We’ve all been told at one time or another, “You look so far away today”. We are familiar with that far off distant stare observed in loved ones and even catch ourselves doing it sometimes; the look that tells you that person is a million miles away, entangled in a web of thoughts. So powerful are these thoughts that we don’t even flinch at the slightest distraction.

Our minds are a maze of thoughts as we encounter people, places and situations throughout the day. However, most of us are engaged in negative thoughts and we fail to realise how they affect our lives. The type of thoughts vary from person to person but usually they are along the lines of; I’m not smart enough, not young enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not successful enough and so on. These kinds of thoughts are prevalent in our society. In a media driven world, we are bombarded with daily messages of unrealistic perfection and it can be a challenge to block it all out. Everywhere we turn there are ready-made thoughts for us to ingest; our own negative personal thoughts ensure they have a fertile breeding ground to multiply. These negative thoughts can be seen as unconscious thought patterns; unfortunately, many of us make our decisions in this state.

If we take the time to look around we can see the evidence of unconscious thought patterns in our physical world. For example, there has been much attention paid to the obesity epidemic experienced by the western world. A person consciously choosing their thoughts is better equipped to make responsible choices for themselves including what foods to eat. If our bodies are physical manifestations of our true Beings, then someone having positive thoughts would choose to nurture rather than neglect. The same can be said of our environment.

Much can be attributed to thought because most of us are stuck in our minds and seek ourselves there. We mistake ourselves for our thoughts and make choices accordingly; sometimes choosing an unsuitable diet, partner or career. Sometimes these thoughts serve a purpose; they exist to keep us safe and comfortable but its when they become irrational and prevent us from reaching our potential that they detract from our quality of life.

Like an artist’s palette of colours, we have a lot of thoughts to choose from and they all colour our experience. If an artist chooses to paint predominately with red then he or she, will produce a painting with nothing but red in it. No doubt it will be consistent but have only one tone. Its the same with our thoughts; if we choose only one type of thought, such as a negative one, then that’s the energy that colours our experience.

Everything begins with a thought; but sometimes they can hinder us by completely taking over. Thoughts are influential as they are energy forms. It is up to us to decide how we choose to shape the energy. Our problems and challenges in life exist as they are but its our thoughts that ultimately create our experience and label them as good or bad. It has been suggested that a helpful tool to witness how many thoughts crowd our day is to keep a personal journal; for one day, write down all your thoughts, negative or positive, that crop up, paying particular attention to repetitive thoughts. It can be an enlightening exercise as it allows you to look at your thoughts objectively and see where they are creating the most havoc in your life. From this exercise, we can learn to see our thoughts for what they are, and not see them as direct reflections of ourselves, just interpretations of the world. However, not wanting to dwell on only negative thoughts, its refreshing to see where our positive thoughts have an impact too. When we think uplifting thoughts we tend to feel happier and radiate that to the world; good then comes our way.

It is a great comfort to know that even the most confident amongst us still suffer from unconscious thought patterns every now and then. Learning to let go and allow your mind to function the way it is meant to; to think, but not get caught up in the many thoughts that it generates is the challenge we face everyday. It takes courage and a certain amount of presence to choose differently, but its certainly worth a try.