The Power of Your Mind
As we all emerge from the Christmas and New Year break, I wonder how many New Year’s Resolutions have been made, and possibly discarded already.
I decided to eschew this tradition this year. Last year I joined the One Word 365 Community on Facebook where members could choose and report a word that they could use every day to bring focus to something they wanted to happen in their lives. I am sure I chose an excellent word. What was that word? I really cannot recall. So, it may be that I attracted the thing I wanted but was unaware of it. I have decided to believe that was the case and that the abundance I might have sought came my way. I wonder if by giving focus to the subject of abundance that was a clear instruction to my powerful subconscious to set about attracting it.
Another way to think of this is that my Reticular Activating System or RAS was programmed to notice the abundance around me. The RAS is a particular part of the brain that helps us filter the millions of pieces of information coming at us every second of every day. It has been said that the conscious mind can only process between 5-9 bits of information at any given second. The RAS functions to help us pull out what is important to us.
Here is an example that might resonate with you: when you were thinking of what make and model of new car you might buy and made your final selection, did you all of sudden start to see that same car everywhere? That’s because the RAS is now specifically picking up on that information because it is something that is now important to you. Now that your brain has taken note of your new car, it will alert you when it sees it elsewhere — on the road, on TV, in conversations, etc. The human mind strives to identify patterns in the chaos of daily life and uses a confirmation bias to affirm that this car is everywhere suddenly, when it was around long before you noticed it.
Jack Black, the author of a book called Mindstore*, wrote of applying this system to finding a parking space in a busy town. I used to shop in the city each Saturday and before leaving home I visualised the street I wanted to park in and off I went to Edinburgh. I can report here that every single Saturday I got a parking space in the very centre of the city without fail. I was sold on this concept from that point on.
Your subconscious can be quite selective in what it gives attention to or ignores without you realizing it (go read about the invisible gorilla test). Your brain has to be judicious in what it lets through so you can function each day. https://www.bing.com/search?q=the+invisible+gorilla+test&form=ANNTH1&refig=1ba20c1a3af44844bc66bb2e7702eb22#:~:text=Notice%20%7C%20Live%20Science-,www.livescience.com/6727%2Dinvisible%2Dgorilla%2Dtest%2Dshows%2Dnotice.html,-Feedback
So, as I considered the beginning of a new year and my wishes for the months to come I began to think about the preciousness of time. Like many, I really needed the break from work. I felt very close to burn out. I pondered this during my break and marvelled at the 55 – 60 hour weeks I worked regularly while in my corporate role. These days, setting my own working hours, I have opted for much better balance and yet I still find myself feeling rushed and exhausted. I am aware of having used the phrase “time poor” often. Knowing that what we narrate, we create, it is little wonder that I very regularly lament not having enough time; of feeling as though somehow I will run out of time long before I am ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.
I know that when people experiment with inviting abundance, thoughts can go to money or business growth. That was how I measured abundance in the past and do feel fortunate that my invitation seems to have been answered in so many ways. So, with this in mind, I have begun to consciously invite an abundance of time. I realised that using “time poor” was inviting that sense of deficit so began saying each morning that I have plenty of time.
When I take the dogs out in the morning, instead of my usual thoughts about stepping up a gear, rushing along the paths and urging them to sniff quicker or return to heel more quickly when I call, I have begun to say to myself, it’s ok because I have plenty of time.
My dad is 92 years old and still lives independently, planting vegetables, going for his shopping and taking good enough care of himself and his home. I have often felt a tremor of fear ripple through as I acknowledge that I will probably need to face his loss sooner rather than later. Each year since he lost my mum, I have given space to wondering if this might be the year he joins her.
My fascination with time seems to have been set to deficit and I am pleased to have uncovered this unconscious process. So, today as I checked in on him, I chose to imagine that he will definitely see his 95th birthday. And because I have already committed to matching or even surpassing his years on earth, I found myself imagining me at my 95th birthday and then, I went even further and decided to imagine my 100th birthday. I had a little laugh to myself as I played with this, knowing, of course, that none of us ever know what use by date is stamped somewhere on our body out of sight.
But, and this is the key thing, this reframing of how I think about time has already paid off. My dog walks have felt so leisurely recently and I also began to notice that I had space and time at the end of my client work that felt luxurious.
So, knowing a bit about the Reticular Activating System and keeping in mind that “what we narrate, we create”, what might you choose to reframe? What would you like more of in your life? If you need a little help becoming clearer about that, do reach out and get support to get what you want for your life.
*Mindstore, The Ultimate Mental Fitness Programme. Jack Black 1994