What are you thinking?

The past week I have been contemplating the words that flow through my mind. Really. I once had a teacher point out that the words and narrative that we hear the most are the ones we tell ourselves, not those that we are taking in from others. After all, those of us with healthy brains have some kind of thoughts streaming through the mind most of the time. 

I have been walking with Angela preparing for the Camino journey, I have been swimming, I have been visiting with friends and family, I have been getting my son ready to go off to LA for a semester,  so I have had plenty of opportunity to notice the thoughts in different situations.   While it has not been the case for me always, this attention has now allowed me to be the captain of my ship and control the thoughts, with very interesting results.  For example, last week when Ang and I were trying to cross a river (see last week's post - you can just hit the arrow at the bottom of the page to get to it)  my nervous system was saying,  "you might fall, you might injure your head again, it would be debilitating." In this case,  with the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, I had to say out loud the words I wanted to hear:  "I am fine, I am strong, I can do this."  Maybe the nervous system was trying to get me to say otherwise, but I overrode: Strong, brave, able won the day and I continued on the walk. 

Another example of changing my thoughts and then changing my experience has been with swimming.  For years, I had told myself that I was not a good swimmer, that I would never swim the butterfly in this lifetime, that I was somehow "less than."  This year, I realized I am a great swimmer and that if I could learn how to write a poem, then I could certainly figure out how to swim butterfly.  There must be logical steps.  So, I turned off the brain's negative self talk, told myself that I certainly COULD do it, and, with the help of the brilliant swimming instruction of my husband, I learned.  I can now really swim the butterfly. It is actually fun.

So, I am no more extraordinary than you are.  Notice what you are telling yourself and see if, even for a bit, you can decide to take control of those thoughts and put them to work for your benefit.

Copyright 2018 Nancy C Murray

Nancy C Murray is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, Reiki master and spiritual leader.  She leads public and private yoga classes and healing sessions and also retreats and transformational journeys. 

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