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“The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.” – Sigmund Freud
I wrote a post called Harnessing the Power of the Subconscious Mind some time ago. I explored the distinction between the conscious mind (CM) and the subconscious mind (SM). Recapping some of the points mentioned:
- Your conscious mind is the logical mind that functions with logic.
- You think with the conscious mind and it is the programmer of the SM, which is the creative mind that carries out the program.
- You process anywhere between 60,000 – 90,000 thoughts a day.
- The SM is the automatic pilot of the mind. It does not question things that readily come into it.
- The SM also regulates all your vital functions.
With these points in mind (if you’ll pardon the pun), we’ll examine background information pertinent in understanding your SM mind.
Your brain does not compute the answers to problems; it retrieves the answers from your memory. Your mind is continually drawing on information from its hierarchical structure; recalling events from your past.
When you see a person you know, your mind retrieves information relating to your history with that person. It identifies the individual as either friend, enemy or unknown. In his book, The Mind’s Eye Oliver Sacks writes about his condition known as Prosopagnosia; the inability to recognise faces. In meeting people on numerous occasions, he was bereft in recognising them in later encounters. Being a qualified neurologist, he was courteous to acknowledge his impairment by asking the person if they had previously met.
Whilst this is a rare condition, it highlights the complexity of the mind. Even the slightest malfunction can cause impediment to the person’s life. A great deal of literature has been written about the SM. As we learn more via scientific research, we will discover the untapped potential of the inner workings of this mysterious organ. I urge you to read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy if this particular topic is of interest to you. The book is a classic, with recent revisions and updates.
So why all the fuss about the SM, you might be thinking? How can you use this power to your advantage? Most of your SM’s programming is formed from birth until the age of 6 years. During these formative years, your brain operates within specific brain waves conducive to your development. Those brain waves are: beta, alpha, theta, delta & gamma. The brain waves function at various frequencies known as Hertz. For example while you’re asleep, your brain wave functions within the theta and delta range; oscillating between 3.5 – 7 cycles per second.
This affords you the ability to relax, not contending with external stimuli in your wakeful state. It also permits the mind to regenerate itself; processing thoughts and emotions experienced over time. In order to fully explore and develop your mind’s capacity, it is worth investing time and patience knowing your SM.
Your SM works best receiving the desired stimuli in a relaxed state. During beta and theta brain waves, you create an environment conducive to learning, formulating new ideas, thoughts and creativity. You’re able to receive information and insights into events, processes and circumstances you never thought possible.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale
Benefits of Using Your Subconscious Mind
Your SM processes about 100 billion bits of information per second. In contrast, your CM processes 40 bits of information per second. Clearly many of the world’s past and present geniuses were aware of the potential of their SM’s. It takes time and practice in mastering this skill – much like most pursuits. Be patient, if you’re dedicated to making breakthroughs as they may be slow and arduous. Some of the key benefits include:
- Enhanced relationships.
- Weight loss.
- Improved health and wellbeing.
- Higher levels of creativity.
- Problem solving capabilities.
- More relaxed and composed.
- Ability to transcend limiting beliefs.
- Creating a sense of happiness and purpose in your life.
- Sense of control and empowerment.
I regularly use my SM in various problem solving capacities; having trained it over to time with some degree of success. I speak to my mind (yes, it may seem silly at first) as though it were a friend. I regularly use affirmations such as “My subconscious mind is my partner in success.” I allow the right type of stimuli to enter my mind. This includes the people I associate with, the music I listen to, the books I read and the news I listen to. It all makes a difference.
Have you noticed when hanging out with a group of friends, how you picked up some of the words they regularly use? It might include phrases or words used in a conversational tone, yet you still absorbed it into your vernacular. I’m certain you didn’t consciously programme it into your mind; it took place unconsciously via repetitive exposure. Similarly, you may have heard a song on the radio which you began singing without consciously knowing why. This is your SM working quietly in the background.
Most of your habits and actions as adults are influenced by your SM. Recall earlier I mentioned from birth to 6 years of age, you learned in a subconscious state. Most of your adult behaviour has been programmed via your SM during these impressionable years. I reasoned that the brain does not compute answers to problems; it simply retrieves them from your memory.
