Our “Tricky” Brain

Regardless of where you live…Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Thousand Oaks, Santa Clarita, etc., you can’t escape the tricks your brain can play on you!

An illusionist will tell you…you can’t believe everything you see!

A journalist will tell you…you can’t believe everything you hear!

We all already know we can’t believe everything we read!

And yet, Sages, philosophers and now neuroscientists will tell you can’t believe everything you think.

We have about 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day ranging from TIME TO GET UP,  to the self-destructive — I don’t think I can.  In the moment, our thinking seems logical. But when we examine long patterns of brain activity, it’s clear that thoughts can be unstable and often arbitrary, shifting depending on context and contradicting our better instincts. Yet humans usually form our personal identities around the things we think. The result is a scattered sense of self that drifts as the wind blows.

But you are not your thoughts. They don’t define your true self.  They are the baggaged sum of your experiences carried with you from childhood to this present moment. Our thinking is incredibly susceptible to error. Cognitive bias, false assumptions, misinformation, Ego and limited beliefs are just a few patterns of unhealthy thought that interfere with our judgement.

“I think, therefore I am,” René Descartes said in the 17th century. But modern science and psychology have revealed a deeper truth about the way we think.

The daily practice of Mindfulness unpacks our negative and self-destructive thoughts…and allows them to “just be” without all the reactivity that perpetuates our stress, anxieties, self-doubt and worry…that often leads to depression or the manifestation of illness, pain and disease.  If we look closely at the word “disease” and we separate the syllables, we have DIS and EASE…which is what happens to our body when under stress. The root cause of stress is never the situation or the “other” person, but rather, our thoughts about the person or situation. In other words, “Your problem isn’t the problem, your reaction is the problem” (Buddha)

Simply stated, our brain is always playing tricks on us because we tend to believe everything we think is true. But, it is through Mindfulness we discover the true magic of living a fulfilling and happy life.