Conventional thoughts are filled with judgments and assessments; they compare and contrast, they box and they file. These thoughts are designed to keep us safe. They are designed to make sure that we are smarter, tougher, more valuable and indispensible than the next person so that we will survive the pecking order.
Some of these thoughts beat us up and whip us for not being good enough, but I believe that they too, are trying to make us better, faster and stronger, so that we will survive. I believe that many of our thoughts are not original or our own. Some thoughts were planted by our family members, teachers, siblings and advertising. Some of them have been hanging out in the collective ethers of thoughts that have been flying around the universe and in our brains since the beginning of language.
I like to think of all those thoughts as FIRST thoughts. The ones that fly in and out like asteroids. I believe that they are neutral and have no power, (this is especially dedicated to you linguistic enthusiasts that believe in the law of attraction and the use of thought as a manifesting power.) I believe that the initial thought that flies in our heads has no power in and of itself. It’s the thought that we think about that first thought that has the power. That’s what my friend Karl and I call, second thought. It’s the thought about the thought. This one we have control over.
For instance, I've see this thought fly in and I recognize it and have thought it was mine. “I am not good enough.” It flies into my head and whizzes through my mind like that asteroid. I declare this as a neutral thought. Maybe it got activated when I couldn’t solve a math problem or figure out how to handle a conundrum. Maybe the circumstances were a set up for a thought, and I even think that I thought it, but it doesn’t mean that it was my thought, that it’s true or that it has power.
So, now what?
My second thought can be-
Denial “No I’m not.”
Agreement “Yes, I suck.”
Argument “well, sometimes I’m slow, but that doesn’t mean you have to be mean to me.”
I can ignore it, and then feel weirdly depressed because some part of it burned particles in me anyway.
In Huna philosphy, (ancient Hawaiian mysticism mixed with western psychology) we say to the thought, "thank you, I love you." Even if we don't mean it. It allows the thought to exist while dismantling negative engagement and therefore unwanted power.
For each response, there is an energy created, resistance, allowing, arguing, or the energy to not see it. To level-up my awareness, I have to challenge these thoughts. Some of them were formed before I could walk, some were given to me and repeat like a skipped record and some of them are so old that they smell like a dirty diaper and truly need to be changed. So, what to do?
Byron Katie, a cutting edge new thought leader asks us to question these thoughts.