Upgrading our thought health means we align our thoughts with experiencing life AS IT IS, not using the old software of the past. It means we are deliberate in overwriting unconscious thought patterns that have been the operating system of our lives.
It is worth mentioning again here, that this is not a set of Principles to ‘achieve’ so far as chalking up consciousness prowess about which we can feel proud. The Principles are pointless if we upgrade our thought life only to go round lording over those who appear not to have. That way of thinking would be true of our self which is always looking to come out on top (the ego), but not the soul which always inclines toward love.
In this concluding post, we will look at the remaining two principles I believe are absolutely key to ensure a complete upgrade in thought health.
2. Notice Your Motives.
Noticing our motive for saying or doing a thing means we ask “what do I intend here” or “what is really behind what I said/did/thought/posted” and why?!
Where our false sense of self is in charge, we say or do things apparently from one motive, but actually from another.
Some personal motives I’ve questioned:
~ I am about to say something simply to make a point that really doesn’t need to be made. At my core, I don’t care about being right and so I’ll keep my mouth shut.
~ Whilst taking a photo: I just altered my angle every so slightly to get that ‘desirable’ in the shot, just enough to allude to what it was. Why did I do that? I’m not materialistic, so why? What part of me wants others to see it and why? Whose silent approval am I seeking? #humblebrag?
~ That look I just gave was SO to let the other person know I wasn’t impressed. I don’t need to do that.
~ Sometimes in conversation I find myself price dropping. I surprise myself, I have no desire to place myself above this person… Why did I do it?
What’s healthy about this process is that given there’s no judgement of the thoughts I notice, it means there is no beating myself up for intentions I know are off-kilter. It’s actually become bemusing to watch the thoughts that arise. Every exposed reasoning actually lessens its frequency so that these days, there are less and less.
The One Where I Outed Myself:
When I first started examining my thoughts a few years ago, I remember getting cross with my daughter whilst picking her up from a friends house. Where it would be normal for her to respond and engage to most things I would ask her to do, she stayed immersed in her game with her friend and blanked me when I walked in the room to collect her. Eventually, she complied and we left. Once home I asked myself what was really behind why I was peeved with the way she had acted. Was it perhaps that she hadn’t listened to me and I felt I deserved that from her?
I realised that at the root of it was hurt pride. I had felt that her behaviour might have made it look to the family that she’s a child who regularly disses her mother. I knew that her response had presented a relationship that wasn’t the norm for us but why did that even matter?
Once you start to lovingly call yourself out and examine what is behind your thoughts and actions, it’s interesting to uncover that so much of it you don’t really agree with at your core anyway.
Though it was not at my conscious thought level, when I examined the motive behind my annoyance, it was that I subconsciously wanted to look better in front of others. I cared too much what others thought, even though I didn’t think I did.
3. Consider Alternative Stories
That brings us to the final principle which is something we can do a lot easier when we are not automatically judging people and situations (Principle 1).
Annoyance, stress, misunderstanding and heated scenarios occur a lot less frequently when we can pause to consider possible alternative stories.
~ What other possible explanation could there be for the way this person is behaving?
~ Could this queue not be going as fast as I’d like because the checkout person has a sick family member and though they want to be with them in hospital, they need the money and so have to work, but their head’s just not in it today.
~ Could the reason a co-worker is always in such a foul mood be because their home-life has looked like hell on earth for the past few months with no signs of improving?
~ Could that person you think is up themselves, in fact be really shy and though they appear to have outward confidence in themselves, internally it’s a different story.
~ Could the kid creating havoc in the supermarket have a biochemical imbalance the parents know nothing about yet. Or maybe it’s an adopted child struggling to come to terms with finding their fit with a new family that’s causing the embarrassing meltdowns.
~ Could the reason the traffic backed up and caused you to be horrendously late for an important meeting be because someone just died in the accident that caused it?
You get the picture and can see why this principle really is a component part of the first principle. Our frustrations and causes of stress are often the results of others or situations not behaving in a way we expect i.e. that we judge.
We upgrade our programming by releasing the belief that says “I can only be okay with the world providing everything goes as I’d like it to”.
We simply let the energy go.
Unlike our tech devices, we are not asked if we want to upgrade our internal programming every few months, it’s something we have to be deliberate about. Aligning our thought energy with our core self means unhealthy stress does not pollute our thought-life, words, and actions.
I hope you’ve found these Principles helpful. If you’re already begun to feel the benefit of any you’ve applied in your life, do let me know in the comments below. Till next time!