The Garden of the Mind
The mind garden

The Garden:  When I lived in England I had a beautiful garden; at least that’s the way I saw it. My passion was to grow conifers and in our London home I had over 30 of them in 11 different varieties. Our Kent home was no different in variety only less in number. Apart from conifers we had a large variety of other plants, shrubs and grasses. And without doubt, whenever we planted anything it got bigger but never multiplied in number. Despite all the tender loving care and nurturing, our fuchsia remained a fuchsia! It’s as if there is a single mindedness to the positive forces of nature! On the other hand I never bought or planted a single weed in all the time I worked my garden but they found a way in, not just into my garden; but throughout every part of it!

The Mind:  Our mind is like that and the analogy is that plants represent our positive thoughts and the weeds the negative. With almost 100% consistency, most of the people I meet as a therapist, have a greater tendency to gravitate towards negative thought and behaviour. And anxiety is perhaps the worst type of negative experience because it is an anticipation of fear or danger. Not now mind you . . . . but in the future; be it a minute an hour or a year! For the most part this is a consequence of the world we live in. Negative, fake or alternative news is being thrown at us morning, noon and night. It’s on the TV, newspapers, the corner shop and even the bus stop if you’re there too long! When we watch the evening news channel we get it in words and pictures and just in case you miss anything there is often the continual news reel running along the bottom! And please remember, we subconsciously absorb things we don't consciously see or acknowledge; believing is not always seeing! On the other hand, positive news is just so much harder to come by; despite there being so much of it! Because of this we become deficient in the beneficial effects of good news. Whether the news is bad or good is not really the issue, the issue is how we respond to the news and science has proven, that if you are in a negative mindset, bad news proliferates our emotional responses! In the same way that money goes to the monied; neurosis goes to the neurotic!

 The Theory:  Why does it work this way? Well, it's because whatever we experience in our world, it evokes a network of neurochemical responses from within us and what we feel emotionally is the result of the neurochemical transmission that ensues. We can refer to these as good or bad chemicals; even though they actually have a positive intent. However, they are not good or bad chemicals per se; they are only good or bad relative to how they make us feel! Because of the way our neural circuitry works, the more connections we make the stronger they become, as Donald Hebb said "cells that fire together, wire together". And when we talk about cells firing together, we are talking multiple thousands or millions of connections relative to any thought we have. The more we have any particular thought or feeling the more chance there is that new connections will be made or existing circuits will be strengthened. It is estimated that the human brain is capable of in excess of 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one thousand trillion) connections! Apparently that is more seconds than have passed since the Dinosaurs roamed the earth 65 billion years ago; I’ll take their word for that? The point though, is, that if you set yourself on a course of seeking a positive mindset, with positive self talk; your brain will deliver a more positive experience of life and that's what true living is all about?

Conclusion:  We have immense powers that emanate inside of each of us. What we each achieve in life has more to do with how we think, talk and behave than where you come from! So, if you want to feel and function better and get more out of life. . . . .  Be careful what you plant in your Garden!

Thom

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