the difference between changing your mind…..


Last Wednesday I picked up the local independent newspaper, the Seven Days,  a great little paper published in Vermont. My weekly ritual is to flip first to Free Will Astrology written by Rob Brezsny because I love this little indulgence into the astrological world.  These horoscopes are funny, smart and overall thought provoking.

As I mentioned in Hello Better Future, at 14 I was interested in Horoscopes and found some truth in the mystery of fortunes and predictions, but now my appreciation has shifted into recognizing that what we think about expands. So my delight in this weekly ritual is to internalize ideas and appreciate the power of suggestion.. in the best possible way. And this is what Free Will had to offer me lest week:

Gemini (May 21-June 20)  “I think if we didn’t contradict ourselves, it would be awfully boring” says Paul Auster. “it would be tedious to be alive.” But he goes even further  in his defense of inconsistency, adding “ Changing your mind is probably one of the most beautiful things people can do.” This bold assertion may not apply to everyone all of the time, but is does for you in the coming weeks, Gemini. You should feel free to explore and experiment with the high art of changing your mind. I dare you to use it to generate extravagant amounts of beauty”

Now first I have to say how delighted I was to read this little chunk of ideas… Paul Auster is a favorite author of mine… having been first introduced to his mind bending work the New York Trilogy during graduate school. And of course all ideas involving doing things differently, stretching out of expectations and changing one’s mind land firmly with me.

And so I have been sitting with this for several days… and what occurs to me is that the phrase “changing your mind” frequently comes with a negative implication.. ficklenss, flakiness or unreliability. It also indicates perhaps an underlying fear of doing something new or different.  But to my thinking “changing your mind” comes with an immense amount of possibility because in order to create change in our lives we must literally change our minds.

When we change, we must change our thinking, our behaviors, we must also learn to understand our feelings and regulate our emotions. We must create new beliefs, and this kind of commitment reconfigures the energetic connections, the neural pathways in our brains. We “rewire” our brains to create the changes that we intentionally want to create. Changing our mind is a lot of work…. it takes effort, encouragement and non-judgmental support. Changing our mind and changing our lives requires us to do things differently, stretch out of what has become comfortable, and invest in a process of personal development, and recognition of our own inherent potential.

Interestingly the phrase “changing your mind” brought me also to “make up your mind”.  And in thinking about this I also came to the conclusion that it too comes with a kind of negative bias. It can imply indecisiveness, being noncommittal, uncertain or insecure. But what does it really mean to make up one’s mind? To make something up is to create or invent or plan something into fruition, so to make up one’s mind might require a bit more intentional development. If we want to change our mind we may want to also “make up our mind” about what we’d like our lives to transform into. And so the questions become:

What do you want?

Where do you need to place attention?

What are the essential practices?

What map needs to be created in order to change our mind in a way that supports the life we desire to lead?

So…”You should feel free to explore and experiment with the high art of changing your mind. I dare you to use it to generate extravagant amounts of beauty”…in the life you want to lead.

And when you’d like to get started lets have a chat….



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