Watch your Thoughts

Mind Matters Most


Watch your thoughts
They become your words
Watch your words
They become your actions
Watch your actions
They become habits
Watch your habits
They become your character
Watch your character
It becomes your destiny.

Many people quote this saying. I found a Buddhist saying and a Chinese proverb with the same meaning. Navajos tribes have a shorter saying, “Watch your words, they become your thoughts. Watch your thoughts for they become your world.” Paul to the people of Corinth says it this way, “We take every thought captive to obey Christ.” However, the oldest reference comes from Marcus Aurelius meditations, “Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”
It seems that we can all agree that the mind holds significant power over how we see the world flowing all around us. Our mind takes in information and forms a story for how to interpret this information. For better or worse, our story shapes our lives. Our thoughts interpret the world, but we also have the power to change the world with our thoughts. I experienced this power in my own life. I was a nervous wreck when my son was born. I vigilantly watched over him and tuned in to every need through using my own senses. He could not talk and did not walk….he just sat and stared. I took him to doctor after doctor to receive help. The last doctor I visited looked at me and said, “Well, good luck with that!”
I could have bought the lie that my son’s story was sealed, but I did not. I chose to think that my son’s story would be different and that I could find a doctor who would give me hope. Eventually, I found one. This doctor gave me hope and a flexible plan to work with my son’s starting point and gradually bring him into more awareness of the world around him. He believed that a mother’s thoughts affect the outcome for the child, so he worked with me on taking care of myself so that I would have the ability to see my son’s future clearly. Thoughts become our words and words lead to action.
My yoga training pushed me to my edge this fall by constantly challenging me to connect to my emotions and handle the feelings of others. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and she asked me why this was so very exhausting. She wanted to know what part of all the sharing taxed me. I tried to explain that for a person’s whose personality is ENTJ, T for thinking, the F or feeling function is not the leader. To lead during the fall semester with the F or feeling function is like asking a person to hop around on their weaker leg for 3 months. At some point enough is enough. They are going to use their stronger leg at least to help support if not to carry the weight for a while. While struggling to embrace all the feelings this fall, I realize that others with the Feeling function can also feel held captive by their feelings. Treatments for sensitive people who have experienced trauma focus on using the mind to overpower the intensity of the feelings.
One form of treatment is DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This form of behavioral treatment is for people who are emotionally sensitive and get trapped in their feelings and emotions. The treatment uses the thinking function in the brain to detach from the emotion as the emotion rises to the surface. The thinking function allows a safe degree of disassociation from the pain so that the person can use tools that they have gained to manage the emotions.

Thoughts shape our destiny. Religion knows that truth. Science now has evidence of that truth.
When you hear the statement, “Mind Matters Most,” what do you immediately think about?


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