Our world of thought… I guess there are at least as many worlds of thought as there are human beings in the bigger world. And if we say thought creates reality, then it’s actually quite a genius idea to work with thoughts and handle your thinking in case you are interested in living in a reality that looks at least a little like the reality you want to see and be part of. Our brain takes in 10GB of information every second, from which only 100KB are in our conscious thought world.
Which 10KB do you choose to be conscious of? Do you choose at all?
Little ants in the outer landscape
I came across ants today, and they were annoying me. And then I got to think about ANTs as well, they weren’t so much pleasure either. The little ants, 6-legged physical beings are simply not the most elegant company when you want to hang out on your own on a newly found favorite rock in the sun. They take a lot of attention, to wipe them off your legs before they bite or pee on you (or whatever it is they do that makes this stinging sensation on your skin when you don’t manage to get rid of them before they succeed doing it).
Large ANTs in the inner landscape
ANTs, however, are invisible and located in your head. There’re not a nice company either, regardless of wherever you go. There’s definitely a whole bunch of parallel qualities to ants, but ANTs is short for Automatic Negative Thoughts*.
My annoyance transformed slowly into insect appropriate gratefulness, I felt thankful that the little ants had showed up on my newly found favorite rock so I could make the association to ANTs and re-think my own world of thought, and then feel what I need to feel in order to move out of the state I was stuck in. I got to appreciate that these 6-legged moving beings were so obviously tangible and visible in front of me and on top of me, it was fairly easy to get rid of them. It’s not nearly as easy to see and get rid of automatic thoughts. They’re nasty, powerful and able to get me down, so that I find myself swimming helplessly and hopelessly in a lake of low energy, filled with what I experience as unpleasant emotions. Wait. How did I even get into this lake???
It happens especially when I spend too much time by myself, when I’m sleep deprived, when I’m too much on tour in the digital world, when I’m in uncomfortable social settings, and when I don’t get enough physical movement.
Catching these ANTs, and preventing them from growing, evolving, spreading and even existing, that is a fine thing to train indeed. If we’re becoming masters in catching our ANTs, we also become pros for a huge part of our own well-being. Vamos!
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Based on Byron Katie’s work, here are four questions to help challenge compelling thoughts:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
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😉 A sixty seconds session with you and your ANTs: http://www.pixelthoughts.co
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(*I’d actually love to make it ANTS, Automatic Negative Thought Spiral).