If you’ve ever been in a serious conversation with me, you may have noticed how it can take me a minute to get my thoughts out. This is because I tend to focus hard on words. Saying the most relevant and responsible things during important conversations is, I guess, a thing of my thirties. It’s probably because I’ve had to suffer the consequences of saying things I don’t/didn’t mean. I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned to choose my words wisely and pay attention to what’s going on. It’s like walking through a busy airport terminal trying to find the right gate. Once I find it, I’m good. I can relax and be directed from that point. But getting through the terminal of my mind can be a mission.
“Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2,500-3,300 thoughts per hour….If you pay attention to these thoughts, you would be amazed to discover that most of them are useless, unimportant thoughts that pass through the mind with huge speed. These are words you repeat in your mind, comments the mind makes….senseless wandering thoughts that you might not even be aware of….irrelevant thoughts claiming for your attention.” (successconsciousness.com)
Advocates for inner peace will tell you that the key to worrying less and not wasting time or energy is all about quieting or focusing the mind so that useless or redundant thoughts are lessened.
Think about all the things vying for our attention that win and ultimately end up being major time and energy wasters. They add nothing to our lives. They are merely distractions.
Think about all of our unfinished business… and how when a thing has no closure, our brains tend to respond to those same task points every single day.
Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to quiet the mind when you’re meditating, spending quiet time with God, or trying to properly relax during vacation. Think about it, T’Challa had to get completely covered in sand to master the spiritual connection with his ancestors. By no means is it easy– quieting the mind or controlling what thoughts get chased.
For me, it’s the solid thoughts that matter. The manifestations in our minds that guide our energy and choices.
This month, twenty years ago, Keith and I went on our very first date. We went to see The Original Kings of Comedy at Camellia Cinema IV. When my husband was in his late teens, he wrote down things he wanted in life. One goal was to marry me. The other was to have three children with me. He wrote these things down and kept them in a box underneath his bed in his apartment. I’ve always admired how he was able to demonstrate his faith by manifesting exactly who and what he wanted. What he saw. We aren’t perfect; but what he did back then is such a fundamental chapter in our love story and what I believe is currently building longevity in our relationship.
His manifestation gained decoy power– an ability to redirect him from things and people that were not a part of the big dream. Before we got married, we went a year without speaking. Although we were not together, what he manifested still occupied space in his heart and mind. In the universe. How amazing it is that this man was able to bring into being that which he manifested? What he imagined and projected in his mind became a Force and ultimately a testament of faith.
I wonder where we’d be had he manifested differently. If he didn’t manifest beyond physical attraction. What would our lives look like if, as a young man, he had shallow manifestations for us? (What are the odds of relationships based solely on sexual chemistry lasting?)
Our minds have more power than our physical selves. If we don’t create standards and values; if we don’t read or write things down; if we don’t give the brain positive stimuli by avoiding negative people/places/ideas; if we don’t dream big from time to time… how would we reach the wonderful discovery that our thoughts might actually be servants, not masters.
Clinnesha is a wife, mom, daughter/sister/auntie, literary artist, humanities scholar, and social entrepreneur. Her advocacy work is at the intersection of black/feminist thought, arts, culture, and community.