Inside the Thought Machine: Page 18

Keep it simple . . .

This is the most basic suggestion. Keep it simple. When it comes to change or when it comes to work, life or anything that we encounter; keep it simple.
But how?
Life is happening. They underpaid me this week and bills are due. There are feuds between family members. There’s a virus going around that has literally stopped the world, changed our life and the virus keeps mutating. We have life problems. We have emotional difficulties. We have physical concerns and everywhere we look, life is going on. 

Anxiety is at an all-time high and depression is on a first name basis with nearly everyone. On top of that, everyone has an opinion. Everyone has something to say.
Anywhere we turn, there’s more news about politics or tragedies. Then some brilliant genius comes around and says, “Hey, keep it simple.”

Really?

The mind is truly an interesting mass of circuitry. We think, therefore we are. We believe, therefore what we believe must be true. So, in this case, if we glorify then what we think or believe is glorified and if we catastrophize then all that we think is in the state of catastrophe. 

The idea of target bias suggests that we head in the direction we face. Therefore, our emotions head in the direction we focus on.
So, if this is true and if we are focusing on the problems rather than solutions, our mind will react and our chemistry will respond.
We jump to conclusions. We prepare for the worst, which in and of itself, preparation is smart. Understanding the parameters of our conditions and possible complications is smart. This is not problematic thinking. This is prepared thinking.

Problematic thinking is overthinking and over stimulating the mind to react in defense of an upcoming problem. This is something that twinges the nerves, like a tiny pin that moves us off-center.
This is where habitual thinking can lead us towards habitual problems. As well, this is where our records from the past can replay and revisit our present thinking to predict the future.

We talked about the emotional flinch in an earlier page. We talked about the programmed assumptions, biases and subconscious programs that connect us to thoughts and old emotions as well as old outcomes and predictions. This is when old fears come together to disturb our abilities to think clearly. 

Keep it simple 

Enter the thought machine.
Let’s go back to the idea of that little person inside of our main control room. Let’s think about our main distribution center, overrun by information and the machine is working hard to keep up with the pace.
Our tiny operator can only do so much until the machines on our bodies trigger alarms. Next, our physical circuitry is reacting to our emotional connections. Our receptors begin to overreact and next, maybe we’re not eating right. Maybe we’re not taking the best care of ourselves. Maybe we find ways to self medicate in any way we can. Maybe we’re operating at half of our potential. Or better yet, maybe we’re irritable. Maybe we find ourselves with the taste of contempt on our tongue and we’re mad.
We’re angry. We want to be heard and we want people to know.
Maybe we can’t say anything. Maybe there are no words to say but ah, the mind is an interesting machine. The pressures in the thought machine are reaching maximum capacity in which case, sooner or later, the alarms will scream and the relief valves will blow. 

I have listened to seminars with doctors who discuss the circuitry of the mind and that yes, people can think themselves sick. But we can also think ourselves well.
I have heard from therapists and doctors. Throughout my life, I have been on one side of the table or the other in the world of mental health. 

The reason I write this is not because I am a doctor or that I am a coach. I am not writing this as someone with countless degrees on the wall. I write this because I am a real person whose path has been through emotionally disturbed territories. I write this as a 12 year old boy who was told the words, “Mentally disturbed.”
I write this now as a grown man who has been invited to speak in different venues. I have met with people who, above all, I can say that I trust and found it safe to disclose my past.
And plus, I know Fran.
Do you?

Do you know what it’s like to walk through life and believe in a diagnosis, which was never explained.
It was just given to me. 

I remember all the labels that I was given.
And then one day, I met Fran.
She’s a psychology professor. She is a teacher. She is a comfort to me and a friend. Above all, she is one hell of a BAD ASS momma to me.

When regarding the doctors who gave me my diagnosis, I asked Fran what this meant. 
Fran told me, “It means they didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about.”
God, I love her.

In a world where I can be anything:
I want to be like Fran.
I don’t need a degree on the wall for this. 
At least not for all of it.

I don’t need college to be kind, to be loving or to be supportive.
I am gaining my education to fulfill a dream of mine, which is something that I never thought would happen, least of all, be possible.
I am changing my direction to relieve myself from an old focus bias. I am reworking the circuits of my thought machine.

Rather than react and respond or catastrophize and overanalyze; and rather than assume that all things go wrong or that I am deserving; as if my place in the cycle of life is in the underbelly; I had to learn to break my thinking down, to keep it simple, to come up with a plan and to find my strategy to make my life happy and successful.

I am not writing this as a professional. Instead, I am writing this from the heart and as a person with experiences that challenged most of my life. 
I decided to create a new system of living so that I could stop the machine from spinning out of control. 
In order to do this, I needed to gain a presence of mind. I had to practice situational awareness. 


Ah, Fran . . .
If and when you read this, by now, you know me. And by now, you know how crippling this was. 
Thank you . . .

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