because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

So I read on Austin Kleon’s Tumblr this thing about Book Tossers.

These are my favourite of All The People- the somebody who “casually tosses a book at you” says Kleon, and it changes your entire being. Before said book you were probably in a world of unknown darkness and ignorance that truths and beauty could exist in a cold, hard world like as ours. Then BOOM! 300 or so pages later and suddenly everything is bathed in the multi-coloured understanding of just how exquisite living and being and words are. LIFE IS THE BESTEST FOREVER THE END.

In these circumstances, Kleon says, it is accepted wisdom that “if it weren’t for the toss, there wouldn’t be a catch” i.e. without the thrilling entrance of said Book Tosser, your life would’ve remained unchanged and that would’ve been at best unfortunate, but realistically a much worse, WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIVING IF IT ISN’T TO HAVE CONSUMED THE GIFT OF LETTERS AND SENTENCES THIS ARTIST JUST FED ME LIKE HONIED WATER TO A DYING CHILD I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I WAS BEFORE, I THINK I WAS BLIND AND NOW I SEE.

Okay, so I’m paraphrasing. Whatever.

I’ve talked before about serendipitous literature- the stuff that comes to you right when you need it. So when Dad saw me packing books about angels and life and being a better person into my backpack to head on down for my days of solitude last week, he became the most recent Book Tosser in my life, and I let him.

“Here you are ducky,” he said. Everybody is ducky in Derbyshire. As in, Ay up me duck! That translates roughly to Hello old friend, may I enquire as the nature of your well being on this fine morning? I like it. I also like that Dad gives me books, because by the age of 16 I already understood Myers-Briggs and Who Moved My Cheese? and the Alchemist and was thus way ahead of the teenage angst curve.

Dad’s big on the personal development.

I’m digressing.

I wonder if there is a self-help book on that.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy is. It’s just. I… this was exactly the book I was supposed to be reading on the back porch at Auntie Barbara’s, alternating between chapters on Mental Healings in Modern Times and Mind and Spirit Do Not Grow Old with even more staring at the distance.

The premise is simple: you are the sum of your own thoughts. The practise, as every single one of us except maybe Paulo Coelho and my brother know, is way more difficult than the theory, though.

Of course I’ve been doing all kinds of learning and inward thinking just lately; this is not news. But what The Power of Your Subconscious Mind made me really consider is the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind. Often I will think something bad- about myself, my abilities, other people, their abilities- but in my imagination that’s okay because later I’ll make up for it with positive visualisation and prayers of thanks before bed.

NO DEAL, says Murphy.

If we are the sum of our thoughts then we must monitor every single conscious thought that we allow ourselves to have. Because it is a choice. And if, when we harvest our thoughts like a talented farmer in late October, reaping his crop as the nights roll in earlier and earlier, then what we store away will become our reality, because the world within creates the world without.

Basically, we are what we imagine ourselves to be. Self-criticism, sarcasm, meanness continues to grow in the part of our minds we have forgotten about as soon as we’ve said or thought these things. They put down roots. Bed in for the night. Subconsciously.

But. If we affirm the good the bad will, in turn, vanish. SO. We can feed our subconscious mind life-giving thoughts and wipe out all the negative patterns. Like the book says, If you sow thorns will you gather grapes? If you sow thistles will you harvest figs?

Murphy says, decide now to make your life grander, greater, richer, and nobler. We do this by affirming what we want from life until it manifests in reality.

Example: As I was finishing my final semester at university, I’d go to bed every night and imagine myself- vividly and proudly- calling my dad and saying the words, “Daddy, I got a first class honours.” Every night. In my imagination, it was already real. It existed. It was a truth.

When I finally called him and said those words, I knew something powerful had happened. That was the power of my subconscious mind. We are what we imagine ourselves to be. I imagined myself to be a first-class honours student, and then I was. Even when my mind was focused on cooking dinner, drinking with friends, reading, whatever, because I’d given home to that truth in my subconscious mind it continued to feed itself without my conscious help until it grew into a reality. I set myself up for success.

It’s the same with men. Your subconscious doesn’t get a joke. I’d tell myself I didn’t want a fella anyway, love was a waste of time, but simultaneously moan about why I couldn’t seem to find any of the good ones. BECAUSE I’D TOLD MY SUBCONSCIOUS NOT TO, DUMMY. Even if I didn’t really mean it. Cut to now, after all the celibacy and thinking and self-love and HI, ELEVENTY THOUSAND OFFERS FOR DRINKS AND DANCING AND MENTAL INTERCOURSE OF THE HIGHEST CALIBRE.

When there is no longer a quarrel between the different parts of your mind your prayer will be answered.


Change the cause, and you change the effect.


Act as though you are, and you will be.


This book reminded me of two things:

One, that you are what you think all day. So think wisely. You have the power to be whoever you want to be. It’s a choice.

Two, how to spell ‘subconscious’. There’s a lot of c’s and s’s in that fucker. 

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