Thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body. So how you think, and how you feel, is how you BE.
Your state of BE-ing.
Most of the thoughts you’ll think today are the same thoughts you thought yesterday, and the day before that, and every day.
And our systems demand coherence.
So our emotions MUST match our thoughts, and our thoughts MUST match our emotions.
This is one of the Natural Laws that govern us as human beings.
And exactly what are emotions? (If you answered “feelings” you would be close.)
Emotions are based on the memory of a past event that caused a specific physical feeling in the body. When something causes a particular feeling in your body – what someone said or did, a TV show or story you read, anything really – your database is consulted, looking for a match.
“Ahh, when Stomach was feeling this particular kind of queasy, it was when that person hurt me. I was terrified. Therefore, queasy = terrified. I’m terrified. Now initiating production of stress chemicals.”
Yes, that was futuristic robot-speak. And yet, fairly accurate, except that it’s pretty much instantaneous, and totally unconscious.
And here’s the deal:
When you continually think the same thoughts over and over,
It leads to making the same life choices
That lead to having the same experiences
That lead to feeling the same feelings in your body
That become the same emotions
That produce the same specific chemicals
That lead back to you having the same thoughts.
It’s a big ol’ feedback loop. Because the system demands coherence.
When this is happening, you’re firing the same neural circuits of your brain, running in specific patterns, over and over again. You could think of it as wearing a rut in your brain, but it’s actually more like weaving a stronger and stronger rope.
The more times you think, feel, choose, and experience the same patterns again and again, the physically thicker and stronger those neural connections become. Like adding fibers to make a thicker rope.
The saying in biology is, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
So the behavior pattern becomes hard-wired in the body.
We call this a habit.
It is no longer a conscious behavior. It has become a part of the Operating System, like a computer program, and is running on autopilot.
This behavior is happening unconsciously due to the feedback loop, and is based on thoughts and feelings you had in the past.
So would you say this means you are living in the past?
Because if you’re living in the past, your energy is pulled from your present existence, into your past existence. Your energy is not available for you to use right now.
Carolyn Myss uses the metaphor of an Energy Bank Account:
Our bodies require a certain amount of energy to do all the things they need to do to operate efficiently and keep us healthy.
Each day, we receive a deposit of a specific number of energy units into our Energy Bank Account.
If we sometimes send some of our energy into the past, we’ll probably be fine. Because we ought to have plenty of energy to spare.
But if we continually invest our energy units into our past, we can start coming up short when it’s time to pay the bills.
Digesting your food needs a certain number of energy units.
Arguing with a spouse squanders a bunch of energy units.
Fighting off the flu or some other microbial invader also uses a lot of energy units
Building new cells requires a constant energy investment
Even just walking around takes energy units.
Which cellular process do you choose to skip today?
What task is not absolutely necessary for survival at this moment?
You can usually get away with wasteful energy spending for a while, but at some point, the body begins to break down…
And this results in illness and disease.
Here’s some good news…
When you’re no longer wiring and firing as though you are in the past, that energy becomes available for your present. Your now.
This is the beginning of the process that enables you to build your future in the way you would rather experience it.
But back to how most people are spending their energy units…
If you’re living inside the program… if you’re having the same thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and experiences that you always have every day, you become able to “predict” your future. Based on memories of your past.
You know you’re going to grab your favorite cup to pour your coffee into.
As you’re drinking your coffee, you’re thinking about brushing your teeth and getting dressed.
As you’re getting dressed, you’re thinking about the drive in to work, dealing with traffic.
As you’re driving, you’re thinking about that coworker who is always so difficult.
See how this is going? You’re investing your energy units into a future you don’t even necessarily want. And I bet it’s not going to pay the dividends you were hoping for.
Just like investing into the past, you’re pulling energy out of your present existence. Energy your body needs to function optimally, keep you healthy and feeling great.
Again, some good news…
When you’re able to become conscious of your unconscious behaviors, and make new choices, your brain begins disassembling those associated neural pathways. The neurons literally disengage from one other, and connect with different, “positive behavior” neurons. This can actually be seen with an electron microscope.
It’s called “pruning” just like with shrubbery or fruit trees.
This pruning frees up available energy. Energy that your body can use now for maintenance and repair.
Energy that can be used in more productive directions, the ones that you choose. Like creating the life you’d really love to live.
And as you’re making changes in your life, you’re not just freeing up neurons.
Remember that thoughts create feelings, which become emotions, which produce chemicals, that lead to behaviors, that cause experiences.
So with neurons freeing up, those old emotions based on the past, they also begin freeing up. The chemicals that your body has become comfortable with, cease production. They stop showing up in the mix.
You can now choose different thoughts, which create different feelings, which become different emotions, which produce different chemicals, which lead to different behaviors, which create new experiences.
That sounds pretty good, right? (Not so fast, Kemo Sabe… there’s a “but” coming up…)
But… like an addict looking for a fix – because that’s exactly what’s happening physiologically – your body has now become the unconscious mind, just running the program.
And it revolts. It wants its fix. It NEEDS its fix.
It will do whatever it has to do to get you back into the computer program that you’ve been living in. And the pull is VERY powerful.
This is where that negative mind chatter comes in. I’ve heard it called “the mean girl in your head.” It’s also called “paradigms” because a paradigm is your conditioned state of being.
“Who do you think you are, (doing thus and so)?”
“You don’t deserve something/someone that wonderful. You should stick to something less, something safer.”
“This is NOT the way we do things in our family/community/religion.”
“This is never gonna happen.”
“Low expectations mean you’ll never be disappointed.”
These paradigms are trying to get you back into the old behavior patterns, so your body, as the unconscious mind, can get its chemical fix.
This is why New Year’s Resolutions last an average of four days. Why it’s so difficult to change a habit.
But that mind chatter is actually a very good sign. Or at least, in can be, when you’re able to be consciously aware of it. Because the negative chatter means that change you were wanting to make has already begun taking place.
Typically, it takes some sort of trauma to “snap you out” of those old behavior patterns. Something to wake you up.
But now that you’re becoming more aware, consciously awakening, it’s not necessary to wait for a traumatic event.
There are two ways we know of to make these changes on purpose.
1. You can enter the cycle by noticing your thoughts and choosing to change them. Which alters the whole feedback loop.
2. Or you can evoke new feelings and emotions, which also changes the entire cycle.
It may not sound like much, but try looking at it this way:
Let’s say you’re steering a ship out on the open ocean. You decide to change direction by one degree to the east.
If you remember your protractor from school days, a single degree is practically nothing. But take that single degree out to ten miles, a hundred miles, a thousand miles… You end up in an entirely different place.
Your life would also be very different with even a one degree shift.
Well, this all sounds peachy, but how can it be accomplished?
Like most things that are new or unfamiliar, it really helps to have help. If you need electrical work done, you probably call an electrician. Car trouble? you visit your mechanic.
I’m an Empowerment Coach. I help people who want to serve and grow and feel good about their life, but their circumstances have been holding them back. I guide my clients to transform their lives, so they can go from being disappointed, frustrated, and bored, to living a life that brings them JOY.