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  • Writer's pictureSharanya Naidoo

Where do thoughts come from?

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

August 24th 2017

Some thoughts feel like they fly in from nowhere and others are on repeat day by day. Today we explore where do our thoughts come from and what influences them.

So this week we’re going to talk about where do thoughts come from. Where do our thoughts come from? It’s a really interesting question and there are many different answers to it, so I’m going to explore just a few of the different ideas around thoughts.

The easiest place to start is in our subconscious. Number one, thoughts are recycled from our subconscious. You will notice, if you pay attention to your thoughts, you’re probably stressing about the same things today as you did last week, perhaps even a month ago. It’s the same thought that’s just on repeat. If you’re unhappy with the way you look or what you’re doing with your life, those thoughts are on repeat and they’re just recycled. It’s not like a newsflash where suddenly you started thinking about it. So a bulk of our thoughts and it’s argued that the majority of our thoughts are old thoughts on repeat.

Our subconscious is the vault that we keep all our memories. It’s where all our behaviours are plugged in, our attitudes are plugged in, our decisions, the way we feel about things, all are stored in our memory bank of the subconscious. And so there are lots of patterns on repeat coming from the subconscious.

Not all of them are terrible, so there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are some wonderful patterns in there that you don’t ever want to get rid of, but then there are patterns in there that keep you in a loop of feeling down or feeling not good enough, feeling like you can’t do things, attitudes about yourself that are harmful, and those patterns really drain you of energy, just drain you of your life force and those need to be taken care of.

So that’s one place where thoughts come from. They come from the subconscious. There are memories plugged in there that sometimes change your thinking of the world, your perception of the world. So if something happened when you were a child where maybe someone said something really harsh and they called you a name, and they might have called you stupid, and that stuck, it just went in as the truth. And so there’s a belief deep, deep, deep down, I am stupid.

What you’ll find in your life as the years go on if that’s not addressed and then if you’re not aware that that’s in there is that you will either create from that place of ‘I’m stupid’ and so what would my life look like if that had fully manifested. So you might not finish that course that you started or that degree that you started or school or you might not take that opportunity that was so perfect for you because I’m not going to be able to do it anyway. So what would that manifest as?

On the contrary it’s so unconscious that what you end up doing on the outside is in direct resistance to that. So I will prove that I’m not stupid, I will prove that I’m intelligent, I will show you. And you might just achieve amazing things, but that trap, that trap door of ‘I’m stupid’ is always there if it’s not addressed.

In your quiet moments, the whole imposter syndrome could be something that comes from this place, this deep belief of I’m not really meant to be here. This is not really who I truly am. There’s a part of me that actually believes that terrible thought that was plugged in decades ago.

Thoughts can arise from those memories and the decisions we make about those memories, the meanings we place on those events that happen in our life. That’s one place that thoughts come from, our subconscious, and there are many ways to address patterns that don’t fit your life right now, many modalities out there.

The second place where I believe thoughts come from comes from the Ayurvedic ancient Indian system of health and wellbeing. And they have a very holistic approach, just like the Chinese system of health. They talk about how our input into our bodies, what we drink in, what we eat affects our output, and thoughts are an output from our system.

Food influences our thoughts. Certain foods influence our thoughts. And the best way it was described to me was if you’re eating rubbish food and it’s kind of gross, imagine a picture of just rotting food in the corner of your kitchen and the smell that comes out from that. And imagine that smell as thoughts. So if you’ve got disgusting food that you put in into your system it carries an energy, and that smell, those thoughts that arise from that food that you putting, placing into your system is very different to lush, healthy, live-giving, alive food. So food can really influence your thoughts.

Food can influence your emotions as well. And so if you’re eating crap you’re going to feel crap, and when you feel heavy and yuck from eating all this disgusting food, processed, sugary, all that kind of stuff, in excess, then you’re not going to have very inspiring thoughts from that heavy place. There’s a mismatch. It’s much harder to get yourself motivated if you’re pumping your system with food that your body has to work so hard to process and get rid of. Whereas if you’re giving yourself fuel for your body it thrives and it’s an effortlessness that’s inside you then your thoughts will reflect that. So it’s a very holistic view of thoughts and of your body.

As well as food there’s also stuff that we consume through the television and the news, this new information that we are consuming, bringing into our system and putting into our subconscious. So our subconscious is a memory vault. You’re feeding your subconscious with certain stimulus. Look at the movies that you’re watching, look at the TV shows that you’re watching, look at the news that you’re reading, and is it in proportion? Does it give you a good feeling? Does it give you a bad feeling? Just keep it really simple and then take accountability for what’s going into your system.

