Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking Thoughts Captive

by Donna L. Watkins

Continuing with information from an incredible book I've read: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor, I find great results in keeping the left brain controlled by choice.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Cedar of Lebanon, A James Madison era planting, at Montpelier

Although I memorized the Scripture to "take every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:4-5) many years ago, having the visual picture physiologically of what's going on when I have a thought I do not like, and the process to truly dump it, has made a world of difference in being able to implement the command.

Jill explains, "Through our understanding that we have two very distinct ways of being in the world, we can deliberately choose to have much more power over what's going on inside our brains than we ever imagined. When I take responsibility for the circumstances for my life, I put myself in the driver's seat and own my power.

In an attempt to maintain my sanity (peaceful heart) in a world that often feels like it spins dangerously fast, I continue to work very hard to maintain a healthy relationship between what is going on in my right and left minds. I love knowing that I am simultaneously (depending on which hemisphere you ask) as big as the universe and yet merely a heap of star dust.

This does not mean that I am in complete control of everything that happens to me. However, I am in control of how I choose to think and feel about those things. Even negative events can be perceived as valuable life lessons, if I am willing to 'step to the right' and experience the situation with compassion.

Now that my left mind's language centers and story-teller are back to functioning normally, I find my mind not only spins a wild tale but has a tendency to hook into the negative patterns of thought. I have found that the first step to getting out of these reverberating loops of negative thought or emotion is to recognize when I am hooked into those loops.

For some of us, paying attention to what our brain is saying to us comes naturally. Many of my college students, however, complain vehemently that it takes way too much mental effort for them to simply observe what heir brain is telling them. Learning to listen to your brain from the position of a nonjudgmental witness may take some practice and patience, but once you master this awareness, you become free to step beyond the worrisome drama and trauma of your story-teller [left brain]."

Jill uses specific phrases to speak to her left brain. Jesus told us to speak things that they might come to pass (such as speaking to the mountain and it be removed into the sea). Some of Jill's suggested phrases she speaks to her left brain are:

"Please stop bringing this stuff up."
"Cancel! Cancel!"
"Busy! I'm too busy!"
"Enough, enough, enough already!"
"Knock it off!"

She writes, "Simply thinking these thoughts with my inner authentic voice, however, is often not enough for me to get the message across to my story-teller, who is invested in performing its normal function. I have found that when I attach an appropriate feeling to these phrases, and think them with genuine affect, my story-teller is more amenable to this type of communication. If I'm really having trouble getting my brain to listen, I add a kinestetic component to my message like waggling my pointed finger in the air, or standing firm with my hands on my hips."

Sounds rather silly, but then we really need to lighten up in life anyway, so what better way to do so than to begin speaking to ourselves. There will always be that part of us that flows in thinking negatively. It thrives when we whine, complain, and tell everybody how awful life is. It's there - that little devil in each of us - but all the rest of us was created for peace, joy, happiness, contentment and all the blessings of God.

Don't let the few cells weave a story of doom and gloom that steals all the blessings that God has for you. We were wired to overcome and be victorious. Christ showed us that it can be done when He came as a man to this earth. Maybe that 'little devil' is allowed as a strength builder. Like holding weights to build muscle as we walk. Exercising our faith and good thinking choices builds strength to face all the battles life brings us with a winner's attitude.

It does change the entire life process from mostly negative to wonderfully positive. You've seen people able to do this. They don't have wonderful childhood memories, they don't have genes or cells that we weren't given.

Let the wisdom of My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor, make life easier for you. It's all about choices.

Related Articles:
Your Amazing Brain
Power To Change Your Mind
Stroke Of Genius On Emotions
Getting Out Of Negative Loops
Fighting The Darkness

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