We do become what we feed our minds yes, the environment we find ourselves living in plays a part to our cognitive responses and contributes to our thinking but ultimately, we can choose to be in control, in one attribute of our life our thinking maybe the only one thing we can take control of especially in bad relationships.
“Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV program, unable to turn it off? The noises, explosions of gunfire, are upsetting. Yet you don’t get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in this way?” Do we allow ourselves to become conditioned? Hardened by the media of this world. We have a choice we can choose to filter what we accept. Not for one minute am I suggesting a chosen blindness to the problems of the world but what goes on inside us? What is our self-maintenance, where do our thoughts stem from what is the root of our motivation? Love or Hate our core beliefs become conditioned over a period, therefore, we can ponder these things planning if necessary adjustments to our thinking process require adjustment.
It’s a good question. Irequireswonder why I put my brain through the things I allow to infiltrate my thinking. Philosophers throughout the centuries have told us that we have control over what we let into our hearts and minds, and this has a big impact on our happiness today in the here and now yes advice passed down through the centuries is just as particle today (2018) as it was in its originality. But we don’t often listen.
From Buddha to St. Paul to the Cherokee People, gifted people have warned us that just as we are what we eat, we are what we think moreover what we feed our mind. We become. I use a Cherokee proverb called “The Two Wolves” and a simple activity to help guide you to a better understanding of the how we can transform ourselves based on the mind-diet we feed upon. Both are included below.
Which Wolf Will Win?
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence,
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply smiled and replied, “The one I feed.”
Think about it yourself for a couple of minutes II ask you to identify the positive and negative elements that are most prevalent in each wolf. It takes some honesty, but we all have them, whether it is pride, fear, or self-doubt; or, on the other side, love, generosity, and compassion. We all have our favorites, our bests and our worsts. For example, I know I’m a kind person (most of the time), but I can get a little tight-fisted when it comes to self-care personal time.
So, the simple question is: how we feed these elements in us, the best and the worst. If we know fear is a weakness, do we feed on it by watching horror films and neurotic news programs? Can we increase our mind-diet of healthy elements to shift the balance? If stinginess is a trait I see in myself, I can cultivate generosity by sharing my availability.
The first self-help guru on record, the Buddha, recommended we cultivate the opposite of our weakness. If you’re full of anger, then you should practice loving-kindness–thinking kindly about the people in your life–to actively nurture your loving side. Another great disciple, St. Paul, said, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Don’t waste your brain on the negative stuff in your life.
All of us can condition the mind to take in new information to benefit ourselves sometimes the hardest part is letting go of our social conditioning and thinking that has followed us around in our life course. The making over of the mind can be a time of great new energy in life regardless of age.
Many who have self-medicated in drugs or alcohol over the years feel a sense of newness in life when they learn to let go and adapt. The mind is a great part of the body even if it has been abused for a long period.
The great news of recent discovery is our brains are constantly being shaped by experience. Most of us have very different behaviors and thoughts today than we did 20 years ago. This shift is neuroplasticity in action; changes in brain structure and organization as we experience, learn and adapt.
Research has been undergone in the last forty years and where it was once believed what we had learned by our late teens was predominantly what we had to see us through life, today it is widely accepted the human brain is made up of plasticity with new neurons growing providing renewed thought patterns regardless of age.
With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway – and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work providing lifelong learning.
Neuroplasticity is the ‘muscle building’ part of the brain; the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don’t use fades away. That is the physical basis of why making a thought or action repeatedly increases its power. Over time, it becomes automatic; a part of us. We literally become what we think and do.
Neuroplasticity is at work throughout life. Connections within the brain are constantly becoming stronger or weaker, depending on what is being used. Younger people change easily; their brains are very plastic. As we age change doesn’t come as easily; the brain loses some of its plasticity and we become more fixed in how we think, learn, and perceive.
Since the brain is pivotal to all we think and do, by harnessing neuroplasticity we can improve everything we do and think. NeuroRehabilitation is understood and obtainable in today’s modern world.