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Empowering your Mind

December 17, 2013

It is one thing to say that the mind has powers. We can give examples of it, we can show it in action, and consider what it has achieved in the past. We can illustrate that the mind is not isolated in your head. Pointing out the experiments of Rupert Sheldrake showing certain psychic abilities and dispositions we all possess, allowing us to reach beyond the here and now point in our head, with the power of our minds. But it is a whole other thing to develop an ability to use these powers.

It does not come on its own. There is always an element of work to it. For if we put in no effort we will be no more than a slave to our habits and habitual ways of reacting to things. Habits are a very powerful force in our lives, but they can be changed. To empower your mind, practice refusing to respond to some of your habitual reactions for a short period each day. Let the reaction come and go in your mind, but just observe it, and don’t let it lead to its usual behavioral conclusion. This way you develop your higher mind. It is on this level of mind that you can have freedom and be empowered. It is always there to access. But it requires putting aside some time for it.

This is what meditation amounts to: sitting quietly and not reacting to your usual habitual reactions, but just observing them. The first few minutes of discipline is the hardest bit, because your lower mind is so desperate to follow its usual chain of habitual actions of cause and effect. Once you have overcome this initial resistance you can then begin to access your imagination and your higher mind to begin laying out some plans and intentions for forming new habits and new ways of behaving.

Meditation then, viewed at in this way, and not just as blindly following some prescribed activity or religious duty is a great way to empower your mind, to give it a boost of energy, to help you overcome some bad habits.

Another means of mental empowerment is through CBT. The basic aim here is to become more self aware of the different aspects in your reactions to certain things that happen in your life. For instance, if you have an anger problem, where certain things get you angry. First you identify some actual situations that have got you angry, then you isolate the different aspects of your reaction. The emotions you were feeling, the thoughts running through your head, the behavior you exhibited, and the bodily sensations you had at the time. Once you have done this you can begin to pick apart, and work on changing aspects of it, as you become more conscious of these processes as they happen, rather than being driven unconsciously by them.

So, I could tend to have thoughts that the world is all against me, whenever I begin to get angry. Rather than identifying with that thought, once you have recognised it is there, you can begin to question it. Is the world really all against me? You may notice your heart beat quickening as you get angry, so you could focus on calm and steady breathing for a few minutes to overcome this habitual reaction. Similar to meditation, it is all about breaking up the causal chain of your habits. And it is about realising that this is nothing to be afraid of. You are not going to fall into an abyss if you do this. You just clear a small space in your head for the creative and imaginative part of your mind to take over and do what it does best.

Many things of this kind can be practiced. Bad habits, unhealthy lifestyle, destructive behavior, can all be changed. It is all a matter of taking those first few steps to empower and reclaim your mind for yourself.

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