On Star Trek, the Enterprise went out to explore the universe. They might have had even more episodes if they’d set out to explore the human mind.
Fortunately for us, the mind operates according to laws, just like the rest of the universe. Learning to operate within those laws increases our ability to transform our lives for the better.
Confronted with all the “laws” of his day — religious, natural, physical, moral — Jesus told his disciples that they ought to be less concerned with those external laws than with the laws of the mind and heart. From the mind/heart, He said, spring our self-destructive tendencies, the traps and troubles we find ourselves in that bring about human sorrow and misery, aka sin.
In Correct Change Required, Bill Epperhart states, “Your thoughts plus your feelings equal your beliefs. Your beliefs affect your behavior, and your behavior affects the results you get in your life. If you do not like the results you are getting, you must change your beliefs.”
I recently heard a radio interview with a woman who suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Developmental Topographical Disorientation. In short, every day when she wakes up, her mind tells her that her world has shifted 90 degrees. The Rocky Mountains that were to the west when she went to sleep, are now, in her perception, directly north. Everyday she has to “reset” her internal compass in order to navigate through her own home. It would, I think, be vaguely similar to waking up in the dark in a different hotel room every night, knowing what’s there, but not being able to find it. Over the years, she has learned to push her own “reset” button in order to recalibrate her senses to the world around her.
Think about it… the human mind is powerful enough to convince someone that the mountains moved overnight. That kind of power, accessed, ought to be more than enough to trigger some positive, proactive changes in our lives!
According to Epperhart, thoughts come from four sources: information, personal experiences, memories and imagination. In our modern world of information overload, we have access to more information than we can absorb on a daily basis. Choosing what information we take in is important! We need filters or we’re likely to be overwhelmed by the quantity of information surrounding us!
Memories and personal experiences are finite… in other words, they’re over, done. What you do with them is up to you. Choose to make them negative and they’ll color your world in a negative shade. Draw positive lessons from them and they’ll highlight the information you take in and spur your imagination to greater things.
Imagination is the tricky one.
If you’re a creative type, you’re used to using your imagination to create things — paintings, sculptures, poems, stories, songs — but have you considered using your imagination to create your own future? I believe there’s a reason so many of us were discounted for our “overactive imaginations” as children: we’d tapped in to a source of power our parents or caregivers or significant others didn’t know how to handle. Heck, we didn’t know how to handle it much of the time!
Here’s the challenge: Choose one area of your life and purposefully apply your imagination to it in a positive way. What do you see? What you see is possible… if you can simply believe.
More on that tomorrow… I think.