The Mind In Mindfulness

Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD

The Mind In Mindfulness

The word MIND in “mind-full-ness” is something to think about. Nobody– not even the sharpest knife in the drawer–knows what mind is, how it does what it does or can accurately measure “thought.” Just ask the greatest scholar: “What’s mind?” “What’s thought?” “Where does it live?” “Where are thoughts when you’re not thinking them?” “Is there such a thing as a non-thought?” and the masterful Einstein will look at you with a blank stare. That’s because only you know what you think.

Mind is a phenomenon; a subjective experience. You use it, yet exactly how this happens is mysterious. At best, mind is a non-thing that evokes YES things like concentration, relaxation, success and wellness. Scientists, Zarathustra, Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and modern day Mindful Hypnotists reflect on mind as a mysterious invisible force-field that’s said to generate thought and come to much the same conclusion. “HUH? What is mind? I’ll need to think on it.”*

Do This…

Ask your mind “What are YOU?”

Thought Provoking. My friend, the late Ormond McGill said, “Brain is structure; mind is function.” Perhaps his idea is thought-worthy… A general belief is that your thoughts create your self-identity, memory and habits and your self-identity, memory and habits evoke more thoughts. These thoughts can be good, bad, nourishing, toxic or utilitarian. The point is this: your amazing and mysterious mind generates intangible thoughts from an amorphous energy called mind that you are eager to learn more about… are you in or out of your mind?

What We Think We Know About The Mind

  1. Mind Transcends Time. Your inner camera lens cave-dives into miniscule subterranean thought or expands to the biggest pictures. Your amorphous “mind” can visit parallel universes.
  2. Mind Performs AlchemyYour body is an alchemical wizard! Your smile orchestrates an internal consciousness who cascades feel-good chemicals to your entire self. Food is transformed into nutrients. If you eat no fat, your natural internal awareness transforms non-fat into fat to keep you from starving. No one knows how non-material thought and indefinable awareness effects your material body, yet, study-after-study proves that the inner laboratory of your mind triggers chemistry. That is why a placebo makes you feel better… EVEN when told “this is a placebo!” In E.L. Rossi, MD’s words, “the physiological changes that follow accepted suggestions defy explanation by contemporary medicine.”
  3. Mind Affects Structure and Function. Emotion changes your chemistry and chemistry changes your emotion. Structural changes change function; functional changes change structure; going round and round in a circle game. Thoughts, learning, experience and self-talk “rewire” neural pathways. Emotional thoughts are natural. In grieving, you feel sad. If something great happens, you feel happy. Being mindful of emotion allows you to express feelings now and then sustain the emotions you most enjoy and your internal chemistry follows suit.
  4. Master Minds YOUAs Prez of the Hypnosis Federation, I train students to say, “I’m master of my mind… I’m a Master Mind! What I think creates how I act. How I act creates how I feel.”
  5. Your Mind is a Great Creator Or Ruthless Destroyer. Your thoughts constantly influence what you perceive, believe, do or don’t do. They spark your ignition or slam on your brakes. Thoughts can be self-directed or a mindless robot, depending on how you use them. Do your thoughts bring celebration or a pity-party? Do they evoke joy or misery? Hippocrates said, “If you want good health… ask, ‘Are you ready NOW to do away with reasons for illness?’”

Dr. Shelley’s “You” Exercise:

Close your eyes and let your mind take you where it wants to go. Go ahead and do it NOW! … When ready, come back… THOUGHT… I’D ASK…

Where did your labyrinth of thought take you? Your body? Your hands? Down a rabbit hole to… the beach? Your job? Your lunch? Your bills? Your Sweetie?

Where did YOU lead yourself on your personal mindfulness journey? 

Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD is the President of the International Hypnosis Federation and the author of 23 books including “WIN: Coaching Guide For Yourself and Others” and “Thrive: Medical Hypnosis For Yourself and Others” she invites you to join her Facebook page “free hypnosis- IHF.”

* Excerpt from “Hypno-Mindfulness”

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*Always consult with your physician prior to experimenting with any exercises, recipes, health advice and nutrition initiatives shared in this blog.