Words cannot change reality but they can change the way in which we perceive that reality. Pay attention to your thoughts as they may become your destiny.
The 4 agreements by Miguel Ruiz
It is a very short book but full of wisdom of how to review yourself in an objective way. His book is all about our thoughts and he describes our inner reality beautifully with inspiring metaphors like the one that says that we all live in a dream and that this dream can be a nightmare (that he calls hell) or a wonderful dream (that he calls heaven). The nature of the dream will depend on how we view life and the filter we use to see life (our thoughts, our words) . He give us 4 simple precepts to follow in order to review our core thoughts (that he calls ‘our domestication process’) and to be able to live the best dream ever (heaven):
1. Be impeccable with your word:
Don’t gossip, talk negatively to yourself. Say what you mean (kiss the filter goodbye. Yes sometimes it’s good to say the awkward truth)
2. Don’t make assumptions
Have the courage to ask when in doubt, but don’t assume things your don’t know. Every person has their internal world and acts accordingly. But we do not know what is happening inside someone’s mind unless we ask. Sometimes the person does not know either!Say no to making up stories in your mind.Communicate clearly and avoid misunderstandings.
3. Don’t take anything personally
We tend to take things said to us in a personal way when in reality it is only a reflection of who they are. We attribute meaning to actions (the one we believe it has, because it does for us) but the meaning for the other person may be entirely different to yours. I find this one especially hard to add into my life as things are personal sometimes. But I guess it is a way to detach a bit from tricky or uncomfortable situations that could be taken to a whole new level if we wouldn’t follow this precept.
4. Always do your best
As a recovering perfectionist, this is very much needed like every day of my life. Yes, sometimes we make mistakes, yes sometimes our actions are not the best or even our results. But that does not mean that we ‘are less’ than anybody or that we deserve less than anybody else. Often times we will do way less or way too much, and each extreme has its own sent disadvantages for us and for our own levels of energy. So simply do your best, nothing less, nothing more.
What it’s important about this?
What I loved about this book is the way it is written, as it reads beautifully. It is a very artistic way to describe our inner reality and how we cope with anything that happens to us or around us. It is a very philosophical book that makes us wonder about our own process of what he calls ‘domestication’. This would translate into the norms of society and family conventions that we adopt since we are born and that become part of our personality even though we never consciously chose these norms. Into this process of domestication he adds ‘ways of thinking’ , ‘self-limiting beliefs’ which very often we just copied from our surroundings without even realising it.
He explains that to rebel against our own process of domestication is an act of war against our two worst enemies: Our Judge and the Inner Critic. These two characters being the personification of our own set of conventions inherited since we were children. The minute that you recognise these two voices as separate from your own, you will be one step closer to literally being free or your past.
Some points about self-talk and what happens inside our heads
- Our inner talk is the stream of thoughts that is on re-play almost constantly. We are so used to hear this voice that sometimes we don’t even notice that is happening. One thought leads to another one and then to an almost instantaneous stream of related thoughts or images flashing through our mind.
- Even if we are not actively aware of this self-talk, our subconscious mind is listening to every word. This means that as a result of this we will feel its effects on our body. The reason for this is that our subconscious mind initially accepts all of our self-talk as the truth, even if it is not, and then it is our job to filter them (consciously or unconsciously) using our perception of reality to actually match or discard these thoughts.
- This inner self-talk often just happens on auto-pilot.
- Our body reacts to this words with feelings and emotions that we don’t even realise are the result of our self-talk.This will then lead to bodily reactions, such as those associated with anxiety , when the words are negative.
- Positive thoughts attract other positive thoughts, and negative thoughts attract other negative thoughts. The attract more of we produce in abundance.
- Our bodies do not distinguish between perceived danger and real danger. Our body reacts the same to both. Stress releases cortisol and catecholamines such as dopamine, epinephrine, and nor-epinephrine. Catecholamines and cortisol are hormones that are released by your adrenal glands.High levels of cortisol, especially when chronic, can decrease the actual volume of the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This is the part of the brain associated with positive emotions. It is actually physiologically more difficult for some people to be positive, but that does not mean that you cannot change it back with conscious work.
Our thoughts will change our life and our health
We don’t have an unlimited amount of energy. So we have to be careful with wasting our energy being our worst enemy and suffering from it. Everybody knows that we can tell quite easily who is more positive or negative in the first 5 minutes of a conversation with a person. Whoever is more filled with negativity could not help but to see life through a negative filter and the opposite will happen with a more positive person.
Positive, happy thoughts have a strong energy while the energy of negative thoughts is much lower. Our energy levels will affect our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health. It will also determine what we attract to ourselves. So the type of inner talk that you have going on will decide how you feel throughout the day.
Have you heard the saying that says that we are what we eat? Well, how about we are what we think?.
Literally from a scientific perspective our thoughts can change our physical bodies.Examples of that are the studies of Dr. Candace Pert author of “Molecules of Emotion- Why You Feel the Way You Feel”, and the studies of Dr. Norman Doidge, author of “The Brain That Changes Itself”,
Dr. Pert discovered the opiate receptor in our brain and found out that our emotions, or what we “feel” trigger chemical responses. Feelings and thoughts release neurotransmitters that:
- affect our state of well-being,
- promote positive or negative mood
- impact our organs and systems function
Dr. Doidge noticed that the brain can literally change its function and STRUCTURE just by the way we think or imagine things. Our thoughts, perceptions and activities literally turn genes on or off in our bodies, as well as stimulate a cascade of other chemical reactions.
All the studies and clinical testing done in the last decade has showed a link between our minds and our bodies and it is the reason why positive thinking is viewed as a powerful tool to improve health at all levels.
So this was a fantastic book that I recommend everybody. It was indeed recommended to me and I am happy that now it is part of my library and my life.
What do you think about your thoughts being able to change your health levels? Have you experience this?
Comment below or send me a message with your comments as I will love to learn more about your experience.
Have a great day,