Updated: Aug 4, 2020
"As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."
I've been thinking a lot about thinking.
I've realized that my mind is a battlefield and it's crucial for me to understand how it works so I can win the battles taking place there very day. I invite you to track with me as I share some things I've been learning . . .
Our minds are absolutely amazing! For over thirty years I've been thinking about how everything starts on the inside, where no one can see—as a thought. From there it can become a word or an action—and our words and actions lead to our results. For example, in the early 90's God emphasized to me that what was in my heart would come out in my art. Suddenly I realized that every man-made object I could see around me started out as an idea in someone's mind. A chair, a window, a car, a coffee-maker, a pencil, your clothing—everything started out as an idea. Once a thought was communicated, action took place and the results are all around us.
Disclaimer: I'm not a theologian, nor am I scientist. But I'd love to share some things I've discovered,
First off, take a minute to think of your front door—what it looks like—shape, color, where it is on your house, etc. Now think of your car.
When I asked you to think of your front door, you actually saw the door in your mind, didn't you—the shape, the color. You did not see the letters D-O-O-R. And when I asked you to think of your car you immediately switched your thinking and pictured your car, right? You did not see C-A-R. We actually think in pictures. That's why I love to create diagrams and illustrations so that the people I connect with can more easily picture what I'm talking about.
I've been learning a TON about the Mind-Body connection from a biblical perspective, and over the next couple days I'll pass on some things I've been learning.
I'll start at the beginning. First I learned that THOUGHTS lead to FEELINGS which lead to ACTION, REACTION, OR INACTION—and that leads to our RESULTS.
This diagram was my first attempt to illustrate what I was learning so that I could pass it on to people I was coaching, and to use in workshops I was facilitating.
MEET MY STICK MAN:
This is where THINKING takes place. Reason. Choice. Free Will. Our conscious mind processes information at 2000 bits per second! It happens so quickly we don't usually even realize it's happening. Our conscious mind can choose to accept, reject, or neglect a thought.
This is where FEELINGS happen. Beliefs, Habits, and Memories are stored here. Our subconscious mind process information at a whopping four billion bits per second! Our subconscious mind is not involved in choice - It simply follows the path set off by conscious thought. It tells the heart to beat, lungs to breathe, etc.
So here's how it works:
1. Something Happens - we see it, hear about it
2. In a flash, without even realizing it, we have a THOUGHT about what we observed
3. The thoughts cause a FEELING - a vibration in our physical body. Excitement, Joy, Fear, Anger, Anxiety, etc
4. The feelings cause ACTION, INACTION, or REACTION. We do something. Or we react and say something based on our emotion. Or we retreat inside and do nothing.
5. Continued actions, inaction, or reactions lead to the current RESULTS we are experiencing.
It looks like this:
Interestingly, our initial thoughts happen so fast that we often do not even stop to realize we had a thought. We usually just recognize that we have a feeling—or that we reacted. So we believe that the event we observed or the person who challenged us caused our feelings or reactions. In reality, it is our thoughts that start the whole process.
We can very easy get stuck in a thinking pattern that lead to feelings, actions, or results that we do not like.
It might look something like this:
CIRCUMSTANCE: My co-worker does not get the information I need to me in time to meet my deadline.
THOUGHTS: I can't believe she did this to me again. She always does this! maybe she'd doing it on purpose to make me look bad.
FEELINGS: I feel frustrated and angry.
ACTION: I talk to others in my office about her. I avoid her when I see her at work.
RESULTS: Our relationship breaks down, and the cycle continues
Is there a solution? YES!
God has given us His solution to our dilemma!
Romans's 12:2 tells us:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Join me for Thinking About Thinking - Part 2 to unpack this verse in a practical manner.
For information on additional coaching tools, Thinking About Thinking workshops, or coaching, contact me.