The Distance Between Thought and Belief

Anyone alive today has been raised during the time of rational thought. The Age of Reason has been the driving process for everything we’ve developed during the past 300-400 years, since the Age of Enlightenment. 

During the Enlightenment age, man’s focus was centered on intellectual and scholarly movements, and scientific advancements. 

“Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses, and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries.” – Eugene Weber

The Enlightenment included a focus on rational thought as an expression of sovereignty, and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge, which made way for ideals such as liberty, progress, and ultimately separation of church and state. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism.

“I think, therefore I Am,”

as famously stated by René Descartes, perfectly embodies the shift from faith (belief)-based to thought (reason)-based idealization. And we have simultaneously benefited from and suffered the consequences ever since.

We moved from believing to thinking, which, while it has allowed for the creation of countless advances, inventions and discoveries, has distanced us from our own sense of self. When we make a statement that begins with “I think…,” we remove the strength of ownership which is contained in “I believe.” 

Our head brain, or intelligence center, is responsible for all rational thought; for story-telling; for making meaning of the world around us. It is perfectly designed and very adept at these functions. It is also necessary for creating pictures or visions of what our future might look like. It allows us to process data and create formulas. It is where we do our critical thinking and analysis. It is the seat of our creativity. It is also where we have the power to trick ourselves into believing our thoughts are real. 

Now that we’ve moved into the Age of Aquarius, it’s time to return from the seat of rational thought, back into the chamber of compassion, namely, our heart center. 

Sounds great, right?

So how do we do that?

We start by rewiring our default programming. The first step is to become aware of our thought and speech patterns, then to actively practice awareness, learn to catch a thought before it is complete, and restate it as the new default we want to create.

Say what, now?

Our head brains are fantastic super-computers, processing billions of bits of information continuously. We aren’t consciously aware of all of this processing, obviously, but certain thoughts or patterns that fire together, wire together the more we use them, creating a superhighway for neuro-transmission. 

Our head brains are also highly efficient. When we create these superhighways, they become our default thought response, like a habit. The more we use it, the more strongly reinforced it becomes. This is how we are able to run through our routines without much “thought.” Our routines become second nature. This can be helpful, allowing us to easily function, or it can be detrimental, causing us to repeat unhealthy patterns.

But, the true beauty of our brains is the high level of neuroplasticity they have.  And, because we possess self awareness, we can actively “catch a thought” before it makes its way down its habituated superhighway, and we can change it, creating a new link. Then, just as we created the first automatic response, we can reinforce this new link, creating a new and empowered response.

Since words have meaning, and each of our intelligence centers (head, heart, gut) speaks its own language, we can create a habit of responding from the heart, rather than the head. We can choose to change our operating system from purely rational (head brain), to belief (heart brain.) 

If you would like to live your life from a more heart-centered place of compassion, practice catching a thought, and rewording it to a belief.  Spend some time practicing awareness, and begin to notice how often you respond to something with these words: “I think……….”

Now everytime the words “I think” begin to form in your mind, catch it, and rephrase it as “I believe.” This simple swap moves you from your head to your heart. There is an instantaneous 12” drop. 

What is the benefit of this?

Think about every time you respond “I think (fill in the blank).” When you do so, you are offering space for counter-arguments, differing opinions, negotiation, etc. You’re inviting someone else to confirm or dispute your thought.

When you respond with “I believe (fill in the blank),” You are stating something that is pure representation of you yourself. You are not asking for validation. You own this statement. You move from “I think, therefore I am,” to:

“I Am, therefore I think.”

This is a powerful transformation. The more you choose “I believe” statements, the more you validate your own sense of self and what’s important to you. You automatically speak from the Divine, Source, Spirit… the One.

Give it a go for a week or so (I suggest 21 days, because that’s how long it takes to create a new habit), but if you just want to see how it feels to speak from your core, try it for a week. Then, once you find out how empowering it is, make it your new default. I believe you will really feel the difference.

“I believe, therefore I am.”

Love, Sarah

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