I have this little trick whenever I go and watch a movie that I know is probably going to scare me to death, or even Game of Thrones which is… I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones, but I was a huge, huge snob in the beginning, because my husband was wanting to watch it and I said to him, ah, no, I’ve done hypnotherapy, I know how the mind works and I’m not putting that violence into my subconscious. I’m not doing that. And so I’ve always been very careful about what I watch and consume that way. So I did not watch it for years.

And finally, I was convinced to try it, and someone said to me just watch five episodes. If you can get through five episodes you’ll be able to watch the whole thing. And there were some horrific scenes in it and there’s some like really, bloody violence, violent scenes in this series of Game of Thrones. And I used my trick that I have been doing for years beforehand whenever I go and watch a horror movie or whenever I think a movie is… I don’t watch horror movies anymore, but movies that are good to watch but are still disturbing in some way, so maybe they are movies on women’s rights or about slavery 200, 300 years ago. Those movies that are really poignant but difficult to watch, and how do we filter what we want to plug in into our system?

I always just close my eyes before a movie comes on and I just tell my subconscious – I just filter, I give it an instruction. I say just remember what nourishes your soul. Just only remember what nourishes your soul. And your subconscious will drink in everything. It will bring everything down, but the filter that I’ve placed on it of what comes up and becomes my experience is curated. So it’s a message and an instruction to say okay fine, we’re going to bring it in, but the filter is of what I believe about what I’m going to see is going to be filtered through. I’m going to keep what nurtures my soul.

I did that with Game of Thrones. I don’t want to see, I don’t want those visual images going in. I can maybe hear it. Sometimes I just do this (covers eyes). I’m a bit of a child that way. But the important thing to note is that you can filter your meaning and your response and how you are going to consume that information. Otherwise whatever is in there is going to decide for you, like how you feel about it unconsciously will decide for you. If there are certain things you see in movies that trigger you it’ll just add to that and thoughts will arise from those triggers.

And lastly, our thoughts arise from questions we ask ourselves. So we can direct the conversation in our mind as well. So we might watch a movie and we might have a conversation with someone and then the inner dialogue if it doesn’t just happen unconsciously with the recycled thoughts from the subconscious, we can break that pattern by asking ourselves questions about the information that we’ve just absorbed.

If you’ve just had a conversation with someone about politics or food or whatever and then you ask yourself questions well what do I think about that, what am I thinking about that, how do I feel about that, and you direct your thoughts with the questions you ask yourself, it’s a whole new set of thoughts that will then go into your subconscious. So it’s not the recycled path. So that dialogue that is consciously directed by your questions will produce a new set of thoughts.

How you feel about things and how you think about things after you’ve asked a question to yourself… you know, a lot of your set thoughts will come from your subconscious, but then the space of the question will then allow your creative buzzing brain to engage with the question of okay, so that’s how I feel and I probably feel that way because this, this, and this has happened in the past, but now I’m in a different place, what do I think about it with new eyes. Now that I’m a mother, how do I think about things? Now that I’m a father or a grandfather, how do I think about things? I used to think that way, now how do I think about it. So the story or the dialogue, the thoughts that are running through your mind is fresh and new based on what’s happened in front of you but more importantly about the questions you’ve posed to yourself based on what’s happened in front of you.

There’s so many ways to talk about thoughts and there’s several other different layers that we could get into but those are the three, maybe, broad ways in which to answer the question where do our thoughts come from?

The first was our subconscious which is a bank of our memories and all the information we’ve ever consumed before and where our patterns of thought are plugged in and our decisions and attitudes about certain things are already plugged in. So thoughts will arise from that bank.Secondly, thoughts will arise from what we consume holistically. Our food can influence our thoughts and thoughts can arise from there that are different based on the frequency of what we’ve consumed, and that could be food, plants, meat, it could be sugary foods versus natural, whole foods. There’s different vibrations to each of them, and if you want to explore more the Ayurvedic system of health is one way to go and there are three different levels, there’s tamasic, rajasic, and sattwic.

Different energy frequencies and different foods fit into those three different categories.And lastly from questions that we pose to ourselves based on what we’ve just experienced. So we don’t just go into an automatic dialogue. We break the pattern by going stop, what do I think about that? How do I feel about that? When that guy said that in the movie and I felt something, what happened there? What’s going on inside me? And you produce new content in a way for your subconscious by questioning things and ruminating and allowing space around experiences and then bringing thought into it. Thoughts can arise from there.

It’s a very in-depth topic, it’s very, very interesting, and the umbrella that oversees all thoughts is the umbrella of awareness. So when we have the awareness to step back and look at our thoughts then we can actually talk about our thoughts because we are conscious of what the dialogue is. So the background umbrella is awareness that holds the space for our thoughts and for us to investigate, shift and change the thoughts that we find arising within ourselves.



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