What You Think, You Are
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
All life is composed of energy. As human beings, we view and experience people and things as both energy and matter. Objects (such as tables and chairs) that we tend to categorize as physical matter because they appear solid to us, are really energy, in the form of stable patterns of molecules moving within a given space.
Our bodies are also composed of energy, though many people experience this bodily pattern as just another form of matter. Our thoughts are composed of energy as well, and it is very important to know that thought-energy can affect your bodily energy in various ways.
Your thoughts about yourself or others can affect not only you (and your body and emotions), but also those around you. When we are cheerful, for instance, our “cheer” infuses our bodies, our space, and those around us who are open to it. If we disapprove of someone, on the other hand, we can make that person aware of it without saying a word.
In other words, whenever we are in the same energy field as another being, whether human, animal, or spirit, an actual biophysical change takes place in each party involved, even in the most casual of encounters.
For example: we’re out walking on a country path, and we see someone approaching from the other direction. Immediately a constellation of chemical/emotional changes begins to register in our body/mind, some at the almost primal level of our autonomic nervous systems: is this person someone I know? (curiosity/identification) If so, do I like him/her? If not, is this person a danger to me? (fear or nervousness) How do I look to this person? (vanity/self-assessment) Should I greet him/her as we pass, conveying friendliness, or should I stare straight ahead because a stranger might also be a weirdo? Am I in danger? (Flight or fight response is keyed.) Even this simple contact with another being triggers multiple reactions and body/mind behaviors.
Each interaction, then, that we have with another being is a choice and an opportunity: how do I use my thought-energy in this situation? What behavior or words on my part will make the difference between creating a positive or negative experience here and now?
The first skill to acquire is that of remembering the inevitable nature of biochemical emotion-storms like the one described above, which often occur at or just below the level of conscious thinking; these are triggered to some extent in every interaction between sentient beings, and are common to us all, including animals (ever try to make friends with a shy cat?).
The art of choosing positive thought-energy in these moments is, for most people, an acquired skill. It’s much easier just to go with our emotions at the time, whatever the consequences. When we are aware of the energetic complexity of each interaction, however, we become better at assessing them individually. Sometimes we’re forewarned, as when we know a certain person always makes us smile or that another invariably annoys us or tries to “push our buttons.” But at other times we just have to open to all the possibilities of the unexpected.
Here’s a good technique to help you through the initial stages of any interaction: when encountering another being, get in the habit of asking your conscious mind to access both your unconscious and your superconscious mind (that which knows deeply and is in touch with the All), opening the door to all possibilities of awareness.
This is like taking a clearing breath that helps us to assess our “gut reaction,” while liberating our mind from thoughts of constriction, restriction and resistance. We start allowing for the immediate acceptance of what is. This purposeful moment of self-assessment also permits ourselves to realize our own inner beauty and grace, so that we can consciously choose to raise the energy level in the situation through kindness, patience, listening, encouragement, and understanding, rather than bringing it down by meeting anger with anger, or by inflicting our own bad mood, doubts, annoyance or pain on others.
Every time you pause to access (or at first perhaps just acknowledge) your connection to the All, your ability to do so deepens and strengthens, and making the choice to create positive interaction becomes more and more natural. As the overall nature of these interactions improves, the positive will begin to arise spontaneously in other areas of your life. Try it and see.
Thoughts are indeed energy; use them wisely.