I happen to enjoy spending time in the kitchen.
Whether I’m preparing a meal, a smoothie or using my imagination to craft up a treat of some kind or another…this particular room in the house has become my happy place.
I’ll either crank up the music or listen to a lecture from one of my teachers – and I’ll get busy creating something.
Now while that may seem simple enough, I’ll mention that the purpose of this post is to let you know that I’ve discovered something about myself that I think many others may be able to relate to.
No worries. I’m about to elaborate.
The other day, I noticed something.
I witnessed a pattern of mine that I had been unaware of until just that moment.
I was preparing dinner for my husband and I when I caught myself thinking about a story I had just read on the internet about the latest shenanigans of some well-known public figure.
Seems harmless enough, right?
Well, it wasn’t.
This is why.
The story made me angry.
Or maybe I’ll rephrase this by saying that I allowed myself to get angry over my opinion of what I had read.
Now whether or not my opinion was based on subjective or objective truth isn’t the issue.
What IS the issue, however, is the fact that I caught myself ruminating on a subject matter that had nothing to do with me whatsoever.
Oh…and how my thoughts took off.
I could feel the tension brewing within me regarding how irritated I felt over what I had read – now going on 20-30 minutes ago.
And then (as what typically occurs when one is within this state of being), a slew of additional related, judgmental and angry thoughts showed up.
It was as if the original thought was calling the others over for company.
“Hey, guys – Dana’s cooking something yummy…
…and she’s pissed off too.
And you know what?
That’s exactly how it works.
Before I knew it…what had started off as an angry reaction to something I read had now become an entire story line filled with new characters, plot lines and even some nifty flashbacks.
It wasn’t a cool way to spend my time – especially since I was physically engaged in something that usually brings me happiness.
Remembering the Observer
A few years ago, I learned something rather profound about myself.
I realized that I am not my name, my personality, my titles…nor my thoughts.
I have a name, a personality, a few titles, and thoughts…but I am not them.
Those are components of my ego. The character I play.
Who I am is the observer of my life, my surroundings, and experiences.
The reason I mention this entire thing is because while I was in the middle of my little inner-anger party, I remembered who I really was in the midst of all of it.
I AM the observer.
So…I took a mental step back…
And as it turned out, I have engaged in this Negative Nelly activity more times than I’d care to admit.
But I WILL admit it because self-awareness is my friend.
I realized that the thoughts that play themselves out in my mind take on a life of their own if I don’t practice something called mind-control.
And I’m not talking about the kind of mind-control that comes from environmental programming.
I’m talking about intentional, deliberate and conscious control of one’s mind in an effort to not only understand what plays out in their internal environment all day, every day…but to then use this information to reprogram their minds and focus their attention toward what they would actually prefer to see their lives – their world become.
And the tool capable of helping each and every one of us achieve this is our imagination.
How We’ve Lost Touch With Our True Selves
Over the last couple of years, I have written, extensively, about the fact that we are programmed.
We’ve been this way since we took our very first breath.
From the time our lives have begun, we have been immersed in a world where we are taught what to think, how to feel and how to behave.
While some of the concepts we’ve picked up over time have been valuable and based in some aspect of truth – the majority of what we’ve been exposed to has been the result of the teachings and opinions of others who also didn’t know they were programmed.
The reason I am mentioning all of this is because when we’ve spent our lives being who we’ve been told to be, we don’t have the opportunity to find this out for ourselves.
And once someone has become fully aware of the fact that they’ve been programmed, what follows is usually a level of confusion because if we aren’t who we thought we were…
who are we?
Well, it has come to my attention that who we are lives in our imagination.
We are the I AM that I AM.
Everything that follows the words I AM is who we become.
So when we finally understand this (and I’ll share a video at the end of this post to help elaborate on this) – we realize that we can be whomever we want to be…
Under one condition.
That condition is this –
We cannot be who we want to be if we continue to think we are who we’ve always thought we were.
If we are convinced that we are our achievements, relationships, titles, failures, opinions, beliefs, fears and thoughts…then how can there be any room for expansion?
If I were to say…
“I AM someone who couldn’t possibly go back to school to become a personal trainer because I hated high school and I was a lousy student, therefore, I can’t even attempt it now, so forget it,” then you wouldn’t be reading these words right now.
It’s only because I had suspended my beliefs in what I thought I knew about myself and decided that I could keep an open mind and allow something new into my life that I not only attended and graduated from the school that had seemed like an impossible feat at first, but eventually led me to pursuing a passion of mine – which is writing.
I wouldn’t be sitting here, expressing these thoughts with you if I hadn’t questioned my self-imposed limitations.
Our limitations are only imagined.
Everything about ourselves starts off in our imagination.
While I was in the middle of ruminating in the angry thoughts that had nothing to do with me or what I want in life…I was still giving that unwanted subject matter my attention.
Where attention goes – energy flows.
My imagination is always at work.
One never gets a break from this part of themselves – as it creates their inner-world and subsequently, their experiences.
I was erroneously using my imagination to dwell in thoughts that made me feel angry – instead of being present while doing something that I love to do.
When we set an intention and use our imagination to envision this purpose coming to fruition…yet spend our time focusing our attention on things that don’t matter…we still create experiences – we just create the ones we don’t want.
I AM my imagination.
If I imagine I am an angry person, then I AM.
If I imagine I am in love with the creative process of cooking, then I AM.
If I imagine I am a writer/author/health and wellness professional – then I AM.
If I imagine that I am someone who lives a healthy life and enjoys all facets of well-being, then I AM.
I am all of those things and everything else I could imagine… because while those nifty titles and accomplishments are nice – the real me, the I AM is always at work.
The idea is to work it like I want it.
And the same goes for everyone else.
So since the day I had witnessed myself using my imagination to envision angry thoughts toward someone I don’t even know, I have become a LOT more cognizant about what I’m placing my attention on.
I had thought I knew a thing or two about consciousness…but this experience just goes to show that we can know things intellectually, but that doesn’t mean we always practice them – or use them with deliberate intention.
I will now know to be more conscious of how I use my thoughts.
I can do whatever I want with them…as long as I stay present.
So what about you? Do you ever catch yourself thinking about things that bother you to the point where they own your mind?
Image courtesy of [digitalart] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net