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  • Writer's pictureJenny Greene

Tend to the Garden of Your Mind

Becoming aware of your thought patterns, discovering where your belief systems came from, and examining your reactions to daily life events is a great way to begin to live a more authentic life and not just operate on autopilot. Our Brain Bitch loves the familiarity of old, worn, repetitive thoughts. Choosing not to inquire about the validity of what our inner voice is saying takes away our personal power, the ability to make good choices, and to think for ourselves.

Awareness of your thoughts means being present enough to pause and examine what is going on between your ears. Have you ever thought something, maybe even let the thought slip from your lips only to wonder afterwards, “Where did that come from?” Or think to yourself, “That isn’t what I actually believe.” If so, you've likely begun to recognize that your ego mind doesn’t always check in with your heart before spewing out the first thought or reaction it has. Your heart or soul speaks truth and love, always. It’s imperative that we learn to distinguish between the voice of our head and the voice of our heart. 

Starting to study our thoughts and thought patterns will eventually lead us to discover that not all of our thoughts are true or helpful, and some are even detrimental to our mental health and well-being. I suggest journaling these experiences with compassion and curiosity. But it goes even deeper than just our thoughts: Those thoughts are born out of our values and belief systems, which have been impacted by our experiences, family, friends, religion, and culture.

As I started to examine my personal belief systems independent of what had been instilled in me from the outside world, I started to realize how many things I said I believed were just regurgitations of what I was told or shown to believe. I started to open my eyes to the programming, even if well-intentioned, that had taken place. Painful as those realizations sometimes were, when I found something within my mind that didn’t match my heart, I went to work to try to discover where the first seed was planted for that thought or belief and how it may have taken root so that I could dig it up and sow something new that felt authentic to my soul on the freshly tilled soil of my mind.

Here's an example of how this may look: Let's say a topic comes up in the news or on my social media and I have an immediate response or thought. I try to stop and wonder about that response or thought. I ask myself, “Do I actually believe that?” Surprisingly, the initial answer may be “I don’t know,” and that’s okay, so long as we follow through to find out what the answer really is.

So the steps of self-study begin.

I check my first response against my past and see if I can identify when, where, and from whom I was taught to think in this way. If I can uncover the source of the thought system or pattern, I can more easily evaluate its validity in my life today and choose for myself what I will keep and what I will toss. It's a process that's ongoing, but with time there are more authentic thoughts that take only a second to evaluate and less of the garbage thoughts that no longer serve you. With each thought examination and weeding process, you cultivate your deeper truth as your heart, mind, and soul begin to align.

Soon your mind will be a beautiful flourishing garden that you can enjoy sitting peacefully in.


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