Thoughts and Wellness
As we explore the interrelatedness of thinking and wellness, it is vital that we get to know our own minds. Learning to pause, to observe, to listen" without judgment; learning to identify and recognize recurring mental patterns that lead us into depression or anger; learning to drop identification with the mind's constant stream of illusions, while still nurturing the creative flights of fancy - these and many other skills related to self-observation are available to all of us through awareness and practice. Unless we can appreciate how powerfully our thoughts direct our experience of reality, we are doomed to an unconscious existence filled with automatic responses.
Living in the sea of our old memories and beliefs, buffeted by the waves of conflicting thoughts, intentions, and impressions from the past, we are forming our present thoughts, words, and deeds, and thereby shaping our future. Little wonder that often things don't seem to change as we might like, either for us as individuals or for the world in which we live, since the past is generally determining the present for better or worse. To become more conscious participants in our life and health, and the life and health of the planet, will mean attending to our thoughts and the ways in which they ultimately either de-energize or benefit us.
The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a machine. —Sir James Jeans
We see the world through glasses colored by our assumptions and beliefs - our thoughts about the way things are or should be. When we look at the world through glasses tinted with love, trust of others, and optimism, we tend to find examples of goodness and generosity everywhere. When we look through lenses clouded with suspicion and fear, we find hundreds of reasons to be paranoid. Thinking, therefore, will color and even determine our relationships - with ourselves, others, and our environment. For example, many of us are involved in a relationship with another person that has begun to deteriorate in some way: the parent losing faith in the child; the wife suspecting the husband of "playing around"; the friend jealous of another friend. The injured party, wearing "glasses" of victimization, can always find scores of clues to reinforce the belief that he or she is being wronged.