Given this information, it is reasonable to conclude why adults act out learned childhood behaviour of misery, low self-esteem, depressive states and abuse. I’m painting a grim picture I know, yet I’ve met people who fit this description. Some have created fulfilling lives for themselves, while others have remained trapped in their childhood behaviour.
In an upcoming post, I will discuss ways to harness the power of your SM. Many of these are simple, yet require diligent practice. In a similar manner to exercise; your mind will respond accordingly. You may not see tangible results for weeks, possibly months. Trust and have faith it is working in the background for you.
I have practiced many of these principles for years. I use them whenever I feel the need to do so; having little attachment to the outcome. I trust once I’ve done the work (workout), I sit back and wait for the results to show up (rest). The analogy as you see is very much akin to exercise.
Stay tuned for more…
“A life lived of choice is a life of conscious action. A life lived of chance is a life of unconscious creation.” – Neale Donald Walsch
To live a more conscious life means to be aware of ourselves at each moment. If we are conscious, we are aware of the present moment and our inner self is awakened. It is being mindful and feeling the air entering and exiting our lungs. It is being present with our thoughts and emotions. Most people do not live conscious lives in the sense that I am speaking of. They live in their heads with a matrix of thoughts swirling around, and because of this they miss the gift of “right now”; they don’t experience the fullness of the magnificent present. For example, have you ever gone on holiday and suddenly your perception of everything seems greater? You smell the fresh air, smile at the lush green trees and gorgeous flowers, and hear the birds singing a song of hope? You feel more alive and happier because you have forgotten about the hundreds of thoughts running around in your mind and are conscious of the beauty of your present surroundings. Those same beautiful surroundings could be in your neighbourhood, but you are focused on other things to notice them; you do not take time to smell your own roses. For example, do you rush about your day and miss the simple things in life such as those I described? What change could you make to live more consciously and notice the smaller details of your life?
The deepest part of who we are, our consciousness or spirit, longs to be experienced. The problem is that it gets covered up by so many layers of negative beliefs and experiences over the years. Childhood wounds, negative feelings, limiting beliefs, etc. pile on year after year and it gets harder and harder to connect with our spirit. To become more conscious requires a peeling away of these layers one by one. To do this requires being mindful or meditate. To live a more conscious life will require us to slow down, get quiet, and allow the painful wounds of the past to surface so we can process them and let them go; thus, digging down through layers to become in tune with our spirit. As we do, wounds heal and beauty and wholeness arise. It is a beautiful transformation. You might think: “Who wants to go back to childhood and face old wounds?” I understand that sentiment but it is an important process if you want to live a more conscious life and let go of past conditioning and childhood wounds. Ponder these questions: Are you happy with your life? Do you love who you are? Do you experience shame or pain? Do you know your primary purpose in life? Are your relationships up to par?
If your answers to these questions are not what you’d like them to be, I invite you to take some time to devote to meditating each day. Learn to be present with your thoughts and feelings. Learn to sit in silence and let your mind rest. Even just ten minutes a day will be helpful. There are many ways to meditate, but sit in a comfortable position, take a few deep breaths, and focus on your breath. As you inhale, feel the air moving into your lungs. As you exhale, feel the air leave your body and relax every muscle. As you focus on your breathing, all other thoughts will melt away and you will feel at peace. Random thoughts and feelings, such as old wounds will surface now and then and when they do, acknowledge them and let them go. Some call this process becoming more conscious or awakening. The more awakened you become, the more peace, joy, and contentment you will feel. You won’t be lying in bed at night letting your thoughts keep you awake or obsessing over things throughout the day. Along with meditation, you can live a more conscious life by trying to be mindful and present throughout the day. With this in mind, I invite you to be mindful of your thought-life and if thoughts must be there, be sure they are empowering and enriching. Be mindful of your surroundings. Observe the sunrise and sunset each day. Take time to notice new things in your surrounds instead of rushing about your day. Sit outside and breathe the aroma of nature. Become aware of inhaling and exhaling. Feel the core of your being alive and well. Get to the root of who you are. You are much more than flesh and bones. Make it your intention to live a more conscious life and as you do, you will discover what a magnificent being you are.