There’s a story of a woman who always cuts off the ends of her roast beef before roasting it. One day someone asked her why she removed the ends and she replied that her mother had always done it that way, it was how to cook a roast. Curious, when the woman asked her mother why she cut off the ends of the roast, the mother replied that it was the only way it would fit in her pan.
Do you cut the ends off your roast?
Most of us do. We learn things at an early age by observing our parents or caregivers. We also learn from social media, advertising, or from observing our peers. Those observations go into our subconscious and drive our thoughts and beliefs until we question them. So often though, we don’t question them because why would we? Only until they seem to be causing a problem, we are questioned by another or they present themselves as some sort of a discrepancy to something else we’ve learned more recently, do they ever rise to the level of being examined.
That’s why being an observer of your thoughts and beliefs is so important. When I observe myself, I can find myself amused or becoming rather annoyed. If you haven’t tried observing yourself, give a go.
A fun way to start may be to observe yourself brushing your teeth. Are you a ‘before you eat brusher’ or ‘after you eat’? Observe your pattern of putting toothpaste on the brush, the sequence you brush in, your thoughts as you brush. Then observe again the next day. Is it the same? Are your thoughts the same? Who taught you that pattern? Were you told? Did you observe someone else? Do you believe your way is the only or right way? Teeth brushing is a completely subconscious endeavor, we generally don’t think about it, and yet we do it every day.
Observe your thoughts as you choose your clothes in the morning. That’s a fun one to be an observer of. Are your thoughts healthy or are they demeaning to you as a beautiful human being? Are there thoughts that you might want to consider changing to be more uplifting? Where did these thoughts come from? Are you aware you likely have these thoughts every single day?
I like to think that all our thoughts and actions are available for examination. Kind of like a regular physical checkup. We visit the doctor regularly to make sure everything’s doing what it’s supposed to, we pay attention to aches and pains, so why not do a regular checkup of our thoughts and beliefs?
Until we are aware of our thoughts, we go on mindlessly thinking them. Our mind, not knowing the difference between what is helpful and what is an unconscious thought or belief, assumes they are all important and helpful.
Unconscious, unobserved thoughts can be the source of struggle and because we think the same thoughts over and over, they really dig in, establishing our patterns of thoughts and beliefs that affect us daily.
Becoming an observer of your thoughts and beliefs, you can change them, create new neural pathways and become a conscious way-shower of your reality.