetuated more craving. For instance, if you want to be more successful, don’t create thoughts of wanting more, as you will get just that, more wanting. You need to put your attention and thoughts on now, being successful, you are flourishing, and thankful, thus you will receive more of that. You choose to make it better with intention. Whatever you put your attention on, good or bad, will expand.
If you don’t believe in meditation or mindfulness or don’t have the time to use some brain training techniques, another tool to help you stay aware of your thoughts and line of thinking is using the four agreements. They are very simple rules and if you use them you can transform your life. The first agreement is “be impeccable with you word,” which means speak with integrity, intention of love, say only what you mean and do not speak against yourself or others such as gossip. The second agreement is “don’t take anything personally,” which means knowing nothing others do is because of you, what others say and do is a projection of their own reality, and when you are detached from opinions you will lessen overall suffering. The third agreement is “don’t make assumptions.” Find the strength to ask questions and communicate clearly. The fourth agreement is “always do your best,” even though it will change moment to moment, but is important to avoid self-judgment, abuse, and regret. If you follow these rules you will have a much clearer mind and thus being much more aware of your thoughts as you speak and act.
For example, my favorite responses to most situations, statements, or questions include: “You don’t say?” or “Is that so?” Both of these responses allow me to follow the four agreements by staying authentically true, detaching myself from opinions and assumptions by using non-judgment, thus allowing me to do my best. Most students don’t even know how to react to these statements. Regardless if the situation or statement being positive or negative, I can stay true to my word. Furthermore, many times I do not talk or say anything at all or don’t even respond, just so I can keep true to my word. In addition, it also allows me to not take things personally; it gives me space, and helps remind me my reality is mine, no one else’s. I don’t allow anyone to steal my peace, as that is the only thing I can control, which is my response to my thoughts.
Overall, discovering your thought is a large step in the right direction of creating happiness. Normally the first step in “recovery” is the ability to recognize the problem and situation. Then openly notice, and detach from the elements (you and context – your surroundings) by labeling and defining with non-judgment. This would allow you to be aware of the running mind (monkey mind). Thoughts can be like passing clouds. You might not be able to control or change the clouds, but you can observe them, and choose which to put your attention on (Law of Attraction). Lastly, you do need to act, respond, and engage with empathy and compassion. Take care of yourself and others with a equanimous mind.
Helpful Thought Tips:
- Thoughts are things.
- Happiness is not a place, but a state of mind.
- Emotions come from your thoughts.
- Meditation and mindfulness can help stay balanced.
- Brian entrainment (equalizing brainwaves) can help you be balanced.
- The Map of Consciousness (Dr. David Hawkins) and the Emotional Guidance Scale (Abraham-Hicks) are great ways to monitor and label your thoughts.
- Put your attention on your intentions (The Law of Attraction). Whatever you put your attention on will expand.
- Try to live life be using the Four Agreements.
- Ask yourself: “Is that so?”
- Try the PAUSE technique, a simple, one-minute check to set your mind in the right direction.