High Grade Thinking February 9, 2015June 11, 2015 ‘If you want to know what your thoughts were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will look like in the future, look at your thoughts today’ Deepak Chopra All the experiences we have change and shape our brain. We make decisions and discern reality based on our past experiences, our belief systems and our biases. We lug around a lot of ‘thinking patterns’ with us into day to day living that are old ways of thinking that are no longer relevant to us. I want you to picture it like going on a holiday and coming home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. You wouldn’t open the suitcase and begin wearing those old smelly clothes without first upgrading them by washing them would you? You would go through the process to cleanse the dirt and smells that you didn’t want hanging around of course. When we keep dragging ourselves through old thinking patterns that don’t serve us, it’s like wearing the dirty clothes. These clothes don’t feel great, and it’s uncomfortable, but we find ourselves decked out in them before we even realised we got dressed in them in the first place. This is like our old ways of thinking that are so conditioned in that we don’t even realise they are occurring. High Grade Thinking is about letting go of some of the thinking that holds us back. It’s about cleansing the ‘dirty clothes’. High Grade Thinking is the equivalent of a beautiful piece of our favourite clothing, that has been hand washed and hung out in the sun to dry. We treat it with care, and diligence and we make it comfortable to use everyday. The way in which we let go of that old thinking and bring in some cleansing is to be aware of the ways in which we think. To not be anxious, we need to have perspective. To be happy, light and joyful, we need to be able to accept the bigger picture. To be generous, kind and gracious we need to not sweat the small stuff. Vedic Meditation has been the fastest track for me to keep upgrading my thinking, and all types of meditation have benefit and I highly recommend you try meditation. Another action we can take is that when we catch ourselves wrapped up in a train of thought that isn’t taking us down a path we desire, or is no longer relevant, we simply handbrake that and say ‘not now’ the ourselves and train our thinking onto something more relevant. This process is more challenging at first, but soon becomes easier and second nature. We must be fluid with our thinking, and not swim upstream when something isn’t working. We don’t get frustrated when we find ourselves deep in some low grade thinking, we just shift to upgrade it as soon as we recognise it. ‘Everything changes. That’s the universal nature of outer reality and inner experience. Therefore, there’s no end to disturbed equilibria as long as you live. But to help you survive, your brain keeps trying to stop the river, struggling to hold dynamic systems in place, to find fixed patterns in this variable world, and to construct permanent plans for changing conditions. Consequently, your brain is forever chasing after the moment that has just passed, trying to understand and control it. It’s as if we live at the edge of a waterfall, with each moment rushing at us – experienced only and always now at the lip – and then zip, it’s over the edge and gone. But the brain is forever clutching at what has just surged by’ Rick Hanson, Ph.D. Buddha’s Brain: the Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom I would love to hear your thoughts on High Grade Thinking, please comment below! Jac This image was purchased from Shutterstock by The Broad Place.