Sheri’s Rants #61: Elegant Thinking

Posted on October 25, 2012 by


When it comes to physical transformation, what is going on between your ears is where the rubber meets the road.  Your thinking provides the traction so you can take off – or the slippery surface you spend futile hours and days and weeks and months and even years slopping around on.

Research shows that all day long, every day, three times per second, your brain produces the equivalent of the amount of data that the Library of Congress has in it’s entire print collection.  Every day, three times per second.  That is an incredible amount of data.  However, most of that is completely irrelevant to you and your daily living – in fact, most of it is complete garbage.

Here’s where we get into trouble with ourselves – we BELIEVE that garbage.  We don’t develop discernment over where our attention is going to go – and we allow our brains and emotions to get yanked all over the place.  This can lead us down some dark alleys when it comes to making decisions, relating to other people, and ultimately our attention to our personal self care.  What is influencing our choices is just a lot of trashy noise, and sometimes we even recognize that but don’t know how to get out of it.

To be able to gain some control over our behavior – specifically when it comes to making changes in our habits – we need to develop some good techniques for filtering and processing all that information.  Fortunately there are some easy tools for this:

1.  Journaling.  I like to call this using the ‘bullshit filter’.  In personal journaling, use a pen and paper, not your computer.  This will slow down your thinking and allow your brain to really focus on what it is you’re writing.  In the time it takes to write, your thinking can zero in and filter out  the mindless garbage and allow you to actually process a piece of information that has been spinning in your head.  Our clients that use this are amazed at the difference in clarity – often finding the time they’ve spent spun out humorous in light of the ease of gaining clarity.  

Simple Start:  Set an alarm for 10 minutes.  Sit in a quiet place where you can be alone undisturbed.  Write.  Write constantly for the 10 minutes – no grammar or spelling checks, just write until the time is up.  Soon you will find that not only will you want to write longer, but what you’re writing will become very useful to you in your daily living.

2.  Meditation.  There are many meditation techniques, and the primary aim is to calm the brain and allow the  useless data to drain away.  I call this taking out the garbage. Meditation is a time honored technique for lowering stress, gaining clarity, and even physical healing.  

Simple start:  10 minutes of sitting quietly , alone, and focusing on your breathing.  The focus on your breathing will take your attention from the noise in your head. Practice nice long, slow deep breaths.  As you relax, your ability to slow your breathing will improve over a matter of minutes.  Don’t worry or stress over your thoughts – just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.

The beauty of developing the capacity to filter and process our thinking is that we don’t have to analyze the garbage – we don’t need to even talk about it.  We can just release it as we look for what is important.  A further benefit is that what we thought was a problem can turn out to be nothing other than distorted thinking influenced by bad data – and discovering this before we spew this garbage out on someone else can be very helpful to our relationships!

Have fun,

Sheri Lynn

Posted in: Sheri's Rants