Over the years, I’ve received a lot of different feedback regarding my (mostly) positive outlook on life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt like there was a force, an intelligent Consciousness, behind the wave of existence. Some people refer to that awareness as “God”, but I typically refer to it as “Spirit” or “Flow.”
It became very apparent early on that when I listened to my intuition, I resonated more with Flow. And when I ignored my intuition and did what I thought was best in the situation, oftentimes, myself or others got hurt. Now, I don’t want to see other people injured – especially because of me. So, it became a mission to quiet my thoughts and try to live more gracefully and in consideration of others.
This has been a double-edged sword, as it’s not very easy to love humans for who and what they are. Most of us have a lot of ugly baggage, but there are still some wonderful gems underneath the layers of trauma that are begging to be examined more. Thankfully, age has taught me how to find balance within the turbulence, and now it’s a gift to be able to witness the threads of dysfunction and the cycles that people tangle themselves up in. The reason why this intrigues me rather than inspires me to curl up into a little ball is because, through personal experience, I’ve developed the tools to prod people to recognize the patterns and snip (metaphorical scissors) the inhibitors away.
We have a lot of work ahead of us…
Stepping through these cyclical traps is a very important skill each of us must learn. But, when we constantly live in fear and our attention is constantly bouncing from one concern to the next distraction, it’s near-impossible for the average individual to succeed at this. The disconnect we live in, personally and collectively, is fueling mental and physical distress, and in effect, is exacerbating crises of every sort.
I believe that everything is One and that we are experiencing each other through different lenses in a shared experience. The more we react and unleash fury against others, the more it comes back tenfold. So, while humanity acts this out for the purpose of finally recognizing this pattern, I figured it’d be helpful to dive into the science (everyone loves science, after all) behind how we can shift our thoughts and, as a result, our actions. And, furthermore, the reasoning behind affirmations and how they train the brain.
We may not be able to control the war in Ukraine, others’ behaviors, or the rampant ways in which people in power abuse their authority, but we can control ourselves and how we adapt through the current period of chaos. Choosing your thoughts and striving to quiet your mind will go far in helping you do this, I promise you.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS)
When it comes to understanding the power behind affirmative thought (focusing on what you want, versus what you don’t want), it all comes down to the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS is a network of neurons located in the brain stem that project anteriorly to the hypothalamus to mediate behavior, as well as both posteriorly to the thalamus and directly to the cortex for activation of awake, desynchronized cortical EEG patterns.
What does that mean in plain English? Basically, your RAS system is a comprehensive filter that is responsible for sorting all the stimuli you receive from visceral, somatic, and sensory systems. In other words, you’re not consciously aware of how your shirt feels on your skin or the subtle hum of a machine in the background because your RAS is sorting that stimuli so you can focus.
So, the RAS does quite a bit for us. But, what most people don’t know is that you can train your RAS to filter what you are looking to attract and create in your life. Let me explain…
Have you ever wanted a specific vehicle, and then saw it everywhere?
I have a poignant example. 7 years ago, I decided I really wanted a Red Kia Rio car. After driving a rental on a trip, I thought: “This is so cute, Universe, I’d love to manifest a Red Kia Rio.”
And what do you know, I started seeing them everywhere Left, right, in front of me, back five rows in traffic – I couldn’t help but see the car I set an intention to someday buy, everywhere! I didn’t end up buying a Red Kia Rio that year, but 8 months later, I returned to the U.S. to grow roots (which I didn’t, I left again – but that’s another story…). What do you know – the first place we stopped to look at a car for me had a bright, shiny, and used Red Kia Rio exactly within my purchase price… and it was perfect.
So, what’s the point of this story?
Essentially, your RAS system is doing the job of filtering what you determine matters and is important to you. But, most of us don’t take the time to train our brains. Furthermore, many people aren’t even sure of what they really want!
Friends, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you ever going to make a plan to get there? The simple answer is, that you’re not.
If you’re okay with that, I suppose there’s no need for you to practice affirmations are implement self-serving habits (like meditating, exercising, breathing, eating well, loving yourself, and taking time to show love to others). But if you’re not fully happy with the life you are living and want change, well, then, I think this information could be of benefit.
Okay, what’s the takeaway?
The takeaway, beautiful one, is that your mind is a brilliant, complex, and puzzling machine that can work for you if you take the time to program it in the way you want.
- Get specific about the life you want to create. I don’t care if this is a Pinterest Board or a glue-and-magazine old-fashioned vision board. I want you to outline your short and long-term goals and really EMOTE the emotions that you would and WILL feel in the moment when it happens FOR you in real life.
- I want you to program your brain with positive thoughts and affirmations. Once you figure out what it is you want, you need to dedicate time each morning and evening (and honestly, during your day) to declare to yourself and the Universe/Flow/Spirit what you would like to co-create. Because I guarantee you, if you feel like there is a dream that needs to be born, it is pursuing you.
- Every day, in every way, I am becoming a stronger, healthier, and more loving version of myself.
- Even though I’m feeling stressed, I know I will have a great day.
- I am worthy of love
- I love myself
- Good things are happening for me and the people I love
- Collectively, we are continuing to grow and evolve toward love and harmony
Our hearts and minds are thirsty for a resurgence of critical thinking with a healthy dose of discernment. The change each of us is seeking begins with self-awareness and “being the change” we want to see in the world.
Nothing is perfect, nor will it ever be. But each of us has the potential to be the best we can be and achieve the dreams we were called to bring to life. To do this, vision and maintaining a strong mind are essential.
Now that you know more about your RAS system, I hope you will take time to “program” your thoughts and goals toward ones of happiness. You’ve got this – I have all the faith in the world that you’re going to live an extraordinary life.