Who taught you how to think?


 Did they do a good job?


Did you pass tests to prove just what a good thinker you are?


What are thoughts?      What do they do?     Where do they come from?     How do they come to you?     How do you experience them?     What do you do with them? Are they YOUR thoughts? If not whose are they and how did they get to me?


How do you deal with thoughts? Do you have to deal with thoughts?

What do thoughts do to me?


About now you are probably thinking “I didnt know there were so many questions about thoughts and thinking.


And this is only the tip of an iceberg


How do you begin to  think about thinking--- isn’t it something you “Just do”.


In fact much thought is processed  automatically, on an auto-pilot system, a kind of short cut that saves a lot of time and energy but that can also cause us problems and is the single biggest reason why Mindfulness is important for everyone.


Hopefully you will agree that the best way to come to a decision about anything is to have as much relevant information as possible--- that is part of the story---- you need an ability to decide--- to think through – that information; to make use of it.

How would you feel if for whatever reason you were taken to court for some misdemeanour and instead of listening to the evidence the judge said “ Last time we had someone charged with this offence  we executed him, so that’s what we will do to you” In effect this is what the autopilot system does--- the brain tries to do things quickly and easily – it’s a busy  piece of equipment—so the way it operates is to say “Last time we had this set of circumstances we did xyz and since we are still alive and functioning that must have been the right thing to do so that’s what we will do every time similar circumstances arise.

Clearly this is a simplification but it describes the  broad principle BUT circumstances change, values change, society moves on --- the things that may have been appropriate for you at an earlier age are not right now--- but if your brain does not get that message it carries on as it always has and in that process can get you deeper and deeper into difficulties. What’s more you will not necessarily realise this because you are just doing what is normal, what is usual for you.

The modern world seems to carry us forward at an ever increasing pace, new technology places new opportunities but also new demands on our time. It makes us believe that we have to respond ever faster to more and more things – twitter is faster than email which is faster than fax ( who remembers that), faster than snailmail. Not just that ; add the competing social media—of which we feel we have to be part, means that the communication is multiplied and becomes ever more banal. BUT because we are swept along in the rush we sign up, join in and “Expand our circle of friends” We chase celebrity (Why)--- because supposedly everyone wants to be famous.

Often people respond to issues thrown up—on facebook and similar media with kneejerk reactions, not stopping to think of the consequences of their action and not questioning the motivation of the writer that stimulated them to an often extreme response. Kneejerk can explain –in part—that autopilot  situation I mentioned earlier----it is a reaction based on limited  information AND there has been no time to weigh up and balance the options it is a case of give a quick input and move on to the next post.


STOP----just for one moment stop everything, come to a total standstill—what happens?  Peace--- calm ---- Wow !


That is Mindfulness


So ?


What you do with Mindfulness at this point can change your life—literally



You can pick up from where you were

You can take stock and choose which way to go next

You can stand back and watch things unfold


Those are three options where previously you had none.


But that’s just the beginning

What if you could see things as if for the first time --- without preconceptions, without the baggage that you automatically ascribe to single words, to phrases, to images, to smells, to sounds, to feelings---what would that do.

Imagine how fresh the world---- and all your experiences would be—you would be aware--- alive in such a  vibrant way – every second of every day.


If you suddenly saw the world afresh without the prejudices that hold you back would that make life better or worse.


We accept so much because we don’t think we have the time or interest to challenge what is presented to us--- we are brainwashed to think that certain brands and products are superior. We are sold the idea that by owning certain things, by dressing in particular styles, by holding certain views we will be attractive, fashionable,acceptable.


Do you choose what represents what you feel, like, believe  OR do you buy into a seemingly attractive image that provides a style of dress, music, food with which you are happy to identify------ importantly do you see that there is a difference between those choices?

If you have more questions than answers here Mindfulness is definitely for you.

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© Martin Williams 2015