Thoughts Create your Feelings

12th September 2012

solar plexus chakraThere is a significant link between your mind and your emotional state. Emotions are created in the body by the action of neuro-transmitters in response to external stimuli (man with a gun; surprise visit from a loved one etc) or internal stimuli (thoughts; food; exercise). So our emotional state often tracks where our thoughts are going – if we are going through a relationship breakdown then we will probably dwell on that and so feel sad and blue. Conversely, thinking about someone we love makes us happy. Also, if there are long held resentments or disappointments in life then these can create recurrent patterns of thought and the associated emotions (anger; fear; sadness etc).

Where do these thoughts come from? Both the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind.  Where something is in our awareness, then we are directly aware of it – the relationship breakup – and so can dwell on it and process if consciously. It will also be bubbling away in the subconscious at the same time, often surfacing in dreams.  And then there is the unconscious or the “shadow” – this is particularly interesting because this is where we have buried stuff that we do not want to deal with – this “stuff’” surfaces tangentially by creating distorted thoughts and behaviors, in relation to ourselves and others. For example, if we have buried anger and rage, then that is often directed outwards at other people for small or petty reasons. Of course, there is a lot of energy being used here – the buried issues represent a lot of unexpressed emotion, which is energetic in nature, and it require enormous effort physically and mentally to bury these issues.

Shadow

One interesting aspect of the shadow / the unconscious is that there is a considerable amount of power and energy within it. In the modern parlance of self-help books, Debbie Ford describes the hidden gold in each of our shadows, often in the form of creativity. In old texts on magic, the unconscious is seen as the seat of magical power and it is only through exploring and conquering one’s subconscious that a magician discovers their inner power to practice magic. These are two perspectives on the same issue – what our conscious minds have buried is the starting point for unearthing our power, our creativity and for journeying into who we are.  This is why spiritual development and self-help can be so powerful: it gives us the tools to move long buried issues out of the subconscious into our conscious awareness, releasing in the process all the stuck energy and emotion associated with it. Once the emotion has been expressed and released, we feel different because we have reclaimed a “lost” part of ourselves and are no longer using energy to contain a part of our subconscious.

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